Archive for April, 2013
Image belongs to Focus Features
Media Type: Feature Film
Director: Henry Selick
Studio: Focus Features
Summary: [from IMDB]
An adventurous girl finds another world that is a strangely idealized version of her frustrating home, but it has sinister secrets.
Don’t you just hate it when a movie doesn’t live up to your expectations?<!–more–>
Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors from high school – I read just about anything he wrote and several of his works hold places on my “favorites” list. While Coraline never quite made it that high, I was really excited for the movie. The only other movie adaptation of one of Gaiman’s works that I’d seen was Stardust and it is an all time favorite movie of mine – even though the book isn’t at the top of my Gaiman favorites. So, I was incredibly excited to see what they did with Coraline, hoping it would turn out just as well.
Unfortunately… it didn’t. I don’t know if it’s just because I hyped it up in my head or what, but I went in expecting “AMAZING” and got “pretty typical” instead. It has a decent storyline with a good lesson, but it didn’t inspire me to watch it over and over again. Maybe I am growing out of kids movies!
That’s not to say the movie was terrible. I thought the animation was pretty good, and some of the characters were pretty unusual and imaginative. As a kid I probably would have found it terrifying – but compared to the book I wasn’t scared at all! Basically, this movie is great for kids, but otherwise, watcher beware!
Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge is where Tara @ 25 Hour Books and Amanda @ On a Book Bender shamelessly plug each other, share the fantastic posts, giveaways, or whatever else we’ve found and loved by other awesome bloggers (or authors!) during the week, and talk about the books we plan on reading in the coming week. [Description and banner borrowed from On a Book Bender]
Creativity’s Corner is still looking for associate reviewers! If you or someone you know would be interested, please see THIS POST.
The Corner Newsstand
(This week on Creativity’s Corner)
Read more »
I have a confession to make: I have a bit of a mental block when it comes to imagining things in books happening differently. This is especially true of “ships” – once an author has made a ship canon, I can’t see any other way for it to turn out. To me the canon of a story is kind of like the spell in Sleeping Beauty – it can be transmuted into something similar (sleep for death) but it cannot be undone. It’s kind of annoying sometimes. Often I’ll have ideas for a REALLY COOL fanfic for a favorite TV show or series and as soon as I think of it, the latest installment comes out and proves my theories entirely wrong and I have to start all over again. GEEZ!
This is a pretty serious mental block too! Remember way back before J.K. Rowling told us that
and everyone was taking bets on who would end up with who? And when Rowling finally did tell us those that lost still tried to convince people that they should have been right? I didn’t get it. It helped that I had guessed before she made the official announcement, but I honestly could not see how those who shipped the couple that lost couldn’t understand how PERFECT they were for each other! And don’t even get me started on Dra-Mione shippers!
It even applies when in real life I would know better. Twilight is a great example – My head knew that Jacob would be a better, more healthy choice for Bella, but I could tell from early on that she was going to end up with Edward no matter what I wanted, so while I was reading all I wanted was for Jacob to GO AWAY so I could get back to more of the “real” story! I wasn’t Team Edward or Team Jacob, I was TEAM STORY! I honestly can think of only one instance in which I might be shipping anti-canon. I say “might” because it’s incredibly unclear at this point and there’s only one book out – I might turn out to be right!
Please tell me I’m not alone in this? I feel borderline OCD for even admitting it! On the other hand, it does give me a little insight into why I like certain kinds of stories and mediums better – the more left “unsolved” outside of the main plot the more room my imagination is willing to work in!
The Demon King
in 2009 Pages:
Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can't sell - the thick silver cuffs he's worn since birth. They're clearly magicked - as he grows, they grow, and he's never been able to get them off.
One day Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them. Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history - it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.
Meanwhile, Raisa ana’Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She’s just returning to court after three years of freedom in the mountains - riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea - the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her - including marriage to a suitor who goes against everything the queendom stands for.
The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Han and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards.
After how much I loved Cinda Williams Chima’s Warrior Heir series, I was incredibly surprised at how long I waited to try The Demon King. I actually waited until the ENTIRE SERIES was out, you guys. No torturous wait between books – I can read them as fast or as slow as I want! Unfortunately, though, reading Demon King didn’t inspire that “Gotta have the next book NOW” feeling quite as much as I’d hoped. Read more »
Have you ever finished a book and said “Man, I wish I could ________ like that?” Bookish Bucket List is a semi-regular feature for the things I’ve put on my bucket list and the books that made me do so.
Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Summary: [from GoodReads]
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?
Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. Having missed her flight, she’s stuck at JFK airport and late to her father’s second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley’s never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport’s cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he’s British, and he’s sitting in her row.
A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?
Bucket List Entry: Sit next to someone interesting on a plane. Read more »
Thanks to Kristilyn for designing the button!
Have you ever wished you could find that one book that was about _____? Have you ever found yourself wondering what a book with a certain kind of theme or message would be like? That’s exactly what “Wanted” is all about. A semi-regular feature, I use “Wanted” to talk about all those books I wish I could find that nobody seems to have written yet. If you happen to know of some books that fit my criteria, I would love for you to send them my way through the comments!
I like my novels pretty diverse, when I can get them that way anyways. Reading a novel with a character that could be characterized as “minority” gives me an opportunity to learn more about them after all! And recently novels have been much better about featuring more “unusual” cultures and people. But one I have yet to see with any prevalence is Native American. I remember when I was still in Elementary school my dad brought me a book called Walker of Time, about a young boy who travels back to live with his Hopi ancestors, and I loved it! The culture was so different than what I knew and the novel gave me a very different perspective from the dry textbook versions I’d known.
Since then I’ve kept my eyes open for more novels that explore Native American cultures, and as far as I can see, they’re few and far between! Granted, that may be because I prefer a little bit of fantasy, but the Native American cultures have a very rich religion that would make for an interesting fantasy setting, don’t you think?
Power Under Pressure
in 2013 Pages:
Steampunk superheroes in Victorian-era New York! The Society of Paragons is gonedestroyed from within by traitors and enemies. With the death of The Industrialist and the rebirth the Iron-Clad as a monstrous half-human creature known as The Shell, Lord Eschaton now has almost everything he needs to cover the world in fortified smoke and rebuild it in his imageeverything except for the mechanical heart of the Automaton.
Have you ever read a series that you thought was so clever and original when you started, but realized by the end that once the brilliance of the idea has worn off the rest just isn’t that great? That was this series for me, and Power Under Pressure was just the last straw.
When I first started the Society of Steam series, I thought the idea was SO COOL! I love steampunk, I love superheroes, a mash-up of the two ought to be the best thing since sliced bread, right? The first book certainly seemed like it. I loved the Batman-esque steam-powered costumed crusaders and their Automaton sidekick. I identified with Sarah’s need to escape her father’s shadow and create her own identity, and I felt for her when she went through all of those losses.
Unfortunately, somewhere along the way that inspiring story got lost. The narrative began to meander when there wasn’t much going on, vacillating between “life sucks” and “people suck” – sometimes it even began to sound like a morality play, preaching a certain kind of “right” over wrong. By the time I finished book three, everything seemed so depressing! No matter what the good guys did, the bad guys won, and the final outcome definitely wasn’t a “happy ending” (not that all books have to have a happy ending, but I want the depressing endings to have a reason, besides “life sucks, happy endings are unrealistic,” at least!)
I hate to say all bad things, though. I mean, I did finish it, so it can’t have been that bad right? And it wasn’t, I guess. Thinking back I can see some pretty interesting moral themes – for example, the main conflict is between the forces of smoke and the forces of steam. Smoke is portrayed as the “bad” substance, but honestly it isn’t so much the substance as the person wielding it. Lord Eschaton forces his test subjects to undergo transformation by tying them down and forcing them to inhale the smoke, while the society of steam takes only those who choose to put together their own steam-powered costumes. I’m sure there’s plenty of issues for psychological analysis there.
But the truth is, this was a really depressing ending to a series that had such promise. I’m glad I read it, and I’m glad I finished it – but I’ll always be on the lookout for a better version of this idea.
Image belongs to Disney
Title: John Carter
Media Type: Feature Film
Director: Andrew Stanton
Summary: [from IMDB]
Transplanted to Mars, a Civil War vet discovers a lush planet inhabited by 12-foot tall barbarians. Finding himself a prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter a princess who is in desperate need of a savior.
I have to admit I was a little skeptical about this one at first. It had the potential to be really awesome or really awful. While it didn’t make my top 10 favorites list, it certainly wasn’t awful either!
The most interesting part of this film, for me, was the protagonist. John Carter fought on the South side in the Civil War and now that the war is over, he has become a criminal. He doesn’t care about anything or anyone, so long as he gets his money. It’s a risky move to feature a main character from anything other than the winning side, but they managed to pull it off – though admittedly they only pull it off by kind of sweeping it under the rug. I would have enjoyed a more in depth exploration of his background, but as it’s Disney I’m impressed that they left it in at all.
