Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Look Back at Blog World (4)

A Look Back at Blog World (4)

Interesting Posts of the Week:

Learn how to make your own balloon invitation at Nheng's Wonderland.

Somewhat Simple shares how to make your own 2015 Journal Jar Kit - it's not too late to start now, and the link includes some free printables. 

Skip to My Lou offers some cute Valentine Bookmark printables

One of the hosts of the 2015 Discussion Challenge, Feed Your Fiction Addiction, shared a post this week titled "I Wasn't Stressed About Blogging Until I Found Out I was Doing it Wrong."

Your Questions Answered:

On my Into the Woods movie review, someone asked if the movie had a similar feel to the film version of Les Misérables.

Answer- I wouldn't say it's too similar, as Into the Woods is definitely a bit more sillier and funnier, though it had some serious/dark moments. I think they are alike in that they feature a large cast of various ages. 

On my post Lunar Chronicles...So Far, I got a couple questions.

Q.  I actually had no idea the first three were all focused on a different character all with a common goal. Do they crossover at all? 

A.  Yes, they are all part of one large series! The book starts with Cinder, but Scarlet and Cress also focus a great deal on just adds in the other girls, their stories, and how they all fit together in the greater battle.

Q. Which book in the series was your favorite?

 A. I read them all back-to-back so it's hard to say which individual book I really loved the best. I feel like the first book in any series is always a favorite, but I also really liked Scarlet.

Young Adult Assignment Help:

I am currently taking a Young Adult Literature course, which is totally awesome in terms of reading lots of great YA books I've been wanting to read (look for lots of reviews from that this semester), but I also have some projects I need to do.

One is a Young Adult interview, so if you're reading this and you're a teenager and wouldn't mind talking to me on facebook chat or through another chat forum, please get in touch! I have a certain amount of questions I need to ask and I need TWO people to do this with. You can leave your email in the comments or email me: lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

More...Ask Me Anything!

I'm still looking for people to do one of two guest posts. Either talk about online identity or do a Ask Me Anything post where you let your readers ask you questions and then you answer them in a follow up post. You're welcome to do both too! For more details, email me: lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

Thank you if you've done something already; and if you decide to help out, I'd really appreciate it! This movie is based on a we gotta spread the love!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross

Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross

Review by Lauren

Source: netgalley copy; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: Viv knows there's no escaping her fairy-tale curse. One day her beautiful stepmother will feed her a poison apple or convince her on-again-off-again boyfriend, Henley, to hunt her down and cut out her heart before she breaks his. In the city of Beau Rivage, some princesses are destined to be prey.

But then Viv receives an invitation to the exclusive club where the Twelve Dancing Princesses twirl away their nights. There she meets Jasper, an underworld prince who seems to have everything--but what he really wants is her. He vows to save her from her dark fate if she'll join him and be his queen.

All Viv has to do is tear herself away from the huntsman boy who still holds her heart. Then she might live to see if happily ever after is a promise the prince can keep. But is life as an underworld queen worth sacrificing the true love that might kill her?

Review: I loved Sarah Cross' book Kill Me Softly (review here) so I was really excited to be accepted on Netgalley to read the companion novel, Tear You Apart. In the town of Beau Rivage, fairies give out curses - both good and bad - to certain people. Viv is cursed to live out the story of Snow White. Her stepmother, Regina, who she used to love and feel close to, has begun to hate her and her beauty and is desperate to be rid of her. After all, if Viv lives, Regina dies. That's just the way the story goes and everyone cursed has to live out the story to the end.

For Viv, she's been in love with Henley for years. He always hoped he would be her prince, the one who would wake her up with a kiss and save her from the huntsman after her heart. Unfortunately, he is cursed to be the huntsmen, and now the two of them do not know how to act. They love each other, and Henley swears he won't harm her, but Viv pushes him away because she knows how the story goes. At the same time, she always runs back to him when something is wrong. For all intents and purposes, he is her prince...until Jasper appears, promising to keep her safe, and happy, but is his happily-ever-after really what Viv wants or needs?

Kill Me Softly introduced us to Viv and Henley and their awful curse, so I loved hearing that Tear Me Apart would really dive into their story. I loved hearing about the other curses in Beau Rivage and I would love to have more books in this series. You have a Goldilocks named Luxe and a Beast named Rafe, but you also get a lot of other stories and curses that I'm not as familiar with, so it's fascinating to learn more.

