Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Five: Book to Movie Adaptations

This week my Friday Five is my top five book to movie adaptions. The restraints I put on myself for list were I had to have read the book and also have seen the movie. I know that sounds kinda, well duh, but as I was thinking of my favs some movie I really like are based on books yet I haven't actually read them. (For example, The Lord of the Rings, love the movie, haven't read the books...yet.) 

1. The Twilight Saga (ALL of them! So psyched for Breaking Dawn Part 2!)

2. Harry Potter (All of them :) 

3. The Chronicles of Narnia (I love them all but especially The Loin, The Witch, and The Wardrobe from 2005)

4. The Hunger Games (Can't wait for Catching Fire!)

5. One for the Money (Y'all know I love Stephanie Plum!)

What's your favorite book to movie adaption? Leave me a comment. I HEART comments!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Chemical Garden Trilogy: Wither

"The world seems so clean if you only look up." Wither. Chapter 25, page 333.

Dystopian literature is all the rage right now, (think The Hunger Games), which I am a huge fan of incidentally. Dystopia is the opposite of utopia, which is an ideal state. In the dystopian novels I have read, the society in which the story is set is always trying to create a better or perfect society. Of course there is no such thing and by attempting to create this form of utopia they end up creating an awful world full dystopia. 

I recently read Wither, book one of The Chemical Garden Trilogy by Lauren DeStefano and it falls into this dystopian category. (Possible SPOILER ALERT but I tried not to "spoil" too much, but keep that in mind as you read or not.) To give the set up of the story, in an effort to create a world without illness by altering genetics but this meddling causes people's life span to shorten drastically, women die at 20 and men at 25. So, of course, world goes awry. There are many more orphans, girls get kidnapped and/or married off at ridiculously young ages, and marriages are usually polygamous.

So I'll go head and say the shock factor of teenaged sister-wives really got me when I first started reading Wither. I mean, really? Ew. But I kept reading because I had heard good things about the book. The main character is Rhine Ellery, age sixteen. At first, I didn't really understand her and motives but the author did a good job of giving me just enough to keep me intrigued at integral moments. I also felt it was a sign of good story telling that in the beginning I hated Governor Linden but by the end I understood he was a victim as well, though not to the same extent. I was almost feeling sorry for him, almost. I will say that I liked the way the book ended. I knew Wither is part of a series. but yet DeStefano was able to conclude the book where I felt satisfied and also wanting more. Which is good for me because book two Fever came out earlier this year and the front cover of book three Sever was revealed earlier this week and the book comes out February 2013.

(by the way, aren't all these covers just beautifully amazing?!)

My final thoughts: I give the book a 4/5. I really liked the story Wither provided. It is considered YA (young adult) but because of some of the overtones I'd recommend this book to older teens/adults but I would definitely recommend it to those interested in this dystopian type genre.

Here's the book trailer for Wither: 

Thoughts? Leave me a comment. I HEART comments!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Impressionable and Inspired

I am very impressionable.  As defined by the dictionary, impressionable means: readily or easily influenced; suggestible. If I hear a phrase that reminds me a song, I feel I must sing it, loudly (mind you my singing is horrible, ask my co-workers, bless their hearts). I fancy myself as a somewhat crafty person and if something I watch or read inspires an idea, I've been known to craft up some kind of homage to the original. See example:

I made these shortly after I first became addicted to both the book and movie, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I'm not quite as neurotic as I once was but I will always love Twilight and be thankful for what it meant to me in that time in my life. 
So the red bracelet, more represents Edward (get it, blood is red, he's a vamp :). The charms in case you can't make them out from left to right are: a graduation cap, dice ("I'm betting on Alice!"), baseball bat and glove, music clef, Carlisle's cross, a crystal heart, engagement ring, bride and groom, dolphin (Isle Esme, anyone?), Edward's piano, and Renesmee's baby shoe.
The black beaded bracelet is for Jacob Black, of course! The charms again left to right are: an apple (like the cover of the first book, Bella's truck, a wolf, a heart, a feather (supposed to convey Jacob's tribal roots), motorcycle, and moon (for New Moon). 

