Sunday, December 2, 2012

Guardian by Heather Burch



                I received this book from none other than NetGalley.com and Zondervan.  Guardian by Heather Burch is the sequel in the Halflings saga (Book one: Halflings), so be warned if you plan to read that then there are spoilers.

                This story picks up where the last left off.  Nikki Youngblood is an orphan who is under the protection of Angel Will and his 3 Halfling charges: Mace, Raven, & Vine.  Now this is well and good but when two of the Halflings are struggling with intense feelings for her, feelings that could end up costing them their shot at heaven things get messy.  Mace, steady and reliable and deeply in love wants to protect Nikki whereas Raven is more of a pusher who loves her strength urging her to be wild and free, be independent.  She knows she shouldn’t be with either of them, to not be the cause of any problems between them or risk their souls but still the heart wants what it wants.  Then again choosing between two different men who each represent something she desires, two sides of a coin, two sides to her, matters get even more complicated. 

                Yep, a love triangle to damn the souls to hell and oh yeah Nikki's godfather Damon Vessler, also a pillar of evil in his own right is still trying to win back her affection by whatever means he can.  And let me just say he uses some pretty despicable offers.  Will he be able to take advantage of her vulnerable state?  What is his real purpose?  What does he want with Nikki?  Can her guardians come together and save her?  Or is this her path to walk alone good or bad? 

                I have to say I enjoyed the first book, it didn't blow my socks off in astounding wow way but it was interesting and left me wanting more.  I have to say this book was even better.  Yes I love the angst even when I'm yelling at the screen of my kindle telling them how much trouble could be saved if people just talked and didn't assume.  You know when you assume you make an ASS our of U and ME.   Then again you see why they don't talk, they manage to talk themselves out of it sure that instead of a logical explanation they would hear things that would hurt them more, though as a reader you know how silly that is.  When your world is turned upside down whose to say you wouldn’t be a little crazy too.

                Either way Guardian came out October 9th and is worth checking out, after reading Halflings of course or I admit you might not fully value what is going on.  I enjoyed it and give it 4 stars!  Have you read it?  Is it on your 'To Read' list?  Let me know what you think below.   

Friday, November 23, 2012

My Wildest Moment


                Wow have I waited until the last minute or what?  I didn't do it in purpose though I swear.  I thought I would be able to do this in no time but as I sat down to write about something I always came up blank.  Crazy with some of the things I've done right?  They are wild.  Maybe.  Or maybe they were just crazy and there is a different.  Were any of them life changing?  Sad as it was to admit nope.  Sure I might have learned to not twirl the broom while walking through the door again, that just because it happens on the movies doesn't mean it is safe to try at home, that cars really can sail through the air but they shouldn't, or that not sleeping more than 2-4 hrs in 72 hours will give you a bad set mood swing from grumpy to giggly. 

                Truth is I'm 24.  I live in a relatively small area, slightly larger since my move but still no big city, and I'm a shy person.  I'm a creature of habit.  I like the same things, sure new things can be great but when in doubt stick to safe reliable choice.  All of my 'moments' of craziness I first thought of as wild were pure luck, unfortunate timing, my clumsiness, or just seemed like a really good idea at the time.  I'm shy.  Really I am.  People who know me shake their head in disbelief but it's true.  Sure when I'm with a friend or someone I'm comfortable with I'm way more out there and open than when I'm alone.  Meeting new people, doing new things scares me.  I don't know why I just get this whole panicky thing and want to fade into nothingness.  Now, I have gotten better over the years.  I've been working up to it really and some of my more 'out there' friends are to credit for that. 

                I've sadly never been in love.  Never even been in real like before and that is really sad and depressing to me when I think about it too long.  I want to find someone but either my mother is right, and God help me I hope she isn't, and I scare men away because I'm too stubborn and intimidating, which fyi if I am maybe it's her fault for raising me to be that way haha though if you ask me again I'll never admit to being like her (long story).  Or maybe I'm just oblivious to other guys liking me and they are shy like me, which is a strong possibility due to my randomness, apparently I need a bright flashing sign.  Then again who knows this is not the point of my post, my wildest moment is. 

                Now no love here.  Well none of the kind that makes you all warm and fuzzy reading about like Kate and Arland.  But there are all types of love and that is sorta what I'm talking about.  Now many of you know I've talked about this before that a TV show of all things got me back into reading and writing (which I had given up on years ago).  Well that same show also made me some amazing friends.  We would chat on phone, messenger, e-mail, text, whatever.  If we go a few days without hearing from one another we grow concerned and someone sends out an 'everyone okay' message.  It's great that we are so close and this is from a show in '07-'08.  One single season of a show. 

I'm in the middle, even with red eye reduction I get it...sigh
                That show did change things for me yes but my wildest moment I'd have to say is going to meet my new friends.  I haven't met all of them, but one of the two who I e-mail daily and just got off the phone with I hoped on a plane for my birthday the year before last and flew from Florida to Vegas.  I stayed for like 4-6 days, it was all so much fun and sorta a blur too.  I was staying at one of the casinos of course and during the day part of the time my friends (I made another friend through her as she was working on a book and we also talk back and forth regularly) had their jobs so I would busy myself with sleeping in of course and seeing the town some.  I was surrounded by so many people it is crazy, that place is like my biggest nightmare alone but I managed to have a great time.   We got to hang out and be tourists (I really was one) and see things but mostly just hang out which when you live 2 time zones apart is really nice.  They also through me a little birthday party (something no one else has ever done for me) and it was amazing.  I got to play the games, see the sights, and meet these wonderful women I have grown to know. 

                To me that doesn't seem that wild but when other people learn that I went to Vegas to meet people I met online they are astounded.  Why?  Sure there are dangers, I used to work 911 and I have watched way to much true crime TV to ever doubt that but I'm a pretty smart individual and can employ common sense and jazz.  I have to admit the reason some people, like my grandparents, freaked out was because it was a 'vampire' show and grandma was convinced I was going to be killed and have my blood sucked out or something.  So there you have it, my wildest moment was conquering my fear of large crowds and unfamiliar settings alone, or at least setting it aside, to completely enjoy my time seeing my friends.  Taking that leap.  We still talk daily and I can't imagine not going and that is still my best birthday is so long and I don't think they know how special it was to me.   
That Salvatore Sandwich I was talking about ;)

                This also helped me gather some good character information for my story, some characters there for sure, and gave me some confidence that allowed me to do 2 writing conventions, and a Vampire Diaries one as well but I admit that one probably didn't help me with my writing just my fan girl side, oh the 'Salvatore Sandwich' sigh.

