Monday, December 31, 2012

Favourite Movies of 2012

Guys. I have a confession.

Actually, it's not really a confession but just a sharing of my obsession... with movies. I watched about... 100 (yes, A HUNDRED) movies this year (including rewatching movies, that is), and I'm only mildly embarrassed to admit that. And of course, being the end of the year, I have to do a best-of list.

Just a reminder, these are movies watched in 2012, not movies released. And this is super-subjective because hell, I suck at determining the worth of movies. This is purely based on how much I personally liked it (and you will soon be able to tell that my tastes aren't exactly the most sophisticated..hehe).

THE GREAT

The Dark Knight Rises
-because holy shit was this movie amazing. I watched Batman Begins and The Dark Knight that week to prepare myself for the glorious-ness, and seeing everything come full circle was just more than satisfying. I loved Bane, loved Catwoman, loved Alfred, loved Lucius Fox, loved John Blake... everyone killed it.

The Avengers
-this one makes the list on pure enjoyability, because this movie just makes me happy. I am such a sucker for sarcastic quips and fun action, and adding in my favourite superheroes (Iron Man) in a fun, exciting, and funny movie was just the best. I watched this three times...

Good Will Hunting
-why haven't I seen this sooner? I loved the story, the performances, and how it was smart and had a lot of heart.

Brokeback Mountain
-another one I'm kicking myself for not watching sooner, I really loved this movie-- it was just beautiful.

Les Miserables
-I've never seen the musical, so this was pretty much my first exposure to this musical-turned-movie. And man, I just loved it. The acting was great, the singing was phenomenal, and the story wasn't as hard to follow as I feared (seeing I had no idea what to expect going in). I have the soundtrack on repeat... still. It's really really good, and I'd highly recommend it.

Django Unchained
-okay, it might be because this movie is still very fresh in my mind, but I thought it was fantastic. It was over the top, bloody, but badass and the actors really shined. I think my favourite part was actually just how funny it was, I was nearly crying at that scene with the masks. Not a movie for children, but yes, do watch if you get the chance.


THE GOOD

The Hobbit
-just being back in Middle Earth made me happy, it's like coming home :') The Lord of the Rings movies are my favourite movies of all time, and while The Hobbit wasn't perfect, but I still loved it. Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage were great, and the cinematography was so excellent as well.

Skyfall
-Javier Bardem, you dog. You fantastic actor, you. I loved the villain, and the movie was just shot beautifully-- the colours, the shadows, everything was just lovely to look at. And then the action was definitely up to par, and my favourite 007 impressed me again.

Atonement
-oh my gawd, was this movie just so amazing or what? It made me a permanent fan of Joe Wright/Kiera Knightly collaborations, I think. Impeccably acted, it was just a great execution of a tragic love story.

Argo
-based on a true story, I was slightly skeptical as to why it was getting such rave reviews... until I watched it. I mean, you know what's going to happen. You already know it but the movie manages to make me sooo nervous, sitting at the edge of my seat seeing if they actually pull it off. And that's what made me love it.

Looper
-creative, interesting, and thought-provoking, this was the perfect blend of storytelling and action. It ends on quite a twist, but a great one nevertheless.

The Hunger Games
-AWESOMEEEE



THE FUNNY

Pitch Perfect
-fun fun FUN. I love this movie!! Like I will watch it again and again and smile every time. Sure, the plot was lacking, but the music and performances were so freaking fun.

21 Jump Street
-unexpectedly hilarious. That is all. Go watch.

Wanderlust
-this makes the cut only for this scene which had me in tears. The rest of the movie sucked...


THE UGLY

The Bourne Legacy
-I hated it soooooo much. Ugh. I want my money back.

Prometheus
-Just not my thing. Eh.

Mirror Mirror
-this movie just sucked. blegh.



THE ENJOYABLE POINTLESS EXPLOSIONS

The Expendables 2
-don't go into this expecting anything more than bad acting, cheesy lines, and your favourite over-the-hill action stars. But if you lower your expectations and you're aware this is nothing more than a movie of explosions, you won't be disappointed. I loved how self aware it was, too.


THE CHARMING

Moonrise Kingdom
-like, I can't say charming enough. So lovely.


Midnight in Paris
-just a fantastic and unexpectedly charming movie that easily won me over.


THE BEST REWATCHES

Pride & Prejudice (2005)
-I watch this all the time, whenever I need a pick-me-up. I just adore it.

Casino Royale
-the first time I've seen it since it first came out, and I was actually kind of surprised by how much I liked it and how little I remembered it, haha.

The Dark Knight trilogy
-I watched this series like, 2-3 times this year...

Star Trek
-the sequel can't come soon enough is all I'm saying.

**

So yeah, this was quite a long list, but oh well! There's a lot of movies that almost made the cut but had I included, the list would be like, over 20.

And of course, I'd love to know what your favourite movie you watched this year was!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Favourites of 2012

It's here. The end. The end of 2012, and finally a wrap-up post from me because I was convinced the very best books I'd read would be the ones I didn't get the chance to til winter break. This post is a odd mix of my last year's wrap-up, hosted by the ever-lovely Nomes at Inkcrush, and the popular 2012 survey hosted by Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner.


BOOKS

1. favourite book read in 2012!!!

Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta.

I feel this might be partly because this is the most recent book I have read, but trust me when I say it's amazing. But having it fresh in my mind sure helps with the selection process... I gave this book a 9.5/10 so yeah..



2. book you were excited about but didn't live up to your expectations

Beautiful by Amy Reed (I pretty much hated this book.. yeah), Insurgent by Veronica Roth was a disappointing sequel as well :(


3. brilliantly funny

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
This book fits under "brilliantly funny" because of the brilliant way the humour is incorporated into a novel that deals with heavy subject matters. It is not heavy handed or forced, the laughs are thoughtful, surprising, and perfectly induced.






4. best ache-y, heart-breaking, tear-jerker read

ache-y:
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
there's something in Charlie's innocence and the way he writes with such vulnerability and honesty that got to me

heart-breaking:
Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta
because my heart hurts. It actually hurts.

tearjerker:
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
because not every character can escape heavy subject matters.



5. delicious, rainy day comfort read

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
this is the absolute perfect post-exam read, it stars a fantastic heroine, an engaging story, swoony romance, and a letter to melt your heart. I've never read Persuasion by Jane Austen but now I want to.




6. adrenalin-filled, unputdownable read

The second half of Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, because wow.








7. the beautiful prose award

Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta.
the words are heavenly.

