Monday, September 29, 2014

Series Review: Blood of Eden by Julie Kagawa (The Immortal Rules, The Eternity Cure, The Forever Song)

By: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Sci-Fi/Dystopian
First Published: April 24th 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
POV: First Person

To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness…
Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.
Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for…again.
Enter Julie Kagawa's dark and twisted world as an unforgettable journey begins
Main Character: Allison "Allie" Sekemoto - Allie is a great diverse MC. She grew up in the Fringe (human slums in the big vampire cities). She witnessed her mother die because of the vampires' cruelty and she hates them, this gives her a lot of conflicting emotions when she becomes one. She has to constantly fight the blood-thirsty demon inside of herself and she believes that she is just a monster and can never be anything more.

Love Connection: Ezekial "Zeke" Crosse - One of the nomadic humans Allie comes across on the road. He has a quiet strength that draws people to him, he is also kind and believes in people. He is a great foil to Allie's cynical harsh personality.

Allies and Enemies: Jebediah "Jeb" Crosse - is the leader of the nomadic humans. He wants to bring them to Eden (a safe haven for humans, free of vampires). He is also Zeke's adopted father, used to be a pastor, and leads with a strict, iron hand. 

Caleb - Allie gains many of the humans' trust when she finds a lost Caleb. This also makes Caleb grow attached to her. Since he is so young she worries that she might feed off of him, but he proves to be a resilient little boy.

Ruth - one of the human nomads Allie encounters. She takes an instant disliking to Allie. This might be because Ruth probably has a crush on Zeke or because Ruth's little brother, Caleb, always wants to hang out with Allie.

Jackal - The Raider Kind of Old Chicago. He has his minions kidnap the humans and Allie must fight him to get them back. He's a good example of the type of "monster" that Allie is afraid she'll turn into.

Setting: Futuristic post-apocolyptic waste-land (So...not a place you'd want to vacation) > New Covington > Wasteland > Old Chicago

“You are a monster.” Kanin’s deep voice droned in my head again, as I forced myself to move, to walk away. “You will always be a monster, there is no turning back from it. But what type of monster you become is entirely up to you.” 
Review: This book is a vampire book, but I will argue that it is not a "typical" vampire book. It combines a dystopian future with paranormal romance and adds a little bit of diversity to boot. So it takes a lot of the best of what we love about YA and combines them all in a yummy book.

It provides a few new interpretations of what a vampire is and how they survive. It gives them power, but not too much power. There is the Red Lung that makes it almost impossible for them to create new vampires (I really liked that detail). And even though humans are subjugated to living as second-class citizens, there are still some who refuse and live how they choose, and have hope. I think that's the biggest theme of this book, having hope.

I liked the love story too, I like when the boy is sweet and has faith in the MC so she realizes she's a good person (that's why I loved Peeta/Katniss). Zeke is that person, he has a strength too though. Everyone in the small band of humans looks at him as a kind of unspoken leader (second in command after his father). And he doesn't disappoint them. He's just a deep-down good person, and he makes Allie believe that there is still goodness out there. (also he's hot).

By: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Sci-Fi/Dystopian
First Published: April 30th 2013 
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
POV: First Person
Rating: 3 out of 5

In Allison Sekemoto's world, there is one rule left: Blood calls to blood 
She has done the unthinkable: died so that she might continue to live. Cast out of Eden and separated from the boy she dared to love, Allie will follow the call of blood to save her creator, Kanin, from the psychotic vampire Sarren. But when the trail leads to Allie's birthplace in New Covington, what Allie finds there will change the world forever—and possibly end human and vampire existence. 
There's a new plague on the rise, a strain of the Red Lung virus that wiped out most of humanity generations ago—and this strain is deadly to humans and vampires alike. The only hope for a cure lies in the secrets Kanin carries, if Allie can get to him in time. 
Allison thought that immortality was forever. But now, with eternity itself hanging in the balance, the lines between human and monster will blur even further, and Allie must face another choice she could never have imagined having to make.
Main Character: Allison "Allie" Sekemoto

Love Connection: Ezekial "Zeke" Cross

Allies and Enemies: Jackal - The Raider King of Old Chicago shows up again. He is no longer the Raider King and he is no longer purely evil. (I love these kinds of characters).

Sarren - The new big baddie. He is an insane vampire who has kidnapped Kanin, Allie's sire. He has a link to the original Red Lung outbreak.

