Monthly Archives: August 2013

Movie Reviews: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

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There should be no doubt in anybody’s mind that this movie was designed for those who had read and loved the book, rather than as a movie that could stand on its own. There are gaps in the movie that are filled in the book, so for those people who hate this movie and are dismissing it as Twilight-esque, I encourage you to read the books. I think this movie would be better enjoyed as a companion to the novel. Nonetheless, it was highly exciting and enjoyable and stuck to the original story about as much as could be expected. Some highlights for the movie were the inclusion of some of the funnier lines from the book, which sets the story apart nicely, and Jamie Campbell Bower and Robert Sheehan who play Jace Wayland and Simon Lewis to perfection. It’s no fantastic, it’s not horrible, it is just what you would expect – a funny, action-packed and enjoyable movie best enjoyed along with the novels rather than as an alternative.
WARNING: If you have only read the first book than I suggest waiting to see this until you have read City of Glass, as they added some major spoilers for some reason!
Star3

Book Reviews: Poison Study by Maria V Snyder

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It is very rare for me to find a book which I find genuinely in-your-face and scary and hard to handle, but I finally found such a book in Poison Study. One of this book’s strongest points is the main voice of Yelena – As she navigates her treacherous world, you are completely pulled into the story along with her. Most interestingly, you rarely see evidence of her being a good, moral person. Instead you are transported into the mind of this incredibly flawed, broken human being, and yet you can’t help but want her to pull through, and find things to care about and learn to be whole again. The brutality was sometimes difficult for me to read through, but it added to the story as much as the book’s other elements. A powerful, dark and absorbing book. Recommended for ages 16+. Contains strong violence and themes, sexual references and coarse language.
Star4
View this book on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60510.Poison_Study?from_search=true

Book Reviews: Wither by Lauren Destefano

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A large part of what makes Wither so compelling is the muted sense of terror and danger Destefano maintains throughout the book. As you read, you quickly begin to realise just how vulnerable these young characters are, and how dire the circumstances under which they are living have become. From the very first page this book had me under its mesmerising spell – the richly woven narrative of love, sisterhood, loss, fear, murder and the desire for freedom is one that you don’t see executed so well in some books. Here it is near perfect. A delightfully creepy sucker-punch of a book, Wither is sure to thrill, scare and move teenagers and adults alike who are looking for a dark, intriguing dystopian world to sink into.  Recommended for ages 15-18. Contains violence, strong themes and sexual references.
Star4
View this book on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8525590-wither?ac=1
View all current information on the movie adaptation: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3111104/?ref_=fn_al_tt_3

Book Reviews: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

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While Green’s attempt at a more light-hearted novel doesn’t quite hit the mark the way Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars do, this book remains a complete delight to read. Packed with all the clever humour, host of well-written characters, and pretentious use of excessively large words we have come to expect from Green, Katherines is a nice attempt to avoid the more serious issues explored in his other novels.
The little facts included on the pages are really what make this book special, not just because they are informative, but also because the wry humour of the novel reaches even into the tiny footnotes. I think a sign of a great novel is when even the smallest of passages at the bottom of the page can make you giggle while reading.
This is probably the one Green book which will not cut your heart into a million pieces, and for that it has its place, maybe not as a classic, but as a genuinely lovable novel with real heart. Check it out, you won’t regret it.
Recommended for ages 14+. Contains coarse language, sexual references and mathematical formulas which may make your head explode.
Star4.5
View this book on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49750.An_Abundance_of_Katherines

Movie Reviews: Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

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Ladies and gentlemen…. Allow me to introduce the worst book to movie adaptation EVER. Everything that was amazing about the book has been taken and irreversibly twisted into a completely ridiculous film full of cheap laughs and pointless additional scenes. The book is less than 200 pages long, it can’t have been that difficult to stick to it. The starring actors fail to capture all that was good about their characters on the page, and instead turn them into idiotic, soulless pieces of cardboard. Do yourself a favour, read the book and avoid the film at all costs!
Star0.5

Movie Review: The Hunger Games

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Due to my fear of blood I was unable to watch all of The Hunger Games, but I did manage to watch it in between the goriest parts. The movie takes the book’s brilliance and transfers it easily to the big screen, and while it is not by any means as good as the book, it is a worthy companion to it. I was disappointed by the elimination of certain characters (Madge) from the book, but understand why it was necessary. The cast are all fantastic and captured their roles perfectly –  Jennifer Lawrence storms onto screen as the fiercely protective Katniss while Josh Hucherson’s Peeta, with his charming, easygoing quality balances her out perfectly. Well worth the watch, whether you’re a fan of the books or not.
Star4

Movie Reviews: Beautiful Creatures

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I was originally drawn to reading Beautiful Creatures after watching the movie trailer (which looked amazing), and finished the book just a few hours before I saw the movie. In doing that I got a great perspective for exactly how the book differed from the movie – and it differed A LOT. The basic plot was still in place – a boy living in a small southern town falls in love with a girl who happens to be a witch (or Caster in this case) – but anything beyond that was changed almost entirely from the book. I’m sure hardcore fans of the book would have been disappointed by how this movie turned out, as even the most major of plot points have been changed. I, however, enjoyed the book but was not extremely in love with it by any means, and found myself liking the movie… well, more than the book (please don’t kill me BC fans!). The movie injected some more humour into the story than was present in the book, making it a bit lighter and easier to enjoy. Both the book and movie had the chance to be great and fell a bit flat, but if you’re looking for a nice, silly movie to watch or a light read to curl up with, you could do worse.
Star2.5