Honourable Mention: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Maggie is undeniably a powerhouse in the field of beautiful prose, but she uses such graceful and gorgeous phrases, sentences, and paragraphs in her latest novel that I couldn't not notice. Funnily enough, I had this as the original recipient of this award... until I read Quintana a few days ago. Sorry, Ms Stiefvater.





8. most atmospheric and vivid setting

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
*sigh*
it really felt magical. 






9. best under-appreciated, hidden-gem book

This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
okay, maybe this isn't as hidden-gem-y, but I still want to recommend this to everyone, even those who don't like zombie books. This book is soooo good. 





10. i-had-no-idea-i-would-love-this-so award

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Steph Su, I owe you big time for the rec. This book just blew me out of the water when I least expected.



11. outside my comfort zone but gosh how i loved it

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
An adult book! 




12. an unfinished series that i'm loving 

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer 
I just finished Cinder recently.. such a great read. 

Honourable Mention: The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys was excellent as well! Those boys. That writing. Love.) And of course, the Dustlands trilogy by Moira Young.






13. can't believe i waited so long to read this
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky


14. book that lived up to (or superseded) the hype

The Fault in Our Stars by John Gren
It's hard to comprehend the amount of hype surrounding this book, I think it owes to the fact that John Green has such a huge following due to the Vlogbrothers, but yeah. Plus the early reviews were so gushing, and the hype was basically insane.. and the book was wonderful. Yay!


15. want to re-read already

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
*le sigh* was this book amaze-balls or what



MOMENTS

1. best plot-twist (no spoilers!)

Rebel Heart by Moira Young
there are more than a few holy shit moments in this one.

Honourable Mention: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
let's just say everything after the halfway point of the novel was a twist. this book is brilliant.



2. best swoon-worthy moment

Kai's letter in For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
oh dear, what a piece of beauty.
I had a lot of trouble thinking of an answer for this category, so I'm sure there are so many other swoony moments out there that I didn't mention, sorry!


3. best cliffhanger

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
SRB WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME?!

Honourable mention: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.. what a twist :)


4. best ending for a stand-alone

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
like holy shit.


5. best ending for a series

Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta (The Lumatere Chronicles) because it was so utterly beautiful and perfect and just the best ending I could ever dream of.

Honourable Mention: Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
because the book was quite the epic, wasn't it? This is another book that narrowly placed first, until I read Quintana...hehe


CHARACTERS

1. most memorable female character

Quintana - Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta
for the girl who was brave beyond measure and so, so beautifully written.


2. most memorable male character

Augustus Waters - The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
this was a tough one, I was debating whether to give it to Froi, but I'm going to go with Gus. For his views on heroism, his simultaneous young-ness and old-ness, for that cigarette he has in his mouth unlit. For using big words and not being afraid to love. It's odd, I never swooned for Augustus, but I sure loved him.


3. favourite friendship

Maddie and Verity - Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. 
oh my god. these two. sensational.


4. favourite relationship 

Elliot and Kai - For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Okay okay, I just didn't want to put down Finn and Isaboe, or Froi and Quintana from Quintana of Charyn (oh sorry, am I getting predictable?). But yeah, Elliot and Kai are awesomesauce because I love characters who have a painful history, yet don't have like, instalove based on "history" (looking at you, Daughter of Smoke and Bone)


5. new literary crush

None! WHAT! I know. I mean, I don't remember seriously swooning this year, unless you count my reread of Where She Went by Gayle Forman (hellooooo Adam). And yes, I'm equally shocked at this revelation.


6. favourite sibling relationship

Arjuro and Gargarin - Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta
these two. I could cry for days.


7. best villain

Leck - Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
why are you so creepy?



OTHER

1. favourite cover (of a book i read)

There's something so striking about that picture. And the font is perfect.

Honourable mentions include Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern



2. book you're looking forward to the most in 2013

My current list: Just One Day by Gayle Forman, Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins, The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen, More Than This by Patrick Ness, The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness, The Howling Boy by Cath Crowley, Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter, and Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan.
Also, Markus Zusak, when does The Bridge of Clay come out?!?!!?!??!!?!?

**



And... there it is! The long, exhaustive, and slightly repetitive list of the best books in the funnest categories, if I do say so myself. I hope you liked reading it! Thanks to all of you who have stuck around the blog for this year, I really appreciate it. I hope you have read wonderful, wonderful books and explored fantasy lands and fell in love with characters like I did. I'd love to know what your favourite read was in the comments below :)

And Maggie Stiefvater, I'm sorry that you were the official bridesmaid for this year-end list... maybe next year ;)

Have a fabulous new year, love you all! xx

-Audrey

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Winter reading!

Heyo lovely people who've unfortunately accidentally clicked on some sort of link to my blog.

Quick facts:
source

I have 5 final exams, I'm studying really hard, my brain has more information to soak up than it has time for, I'm tired all the time, I haven't done any reading for fun in over a month, and I'm really really really really excited for Christmas break and a break from school. whew!

And in anticipation for that break, and of course, in a fit of procrastination (old habits die hard) I've made a list to get me ever more jazzed up for the break because hello... reading time!! And over the 4 months, I've seriously built up too many must-read books that I haven't gotten around to. If I even manage to knock 3 of these off my to-read list later this month, I'll be happy.

Books I want to get around to reading this winter break:

The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling
-I've been reading the mixed reviews and there's always people who've decided they're not worth reading... but this is the author who gifted the world with Harry Potter. I've gotta see what she's got in store for us.

Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta
-OHHHH my god I preordered this in October and it's been on my shelf since then. I've only read one book between getting it though, so it's not like I've just been prioritizing awfully. And I really do want to read through at least part of Froi before starting this baby. Oh baby.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
-Both Angie and Alexa totally raved about this book, and I'm still not over how much The Scorpio Races surprised me with its awesomeness.. and this book looks great. Period. I can't wait to read it.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
-So... this book has over 75,000 ratings on Goodreads and the average is like, 4.5. That's insane. I went to Patrick's reading/signing in Toronto on a whim and he was funny, super nice (he chatted and posed with everyone who showed up, and there were a lot of people), and just seemed like a great person. And it helps that people think his books are amazing :) It's quite a hefty book, it's definitely in a genre I'm not too familiar with (high fantasy) but I'm very excited to give it a try if I have the time.

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkein
-Eep! The movie! I'm so excited! The Lord of the Rings trilogy (movie that is... I haven't read the books) are my favourites of ALL TIME. So naturally, I'm super stoked for the Hobbit, and it seems like the book is a bit shorter and easier to read.. so I'll be hopefully doing that soon. And then again, I'm probably going to read it after I watch the movie so I'll be more surprised for the movie :)

Cinder by Melissa Meyer
-I know. It's been too long. It's shown up quite a bit on best-of lists as well, which makes me happy.