Stick - He was Allie's human friend when she was a human living in the Fringe. He has become a servant of the vampires in New Covington. Allie's connections to him make her unwilling to give up on Stick as a person (even though I always saw him as a very sleazy character).

Setting: Futuristic post-apocolyptic waste-land > New Covington


“I don’t believe in fate … but… I do believe everything happens for a reason. That there is some plan, some meaning to this darkness we live in … Maybe I’m wrong, but it’s gotten me this far. It’s the reason I fight, the reason I can keep going, despite everything. And it…it led me to you.” 

Review: This book is a middle book and it reads that way (I don't think that's a bad thing though, I love middle books/movies of trilogies). Allison thinks she has left behind the people she's grown to love in book 1, and she is following her sense of duty towards her sire. So at least she's stopped thinking she's a monster. This book sets up a bigger threat to humanity, vampires, and the world. So it makes the stakes bigger and badder (just like a middle book should do).

By: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Sci-Fi/Dystopian
First Published: April 15th 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
POV: First Person
Kat's Rating: 3 out of 5

Vengeance will be hers.
Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster? With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.
Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions - her creator Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost - the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.
In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, her triumph will be short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.
Main Character: Allison "Allie" Sekemoto

Love Connection: Ezekial "Zeke" Cross

Allies and Enemies:  Jackal - He is one of my favorite characters because he's so snarky and almost refuses to be a good person, however, he still helps Allie so there must be something redeeming in him (other than his hilarious sense of humor).

Kanin - Allie's sire, he is a master vampire so he is very wise and strong. He gives a lot of sage advice to Allie and he is the defacto leader of the small band of vampires who are trying to save the world.

Sarren - Oh man this vampire is insane. He's pretty much trying to kill everyone in the world because he thinks the world needs a reboot. that happens...

Setting: Futuristic post-apocolyptic waste-land > Old Chicago > Eden


“I am proud of you, Allison Sekemoto,” he whispered as he drew back. “Whatever you decide, whatever path you choose to take, I hope that you will remain the same girl I met that night in the rain. The one decision for which I have no regrets.”

Review: I waited a while between reading the second book and this final book, so I have to admit I forgot a few world details in between. For a third book it did seem to move a little slowly. And while I liked that there were big stakes, I suppose I couldn't really feel the tension because the characters were mostly just walking across a dead, abandoned wasteland for like 70% of the book. We did get to finally see Eden, so that was cool. And we got to see some of the old human characters from other books.

Series Rating: 3.5 out of 5

This series combined dystopian and paranormal romance well. So, I was very entertained (and this is probably why it got optioned to be a film). I like that Allie is not a completely good or completely bad character (in a way she reminds me a little bit of Katniss because she's so harsh that she's almost unlikeable, but something in her always brings her back from the brink).
I think the series wound down a little bit by the end, and I was hoping for some high-action, kick-butt plot twists that I didn't really get. But regardless, it gave some great romantic scenes and I do love that in my YA. And even though I kind of predicted the ending, it didn't ruin the books for me. (Also, this could just be because I spend too much time dissecting convoluted sci-fi and fantasy stories).

Recommendations: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa, Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Friday, September 26, 2014

Feature Follow Friday: Character Twitters

Every Friday Parajunkee and Alison Can Read hosts Feature Follow Friday. It's a great way to get to know the blogging community and they ask fun questions!

This week's Question is:

Book character(s) you'd like to see with their own Twitter page - Suggested by A Great Read

J.Lo (the alien not the pop star)
By: Adam Rex
Why: He's an alien who chose Jennifer Lopez's stage name as his Earth name. Enough said.
Probable Hashtag of choice: #WhyForYouCannotUnderstand

What I imagine "original" Iko looked like.
Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)
By: Marissa Meyer
Why: She is hilarious and is strangely the most aware of hip culture out of any character in the Lunar Chronicles, so I imagine she would be the only one who would even know about Twitter (except Cress maybe)
Probable Hashtag of choice: #RobotWinning

Luna Lovegood
By: J.K. Rowling
Why: Because she doesn't care what other people think. And she believes in everything. And she would probably have hilarious (and possibly true) observations about life.
Probable Hashtag of choice: #Okay

Also, here are some fictional characters who already have Twitter (you're welcome):

@FrodoBaggins (Frodo Baggins)

@DarthVader (Darth Vader)

@_Spiderman_ (Spider-Man)

@CobraCommander (Cobra Commander)

@SparkleCullen  (Edward Cullen)

@Leggy_Legolas (Legolas)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Conviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert

Breaking the Spine features a weekly event where we talk about the books we can't wait to read.

