Monday, September 30, 2013

Classics Retold: Merlin (T.V. Series)

Well, after getting off to such a slow start I feel I am making up a little ground. Tonight, I watched four episodes of BBC's TV series Merlin and I would have liked to stay up all night watching more episodes. But I do have work in the morning and it is getting a little later so I'm stopping...for now. Rest assured, I will continue watching the series (Thank you Netflix!). 

I must say that I like this take on Arthurian Legend more than I did Meg Cabot's Avalon High. It's a much more serious portrayal. It takes place during the Medieval Times but it does have some differences from the usual story. 

In Merlin, Merlin is a young wizard when we first meet him. He's as unsure of his destiny as Arthur is. He isn't the wise old wizard portrayed in The Once and Future King. Also, Merlin doesn't meet Arthur when Arthur is a young boy. When Arthur and Merlin finally meet they are both young men. Merlin becomes Arthur's servant and they eventually become friends. Still, Merlin doesn't reveal that he's a magician (at least not in the first four episodes, I'm sure he does eventually). 

I also found it interesting that they decided to use a dragon to help Merlin understand his destiny. Merlin doesn't understand where his power comes from or what he's supposed to use it for. I loved that the dragon tells Merlin that he and Arthur are two sides to the same coin. I found that to be an interesting way of explaining their relationship. In other Arthurian stories, Merlin is Arthur's mentor not his counterpart. 

Overall, I recommend this series. It's full of action and completely addicting! I hate that they only did five season but the good news is I can watch all five! Merlin is a show fans of Arthurian legend are sure to love!! 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Classics Retold: Avalon High by Meg Cabot

I haven't done so hot on my Classics Retold but I did manage to make time to watch Avalon High based on the book by Meg Cabot. I actually bought the audio book but haven't had time to listen to it yet. Hopefully, I'll get to start it soon!

I thought Avalon High was a cute movie. I felt it was definitely geared toward a younger audience but still I found myself enjoying it. Cabot adds her own twist to the story with the addition of the Order of the Bear. I did google it to see if it was real or if Cabot made it up. According to google, Cabot made it up for her book. Basically, the Order of the Bear is a group of people that believe King Arthur is going to return again. Obviously, King Arthur is known as the once and future king but few people in today's society actually believe that he is going to return. Cabot simply takes the tidbit and turns them into an order. 

The movie takes place in modern times at a high school (Avalon High). Ellie moves to a new school and suddenly everything is a little weird. Her best friend sees the future. She keeps seeing knights everywhere. And things at Avalon High are beginning to seem like a real like Arthurian legend. 

The characters were okay. I'm not sure if it's the movies portrayal of them or if that actually how they were in the book but they all just seemed fake and/or cheesy. Marco was over the top with being mean and rude. Jen and Lance were too selfish and fake. And even Will and Ellie seemed a little too goody-goody. 

One part that did really bother me is that they make a big deal about King Arthur coming back when he's truly needed but in the book he doesn't come back to save the world or anything. It's simply coming to patch up silly high school drama. Again, I understand I'm not the intended audience but still I was hoping for a little more depth there. 

Overall, it was a cute movie but don't go in looking for a serious King Arthur retelling. If you want something light and fun you'll probably enjoy it. If you want something a little more serious I recommend trying something different.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Audio Review: Siege and Storm

Title: Siege and Storm
AuthorLeigh Bardugo
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Rating5 Cows
Goodreads Description:

Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

This book put me in an odd predicament. I found myself wanting to kick myself for not starting this series sooner and upon finishing it I was kicking myself for not waiting to read the entire series later once book three is out. I find that I love reading books in a series back to back yet these days I rarely have the self control to wait three or more years for a series to be complete. I mean I have to see the what all the buzz is about! 

SHADOW AND BONE recieved 5 cows from me but somehow SIEGE AND STORM was even better! Unfortunately, my ratings only go to 5 cows so you'll just have to take my word for it that Bardugo outdoes herself in this book. 

First, let's get the negative out of the way (there really isn't much!). Both Alina and Mal got on my nerves in this book. There was too much miscommunication (or complete lack of communication) between the two. It's obvious they both still care deeply about one another but it's almost like they just decide to put it aside. I guess a looming war will do that to you. 

Still, I liked seeing Alina gain power in this book. I love seeing women gain power in books and become capable of taking care of theirselves. Alina is definitely on her way there. And while it's a little disheartening that Mal is a little afraid of Alina's new power, it is somewhat understandable. Men in general are use to being the stronger ones so I'm sure it's awkward for Mal to not be able to take care of Alina and instead have Alina trying to take care of him. (However, Mal proves that he can take care of himself.) 

SIEGE AND STORM has even more action than it's predecessor. There's more fighting, more bloodshed, and more danger. I loved Sturmhond! He quickly became one of my favorite characters. He does maybe, sort of, kinda become a love interest for Alina and while I may not want her to end up with him I do want him to get a happy ending.

In my review for SHADOW AND BONE I wanted to say something but didn't because I wanted to check my review spoiler free. Hopefully, anyone reading this has read book one (if not stop here) so I'm going to say it now. I'm really wanting The Darkling to be redeemed. In this book he gets even further from redemption


Friday, September 27, 2013

Movie Review: City of Bones

I meant to write a review for this movie wayyy back after I first watched it but I never did. Time slipped away and now I am way late posting this review. Sorry about that!