Going Bovine by Libba Bray
-So Libba came to do a signing in Toronto in November and I jumped at the chance to go. Her signing was probably one of the funniest, most entertaining ones I've been to. This book won the Printz a few years ago... I can't believe I haven't read it yet.



I love reading best-of-2012 lists but I dont' want to make one yet because I'm convinced the best book this year I haven't read yet *cough*allthosebooksinthispost*cough*

Hopefully I'll find a favourite.

Please, exams, just be over. I need my sanity back. I need my sleep.

Best,

Audrey

Saturday, November 17, 2012

BR: Promised

by Caragh M. O'Brien
Birthmarked trilogy; book III

Another super long overdue review in which I, again, apologize profusely for its lateness.

**THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR BOOK 1 AND 2** I will try my best to keep it spoiler-free and vague, but some parts can't be avoided

Goodreads (summary)

After defying the ruthless Enclave, surviving the wasteland, and upending the rigid matriarchy of Sylum, Gaia Stone now faces her biggest challenge ever. She must lead the people of Sylum back to the Enclave and persuade the Protectorat to grant them refuge from the wasteland. In Gaia's absence, the Enclave has grown more cruel, more desperate to experiment on mothers from outside the wall, and now the stakes of cooperating or rebelling have never been higher. Is Gaia ready, as a leader, to sacrifice what--or whom--she loves most?

**
My Expectations: high, Prized totally surprised me by how different but great it was
Delivery: it was good, but not great
Put-down-ability: 3/10
**

My Thoughts

Oh gosh, the series is over :( I'm always shocked when I actually finish a series because god know how bad I am and that. It's been a rocky road and of the three... Promised was my least favourite (and Birthmarked was my favourite). However, let's not ignore the merit Promised deserves.

Here's the thing: I never know where O'Brien is going to take me next for the series. Everything in book two (Prized) was a surprise, so I knew better than to predict the finale, and what actually ended up happening was a pleasant surprise. I can honestly say I liked the novel, but I don't love it. With all the build-up and development of Gaia and Leon, I found the romance lacking in this instalment. The plot was also dragging and there were a few too many minor characters that made the book 'messy'. It felt like the author was pressured to have all the characters mentioned previously play a large role, but it just ended up with too many cooks in the kitchen.

Ohh, but one thing I adored-- the villain. What a fabulous villain: someone I could empathize with, morally sound yet totally twisted in his own way... oh just beautiful.

Promised is definitely a book that makes you think, and I applaud O'Brien for "going there" with her themes and ideas. It made me question and mentally decipher my own ideas (and it makes for a fantastic discussion book, by the way) because there's never just one way to look at an issue, O'Brien fully reveals all the shades of gray and moral ambiguity is aplenty in the novel. And it's not just for one main theme, I felt every decision Gaia made could be questioned over and over (poor Gaia) which made the novel interesting. There's this one scene near the end of the book when something is taken from Gaia that actually made me feel physically sick and gave me the shivers... disturbing, shocking.. wow.

Overall, I enjoyed the finale but it felt the series never reclaimed the fire it had with the first book, Birthmarked*. The ideas and foundations were laudable but the execution was lacking, which led to character mishaps and a messy plot. There were parts I loved and parts I didn't, but alas, in the end the series is worth it.

Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable
Recommended for: people who enjoyed this series, and I would recommend this series to like, anybody. See if you like it.

7.8/10 - because I really liked the themes and the villain, but I was less of a fan of the characters and plot. There's so much more that could have happened that would have made the series end with triumphant resonance but it kind of feels like the third book faded away (despite an exciting climax). I wanted more excitement and more enjoyable romance, and while the book is good, I didn't find myself falling head over heels for it.








*I actually lent Birthmarked to my friend and she loved it- it makes a fabulous Christmas present, I'd say.

source: publisher

author website / twitter 

Friday, November 16, 2012

BR: Stealing Parker

by Miranda Kenneally
Hundred Oaks series; book II

This review is LONG overdue, and I'd like to apologize profusely for the lateness.

Summary (goodreads)

Parker Shelton pretty much has the perfect life. She’s on her way to becoming valedictorian at Hundred Oaks High, she’s made the all-star softball team, and she has plenty of friends. Then her mother’s scandal rocks their small town and suddenly no one will talk to her.

Now Parker wants a new life.

So she quits softball. Drops twenty pounds. And she figures why kiss one guy when she can kiss three? Or four. Why limit herself to high school boys when the majorly cute new baseball coach seems especially flirty?

But how far is too far before she loses herself completely?

**
My Expectations: super high because of the surprise hit of Keneally's first book
Delivery: not that great, I wanted to be more invested
Put-down-ability: 5/10
**

My Thoughts

I loved Catching Jordan-- like I absolutely loved it because it caught me by surprise and it was sweet and funny and all around great. I went in with the same enthusiasm for Stealing Parker, but I left disappointed, for the wrong reasons.

Stealing Parker didn't work for me because I was a sucky reader, not because the book was bad. I usually like to go with the themes and judge things like plot, character, and writing, but this time whenever I came across this subject, a part of my brain jerked in response before I could shrug it off and keep going. And yes, this is a totally personal and biased thing, but it was the religion aspect. Don't get me wrong, this book is not preachy in any way, the religion and faith was simply there and it just doesn't resonate with me and kind of annoyed me, purely based on my personal beliefs (which sadly I can't ignore as I read). And this is a fact that I'm hesitant to reveal because it's super subjective, but it's a reason contributing to why I found this book less enjoyable. I was unable to build the flow and rhythm of the novel because I was getting distracted every few chapters.

However, if you want to look at the novel objectively: it's great. The character building is there, the tension between her and a few guys, and the "forbidden romance" which everyone is eager to read about was very well executed. I loved Parker's relationship with her best friend and I thought her feelings about her mom were explored well. The way Kenneally gradually unveiled Parker's history made me interested and invested in her character; I absolutely loved the mentions of previous characters from Catching Jordan, and if you're a Melina Marchetta fan, you might pick up some tiny references as well. Also, can we mention how freaking awesome the discussions about Harry Potter were? Best way to my heart.

So honestly, it is a very big "it's not you, it's me" type of deal, I can recognize the fact that the book will be hugely enjoyable to many (especially if you liked CJ) but it didn't hit home for me because I was distracted by the themes, and that caused Stealing Parker to lose a lot of its charm.

Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable
Acknowledgements: forgot to read :/ I'm sure they were great though!
Recommended for: contemp fans looking for a fast paced, addicting read featuring 3-dimensional characters and a forbidden romance ;)

7.5/10 - because I'm a subjective reviewer and I wasn't a fan of the religious themes which got distracting. Despite that, I sincerely hope you get a chance to pick it up though! Miranda Kenneally is fast establishing herself as a fantastic must-read author for contemporary fans who are in want of both hot romance and simmering sexual tension-- but without missing a beat on the character development and dialogue front. Do read it!









source: publisher

author twitter / blog / website / Dear Teen Me

My rating system

Thursday, October 25, 2012

hey. again. nothing to see here.

So I currently have Taylor Swift's new CD playing on repeat, and I have no regrets.

some small things and some random thoughts that really weren't present until I started writing this post:

1. So university, eh? Second year has been going well, there's been a lot of work and a lot of studying (thank god for the first round of midterms being over yesterday... although I have a paper and another midterm next week. I spoke too soon) but sometimes there's a spark when I'm reviewing my notes and I realize I'm actually enjoying it. Very nerdy, I know, but at least I'm not homicidal.



2. In other news, I'm going through my brain files and I can't really think of the next book I'm just craving for this year. I have Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta sitting on my desk waiting to be read after next week's exam (A NEW MM BOOK YESSS) but really there's nothing else in 2012 that I'm dying to read. And that's almost completely my own fault because I'm so out of the loop.

3. There's an Ontario Book Blogger meet up in November! I wish I'd signed up (I wasn't sure if I had exams at the time) but hehehe, I feel I'm not really qualified as a 'book blogger' anymore. It's funny how some of these things go, because I remember a few years ago I was convinced I could never give up blogging because it's been such a huge part of my life. I still love books, I just don't blog with the same vigour as I used to.

4. Iron Man 3 trailer! I died. I love Iron Man so much it's pretty irrational.


5. I have a bunch of reviews that I need to write, but I've forgotten a lot of the books :(  #badbookblogger is my life.

6. My house is out of food and due to study-crazed week, I've eaten way too much Tim Horton's. Cinnamon Raisin bagel with butter is my go-to.

7. I'm taking an abnormal psychology course (which I think my mindset on it has changed dramatically when I found the exam not as difficult as I had originally feared. I flip-flop between loving it and hate studying for it.) and I need to stop diagnosing myself. It scares me.

8. It was 19 degrees (celcius) today, which was glorious.

9. SERIOUSLY if you aren't watching Lizzie Bennet Diaries, WHY NOT? Mondays and Thursdays are made just a wee bit brighter.

10. The tv shows I'm currently following: How I Met Your Mother, New Girl, Castle, Modern Family, Grey's Anatomy, Supernatural, Parks & Rec, Person of Interest, The Daily Show.

11. The only reason I wish I was American is so I could vote in their elections.

12. Reviews I need to write (so you can call me out on it): Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally, Promised by Caragh M Obrien, Rebel Heart by Moira Young.

13. If you're seriously dying to see my face though, I reviewed For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund in a vlog for TotallyBooksessed.

14. I want a nap.



Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Speechless giveaway winner!

Ahh, gosh, I've seriously been so busy I completely forgot to pick a winner! I've tallied up the entries and the winner is... LEA! From YA Book Queen! I'll be sending an email your way!

Thanks to everyone who entered and hope you guys are having a nice week! :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

GIVEAWAY: Speechless by Hannah Harrington!


Hi lovelies!! Remember the ah-mazing debut that was Saving June? Well, I'm very grateful to have the opportunity to host a giveaway to help promote Harrington's next book, Speechless.

Speechless


Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.
*


book trailer:



add this book on Goodreads

Also check out Hannah Harrington's website, Twitter, and Speechless' website.

For Speechless, Harlequin TEEN has partnered with the nonprofit Love is Louder, a movement that started when actress Brittany Snow, MTV and the Jed Foundation decided to do something to help those feeling mistreated. Hundreds of thousands of people just like you have come together to raise the volume around the message that love and support are louder than any internal or external voice that brings you down. click here for more details

Prize: a copy of SPEECHLESS and a branded phone skin*


Giveaway rules:
-US/Canada only
-ends Sept 28
-fill out the form below :)

easy tweet: Win SPEECHLESS by Hannah Harrington + phone skin from @pinkcreamsoda and @HarlequinTEEN (US/Can, ends 9/28) http://bit.ly/T4lZ8f









*pictured here

disclaimer: prizes provided by Harlequin


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

temporarily out of service

Hi lovelies! 

Unfortunately I don't have internet until next Wednesday, so nothing on the blog :( It's a sad time for an internet addict like me.

Hopefully when I get online again and don't have to borrow wifi from the library/school, there will be more content on the blog. Look for more reviews and even a giveaway :) 

Have a great week!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Dead Parents in YA

disclaimer: there are spoilers for Harry Potter series and Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta.


It's kind of a running... joke.. that so many YA parents are dead (well, or absent). It's to a point where we applaud the presence of parents, and we don't really think much of the orphan YA protagonist whose stolen our sympathy right from the start.


And this post isn't one to talk about how annoying the trend is or whatnot. It's to recognize these parents. These dead parents and dead adults who were once teenagers.

Because I think sometimes we forget that the all knowing adults were once people, living and breathing and living life and taking risks. We forget they were just kids once.

I'm rereading Harry Potter right now and I just finished the part in Order of the Phoenix with Snape's worst memory, just when James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew were all 15 year old students. They were arrogant, as Sirius put it. Idiots, as Harry put it. But they were just kids, and they were carefree.

And you don't understand how much it kills me that none of them are alive by the end of the seventh book. Moony. Wormtail. Padfoot. Prongs. These friends who took risks and chased girls and put it all on the line for each other. They lined up to serve the Order and fight against evil. The fact that Sirius spent 12 years in Azkaban and didn't live to see his name cleared. To know that Harry and Sirius only had a precious 2 years to get to know one another and that in a perfect world, Harry would have known his godfather all his life.

Remember the scene with the resurrection stone in the seventh book? James. Sirius. Remus. All there. All dead.

It was just that glimpse of the boys when they were 15 that brought out the fact that they were all best friends without a care in the world once. Not the absentee parents or adults, but people. And now they're dead and I'm heartbroken.

.

And I also wanted needed to mention Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. From the nature of the narration, we get both stories, the present time with Taylor and also the story of Narnie, Tate, Jude, Webb, and Fitz. The names that come with Hannah's manuscript that just gives a small glimpse into the friendship that blossomed from a tragedy.

