Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman

Title: Snow White and the Huntsman
Director: Rupert Sanders
Writer:  Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock, Hossein Amini, and Evan Daugherty
Starring: Kristin Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, and Charlize Theron
Grade: 84% or B
 
 

My Thoughts::
I didn't plan on seeing this movie. I love going to theaters to see movies, but in most cases they are movies that I've said "ooooh I want to go and see that when in comes in!" while watching the previews. But my friends wanted me to go to the movies with them and this is what the rest of them wanted to see.

I think retellings of stories are great because you're able to appeal to a new and different audience. While the original Snow White movie was directed towards children, this movie was aimed at young adults. I haven't watched the original Snow White or read the book in so long that I won't be comparing this new movie to those. I'll let it stand on its own in my mind. And it does, the characters have new personalities and the story is different in many ways.

The evil witch wasn't just an evil witch. She was power hungry with a very tortured past. I always love it when I can feel some sympathy for the bad guy. I felt connected to most of the characters this way. We are able to learn about their pasts which somehow make us feel like there is more at stake. More than ever we don't want them to die. Except for the witch and her brother of course, but their evilness overtakes any sympathy gained in the film. I really liked how the dwarfs were used in the film and the history we get about them.

The acting was pretty good. I know a lot of people like to complain about Kristen Stewart, but out of most of the big time actresses, I couldn't imagine anyone being a better Snow White. Plus I think this role was awesome for the type of actress that she is. The other actors did a good job as well, especially the witch and the huntsman. SWOOOOON was all I could do whenever that huntsman was on screen.

Overall I think that this movie had a good amount of action without foregoing the storyline. With decent acting and a hot guy, you should see this film.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters Who Remind Me of Someone I Know

 
Top Ten Tuesdays is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's top ten is...

Top Ten Characters Who Remind Me Of Myself Or Someone I Know In Real Life

Me:
1. Chloe Saunders from The Darkest Powers Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong.
2. Lee Fiora from Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

Friends:
3. Bert from The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
4. Matt from Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
5. Marley from DJ Rising by Love Maia
6. Astrid from The Gone Series by Michael Grant
7. Hassan from An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Monday, June 25, 2012

Keys to the Repository by Melissa de la Cruz

Title: Keys to the Repository (Blue Bloods Series Companion)
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Acquired: Bought
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 74% or C
Buy It: Amazon
Lavish parties. Passionate meetings in the night. Bone-chilling murders. Midterms. The day-to-day life of Schuyler Van Alen and her Blue Bloods friends (and enemies) is never boring. But there's oh-so-much more to know about these beautiful and powerful teens. Below the streets of Manhattan, within the walls of the Repository, exists a wealth of revealing information about the vampire elite that dates back before the Mayflower. In a series of short stories, journal entries, and never-before-seen letters, New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz gives her hungry fans the keys to the Repository and an even more in-depth look into the secret world of the Blue Bloods.
My Thoughts::
I wasn't going to read this book, but since I don't want to miss anything in the series, I decided to pick it up figuring that it would be a fast read. And while it was a fast read, it was better and more fulfilling than I thought it would be.

We are given a little background info and story so far briefing for each character. It was a nice refresher but would have been better if we learned anything new from it. There were some things that were cleared up from inconsistencies in the books, which was nice. And since there have been a good amount of books so far, it was great to go back and review what happened and how each character was involved. It's really easy to forget details or even not realize exactly how something happened, so this was very helpful.

The best part about this book were the very short stories that were spread throughout. We got some added scenes that we haven't seen, as well as scenes that we have scene but told from another character's perspective. So even though we aren't told exactly NEW information I think we get a much better hold on the characters and the important things we are supposed to know so far in the series. I definitely feel better about what I know about the books after reading this.

Overall I think that Keys to the Repository was a good refresher but not worth buying. The little stories were great, but there weren't enough of them to warrant buying it since the book was short as it is. But it was a nice little guide so checking it out is a great idea.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a post where I tell you the books that I received this week either by buying them from the bookstore, going to the library or from my mailbox. In My Mailbox was inspired by Alea and turned into a meme by Kristi.

 

Bought::
The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick 

For Review::
Erebos by Ursula Poznanski
Beautiful Lies by  Jessica Warman
Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Contest Saturday

Here are some contests that are currently going on right now in the blogosphere that are book related. Click the links to enter them. I will try to hold my own contest each month.