As you have seen on this very blog at least once already (see this post), I have even been inspired to paint my nails in honor of certain books and movies. Here are my attempts are "Girl on Fire" nails from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins:

Not everything inspires such a response from me but the "good stuff" can certainly lead to projects for me.

I was trying to figure out why I did these things the other day, most people I know don't do this, I beginning to think this was just one of my many idiosyncrasies. But after discussing with a friend her children's summer reading assignments, it became clear. When I was in school, even on up into college, my favorite (English/Lit) teachers were the ones who had us do "fun" projects that related back to the materials we were reading in class. I was never "artistic" in the sense that I could draw or paint or sculpt but I could collage with the best! And often times I'd receive praise from my teachers on my hard work on those projects. I think that those simple words of affirmation over ten years ago have stuck with me and why I continue with my media inspired projects. (So, there's a little side bar for ya, be careful of what you say to kids cause apparently they really are listening!)

There is actually a point to all my ramblings today. If you've been following me at all, you'll have seen that I've been reading through the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich. They are ones with numbers in the titles like One for the Money, Two for the Dough, Three to Get Deadly, Four to Score, etc. If you are not familiar with the books, Stephanie is Jersey girl of Italian/Hungarian descent working as a bounty hunter even though she's not very good at it. The books are a brilliant blend of mystery and humor. The interaction Stephanie has with her family, especially her Grandma,will leave you laughing out loud, literally. Almost always when they have these family times they are eating and having a family meal. In fact, the offer of a good home cooked meal is how Stephanie's mom lures her home. And if I'm not mistaken, the offer of stuffed cabbages always draws Steph home.

My most recent Plum read.

I got to thinking, I've only ever had stuffed cabbage once and it was delish, much better than it sounds. And I've sure never made stuffed cabbage. So this evening I thought I've give it a try. Only I know how lazy I am and I altered the idea just a bit. My cabbage still has all the flavors but I've layered the ingredients into a casserole so it would be easier and less time consuming. I search the net for recipes, such as this one and this one too and then I adjusted with seasonings based on our liking and what we had on hand. I'm not one to measure or do things exactly the same each time.

Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

Plated with green beans and mashed potatoes.

Verdict: It was pretty good. Hubs liked it, said he'd like it again! I think Stephanie and the Plum clan would approve!

Have you ever been inspired by something you've seen or read? Leave me some comments. I HEART comments!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Summertime Reads

Summer is a marvelous time of year.  There is warm (or in Georgia, HOT) weather, longer days, outdoor activities, fresh veggies, BBQs, vacations, the Fourth of July (fireworks!), overall sense of freedom and good times. Summertime is a great time to read! You can read outside while working on your tan, while on the beach, at the lake or by the pool, inside in the nice, cool air conditioning, while riding in a plane, train or automobile, etc. This summer I'm going to challenge myself to read more than ever, thanks to fellow blogger Reading Angel.  The blog is one of three hosting "Once Upon A Read-a-Thon" from 12:01 am on July 9th to 11:59 pm on July 11th. There are even prizes to be won but I'm most excited about pushing myself to read in epic proportions!

There are sooooo many books in my to-be-read stack and I really want to try to put a dent in it. There are so many good books that just recently came out, about to come out, or I just found out about; I'm afraid I'll never get the opportunity to read them all. But I can try!! I probably only average somewhere between 2-5 books in a month. They always say you'll make time for what's important so I'm really going to make reading a priority for the next month, especially during the Read-a Thon. I'm really going to try to read 3 books during the Read-a-Thon, (which as noted is more than I read in a month sometimes! Eeeep!)

