Category Archives: 52 Books in 52 Weeks

Book vs. Film: The Hobbit

the hobbit

# HUGE SPOILER WARNING!!! I will discuss much of the plot in both the book ‘The Hobbit’ and associated movies.

This is my 33rd book read for the year 🙂 I need to be clear upfront that I loved the book and really liked the movies so don’t think that all the negatives I am about to throw at you mean I didn’t like the movies. If I hadn’t read the book I would have loved them, but there were some changes made (especially a big one towards the end) that really p’d me off 🙂

Here. We. Go.

Azog – You all remember Azog from the movies right, big white dude, missing part of his arm, very central to the entire plot of the movies? Well the thing is that apart from saying he died many years before (killed by Thorin), he wasn’t in the book. Whilst I agree that the constant threat of attack and pursuit from Azog did give a certain urgency to the plot it kind of stuck in my gullet a bit too because this role was really supposed to be for Bolg.

Galadriel – Gorgeously played by fellow Aussie Cate Blanchett, she was amazing and I love her in this role and I felt that this character was a good addition to the films, but she wasn’t in the books, at all. This is interesting when she was so integral to parts of the movie’s plot.
The character of Saruman was also not in the book, I didn’t really understand the point of him being in the movie apart from at one point being difficult and rude about Radagast and the next minute fighting like the dickens. I also was annoyed because I couldn’t figure out whether they were insinuating that he was already a bad guy when this took place… frustrating.
Legolas – Oh I feel bad even writing this part because who doesn’t love Legolas? He is a great character. He is also not in the book, at all. However if memory serves he is identified as the son of Thranduil in The Lord of the Rings so I suppose it is feasible that he was in Mirkwood, but there are whole extra side stories that are added here which were not in the book at all. They are nice and all and as I said before I enjoyed the films, but they are not true to the book.
Tauriel – This character does not exist in any Tolkien book I know of. I feel like this character was just added so there could be a love interest for Kili because apparently there has to be some kind of romance thing happening in all movies… sigh. Whilst the actress was good and the character was well written there was no need to add another character and it pissed me off because I felt that this character and the ensuing romance with Kili was the reason that they had to change the ending.
Another interesting change was how the group came to be captured by the elves in Mirkwood. In the book the group was drawn to the elves celebrations by laughter and music, in the movie the elves saved them from the spiders and then took them hostage. I guess doing it this way quickened things up, but considering they stretched the book out into three movies you wouldn’t really think there was a need for that. I also felt as though the elves in the films were portrayed very differently from in the book, whilst in the book they were warriors certainly they were also musical and the majority of interactions with them included them singing. This was never shown in the movie, not at Mirkwood or at Rivendell, their entrance to Rivendell was also very different from in the book. I do wonder why the writers wanted the elves to seem so serious, severe, unfriendly and apart from the rest of the world. Interesting.
What are ‘were-worms’? I honestly don’t remember Tolkien writing about them, they reminded me of the things from Dune. Am I wrong in not remembering these things from the books?
Fili and Kili, I felt like they were robbed of a warriors death and it pissed me off. Poor Fili is basically executed to hurt Thorin and Kili is only killed because he tried to stop Tauriel being killed. Grr. In the book these characters have a fine death, meeting their end protecting their king. I was really frustrated by this.
I thought Thorin’s death in the movie was crap too, at first I was yelling at him to just get off the ice and it would capsize then once he did that and Azog was ‘dead’ he slowly watched him float along under the ice… *GROAN* seriously?! What moron would do this. They always come back Peter Jackson, always! So then Thorin gets a crappy death because he didn’t stab twice. At least he gets to have the meaningful conversation with Bilbo and they renew their bromance 🙂
This is hard because like I said in the beginning I liked both the books and the movies, but there was things that the movie changed that as a lover of the book I was disappointed in some parts. I also wanted to see more of the Green Dragon, which I am pretty sure all fans want.

52 Books in 52 Weeks – June

Here it is, the June post 🙂 Like I said for May it has been a pretty busy time of late and remember I also discovered Netflix recently, so I have not been as good a reader as I normally am hahaha. But I am happy to say I am still ahead of schedule for my reading this year… just.

I know I normally do at least 4 books, but with everything else going on at the moment and some of the changes I have been making to my life I haven’t had as much time to get through the books. I also find myself with several books half read at present because I am the type of person that puts myself through that perverse torture. Two of them are bios, one is really heavy and the other couldn’t be more opposite, but both are interesting. I am trying to get through those asap. I am also working on another Book vs. Movie post because people seemed to enjoy my last one.

31. The Lie – C.L. Taylor

the lieInterestingly I came across this book completely by accident, I was teaching one of our casuals how to use BorrowBox and as part of that I logged into my account and we went through how to browse for, preview and borrow and item and this happened to be the item. Afterwards I was kind of intrigued and decided to read it.

It was pretty different and you were reading the story in a dual timeline which for the most part actually wasn’t confusing so kudos to the writer on that. As the cover states there was definitely some ‘dark and creepy’ going on and if a friend every asks me to go to Nepal on a whim I will think twice 🙂

The vast changes in people some might say stretched the imagination a bit, but I actually didn’t feel that way at all, this is possibly because I have personally had a friend go from best friend of 11 years to completely withdrawn from me overnight because her fiance didn’t like me so obviously I find it more believeable. I guess I felt that this story was a good example of how much the influences of others can change someone even when they have a strong sense of self and to be honest when someone does get involved in a cult that is generally what happens, a complete personality overhaul overnight. Quite sad really.

