Friday, June 26, 2015

Fan Art Friday: Graceling

This week I'm showcasing:

I love this book, and I was so happy to find so much fan art! There was a ton! I picked a few to share with you.

I love them all! I liked seeing the different characters. I love the one with Katsa and Bitterblue. I love the style of the one with the text behind it. I would have to say my favorite is the last one. I love the sparing between Katsa and Po.

Which is your favorite?

All pictures are linked, so you can go check out more fan art from that artist!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Broadway Melody

My Thoughts:

-    Ever since I watched That's Entertainment, I've been wanting to watch more MGM musicals. I decided I'd like to watch them all in chronological order. This one was first!

-    This movie is SO old!!! Holly cow! The sound, picture, acting, and everything is SO bad! We've come a long way in movie technology.

-    The sound balance was terrible. The singing and talking voices were too quite, and there was too much background noise.

-    There were several awkward moments. I didn't think I'd feel awkward watching a movie from the 20s.

-    Did everyone kiss everyone back in the day? The two main girls cuddled and kissed. It was SO awkward. Everyone kissed each other in greeting. I'm so glad we don't do that anymore!

-    The musical numbers were really bad. The sound was awful, and the talent wasn't so great. When the two girls sang together, it was painful. 

-    All that being said, I can understand how this movie was revolutionary in its day.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Beauty and the Beast

16210060Goodreads Says:    Prince Alexander has been turned into a werewolf and has one year to find someone to love the beast and break the spell, or he will be a wolf forever. He has nearly given up achieving the impossible, knowing no girl would ever fall in love with such a monster.

My Thoughts:

-    Terrible take on Beauty and the Beast! This is one of the worst retellings I've read.

-    The romance was ridiculous, sappy, and very childish. I just kept rolling my eyes at the horrible dialogue and thoughts.

-    The book seemed choppy. The scenes didn't flow very well, and things seemed so disjointed.

-    I hated getting beat over the head with the moral! Enough!! I get it!!

-    I usually love fairy tale retellings, and I was looking forward to this one, but I was really disappointed, and I won't be continuing with the series.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The One and Only Ivan

11594337From Goodreads:    Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all.

Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line.

Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.

Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan’s unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope.

My Thoughts:

-    A very charming and bittersweet story. 

-    I loved the format of short thoughts from Ivan. It made the book so simple and poignant. 

-    I loved all the animals. They were so endearing, and I felt for all of them. Bob was really fun, and he kept the book lighter. Ruby was so cute, but I felt so sorry for her, poor thing. The real story of Ivan was far worse than the book portrays, so I'm happy fictional Ivan had friends.

-    I liked Julia a lot. I'm glad Ivan had her come visit her so often. I wish she and her dad could have done more for Ivan and the other animals. They were very kind though. 

-    The book had a very somber yet happy feel. I liked the ending a lot because it gave me a sense of peace for Ivan and the rest of the animals. 

-    I LOVED the illustrations. They were so beautiful! They really captured the animals and their emotions. 

-    Great middle grade story. I think anyone could read this and enjoy it. I am really glad I got to learn about Ivan. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Life Update

I don't usually write about my personal life, but I feel like I needed to write about what is going on with the crazy house hunt.

A lot of you know we sold are house, and we've been living with some friends since April. Well, we found a house. It seemed PERFECT! We were under contract to buy it, but then we had our inspection. We decided to back out. What was wrong with it you ask? Well!

-    Furnace didn't work
-    Water Heater needed some help
-    No cooling system whatsoever. No AC, no swamp cooler, etc.
-    There was about $1000 worth of plumbing we'd need fixed before moving in.
-    Electricity didn't work in 2 rooms of the house and the inspector didn't know why.
-    MOLD!
-    There were some areas where water was leaking in the house.

This is the real kicker. . . 

-    There was a sex offender 3 doors down IN THE CUL DE SAC!!! He had 3 offenses in the last year. 2 of them were with children! The other one basically said he raped someone. I don't want to worry about a pervert taking pictures of my daughter while she rides her bike around the cul de sac.

Sooooooooooooooooo. . . we are back out there looking :( It is so frustrating and discouraging. 

At least we have a nice place to live with good friends. Our living arrangements are pretty nice, so no complaints there. 

I just want my own home! *sigh*

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The X-Men: Volume 7

5282027From Goodreads:    Collects Amazing Adventures #11-17, Marvel Team-Up #4, The Amazing Spider-Man #92, The Incredible Hulk #150, 161,
plus the covers to The X-Men #67-80 and Annual #1-2

My Thoughts:

-    I'm still angry I can't find the paperbacks anymore. My set doesn't match!

-    It is hard to believe that The X-Men almost disappeared. It is sad that they weren't selling. I'm glad they made a comeback!

-    I love background/origin stories. It is my favorite part about superheroes! I love knowing the legend behind the legend. Learning how Beast was transformed into a furrier version of himself was so intriguing to me.