This week I'm waiting on:

Release Date: May 15, 2015
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."
Ten years ago, God gave Braden a sign, a promise that his family wouldn’t fall apart the way he feared.
But Braden got it wrong: his older brother, Trey, has been estranged from the family for almost as long, and his father, the only parent Braden has ever known, has been accused of murder. The arrest of Braden’s father, a well-known Christian radio host, has sparked national media attention. His fate lies in his son’s hands; Braden is the key witness in the upcoming trial.
Braden has always measured himself through baseball. He is the star pitcher in his small town of Ornette, and his ninety-four-mile-per-hour pitch al- ready has minor league scouts buzzing in his junior year. Now the rules of the sport that has always been Braden’s saving grace are blurred in ways he never realized, and the prospect of playing against Alex Reyes, the nephew of the police officer his father is accused of killing, is haunting his every pitch.
Braden faces an impossible choice, one that will define him for the rest of his life, in this brutally honest debut novel about family, faith, and the ultimate test of conviction.

I am excited to read this book, contemporary YA books that are not so cut-and-dried (aka, I can't always predict what the ending will be or even if it will be happily-ever-after) always make me feel so many emotions. I can already imagine that this book will be a roller-coaster ride. I am looking forward to seeing where Kelly Loy Gilbert takes us with this story.

Also, I was lucky enough to win a critique prize from the Freshman Fifteen (authors who are going to be published in 2015), so I can honestly say that Kelly Loy Gilbert is a super nice and cool person.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday Musings: Ten Books that Stayed with Me meme (list and thoughts)

My friend Anitra challenged me to list the Top Ten Books that Stayed with Me:

by: Eric Carl
Age When First Read: 3
Why it stayed with me: This was my favorite book as a child, it showed me that books can be interactive because each page had a new hole that then all combined into a dozen holes at the end of the book, and they all meant something! It was meta! Also, I was three when I loved this book, so my need for pretty pictures was at an all-time high.

by: Joanna Campbell
Age When First Read: 9
Why it stayed with me: This is the book that made me love reading (and writing). I wrote horse racing fan fiction for these books. I was a fan fiction writer before I knew what fan fic was (how hipster of me).
Also, go here for my review of this series.

by: Brian Jacques
Age When First Read: 11
Why it stayed with me: I read Mossflower first in the Redwall series. It didn't ruin the series for me, since it is technically a prequel. And it is EPIC! I also wrote fan fic for this book, but it had humans instead of mice because I knew what plagiarism was at that point and I felt guilty if I made my fan fiction novel the exact same as Brian Jacques awesome book.
Go here for my review of Redwall.

by: K.A. Applegate
Age When First Read: 11
Why it stayed with me: This series made me turn into more of an adult. Because I started reading them when I was around 11-12 years old. And I was still just reading young chapter books about happy kid times. This book started out as a fun adventure chapter series, and then it became a commentary on war! It made me realize that we are not invincible! It made me take a look at my mortality! (Also, it was just an awesome series and cemented my love of reading).
Go here for my review of Animorphs.

by: Nora Roberts
Age when First Read: 13
Why it stayed with me: This book made me a woman. Haha, not really, but it did make me obsessed with romance as a genre. And I still love it. I would bring so many romance novels to school with me that my friends all knew I would have one in my bag at all times. Yup, I was that girl (and I'm not sorry!) Also, Nora Roberts writes so well. I think I kind of wanted to write like her when I was little. She not only has romance in her books, but action and mystery. I love a book that crosses genres.
See my Featured Author post on Books Are Bread here.

by: William Golding
Age when First Read: 14
Why it stayed with me: This book was the beginning of me liking school assigned books. This book actually taught me the true meaning of metaphors and analogies (you guys, Piggy was a symbol for Jesus. What?!) Also, I learned about Freud's whole ID/Ego/Superego psychology theory with this book. It made me see that there was something deeper in literature than just words. Mind blown.