I also really liked the idea of the Therns. I think they were Disney-fied a bit for this film, because of their support of the villain(s) – heaven forbid Disney portray a complex villain! That said the way it explained them intrigued me. They’re supposedly overseers to the ends of worlds, “impartial” (HA!) supporting first one side, then another with no real care for which side is “right.” I’m actually really interested in reading the novels just to learn more about them.
That said, there were a few things that had me a little… surprised. Like, a society advanced enough to have flying ships but most of them still use swords when fighting? And honestly, if we’re being picky, John Carter is just a retelling of Stargate only with less of the EPIC. The Reader’s Digest condensed version if you will.
Simplified isn’t necessarily bad though – this is the perfect movie for a family night with all ages!
As you might have seen on my Clock Rewinders post on Sunday, I got into grad-school! The offer was a (very) good one, and so I signed the next three years of my life away. At first I felt all:
Not me. I’m da WOman!
But then I sat down and really began to think. The past two years have been amazing – I’ve taken the time to really figure out my blogging style. I’ve had time to hang out with all of you in the comments and on Twitter. I’ve participated in events, read tons of books and really fallen in love with blogging “my way.” It was great, because I had the time. I could spend entire days working only on my blog if I wanted to.
All of that is about to change. I’m going to be trying to complete two Masters degrees, each of which, taken separately should take approximately 2 years, in just 3 years. On top of that, one of those degrees is a research based degree, requiring lots of papers, and “strongly recommending” presenting research at national conferences on a regular basis. I’m also hoping I can get a part-time job to help with bills and get experience for my resume. Instead of having lots of free time for blogging, I have a funny feeling a lot of my time is going to look like this:
When it’s not on top of me, burying me alive
What does all this babble mean?
Basically what all this means is things are going to change around here. First of all, starting Monday I am cutting back to 3 posts per week. That way, I can spend the summer getting ahead so I can spend the first few weeks, or maybe even a month, settling in and not worrying about the blog. The revised schedule will be as follows (days with a / between two types of posts indicate a bi-weekly rotation):
Monday: Media Monday / Bookish Bucket List
Friday: Wanted / Discussion post
Sunday: Clock Rewinders
Creativity’s Corner wants your help!
That’s right, I am also asking for your help! To help fill up some of those open days, I am looking for 1-2 associate reviewers.
- An associate reviewer would post 2-4 reviews a month in any genre besides straight-up erotica (I link to the Children’s Resource Center at work, and would prefer not to put any unsavory material where they can find it).
- I’d also appreciate willingness to occasionally take over a feature or discussion post for a week (say exam week, or “RESEARCH PAPER DUE YESTERDAY” week), but that’s not necessary. Anything beyond that is welcome, of course, but further involvement would be up to you.
- Everything else is negotiable – if you’re worried about anything, don’t hesitate to ask.
You might be interested in this position if: a) You’ve always wanted to blog but don’t want to start your own blog just yet, b) You’re in a similar time-crunch predicament, can’t keep up on your own blog, but would still like to post reviews somewhere, or c) You read so much that you can’t post all your reviews on your own blog.
If you’re interested, please email me through the Contact form with the following information:
- A little bit about yourself
- The kind of books you like to read and review
- Why do you think blogging is important?
For those of you who don’t fit any of the categories above, and aren’t interested in the position yourself, please spread the word! You never know who of your friends and/or followers might be interested!
in 2012 Pages:
Bewitching can be a beast. . . .
Once, I put a curse on a beastly and arrogant high school boy. That one turned out all right. Others didn't.
I go to a new school now--one where no one knows that I should have graduated long ago. I'm not still here because I'm stupid; I just don't age.
You see, I'm immortal. And I pretty much know everything after hundreds of years--except for when to take my powers and butt out.
I want to help, but things just go awry in ways I could never predict. Like when I tried to free some children from a gingerbread house and ended up being hanged. After I came back from the dead (immortal, remember?), I tried to play matchmaker for a French prince and ended up banished from France forever. And that little mermaid I found in the Titanic lifeboat? I don't even want to think about it.
Now a girl named Emma needs me. I probably shouldn't get involved, but her gorgeous stepsister is conniving to the core. I think I have just the thing to fix that girl--and it isn't an enchanted pumpkin. Although you never know what will happen when I start . . . bewitching.
I loved loved LOVED Beastly, the first book in this series, and I was so looking forward to reading this one. I love fairy tale retellings and Alex Flinn’s are usually particularly full of fluffy cute fun-ness! Unfortunately, though, Bewitching just didn’t compare. Read more »