-    I always believed that Beast made himself blue and furry because he was trying to find a cure for the mutant gene, but it was the exact opposite. He was creating a formula so that anyone could become a mutant. 

-    I liked how this book was a compilation of several different comic book series. The X-Men members made a lot of appearances in other Marvel stories. I liked seeing the different heroes and how they interacted. 

-    The illustrations are definitely getting more defined and detailed. It is so fun to see how these comics progressed.

Previous X-Men Volumes
(click on the cover to see my thoughts)

Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men - Volume 4  

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Echoes of Us

17352960Goodreads Says:    To change the world, I may lose everything

All Eva ever wanted was the chance to be herself. But in the Americas, to be hybrid—to share your body with a second soul—is not tolerated past childhood. Now Eva and Addie, her sister soul, are constantly on the move, hiding from the officials who seek to capture them. But the tide is changing. A revolution is brewing, and people are starting to question the hybrids' mistreatment.

Then Marion, an ambitious reporter, offers Eva and Addie a daring proposal: If they go undercover and film the wretched conditions of a hybrid institution, she will not only rescue them, she'll find a way to free Jackson, the boy Addie loves. It's risky, and Eva will have to leave Ryan and her friends behind, but if she succeeds, it could also tip the scales forever and lead to hybrid freedom.

As Eva and Addie walk into danger, they cling to each other and the hope of a better future. But the price they might pay is higher than they ever could have imagined.

My Thoughts:

-    I really like the covers for these books. They are very clever and beautiful. I think they fit the books perfectly.

-    This was probably the best written book in the trilogy. It is fun to see author's improve their writing as their books progress.

-    There was a lot going on in the story, but it wasn't too confusing to follow. There was more tension in this book, and it was just when the story needed.

-    I like Addie and Eva's relationship. They are so true to one another. I love how they can coexist in one body. I think it is wonderful how supportive they are to each other. At the same time, I wish they would squabble more. It would seem more realistic to have disagreements with someone you are sharing a body with. They have an occasional fight, but it isn't very major and they get over it pretty fast.

-    I liked seeing another facility with hybrids. It was like being inside a prison, and I liked how the girl's did small things to keep sane.

-    I liked how the story wrapped up. Things were getting better for the hybrids, and it left me feeling hopeful for character's future. 

Previous books in The Hybrid Chronicles
(covers are linked)

What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles, #1) 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: TBR Summer 2015

Top Ten Books On My TBR For Summer 2015

I feel bad the same books keep popping up for each season's list. Hopefully I actually read some of these for summer. You might see some of these again on my Fall TBR list, but I hope not!

7027735 18525657
20613581 23009011
7613 16067008
17731926 20757532
12962066 18077928

Did you notice all the Utah Author books? August is Utah Book Month, and I'll be filling my month with Utah books!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Translated Books

Hey friends! Let's talk about books being translated from or into different languages.

First of all, I am all for books being translated! If they weren't, I would feel very left out. There are a lot of books out there in the world, and I want to experience stories that are being read and told in other countries. Can you imagine if Les Miserables was never translated? Oh the tragedy!!! 

23129712One of my favorite things about books is that it brings people together. I recently read a book called The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain. It is a short and fun chick lit book that was translated from French. Despite it being a traditional chick flick kinda story, I enjoyed it. I loved the culture, the French references, and a lot of the language used in the book. I loved that I was able to read a foreign book in English. But the one thing I truly loved about the book was this epiphany I had. The story is very similar to the movie Just Like Heaven with Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo. It got me thinking that even though France is so far away across the Atlantic ocean, the people of France are enjoying the same types of stories that we enjoy here in The United States. People love stories, whether they are being told, read, or listened to, and no matter where we live or what language we speak, we enjoy the same types of stories and characters. It makes me feel a little more connected people across the globe.

On the flip side of loving translated books, as an American, I wish the books from the UK weren't translated into our form of English. I would love to have read Harry Potter in it's natural language. How awesome would that have been? I love reading classics like Austen and Dickens, and they are not translated. At least, I'm pretty sure they aren't. Do we really need to translate English books into other English speaking books? I vote no! British movies and TV shows aren't translated, so why do books have to be? 

*step off soap box*

Should some of my favorite books be translated into other languages. I would hope that the character's personalities aren't changed, and the general feel of the story isn't changed. If certain events are words need to be fixed, fine! My overall hope is that readers across the globe will fall in love with the same characters and have similar feelings I did when reading. 

What do you think?
How do you feel about book translations?
How do you feel about British books having translators?

This post idea was influenced by Smartling.
It is a company dedicated to connecting people by translating books, websites, etc. I think it is a worthy objective, and I hope they succeed. You can visit their website here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Once We Were

18964718From Goodreads:    In this riveting sequel to What's Left of Me, Eva and Addie struggle to share their body as they clash over romance and join the fight for hybrid freedom. With a powerful voice, an intense sibling relationship, and a sweet romance against the odds, this second novel in the Hybrid Chronicles is perfect for fans of Ally Condie, Lauren Oliver, and Scott Westerfeld.