Win a copy of A Want So Wicked HERE. Ends TODAY

Win a copy of This is Not A Test HERE. Ends 6/26

Win 1 of 3 prize packs HERE. Ends 6/27

Win a prize pack of Vampire Anthologies HERE. Ends 6/27

Win a copy of Dead Reckoning HERE. Ends 6/27

Win a copy of Summerland HERE. Ends 7/1

Win a copy of This is Not A Test HERE. Ends 7/1

Win a copy of Something Like Normal HERE. Ends 7/3

Win an ebook copy of Spear of Seth HERE. Ends 7/5

Win a June/July release HERE. Ends 7/16

Win a copy of Shut Up HERE. Ends 7/19

Friday, June 22, 2012

To the Cinema! #15

This post is similar to a Books to Come post, but will only feature MOVIES that I am excited about releasing. I will include trailers for your viewing pleasure. I'll probably only do this monthly so it doesn't push out reviews that I need to post.

People Like Us

The Imposter

Ruby Sparks

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chernobyl Diaries

Title: Chernobyl Diaries
Director: Bradley Parker
Writer: Oren Peli, Carey Van Dyke, and Shane Van Dyke
Starring: Jesse McCartney, Jonathan Sadowski and Olivia Dudley
Grade: 78% or C+
 

My Thoughts::
I saw this movie not really knowing what to expect. I knew the basic plot and that it was supposed to be scary, but I didn't know how. Was it zombies? Ghosts? Something else really creepy? Plus it was made by the same guy who does the Paranormal Activity movies, and I don't really like those at all. So I went in with very low expectations.

The movie was better than I thought it would be. We're able to figure out the dynamic of the group of friends pretty quickly. Knowing this dynamic, especially the one between the brothers, makes this movie more intense. What my friends and I loved was that you weren't quite sure who was going to die and when. In pretty much all scary movies with deaths, it is easy to pick out who is going to die, when, and who will be the last person standing. But with this movie we couldn't do it. Most of our guesses were wrong, or we were tricked into being right.

Instead of just things popping out at us to make us freak out, we were scared in other ways. There is the whole lingering question of what is out there and how it got there. And of course the underlying FREAKING RADIATION THAT NO ONE CARES ABOUT AFTER 45 MINUTES INTO THE MOVIE. They were nervous about visiting and then they're cool with spending the night? Even before they knew about the killing things, you would think they would want out of there as soon as possible.

I have complaints, and really felt totally meh about the movie until the very end. Oh wow. Did not see that coming. So I think I liked it well enough.

Winner: Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop

And the winner of the Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hope (a copy of ttyl by Lauren Myracle and Blood Oath by T.L. Clarke) is.....

Summer McDaniel

Congrats Summer!  I have already e-mailed you. If you don't reply within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen.

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Acquired: Won
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 80% or B-
Buy It: Amazon
Some race to win. Others race to survive.

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.

Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn't given her much of a choice. So she enters the competition - the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.
My Thoughts::
It happened to me once again guys. I had the wrong idea of what this book was about. For some reason I had it in my head as a dystopian read. Corrupt government, forcing people to race in these deadly races and there was no choice about it. The summary just sounded like this. I couldn't understand until I read the book why people would choose to be in the races year after year. Since I love dystopian and that was what I was hoping for, I was a little let down. But not for long.

Once I got used to what the book was ACTUALLY about, I started to enjoy it. Learning about the island culture was really cool and I was able to see why people would choose to be a part of the races even thought they were so dangerous. Though I couldn't help but be mad when people didn't want to include Puck. Tradition is important, but I didn't see a reason for them to not what women to be involved. This added to the conflict in the story and made it more interesting. Even though we do get a little bit of history, I wish we were told more about the water horses and what the world is like.

Puck and Sean were both really great characters. It's easy for me to read about characters and make connections to their likeliness of characters in other books. But it was harder this time. The dynamic of their lives were more old fashioned along with their interests. Plus I've never read a book like this before. Puck's younger brother was so adorable and I loved whenever he was there. I also enjoyed the American horse buyer from Sean's chapters. It's rare to find side characters that you can connect with and get to know along with the main characters.

Overall I think that the plot was new, the love felt real, and the characters were genuine. Though a bit boring at times, I liked this book.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Summer TBR List

 
Top Ten Tuesdays is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's top ten is...

Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR List

1. A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger. I'm already hearing good things about this book and I can't wait until next month when I plan to devour it!

