26 November, 2013

Movie Review: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Released: 22 November, 2013
Producer: Lionsgate
Run Time: 146 minutes


Teaser Tuesday #6

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"She found that mundane jobs such as housework and shopping helped relieve the stress, even though she had to force herself along, but there was no relief from the war."
-Dance the Moon Down, Robert Bartram, pg. 64

"Wide-open eyes, a childlike smile, just enough confidentiality for the lies to sound sincere. It had worked well then, and it was surprisingly easy to use the same technique, with only modest adjustments, in the adult world." 
- Game, Anders de la Motte 

21 November, 2013

A Worthy Kickstarter

Over the years I've read my fair share of book series. I've read the Harry Potter series, the Twilight series, and a number of other series including the A Song of Fire and Ice series.  That said, one of the series I've enjoyed a lot is the Looking Glass Wars series, a trinity of books that focus on an alternate version of Lewis Carroll's famous books Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. In the series, Alyss (Alice) is the princess of the Queendom of Wonderland (a queendom is just as it sounds, a kingdom ruled by the queen and passed along via the female children verse the male). During a coup d'├ętat on her birthday, Alyss is spirited away to the Pool of Tears by her mother's faithful bodyguard Hatter Maddigan (The Mad Hatter). Separated in their journey into our world during the Victorian Era, Alyss finds herself lost and eventually adopted into the Liddell Family. I won't say much more than that as to say more would spoil the books for you, however, it is worth noting that the second and third books follow what happens when she goes back to take her crown. 

From this sprang a graphic novel series based around Hatter Maddigan, which as reached four novels thus far. And now the author, Frank Beddor, is looking for help on financing the fifth and final graphic novel of the Hatter M series as well as financing his next book for the Looking Glass Wars universe. You can find his kickstarter here: 

Honestly, I'd love to help with this kickstarter, but sadly money doesn't grow on trees. Still, it looks interesting plus some of the contribution prizes look amazing (especially that one for $2000 that's already gone). I'd definitely suggest going to check it out in the very least. Maybe if I save up the money before the kickstarter date is up, I can contribute for a copy of the graphic novel in the very least.

16 November, 2013

Review: The Voice on the Radio (Janie Johnson #3) by Caroline B. Cooney

Cover found on Goodreads.

Goodreads.com summary: 

The kidnapping is long past, and the Johnsons and the Springs are on the way to restoring their lives. Janie is ever grateful to her devoted boyfriend who helped her through it all. As Janie tries to balance herself between the two families, she feels torn. It seems the only thing keeping her together is her love for Reeve, but he is away at college and Janie misses him terribly. 

For Reeve, college life seems overwhelming. And as a first-time disc jockey at his college radio station, he is discovering that dead air can kill you. To fill the silence, he finds himself spilling Janie's story over the airwaves. Reeve is so sure that Janie will never find out what's making his broadcast such a hit that he doesn't stop himself. What will be the price for Janie?


ISBN: 978-0-385-74240-5
Cost: $7.99
Edition: Paperback

For me, these books are a call back to my childhood. I can remember being in the eight grade and reading the first two books with feelings of amazement that someone could have picked out that she was the victim of the child kidnapping. To be honest, the feeling of amazement didn't go away when I finished the first two books, and I was left with the question. What happens after that second book ends. Janie gets to go back to her life in Connecticut and the family left behind has to deal with that. The Voice on the Radio definitely provide some of the answers to the questions raised in the second book.

A full year has happened since the events of Whatever Happened to Janie? and we are introduced to the fact that Reeve, lovely Reeve who is the boy-next-door that every girl wishes she could have, has gone off to college. After a life of wanting to be heard from under his three older siblings accomplishments, Reeve joins with his college's radio station with the hopes and dreams of becoming a deejay, of captivating millions of people with the sound of his voice. But once he's move to prime-time airing at 10 pm, Reeve discovers that it's not as easy as it was at 3 am when there wasn't anyone listening. Now he has so many people listening, and he's about to screw it up without anything to say.... that is until he realizes he has a story he can tell. The only problem is, it's not his story, it's Janie's. 