I really enjoyed Tear You Apart. I had a feeling how things would ultimately end, but I was still confused on how it would happen. This book is full of twists and surprises, and it was a blast to read!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Lunar Chronicles...So Far

The Lunar Chronicles (Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress) by Marissa Meyer

Review by Lauren

source: copies from library; all opinions are my own

Review: I assume most of you have at least heard about Cinder. If not, the basic idea is that this is the future, and Cinder lives in New Beijing. She's also a Cyborg. While Cinder is the main character, each book focuses on a new female character that will help save Earth from the destructive nature of Levana, the Queen of Luna (a country on the moon). After Cinder, we get Scarlet and then Cress. All the books are told in third person and follow a mix of point of views. The book Cinder is mostly about her, but with each new book, you start to get even more point of views, from the girls to Kai (New Beijing's Emperor).

Normally these books might not stick out to me as something to read, because I haven't really read that many fairytale retellings. However, I had read so many reviews of this series and I eventually realized that I had to check these out, and I'm so glad I did because these books are fantastic. I love books told in first-person, as I feel you get to know the characters better, but third-person really worked for this series. You still feel connected to everyone, but you also are able to learn a lot more about this world and the characters within it without being relegated to just one point of view, like most first-person novels.

As I mentioned above, these books are based around fairy tales and I loved that. Each book is broken up into sections and at the start of them you get a quote from the original fairy tale that book is based on. Cinder is Cinderella, Scarlet is Little Red Riding Hood, and Cress is Rapunzel. The final book comes out later this year and will be called Winter, so I believe it's based on Snow White. We meet Winter in Cress's book and I'm already fascinated by her. These ladies are all vastly different, but they are all just as important to overthrowing Levana. Cinder is a mechanic, determined and strong. Scarlet is feisty and loyal. Cress is an amazing hacker and a character that shows that being brave doesn't mean you aren't also afraid.

Overall, I love these books and I can't wait for the final novel, Winter. I suggest giving these a chance, even if you aren't sure they are a right fit for you. You might just be surprised. It's an imaginative world that wonderfully blends fairy tales and unique concepts into one action-packed series.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Shooting Thoughts: Do You Go to Author Events When...?

Shooting Thoughts by Lauren 
Today's Topic: Do you go to author events when you haven't read the book?

I haven't been to that many author events in the past. A lot of times authors that I know and enjoy don't come near me, and even when some do, I'm not always able to go. However, I don't think this means you shouldn't try seeing other authors in person if you are curious about their book. You don't have to have read the book already - I mean, what if the author is a debut? Most people haven't read them yet!

I saw Chris Colfer in person when he was signing for his first middle grade novel, The Land of Stories. I was already a fan of his from Glee, so it made sense to attend his signing and get a chance to "meet" him if you will, even though you can't really talk to him much as the line is so long. This is obviously an example of an author you'd want to see even without having read their book already.

However, there are also plenty of authors out there that aren't famous for anything else, and I'm sure they would appreciate seeing some faces in the crowd when they visit a bookstore or library. I have been to see two authors, that I can remember, in that past where their books sounded interesting but I'd never read them or really knew who they were. I ended up buying a copy of the book to be signed though, as I felt weird going and not doing anything to truly support the author. I think, in general, you shouldn't feel pressured to buy a book at a signing. If you're going there because you love the author, then sure, it makes sense. But if you go just to see the author and learn more about them and their work, then you might find yourself not as interested in buying the book...or not right away. That's okay. I think you should still go to the event if you're curious!

I think one of the things that has me put off from going to author signings where I haven't already read something by them is that I might buy a book and get it signed, but that doesn't mean I'll read it. The two signings I mentioned above? I have the books still, but I never read them. Is it because they sound bad? No. It's more about lack of time and how I don't really get to read a lot of my own novels. I tried to change that more last year, but accepting less review books, but books still find a way of getting shoved aside. I still found attending the events/signings to be worth it, but it's just something I've noticed occurs with me. What about you?