The stand out character for me was Al, I really liked her and thought she was a great character. Emma/Jane was pretty good too and I really liked her boyfriend, he was lovely 🙂 I really enjoyed it so if you are looking for a creepy mystery then check this book out.

 

32. Evil Librarian – Michelle Knudsen

evil librarianMy friend the YA Librarian handed me this book and suggested I give it a read. I later found out she was using me as a guinea pig to decide if she was going to read it haha sneaky, sneaky.

The best friend (Annie) of our main character Cynthia falls in immediate love with the new Librarian Mr. Gabriel and he is pretty handsome so at first Cyn understands her unrequited love, but then she starts to feel that something is quite off about Mr. Gabriel and she suspects that he is in fact a demon.

There is some swearing in it that does seem really random, not because the situation they are in doesn’t call for swearing, but because it doesn’t fit with the rest of the book’s tone. The other thing that bothered me a little was the main character, (I try not to include spoilers so I will be very vague) I wasn’t into her personality swings from meek to ferocious, they just seemed odd at times.

Overall, this is a really funny book and will be amusing for both adults and young adults.

 

 

 


52 Books in 52 Weeks – May (running late)

Wow, this is really, really late and I am so sorry you guys! It’s not that I haven’t been reading, it is just that with so much other stuff going on I haven’t had time to sit down and get my thoughts together about what I read. So here comes May’s list… give me a little while to get June together 🙂

I should warn you that there are SPOILERS in the following because one of the books I did not enjoy and the only way to explain it properly was to “spoil” it.

27. The Adultery Club – Tess Stimson

the-adultery-clubLet me start by saying that it was probably stupid of me to pick this book. To me adultery is a no, no. If you are having serious feelings for someone other than the person you are married to then there is something in your marriage that needs addressing… before you start an affair… not after. But, I am doing this whole, ‘try something new’ thing so I picked it.

Here’s the basic blurb… Husband is a divorce lawyer who is happily married to Mal and loves their little family (young children), he would never do to his wife what his clients do to their other halves. Then a 20-something woman comes to work in his office, apparently she is okay looking, but he turns into a 17 year old hormonal freak whenever he catches a glimpse of her knee (I mean come on you guys, seriously? A knee? I can honestly say I have NEVER been turned on by a persons knee, but whatever, different strokes and all…). The story is told from 3 peoples points of view, Hubby, Wifey and Mistress, pretty much the only likable characters in this for me where the wife Mal and her ex boyfriend. I just wanted to smack Hubby and the mistress around so much!

The mistress at the beginning seems like a normal chick, then she becomes the mistress and it is like she is replaced with this braindead clingy, whingy thing that kind of looks like the character at the beginning of the book. She tells lies, she does some serious manipulating, I mean, she pretty much does everything a person should not be doing in a relationship!

I think the biggest kicker for me is that I don’t think that the husband learned from his mistakes, I found the end very unsatisfying. I won’t say too much in case you guys want to read it and like I said I am really against adultery so I am likely biased, but this was definitely not a book for me.

28. Renegade – Diana Palmer

renegadeYup it’s a harlequin book hahaha. I knew it was a romance novel, but didn’t realise it was harlequin at first. Besides it is a best seller 🙂

I actually enjoyed this book, it was a nice, light reading story. I wasn’t too into the name ‘Tippy’ at first, but she grew on me in general. Since reading this book I have discovered there was actually one before it which probably explains a few things, but it was okay as a stand alone also.

I liked the character of Cash, usually the males in romances are over bearing macho types that have big barriers up that the women slowly overcome, this book wasn’t like that which is a nice change. Although the first time they sleep together he asks for something which is really odd and I am pretty sure no man has ever said that the first time they had sex with someone. It was a nice book and I would probably read the first one.

 

29. The Recipe Box – Sandra Lee

the recipe boxI thought this book was a totally sweet and moving story. I don’t know why, but I always love when people find creating through food therapeutic, maybe because I find cooking and experimenting with food therapeutic… who knows 🙂 I am also a sucker for stories where people visit, move to or really have anything to do with small towns hahaha.

Grace (our main character) is newly divorced Mum who has a daughter who is having some issues, her best friend has been fighting cancer and she has been regularly visiting her at her old hometown. Due to a number of events Grace desides to take her daughter there to finish out school. They move in with her mother with whom she has a strained relationship.

I don’t want to say too much because I did really like this book and apparently it was the author’s first so kudos to you 🙂

What can I say? Drama, cooking, good food, family, love… I’m all in 🙂

30. Immortally Yours (Monster M*A*S*H #1) – Angie Fox
immortally yoursWell I read the second one and kinda liked it so I figured I would go back and read the first one. I liked this one too and the second one in many ways made SO much more sense to me after reading this. But in some ways reading this first book made me not like the second one. For starters the relationship in this one is good, I really like both the characters and how they develop and how their relationship develops. So it kind of felt like the relationship in this book was cheapened by the fact that in the second one she moves on (…or is it backwards? Crap, I don’t know) so quickly.

Generally speaking the story was pretty decent, although I enjoyed the plot in the second book more. Again the sex scenes were pretty RAUNCHY so I guess points for that hahaha.

All round it was an okay book, I don’t know why I am so on the fence about it to be honest.

 

 


52 Books in 52 Weeks – April – Volume 2

I did warn you there would be a volume 2 for April… didn’t you believe me? hahaha.

So where were we? 21? Okay, here we go…

22. Storm Siren: Book 1 Storm Siren trilogy – Mary Weber

Well this damn book was a dark horse. I picked this up because my trusty YA Librarian friend at work gave it a good star rating on Goodreads and she knows her stuff. So I figured it would be good.

This book is a bit of an enigma – I want to liken it to The Hunger Games. Why? Because from the main characters point of view it is absolutely a YA book, but the content and themes and some of the wrongness that occurs in this book feels decidedly adult. Kinda like how Hunger Games is a coming of age story, but with children being forced to murder each other for the sport of adults J I hope this makes sense.

In the beginning of the story the female protagonist is really very young emotionally, but in some ways she is completely adult because of the horrendous things that have happened in her life. She is a slave guys and she has had a seriously hard life. I did find the weirdness of the hot and cold love interest quite strange until the reason for that was made quite clear in the last third of the book.

The battle was pretty epic and the author was not afraid to kill off beloved characters. I was right there with this book until the freaking last few pages. I finished reading this book, put it down and went, “what the actual fuck?!” There is a HUGE twist in the last chapter you guys, it is a completely series altering twist! I don’t know where the author is going from here, but it is apparently part of a trilogy

23. Life in Outer Space – Melissa Keil

life in outer spaceI totally picked this book up for the cover art. I was really pleasantly surprised by this book, I really enjoyed it. I would describe this as a coming of age novel from a boys POV and I felt that the reactions he had in the story were really natural. I really liked the realism that came through and how raw his emotions were at times.

The only problem I had with the book was the adults to be honest. Basically the parents in this film are not great at being parents, they love their kids yes, but don’t seem to have any idea of how to relate to them or understand them and some times I am not even sure they have put in any effort too.

I also LOVED all of the little geeky references, because let’s face it, I am a bit of a nerd and it was awesome to read this book and totally understand pretty much everything they were on about. 🙂 So good!

24. Geist: Volume 1: Book of the Order – Philippa Ballantine

geistYay for a New Zealand author, I do have a special place in my heart for Australian and New Zealand authors… well as long as they are good hahaha.

This book kind of snuck up on me, I started reading it and whilst I was certainly interested in the story I didn’t tear through it. I think that was more to do with the fact that I have read a LOT this month and my brain needed a break. After having a break I certainly did rip through it and I really enjoyed it! Apart from the fact I needed a break I think that I struggled with the first couple of chapters because the main character wasn’t really invested in what was going on in the world during that time and so I guess that was written well because it made me feel the same way. After that it was all hands on deck. I really liked that there was a lot of depth to both the main and peripheral characters, the female protagonist Sorcha is a really interesting character. She is all hard edges and barbs which (let’s be honest) is hard to relate too and the people that would relate to it probably aren’t reading books J and the thing is that it is not a façade. She is a hardened woman and the story takes us through how she became that way even as she is evolving. It is interesting to have a main character who is completely developed, she is still relatively young, but has been through so much in their life that IRL that is where her personality would be finished developing.

The world building in this book is really good, I found I was able to draw places in my mind as I was reading about them which is always cool. I was concerned at first that the idea of Abbots and Orders and Deacons was going to be really religious, but it totally wasn’t. The Order is more like a version of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters than an actual abbey. Also… the cover art is freaking amazing!
I get that I have made parts of the book sound harsh here, I didn’t really mean to. Seriously the book was really good and I was impressed with a lot of it. The relationships are really complex and I can’t wait for the sequel.

25. Spectyr: Volume 2: Book of the Order – Philippa Ballantine

spectyrTold you I couldn’t wait for the sequel. In this sequel we really explore the strengths and limits of the bond and how it works. Whilst an Active and a Sensitive have a symbiotic relationship and otherwise are a perfect professional match – kind of like salt and pepper, they are also individuals and as individuals they are not helpless.

I liked the Rossin in the first book and I have to say that he is really developed in this second book and I love the ongoing struggle between he and Raed. I can’t wait to see where that relationship goes moving forward. You learnt SO much more about Merrick in this book, in fact I kind of felt like this was his book, his story which just goes to show that it is not Sorcha running the plots and that their partnership is truly equal. The world building was even better in this book and huge props to the cover artist because that is one awesome cover.

It does leave you with a bitch of a cliff hanger which really sucks because I don’t have access to the third book yet!

26. Immortally Embraced (Monster M*A*S*H #2) – Angie Fox 
immortally embracedI was kind of sceptical about this book to be honest. I mean look at that cover… what could the book possibly be about??? The quote on the front was “Sexy, sassy and sinfully funny” So I really was not expecting much.

It was okay, I mean I figured out a bit into it was it was actually book 2, I hate when that happens, but the story worked as a stand alone anyway because it spoke about the past a lot. The library has the earlier one so I am thinking about looking at it, but am not sure.

Everything felt okay with this film, there were some good relationships, I LOVED the Medusa storyline and character. For the most part I liked the God characters. The ending was weird for me, all the book they talked about fate and prophecies blah, blah, blah, but from what I could tell the ending would have occured whether or not the protagonist was trying to stop it. If she had not been in the story, the situation would have never occured in the first place, but she didn’t have a huge role to play after creating the situation. What? Hmm. 2 stars for some awesome side characters and a couple of HAWT sex scenes.


52 Books in 52 Weeks – April

I’m still going along at a very decent pace 🙂 I actually read a LOT this month! There are some spoilers here I have to be honest with you, but I have tried to minimise it as much as possible.

15. Pushing the Limits – Katie McGarry

pushing the limitsI really liked this book, it was a nice break from the crazy weirdness that I have been accidently subjecting myself to lately (see last months post for details). Granted there was some supposed crazy going on there and both main characters come from seriously damaged backgrounds, but I liked that their connection stemmed from a sense of feeling that they were kindred spirits and both felt a little battered and bruised and that none of the jock or pop princesses would or could understand why what they went through changed who they were. Slight spoilers: I think my favourite part about the book was that though both characters knew they did not fit in and were in some cases ostracised by their peers they ultimately decided not to try and change who they were to fit in to what other people (even her family) wanted them to be. In surrendering and choosing to feel the pain and working through that and being themselves and accepting that, they came a lot further mentally than they would have had they continued, “faking it”.

A quote I loved from the book, “Luke used to give me butterflies. Noah spawned mutant pterodactyls.”

16. Teardrop – Lauren Kate

Teardrop (Teardrop, #1)This was okay, honestly I LOVED the idea behind it. Not enough people write about Atlantis so that aspect of it was a refreshing change. The female protagonist was not bad, I had a hard time understanding her, whilst grief is a very powerful thing her reactions to some situations just didn’t ring true to me. There is also a lot of negativity towards female characters in this book, Eureka’s hate on Maya Cayce, a bunch of people’s hate on Eureka (that name!), Eureka’s hate on Rhoda – ladies, ladies… what is with all the hating? Then we turn around and almost all the guys in the book… all glowing reviews, even when she is angry with them, even when they are the enemy, sigh. The cover of this book is in a word… gorgeous! To be honest at first glance I figured I was dealing with water nymphs or mermaids or something. My secret fantasy about Atlantis has always been that the people survived by evolving into mermaids… is this just me? Does anyone else want to read a book like that? Also I am pretty sure that as a young girl if I was crying and someone smacked my face and told me to stop I would probably wail louder. My favourite character in this book was Brooks, I really liked his character, he had depth and seemed well thought out. Finding out his deal is likely the sole reason I will continue with this series.

17. Waterfall – Lauren Kate

HEAPS OF SPOILERS GUYS!!!

Wow, this lady knows how to have a GORGEOUS cover. Even her Fallen series covers I liked. Seriously nice job on the cover. I am really kind of confused post reading this book. Who died? Did they all die? What was that? Why were a whole bunch of people fighting in a brain at one time, it was supposed to be suspenseful I am sure, but I was actually laughing out loud at the absurdity of it all.

I’ll say it… Eureka is a selfish kid. She truly is. She is told not to do certain things and it is explained to her what the risks are if she does do them… so the stupid tart does them anyway which pretty much indirectly leads to horrible things happening to her family and friends. Yet they keep treating her like she is precious and sensible, LOCK. HER. UP.

Then she is with Ander and she loves him so, so much you guys. Until there is another and then basically without even discussing it with him she basically abandons Ander even after promising she wouldn’t and abandons the plan because the hot evil guy dressed in a Brooks suit asks her to get on a flying horse. My fave characters in this book were Cat who has great spunk and the twins. I have never been so disappointed in a sequel. It was total limbo basically the entire book, seriously, okay, have you seen the second last Harry Potter movie where they spend the majority of their time transporting around sitting in the tent listening to the radio? It was like that, but you read it!!!

18. Cinder – Marissa Meyer 

I kind of put this book off for some time. Then I caved as more and more people told me to give it a go citing that I would love its quirky take on an old tale and damn them if they weren’t right. The basis of this story is based on Cinderella as you can probably guess from the uber hot pumps on the cover. I have one phrase for you to sum up the mad awesomeness of this book, ‘Cyborg Cinderella in New Beijing, China’, how cool is that? Yay for a fresh take on a classic. The bones are there, you know, nasty ass stepmom, one biyatch of a step sister (the other is a doll), huge hunk of a prince 🙂 But pretty much everything else is new, dealing with plague and antidotes and avoiding World War V are elements that appear in the tale. I have to say also that there were a couple of plot twists that I didn’t see coming and damn if this author didn’t George R. R. Martin us… no one is safe 🙂

This is a seriously inventive YA novel, colour me impressed 🙂

The book did leave you with a big reveal and a HUGE cliff hanger!!

19. Scarlet – Marissa Meyer 
ScarletYup, I went back for seconds 🙂 And I was not disappointed.

This installment was based on Red Riding Hood. The thing I like about these books is that I want to say they are loosely based on the original fairytales because while the basis is in the original tale there are is so much more to the plot that I often did not even think about the fairytale as I was reading it. It was hard to put down, I was really interested to see how the stories of Scarlet and Cinder developed separately and to see how they were connected.

If the ages of the main characters was changed and therefore the language and reactions more mature this series could easily have been successful for an adult audience rather than a YA one. In fact I think it is successful for adults because technically I am one LOL. The important thing to remember reading this series is that they are teenagers, therefore they have hormones pumping all through them and their initial reactions are going to be emotionally based until they mature (hopefully really quickly). A couple of times I got a bit judgy with Cinder in both books with her mentioning all the time that she cannot cry, but then I realised that teenage girls are really emotional, they cry a lot, it is their way of releasing all those pent up emotions so once I thought about that it all made sense.

I liked the character of Wolf, he was intense and read as much older than he is supposed to be and I really loved the cocky Captain/Cadet Thorne – we needed some of that smart ass nature injected into the character mix.

20. Cress– Marissa Meyer 

Cress-final-e1378337072559Yup, I went back for thirds hahaha. In all seriousness you guys I read these books in 4 days. I was that into them!

Loosely based on Rapunzel this third instalment has so much happen in it, it is very fast paced and there are a lot of reveals. Many I had outright guessed or heavily suspected, but some were a surprise. In saying that there were parts where I felt we were waiting and in a bit of a stalemate, but there was reason behind it. I mean seriously Rome wasn’t built in a day and it certainly wasn’t built by a bunch of teenage misfits hahaha.

Cress as a character I enjoyed, this damsel had no time to be a princess and had a serious beating from the School of Hard Knocks, but she rose to the task each time. I am hoping she loses some of her meekness – lets be fair she is a very young girl who is brilliant, but I still want more out of her. In saying that she does become an integral part of the team and I LOVED the Rapunzel tie in, that was really well done. I was wondering how they were possibly going to do that and not have me groan.

I really want to get started on ‘Winter’ the next instalment which I assume is based on Snow White? In fact I messaged our YA Librarian on Goodreads and told her she needed to order it ASAP hahaha. Unfortunately it doesn’t come out until November NOOOOO.

20. The Rosie Effect – Graeme Simsion

the rosie effectYay, I got it! I got it! Seriously the first book needs to be made into a movie… I see Hugh Jackman in the main role… who would you cast?

I loved this book as much as the first one. There were some great new challenges in Don and Rosie’s life. Again I truly admired the way Don’s brain works, even if at times I was shaking my head hahaha. I do have to pick on something with this book that is Rosie, at times I truly didn’t understand her behaviour towards Don, technically she did the wrong thing to begin with (a serious no, no for any girl to pull) so I wonder if her behaviour partly stems from guilt at times. I get that Don’s “eccentricities” would be frustrating at times (and to be honest, sometimes his problem solving is hilarious, but leaves much to be desired hahaha), but she does not help matters at all. From what I remember she does not even really try to approach things in a manner that would be considerate to his personality and the way his brain works which causes him much stress.

Sorry, I shouldn’t be writing so many negative things. Let me say again that I loved this second book. If I write too much about the second book you will end up with spoilers for both the first and second books and I know some of you were intending to read the first book so I don’t want to ruin it for you 🙂 Suffice to say I absolutely recommend this book 🙂

I actually read more books than this, but was unable to get all the reviews done so I might have to do an April volume 2 in a few days 🙂


Resolution re-commitment

Hi Guys,

I have realised that I am starting to fail a bit on the commitments I made to myself at the beginning of the year so I thought it was a good time to go over them again and see where I am at and re-commit 🙂

52 Books in 52 Weeks – I have been a very good girl when it comes to this. So far I am way ahead of myself and have already finished my reading for April 🙂 Also I have kept my promise and FINALLY read The Hobbit… look out for a post on that as soon as I manage to watch the 3rd movie 🙂

Try something new – I have been reasonably good with this. I am trying new kinds of books I wouldn’t normally consider. I tried Figs for the first time, I cooked Tahini slice which was my first time trying Tahini and agave syrup, I tried make your own banana ice cream (didn’t post on this), I created my own Easter Gifts and tags, I wrote my first Book vs. Movie post which was awesome!!! I intend to continue using this resolution to try new foods and healthy recipes because I have really enjoyed it. I would like to extend this resolution to more activities.

Health – Hmm… this still has a long way to go. I thought I was on track, but then everything fell all over the place and I plateaued for ages and I started forgetting my medication because I didn’t make time to sit down and organise it into the organiser. I know this is stupid and I am a complete moron. I need to do this again. I need to make time, 5 minutes once a week could help avoid this problem, I have no excuse. I need to recommit to organising my medication to ensure I am taking it!!!
I also need to get WAY more exercise in!! Like WAYYYYY more! Still figuring this all out, but it is a priority so it will happen.

House – Strangely (touch wood) this seems to be mostly on track if you can believe that. If there are no further ridiculous delays we should be in the house by the end of the year 🙂

Baby – we are one cycle away from getting all medicated and serious about the baby train again. Clomid is a-coming 🙂 Come on baby!!!

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Book vs. Film: Little Women

# SPOILER WARNING!!! I know I don’t normally do this, but in this case I will discuss much of the plot in both the book and movie ‘Little Women’.

littlewomen

This is a breakthrough 52 Books in 52 Weeks post and will count as number 14. I wanted to do a special post on this book and its movie adaption, but it will still count towards my count 🙂

So those that have been following me for awhile would know well my love of the book Little Women. In fact it is one of my favourite books and definitely one of my favourite movie adaptions. I realised that I had not read it in many years and so when I saw it at work I grabbed it and once again lost myself in this beautful story. It is one of the few books I have cried in and I am not ashamed to admit that I still welled up, not so much in the sad parts, moreso in the extremely joyous parts like the return of their father after he fell ill in the war. Interestingly I never noticed before that in the book they say he fell ill, but I am pretty sure that in the movie he was injured – doesn’t really matter. The coming home was beautiful and joyous and I welled up… I totally blame the pre-baby pills hahaha.

I have pondered for awhile about doing some book vs. movie posts and so I guess this will become my first 🙂 First of all as I have stated previously I loved both the book and the movie (1994 version), there was a lot cut out of the book (let’s face it, it is pretty long) and mushed together in the movie, but I think it works. So let’s talk about differences.

  • In the book both the Father and Mr. Lawrence have a much larger role in the plot. Mr. Lawrence certainly has a closer relationship with the family in the book. In the movie I didn’t really notice Mr. Lawrence so much except to wish I had a Mr. Lawrence to give me an awesome piano (well that was when I first watched it… I was pretty young. Later on I just wished for Laurie 🙂 ). Looking at it now I don’t think this is a terrible thing, yes he was a great character in the book, but I also felt that the movie was more centred on being entirely about the girl’s relationships with each other and their experiences. I think sacrificing the film time of those characters for the sake of this is worth it.
  • Where was Aunt Carroll in the movie? She doesn’t exist in the movie. To be honest I totally get this, she is basically a non character in the book (harsh I know, but true), basically her entire reason for being in the book was to be a catalyst for Amy to go to Europe. By taking her out and putting Aunt March in this role they made her a more important part of the girls lives which I think made the willing of Plumfield to Jo more believable.
  • I loved how Laurie was portrayed in the movie, I think it was done so well and to me stayed true to the character in the book. I think this character developed beautifully throughout the book. In the book the relationship development between he and Amy makes a lot more sense than in the movie. To be honest in the movie I didn’t totally buy that he loved her at first, I thought it was kinda like he married her and the love grew later.

    OMG Princess Daisy is going to make out with Batman - somebody call Luigi!!!

    OMG Princess Daisy is going to make out with Batman – somebody call Luigi!!!

  • I love that the book goes on to years later so you see what happened with them, how their journey is going and whether they got their castles in the sky. This was lacking in the movie, but it ended in true Hollywood fashion with two attractive people making out in the rain, so I suppose that is cool too 🙂
    Little-Women-1994-little-women-4024763-1024-576
  • The death of Beth was handled so lovingly in both the book and movie, I can’t fault it and don’t want to look for faults in it.
  • I do wish Beth’s character had been a little more fleshed out in the movie than it was. She was so beautifully and perfectly depicted in the book. Meg in the movie was interesting too, gone were the unattractive character traits like spending beyond her husbands means and lusting after a rich lifestyle and how she deals with those faults of character. Jo’s character was pretty much like she is in the book, wild, wooly and abrasive on the outside – warm, tender and loving on the inside 🙂
  • This film combined with ‘Interview with the Vampire’ began my love for Kirsten Dunst 🙂

I think the thing that made the movie adaption so great for me was that the cast was just wonderful, seriously that casting director needed a raise. Not only were they great in their own roles, but their interactions with other members of the cast were poignant, purposeful and moving.

Nawwwww

Nawwwww

Don’t expect me to always provide such glowing reviews, but every now and then you might get one. Obviously this review is completely biased by my childhood love of this movie which undoubtedly has lots to do with the fact I grew up with two rough and tumble brothers and desperately wanted a sister hahaha.

What is your fave book to film adaptation?


52 Books in 52 Weeks – March

I was keeping up the steam well in February. Unfortunately I am out of Belador books for now haha, perhaps more will come along. As I said I am looking to mix it up a bit this year so keep your eyes out for some non-fiction books coming up in this list soon as well as biographies.

9. The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion

I really, really, really enjoyed this book! I totally gave it 5 stars on Goodreads! This story is about a brilliant Professor who happens to have undiagnosed Asperger’s and his journey through life and trying to locate a suitable life partner. I think part of the reason that I enjoyed this book is because I really respect that way that the brains and thought processes of “Aspies” work. I like their honesty, you never have to worry that they have another agenda going on and they are so often incredibly intelligent and great conversationalists. I once went on a date with someone with Asperger’s and had no idea until he sent back his thickshake sighting that they had provided him a milkshake not a thickshake because… he then sighted how thick it should be and the ratio of milk to icecream that should be included. The poor server… it was hilarious though 🙂 Good for him. It didn’t work out, we just weren’t that interested in each other, he told me upfront… awesome! No time wasted hahaha. This book is totally and completely worth your time, read it. I actually laughed out loud when he presented a talk about Asperger’s to Aspie’s, that is a great few pages. Please read it! Very bummed because my Library doesn’t have the second book, I sent through a suggestion for purchase 🙂

10. Fallen in Love (Fallen #3.5) – Lauren Kate

12588363This book… hmm. I just, I could have done without this book. I get what she was trying to do here with explaining all the background of the other characters and their love experiences, etc., but I just felt like it didn’t work for me.

Perhaps by the time I got to this book I was just kinda over the storyline or something? It was drawn out over many books and whilst with the Belador series I have just got more into it, that didn’t happen for me with the Fallen series.

By the end of the last book of the series I was kinda ready to walk away from the characters and story, plus I felt Cam got royally ripped off. The best book in this series was the one where she went through a bunch of her past lives with Bill.

I was kinda glad it was done to be honest.

11. Rapture (Fallen #4) – Lauren Kate

Rapture (Fallen, #4)Okay, so this was the last of the series. I liked the Lucifer elements and the twists with he and Luce – they were good and well thought out. The characters of Daniel and Luce themselves really started p-ing me off bigtime. I get it okay you choose love, over and over again. In doing so you have put many Angels through years of torture and broken the hearts of how many thousands of families throughout time (meaning Luce’s families)? That seems incredibly selfish and then they just kept making the same mistakes. Just damn stupid. I was pretty dissatisfied with most aspects of this final book in the series. I would not recommend it. I also feel like Cam just got handed the sh*t stick over and over again throughout history. No wonder he went dark side!

12. Defiance (Defiance #1) – CJ Redwine

This book was kind of different, I actually liked the way it threw you straight into it without a tonne of back-story so you had to get the pieces of the story as you went along. I can see that a lot of people would hate it because it is not the conventional way to tell a tale, but I liked it. *SLIGHT SPOILERS* Damn there was a lot of death and psychological torture for a YA novel. At first when they talked about the Cursed One I was kind of reminded of that Kevin Bacon cult classic Tremors hahaha.

There is not a lot of world building which would normally annoy me except for the fact that the story is told from the points of view of the two main characters so you can only build the world as much as they understand or decide to think about it that day. To be honest it p’s me off when a character randomly decides to think of the entire history of their world… who does that? We are told enough to figure out that it is loosely set in the future where man mined too far into the ground searching for resources and they released the Cursed Ones that proceeded to destroy the planet and turn everything to ashes. A group of men were able to hold them back and those men created their own cities and became the leaders (or protectors). The impression I got was that the rules of each city are basically completely developed by the ruler and in this particular city he likes his women dumb and subservient, because… POWER blah blah blah. I am not surprised that at least one woman wants to rebel… wow I would find that kind of existence sooo suffocating. There is a reason they cut the umbilical cord at birth, you know?! Anyway I digress. I really liked how different this was, it seemed to take quite a bashing on Goodreads, but the things they were upset about (most of which I have discussed) were things I liked so I will leave it up to you.

13. To wed a wicked Earl (Devine & Friends #2) – Olivia Parker

I said I would try and read different sorts of books right? Well, this was one of those. I gave it a one on Goodreads, it just wasn’t my thing you guys. I mean it was okay and all, it wasn’t the worst romance novel I have ever read and at least there was no mention of someone’s “quivering member” so it has that going for it.

I just… can’t with this book. The characters were kinda likeable, the plot was kinda okay. The only real drama happened right at the end of the book and equaled all of 2 pages of text… wtf? Apparently this is the second in the series… oops. Just for the record I am not going back for the first. I need a bit more meat in my romances, not man meat… plot meat.


52 Books in 52 Weeks – February

Well I got off to a great start in January, 5 books done. This is such a fun challenge! 🙂 After this month I have run our of Belador books so you won’t be hearing about them anymore. I’ll try to vary up the reading moving forward, but sometimes you come across a series and you can’t help but become a bit consumed by it until you finish it and then you get that reader’s remorse happening for you hahaha. Anyone else suffer from reader’s remorse?

6. The Curse (Belador series #3) – Sherrilyn Kenyon & Dianna Love

Yup, more Beladors and let me just say that I was not disappointed. The entrance of Trolls in this book was pretty great, I liked the storyline and loved Evalle doing her hulk impression 🙂 I also really admire her sense of loyalty above all else. These Beladors have treated her horribly, true they treat her better than her aunt did, but for the most part they treat her like dirt. Yet she would lay down her life for any of them, that is the heart of a true warrior in my eyes. The storyline was good. I do feel like these “Gods” and “Goddesses” need a boot to the head. They are just ridiculous. Whenever any of them get involved I feel like I am reading about High School drama. Just craziness. The Goddess Macha in particular could use a time out, she is very strange and I don’t understand her motives in much of this. I am hoping to figure that out soon. Again the amount of action was great, so was the gore… just the right amount of guts 🙂 I loved the further development between Evalle and Storm. I have just really taken a shine to this series 🙂

7. Toxic Heart – Theo Lawrence

Toxic Heart is the second in the series. The first book was “Mystic City” which I really, really liked. So I was pretty excited when the sequel finally came out 🙂 From the cover I expected this book to be a lot about Hunter’s journey, but it really wasn’t. I felt like this book was very much still based around Aria’s evolution. Whilst Hunter’s changes were vast and directly impacted on many people I don’t feel that he was at the core of the novel. I love the character of Aria, a young girl who got herself into this position with the rebels by following her heart and what she truly believes in right. She is owning her decisions and pushing herself, I love that she believes so much in what the right thing is that she will risk anything to achieve it. You can see her slowly developing very naturally into the kind of leader who would do anything for her people. Not that she actually is a leader, but that is my belief of the kind of person who would make a good leader. Hunter lost a lot from me in this book, he just seemed like a lost little boy. Turk was the man in this book, he was humble and good and true and loyal – I mean seriously people what more could you want out of a man. I still love both the first and the second book. To be honest I felt really proud of the Aria character at the end of this book, girl has some guts 🙂

8. Rise of the Gryphon (Belador series #4) – Sherrilyn Kenyon & Dianna Love

The action continues. I was worried that this book was going to finish earlier than it did so it was an awesome surprise when it went on – trying to avoid spoilers, but it was a really good thing you guys 🙂 Macha is still the Goddess of ‘Bitchdom’ and ‘No Chances Land’. This Goddess seems to have something long and cylindrical permanently stuck up her butt. Sen is a jerk as always, I think I have avoided talking about him in the past because I didn’t want to give him any air time, but I think the point of this character might be arising soon. Storm is awesome, Evalle is wonderful – I love the trust these two have. It’s kinda beautiful haha. Lanna is an interesting character, it took me awhile to read her chapters easily because her thoughts are written in broken English which is quite interesting. This book has an awesome ending! So good. I am not entirely sure where I am going to score the 5th one from, but I’ll figure it out haha.


52 Books in 52 Weeks – January

That’s right everyone, I am doing it again. Feel free to join me on this challenge. I am planning to read 52 books in 52 weeks. I will report back here on what I have read and will do my best to not have spoilers in my reviews so you can read them for yourselves. I am very open to suggestions as part of the reason I am doing this is so that I can try reading new and different things. Here is January’s list 🙂 Happy reading.