This is the first movie review I've done but I do plan on doing them more, especially with all the YA adaptations being made right now. First, I guess I should start off by saying that I absolutely LOVED this movie. I thought it was well made and it was much better than I expected, especially with all of the negative reviews. 

As with all book to movie adaptations things were changed, but it has been so long since I read City of Bones that I honestly don't remember a whole lot about the book. I remember the major details but not all of the minor ones as some might. Still, I felt the movie was true to the book for the most part. 

I wasn't sure about Jamie Campbell Bowers as Jace but I did feel he did a good job. He still needs to gain some weight and bulk up a little more but I thought his attitude and voice fit Jace well. I also liked Lily Collins as Clary. And no it didn't bother me that her hair was more auburn colored than a bright red. 

The movie was very action packed and there was never a dull moment! I loved the pacing and action! I thought the fight scenes were well done and I could really feel the connection between Jace and Clary. 

The only thing I didn't love were some of the demons. Some of them were a little creepy! I took my aunt and sister with me to see the movie and the dog freaked out my aunt. I just kept telling her, "I don't remember them being that scary in the book!" Neither of them had read the book and both of them really enjoyed the movie. My sister actually went back and saw it again! 

Overall, I was really pleased with the movie. I was really disappointed to hear that it wasn't doing well in the box office and that production for City of Ashes had been delayed. I'm really hoping that they do make more. So why don't we all go see it this weekend and help make this happen?? :)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (34)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Title: Cress
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: February 4, 2014

Goodreads Description:

Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard.

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. 

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. 

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

Why I'm Waiting: Well, the first to books in the series were great so why wouldn't I be excited for it??!!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Dangerous Girls Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway



Title: Dangerous Girls
Author: Abigail Haas 
Pages: 388 
Format: Hardcover (provided by publisher for tour)
Release Date: July 16, 2013 
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating: 5 Cows

Goodreads Description:
Paradise quickly gets gruesome in this thrilling page-turner with a plot that’s ripped from the headlines and a twist that defies the imagination.
It’s Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives.
But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations. As Anna sets out to find her friend’s killer, she discovers harsh revelations about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.
Awaiting the judge’s decree, it becomes clear to Anna that everyone around her thinks she is not only guilty, but also dangerous. And when the whole story comes out, reality is more shocking than anyone ever imagined…

WOW!! There are so many things I want to say about this book but I'm terrified of giving anything away! So I'll just say that this book is completely captivating and utterly shocking! DANGEROUS GIRLS kept me up until 2 in the morning reading and I actually read the book in one sitting! I started it and absolutely could not put it down! 
When I first started DANGEROUS GIRLS I was immediately reminded of Natalie Holloway. Most of the book takes place in Aruba and a young girl is murdered there but that's where the similarities ended (at least for me). The story is told through Anna's perspectative and it alternates between the trial and flashbacks to how Anna and Elise became friends and what happened before. 
Anna and Elise had one of those super close friendships. They did everything together. It was really mindboggling to me how everyone so easily believed that Anna had killed her best friend. Even her dad had doubts about her innocence. Hearing the story from Anna's perspectative really allows you to feel for her. You feel bad that no one believes her and that she is stuck locked in prison for months awaiting her trial. 
I didn't care for most of the charcters. Mainly because all of Anna's friends completely abandoned her while she was awaiting trail and some even testified against her. Anna's boyfriend, Tate, was your classic spoiled rich kid (even though Anna tries to convince you that he isn't). Even Elise wasn't a favorite for me. Plus, you find out something about Elise that really turns you against her. 
Despite my lack of love for the characters, it was all made up for in the plot. Haas does an excellent job of weaving a suspenseful story together. The whole time I just kept reading hoping to figure out what really happened. I came up with several "out-there" theroies (one, way out there theroy) but still was completely shocked when the truth finally came out!
DANGEROUS GIRLS is a suspenseful, thought-provoking, page turner that will have you thinking long after you turn the last page! What's more is that you'll find yourself re-reading the final pages over and over again struggling to do so without your mouth gaping open! This story has one of the most shocking (if not the most) endings I have ever read! I couldn't put it down and neither will you!



 3 Winners will each get a signed finished copy of DANGEROUS GIRLS
Open to the US only | Must be 13+ to Enter

About the Author

Abigail Haas has written two adult novels and four young adult contemporary novels under the name Abby McDonald. Dangerous Girls is her first young adult thriller. She grew up in Sussex, England, and studied Politics, Philosophy & Economics at Oxford University. She lives in Los Angeles.

Top Ten Tuesday (39)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the  Broke and the Bookish!


Top Ten Best Sequels Ever

1. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo - I just finished the audio of this last week and it was ah-mazing! I loved it! 

2. Pandeomonium by Lauren Oliver- I liked the first book but LOVED the second! It was the best in the series for me. 

3. Clockwork Prince/Princess by Cassandra Clare- I wasn't a fan of Clockwork Angel but decided the read the other two books in the series and I am so glad I did. I think they are actually my favorite books my Cassie Clare!

4. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor- Laini Taylor is simply amazing and both books in this series are incredible!

5. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer- Wasn't sure how I would like adding in another MC but I loved it!

6. The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa- Alright, I LOVE everything she writes!

7. Any of the Chicagoland Vampires books- All of them are sooo good! 

8. If I Die by Rachel Vincent- My favorite of the series!! 

9. Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan- I love this series and I loved seeing Percy in a different element!

10. Destined by Aprilynne Pike- Aprilynne really took the series to a new level in the final book in the series. A great ending!

What made your top ten??


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