There are also those signings where you get more than one author. This is awesome, but you can't surely buy all the author's books! I've been to a few "panel" type signings, and I like when you can approach the author you know/like and want to have them sign your book. I saw Liz Coley this way and her sign my copy of Pretty Girl- 13. There are other panels that make you go down the line to all the authors, and I feel weird not having a book for everyone. These tend to offer bookmarks or posters so they all sign something for you, so that's nice, but it's still sometimes a bit awkward. It doesn't mean I'm not interested in the author, but I don't always have a chance to read something by every author, nor the money to buy a book for them to all sign.

At the same time, there are sometimes author events or signings that make you want to read the author's work before going. This is true with Marissa Meyer and her Lunar Chronicles. She will be visiting the bookstore Joseph-Beth in Cincinnati, Ohio for a big event/book signing in honor of Fairest this Saturday, January 31 (anyone going?! I'll be there!) and I'd been meaning to read her books for a long time now. Knowing I could meet and have her sign one of my books, I decided to dive in and read the first three books out in the series. As I write this, I've finished Cinder and Scarlet, and have almost all of Cress finished (by the time you read this, I will have read them all), and I'm excited to have finally read these books. I loved them all and I'm very curious about Fairest. I'll have a  review coming up about the series so far, so I'll stop there. Basically, if I hadn't noticed Marissa Meyer was coming nearby, and I hadn't finally read her novels, I might not have attend the event and that would have been a shame.

Anyway, it's time to discuss! How do you approach author events? Any personal stories?

Friday, January 23, 2015

A Look Back at Blog World (3)

A Look Back at Blog World (3)

I'm afraid I don't have a ton of links this week, but hopefully you'll find some of these interesting! 

Publishers Weekly shares some pictures from the New Illustrated Version of Harry Potter. It will be released on October 6, 2015. I can't wait! 

Another Harry Potter post...this time from Buzzfeed. If Hermione Were the Main Character in "Harry Potter." I found this quite funny! 

Live.Love.Scrap shares something she's been doing for a few years...Save Your Memories in a Jar! She saved tickets, movie stubs, etc.

And finally, an interesting book-themed discussion post! Renae from Respiring Thoughts has a post called In Defense of Unhappy Endings. I actually like books with unhappy or sad endings. It often feels more realistic than wrapping everything up in a neat bow. Be sure to visit the post though and leave your thoughts!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Expiration Date by Duane Swierczynski

Expiration Date by Duane Swierczynski

Review by Lauren

Source: personal copy; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: Mickey Wade is a recently-unemployed journalist who lucked into a rent-free apartment—his sick grandfather’s place. The only problem: it’s in a lousy neighborhood—the one where Mickey grew up, in fact. The one he was so desperate to escape.

But now he’s back. Dead broke. And just when he thinks he’s reached rock bottom, Mickey wakes up in the past. Literally.

At first he thinks it’s a dream. All of the stores he remembered from his childhood, the cars, the rumble of the elevated train. But as he digs deeper into the past, searching for answers about the grandfather he hardly knows, Mickey meets the twelve-year-old kid who lives in the apartment below.

The kid who will grow up to someday murder Mickey’s father.

Review: I read this book late last year, so this probably won't be a terribly long review with a lot of details. Regardless, this is a book that I often think back on and would be happy to re-read in the future. It's a fascinating story about a man who finds himself in the past after taking what he believes to be simple pain pills left in his grandfather's apartment. These pills, however, actually bring him into the past and while he tries to change some things for the better, he realizes that it's not that simple.

The mystery of Mickey's father's death and knowing in the summary that the little boy downstairs will eventually kill him definitely has you flipping the pages. I loved how past, present, and future all seem to collide on each other in the novel, adding suspense and surprises throughout. This book also includes black and white drawings randomly throughout the novel which was great. Perfect for people that love illustrated adult novels. It makes the book seem more gritty and noir, in a way.

The end of this book was surprising to me, and while it might not work for everyone, I really liked it. I thought it was interesting and fit the novel. I'm definitely curious about some of this author's other works now too!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Review: Texts from Jane Eyre

Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters by Mallory Ortberg

Review by Lauren

source: copy for review; all opinions are my own

Review: At the top of each new section is the name of an author, character, or book and from there, you are presented with text conversations between various characters or the main character and someone from "the outside" so to speak. This is a great book for people that are widely read- definitely those English or Literature majors. I was an English Lit major in undergraduate school, but there are still a lot of these books that I have not read. I could follow some of the conversations alright, but it was definitely more enjoyable when I knew what Ortberg was referencing in her texts. It's easy to see that she knows a lot about literature and can spoof it well.