Here's my immediate to-read-list (order determined by library availability as well as my own preference):

Seven Up by Janet Evanovich (current)
Fade Out by Rachel Caine (next)
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Kiss of Death by Rachel Caine
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab (which came highly recommended by Magnet4Books)

Partial backlog of books I've bought and REALLY want to read but haven't yet:

Anna and the Frech Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout (book 2 in Covenant series)
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana G. Oliver
Soul Thief: A Demon Trappers Novel by Jana G. Oliver
Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

You think that's enough to keep me busy for a while? And truthfully there are so many more I *want* to read!! AND...this isn't even including all the good books I know are coming out later this year! (*See previous post.)  And who knows how many more will come out I haven't heard of. AND THEN, there is always next year and the next...

What are your plans this summer? Any good trips planned? Or maybe a nice stay-cation? What are you reading this summer?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Five

I saw Friday Five here on Once Upon a Twilight's blog and thought it was great idea! And it just so happens I was thinking about all the books I'm looking forward to coming out in the Fall of 2012, so my post will be similar to theirs as well. (The owl and flower graphics are from here, aren't they cute?!)

So...without further ado...

Here is my FRIDAY FIVE:

The Five Books I'm Eagerly Awaiting Are: 

Fathomless by Jackson Pearce (September 4, 2012)
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (September 18, 2012)
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rawling (September 27, 2012)
The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus book #3) by Rick Riordan (October 2, 2012)
Deity (Covenant #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout (November 6, 2012)

(in the order in which they come out, as to not hurt any one's feelings :)

Is there anything, book or otherwise, upcoming you guys are looking forward to? Feel free to leave me comments, I love comments!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Follow Up: Obsidian Obsession

So, I just want to start by saying I have the BEST mother in the WORLD. She took off work early to go with me to the book signing so I wouldn't have to go alone, even though it really isn't her thing. I love my mommy! Now that I got that out of the way, I'll move on to the event itself.

My Jennifer L. Armentrout Collection

Details: June 8th, FoxTale Book Shoppe, Woodstock, GA 3:00pm. Book signing with author Jennifer L. Armentrout and [book] cover models Pepe Toth and Sztelle Tziotziosz.

Me, Vania (of VLC Productions) & Jennifer (author)

Before the actually signing, there was a questions and answer session, during which people had lots of question for Jennifer and especially the models! There were lots of good questions and a good bit of giggling going on during that time!

Sztella, Me, & Pepe 
(they are the cover models for the Lux series books)

While in Atlanta, Jennifer said that they were filming scenes for the first three Lux books (Obsidian, Onyx, and Opal)  with models, Pepe and Sztella, for the book trailers.  And, if you are familiar with Obsidian, the laptop scene is being filmed! (Whooo-hooo!)

Jennifer answered my question, is there more to come from Daemon's point of view (POV)?

She said, YES!  She has found people tend to only have one perspective from him and that perspective changed after reading scenes from  Daemon's POV. (I know that was true for me!) She doesn't have any plans to re-write the whole book but she has written most of major scenes from his POV. 

This, my friends, is the Advanced Readers Copy (ARC) of
(This doesn't even come out til Aug!!)

When asked if there was anyone in her life she based the Daemon character off of JLA said that there isn't. But she does like snarky, witty guys with good come backs. She said her editorial notes on this book were to make him more of jerk which she was surprised by. Obsidian's female lead is a book blogger.  JLA says never reviewed books and she learned blogger language from talking to bloggers.

JLA credits her boredom and her overactive imagination as her sources of inspiration. She's putting out so many books so quickly, she's worried she will run out of ideas and is scared she will have to write about zombie were-llamas. (I bet with her writing it, it would still be pretty awesome!) She said she does listen music while writing sometimes but doesn't have to but for fight scenes, she listens to heavy metal band Drowning Pool and rock band Disturbed. And while writing the laptop scene, she listened to  ET (Katy Perry, I assume) over and over, as it seemed appropriate! (Uh, yeah!)

When asked about making Obsidian into a movie, she said it was a long process and she was waiting on Hollywood but given the chance she probably would! 