Marchetta includes the details that really wrench my heart out and have committed to memory. Like when Taylor looks at a photograph of Webb for the first time. She says:
He is the most beautiful creature I have ever seen and it's not about his face, but the life force I can see in him. It's the smile and the pure promise of everything he has to offer. Like he's saying, 'Here I am world, are you ready for so much passion and beauty and goodness and love and every other word that should be in the dictionary under the word life?' Except this boy is dead, and the unnaturalness of it makes me want to pull my hair out with Tate and Narnie and Fitz and Jude's grief all combined. It makes me want to yell at the God that I wish I didn't believe in. For hogging him all to himself. I want to say, 'You greedy God. Give him back. I needed him here.
From the very first time I read the book and with each subsequent rereading, this quote has stuck out like it was flashing in neon lights.

Because we learn what has happend 17 years later, we learn the truth about Tate and Narnie and Jude, of Fitz and Webb. And it's not pretty, it's not bursting with life. It's sad and depressing and I can't help but think how people can fall so far and I can't help but resent a parent who doesn't take care of a child. But then I remember how she used to be a teenager. I remember how inseparable the friends were, starting territory wars for fun and writing the rules down a purple notebook. That they were kids. I don't even give a crap about how they were fictional, because they feel real to me.

And bad things happen to good people.
And I grieve like I’ve known them all my life.
It absolutely kills me that she could have. She could have.




I guess the lesson here is that dead parents weren't always dead parents and that makes me very sad.



Saturday, August 11, 2012

BR: The Disenchantments

by Nina LaCour

This is another mini-review! Mostly my immediate thought that I posted to goodreads after finishing the book.
I adored LaCour's debut, Hold Still, so she's been an author I've kept my eye on ever since.

Summary (goodreads)

Colby and Bev have a long-standing pact: graduate, hit the road with Bev's band, and then spend the year wandering around Europe. But moments after the tour kicks off, Bev makes a shocking announcement: she's abandoning their plans - and Colby - to start college in the fall.

But the show must go on and The Disenchantments weave through the Pacific Northwest, playing in small towns and dingy venues, while roadie- Colby struggles to deal with Bev's already-growing distance and the most important question of all: what's next?
**

My (short) thoughts:

The Disenchantments is kind of like Zooey Deschanel.

I like Zooey, I really do. She's pretty awesome. But sometimes I think she goes a bit overboard with the quirky, a bit too try-hard. But other than that, she's pretty cool.

That silly simile aside, I really liked the way LaCour tackled the themes in this book. There is nothing really unfamiliar in the subject matters dealt with in this novel, but the author really did exceed my expectations in the way she carefully explored these themes and depicted unexpected realities of growing up. About finding yourself and the vast unknowing thing of a "future", the feeling of doing the right thing or wanting to.. all very familiar feelings.

The characters were interesting, but I was fond of Colby's growth more than him as an individual. Bev was fascinating because I could both resent her for her decisions yet they made perfect sense in my head. The plot was alright (but sometimes overboard with aforementioned quirkiness and unlikely coincidences) and the writing was lovely. I also loved the fact that despite all the touring, the all girls band kind of sucked.
We all want to feel something, we want to be someone to one another.
Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable/Exceeds Expectations
Recommended for: road trip enthusiasts, contemp fans :)
Acknowledgements: loved! 5/5

8.3/10 - because while it hit all the right notes, it didn't really resonate with me. I thought the process of the book, the necessary stuff-- lovely writing, carefully plotted character development, quirky side characters, symbols-- was all there, but I was never head over heels (sadly). While it won't go down as the most memorable read, I'll happily say that The Disenchantments is a fantastic escapism novel that's perfect for summer.








source: library
author twitter / website

Thursday, August 9, 2012

BR: Girl of Nightmares

by Kendare Blake
Anna Dressed in Blood duology; book II

I'm uber-enthusiastic about Anna Dressed in Blood because it was so unique and interesting... I even went back and reread half of the book in preparation for the sequel. That's dedication.
Also, that cover. One of my favourites.

***The summary contains spoilers for book one***



Summary (goodreads)

It's been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can't move on.

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they're right, but in Cas's eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

Now he's seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he's asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong...these aren't just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn't know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn't deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it's time for him to return the favor.
**

My Thoughts


I feel the need to reiterate the fact that Cas has a knife. And he’s a boy. And boys with knives are sexy*.

I’ve been anticipating this sequel for quite a while because there’s something I really adore about this series that I can’t fully understand, whether it is the killer covers (it probably is) or the fantastic packaging (the text is dark red!), but really, I think it’s just because it’s kind of different, and it’s presented as such.

Girl of Nightmares was very good; here were so many parts that had me excited but it wasn’t all a smooth road. I thought in general, the pacing was off because there is a lot of build up before action really starts happening. There’s nothing wrong with build up but there was a bit too much exposition and fact-finding in the first half and not enough ass kicking. I could have done with a few more plot twists, while you’re at it.

What kept me reading though, was Cas, who is still one of the most endearing (and smart-aleck-y) narrators (an odd word choice, but nevertheless spoken with genuineness). There’s something about that boy that I love; his voice is super conversational, I like that he swears, and that he’s haunted by the girl he loves who’s dead.. I find that oddly romantic. I liked that Thomas and Carmel (something akin to Ron and Hermione) got more development as well, which was a step up from the first book. That said, apart from the trio and maybe two or three others, the rest of the characters were quite one-dimensional, which could be due to lack of screen time.

Also, I really really love Anna for no particular reason. I just really do.

For the horror aspect, I wasn’t too creeped out but I thought Blake did do well with creating tense atmospheres and has a talent for gruesome descriptions. I know many readers loved that it’s a horror book, and I think it’s a great addition to a genre that’s less prevalent in YA. I’d also love to throw it into the action genre because I thought that the fight scenes were consistently exciting and well written (and I wanted more!)

Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations
Recommended for: horror fans! and well, fans of cool creepy books that are different
Acknowledgements: 3.5/5

8.7/10 – because while I think Girl of Nightmares has several flaws, I was still thoroughly entertained by Cas and the plot. It doesn’t exactly count as a horror, but I guess I’d categorize it as a horror-action-lite type thing, because it took its time to develop some creepiness. I thought the pacing could have been better but the endearing characters and solid writing kept me engaged. A fun (that might be slightly light-hearted), unique, and highly recommended sequel!









*that is, if they’re not controlling, possessive, emotionally abusive

source: publisher
author twitter / livejournal / website

Monday, August 6, 2012

BR: Something Like Normal


by Trish Doller

I don't think I can pinpoint exactly how long ago I started lusting for this book (oh man, did I lust) but it's been on my radar for SO LONG. Before its title change and cover... yep.