The book focuses on a lot of classics like Pride and Prejudice, Moby Dick, John Keats, etc. but they also have books like The Outsiders and Harry Potter near the end. 

Here is an example page I found online (do not own) that showcased one of the text conversations I found particularly amusing:

Emily Dickinson was basically a hermit...

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Look Back at Blog World (2)

A Look Back at Blog World (2)

This is my second Look Back at Blog World and it's where I share some links I found searching online in the past week or two that I thought were worth sharing. I also answer any comments/questions on my posts that I figured needed a reply.

Books I'm Now Curious to Read

I saw a review for The Fairyland Murders at Must Read Faster. Please check out the review for more thoughts, but the blog really seemed to enjoy the book. I've been pretty interested in fairy tale type of reads lately, and this one sounds unique and interesting! The review is attached to the blog name above!

Debbie from the blog Bookish shared her thoughts on the book We'll Always Have Paris: a Mother/Daughter Memoir. I've been trying to read more memoirs lately, especially ones written by your regular, everyday people. I love that this book focuses on a mom and daughter. I'm curious about Europe, and Paris, so I think this would be a good choice for me. Again, the review is attached to the blog name above!

Interesting Posts in Blog World:

*The blog Life Anchored shared this cute DIY Birthday Basket Gift. I love the idea of gift baskets because they are fun and creative, but they don't have to be all that difficult to put together. If someone gave me a gift basket of items they love or thought I would really enjoy, I'd be very touched. It shows a bit more thought than just giving someone a single gift for their birthday, or other holiday.

*The website Slate shared an article (with pictures) about a photographer who takes a photo every time he sees someone reading a book on the Subway. The idea is that e-books and e-novels are taking over, so it's going to become more and more rare to see someone reading a physical book. I hate the idea that physical books aren't as popular, but I don't feel like they will completely disappear. Regardless, I loved this article!

*Baby Loving Mama shared a fun Edible Rainbow Kids Activity. I love that you could use this as a decoration for a party too. She notes that if you want your child to be able to eat this, then doing so soon after creating would be best or the cereal will go stale!  (The photo above belongs to the blog, Baby Loving Mama).

Your Questions Answered:

I had a Waiting on Wednesday post about The Connicle Curse: 

Someone commented about not quite knowing if the book was historical fiction or not. It is, it takes place in turn-of-the-century London and is described as a historical mystery series.You can visit this link to learn more about the series. 

My Into the Woods review: Someone commented about Johnny Depp and his ability to sing, so I thought I would share a video from the movie version of the musical, Sweeney Todd, where Depp plays the title character. His singing voice is very similar to his role as the Wolf in Into the Woods.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Book Review: Falling by Barbara Elsborg

Falling by Barbara Elsborg 

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: Harper is no longer behind bars, but it doesn’t feel like it. Ten years serving time fora crime he didn’t commit have left him shut down, numb, and a frozen wreck over the simplest of choices.He’s acutely aware of the dark-haired young man checking him out in the supermarket,but he’s too deep in panic mode to even meet the guy’s gaze. Afraid the slightest move will trigger a fall that will never stop.Fresh off a long-term relationship with a controlling man, Malachi is stuck living with relatives who think he’s a waste of oxygen. The tall guy in the long, gray coat is the first bright spot he’s glimpsed in a long time...though the man’s unblinking stare at a bottle of shower gel is a touch alarming.Hard experience tells both of them to turn away before lust turns to hopeless attraction,and inevitably to disaster. But once their sparks connect, the arc of electricity is too strong to deny. Even if the cost is too much to bear.

Review: I was fascinated by this summary, as it sounds like two guys that have been through a lot in their young lives trying to move on and find true happiness and love. What the summary sounds like is basically right. Harper was in jail for ten years but he was innocent, even though most people didn't and still don't believe him. He still harbors some guilt for some of the things that occurred though, and he's not sure that being out of prison really means he's "free." As for Malachi, he was in a long-term relationship with an older man who essentially controlled everything he did. Malachi still loves him - which I can understand on some levels- but he eventually knows he needs to get away. Leaving upends his life though, and he's not feeling too much better than Harper when they end up crossing paths.