                Now it's too late to enter yourself but go ahead and check out the others in the blog hop below, I'm only halfway through them but they are all pretty great stories.





 




Sunday, November 18, 2012

Breaking Dawn Pt. 2

                So I saw this at the advance showing Thursday night and am sorry it took me so long to review it.  But I was feeling under the weather, thankfully it waited until post movie, and wanted to be at my best when I did review this amazing movie.


                There you have it.  My review basically in a nut shell.  A whole bunch of words and reasons saying how amazing it really is.  Yes, total Twi-hard here.  I love the books and as great as the movies are the books always better, however, this one came so close.  Yes, gasp, you read that right.

                First this movie had all the stuff from before.  It picks up with Bella waking up a vampire.  She is newborn strong and has some trouble controlling her new found power at first.  She is so happy finally a feeling like she fits in, for one but also she has a family.  Things aren't always great, worry and jazz about Reneseme and all.  Then there is the Volturi, yep they are a bad set of vampires, are on their way to right an injustice.  This calls to ban together others to witness on their behalf.  Will their band plus the pack be enough or will all out war ensue?  That is the question.

                This movie is very quick.  Everything moves along never stopping.  There are so many of the scenes I was looking forward to seeing played out and some that we only heard about being from Bella's POV.  One in particular features Jacob and Charlie.  HEHE I just got all giggly thinking about that again.

                Now aside from that anyone who has read the books and saw the trailer can see a major chance, one that can alter the whole story.  Yeah I was skeptical when I went in both nervous and excited for it.  Well let me tell you I was blown away by the movie.  I liked the change.  Now don't get me wrong I was with everyone else who was shocked silent or to tears or well both.  Me, me who can see things coming and in part I did was surprised.  Now here is where I can't say much, being as anti-spoiler as I am, but I will say it was amazing and fit so well I feel like I was in the book.

                For those of you who have seen it then you know the part I'm talking about.  It was good to see it if only for the hehe moment at the end.  Plus for me the action was well paced and very fitting.  The book, as much as I love it, did always feel a bit anti-climatic that is not the case by any means for the movie.  I for once can't think of any particular scene from the book that I was dying to see that wasn't in there.  Everyone did a great job and I loved getting to know the other covens as well.  It was a great look at some of the different types.    Now the wolf pack, minus Jacob, didn't get screen time in human form in this one but it's amazing how you can feel so attached to even a CGI wolf.  Though at the end of the movie in the credits they give a nod to everyone, from all the movies all the main characters. 

                This was a great note to end on though it saddens me deeply.  This series was special to me because this is what got me reading again all through meeting friends who recommended it as a young Moonlight love story.  I found passion again to read and so many great memories and friends from our midnight showings. 

                I can no wait to see this movie again and I'm counting the days until it comes out on DVD so I can watch it again and again.    I give this movie 5 stars if you had any doubts.  So check it out and tell me what you think.  I can't quit talking about it.  If you have seen if what did you think?  Did you spaz out at that one aforementioned part?  

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Wilde’s Meadow, the conclusion of a series




                YAY!  Okay I had to start this out with a burst of excitement.  Honestly, I was beyond excited when I saw Wilde’s Meadow by Krystal Wade on NetGalley.com.  I was all resigned to wait until it comes out November 5, 2012 but then I was checking out the new books added like I do every single day and spilt some of my water down my top I was so excited.  I saw the cover before I saw anything else and didn’t need to know anything else I just clicked and was approved.  I downloaded it on Halloween night, though sadly didn’t get to read it until last night due to work.  So a special thanks to NetGalley.com, Curiosity Quills Press, the amazing author Krystal Wade, and whoever else* for my ARC.

                Now down to business.  Like the other 2 books Wilde’s Fire and Wilde’s Army, Wilde’s Meadow has a beautiful and captivating cover.  The first is still my favorite but this one is red and has our heroine sword in hand looking down at a body.  Gasp!  Do you wonder whose body she is looking at like I did?  I agonized over it so much so even as I was reading the book. 

                Now we have our beloved characters.  Kate has been through so much and is bound to the man she loves and has her army and a clear goal.  She is still terrified that all the visions she’s had of Arland’s death, of those she loves, will come true.  Still she has no choice really but to fight and trust things will be okay.  We get more of Perth as well as he tries to make up for the sins of his past and be the better man Kate believes him to be.  We also get to know others who are so much fun to love and hate.  New creatures from different worlds and the same creepy and deadly deamons.

                Visually this book is like the others with it’s vivid details that make the world so amazing.  I could see everything they saw in my mind as I read.  I could see the icky creatures (sorta wish I couldn’t), could see the power of Kate’s light and fire, the connections between everyone.  The pain as people are lost in the war.  With war also comes lots of action and fighting both magical and traditional. 

                Yes, I should warn everyone here have tissues on hand.  I admit I’m a girlie girl sometimes especially when I get really invested in a story or characters.  I was reading this book and had to stop for the night at one point because I couldn’t stop crying and well it was rather hard to keep reading as my eyes went from watery to burning (my eyes are strange and 75% of the time I cry they burn no idea why).  So I went to bed and tossed and turned wanting nothing more than to know the end, to know if I would keep crying or not.  This is war after all and there are bound to be causalities or it wouldn’t be believable. 
               
                I have given this book a much deserved 5 Stars.  Now this is where I would normally put in any complaints with the book and past experience has been that I have to wait for the next one, however, Wilde’s Meadow is the last in the series.  No more waiting.  I guess that would be my only tiny complaint, yes as much as I hate waiting for more, endings are sad and final.  I think this book gives a fitting end to the story and I love this series and will recommend it to anyone and everyone.
  
                So people keep your eyes open for this trilogy.  Wilde’s Fire & Wilde’s Army are already out and the conclusion of the series Wilde’s Meadow comes out in 2 short days.  Check it out.  


