Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sometimes I guess movies aren't so bad - or, seeing City of Bones

Recently I wrote a post about how disappointed I was with seeing Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters in the theater. I knew it was going to be pretty bad, considering the disaster that the original Percy Jackson movie was, but it still didn't make it any easier to go see it.

I hate when the characters that I've come to love dearly have been shattered when they turn into movie characters, so when I saw that one of my fave series - The Mortal Instruments - was being turned into movies, I was concerned. Would Jace be handsome enough? Can they give Clary the right kind of awkward yet clever actions? How will they tackle some of the magical intricacies?

Yet I braved the movie theater, as I always do, to see what was done.

Surprisingly enough, I was able to leave the theater at the end of the movie not completely hating it! Sure, they messed up several things - for one, Jace looks like he hasn't eaten in years and could use to be much better built; for another, I was very disappointed to miss out on Chairman Meow and wanted Magnus to be a little older and more feline; and finally, Isabelle needed to be raven haired, not sporting the boring brown locks she was given. They also removed some of the more subtle clues toward things that will happen in upcoming movies and instead put in glaringly obvious, non-mysterious, terribly disappointing clues that treat the audience as if they were stupid.

And, of course, the cardinal sin - they changed some of the plotline!

But then there were things I thought were creatively interesting, such as making the Ravener morph from a Rottweiler to a demon, and Isabelle's whip was spot on and amazing.

Overall, I didn't love the movie, but I didn't hate it either (which is more than I can say for many other movies that are based on books). What are YOUR thoughts?

Recommended Read - Shades of Secrecy by Mikayla Olsson

Shades of SecrecyShades of Secrecy by Mikayla Olsson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It was so refreshing for me to stumble upon this book - an independently published book that has no glaring grammatical or spelling errors!! Not only that, but it had a wonderfully lyrical and flowing prose style that carried the story forward gracefully. The plot was interesting and the relative normality of the main character was easy to relate to, especially how she interacted with her mother's cat (of course, me being a cat person, I could be biased). I did think that there could have been more plot development regarding the intricacies of the mother's illness, but otherwise this was a solid read and one I feel comfortable recommending.

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Recommended Read - Time Warp, Inc by Cotton E Davis

TimeWarp, Inc.TimeWarp, Inc. by Cotton E. Davis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a stunning trip into the past! The thing I liked most about this book was that while the adventure takes the reader to the time of Christ, it doesn't shove Christianity down the reader's throat but instead provides perspectives on Christ from Christians, Jews, Agnostics, and even Aethiests. The tale was good though occasionally predictable, and there were a couple of small editing errors that could use correcting. But overall this is a great read!

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Flop - Lily Loves to Love by Maureen Reil

Lily Loves to LoveLily Loves to Love by Maureen Reil
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Boy did I struggle with this book! I was drawn in by the description, and the premise was really fun and cute.

But the grammar... oy... the grammar was horrific! It made it so hard to read that after the first chapter I pretty much found myself skimming pages and then blatantly skipping to the end.

The only part I liked was that there was a choice that the reader was allowed to make toward the end that determined the outcome of the book. That was a great idea and perhaps had the overall writing been better it would have been a good book. As it is right now, though, it wasn't for me.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Recommended Read: The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5)The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a fitting end to this epic series! Everything comes together perfectly in a way that was exciting and interesting, without compromising any of the characters in a way that would have been disappointing. I think I have another favorite author to add to my list, and I plan to check out more from Mr. Riordan in the future!

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Recommended Read: The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4)The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Our favorite characters are back and growing up so fast in this fourth book in the series. Sure, I'm a child of a certain era in which "Labyrinth" harkens to mind David Bowie and puppets, but this particular labyrinth would put that one to shame! The story line had as many twists and turns and the intricate maze itself, and I loved following the adventurers on their paths. I'm sad that the next book in the series will be the last!

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Movies about books are never good enough; or, Seeing "The Sea of Monsters"

Yeah, it's been a while since I've been able to post anything - I'm glad for all of you who have stuck by me! :) Between a new day job and running my travel agency, life has gotten quite a bit more hectic this year.

But that definitely doesn't mean I've stopped reading! I still fit it in whenever I can. I might not quite hit my reading goal this year, but I've still stumbled upon some real gems that are headed toward a place in my top 7 list at the end of the year.

Anyway, so I'm one of those readers who totally goes to see movies based off books, knowing full well they will probably never live up to my expectations (I've stumbled upon only two that I really didn't mind - the Lord of the Rings series, and The Host). Yet I still want to go see them, mostly to tear them apart and decide what I liked and didn't like.

As book nerds know, recently the VERY long awaited second Percy Jackson book was made into a movie and released - and since the first movie was so utterly horrible that I didn't think they'd ever bother to complete the series, I bravely attended the movie theater on release day to see how they managed to pull off a second movie.

The good news is that they made up for some of the incredibly crucial errors and skipped characters from the first movie, like talking a little bit about Thalia and introducing (though totally butchering) Clarisse. But sadly, this movie still fell far, far... FAR... short of the book! They still skipped over some important plotlines (like Grover's search for Pan), and completely made up a bunch of stuff that apparently makes for a good movie but has nothing to do with the actual story. They also made up for the fact that it's been years since the first movie and now the characters are all quite a bit older by suddenly changing the prophecy to allow Percy to make it to 20 years old... TWENTY... to complete the prophecy!

I suppose if I hadn't read the books, maybe I would have liked this movie. But as a book nerd, I have to say that I still spent more time disliking all of the inaccuracies and fake stuff than enjoying the movie.

Oh well. Now it's off to prepare myself for the butchering of the next Hunger Games movie... ;)