One of the things that I really loved about Falling is Harper's storyline. It's heartbreaking and I hate to imagine all those people that have been in jail based on false and/or faked evidence. Malachi believes Harper when he tells him the truth about his past and that he's innocent, but trying to go about proving that is difficult. The relationship between the two men is definitely heated and there is a lot of descriptive sex, if that type of thing bothers you. Sometimes it occurred a bit too much or went on too long for my liking, as I wanted to get back to the rest of the book, but overall, it was fine and it made sense. Harper is finally free to find comfort in physical connection, and the same with Malachi in a way, as he can make his own decisions for once.

Overall, I think this was a well done book. It takes place in England, which I loved since it's cool to see books set in other countries. The characters felt mostly realistic and I was fascinated by Harper's storyline in particular, as the book is mostly about trying to prove him innocent so he can truly be free and live his life the way he wanted.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ask Me Anything - Your Answers!!

Lauren here! I'm back to answer all the questions that were left in my Ask Me Anything post. Still check it out if you're at all interested in earning up to $15 from The Book Depository. You have to do one of two guest posts by this coming Saturday, but believe me, it's easy! Write as little or as much as you want. Thanks for those that have helped so far- you can post something after this Saturday too, but the giveaway part of it will be over. I'll still share your post with Allison Burnett, the director/screenwriter, though. You can rent or buy Ask Me Anything via Amazon Video right now.

1. What was your most favorite read this year (only one!)? 

I'm probably going to say The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith. It's the sequel to The Cuckoo's Calling, and I'm just loving these books more and more. This one was definitely more gruesome than the first, but it was just fantastic and had me guessing until the end. I really want more!

2. What is a genre that has challenged you this year? 

I feel like 2015 will be my year for really digging into other genres, as I'm trying to read all these series that I never got too. However, for last year...hmm...I guess I read more scary/thriller/horror type novels. They can certainly be frightening, but if you push through that, you find some fantastic stories.

3. How do you find a balance between life and being a blogger and which is the most trying aspect of having an online presence?

Balance between life and being a blogger. This is difficult at times, because I really do get busy. Starting this week, I'll be back to two jobs and three classes, not to mention things like my dance class and a book club I just started. So yeah, I really love blogging, and it's difficult to find time, but I just try and fit it in when I can. Weekends are usually pretty good for that. I want to try and schedule things in advance more often than not because it helps me keep up and I hate having days and days of no new content. I don't have a magic secret;  I guess I just make it a priority.

Most trying aspect of an online presence? Probably trying to keep it up. Like I said above, I get really busy and it's hard to always keep track of things for the blog. I know I can't just keep disappearing without new content or commenting back on posts, so it can definitely be trying sometimes. I think it's worth it though, so I do it.

4. You are such a bookworm - who in your life got you hooked on books? Do you remember the first book you ever read? 

 Out of my immediate family, I'm the one who was always reading. My sister loves reading now, but she didn't read as much when she was younger. I'm honestly not sure what got me hooked on loving to read. I just always remember doing it. I don't, however, remember the first book I ever read. I know I loved picture books like The Rainbow Fish though.

5. What made you decide to blog? 

I was in an online book club for years, and I met this girl named Keaton. We also really loved music, and decided to try and create a monthly magazine of reviews and thoughts. We also had help from a couple other book club members. Anyway, that's why the blog is Shooting Stars Mag (mag is short for magazine). As I got more into blogging, I learned about the book blog world, so we decided to include books, as well as music and other entertainment. Nowadays, it's mostly books as I'm the only original creator left, but I'm trying to keep it mixed as much as I can with music, movies, etc.

6. Do you find yourself getting burned out on blogging? 

 Oh yes. I think if you've been blogging for a certain amount of time, you tend to get burned out at moments. I have been running this blog since August 2007 and it can be tiring and difficult to keep up with. I have thought about possibly quitting in the future, but I've never been at a point where I'm like "this isn't worth it" or "this isn't fun" so I keep up with it and do my best. I enjoy finding new books to read. I like reading the reviews and discussions. Yes, I could read other blogs, but I like being part of that world too, so I stay.