*There is an amazing interview with the author herself on Sus’s blog click to check it out.  Also note my excitement as she waves when answering my question hehe.  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Clarke



                Another book from NetGalley.com and the publishers at Angry Robot.  I had read a review for this book from a friend and fellow blogger right before I started it and I have to say my expectations were high.

                The story is set in a world of magic and pirates ARGHH!  *Okay I couldn't resist.  We follow Ananna of Tanarau, as her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan.  This already makes you feel for our main character in my opinion.  I've always hated the idea of arranged marriage.  I could write a whole post on that barbaric practice, so I won't get started.  Back to the book, Ananna doesn't want to marry this guy and sail on his ship under his command.  She has higher aspirations in life.  So she does the only thing she can, she runs.

                Running from an arranged marriage seems pretty easy right.  Not when the clan you spurned sends an assassin after you.  Something happens when Naji, the assassin, comes after her and she somehow activates a curse which changes everything.  Now they are forced to work together, learn to trust one another enough to try and find a way to break this curse while fighting for their lives from enemies on both sides of their duo, which between a runaway pirate bride and an assassin there are many.

                First I have to talk about the characters.  Ananna is a strong female who doesn't need or want to be taken care of instead handing herself.  She is quick on her feet and can think on the fly, her life teaching her how to swindle and stay one step ahead.  Now she does have her own set of morals and beliefs and does need help.  She's not that good at being open or trusting without reason but I think what I love most about her is that she is, for the most part, rational.  She has her moments of letting emotions rule her but for the most part she is able to think things through and have some ration reasoning behind her actions. 

                Now we have Naji, our dark and brooding assassin who is even more closed off because of his scars.  He is a worker of blood magic but is completely out of his depth when hindered by this curse.  At first he is just a demanding and mysterious oaf.  Then you slowly start to learn more about him and he grows on you.  I liked getting to know him as Ananna does, we see how she half wants him to leave her alone and half wants him to stay with her.  Naji has his own demons to contend with and you see the vulnerability in him which is highly unlikely given his profession. 

                Onto the flaws, yes there are almost always flaws, and sadly this one has a tiny bit more than my impatience for the next one.  That is seriously #1 though, this whole waiting for the next book is very inconvenient haha.  Some of the things did seem a bit rushed, which helped keep the story moving for sure but I would have liked a little more in some areas especially along the trip getting from the boat to the island and all with the colorful characters they we surrounded by.  This is nothing to hinder my enjoyment by any means I just felt there was so much more that could have been explored with the same vibrancy and breathtaking detail as the rest.  Though to be honest part of me is hoping that some was cut short to leave more for the 2nd book so I find it hard to be against that.

                I for one can not wait until the next book to see how these two move forward in their journey.  The story is compelling and so much fun.  They are both great characters and that alone makes me want to keep reading to learn more.  I root for the underdogs and lets face it a pirate girl who ran from an arranged marriage and an assassin who is cursed are pretty big underdogs. 

This book came out on October 2nd and I think everyone should check it out.  I'm going to give it 5 daggers because I couldn’t put it down and it let me get lost in a different world for hours at a time.  Have you read it already?  Tell me what you think.  

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Taken 2 & Pitch Perfect




                Wow so this last weekend I had the joy of seeing some amazing movies.  So here are my thoughts on those but first I have to say that I was surprisingly shocked watching trailers.  Most movies I know within a few seconds having already seen the trailers online and eagerly anticipating them.  Well before Pitch Perfect I saw a trailer that as soon as it started I was thinking how it reminded me of a book series I really enjoy and then I hear the name, Lena Duchannes, and knew it was what I thought.  I may have loudly proclaimed my discovery, that this was the trailer for Beautiful Creatures,  but no one seemed to care, clearly they didn't read the books and knew the excitement.  The trailer posted below is amazing and I can't wait to see it.

                Now that I've gabbed on about the trailer before the movie let me jump right into the reviews of the actual movies.  We'll go in order as usual which means we start with Taken 2.  Squeal.  Yes, that is a very girly squeal because I have been super excited about this movie.  Now this movie follows up on the events of the original Taken, clearly, which was awesome.  If you have lived under a rock and haven't seen it yet, then I don't know what to do with you.  However, if that is the case you really should see it before the sequel.

                Taken 2 takes place shortly after the first one.  It also has, gasp, the same people.  Yep shocking with so many films recasting and then butchering a great movie.  Not this one.  This one has the main characters the same with all the greatness of the original and more.

                Now recap of the first, daughter is taken, but not before calling her father, who has a special set of skills, who goes on a mission to find her.  He finds the people who took her and works his way through them to find his daughter.  Yep he kills and tortures and everything necessary to do that.  Basically he kicks butt and takes names. 

                Jump to this one and well the families of those men he took care of are none too pleased and want revenge.  They don't seem to grasp that they were bad men and he was protecting his family.  Yep, so they happen to catch him in Istanbul post security job when his daughter and ex surprise him for a mini vacation.  It doesn't turn out to be the vacation they were expecting.

                Sounds cool right?  Well if you answered yes then you would be most assuredly right.  There are great chases, fights, and a great overall story.  Also I must say I was super pleased with the daughter.  She has been through so much and she is scared and emotional but she is also determined like her father and doesn't want to be a victim and is ready to act.  She has grown as you would expect but not too out there she isn't suddenly some covert killer like her daddy.  Now, Neeson…what can you say about him?  He was wonderful.  He has this calm and calculating way about him while everything is happening knowing he will find a weak point in the face of danger but it's the normal things that mess with him.  He is super cool and you should know not to mess with him, he's angry.  Also I have to mention that I love how he yells without raising his voice, it's this deep force that is just ubber cool in my book.

                So enough about that basically I'm giving this movie 5 grenades.  If you like action, Neeson, or Taken then you will love this so check it out. 

Rating:  5 Grenades

                Now we move on to the next movie in my marathon, Pitch Perfect.  Warning!  Total girl movie ahead.  Yes my movies are like my mix CDs and the order never makes any sense to anyone by me.  Still the movie was super cute.

                The movie is about singing yes but more than it sounds.  The description I read for it once did nothing for me and I had no intention of seeing it and then I saw the trailer for the first time and couldn’t believe they were the same.  Either way I knew I had to see it.  The music and story are fun and a great pick me up.  Yes it's predictable and crazy but it is cure in the best possible way.  I just looked it up and the songs/remix's are on the soundtrack with is pretty good.  I was tapping my foot along to the whole movie.

                Acting wise I liked the chemistry and humor of the cast.  It wasn't a deep movie but they were all different and had their own little character traits.  If you want a good time, some tunes, and a laugh, check it out.

Rating:  5 Stars

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier




                This book is curtsey of NetGalley.com and Random House Children's Books.  I was lucky enough to receive this book a little while ago, and I have to say as soon as I started it I couldn’t put it down.  I'm slowly but surely putting a dent in my reading list, I'm the little reader that can.

                Now Shadowfell summary curtsey of goodreads.com:

Sixteen-year-old Neryn is alone in the land of Alban, where the oppressive king has ordered anyone with magical strength captured and brought before him.  Eager to hide her own canny skill--a uniquely powerful ability to communicate with the fairy-like Good Folk-- Neryn sets out for the legendary Shadowfell, a home and training ground for a secret rebel group determined to overthrow the evil King Keldec.

During her dangerous journey, she received aid from the Good Folk, who tell her she must pass a series of tests in order to recognize her full potential.  She also finds help from a handsome young man, Flint, who rescues her from certain death--but whose motives in doing so remain unclear.  Neryn struggles to trust her only allies.  They both hint that she alone may be the key to Alban's release from Keldec's rule.

Homeless, unsure of who to trust, and trapped in an empire determined to crush her, Neryn must make it to Shadowfell not only to save herself, but to save Alban.

                Sounds pretty amazing right?  Well yes it's a completely different world of Alban which is magical and dangerous.  People are not allowed to trust or even really enjoy any moment knowing that anything they do could be seen as unusual and in turn be sent to the evil King.  It's a horribly dark tale and I enjoyed every minute of it.

                Now don't worry it's not a dark depressing tale by any means.  It is dark but the point of the story is that there is hope.  Out main character Neryn, whom I adore as a strong heroine, has been through so much in her short life, things that would knock down stronger people but still she keeps moving forward.  She keeps hope that she will find that peace she was once told about. That to me is a much more vivid representation of what most of us go through every day when we have things to make it through, be it a long shift at work or just some dreadful task before you, always look to the end and the peace to be found.  I know I kept thinking pretty profound thoughts as I read this book.  If Neryn can keep going through all of this, I can make it through 8 hours of annoying people at work, okay so maybe not that profound.

                Marillier creates a vivid world for sure, but that world would be empty without equally detailed characters to fill it.  Now we have our main character Neryn who is on this journey.  She is young but she has not grown up in a happy place, all she has known was the horrible place of Alban which over the years has gotten darker and darker, still she holds on to hope.  She is scared for herself and those around her.  She is a wonderful character full of flaws and even when she was being stubborn and I wanted to strangle her for doing something I clearly knew was a bad idea (being a reader and not in the situation of course why don't characters know what we know), she was real. She has to figure things out each and every day, try to learn to trust these new allies of hers when she's been on her own for so long. 

                Now onto these allies for which I spoke.  There are a bunch of 'Good Folk' like Sage, Red Cap, Silver, and countless others for whom I am not going to even try to remember or spell.  They are all described so beautifully its amazing.  They each have different personalities which was fun to read.  Then more importantly, to me anyways, is Flint.  The mysterious man who saves her life but his motives seem unclear.  Even after he explains what little he can to her she is suspicious.  Can you really trust someone who you really know nothing about?  And what happens when you find out what/who they are?  He was beautifully written.  Strong, silent, mysterious, and haunted he is a man who invades your every thought trying to unravel. 

                Neryn has a special gift that is rare.  One that could be a great power to the war on either side.  Her ability to communicate and see the Good Folk even when they are hiding is strange enough to her but when she learns the deeper meaning of her gift she figures out just how perilous it really is.  Can she learn to use her gift and fight the good fight or will she be used as a weapon to squash out what little hope there is in Alban?

                This is only the first book in a series, of course if I'm reading it then it should be known the chances of it being a single book are 1 in a 100, so we have to wait for more.  Can Neryn learn to use her gift to help turn the tides in the war and bring the much awaited peace to Alban?  We shall have to find out.  This book came out September 11th.  If you're ready to be swept away into another world check it out.

5 Stars

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Demon Catchers of Milan by Kat Beyer




                This is one of my ARC’s from NetGalley and Egmont USA, which I am way behind on.  I finished this book pretty quickly though and have to share my thoughts.  This book is the first in a series with a new take on demons.

                You have guess I’m sure that the series is about Demons.  You would be partially right.  See the book centers around Mia, a young girl who learns the hard way about her family history.  Being possessed by an angry and powerful demon, she survives but to stay safe she must travel to Milan and stay with her family she has never known.  Thrust into a new country she must learn about the history of the city, the language and just what it is the family does.

                You would think being taken to Milan would be a dream come true, a vacation.  Nope.  Between the studying and helping around the house, and the inability to leave the house without a pack of family to keep the demon way, well lets just say that puts a real damper on the whole vacation aspect. 

                This demon is the big bad, he has a past with Mia’s family and now with her.  is she strong enough to stand up and fight?  Can she learn her family’s craft?  The past?

                I really enjoyed the book I liked the family, the bizarre closeness even when personalities are polar opposites.  I admit I have an urge now to work on my cooking skills, have a glass of wine and learn Italian.  Speaking of the book is in English, thankfully for me, but its also in Italian if that makes sense.  Everything doesn’t just start speaking English, it’s more like subtitles but without reading every line of conversation twice, though every once and a while for common words you learn what they mean which I really enjoyed. 

                I liked Mia and I was rooting for her to find out more.  I wanted her to learn more so I could learn more about what the family does.  I can’t wait for the next book to come out so I can learn more.  There were parts that confused me, sometimes it was crazy hard to keep all of her Italian family straight but it was still fun.  I found that if I just kept reading and it came out easier than trying to make sure each name was well remembered. 

                The scenery and background of the setting was well written.  I’ve always wanted to learn more about different places but have just always been too lazy.  She takes everything in stride but is completely human and has her moments of frustration.  No it wasn’t action packed like one might expect but it had a different kind of creepy and haunting kind of action, the action of the mind.  Fighting is more than physical, it’s mental as well. 

