Everything, Everything was okay. (Movie thoughts)

This is somewhat a movie review! I don’t plan on doing more movie reviews in the future, but I did see Everything, Everything and wanted to say my thoughts.

Everything, Everything was okay.

So, I saw the movie yesterday with a theater full of teenage girls, parents, and grandparents.

The movie didn’t have nearly as much detail as the books, but the visuals were beautiful. The location and room-building were excellent. I wanted Maddy’s room (or better yet her house). And if it was the movie’s purpose to make Hawaii seem like the best tourist attraction ever, it succeeded.

Consumerism was very low. But I wished it had been higher. All of Maddy’s outfits were so cute!  Where are they from? Forever 21? I would love to buy some of the dresses she had especially the yellow one with the zipper.

It had a nice soundtrack too. I definitely perked up at hearing Ari Lennox’s distinct voice in the movie.

There were some major pacing issues. Introducing Rose (who is only mentioned in the book) was cool, but not at the expense of cutting out major moments, which are in the spoiler section.

The kisses were good. The love scene was tasteful.

I loved the inner-thought bubbles when Olly and Maddy had like their third meeting. The direction the director took to show their text messages was creative too.

I liked the ending a lot more here! The book’s ending felt too open-ended.

Overall: Not totally exciting unless you have read the book, and then you might feel disappointed because some of the best parts were condensed or passed over. Still, I am glad I got to see it. I haven’t been to the movies in a while.

[SPOILERS INSIDE]

Continue reading “Everything, Everything was okay. (Movie thoughts)”

Mini Review #3: Off the Page

29358306So, I stayed up until 1 am last night (or day? I don’t know, man) because I just had to know what happened in the last book. Did the book redeem itself? Would I actually care about Deliah and Oliver’s love? How would Oliver be in the real world?

“The really crappy thing about being a teenager is that even if you have a legitimate, monumental problem– the sky is falling or the zombie apocalypse has begun or you’ve contracted the plague– you still have to do your geometry homework” (pg 295).

Well, Off the Pages by Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samantha van Leer (368 pages), got better and worst.

What did I like? I thought the death in the book was handled pretty good. I know it sounds morbid to like a fictional death, but I hadn’t expected it in such a cookie-cutter book. Thankfully, there were no do-overs either! Some of Oliver’s confusion of the real world was somewhat fun. The author (the real one) tried to add some last-minute depth to the mean girl, Allie but it was like trying to add pecans to an already cooked cookie. You know what I’m saying?

I thought some scenes in this book could have been condensed like Deliah helping Seraphima pick out a bra at Victoria Secrets because all her fat goes to her breast! Yeah, that was an actual line in the book.

The romance was dry. Oliver and Deliah are just too perfectly in love. I don’t feel anything for them.

The ending was going to be unsatisfying either way. I don’t want to say it, but the ending was a bit on the garbage end. It was so unrealistic… And I am someone that loves happy endings!

I still liked Edgar (and Jules) the most as they had the most personality out of everyone.  Chris was a cool one-note character!

OVERALL:

Off the Page gets 2 stars from me. Should you read this book? I don’t think anyone over the age of ten would be amazed by this story. It’s a cliche book (but the premise is not) but some might find it fun and innocent!

Wrap Up

I have mentioned in my “about me” section that this blog was created for a college English course. This course has been one of my most challenging classes, but I think I have learned a lot. Hopefully, I am a better writer than I was before, and I know my MLA format has gotten a million times better.

To be honest, I have always wanted to start a blog where I reviewed books, but there was never the so-called “right moment.” If I had not taken this class, I still would not have a blog dedicated to books. At least, I know how to use gifs now!

The theme of my English course was banned books, and many of the books I have reviewed were banned or challenged. I would not have read some of these books like Blood and Chocolate or Julie of the Wolves without the assignment. Am I better from having read these books? I don’t know, man. Julie of the Wolves bored me, and I practically roasted Blood and Chocolate. But I loved Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging and read four of the sequels. I need to get around to reading the fifth book, Away Laughing on a Fast Camel. A little off-topic but the newer realistic covers for the Georgia Nicholson series lose the vibrant, cartoony feel without the illustrations.

 blush GIFSincere thanks to anyone that has liked, followed, or commented or even just read any of my posts. It’s pleasant to think that someone out there actually enjoys my content.

 

Just so you know (in case, some of you started tearing up) this is not my last post. Yeah, I will continue reading and reviewing. This is just a farewell post for my English class. More reviews to come! I hope you all will stick around.