7. What is your all time best Christmas present?

 Wow...I don't even know! I have a difficult time remembering what I got as a child, as I'm sure many of those were very exciting. A friend of mine made me this scrapbook on a poster board of an event we went too. It's hard to explain, but I love DIY gifts like that. Another friend made me an actual scrapbook last Christmas too, and that's quite lovely.

8. Will you watch the Fifty Shades of Grey movie in February? 

 No- I know people that want too though, as they enjoyed the books.

9. What movie do you wish you could watch again for the first time?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone would be awesome. HP was my childhood, and I remember being so excited for that film. It would be great to see it again for the very first time. It would also be cool to see The Usual Suspects, since that one has such a great ending.

10. Do you feel guilty when you take a break? 

 I haven't taken that many "scheduled" breaks. Sometimes if I don't have posts scheduled, there are some days or so where the blog is empty because I'm just so busy. However, actually taking the time to get away from the blog is always a good idea, I think. I should probably do it a bit more often than I do to recharge, but I don't like being gone too much. So yes, I guess I feel a bit guilty, but I still think it's a good idea now and then.

11. Scented or non-scented candles?

I mostly have scented candles, so I'll go with that. I like non-scented for the ambiance of it though.

12.  MnMs or Skittles? 

 My "and" sign kind of sucks on this blog, which is why MnM's has a n in the middle. Anyway, that's my answer. MnM's. I love both- but I'm such a chocolate fiend.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Review: Dear Luke, We Need to Talk, Darth

Dear Luke, We Need to Talk, Darth: And Other Pop Culture Correspondences by John Moe

Review by Lauren

source: won a copy; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: We all know how Darth Vader shared his big secret with Luke Skywalker, but what if he had delivered the news in a handwritten note instead? And what if someone found that letter, as well as all of the drafts that landed in the Dark Lord’s trash can? In the riotously funny collection Dear Luke, We Need to Talk. Darth, John Moe finally reveals these lost notes alongside all the imagined letters, e-mails, text messages, and other correspondences your favorite pop culture icons never meant for you to see.

Review: This book is hilarious. I don't always find humor or pop culture books/jokes all that funny, but almost everything in this book had me laughing. This is a book that is easy to pick up here and there and just enjoy. You can bring it along for quick moments of reading when waiting in an office or on a school or work break. It's also a book that you are surely going to want to share with others.

Some things included in this book are a letter to the Grinch from his old dog Max, a teacher writing to the "parents" of the Peanuts gang (who she never sees), all of Jay-Z's 99 problems, and much more.

I knew some of the references more than others, but for the most part, I could follow these correspondences well enough. This is a great book for all genders and especially for those that don't read a lot!

Friday, January 9, 2015

A Look Back at Blog World

A Look Back at Blog World: I don't have a set button for this feature, as I want to make sure I can keep up with it on a regular basis and that you all enjoy it! For the most part, I'm going to look back at the past week or two and share some blog posts that I thought were worth sharing. I also thought I would look at comments that were left, and there were some that included questions or I thought I'd respond too, I can do that here! I like to email people back when they leave a question, but sometimes their email isn't attached to their maybe this will help!!

And onward...Notable Posts from Other Blogs!

How to Make a DIY Composition Book Journal from Fabulessly Frugal.

*use it for your bucket list, reading list, quote book, etc. I used to keep a list of quotes in a composition book when I was younger. I'd like to do that again, with book quotes.

2015 Freebie Printable Calendar Cards from Mom Spark

*this is essentially a desk calendar that you can print yourself!

Valentine's Day: 12 Non-Traditional Date Ideas by Really, Are You Serious?

*you can always use these ideas for a girls' night or something too; not just couple-oriented!

I hope to have more blog links next time around! I just want to get this scheduled for now. 

I'm currently helping to promote the film, Ask Me Anything, and I'm seeking out bloggers that are willing to do one of two blog posts. If you post yours by Jan. 17, you are entered to win $15 from The Book Depository!! You can rent or buy Ask Me Anything via Amazon Instant Video now. That might go higher too if more people enter! For now though, I wanted to share a few bloggers' posts:

Ask Me Anything Posts

Tamara Bowman- ask her anything you want!
Online Identity Posts

Answers to Your Questions

Batman Detective Comics + iZombie review post: There was a question about iZombie being a TV show, and that's right! It's still called iZombie and it will be on the CW this year. It's based on the comics, but the summary makes it sound different from the actual comic storyline. I'm still curious though. Check out their facebook for more. 