Without concern to protecting the innocent, Reeve launches into Janie's story, and thus starts a series of events he couldn't foresee. Janie isn't there, she won't ever find out, he thinks. And after all, it's a story for the media and he knows the full details of both sides of the story. But the problem is, Janie does find out. And she's beyond devastated and upset. True to the form of the first two books, Cooney makes it a point to have a struggle for our hero and heroine, giving more depth to Reeve to prove that even the boy-next-door isn't perfect.

The book does however raise a few more questions. At the end of Whatever Happened to Janie? readers were left with the impression that Hannah was lost, a statistic in the city of New York City in the life of a seemingly wasted junkie. However, it's on the same night that Janie finds out about her life being aired to the world that Reeve receives another phone call, one from someone claiming to be Hannah. Unfortunately, our protagonist chooses to disconnect the call instead of answering the question that the person has, and eventually erases the recorded call. The book ends on what I'd call a cliff-hanger, with Janie telling Reeve that the need to talk after ignoring him for nearly two weeks. 

All in all, it's a good read no matter if you're 12 or if you're 24. I would recommend reading the previous two titles Face on the Milk Carton and Whatever Happened to Janie? before picking up this novel. After all, series don't make much sense if you try to start in the middle.

14 November, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday #13

I am one of this week's Feature & Follow's Featured Bloggers.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

This Week's Question:

Are there any book to movie adaptations where you think the movie is better than the book?

Eh? Not really? Typically I view movies based on books as stand-alone things within a series, mostly because many of the movies tend to deviate widely away from the books. The only thing I can even remotely think of are possibly the comic book movies, but again they're a universe unto themselves. 

Sometimes Good things Happen

For the past couple of days I've been attending the South Carolina Library Association/Southeastern Library Association's joint convention in a neighboring city. Upon arriving today, I chose to go listen to this lovely lady speak about her 90+ Young Adult novels and her upcoming projects. Who is she? This is Caroline B. Cooney, arguably most famous for her novel Face on the Milk Carton and its sequel Whatever Happened to Janie?. Other titles of hers include Three Black Swans, Code Orange, and The Lost Songs. 

I was excited to meet her this morning. I'll admit, I'm not the most outgoing person, and having been thrust into this conference on my own, I've been struggling to make connections and pass out as many business cards as I can. When I arrived at the session this morning, not only did she come over and greet me, she also graciously agree to take a picture with me. While I didn't say it to her, Mrs. Cooney's writing was influential on me. Arguably, many authors works have been influential in my life, however Mrs. Cooney's novels have stuck with me. Despite having been lacking in keeping up with her works, I can remember reading the first two books of the Janie series back when I was in the eight grade. They were captivating novels and left me questioning. I always wanted to know what happened to Janie after the second book, but never thought anymore of it.

After the session this morning, Mrs. Cooney was doing a book signing for the two free books we got during the session (I believe everyone received a copy of Code Orange and I picked a bag with Three Black Swans in it). I got both of my books signed to me, and they're going in my personal collection as my current job wouldn't really benefit from them, and I have a hard time giving away books. Afterwards, since I couldn't pick a session of interest that was located in the main venue of the conference, I wandered over to a bookseller's booth in the exhibition and purchased the third and forth books in the Janie series, and I'm looking forward to reading them. Both books are autographed, though not personally to me, and I managed to get them for right at $16 for both. 

Sometimes good things do happen, and it's not as bad as it seems.

10 November, 2013

Block #1

It was like she was seeing the world through two kaleidoscopes.

One was brightly coloured, a collision of colours, sounds, sights, feelings, and tastes that could have only been classified as eccentric and wild. A feeling of freedom, undefined and unhampered that sent her heart skittering across the floor and her feet flying towards the open world beyond. A plane of existence where nothing could ever bring her down, strike her out of the sky, or send her down to an early grave. 

The other, however, was nothing but blacks and greys that shadowed a landscape so bleak and hostile she wondered if it could possibly exist. Here nothing could go right, the world was always against her. Shattered glass sometimes reflected the bright colours of her other kaleidoscope, but it was only fleeting. Reflections of a technicoloured world that settled along the edges of her vision but were never there when she truly looked towards them. Always fleeting. This world drug her downward, forcing her lower than her lowest points and drove her down more and more. 

It was at the times these two views crosses that her life felt in balance, the lows and highs not being too hard to grasp or to fight. But too much of one and too little of the other left her feeling trapped and hopeless, even in that brightly freedom. For even the brightest freedom is an illusion if there isn’t something to ground you down.

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