by: Aldous Huxley
Age when First Read: 15
Why it stayed with me: This book wasn't the first dystopian I read, but it made me love dystopian (I was a little bit twisted as a child). It was different than all of the other dystopians because it involves controlling a society by making them give in to their basic desires (however, they are not allowed to make their own order). This is genius! (thought 15 year old me) Because they can't organize and rise up against the government

by: Yann Martel
Age when First Read: 17
Why it stayed with me: I was not a very religious person growing up. But I was always a person that liked having faith. That's exactly what this book is about, it is what made me realize there is a difference between organized religion, spirituality, and having faith in something bigger. I am still not very religious, but I have faith in the bigger things out there and I think I am very comfortable with that (not in small part because of this book).

by: Anne Fadiman
Age when First Read: 20
Why it stayed with me: I have my Masters in Public Health and I would attribute a lot of that path to this book. I read it in a Science in Society class in college, and it stuck with me. The idea that we can't just treat an illness, we have to treat a person, their culture, and their deep-rooted faiths. This book was written in the 1990s, but it definitely still resonates today. We need to have more cultural sensitivity in medicine, and public health seeks to accomplish this.

by: Audrey Niffenegger
Age when First Read: 22
Why it stayed with me: This book is the best. Period. It has everything, romance, sci-fi, deeper insights into what it means to be happy/be a good person. No one in this book is perfect and I love that. It is the book that I read to detox from a series that I can't get over.
Also the writing is beautiful, the story is so well crafted (especially because it jumps around in time) and the characters are so great. The ending is not a normal happily-ever-after and that might be why it resonated with me. It was the first unconventional ending book that I truly loved. Not all endings are completely happy, but that doesn't mean that they don't change you #philosophied  #booyah.

Now for my very important thoughts on this meme!

So, I have been seeing a lot of versions of this meme: Top Ten Books that Stayed with Me, Top Ten Books that Changed the Way you Think, Top Ten Favorite Books.

Obviously, these can all mean very different things. And based on which one was sent to a person, their list will look very different. However, this almost always happens with internet memes. Nothing ever stays pure on the internet, it's just a giant game of telephone that spans thousands of miles and millions of computers. Even a meme that starts out as pure and fun and full of happiness can be morphed into something that brings out all of the naysayers filled with their unhappiness and negativity.

The internet sometimes takes a beautiful butterfly and it lets the butterfly land on its palm and once the butterfly is all nice and settled it crushes it! It crushes it until it can't spread its beautiful wings anymore. And then it laughs as all of the internet trolls come out and dance in an evil circle while they throw their angry comments at the crushed butterfly.

Huffington Post had a Blog entry about the meme where they said Stop lying about your favorite books on Facebook. I guess my biggest issue with this is that she claims that the meme (no matter how you phrase it) is really just about top ten favorite books. However, my favorite books now might not always stay with me. So, they're not all on my list, because I have other books that were more important to me at important parts of my life.

I think where she might have gotten her thinking twisted is she interpreted it as "Books that changed the way I think" and that sounds super pretentious just by itself. I prefer the original meme (that was sent to me a bajillion years ago even though I'm only just now posting my list. Sorry Ani!) The original meme I got said "Top Ten Books that Stayed with Me." So I don't care if it changed how I think about life, those books stayed with me. Eric Carl's Very Hungry Catepillar was a seminal literary work in my mind (when I was three)!

Also, Book Riot went to town on what they thought of this particular article (hint: they think it's dumb and based on insecurities of the author).

I understand when people get upset that something that started out one way gets morphed into something else. However, at the end of the day it's all about talking about books we love. So how can this be a bad thing?

What do you think about the Ten Books meme?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday Review: Thoroughbred by Joanna Campbell

By: Joanna Campbell
Genre: Chapter Book
First Published: 1991
Publisher: Harper Entertainment
POV: Third Person
Kat's Rating: 4 out of 5

Ashleigh Griffen swore she'd never give her heart to another horse - not after a terrible disease wiped out her family's breeding farm, along with Ashleigh's favorite mare, Stardust.
Main Character: Ashleigh (this is how I found out that there was more than one way to spell Ashley). She starts out as an eleven-year-old girl who is recovering from the loss of her family's farm. They had to move to a big racing farm, Townsend Acres, as the new head of the breeding operation. However, going from owning your own place to working for someone else (i.e. all of the horses belong to them) is very hard for Ashleigh. And she also is still devastated from losing her favorite horse. However, she gains her confidence again when she becomes determined to save a sickly foal who everyone else has given up on (hint: the foal obvi lives and becomes a champion).

Love Connection: Mike, he doesn't show up until later (when Ashleigh is more teenaged). He comes from the horse world too so they mesh very well. Also, he's a sweet first love for Ashleigh.