 

 pokemon fun play slide wee GIF

 bye goodbye goodnight animaniacs farewell GIF

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Book Review #12: Boy X

31213700Boy X by Dan Smith (274 pages), started off terribly slow. I picked this book solely off of its cover because the main character looked like a person of color. I am always ecstatic for some diverse fiction. Unfortunately for me, the story had a doomsday/dystopian feel, which I do not like and explained why in my IMWAYR 3/27/17 post.

“It might help if there is someone to share it with you, someone to strengthen you, but sometimes you have to accept things for what they are- learn to live with them” (pg 51).

STORY:

I was not super enthused with the beginning. It felt like a lot of telling and not enough showing. Also, Isabel just magically appeared like, “Hey boo, I’m ’bout to be a main character.” I understand Ash, the actual main character, did not know anyone, and the first person he saw was her, but I wish their introduction would have been more imaginative.

This is a really dark book for kids due to all the deaths, viruses, and again that dystopian flavor. For me, it teeters between Young Adult and Children’s Fiction because the subject matter is mature, but the writing itself seems like it’s catered to a younger audience than teens.

CHARACTERS:

Ash starts out as a confused kid who does not know anything or himself, really.  To be honest, nothing jumped out to me about Ash’s personality. He was somewhat like a reader-insert because he behaved how the average person would with his circumstances. With that being said, I did not dislike him and I thought his “I am Ash McCarthy” mantra was cute.

Besides Isabel’s boring uneventful introduction, I liked her. She’s been dealt a crazy situation and tried to maneuver through it while being Ash’s emotional support. She was not a damsel-in-distress either.

OVERALL:

“Like a superhero?”

“No.” He felt embarrassed at the suggestion. “Not like that. More like…” He tried to think of a way to explain it. “More like when you play a video game for the second time and it lets you keep all the upgrades” (pg 124).

It took at least a hundred pages for this book to become exciting. I almost dropped it on page 83, but I am glad I stuck with it.

The reveal of what Ash’s mother was really working on in the laboratory, from the mouth of the least-expected person, kept my interest. I think Boy X’s strength was in its climatic moments, which is ironic because most books have better build-ups and bad climaxes

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Book Review #11: I Am Princess X

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The presentation for this book is wonderful. The book cover, chapter design, and illustrations are what drew me in. The purple theme is fitting because y’know royalty=princess.

STORY:

“The princess became their alter ego, their avatar, their third best friend” (pg 8).

In I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest (256 pages), May and Libby bond over Princess X a character they mutually created in fifth grade, May wrote and Libby drew. Their friendship comes to a drastic halt when Libby passes away in a car crash. May thought Princess X died with her best friend, but apparently, Princess X is very much alive.

“Nobody ever… (pg 172)” [I forgot to write down my favorite quote from the book in its entirety, and I’ve already given the book back to the library. ᕙ(⇀‸↼‶)ᕗ ]

Here’s a quote I like from the book, that I actually wrote down:

“The cement turned a satisfying cherry red, like the pavement was bleeding” (pg 1).

I really liked that detail.

So, concerning the story, junk got real very fast. No lie, page nine hits the reader clean in the face. Pfft, it probably rearranged your nose.

I thought  I knew who the great antagonist, Mr. Needleman, was but I was wrong!

CHARACTERS:

I liked reading about these characters a lot.

May was likable but a bit bland. Of course, she knew that as well because Libby’s the one who brought liveliness to their lives.

Libby’s half-Asian (half-Japanese to be exact) so there’s 50¢ of diversity. But, she dies in the first ten pages so…giphy

Anyway, I liked Libby a lot, to the point, I wished she would have narrated the story. For me, May could’ve been Princess X and let Libby shine by herself. Also, there was so little reaction for Libby’s dad.

Patrick was a lot of fun!

My favorite would have to have been Jackdaw! He seemed a bit like an anti-hero. I don’t know many people who would have done as much as he did.

OVERALL:

A pretty good thriller with a few surprises, 4 out of 5 stars! I wanted a cupcake more of suspense, but I acknowledge I had to read this book quickly (before its due date). Maybe I needed more time to ruminate on the ending. And for those who don’t enjoy it, there was NO ROMANCE.

I recommend this book for any teen, though some of the hacking/computer stuff could possibly make someone paranoid.

 

 

Book Review #8: Dancer

1455928Ballet has always had a special place in my heart. I took ballet classes for two years, from seven to nine years old, and I loved it. Grand jeté was my favorite move. My earliest memories of ballet were the Alvin Ailey Dancers and numerous Russian ballerinas. This story really brought me a sense of nostalgia.