                As for things I didn’t care for.  Well Mia does mention how hot her cousin is on more than a few occasions and well I may just be overly sensitive but that was kinda gorse to me.  Yeah nothing happens and I can admire that someone I’m related to has some handsome features but I never fell all fluttery about it.  Yep that’s pretty much my biggest issue with this book and it wasn’t a huge thing just something that struck me as well…odd.   

                I enjoyed this book and give it 4 solid stars.  It’s not for everyone that’s for sure but I hope you will give it a chance it is really clever and unique.  Haunting and creepy in a new way.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Expendables 2 & The Bourne Legacy



                So I was wondering why no one had said anything about my last double feature and then realized that I never got to post it.  It’s been sitting here for a few weeks, had some internet issues and sigh I’m saddened to admit it but when it finally came up I forgot to post it.  So a little late but better than never, right?

                I finally did get to do my movie double feature.  I saw The Expendables 2 and The Bourne Legacy, the two biggest movies out at the moment (obviously a clear indicator I am behind in posting).  They are both sequels that seems to be a theme of mine and action flicks.

                First lets dive off into The Expendables 2 which features…well let’s face it pretty much all the major action stars of the past.  This movie is bloody and violent to the extreme for sure but in the best possible way.  If you don’t’ want that then I don’t see why you considered this one in the first place, perhaps you were lured in by one of the many big star actors.  Either way be warned.  This is a guys movie so to speak.  I admit the only females in the theatre came in with guys and didn’t look nearly as excited as their other half.  One man in a pack even declared there were no single women seeing this, to which I had to advise him of his mistake.  All good fun I know I have a different taste than most females, like ‘a girl’.

                That being said I liked this movie more than the original.  There were so many inside jokes about the different action stars pasts it was great.  I had flashback moments to so many and giggled like a girl.  They even joked about the obvious things which made the movie for me.  They action was great and plentiful for sure.  There were guns, chases, explosions, and plenty of hand to hand al put together into one great action movie.

                More than anything the plot of this one was simpler.  I felt more invested in the outcome.  Honestly, I like personal stories more than the overall do the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing.  It gives the action a more powerful meaning.  Don’t get me wrong I can totally enjoy random action for the sake of action but if story is set up to make you care, then I want to really care, I’m silly that way.
               
                Any who I really liked the movie and totally recommend it to any action fans.  I give it 5 Skulls.

Rating:  5 Skulls

                Now for Bourne, Jason Bourne…not really.  The Bourne Legacy follows Jason in a way but we learn Tredstone was just the tip of the iceberg.  This story centers around Aaron Cross, played by the beautiful Jeremy Renner.  First off I must admit, he is so pleasant to gaze upon (click here to read a vivid description from ‘a girl’).  Now he is different than Jason, he has his memories; he is just realizing how things work.  Also you see how they are as good as they are, genetic re-energizing of the cells.  Yep pills that enhance the body and brain.  Just saying I wouldn’t mind that.

                I can’t really talk too much about it because it’s a movie following a complex plot and to give the wrong information away would be to give away a spoiler and you all know how apposed I am to that.  So I’ll just stick with saying if you liked the other 3 Bourne films you should totally check this one out.  Lots of intrigue and fast paced action, so would want these people on my side is all I’m saying.  It was just what I thought it’d be and wanted.

Rating:  5 Blue & Green Pills

                So there you have it a bit late and I do apologize for that but sigh I can’t help my internet.  I’m working on it but I’ll spare you my entire tirade about this company and my thoughts about them for the time being.  In the mean time I am reading and working on my review for the recently released and finished book.  Hope to post by weeks end.  As always questions, comments, rants, raves, please leave them below.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Rape Girl by Alina Klein



                So I sped through this ARC book from NetGalley.com by Alina Klein entitled, Rape Girl.  Now this book does center around the incident so those who prefer happier topics need not continue, and in my opinion miss out.  This book isn’t very long, but felt way shorter as I flew through it so quickly.

                The story is centered around Valerie and her rape.  Now, I couldn’t put this book down.  I was captivated by it, she grabbed hold of me and I was invested in her.  She was read, troubled, insecure, broken and flawed.  Her thoughts on things in general reminded me of high school.  She told the truth yet, she’s treated like the attacker. 

                There was no dragging spots, nope, from page one you dive in and keep moving forward.  I don’t know how to adequately describe this book.  Valerie is a very relatable character and the rest of the cast I imagined in my mind watching each one play their role perfectly.  This book deals with what it’s like after the fact, when dealing with the act itself isn’t as bad as dealing with telling the truth. 

                This book brought about a bunch of great questions I’ve always asked myself.  Why?  Why is it that in a rape case the victim has to prove not only the guilt of the other party but their own innocence?  Something to think about for sure.  Join Valerie in her journey and please share your thoughts on this one.  Even if you haven’t read the book I’d love to hear your thoughts on things.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Total Recall & Step Up Revolution




                I’m way behind in my movie watching and reviewing like everything else.  Now, I have two remakes of sorts to discuss.  Total Recall was a movie back in the day with Arnold, I remember seeing it but I admit it was years ago and my memory of it is fuzzy so I won’t be comparing the new one to the old one.  As for Step Up Revolution, it is a sequel of sots to the other Step Up films with their own spin on things.

                Let’s start out with some action.  Total Recall had plenty of that.  Collin Farrel kicks some serious ass, and gets his butt kicked too.  Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel hold their own as well being strong female characters good and bad.  There are car chases, well future cars anyways, explosions, fights, gun fire and has pretty much all the requirements for an action flick.

                Now the story was pretty cool, a bit predictable but still enjoyable.  I liked the character revelations, finding out who you really are both literally, when you’re life was erased and implanted, and also who they are as an individual, inside.
               
                The overall effect of the movie I give it 5 stars.  Good action movie that entertained me.  The visuals were great and I have to say I so want one of those floaty cars, very feauturistic but not so much that it was completely out of the realm of possibility.  I recommend this movie to both sci-fi and action fans alike.

Rating: 5 Stars

                Switching gears we move to a movie about dancing, Step Up Revolution.  This is the 4th Step Up movie, but you don’t have to see the others to enjoy this one.  There isn’t much to talk about with this one.