2. Hollowland by Amanda Hocking. This book sounds so interesting and it was free, which is fantastic. I'm afraid that I'll forget about it and it'll fall to the wayside, so I really want to read it this summer before things get too busy.

3. Vertigo by Kristina Dunker. I plan to read this one in a week or so. It sounds so creepy and I love that kind of thing in the summer.

4. Insurgent by Veronica Roth. I want to read this book as soon as possible! But I'm trying to be smarter with my reading so I don't get behind on review books, so it'll have to wait until the end of summer.

5. The Calling by Kelley Armstrong. I love these books soooo much! As soon as I can I'm going to get right into this.

6. Misguided Angel by Melissa de la Cruz. I'm doing a good job getting caught up with this series and I hope to get a couple steps closer to the last book this summer.

7. Gone by Lisa McMann. It has taken me soooo long to finally finish this trilogy and I'm ready to do it!

8. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. I'm working hard to finish series that I've started, but I can't help but want to start this very much loved one as well.

9. Revived by Cat Patrick. I read Forgotten last summer, and I am excited to read this newest book buy Patrick this summer!

10. Fourth Comings by Megan McCafferty. I know I'm getting through these books slowly, but I like feeling as if I've grown up a little between each book.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Line by Teri Hall

Title: The Line
Author: Teri Hall
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Acquired: Bought
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 71% or C-
Buy It: Amazon
An invisible, uncrossable physical barrier encloses the Unified States. The Line is the part of the border that lopped off part of the country, dooming the inhabitants to an unknown fate when the enemy used a banned weapon. It’s said that bizarre creatures and superhumans live on the other side, in Away. Nobody except tough old Ms. Moore would ever live next to the Line.

Nobody but Rachel and her mother, who went to live there after Rachel’s dad died in the last war. It’s a safe, quiet life. Until Rachel finds a mysterious recorded message that can only have come from Away. The voice is asking for help.

Who sent the message? Why is her mother so protective? And to what lengths is Rachel willing to go in order to do what she thinks is right?
My Thoughts::
This was one of those books that I saw all over the place and became very very interested in. But because I rarely have extra money to spend on books, it got pushed to the wayside and lingered a long time in my Amazon wishlist. Eventually though I got Christmas money to spend and used it to buy books, including this one. But since I've wanted it for so long, it was in my wishlist for so long, and it took me so long to read it, I mostly forgot what it was about. This wasn't good.

My mind was all hyped up for this great dystopian book that a lot of people seemed to enjoy, but it kind of fell flat for me. I can usually jump right into books like this and speed through them. They are what I use to pull myself out of a reading slump. But this one was just so dull...almost boring. The world building was great, at least when it was actually mentioned. Thank goodness her mom was so intense with the history lessons, or we wouldn't have learned anything. Nothing really happens until the end of the book. It was pretty short so I thought it would have a faster flow. But mostly it was just a build up for the next book.

Rachel was a fine main character. Nothing she did made me dislike her, but I didn't really like her that much either. She added to the whole "meh" ness of the entire book. I will admit that there were interesting bits here and there where I would get excited, but they were too few and far between. By the time that I was almost finished I didn't want to read the next book. BUT..then there was the ending..And I think the ending intrigued me enough to read what happens next.

Overall I think that The Line had a very interesting world, I just wish that we would have seen a lot more of it. The characters and the plot didn't really do it for me but the ending made it worth it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a post where I tell you the books that I received this week either by buying them from the bookstore, going to the library or from my mailbox. In My Mailbox was inspired by Alea and turned into a meme by Kristi.


Bought::
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
The Calling by Kelley Armstrong
Bloody Valentine by Melissa de la Cruz
Fourth Comings by Megan McCafferty
Real Live Boyfriends by E. Lockhart

For Review::
The Sundered by Ruthanne Reid
Blood Zero Sky by J. Gabriel Gates

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Contest Saturday

Here are some contests that are currently going on right now in the blogosphere that are book related. Click the links to enter them. I will try to hold my own contest each month.

Win a copy of Call of the Sea HERE. Ends 6/21

Win a copy of The Letter Q HERE. Ends 6/21

Win 2 summer reads HERE. Ends 6/22

Win a copy of A Want So Wicked HERE. Ends 6/23

Win 1 of 3 prize packs HERE. Ends 6/27

Win a prize pack of Vampire Anthologies HERE. Ends 6/27

Win a copy of Summerland HERE. Ends 7/1

Win an ebook copy of Spear of Seth HERE. Ends 7/5

Friday, June 15, 2012

Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

Title: Cold Kiss
Author: Amy Garvey
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Acquired: Won
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 69% or D+
Buy It: Amazon
When Wren's boyfriend, Danny, died, Wren decided that what she wanted—what she had to do—was to bring Danny back. And so, in a heartbroken fury, armed with dark incantations and a secret power, she did.

But the Danny who returns isn't the boy Wren fell in love with, and she must hide him away while her life unravels around her. Then Gabriel transfers to her school and somehow he knows what she has done—and he wants to help make things right.

But Wren alone must undo what she has wrought—even if it means breaking her heart all over again.
My Thoughts::
I was really excited when I won this book because I pretty much like all things zombie related and this one looked different from what I usually see. This isn't a zombie apocalypse novel, so I was really interested to see how a zombie would appeal to me in a more subdued, up close and personal way.

Now, I could blame the fact that I just couldn't get into this book on a reading funk...but I don't think that was the case. Maybe if the book would have started at the beginning and made the timeline more linear and immediate, I would have been more interested. But instead it had a lot of flashbacks, and flash even farther backs, that I couldn't get into the spirit of the whole zombie thing.

Wren just seemed crazy, and I know she was heartbroken and all...but not even considering any of the downfalls of what she was doing? Plus if we are supposed to feel like she was in love with Danny, I was shocked to see how fast she found herself with Gabriel. I like him and all, but it just bothered me. Besides these things, I liked Wren. She wasn't afraid to do what she wanted and let Gabriel come in and try to save the day. She was kind of bad ass at times.

Like I said, the plot didn't work that well with me. I found myself getting bored of the zombie stuff, and even the love stuff. One of the things that kept me pushing through the novel was Wren's gift that runs in her family. It was fascinating. In tons of books the main character has to hide her ability, but never an ability that runs in the family. It made an interesting family dynamic as well, that's for sure!

Overall I think that Cold Kiss would have been better if it wasn't too focused on the crazy love and boring zombies.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop

 
  See the rest of the Giveaways HERE.
 
My Giveaway:: I am giving away a copy of TTYL by Lauren Myracle AND a copy of Blood Oath by T.L. Clarke. Here are bits of the summaries..
 

Blood Oath::
 
Welcome to the dark and powerful world of the Eternals.

Sixteen-year-old Gabrielle Martin discovers that she was born into a secret society called the Eternals—Warriors sworn through blood to annihilate dark and evil creatures that walk the shadows of the earth. Everything she has known to be true is a lie…just smoke and mirrors to disguise a deadly world filled with half-human, half-vampire Underworld Warriors with one goal—to kill all Eternal Warriors.

The battle against pure evil begins. Friendships are betrayed. Rivals bond…and powers collide.

ttyl::
 
An epistolary novel for the 21st century, this sharp, funny, and true-to-life breakout hit about friendship is told entirely in instant messages. And Internet-savvy teens have fallen in love with flirty Angela (SnowAngel), moody Maddie (mad maddie), and good girl Zoe (zoegirl) and their frank perceptions about a tumultuous tenth-grade semester.

To Enter:: Fill out THIS FORM by 6/20
** Winner will be announced on 6/21 and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.

+3 Entries for being a blog follower!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Serpent's Kiss by Melissa de la Cruz

Title: Serpent's Kiss (Beauchamp Family Series #2)
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher: Hyperion
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Adult
Grade: 90% or A-
Buy It: Amazon
The intriguing Beauchamp family, introduced in the New York Times bestselling Witches of East End, returns in Serpent’s Kiss, with dizzying plot twists and spellbinding magic.

Joanna and her daughters, bookish Ingrid and wild-child Freya, are just settling into the newfound peace that has been cast over their small, off-the map town of North Hampton. With the centuries-old restriction against practicing magic lifted, casting spells, mixing potions, and curing troubled souls has never felt so good for the three witches. That is, until everything gets turned upside down—from Joanna’s organized kitchen to Ingrid’s previously nonexistent love life to Freya’s once unshakeable faith in her sexy soul mate, Killian Gardiner.

When Freya’s twin brother, Freddie, suddenly returns, escaped from Limbo and professing innocence on a long-ago crime, Freya should be ecstatic. The golden boy can do no wrong. Or can he? Freddie blames no other than her fiancĂ© Killian for his downfall, and enlists Freya’s help to prove it. Now Freya doesn’t know who to believe or trust.
My Thoughts::
It wasn't until I started reading this book, that I remembered how much I enjoyed the first one. If you haven't read this first book yet, do so and then come back to read my review because there is a good possibility that it will include spoilers. As a person who also read the Blue Bloods series, I have to say that these books are better. So if you don't like that series and that is what is holding you back, stop it! Just read these books!

I really love that these books don't just try to fool you with a whole bunch of filler and leave you at the end thinking "wait...nothing actually HAPPENED" But there is a ton going on in this book. The three separate narrators are affected by each new event differently and it is interesting to see how they will all react. Because of the type of person each of them is, they have different problems. So we have the big storyline, but then also we have these little side stories from each character, which better yet, fit in with the big storyline as well. There were so many twists and turns!

And the book is even better because the characters are awesome! All three of them are so different, that you'll definitely be able to find traits you share with them. Maybe it's the fact that I am no longer in High School, but this book appealed to me much more than some of the YA novels I've been reading. Though there is some drama in the character's lives, that isn't what the plot its. Learning about all of the ancient stuff and history about witches was really cool as well. I also love how I felt like I got a lot out of the book where it comes to plot. By the end I felt fulfilled, but it leaves plenty open for the next book to pick up.

Overall I think this book was a good sequel. Things developed nicely and I can not wait to read the next book!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Beach Reads

 
Top Ten Tuesdays is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's top ten is...

Top Ten Books I'd Recommend As Good Beach Reads

1. Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
2. Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen
3. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
4. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
5. The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls by Julie Schumacher
6. Me and Emma by Elizabeth Flock
7. The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
8. North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
9. Sleepaway Girls by Jen Calonita
10. Something, Maybe- Elizabeth Scott

Monday, June 11, 2012

It's Our Prom by Julie Anne Peters

Title: It's Our Prom (So Deal With It)
Author: Julie Anne Peters
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 77% or C+
Buy It: Amazon
When Azure's principal gives her the chance to turn the school's traditional (and boring) senior prom into an event that will appeal to everyone, not just the jocks and cheerleaders, she jumps at the opportunity. Soon Azure manages to convince her best friends, Luke and Radhika, to join the prom committee as well.

Facing heavy opposition and admittedly clueless about prom logistics, the three friends are nonetheless determined to succeed — if Luke's and Azure's secret crushes on Radhika don't push the committee members, and their friendships, to the breaking point first.
My Thoughts::
I remember in student council my Junior year playing a large part in planning prom, so I could definitely relate to that part of the book, which was one of the bigger reasons why I requested it for review. Plus, I also shared those feelings about how prom is mostly meant for certain types of people, and agree with the idea of an alternate prom.

The plot of this novel had a lot going on. There were a lot of subplots, which I usually don't mind except this was a standalone novel. It was hard to gauge how important certain information and events were supposed to be, because some of them would be discussed again and expanded, but others would just be dropped. Then the topics we were supposed to care about just kept piling up, which made the book a bit messy. Plus these topics were very underdeveloped. On the other end of things, I always had something to think about and I wasn't bored.

I was very pleased with the characters thrown our way. Well, for the most part. Luke was awesome and I loved everything that came with his chapters. I was thoroughly interested in his life and wanted to know how he would deal with living with his brother and the other stress in his life. Azure was also pretty cool, but I couldn't connect with her like I could with Luke. I don't blame the writing, I just didn't like her personality. I did really like her dad though. Rarely do I encounter a parent in a book that I actually feel some kind of feelings for. Usually I barely think about the parents at all. I didn't like Radhika and I couldn't understand why Luke and Azure were in love with her, which  was frustrating and made everything they thought about her so teenagery and dramatic.

The ending was sweet, but maybe too sweet. It wrapped up in a pretty little bow with everybody happy and getting what they want. This is nice..but not very powerful.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a post where I tell you the books that I received this week either by buying them from the bookstore, going to the library or from my mailbox. In My Mailbox was inspired by Alea and turned into a meme by Kristi.

So many books this week! 

For Review::
A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Touched by Cyn Balog
Anteater-Boy by Dean Ammerman
League of Strays by L.B. Schulman
The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride Series #1) by James Patterson
The Goddess Legacy by Aimee Carter

Bought::
Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts