Saturday, February 27, 2010

Books vs. Movies, Take II

I saw the movie Matilda when it was in theaters when I was a kid. I loved it. It was cute and funny. I hadn't realized it was a book until many years later. I finally read the book earlier this month, and I loved it. The writing style was different than what I'm used to, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

After finishing the book, I pulled out the movie. I found it for $5 a year or so ago, but wanted to read the book before watching the movie again. I had forgotten almost all of it. I didn't love the movie as much this time around. It was still silly, but it was also sad. I didn't remember being sad watching it when I was little-ish. I recommend the book, definitely, and the movie if you have the time. It's cute and fun for the kids.

I posted about this book a few days ago. After having read the book and watching the movie, I'm not sure which I liked more. Both were good. But I think the visuals in the movie were so great that it makes it more fun. While the book takes readers to Terabithia, there really aren't any descriptions of what the place looks like or what the kids see in their imagination.

The book was so much better than the movie, but if you have the time, go see it. I enjoyed it immensly. Lately, I've been teaching John (8) about myth and folklore. So he was thrilled when the creatures came on the screen, and he knew what they were. The visuals were stunning. It amazes me what they can do with CGI. Five years ago it amazed me, but they seem to continually find ways to make it better and more realistic.
There were, of course, differences between the book a movie. The movie demonized Hades, which I was not a fan of. Nor was I a fan of the underworld scene. I think parts of the underworld look that way, but I wish they had shown some of the good parts, too. I loved the look of Hades, all clad in leather. Persephone was great. Why she was in the underworld during summer, I have no clue? For some reason that inconsistency annoyed me most of all. But I did love her in the scene.
The highlight for me was the Medusa scene. The movie was PG, and yet this was the creepiest thing I had seen in any movie for years. Uma Therman was great in that role. Logan Lerman did a great job as Percy. He is such a cutie, and if I were 13 years younger, I'd have a crush. The guy who played Poseidon (Kevin McKidd from Grey's) was amazingly HOT, so I can settle for him. I almost said "yumm" outloud during the opening scene.

Book Review: St. Patrick's Day Tales

I went to Barnes and Noble today to pick up a book for a friend. And while I was there, I found a table of Irish tales in honor of Saint Patrick's Day next month. I ended up reading six stories, all picture books. The stories were so cute and the images so great, that I had to share. There are spoilers, but, then again, these are picture books.

KING PUCK is about a goat named Finny and his owner, Seamus. They live alone on a mountain. Well, them and the faeries. They get a little help from the faeries, and in the end, Finny is chosen as King Puck at the festival. And as a result, he gets a prize. All of my fellow book lovers will need to read this one.

The next two books are both about leprechauns. And what do we know about leprechauns? They make shoes in exchange for faery gold.

I became a fan of Tomie dePaola after reading STREGA NONA years and years ago. These next two books are great for anyone who loves a good Irish tale. Also, I love the artwork in his books.

This last story is an Irish ghost story and could be considered pretty creepy. Fergus, like several of the main characters in books already mentioned in this post, is a lazy, good-for-nothing, man. A theme in Irish tales I guess??? Anyway, he cleverly escapes death and turns himself around, leaving a good message for kids and their parents..

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Book Review: Bridge to Terabithia

I saw the movie, Bridge to Terabithia, shortly after it came out. I had tried to read the book, but it just didn't seem that interesting. And she overused the word "Lord" a lot. The style just wasn't what I was used to. I picked up the book and decided to try it again a few nights ago. I just finished it about thirty mintues ago, and it was amazing. Just beware, you will need tissues for the last few chapters.

For anyone who has seen the movie, the book followed almost perfectly. The story is somewhat of a true one. The author based the main character, Jess, on her son, and Leslie on his best friend. Knowing that, it makes the story a bit sadder.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Book Review: Tempted

I have been a huge fan of PC Cast's work for the past several years. House of Night just released it's sixth book a few months ago. And I finally got around to reading it. While I enjoy it, it is my least favorite of her four series. And what makes me dislike it a little more is that the other series are being put off because of the publishing schedule of this series, according to her blog.


TEMPTED was definitely my favorite of this series. The world has evolved a lot. Zoey, who in the past went from normal human, to fledgling vampyre, to special of the goddess Nyx, to reincarnated A-ya. It seems like there is nothing Zoey can't do. Which is interesting because she certainly messes up a lot. I guess if she can mess up and come out stronger, us average humans can. If you read my blog regularly, you know I haven't really given a bad book review. It's because I just don't have time to tell you why a book sucked. Also, we all have different ideas on what's good and what's not. And I don't want you to not read a book because I didn't like it. And as much as I enjoyed this book, and I really did, there was one thing about this book that really annoyed me...