Upcoming news: JLA is contracted for another novella in the Lux series which will probably come out between books 5 and 6. (The first novella is Shadows and is a prequel to Obsidian, which I haven't read yet, I know shame on me!) She likes novellas that connects the books or moves the plot forward not just a rehash of what has already happened. Her next books, Onyx come out August 14, Opal comes out December 7, and then two more that don't have release date as of yet. In the Fall, she has a book coming out every mouth,in addition to the aforementioned, includes Cursed in September, Deity in November. YAY for not having to wait on a JLA fix!!

Lastly, my nail design was inspired by the awesome cover of Obsidian, so I had to include a pic or two of that too! I used Sally Hanson Insta-Dri in Jumpin' Jade, then painted the top "corner" of my nail black (In Wet n Wild Wild Shine in Black Creme) over the green. Next, I painted a line of silver glitter (kinda like lightening from the cover of the book) between the black and green. I used Art Deco silver glitter polish that has a very thin "striper" brush. I'm pretty happy with the results and I think I captured the essence of the cover. 

I'm sure I've seen some nails similar over the 'net at some point but I don't know who to give credit to for this idea, please know if it was your idea, I wasn't trying to steal it!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Obsidian Obsession

Hey y'all! I want to share a book I recently read. Obsidian is a young adult fiction novel by Jennifer L. Armentrout. (*note: this is the book I'm reading in my profile pic ;)The book is very good and the author is going to be doing a signing this Friday in Woodstock, GA. Here's a link Jennifer's blog explaining about her tour and the #daemoninvasion.

I reallllly wanna go but hubs has to work, as I'm sure most people do. (But he is usually my go to partner in crime.) I really don't want to drive all the way out there by myself but if no one takes pity on me and comes with, I guess I'll be forced to go it alone. :( 

Anyways, enough of my pity party, here is my "review" for Obsidian. I think should you check out Obsidian and obsess with me!

Obsidian is about a teenage girl (Katy) who is new in town and moves in next door to beautiful, exotic, and odd sibling duo (Daemon and Dee). 

I really like that at the end Katy stood up for herself and is an admirable female character. As much as she finds Daemon attractive, she has more self respect. She decides she doesn't want a "good enough" relationship. Katy wants a relationship where she has more things in common than physical attraction. She actually says, "I want someone to care for me like my dad cared for my mom. And you aren't him."  Luckily for Katy, Daemon loves a challenge! I can't wait to see how this plays out in the next installment.

One thing I didn't (but did) like is the hot/cold relationship Katy and Daemon had through out the whole book. Come one kids! Either you do or you don't like each other. I think that helps add a layer of passion, if you will, to their relationship. Love and hate are both strong emotions and often they overlap more than one would hope.

I really loved at the end of the book (at least in my copy) were a couple of chapters from Daemon's perspective. You really find out more about why he acted the way he did. Those chapters really endeared Daemon's character to me. I mean, I got that he was a totally alien hottie but this helped understand his attitude and stand-offishness.

I liked that Katy was a blogger and that she was obsessed with books. That helped me identify with her as a "real person."

Here's a quote from the book, because if you are like me...I didn't know what "obsidian" was before I heard about this book!

"This is obsidian--volcanic glass. The edge is wicked sharp and will cut through anything," he explained quickly. "It's the only thing on this planet, besides us, that can kill the Arum. This is their kryptonite."

I'm so flipping excited about this book and signing I got crafty and created this tee shirt (with help from a very awesome friend!).We used the Cricut to cut out the letters of the word in vinyl. Then stuck the letters to the shirt. Next, I sprayed the tee shirt with bleach from a spray bottle. I over saturated the shirt with the bleach so I had to move on to Plan B. I used spray paint over top were I over bleached so the word would alas show up. (None of my DIY projects ever turn out right the first time I try.) Anyways, I'm still pretty stoked at the way the tee turned out. Lastly I did some cutting on the tee (around the neck, arms and bottom) and I'm calling it finished now.