Story:

“I didn’t finish the thought. Instead, I imagined us dancing together, his walking around me in a slow promenade, looking into my eyes” (pg 94)

In Dancer by Lori Hewitt (214 pages), Stephanie had been passed up for the role of a lifetime, to be Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) in a ballet play. She starts contemplating the many difficulties in ballet and begins to doubt herself. Not to mention her parents don’t think she will have any longevity as a ballerina, a black ballerina at that. Stephanie gets tired being the only one who believes she can accomplish her dream until she meets the lustrous Miss Winnie, a woman who embodies all the ballerina Stephanie wants to be.

I really want to give a handclap to Hewitt for including beautiful female friendships. She realistically shows the pettiness, insecurity, and loving nature girls can have toward one another.

Dancer had some authentically realistic moments. One scene, in particular, left me with a great quote:

“Maybe I could be her friend, but I couldn’t help her solve her problems” (pg 205)

I enjoyed the tinge of romance as well though I wanted just a glass more.

CHARACTERS:

I like Stephanie because she’s relatable. She is insecure about her talent, her future, and even a little bit about herself. Stephanie even acknowledges that she has an inner ugly voice that thinks rude things. The situation she had with the three private school girls, Lisa, Kelly, and Gillian, is all too real.

“On Saturday night, when Lisa was out with her boyfriend and I was supposedly having a slumber party, I sat at home sewing ribbons on a new pair of pointe shoes and was in bed by ten o’clock” (pg 38)

Most people know that feeling when you agree or get involve in something you had no plans in due to pressure, not even from wanting to fit in but just not to say the wrong thing.

Vance is cool. He reminds me Monty, from my favorite book Standing Against the Wind, but a lot rougher around the edges. He’s more than what meets the eye and he is very conceited but sweet. I wish he spoke his feelings more in the book because I wanted to know what he was thinking.

The mentor character is one that I have always liked, so Miss Winnie was great in my opinion. The descriptions of her outfits seemed so pretty too.

Also, I sympathize with Anna. She simply just did her job well. It was not like she was trying to be the teacher’s pet.

The character development with Gillian was a nice one. It’s nice that Lisa and Kelly were not shoehorned into to flat mean girls roles as well.

OVERALL:

I was deeply engrossed in this book and its characters, so five out of five stars from me. I am not sure if this is a book you read once and it stays with you, or a book you read over and over. Either way, it’s a book you have to read.

I might have to add this one to my bookshelf.

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Book Review#7: Julie of the Wolves

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Y’all I did not like this story. I understand it’s a widely-loved book, but it was not for me. There are three parts to the story, so I am going to split the review into portions.

“Somewhere in this cosmos was Miyax; and the very life in her body, its spark and warmth, depended upon these wolves for survival. And she was not sure they would help” (pg 6).

STORY:

PART 1-

In Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead (170 pg), I did not care about Miyax naming all those wolves. “I will name you Jello,  and you Silver, and you this, and you that…” Girl, please stop talking. The entire beginning of the book Miyax/Julie learns from wolves. Now, I like wolves a lot (they are beautiful and dangerous) but it got boring to read about their antics. Anyway, Miyax’s father, Kapugen, is missing and presumed dead but his words stay with Miyax always. She finds an adoptive father figure in a wolf named Amaroq.

Personally, I just could not find any excitement in this book. Miyax being a child bride was vaguely interesting.

PART 2-

I knew Daniel, the child groom of Miyax, was creepy when he was first introduced. A certain scene when he tried to force himself onto Miyax solidified that. Thankfully nothing happened but, gosh I was just as disturbed as her. Also, I’m not sure if the book was hinting that Daniel had a mental disability or just extreme paranoia.

PART 3-

“He walked you out all the way to seal camp,” Martha told her. “And he never did anything after that” (pg 76).

A close friend of Miyax’s dies and she discovers her father’s aftermath. Needless to say, I was not impressed. To be honest, I mean Miyax did not have much of a reaction either just, “okay, I’m going to San Franciso.”

unimpressed blinking rugrats not amused blank stare

OVERALL:

I was excited to read some diverse fiction, but Julie of the Wolves disappointed me. I want to say it’s because I am not in the intended age range, but I have read countless kids’ books that I enjoyed. Concerning the art, I liked the wolf illustrations but not the human ones. The artwork is made up of quick pen hatch lines, so when it comes to human eyes, they look like full black ovals. ¡No está bien!

Yeah, I don’t really recommend this, but it is a fast read.

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