1. Avenger’s Angel (The Lost Angels #1) – Heather Killough-Walden

Avenger's AngelRandomly picked this book up at work, I love birds particularly predatory birds and owls. Wings are an amazing and beautiful invention of nature. I think this is the reason I enjoy some Angel fiction. The cover I had did not look anything like this one though, I possibly would have passed it over if it looked like this which would have been a shame. All in all I enjoyed this book, I liked the plot. I liked that the angels all had vey differing personalities and that in falling to earth their physical bodies took on parts of who they were as angels. Very interesting idea. There were parts that kind of grated against my equality views. Suffice to say that Uriel is not a man I would be attracted to, Angel or not. He was just a character that deep down was very dominant, you’ll have to read it for yourselves to see if he grows out of that.

I am definitely interested in reading the second book (little spoiler) as there was a hint it might be somewhat based in Australia 🙂 In all an interesting read, the plot was good and I was really taken in by the character of Samael who I believe is so much more than he seems.

Shout out to the Lilith character who was also great and I would love for her to be explored further. And who is this mysterious ‘Angel’ person? Hmm… Inquiring minds want to know 🙂

2. Blood Trinity (Belador series #1) – Sherrilyn Kenyon & Dianna Love

blood trinity This was my first experience with either of these writers and generally speaking I quite enjoyed it. My favourite character was Feenix, such a great character, even considering he was only it in for a few pages. I particularly liked seeing the female protagonist’s interactions with him, it showed a very different side of her that I felt was integral to understanding who she is. I wasn’t really into the female protagonist’s name. “Evalle”, I know it was explained that it is pronounced, “E-vahl”, but it certainly doesn’t help her case. To be honest I kind of expected her to go wayyyy dark side or something. I get that the girl/woman has trust issues due to a dodgy past, truly I get it, but I felt like we were told about her dodgy past sooo many times in the book. I get it okay, something really bad happened to her, I don’t need to hear why she doesn’t like to be touched over and over.

I have just realised I am bitching about this book a lot considering I liked it and actually tore through it in just over a day whilst putting in a full day at work and sleeping in between. I liked the fast pace of the book and as I was reading it I felt like it was packed full of action, not always fighting action, but man that girl is busy. I felt like I was riding along on this crazy, uncertain, perhaps death at the end of it ride and I kinda liked it. I really liked the character of Storm, I loved the scene where he revealed his big secret and I liked the characters of Quinn and Tzader. Don’t really get the character of Isakk… maybe that is explored in the next book.

What more can I say? I am a supernatural loving girl and this book gave me all I could want whilst avoiding the trend of the last several years of having vampire and lycanthrope characters… go team 🙂

3. Messenger’s Angel (The Lost Angels #2) – Heather Killough-Walden

Messenger's AngelYes I went back for book 2… honestly I am not at all sure how I felt about it. It was easy to read and get through. I didn’t really understand why the all powerful Archangels who know that the soul mates for whom they have been searching for 2000 years are coming out of the woodwork just go about everyday life instead of getting their asses in gear combing the globe. I mean, at least 2 of them can fly… surely between them they can cover some ground right? From what I can gather the two would never have met if not for the interfering of the “bad” guy Samael. He’s the most interesting character I believe, I am also interested to get inside the Angel of Death’s head so I will likely continue to read the series. I just, I don’t know, I didn’t really have much of a feeling for it either way. It was just there. I did like the descriptions of Scotland, probably because I have always wanted to go there. On to “Death’s Angel”…

4. Death’s Angel (The Lost Angels #3) – Heather Killough-Walden

Much better than no. 2 I must say. I liked that it wasn’t the same story again with the archess. I had started to feel like it was just going to be the same sort of this over and over again. I figured they would all go like this: She wants to resist him, but every fibre of her being wants him so bad… oops she gave in and they slept together and are now magically in love. – To be honest there is a fair amount of that going on, but I liked the addition of the extra characters. It gave it some depth, to be honest there are parts of the ending I didn’t see coming. Some might think part of the ending is trite, but I liked it because it wasn’t what I expected it to be. Nice change. Unfortunately it looks like ‘Warrior Angel’ has only been released in electronic book format so I don’t know if I will get to that one, it will depend on price etc. The love scenes in this series I am still finding really out there and strange, I pretty much skim over them until I see they are done. I guess some people are into that sort of thing, but it was not overly my style 🙂

5. Alterant (Belador series #2) – Sherrilyn Kenyon & Dianna Love

Did I mention in my review of book 1 how much I love the Gargoyle? He is just gorgeous and I love seeing the softer side of our hero. I really like the way Evalle is developed in this second book. In the first book she felt a little lost and there was a lot of repitition regarding her not wanting to be touched and why. In the second book you get more information about this and her feelings when she is touched are much better described – I love her fierceness, her steel backbone, her quick way of summing up a situation to make a decision as well as her complete confusion when it comes to all things to do with romantic relationships. I love Storm’s character, we should all be so lucky to have someone feel about us the way I think Storm feels about Evalle. There are a lot of characters going on here, but I never felt lost which was great. Tristan’s character is developing beautifully, I am really enjoying the fact that finding out information about him feels like pulling teeth, slow and suspenseful – please give me more about him! This book has pretty much every character a fantasy lover could want and the action is great for the bloodluster in me 🙂 Often these books are good with character development and heavy on the lovestory, but light on the gore – snore 🙂 Bring on the guts people. I tore through this book and can’t wait to get my hands on the next one.

Great first month of reading. Have any of you read these books? What were your thoughts?