Summary (goodreads)

When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.

**
My Thoughts

Male POV, new adult, some romance, drama, and lots of feels. Are you convinced yet? I had such high expectations and hopes for this novel that I've been dying to read for the longest time and I was not disappointed.

Firstly, I thought Travis' voice was absolutely perfect and Doller really, really nailed that part. Every thought, emotion, action.. it all felt very raw and never as if the character is hiding behind words.

Actually, everything about this novel makes it a wonderful read—it is so different from the stuff that is saturating this market and it’s also not only “out of the box”, it’s also so well executed. There is absolutely nothing sloppy about Doller’s debut, everything feels meticulously realistic and I was very impressed with how much I got out of a book that’s quite tiny.

I loved the family dynamics of this book, and holy hell do I love Travis’ mom. I don’t really want to go more into detail but she is one badass amazing mother. Travis’s home life is far from ideal but each interaction felt authentic.

And that’s the real gem of this book—the authenticity. Travis' PTSD was very well portrayed, as was his complex relationship with war, his past, and even his relationship with Charlie. I thought the love interest Harper was interesting in her own right, though I did sometimes wish she had more dialogue. Many people felt the ending was cut short but I really liked it. While sure, I wouldn’t have minded another 500 pages of Travis, I thought Doller left the book at the absolute perfect place.

I wish I could be a bit more eloquent and give Something Like Normal the review it deserves, but I’m a bit rusty at this* and I’m only here to spread my love for this book. It started out as a mini-review but honestly, it deserved its own post. It’s a refreshing, realistic, and beautiful book filled with compelling characters that demand your attention, and you should read it because I think you’ll like it.

Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations
Recommended for: everyone! Especially fans of contemporary and new adult fiction!
Acknowledgements: awh 4.5/5

8.8/10 because I really really liked it. The characters were the best parts and I thought Travis’ voice was so compelling. The romance was done delicately and very well, and I was instantly sucked into the story. I went into Something Like Normal with exceedingly high expectations and I came away very satisfied. I’ll read anything by Doller at this point, no matter the cover.








*this being the whole review thing

source: bought
author website / tumblr (LOVE her tumblr!) / twitter

Saturday, August 4, 2012

an ode to FINN

I wanted to dedicate this post to the brothers in YA novels named Finn who never fail to be awesome. Oh hi, your name is Finn? Here's a ticket to my heart. Not even kidding.



Finn from Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

I feel like my keyboard will break from the number of less-than-threes I want to type, he's supportive and just a superb younger brother. I loved that he would always help out Piper and that sometimes he was a brat and troublemaker but has a heart of gold.





Finn from In Honor by Jessi Kirby

I mean, he's dead (not a spoiler). But I still ended up loving him because of the love he extended to Rusty and how much he cared about Honor. He was thrown with so much responsibility at a young age but never backed down, and he spent his life making sure Honor could have the best one. It's just... asdkjf;alksdjf;ajl





Finn from Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

Come on, what a hero (albeit not exactly a brother). He's older and wiser beyond his years from all the stuff he's had to endure through the years, traveling and learning the history of his land. He is the one who's trying to piece his kingdom back together and he's just a freaking teenager. He's basically awesome.





Finn from The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Perhaps my favourite Finn. I can't even name the number of reasons he just steals my heart, from the fact that he'll fight with Puck and he'll fight for her. He'll try and do what's best for his family and his sneaky side where he'll scam a few more November Cakes for himself. I love how Stiefvater gave him such personality and depth even when he wasn't the main character, and well, he stole some scenes for me. Love this Finn.
"One of the lines in Finn's code is that you're not to say anything about Finn being attractive to the opposite sex. I'm not sure which exact statue governs this, but it's closely related to the one that won't let you thank him. 
Something about compliments and Finn don't work."


Which basically concludes I really should name my kid Finn, eh? And of course, please mention any other Finns I have forgotten and deserve to be on the list :)

[edit] HOW COULD I FORGET FINNICK ODAIR HOWWWW <3 (thanks elena for the reminder!)

Friday, August 3, 2012

BR: In Honor

by Jessi Kirby

This is a mini review! I take mini reviews very seriously.

Summary (goodreads)

Hours after her brother’s military funeral, Honor opens the last letter Finn ever sent. In her grief, she interprets his note as a final request and spontaneously decides to go to California to fulfill it.

Honor gets as far as the driveway before running into Rusty, Finn’s best friend since third grade and his polar opposite. She hasn’t seen Rusty in ages, but it’s obvious he is as arrogant and stubborn as ever—not to mention drop-dead gorgeous. Despite Honor’s better judgment, the two set off together on a voyage from Texas to California. Along the way, they find small and sometimes surprising ways to ease their shared loss and honor Finn’s memory—but when shocking truths are revealed at the end of the road, will either of them be able to cope with the consequences?
**

My (short) Thoughts

Damn, I have wanted to read this book for ages. And I feel like Jessi Kirby just fast-tracked into my heart as it is filled with Supernatural references and love for dresses + boots (is there a more perfect combination?)  But seriously, if the 1967 Chevy Impala doesn't win you over... just wait till they start singing Carry On My Wayward Son.

I thought it was a very "YA" novel (despite me throwing it into New Adult) as it dealt with serious emotions yet also embraced more lighthearted, adventurous moments. I loved the road trip and Honor and Rusty and completely adored the ending. And I was able to fall in love with Finn (can I just mention how brother's named Finn are always the best*?). Overall I thought that it didn't really surprise me or blow me away, but I undeniably enjoyed it. Definitely recommended.

8.5/10








*seriously, THE BEST

source: bought
author twitter / website / blog

Thursday, August 2, 2012

BR: Perfect Escape

by Jennifer Brown

I’ve been a fan of Jennifer Brown since her debut, Hate List, blew me away. I think she has a way with handling tough issues with honesty, and I expected the same from her latest book.

Summary (goodreads)

Kendra has always felt overshadowed by her older brother, Grayson, whose OCD forces him to live a life of carefully coordinated routines. The only way Kendra can stand out next to Grayson is to be perfect, and she has perfection down to an art -- until a cheating scandal threatens her flawless reputation.

Behind the wheel of her car, with Grayson asleep beside her, Kendra decides to drive away from it all -- with enough distance, maybe she'll be able to figure everything out. But eventually, Kendra must stop running and come to terms with herself, her brother, and her past.