Vamp Twitter. Out of the blue, twitter now exists in this world. And apparently, the vampyre community is on it. What the hell do vamps tweet about?

Zoey: O.M.G. I had some delicious A- last night. Not quiet as scrumptious as A+

Erik: @Zoey I much prefer B blood

Jack: @Zoey @StevieRae I know I'm a vampyre, but I just can't get over the idea of drinking blood

StevieRae: @Zoey @Erik Ya'll are both nuts. O all the way

Heath: @Zoey I'm A+. Bite me please. I'll do anything

Really? I don't buy it. That aside, the book was really good. I do recommend this series, but read her other works first. The Divine series and Partholon series are my favorites.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Book Review: My Soul to Take

I picked up this book for three reasons: my friend Tiger, a blurb by Melissa Marr, and bean sidhes.

I had the hardest time starting this book. It seemed whenever I picked it up, I had less time than I had hoped. I had picked it up ten times over the course of a week and was only a few chapters in. So last night I turned off all electronics and vowed to read at least a few chapters. I almost finished it. And then I finished it off this morning. The first few chapters are a little slow, and you get a lot of backstory, but once Kaylee finds out what she is, the story really picks up. There were a few reveals at the end that I had figured out earlier on, but there was one twist I had not seen coming.

This story was amazing, and I highly recommend it. I can't wait to get my hands on the second one. But in the meantime, I'm going to read the online prequel, My Soul to Lose. You can find it here:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Book Covers: Lament and Ballad

LAMENT: THE FAERIE QUEEN'S DECEPTION and BALLAD: A GATHERING OF FAERIE are the first two books in a series of YA Urban Fantasy by Maggie Steifvater. The first book was amazing. The second one was even more amazing. I recently found some new covers for her book and wanted to share them.

This was the original printing of LAMENT. Sadly, it was not a popular cover and caused some problems with sales. Barnes and Noble and Borders both refused to put this book on their shelves because they thought the cover was awful and would not sell. I bought a copy from Amazon. It's first edition, and I got it signed. Personally, I like the cover.

This is the reprint of the US cover. I have this copy also, because I like my books to match, and I got it 60% off from a store that was closing. This cover was redone after BALLAD got it's cover, and it's clear that these are in a series. Personally, I like the first cover better, but this one can be found in stores as Borders and Barnes and Noble found it worthy of their shelves.

These are my favorite covers. Sadly, they are in German, so I can't exactly read them. But I would love to have a copy just for the eye-candy factor. These are two of the prettiest book covers I've seen recently. The first one screams "Irish" and "faeries", and the second one is just so striking.

This last one a new release. It is LAMENT in Spanish. As you can see it is similar to the new US cover, but it has it's own unique flair. I think I like this one better than the US one, too.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Movie Review: Juno

I bought Juno nearly a year ago because I had heard amazing reviews. And when I finally watched it months later, I felt it was only okay. I think I was disappointed because it hadn't lived up to the expectations I had set for it. And I was sad to say I really didn't like it.

I recently watched Whip It, and I loved it. It's the best movie I've seen in a long time. I've watched it several times this past week, so I decided to pull out Juno because I think Ellen Page is such an amazing actress. And I love Michael Cera. I think he's adorable.

This movie was so much better the second time. This actually happens a lot for me, usually when my expectations are so high. Anyway, I liked this movie. Finally. I'm really glad I gave it a second chance.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Book Review: Odd and the Fost Giants

Written by Neil Gaiman, I had high hopes for this novel. I picked it up just because he wrote it. And it is based in traditional Norse mythology, which I am interested in, but do not know well enough. I picked this up last night to read by candlelight, when I was sitting there freezing with no power or heat since I needed something with slightly larger print.

I just now realized the appropriateness of reading a story with frost giants while freezing.

Anyway, this novel was amazing. I read it all in one sitting. It is a kid's novel, so it's not very long. About 120 pages. But it is definitely something to be enjoyed by everyone. Also, I feel the need to point out that there are several full-page illustrations, that are very well done. IMHO, it's much better than the art in his other books.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Book Review: The Folk Keeper

This book was amazing. It's told from the point-of-view of Corin/Corinna as written in her diary. Corinna a girl pretending to be a boy (Corin) who is a "folk keeper". It's her job to keep the "folk" (or faeries) from spoiling the milk, killing the livestock, and otherwise causing mischief. It started a little slow, and while it's not a book I would call "exciting" it is very interesting and definitely worth the read. It's obvious from chapter one that Corinna is no ordinary girl. She has gifts, and we learn what they are as the story progresses, and she finds out how extraordinary she is.

While googling for a picture of the cover, I found the cover below. I have the top cover, but I think I want the bottom cover.