                The plot is that following the others a boy and girl from different backgrounds and classes have a love for dance and something to prove.  The story follows a dance mob trying to be seen and win a contest.  Then as their homes and jobs are put on the line due to a new development project their performance art turns protest art.

                Good story, I liked the angle of it all.  The dance scenes were amazing and as I have no balance or rhythm it made me want to try and dance (not like that obviously as that would not be pretty).  So if you want a feel good movie to just enjoy and not make you think too hard or you liked the previous movies, check it out.   I give it 4 Stars.

Rating:  4 Stars

                So I’m on a roll now, I have another book I just finished reading and working on putting my thoughts to paper for it.  As always comments or questions I’d love to read them.  Share below.  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Golden Gate is Red by Jim Kohlberg




                So I just finished reading this book from NetGalley.com.  It was an ARC, however, given my recent move and such I’m way behind.  Now, this book was in the YA section but I didn’t feel it was a YA book, let me explain further.

                Now, this book is pretty short, and as such so will be my review.  The book takes place in San Francisco, after the dot com bust, and I felt half the book was spent describing the city.  Don’t get me wrong I love to get a realistic feel for a setting, especially one I’m not familiar with, but this felt excessive.  I felt bogged down with street names and directions, almost like I was reading the directions from my GPS, more so given how short the book was.

                The book is a mystery of sorts, though frankly I am having trouble properly classifying it.  The main character Max is a middle aged tax man who has a sorted history with Joe and Christina.  He is trying to navigate a murder investigation, possible tax conspiracy, and his past.  Now like the directions I felt so out of place not understanding the abundance of tax terms, though mind you I don’t handle my own taxes either, that felt like more of a manual. 

                The story itself felt brief and unexplored.  I knew more about the city than I did about the characters.  There were some great physical descriptions that showed the emotion of the character but that was it.  There was no depth.  What I did learn about them was in narration and never by seeing it, so I had to take it in through the clouded judgment of the main character.  I think the story also progressed quickly and sporadically, like we took the scenic route from point A to point B.  Conversations ended then it seemed as though they were in a new place and talking about new things and I was left thinking where is the in between parts.

                I wish I could give it a higher rating because I absolutely hate giving a ‘bad’ review.  It’s not so much that I disliked the book; it was okay I just didn’t connect with it.  So sadly I can only give The Golden Gate is Red by Jim Kohlberg 2 stars.  I do give Kohlberg credit as I have since looked it up and found he is writing from some past experiences as well as mention that he normally works on screenplays.  That does make more sense to me now, but I wish the plot line was more flushed out and developed like the scenery.   

                So anyways, The Golden Gate is Red, came out July 17, 2012.  Have you read it?  What did you think?  Questions or Comments below.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Golden Lily




                Well I finally got to finish this book.  It took me for longer than it should have.  Now, that is no fault of the book, it was everything I expected and more.  This is the fault of my crazy schedule.  Yep, real life interfering in my reading, writing, movie watching time, how rude.  Seriously though I hope to get things settled down and back in the swing of things now that I’m officially in my new place.  By officially I mean I’m sitting with my laptop surrounded by boxes. 

                Anyways, enough with me more on the amazing book.  The Golden Lily, by Richelle Mead is the sequel to Bloodlines, the first book in the spin-off series of the Vampire Academy books.  As per usual, my reviews contain as little spoilers as possible for the book/movie in question, however, there will be spoilers for the prior stories so you have been warned.
               
                The Golden Lily takes places directly after Bloodlines and has our little gang returning.  Sydney is pushed further into a world she has spent her whole life training for.  She has grown rather fond of her ‘family’ at Amberwood and if she thinks about it too hard the though unnerves her.  Her whole life she was brought up to believe that Mori and Strogi are evil and bad.  She has come to slowly realize that everyone, Alchemists and humans alike can be just as bad.

                In this tale there is a new threat to their covert life.  This book has more of our dear socially ignorant Sydney still trying to learn the ways of ‘normal’ teenage life.  She’s brilliant and beautiful but doesn’t see it in herself.  She is completely insecure like more other people in school, hell in life.  There is also more of our favorite young guardian Eddie and even more about our new guardian that was briefly mentioned at the end of Bloodlines, as she takes over as Jill’s roommate, Angeline.  There is of course the crazy teacher we got to learn was really more than she let on.  Trey, Sydney’s friend who also supplies her with her favorite substance, coffee.  Also at the end of Bloodlines, we had the arrival of Sonya and Dimitri to work on experimenting with spirit magic and see what makes reformed Strogi different.  Much to Adrian’s dislike.

                Now you thought I’d forgotten about Adrian didn’t you?  Nope not a chance.  I adore Adrian.  He’s such a great and complex character you can’t help but enjoy.  Now don’t get me wrong I loved him in The Vampire Academy books but I was always 100% for Rose and Dimitri, I couldn’t help myself.  I liked him yeah but Dimitri and Rose had captured my heart before he came along.  Anyways, we do get much more Adrian in The Golden Lily.  We get the good and the bad.  One of the things I love most about him is that he is so complex.  He can be completely sweet and adoring one minute and a complete ass the next, all while battling with the darkness that accompanies his gift of being a spirit user.

                This book is so complex I hated every single time something came up and I was forced to put the book down.  The mysteries that unravel and the thrills wrapped up in the perfect balance of romance and drama was a captivating read.  I easily give this book 5 stars, my only regret is that, as usual with all good books I read it seems, I must wait for the next one to find out more.  So if you haven’t read The Vampire Academy series and the first Bloodlines book then you need to get on it right away.  Already read them?  Tell me what you think.  Now off to go unpack a few more boxes before work.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises



               
                Okay so I was super stoked to see this at the midnight showing Thursday night and I would have posted before now but I was feeling rather irritable with the AC not working yesterday and not even remembering the joy that was the midnight showing could not help.  Now here I am though with my review.

                So for those of you who live under a rock The Dark Knight Rises, is the 3rd and final movie in the Dark Knight series.  So…if you by some great miracle haven’t seen the others yet (shakes my head in disbelief) then be wary there will be spoilers for the first 2 movies.  Now for those of you who just haven’t seen Rises yet then don’t worry I won’t give away any major spoilers.  I promise.  Ask anyone who has known me for any amount of time and tried to get a spoiler from my lips…not happening*.