With undeniable grace and humor, acclaimed author Jennifer Brown explores OCD, the pressure for perfection, and the emotional highs and lows of a complex sibling relationship.
**

My Thoughts

Perfect Escape is a road trip book, but it is far from your typical Epic Detour road trip. It took its time to explore the complex relationship between siblings, which makes up the core of the novel. I really liked the twist on this type of "road trip" used more to isolate and bring the characters to the forefront with nowhere to hide.

Kendra, our narrator, is involved with a cheating scandal at her school which causes her to take off across the country with her older brother who has OCD. While I thought that she built up her mistake too much, I can understand perfectly where she’s coming from--which was a detail I think Brown understands as well. She perfectly narrows down the focus and shows she understands how something that might seem like an insignificant event to a reader would just feel like the apocalypse to a perfectionist like Kendra living in the shadow of her brother.

With pretty much only two main characters (plus the random lady and her baby, which I did think was interesting but very sub-plot-y) the range and depth of these two should have impressed me. The rocky dynamics between Kendra and Grayson far exceeded the strength of the characters as individuals (particularly Grayson) though. Brown uses the metaphor of shadows later on in the book, and I think it has to be my favourite aspect of Perfect Escape. It was simple, yet completely realistic because I felt the same thing with my older brother.

I liked how Brown didn’t try and do too much with the book, she doesn’t throw in random issues for the sake of issues, but it is also a weaker aspect. There isn’t much to distract the reader when things start feeling slightly repetitive. The thing with this book is that while there are many admirable qualities, it fails to “stay” with me after finishing. While Perfect Escape does a great job with what it aims to do, it is ultimately kind of forgettable.

Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable
Recommended for: contemporary fans, people interested in a book about OCD
Acknowledgements: 4/5

8/10 – because while I find it hard to recall characters’ names a week later, I still remember enjoying this read. It doesn’t feel as much as an “issue book” as it does a book that deals with the intricacies of family and familial bonds. I wish there was a bit more to the plot but I liked the strong depiction of Kendra and Grayson’s history and strained interactions. I though Kendra was an extremely believable character in particular, but unfortunately she couldn’t carry the book on her own.









source: publisher
author website

Sunday, July 29, 2012

All the Books!

hosted by Jordyn at Ten Cent Notes, discovered through Frenetic Reader =)

EVERYTHING in the vlog. I talk really fast. Hope you guys  had an amazing weekend!


Friday, July 13, 2012

here's a 10 minute video... (bookshelf tour)

...of my bookshelves. If you're curious. But seriously, it's like 10 minutes so I completely understand if you're just like "screw this".



If you don't know yet, I'm Friday for a Youtube Collab channel called TotallyBooksessed and we talk about books and yeah... go check that out :) Happy Friday!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

BR: Take a Bow

by Elizabeth Eulberg

I think it’s no secret that I have been in a killer reading slump of some odd sort, whether it is the lack of motivation on my part or just a loss of interest in reading and blogging in general… anyway, today was such a gorgeous day and I was determined to sit still and read a book, goddammit!

Summary (goodreads)

Emme, Sophie, Ethan, and Carter are seniors at a performing arts school, getting ready for their Senior Showcase recital, where the pressure is on to appeal to colleges, dance academies, and professionals in show business. For Sophie, a singer, it's been great to be friends with Emme, who composes songs for her, and to date Carter, soap opera heartthrob who gets plenty of press coverage. Emme and Ethan have been in a band together through all four years of school, but wonder if they could be more than just friends and bandmates. Carter has been acting since he was a baby, and isn't sure how to admit that he'd rather paint than perform. The Senior Showcase is going to make or break each of the four, in a funny, touching, spectacular finale that only Elizabeth Eulberg could perform.
**

My Thoughts

It took me a lot of picking and choosing before settling on Take a Bow, I had a faint idea what the mood of the book will be, and I thought it fit what I was looking for perfectly—and it did. I am so, so glad.

Take a Bow is so adorable. It is lovely and seamless and made me smile like a maniac by the end of it. It is predictable yet a very enjoyable read and I’m debating how much I want to pick apart the book. I feel like the good part of Emme is also the bad part because the author made her incredibly sympathetic and as a result, she is kind of too perfect for my liking (apart from being a doormat for Sophie, which I admit, is quite a big flaw). I got a tad annoyed reading about how freaking selfless and nice and pretty she is.

That said, pretty much all the characters made me happy (or I'm just a serious mood reader), even the terribly flat Sophie, because I just felt like I was able to walk into their lives and sit in the corner and watch everything unfold—it was that kind of feeling when I was reading. I liked reading about the supporting cast but I did feel like many secondary characters lacked dimension. The story is told from four characters’ POV, which was a device I was initially wary about but turned out to work. I liked how Eulberg wrote the dialogue for Carter’s parts and I was very fond of Ethan’s pining for some reason, too. I felt while the different narrators had their own story arc, the story is still undeniably focused on Emme, which I liked.

Honestly, this is a very good “surface” read. Not necessarily shallow, but.. you know.. don't think too hard and you'll like it type of read. It was perfect for my mood because I just wanted a feel-good, predictable novel. I thought the plot was engaging and it included enough bumps and twists that never made me too emotionally traumatized but kept everything interesting. The writing started off quite clunky, but quickly picked up its flow and just took off from there. Eulberg is an author I hope to read more of.

Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations
Recommended for: contemp fans!
Acknowledgements: 3.5/5

8/10 – because Take a Bow is kind of the perfect book if you’re in the mood to be happy. Not too deep but with a fun plot, sympathetic characters and some very adorable angst. Yes, that’s a thing, ADORABLE ANGST because I seem to be obsessed with calling this book adorable. Go read it!








source: publisher
author website / twitter / facebook

ps- excuse this poorly written, ramble-fest review. I'm sorely out of practice and too lazy to completely edit it.

Monday, July 2, 2012

I need movies recs!

Hello lovelies! This is a non bookish post, so if you're here for books, sorry :p

I've been on a movie watching streak that is getting borderline embarrassing considering I spent the entire monday in my pajamas (shhhh) and watched a bad movie and a good movie. Before I ask for recommendations I'll include the last 10 movies I watched (kind of over the span of a week, wow) and a few sentences of my thoughts. If you're curious, a full list of movies I've seen this year can be seen here (and yes, I realize I've seen far more movies than books). Also, I know this post will be long winded and useless, I just really wanted to talk about movies.