Addie and Eva escaped imprisonment at a horrific psychiatric hospital. Now they should be safe, living among an underground hybrid movement. But safety is starting to feel constricting. Faced with the possibility of being in hiding forever, the girls are eager to help bring about change--now. The answer seems to lie within a splinter group willing to go to extremes for hybrid freedom, but as Addie and Eva fall ever deeper into their plans, what they thought was the solution to their problems just might be the thing that destroys everything--including their bond to each other.

My Thoughts:

-   This book had a little bit of 2nd book syndrome. Not a lot happened, but there was some development in the characters.

-    I liked meeting new characters, and I liked how they interacted with the characters I already knew. I liked that Addie had people to talk to and get to know. 

-    Addie and Eva are way nicer about sharing their body that I would be. They only argue about it once I think. I don't think I could handle sharing a body like they do.

-    I wish Hally and Liva did more. They are the same age as Addie and Eva, but I felt like everyone thought they were too young or incapable of doing anything. It bugged!

-    The ending was exciting, and I thought it wrapped up nicely. There are still unanswered questions, but I like how the book ended.

Previous book in The Hybrid Chronicles
(cover is linked)

What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles, #1)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For the Rest of 2015

I'm not good at keeping track of upcoming releases unless it is part of a series I love. I already have trouble keeping up with books that have already been released.

13206900 24120519
18006496 24817626

And more Marvel Stars Wars and Darth Vader comics!

Friday, June 5, 2015

That's Entertainment

My Thoughts:

-    I used to be embarrassed that I loved musicals so much. In fact, I used to watch them late at night so my family didn't know what I was doing. Like they didn't know! ha! I used to secretly record them off the T.V. until I had a little collection of recorded musicals. It was my dirty little secret. Now I don't care! I embrace it proudly, and I can shout it from the rooftops! I LOVE MUSICALS!!!! They are my film of choice!

-    I LOVED watching this! Where has this been all my life? I loved seeing all the different musical numbers from several movies.

-    I loved the overture, and I could sing all the songs.

-    I adored the special appearances! It was neat to see some of my favorite stars in their older years. 

-    Part of the movie seemed like a bit of a memoriam for Judy Garland. She is one of my favorites, and I'm glad they kind of spotlighted her.

-    This made me want to watch ALL the MGM musicals. I have seen a lot of them, but not all, especially the older ones. 

-    I feel like I was born in the wrong era sometimes. I want to go to the theater and watch Gene Kelly dance and Judy Garland sing. They should bring this kind of quality entertainment back. We'll never see the likes of it again, and that is too tragic. 

-    So much talent in one documentary! It was a feast for the eyes and ears. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children: The Graphic Novel

17333322Goodreads Says:    Ransom Riggs's haunting fantasy bestseller adapted to a graphic novel! As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow-impossible though it seems-they may still be alive.

My Thoughts:

-    This was a great adaptation of the book, but I felt like it sped through a lot of the story. I wish this had been in done in several or a couple of volumes.

-    I loved how the different time periods were depicted between black and white sketches and color images. 

-    The story is strange, peculiar, and wonderful! I loved every moment!

-    I liked how the old photographs from the original book was used in the panels. They add so much to the story! I'm still blown away that they are real.

-    Seeing a visual version of the book helped me to understand certain aspects of the story better.

-    I can't wait for Hollow City! I especially can't wait for the third book in this series to come out!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Bree and Katherine

I always forget to blog about going to author events! I need to be better about that.

On May 9th, I went to Bree Despain's launch party for The Eternity Key.
She calls this series The Little Series That Could because there has been so much opposition, but the series WILL be finished! It has been quite a journey for Bree, and I admire her for her diligence and determination to get this series published. I also admire her for loving her books so much that she would have rather seen the series die than put crap into her reader's hands.

Although she doesn't like to do it, Bree did a reading for us.

Jenni, Tori, and Suey were there too!

Bree signing the book!
She also had these cool Cupid's Arrow rings. Each color meant different things. I chose black which was anti-love.

A blurry picture of all of us 

On May 15, Jenni and I went to the Provo Library to see Katherine Applegate.

Here is Gene introducing the author:

Katherine had a great presentation. She told us the story of the real Ivan, and I was trying not to cry. She also told us about the book and the journey it took to being published.

I loved this picture! This is Katherine in her bed, in her pjs, with a notebook, and a TON of crumpled up pieces of paper. She said this is what an author looks like. Writing is process and it can be hard at times.

I bought the non-fiction picture book of the real story of Ivan for my daughter. Here is Katherine signing it.

This is the author signing The One and Only Ivan.

Another blurry picture with an author.

My new goal for the future is to bring a notebook and take notes and stuff during author events, and then I'll have info for blog posts!! I also try to put these up shortly after the event.