Hercule Poirot's Christmas Book Review: Question- Being crime / thrillers, are they gruesome or more toned down for the female target audience? 

All the Agatha Christie books I've read are not that gruesome or graphic. I suppose part of that is when they were published. They do give some details about how they die/what they look like, but it's nothing too intense!

Discussion Post Ideas:  Someone asked if Britt Robertson was on the show Under the Dome, and the answer is yes! She played Angie McAlister.

The Thing I Didn't Know I Didn't Know review: This book is an NA novel about a boy named Russel, but there were a series of YA books with the character too. Someone asked if they should read the YA books before this one to watch Russel grow up? I would suggest doing so just because it's interesting to see him growing up and changing. You can always read JUST the NA book though too; I feel like things are properly explained enough.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: The Connicle Curse

Waiting on Wednesday is a feature from Breaking the Spine

The Connicle Curse by Gregory Harris

Due Out: February 24, 2015

I've been really into mysteries this past year, and while browsing Netgalley, I came across this title. I didn't request it because it's the third book in a series so I would rather start with the first. At any rate, I really think this one sounds great! What are you waiting on?!

Official Summary: Victorian London’s private detective Colin Pendragon learns that the cost of wealth can indeed be dear as he investigates the grisly fate of a well-heeled financier…

When wealthy Edmond Connicle suddenly disappears, his distraught wife enlists the services of master sleuth Colin Pendragon and his loyal partner, Ethan Pruitt. Already on the case, however, is Scotland Yard’s Inspector Varcoe. He suspects the Connicles’ West African scullery maid of doing in her employer, especially when a badly burned body is discovered on the estate grounds with a sack of Voodoo fetishes buried beneath it.

But all is not as it seems, and as more bodies are found, the pressure mounts on Varcoe, forcing him to forge an uneasy alliance with his nemesis, Pendragon. At the same time, Mrs. Connicle’s fragile mental state appears increasingly more precarious. Could madness, not black magic, be at the root of these murders? To untangle the twisted truth, Pendragon and Pruitt must penetrate the hidden lives of the elite and expose the malevolent machinations of a ruthless killer…

Monday, January 5, 2015

Movie Review: Into the Woods

Into the Woods Movie Review

By Lauren- all opinions are my own; I do not own any of these photos

IMDB Summary: A witch tasks a childless baker and his wife with procuring magical items from classic fairy tales to reverse the curse put on their family tree.

Review: I saw this movie the day after Christmas, and normally I would have written a review by now but I had other things that needed to go up and my co-blogger, Alicia, was supposed to start in the new year. Unfortunately, she's been sick, so you'll just have to keep an eye out for something by her soon! And now...some brief thoughts on Into the Woods.

I heard that someone saw the movie without being aware, so I'll state it now: this is a musical. Now that we're past that, I will continue by saying this is a great one. It's definitely a film that I would see again. As for the musical, I've never seen it, but I'm quite curious now to see how the two differ.

I think the whole cast was fantastic. I love that they had a mix of well-known and lesser-known actors. Everyone had a great voice for their part though. I'm a huge fan of Anna Kendrick, and I think she has amazing voice, so it was wonderful seeing her play the flighty Cinderella who has never had to make a proper decision for herself before.

As for Johnny Depp as the Wolf, I think he did a really good job. Again, his voice fit the part, and I was a bit upset he wasn't in the film that long. It makes sense though. There were two young actors in the movie that did a fantastic job, and they have such wonderful voices. You have Lilla Crawford as Little Red Riding Hood and Daniel Huttlestone as Jack (yes, Jack and the Beanstalk). Some of you may recognize Daniel as Gavroche from Les Misérables, the movie version.

Well, I said brief, didn't I? I suppose I should end this here. Basically, I really enjoyed Into the Woods. There are some darker moments, but it's also full of humor which surprised me (in a good way!) Yes, it feels a bit long near the end, but overall, it's enjoyable from beginning to end.