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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Want To Be For Halloween

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.This week's topic  is: Top Ten Characters I Want to Be For Halloween (Books/Movies/TV shows)

I'm actually being a character from the show Supernatural for Halloween this year! Go fictional characters! I'm being the fem version of Castiel on Friday and I'm so excited!! I've cosplayed this character before and it's a pretty easy costume, plus super fun! Here are ten other characters I'd love to be for Halloween, from books, movies, and TV shows!

1. Elizabeth Bennet, Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

(a bonus would be if I could find a dude willing to dress up as Mr. Darcy with me)

2. Hester Prynne, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

3. Frodo Baggins, The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

4. Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes Novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

5. Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I know it's super common, but I mean, it's Katniss. I want to do it once.

6. Hermione Granger,  Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Confession: I've already been Hermione for Halloween. Twice. But I don't care, she's my ultimate favourite.

7. The Evil Queen from Once Upon a Time

8. Daisy Buchanan, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

9. The 10th Doctor from Doctor Who

10. Emily from The Corpse Bride

Those are all costumes that I want to try one year for Halloween! Who are you dressing up as this halloween?

Happy reading!

Monday, 27 October 2014

Review: Brazen by Katherine Longshore

Author: Katherine Longshore
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Page Count:  528 Hardcover
Date Published: June 12th 2014
Find it on Goodreads: Brazen
Source: Purchased

Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she’s married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, she rockets into the Tudor court’s inner circle. Mary and “Fitz” join a tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court’s strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harder she falls for him, but is forbidden from seeing him alone. The rules of court were made to be pushed…but pushing them too far means certain death. Is true love worth dying for?

It is no secret on this blog how much I adore Katherine Longshore and all of her works and Brazen is no different. This book was just AMAZING and completely tore at my heart. Once again, Katherine Longshore has written a book about people who lived long ago that tugged at my heartstrings, made me laugh, made me angry, and made me swoon completely. I want my own Henry Fitzroy please and thank you. Mary is such a (subtle) badass and is probably one of my favourite historical characters of all time. She stood up for herself and her gender and it was incredible. If you're not sure if you like historical fiction but want to give it a try, I'd 100% recommend this series. It's brilliant. They're incredibly riveting reads, filled with intense scenes and romance and drama and betrayal and I can't even describe how amazing it is. I loved this book and I loved this series and I wish there were more coming out. 

One last thing, Katherine Longshore:

Happy reading!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Guest Post: Fall Movie Adaptations

Hey everyone! I've had fellow media lover Spencer on the blog a couple of times to talk about Game of Thrones and today he's back with a post about two fall book-to-movie adaptations that have come out recently! I was terrible and got behind on my emails and this was supposed to be up a lot longer, so my apologies! Here you go!

            Despite the fact that Hollywood has been turning books into films since the days of black and white movies, it seems that lately there has been an increased onslaught of film adaptations based on best selling novels hitting the theaters. This fall alone will see the release of two highly anticipated film adaptations: The Maze Runner and Gone Girl. Both fictional stories had major success in their literary form, so it seems only natural to explore the idea of turning them into films.

Unfortunately, as we know from experience, a successful book doesn’t always translate into a good film. So, how did these two films stack up against their best selling source material? The following article will contain some spoilers, so if you want to go into the films with an open mind, bookmark this page and come back after you’ve seen them!
            The film version of The Maze Runner (originally written by James Dashner) was released September 19th, and has been the most recent addition to the YA book-turned-film franchise that’s been dominating Hollywood. While it’s certainly not going to reach The Hunger Games level of fame, the film has pulled in nearly $150 million worldwide so far. It’s certainly on track to be a moneymaker for the studio, especially considering it only cost $30 million to produce. We’ve also been informed that we’ll see the other books in the series made into films in the very near future.

            As for the content of the film, it carries along the central themes and ideas without wavering. There are some discrepancies between the way some of the characters are described (in looks as well as personality) and the grievers are given a much more agile look in the film, likely to create more adventure and action. There are also some elements of the plot that are brought in earlier, particularly the subplots involving Theresa and Thomas, which admittedly help the story flow better. While the film and the book certainly aren’t perfect matches, they’re each enjoyable in their own right – just don’t go into the film expecting it to be a verbatim adaptation.

            Perhaps one of the most highly anticipated films of this year is Gone Girl, based on Gillian Flynn’s best selling thriller. The idea to create the film actually came about before the book was even released, after a producer friend of Reese Witherspoon’s got her hands on a manuscript and convinced the actress to use her production company to make the film. Flynn sold the rights to the film for a staggering $1.5 million only three weeks after the book hit shelves and was signed on to adapt the book into a screenplay (a role she felt comfortable taking thanks to her experience as a film writer). Other promising additions to the film include the celebrated director David Fincher, whose credits include The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button which are all highly recommended and easily available to watch online or on demand (click here for more info). Fincher also brought in Academy Award winning musicians Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross to create the score.

            While the film doesn’t come arrive until October 3rd, the reviews have been steadily streaming in, with the majority of them being extremely favorable. According to the review compilation site Rotten Tomatoes, out of the 49 reviews from major publications (both online and in print) 42 of them were favorable giving it a 86% “Fresh” score. There is an equal amount of praise for the film’s stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, with many expecting them to both to be nominated for a least a few major awards.