                Now this movie picks up 8 years after The Dark Knight where Batman takes the blame for Dent’s final demented acts to preserve his reputation and keep the faith everyone had in him.  He became the monster the city needed him to be.  The years have not been good on Bruce either as he also lost someone he cared for.  Then a new force comes to Gotham and Batman is needed once again.

                Yep, you guess it.  Bane.  Now I won’t lie I knew there was something familiar about Bane from the posters but honestly I never looked to see who the actor was.  Then just as I was sitting to write my review I had to make sure it was Bane and not Bain, can’t have that, I found out it is Tom Hardy.  Wow had no idea but now I see the similarities once I knew it.  Anyways, Bane was awesome in his bad ass way.  He was a cool foe and let me just say that mask thing really added to the creep factor.  He was everything that a good bad guy should be to me, he was strong, dangerous, smart, and oh so psychotic.

                Now Bane wasn’t the only great performance.  Nope we have new faces of Catwoman and Blake played by Anne Hathaway and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  Now my old favorites are there too like Michael Caine as Alfred and Morgan Freeman as Fox and Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon, wonderful group.  And if I need to say it as well then well…Christian Bale as Batman/Bruce Wayne, though I think that goes without saying. 

                Now the story in this isn’t completely about Batman.  Like the others there are multiple story lines going on that meld into one larger story.  Now this movie runs at almost 3 hours and I never felt bored.  There was gripping stuff, tear jerking moments, and the amazing action we come to know and expect.  The cool gadgets of Batman continue from Fox’s special department.  Yes the story continues to unravel and you see things from the other two films tie into this one.  There are twists and turns and great shocks and action throughout the journey and I had a blast. 

                Let’s see great acting, check.  Amazing story, check.  What else?  Oh so much and I could write for a long time about this but I think I will leave it with just one more thing.  The look.  The look of everything on there was so amazing visually.  I do admit, and my movie partner in crime (one of them anyways) pointed out that this movie wasn’t as dark as the others having more daylight stuff.  This is true but it did give a new feel to Gotham.  A new way to see things.  Plus the actions, the explosions (come on what would a movie be without explosions), and chases so much fun to watch.  I think they have a home run.

                The only thing I will say about the ending of the movie was that I find it fitting.  See I managed to make it through a whole review without any real spoilers.  If you didn’t know something I put then you clearly didn’t watch the first two movies or seen the previews.  Now I suggest you go out and see this movie ASAP and then tell me what you think.  I can’t wait to see it again, and look forward to when it comes out on DVD and I can do a Dark Knight marathon.  With that I end this review with my rating of 5 Bat signals in the sky.

Rating: 5 Bat Signals


*Yes I have to amend this as two friends of mine did manage to get a spoiler out of me once.  To be fair it was a reward if they could solve a puzzle.  So yes once I did.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Magic Mike and Brave




                So as promised more movie reviews.  The other day I went and saw a double feature of Magic Mike, the movie about male strippers, and Disney’s Brave.  Yes, they are an odd pairing to be sure but hey this is my head we are talking about. 
                First was Magic Mike.  So if you know anything about this movie you know it is centered around male strippers.  There is a plot yes, but I freely admit I went for the eye candy.  Yep, all those movies that have women objectified for males to ogle at…this one is for the ladies.
                Now as for those pretty things I mentioned seeing…those would be Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer, Joe Manganiello, Matt Boomer, and Adam Rodriguez.  I have to admit they all have some moves.  Primarily the movie is about Tatum and Pettyfer but the others still get some memorable air time.
                But for the plot it is about Mike, a stripper who wants to do more with his life but is waiting on things to fall in line.  He meets The Kid, who he then takes under his wing in a sense and shows him how he can make his way.  The Kid brings both good and bad into Mike’s world and makes him take a harder look at what is going on around him.  That is the story.
                Nothing too deep but then like I said I didn’t go in expecting to see something nominated for an Emmy.  So if you liked the previews, and you have all seen them, then you will enjoy the movie.  It made me laugh and smile so hey it was a good time.  So I give it a 4.5 rating for being everything I expected.

Rating: 4.5 Handcuffs (I couldn’t resist)

                Now onto the second movie I saw, Brave.  Now this is the Disney Pixar film about a new kind of Princess.  Yep it’s animated and even I can see the twisted sort of head case I am to watch this after Magic Mike but then again I never claimed to be anywhere near normal.  I can switch just that quick.
                Now Brave, is about Princess Merida with her crazy out of control red locks and her stubborn defiance to be the proper lady.  Set in Scotland in a rugged and mythical time, Merida, an aspiring archer and impetuous daughter of royalty (in case the whole Princess thing didn’t give that away).  Merida makes a reckless choice trying to change her fate and unleashes unintended peril.  She must then fix her own mistake and take action to right the wrong and learn that to change your fate, you must take control of your destiny.
                So this movie is totally ubber cute.  I was giggling with the other little kids in the theatre.  I do admit I was the oldest person there without a small child at my side…my little kid is inside me ready to burst out at any moment.  Anyways back to the movie, it is cute and I have to say I love the accents.  The settings were beautiful and it had the true Disney vibe for me.  Plus I love Merida for her strength.  She isn’t the damsel in distress like so many others she is strong and a true force of nature and that is also a liability.  Plus she does archery and I have to admit the part of me that is still so craving to see The Hunger Games again was totally thinking how she would be good in the games. 
                This is a family movie for anyone really.  Let your inner kid run free and go see this movie.  I do warn you if you have estrogen it will probably act up on you and get you a bit mushy at parts.  I warn you to bring a tissue.  So without much more, I give it a full 5 for the rating because hello Disney cartoon, Scottish accents, magic, strong female character, action, self discovery, oh and a great soundtrack, need I say more?

Rating:  5 Arrows

                So there you have a much long overdo movie review.  I hope to be making more reviews for both movies and books again here soon.  In the mean time as usual tell me what you think?  Have you seen Magic Mike or Brave?  Share your thoughts below.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Time Management


               Okay so wow it has been kinda crazy as of late for me.  I used to think I had a fairly descent grip on the whole time management thing.  Then you become unemployed and well you have nothing but free time.  Everything can always be done tomorrow.  That’s what happened to me.  Then I got a new job.