Last 10 movies I watched:

Battleship
-I didn't really love this but if you go into it knowing it is just mindless entertainment (think Transformers with aliens) you might not hate it. I didn't like it because it felt really manipulated, from the music to the ways they tried to build the tension. And I was really annoyed because I found the last quarter of the movie (the battleship part) to be highly unlikely-- a real dealbreaker (oh wow, Audrey doesn't complain about the aliens but she complains about the boats. She has a great logical mind there, she does) 2.5/5


Killers
-Yup, the one with Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher, and okay, I don't hate Katherine Heigl (I'm actually caught off guard by the intensity of some people's hatred towards her) and I did reasonably think this movie was enjoyable.. until it felt like every. single. person. was a killer and then it just got kind of ridiculous. Overall a cliched, sometimes-likeable film. 3/5


Brave
-Well, this was a fun one :) I'm really fond of the protagonist Merida and I thought Brave was interesting enough. I didn't really like the twist very much, but after I got past my initial surprise/displeasure and just well, got over it, I came to enjoy the film. Lovely mother-daughter moments but well, not my favourite Pixar movie. 4/5


Mirror Mirror
-What the heck happened? Ech, just not really my thing. I found it really boring and I found it creepy that the 18 year old Snow White was supposed to end up with the seemingly 30 year old Prince Charming. Nothing in this movie really impressed me, and it was very, very forgettable. 2/5


This Means War
-Don't expect too much from this, and if you don't, you'll like it. I thought it was.. okay. What did I like? Chris Pine and Tom Hardy. What did I not like? Reese Witherspoon's character, I just can't really get behind her dating two guys at once, which was kind of the whole point of the movie. Villain was atrociously underdeveloped and the ending was blah. However, I did find a few of the scenes entertaining to watch, but ultimately, it's another cliched romantic comedy* to me, just with an unlikable leading lady. 2.5/5


Men in Black III 
-I really liked the first MIB film, thought the second was okay..and that was like.. 10 years ago? AGES ago, like wow. The third one was interesting and made enjoyable because Josh Brolin played an awesome younger version of Agent K. It was nostalgic to get back to the MIB universe, and overall while it wasn't the best movie by a long shot, I didn't dislike any part of it and it was actually kind of touching towards the end, though nowhere near as emotional as some people made it out to be (or I just have no heart). 3.5/5


The Italian Job 
-Well, this is the epitome of movies I adore. I use the word adore because it's not as if I'm convinced it's the best heist movie (it's a heist movie!) ever or anything, it just has all the elements I love. I liked how the characters are sympathetic and the heist is smart (I love heists, just saying.. yeah) and it had the Oceans Eleven feeling to it and the action was good and characters were funny.. all around one of the better movies I've seen recently. One of those movies that are very "me" movies. 4.5/5




Good Will Hunting
-Okay, I know it took me forever to finally watch this movie (dude, it is a pre-2000's movie) but gosh, I really loved it. I don't even know why, it was just that I was really into it when I was watching and I loved Will's character and the brains and heart in the movie, along with Robin Williams' character too. And I totally had the creys. 5/5


Magic Mike 
-*blush* that's right, I watched it. I thought the ending was too abrupt and I think all I want to say is that if you go into this movie thinking it's just a stripper movie, you'll be surprised. However, you can't go into it thinking it's going to have some deep insightful message. The movie does have some heartfelt parts but come on... are you going to watch it for the storyline or the pelvic thrusting? A perfect girls' night movie though. 3/5


The Three Musketeers 
-I tried to like it.. ish. But eh, even Logan Lerman had a hard time saving this movie. However, it's like.. mindless entertainment and the plot is alright and there's sword fighting (I really like sword fighting. and archery) so eh.. not worth a rewatch but I'm not hating it with every fibre of my being. 2.5/5


Midnight in Paris
-this one you have to kind of sit down and get into a mindset of watching the movie or you'll get distracted (I did, the first time I tried watching it) but I really, really enjoyed this one. I loooved the Paris feel from the music to the absolutely breathtaking setting. I wasn't expecting what happened (is that a twist or did I just miss it?) but it was still engaging and I like seeing the character arcs and well, the very interesting characters introduced. I thought Marion Cotillard was excellent in her role too. I want to go to Paris so bad!! 4.5/5 
**

Okay, now that I've rambled, I would love some recommendations (because I've got so much more time to waste). To be more specific: nothing pre-1995 unless it's truly fantastic, either romantic comedies that are great or really good dramas, or a.. brilliant comedy or something. Something good, haha. No movies featuring teen disney stars.

Or I'll just ask, what's the best movie you've seen recently?








*It feels like i watch a lot of romatic comedies always looking for something I like.. and I'm most often disappointed (I somehow feel like I have high standards, though I like some really bad movies too so.. *shrugs*) Also, if you're curious, my favourite romantic comedy for a while has been Crazy Stupid Love.

TINAT giveaway winner!

Happy belated Canada Day! For those who do not know the awesomeness of Canadians, I shall direct you to this magnificent tweet by the one and only Patrick Ness:


I always knew he was cool.


With the important things aside, I wanted to announce the winner of This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers.. Congrats to: Melissa from Books and Things!! I'll email you shortly.

Thanks to everyone who entered! I think I'll have a random movie post up soon because I haven't had much luck regarding reading lately. Have a great week, everybody.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine
**

So.. this is a thing:

Perfect Scoundrels
by Ally Carter
Heist Society series; book III

Summary (from hollywoodcrush because it's a better summary than goodreads)


Katarina Bishop and W.W. Hale the fifth were born to lead completely different lives: Kat comes from a long, proud line of loveable criminal masterminds, while Hale is the scion of one of the most seemingly perfect dynasties in the world. If their families have one thing in common, it’s that they both know how to stay under the radar while getting—or stealing—whatever they want.

No matter the risk, the Bishops can always be counted on, but in Hale’s family, all bets are off when money is on the line. When Hale unexpectedly inherits his grandmother’s billion dollar corporation, he quickly learns that there’s no place for Kat and their old heists in his new role. But Kat won’t let him go that easily, especially after she gets tipped off that his grandmother’s will might have been altered in an elaborate con to steal the company’s fortune. So instead of being the heir—this time, Hale might be the mark.

Forced to keep a level head as she and her crew fight for one of their own, Kat comes up with an ambitious and far-reaching plan that only the Bishop family would dare attempt. To pull it off, Kat is prepared to do the impossible, but first, she has to decide if she’s willing to save her boyfriend’s company if it means losing the boy.

Perfect Scoundrels is released February 5, 2013, from Disney Hyperion.
**


...And I am tres excited for it. I absolutely adore the Heist Society series because of the super bright cast and Kat and Hale (HALE! as he is affectionately known) and yeah, I had no idea there was a third book coming out until yesterday and I was super excited and here's a super exciting post for you!