            What this means is that there are plenty of film viewing options this weekend for the avid readers out there. While you may have to take these films with a grain of salt and cope with changes to characters and plots here and there, both of them are fully entertaining ways to spend an evening, especially now that the warm weather is on its way out.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Review: This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

Author: Leila Sales
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Page Count:  279 pages, Ebook
Date Published: September 17th 2013
Find it on Goodreads: This Song Will Save Your Life
Source: Purchased ebook

Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.
Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.

I was really not expecting to like this book as much as I did, nor did I think I would fly through it as quickly as I did. This book was not a light one, nor was it perfect, but it was a good read that made me think a lot and tugged at my heart strings. I will say, this is not the book for everyone. It's definitely one that has a writing style that's to some people's taste and not other's. The voice is younger, recognizable even, but the story is unique, or at least the concept is. I loved the huge focus on friendship this book had, as well as of course, music. It's hard for some books to truly capture the essence of what music means to a character and how that can relate to the reader, but this one did just that, and well. There was romance, but not a lot, and some really great parts about girls and friendship and popularity. This is an issue book, dealing with suicide and self-harm, so it might be hard for some to read, just to put that out there as a warning. Again, I really enjoyed this one and appreciated that it was a bit unique, a bit different. The characters were interesting and eclectic and they felt like real people, which is always an extreme positive for me when it comes to books. Definitely give this one a shot if you enjoy books that deal with tougher stuff as well as music!

Happy reading!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

The Most Crowded I've Seen A Bookstore

I went to an event yesterday in Burnaby, to see Veronica Roth and Tahereh Mafi speak. I didn't get books signed, so as I was waiting for some friends to finish work, I sat in the poetry section and read, and then felt the need to write and so I thought I'd share, as that's what this blog is for, right? Not sure if this is gonna make sense, but I thought I'd talk about how I felt today when a place I'd consider a safe space for myself was so crowded I could hardly breathe.


I'm sitting in Chapters right now, the place busier than I have ever seen a bookstore, filled with young girls who just finished listening to Veronica Roth and Tahereh Mafi speak and now waiting to get their books signed. It's strange, being in my safe space with so many people my age, with the same likes as me, meeting one of my favourite authors and another I admire like crazy. I decided to not get my books signed today, as I wasn't too sure how I'd handle the huge crowd, so instead I stood in the back with my vertically challenged height of 5'2", listening to these two brilliant women speak about their work, about female characters, about Gilmore Girls. Turns out, escaping the crowd wasn't really an option unless I just didn't come. 

It's an intense feeling, being in a room filled with products of my passion of writing, the sound of the voices of two successful writers in my ears and hundreds of people all listening, all adoring, all hearts beating. The talk is finished now and people are still milling as I sit and wait for my friends. Squeals of joy and agreement about books can be heard and the term fangirl can hardly describe some of these people. I'm overwhelmed once again with that feeling that I am just one in a mass of collective love and interest in this art, yet with all of these people, I feel disconnected from the thing I love most: books, even when I am surrounded by them.  It saddens me, as I read the words of Plath and Dickinson and Emerson, that I don't feel like myself in the place I usually feel safest, a store that sells stories to read and to love. 

There are so. many. people. I need to remind myself it's normal for me to not do well in situations like this, to breathe, to breathe, to breathe. All of this energy in a store that is not normally so bustling with bodies is incredible, but I'll be honest, I feel intruded upon. There's not an aisle that doesn't have someone in it, or two, or five, and there's people sitting everywhere, blocking the shelves, blocking the books. I feel like I'm intruding upon their space as well, which takes away the joy that usually comes with visiting Chapters and instead replaces it with panic. 

I need to remind myself that the fact that there are hundreds of people in a bookstore at once is brilliant because it means the love of literature is alive and that book sales continue and that people are reading even after they finished The Fault in Our Stars. I feel so lucky to live in a place where everyone is given the opportunity to read and to have such a huge selection of material, but it's also scary, seeing this type of space that is usually not so crowded, filled. 

I don't know if that made any sense, but it's what I wrote as I was sitting, trying to take in all of the energy around me in a store that is usually quite calm. Have you ever felt like your 'safe space' was being 'invaded' upon, even if it was a public place and it's not like it's yours to begin with? How do you handle that? Cause for me, curling up and hiding in the poetry section seemed to work. Bookstores, no matter which one, have always been a constant for me, somewhere I know I can slip inside if I'm feeling panicky or not well and all will be better. But yesterday was different and I was so conflicted as to how I felt, because on one hand, I was so excited to see so many people there, all with that same love of books, or at least of Divergent (and/or Shatter Me). But on the other hand, I felt suffocated, squished, trapped. Not a feeling one should have in a safe space. Maybe it's stupid of me to think all bookstores hold that security for me, but they do. A place filled with words and stories is where I feel most comfortable, but having that feeling taken away was strange and scary. If you've ever had an experience like that and would like to share, feel free so that I don't feel like an irrational idiot? Because don't get me wrong, I loved seeing so many people excited about books. 

Any thoughts on this? I'm trying to open this blog up a bit more to personal stuff, especially when it has to do with books and/or writing, so that's why I thought I'd talk about this today. Hopefully I'll be returning with normal, scheduled posts soon!

Happy reading!
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