                I like having my new job, don’t get me wrong but it is surprisingly harder than I thought to readjust.  I figured I would just be able to roll with the punches so to speak but sadly it is not so easy.  I haven’t been writing on my book and my fanfic is coming along slow.  Okay that’s a lie, it’s there it’s just when I’m in front of the computer and can type I have other things to do or my mind is elsewhere.  I am not doing as well in my reading as I’d have liked to be and it’s hard because I have so many wonderful books that I am dying to read and they are just sitting there on my shelf or on my kindle waiting. 

                Now what do you ask is the reason for this post?  Well first it’s to say I haven’t disappeared.  Really, I’m still here.  Promise.  I might not be posting very regularly but that is because I’m not watching new movies or reading/finishing books as quickly as before because of everything else.  Though I hope you will all stick around.  I plan to have a movie or book review for you in the next day or so.  However, this post was to talk about time management. 

                Do you really manage time or does it manage you?  I have been putting a lot of thought into this while I’m driving to and from my job.  I have 30-50 minutes one way (depending on weather and traffic) and these are the kind of things that occur to me.  So I am taking suggestions from anyone willing to give advice.  How do you make everything in your day run smoothly and still find time for the pleasure of things? 

                My plan right now is to get a regular schedule down and just stick with it.  I just have to figure out everything I was doing and find ways to fit it all in to better time periods.  No more reading until 4am then sleeping all day…but I can still read.  I get breaks and I always have my kindle with me, never know when you might have 5 extra minutes to read.  Though usually at work on breaks there is too much going on to read, I have people to talk to or e-mails and text’s to respond to. 

                The funny thing is that while I’m at work or driving, when I’m not able to write things down I have some great ideas for my writing.  I know I have tried putting them in my phone but I’m trying to be better with the whole using cell phone while driving thing.  Maybe I’ll locate my old digital recorder.  I could record my thoughts, oh wow that might be dangerous, and then work on them at home.  There is that I suppose but then again anyone who’s ever received a voicemail from me can attest to just how random and convoluted they are. 

                Though I have been looking into moving closer to my current job, and everything else really.  That should save time and even save me a bit of money in gas.  I’ve worked the numbers, and even my dad gives it his approval.  I am still only slightly offended that he doubted my math but hey it felt nice to have a second opinion.  Now I just have to make sure the place I’m looking at is good.  Don’t want any surprises.  I know I need to do something because I am sick of feeling so drained all the time.  Plus, my writing has taken a huge hit.  I really can’t even remember the last time I wrote on my WIP and my fanfic is coming along slowly…

                So how do you all find time in the day to get everything done?  Do you have schedules? 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Wilde’s Army Krystal Wade



                So I have to say I have been kinda MIA as of late.  Ironically enough I was working on a post about time management and an update about me but well…I couldn’t do much of anything until I finished this book.  So it looks like you will get that another time.  Right now…my review of the ARC of KrystalWade’s Wilde’s Army curtsey of NetGalley.com and Curiosity Quills Press.

                I was so excited when I got my approval to read the ARC of this book I made a slightly embarrassing squeal in the break room of my job.  First thing I did when I got home the other day was download the book to my beloved kindle.  I pretty much read it last night until my eyes hurt and begged for a rest from reading and today.  Yep I finished it!  Yay!

                Now for those of you who don’t know this amazing book is the sequel to Wilde’s Fire (click to go to my review) so there will be spoilers in this one pertaining to book 1.  So be warned.    First, look at that cover.  So pretty, I still prefer the blue of the first one but this one really captures the essence of what they are. 

                In Wilde’s Army, Kate finds her love, her family and everyone else she has grown to love gone.  All but one, Perth the man she’s been traded to marry for a favor.  She must listen to the god’s guiding her and form a tentative partnership with this man everyone has warned her about.  Finding and rescuing the ones she love is only half the battle they still must make it to Willow Falls and face a different kind of danger.  Danger of their own kind because they take seriously the promise that was made, Kate to marry Perth, and her love for another could cost many their lives.  Oh and if that isn’t enough of a problem she has to unite the people who have hated one another for far too long and form an army willing to fight for her.  Yep she has a lot to face, and when everything appears stacked against her she must find out if she is still the same girl, the Light, the girl with fire.

                Well now there is a lot of stuff happening in this book and it just flies right by.   No dragging.  Full of action or conflict or just good stuff.  There is the return of our romance, sigh.  Arland is so dreamy.  We also get to learn more about Perth which I really enjoyed.  I got glimpses of him in the first book that made me think there was more to him than what the other characters said and I am pleased with that.  It was very interesting how he is portrayed.  Not really bad but struggling to be good in his own way.

                The world of Encardia is ever growing.  We learn more about the world as a whole.  The daemons and Darkness that lurk around every corner.  The whole world is explained a little more.  I got to understand more about the history of the world and how things were ran.  A look behind the curtain so to speak.  In book 1 we hear about some characters and Leaders and such but you don’t really get how they work but in this you are in the thick of it and the politics of even a dying world.  This plays well with Kate and her growth.  She has to face horrors at pretty much every turn but she has to grow as an individual.  She grew in the first book by accepting who she is and what she can do as well as love.  That continues in this book, she is more confident.  She understands herself better, her power, and what she must do.  She struggles throughout wondering what she should do and if what she wants to do is what is right and that to me makes it great.  Yes she is growing more powerful in her understanding but she also has her moments, she can’t save everyone all the time.  She is powerful but she is not completely all powerful.  She can be hurt.

                The struggles each character goes through… is tough.  Knowing your prophecy doesn’t mean you know much of anything really.  Those who know things are not always willing or able to share them.  Then again some don’t know their purpose and that can be even more frustrating.  Her mother has kept things from her all her life and still doesn’t tell her everything.  Everyone always seems to know more about her life than she does at times and that frustrates her to no end and I can relate to that.  Trust is hard to give.  It’s even harder to rebuild.  What do you do when someone you trust tells you one thing but your gut says another? 

                This book is full of magic.  If you liked the first book even half as much as I did then you will love this book.  Again my only complaint is that I have to wait for more.  Yes, I am greedy like that.  Though I must admit this is the shortest time I’ve ever waited for a sequel, I just hope I that does not mean I have to wait even longer for the 3rd book.  So there you have it folks, 5 starts according to me.  Wilde’s Army comes out July 4th