Allies and Enemies: Charlie, the grizzled old trainer who is kind of underappreciated. However, he takes Ashleigh and Wonder under his wing.

Brad Townsend. He is the ultimate snobby, nose-in-the-air, antagonist jerk. He is the son of the owner of Townsend Acres so he thinks he owns/knows everything. But he doesn't! He's the worst and he often gets in Ashleigh and Charlie's way, trying to push Wonder down.

Setting: Kentucky (horse racing country)

Review: These are books that are catered towards any little girl who loved horses (so all of us). It has family, friendship, the regular pre- and teen angst that all good MG/YA has, AND horses. Lots of horses. So yea, this series was one of my all-time favorites ever. (When I wrote my first book it was an "adult" version of these books. Except mine involved murder because I was a dark and twisted child). It follows Ashleigh from being 11 to being all grown-up and having a child of her own (the later books follow Christina, Ashleigh's daughter, since the audience was obvi still teen girls).

These books were great though,you got to see how your characters grew up and changed and went through all of the normal milestones in their adolescent lives. It gave you a heroine to root for. Ashleigh was loyal and strong and she knew what was right and didn't let anyone tell her that it couldn't be done. The beginning of the series was the ultimate underdog story and then it evolved into just a great life story about the people who live on this farm.

Recommendations: The Saddle Club by Bonnie Bryant

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

Breaking the Spine features a weekly event where we talk about the books we can't wait to read.

Release Date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen—all of them—and they're stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood—the blood of Olympus—in order to wake.
The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it "might" be able to stop a war between the two camps.
The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea's army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.

I loved the Percy Jackson series. I thought it was an awesome way to reimagine the Greek gods. And I L-O-V-E the Heroes of Olympus series because it does that same thing with Roman gods. PLUS it ties in the differences between Greek and Roman interpretations of these gods. PLUS, it has awesome action, adventure, friendship, and love. 

Just like Harry Potter, the Percy Jackson series have grown with their audience, and now we are well into YA territory. I love when series do this and I can't wait for Blood of Olympus to come out.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday(3): Top Authors I've Only Read One Book From But NEED to Read More

The Broke and the Bookish host a weekly meme of Top Ten Lists.

This week's question is:

Top Authors I've Only Read One Book From But NEED to Read More

I read The Time Traveler's Wife and I loved it. It is the book I use to detox from a series I get too obsessed about. I really need to read more of Audrey Niffeneger's books. 

I really liked For Darkness Shows the Stars and bought her second novel in that series, but I have yet to get to it in my tbr list.

She usually writes fantasy but the only book I've read by her is The Adoration of Jenna Fox. I need to get on reading the rest of her novels.

I LOVED Oh The Glory of It All. I really enjoyed it when I was on my memoir kick. I think he's a very astute and funny writer and I should pick up another of his books (whether fiction or non-fiction)

Another great non-fiction author who had a great book, Glass Castle. She wrote another book about her grandmother, Half Broke Horses, which I bought but have yet to get to.

Warm Bodies was hilarious. The movie version of it was hilarious. Everything about this story was hilarious. I need to read more of Isaac Marion's stuff.

Easy was one of the first NA books I read (at least since NA was created its own genre). I really enjoyed it.

Waiting on Infinite Sea to come out because I really enjoyed The Fifth Wave. Rick Yancey does write across all age groups and genres, so I really should have picked up another of his books to read, but I really want to finish the Fifth Wave series first.

I really enjoyed Reboot. And actually I do own Rebel, it has just fallen victim to my too-long tbr list.

I read the Andromeda Strain in high school because my dad thought I would like it. But I NEED to read Jurassic Park among many other Crichton classics.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday Musings: Film Adaptations of Books

Do you get excited for the Film Adaptations of your favorite books? 

Did you think that The Giver movie was maybe a little too "Hollywood" for your liking?

Whether we like that our favorite books are turned into movies, they tend to do well. Otherwise, why would Hollywood keep taking the hottest books for source material. I personally don't mind when a great book gets made into a film. It's not like they made the movie and therefore the book is suddenly no longer available. Just because the story has been interpreted in a new medium doesn't negate the original source material. If you hate the film then just don't pay attention to it anymore, just reread the original book that made you fall in love with the characters and story in the first place.

I think that as long as we don't expect the film adaptation to be 100% like the original book story then we won't be as disappointed. We have to acknowledge that a 2-hour movie cannot include everything from our favorite 500-page novel. And we also have to know that some of the more subtle story points cannot be interpreted well onto the screen. But that's alright, because a good story is always a good story. Even a bad film interpretation can't take that away.
(And let's not forget the great movies that we got out of some of our favorite books: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Lord of the Rings, The Hunger Games)

I also often hear conversations about how Hollywood is becoming lazy with the fact that most of it's movies are based on books and comics and remakes of older classic films. However, there are a lot of old movies that were based on books, we just didn't know it:

Who Framed Roger Rabbit was based on Who Censored Roger Rabbit? by Gary K Wolf.

Mrs. Doubtfire was based on Anne Fine's Alias Madame Doubtfire.

Forrest Gump was based on Forrest Gump by Winston Groom

Die Hard is based on the 1979 book Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp

Cruel Intentions was based on Les Liaisons dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos (published in 1782)

Goodfellas was based on the 1986 novel Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi

Stand by Me based on The Body by Stephen King

Blade Runner came from Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

Starship Troopers was based on the 1959 book Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein

Field of Dreams was based on Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella.

Shawshank Redemption was based on Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King

Do you like the movie adaptations of your favorite books?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Feature Follow Friday: Book Recommendation Sources

Every Friday Parajunkee and Alison Can Read hosts Feature Follow Friday. It's a great way to get to know the blogging community and they ask fun questions!

This week's Question is:

Before blogging (dark times people!) how would you find out about new books or did you?

Good old fashioned word of mouth. I got many suggestions from my cousin Axie (check out her blog Books Are Bread).
When I was very young my parents would take me to Barnes and Nobles and Borders (R.I.P.) and let me just run wild. It was the ONLY store that they let me buy (almost) whatever I wanted, so I loved going there (thinking back on it, I think they tricked me into loving reading. But I'm obviously not mad about that). So I read a lot of back-cover summaries and ended up reading a lot of weird books. (Also lots of books that were related to whatever I was obsessed about at the, mostly horse books).
And when I got older, there was always the trusty emails from Barnes and Noble and Amazon. You know, those suggested readings based on books I've read.

How did you hear about books before blogging?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Throwback Thursday Review: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

By: Douglas Adams
Genre: Sci-Fi/Humorous
First Published: 1995
Publisher: Del Ray
POV: Third Person - Multiple Narrators
Kat's Rating: 4.5 out of 5


Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.
Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide ("A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have") and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox--the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.

Main Character: Arthur Dent is an average Englishman who is saved right before the destruction of Earth. So he is one of the two last existing humans in the whole galaxy. He's a little bumbling, a lot confused, and he has that persistent blustering disbelief that only an Englishman can have and while still just avoiding the label of "super annoying."

Love Connection: Trillian (Tricia McMillan) the second of the two last existing humans in the whole galaxy. She's a little hippie-dippie, but she does love adventure, so I can respect that. Also, she did give Arthur a chance when he met her at that Earth party, he just kind of dropped the ball there.

Allies and Enemies:  Ford Prefect - Arthur's best friend who turns out to be not-so-human. He works for The Hitchhiker's guide and he's on Earth doing some research. 

President Zaphod Beeblebrox - a two-headed, forgetful hippie with half his brain and a lot of self-importance. In other words, every guy in mid-town manhattan (zing!)

Marvin - a paranoid depressed robot who is supposed to be kind of the R2D2 of the ship, but just mostly mopes around.

Towel - a Hitchhiker's best friend in space.

Setting: Space-ace-ace-ace!

For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.
Review: Fact: This book is hilarious.

Fact: If you didn't like this book, then you don't like laughter, space, and you're not my friend.
(You know what, that wasn't cool. I'm sorry. I just got a little passionate and I took it out on you. No hard feelings right?)

I imagine Douglas Adams thought to himself, "what's all the weirdest stuff I've had random thoughts and dreams about? Now I'm going to put it all in a book."

The book is full of funny satirical observations on life. It's also filled with hilarious strange characters that are not so different from humans if you think about it.

I realized on a recent re-reading that this humor is probably pretty British, it's very tongue-in-cheek and dry. It reads very easily and I finished the book in less than two days when I first read it. Douglas Adams is pretty spot on with a lot of the delivery in this book and I would recommend it to readers of any age. Even if you don't like Sci-Fi you should really give this book a try.

Recommendations: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, Sex Drugs and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman