Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Are Aliens the New Vampire?

So last Friday I went with my friend to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 in theaters and couldn't help but take note of the movie trailers we saw. I know this isn't completely related to books, but thought I'd bring up the topic here on the blog to see if the same trend is happening in books like I think it is. We watched trailers for movies such as "The Green Lantern" and "Cowboys and Aliens" and then, yesterday, while at home, I watched Disney's animated movie "Bolt" and caught their reference to Aliens being the new thing.

Well, folks, here it is. "I Am Number Four," one of the first books to sell movie rights before the book was even published, is about, you guessed it, aliens though, thankfully, these aren't the purple-skinned-with-four-eyes aliens. Still, it's about aliens and it's making it huge right now with both the book and film. Which got me thinking.

As much as we like to deny it, we, as readers and movie goers, fall into trends. Yes, with "Twilight," it was vampires and vampires grew huge because of it. The CW television network came out with the TV series based off the book series "The Vampire Diaries," and though the TV series doesn't follow the plot of the books, they have huge ratings and are in the second season. Trend. Then it was vampires, but what's next?

If things are going the way they appear to be going, aliens are the next best thing. Though the show wasn't as popular as originally intended, ABC's show focusing on aliens "V" is set to return soon. Add that along with the books and movies and it appears as though something's brewing in the works. Are aliens the next best thing? Let me know in the comments what you're thinking.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Music Monday ~ Jonsi

I mentioned Jonsi a while back, and just found his new album entitled "Go". It's love all over again. Take a listen to Around Us below.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


So if anyone's actually reading this blog, you'll have noticed this huge week long absence of mine, for which I apologize. I've been sick this entire week and have been unable to post, but regular posting will resume on Monday.

Friday, November 19, 2010


WARNING: Since The Scorch Trials is the sequel to The Maze Runner, this review will contain spoilers for The Maze Runner. If you have no read the first book, I don't know why you would be reading the review for the second book, but whatever. You've been warned.

The Maze was only the beginning...

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles. No more Variables. And no more running. Thomas was sure that escape meant he and the Gladers would get their lives back. But no one really knew what sort of life they were going back to.

In the Maze, life was easy. They had food, and shelter, and safety... until Teresa triggered the end. In the world outside the Maze, however, the end was triggered long ago.

Burned by sun flares and baked by a new, brutal climate, much of the earth is a wasteland. Government has disintegrated--and with it, order--and now Cranks, people covered in festering wounds and driven to murderous insanity by the infectious disease known as the Flare, roam the crumbling cities hunting for their next victim... and meal.

The Gladers are far from done running. Instead of freedom, they find themselves faced with another trial. They must cross the Scorch, the most burned-out section of the world, and arrive at a safe haven in two weeks. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Thomas can only wonder--does he hold the secret of freedom somewhere in his mind? Or will he forever be at the mercy of WICKED?

From Goodreads.com

So, who read The Maze Runner and thought the ending of the book completely mind blowing? Show of hands. *raises hand* Yeah? Well, hold on tight because in The Scorch Trials, everything is a mind blower. You thought The Maze Runner was crazy? The Scorch Trials are even more so.

Now, I have to compare books to other books, but I need to in order to make my point here. Anyone read A Great and Terrible Beauty and the rest of the Gemma Doyle series by Libba Bray? Yes? Know how the books got more magical as they went on, and the balance between reality and magic became more and more skewed towards magic? The Scorch Trials does the same thing, but, working off The Maze Runner, WICKED gets more and more involved and things get way crazier.

You have to be able to read crazy in order to read this book, that's all I'm saying. There are points in the novel when you stop and think to yourself Self, is James Dashner really writing this? and then, you must reply to yourself Self, this man is a genius, let him keep writing and keep reading. All I can say.

Those little things you ignored in The Maze Runner? Like the woman at the end yelling about the Flare and the "test results from Group B being extraordinary?" Yep, all comes into play in this wonderfully crafted novel. Where The Maze Runner was suspense and mystery, trying to figure out what happened, The Scorch Trials is hard packed action, though the mystery doesn't diminish. In fact, I believe I have more questions now than after I read The Maze Runner.

Oh, and if I may pause here to compliment the cover. Once again, the artist has captured The Scorch as beautifully as they captured The Maze. The colors are enticing and the image makes sense with the book. I find this to be something missing in a lot of YA covers, so a congrats goes out there.

Now, back to the review. As in the first book, all the main characters are back. Thomas, Teresa, Minho, Newt. Everyone comes back. But here's the thing. Dashner adds a whole slew of characters into the mix yet doesn't miss a beat. No characters become neglected when he introduces these new characters. Everything flows without a hitch.

True to the first book, this one also ends with a gut-twisting moment that will leave you screaming for more. James Dashner, if you're reading this, I applaud you, sir, for frustrating me completely at the end of your novels. Well done. And, true to his word, the Maze was only the beginning, and I'm sure the Scorch is only an extension of that beginning. Can't wait for the final installment.

Rating: A

Monday, November 15, 2010

Music Monday ~ Digital Daggers

Let's get this clear. The CW has the best music department ever. Always great songs on all their shows. Here's the song from the end of Nikita a couple of weeks ago that I fell in love with. It's called No Easy Way by Digital Daggers.

Friday, November 12, 2010

GRACE Review

A fable of a terrifying near future by critically acclaimed author Elizabeth Scott.

Grace was raised to be an Angel, a herald of death by suicide bomb. But she refuses to die for the cause, and now Grace is on the run, daring to dream of freedom. In search of a border she may never reach, she travels among malevolent soldiers on a decrepit train crawling through the desert. Accompanied by the mysterious Kerr, Grace struggles to be invisible, but the fear of discovery looms large as she recalls the history and events that delivered her uncertain fate.

Told in spare, powerful prose, this tale of a dystopian near future will haunt readers long after they've reached the final page.

From Goodreads.com

Before I begin my review, let me first mention that, before reading the book, I didn't like the cover at all. I thought it was odd, strangely done, but, after reading, the cover makes sense to me and I love it. Also, before I begin, let me mention that I am in love with Elizabeth Scott's chameleonesque quality in her writing. She writes chick-lit, she writes romance, she writes dark and gritty, and then she writes this. Amazing. Kudos to you, Elizabeth Scott.

After finishing this book, I really had no idea what to say. What could I say? The entire novel takes place on a train where only small events take place. The majority of the novel and action takes place through memories, thoughts, which I wasn't sure I liked. I do believe this sort of back and forth between present day and the past (non-linear) is called modernist writing, and I loved how Elizabeth Scott took on this new way of writing I have yet to see in YA before.

The intensity of the book is only further brought out by Elizabeth Scott's stark writing. Rather than give you a paragraph on how the train smells, she tells you in a single word that captures everything. Simply beautiful, is all I can say for the writing.

As for the characters, I feel as though they were developed more here than in her other books. Grace and Kerr grew as characters through the novel, though time didn't pass. How could this be, you ask. How can an author develop characters without passing much time? The simple answer: I don't know, but Elizabeth Scott does it wonderfully.

And that's the thing about Grace. I'm still mind blown as to how anything happened. They sat on a train for nearly the entire book yet so much happened! I can't describe this frustration (though perhaps that's not the right word for what I'm feeling because frustration carries a negative connotation and this is by far not negative) at not being able to figure out how she does what she does, but she does and that's what matters.

See, even here you can see how completely mind blown I am. I can't even write a regular review. I'm still tossing over the ideas in my head despite it being so long since I read the book. I can't fathom everything completely yet. I can't understand everything that happened, but this future world with character was developed and I fell in love, sucked into the book.

From page one, Elizabeth Scott sucks you in and refuses to let you go. She pounds words down your throat that you don't know the meaning of, and flashes various scenarios in front of your eyes that you don't understand but feel the gravity of, and you're trapped. Completely and utterly trapped. The only way out is to finish the book, and you will finish it breathless.

Rating: A

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Things I've Learned Thursday

If you want a love life, move to a new school and town. The new kid at school will never want for a romantic relationship. Everyone will fawn over them and fall in love with them. Usually this relationship involves either the new kid or one of the students at the school who the new kid falls in love with being a werewolf, vampire, ghost, [insert your own paranormal creature here].

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lovely Loves ~ TV Shows

Again, if you want to get to know me, you have to know what I watch. Here's a few of my favorite shows.

A great show filled with action and thrills, and very subtle romance. Love it.

Project Runway
Though I'm not interested in fashion at all, really, I would wear a paper bag over my head and be happy, I love this show. I can't find a trailer for it since each season is different though.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Music Monday ~ Jonsi

Alright, so how many of you have seen the movie How To Train Your Dragon? In 3D? Anyone? LOVED IT. Know what else I love? The song from the ending credits, called Sticks and Stones by Jonsi. Take a listen.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Found: One girl, age 13. Unconscious. Unharmed. Unclaimed. Unidentified.

Lost: Everything.

JD may not know the truth about her past, but she knows she's in danger, and she can't shake the dark visions haunting her dreams. She won't be safe until she figures out who she is and where she came from. She can trust no one, not even herself--especially not herself. Because it turns out there's one thing even more terrible than forgetting her past: remembering.

From Goodreads.com

May I begin by stating that this is a middle grade novel, but is completely suitable for young adults so long as you're willing to sacrifice from descriptions and endure some eye rolling moments when you're screaming at JD, wishing she would be a bit brighter.

This novel is strange. That's the word for it. Strange, yet intense. I found myself reading the book in a couple of hours (though it's short) because I couldn't stop. The plot moved very quickly and I needed to keep reading. Yes, the book is middle grade, so there are some things in it that I found boring or out of place as a young adult, but, like I said, it's not meant for young adults. It's meant for middle graders.

One thing I didn't enjoy was that nearly nothing was resolved in the book. Many, many things happen, but nearly nothing is resolved. Sometimes in books, this is a good thing, but I felt as though, with this book, it wasn't a good thing, though this isn't to say I won't read the second book. I most definitely will. I just felt as though too many questions were raised and not enough were answered.

Besides that, I enjoyed the characters. JD was great to read about and had a life all her own. She leaps from the page with her flippant personality and trust-no-one attitude. I loved how she was a strong female (something becoming more and more predominant in young adult today) and thoroughly enjoyed reading the book about her.

Rating: B

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Things I've Learned Thursday

People lie all the time. They even lie about lying. I can't say don't trust anything other people say, but don't believe everything everyone says either. Especially when they threaten to kill you and then tell you they're only acting.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lovely Loves ~ Movies

So, you want to get to know me? Get to know a couple of my favorite movies.

The Illusionist
One of the best movies I've ever seen. Mystery, romance, and thrills. I loved every second of it, and the way it made you think was even better.

How to Train Your Dragon
Completely different from my first choice, but I loved this one nonetheless. A great movie for both children and adults with beautiful animation.

She's the Man
One of my favorite comedies. Loved every moment of it and am constantly quoting it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Hey everyone,

Sorry for the shortage of posts, but this is due to NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. Though some of you may not have heard about it, NaNoWriMo is a National event in which thousands of participants sit down and write an entire novel in a month (50,000 words). Right now, I'm enrolled in their Young Writer's Program and plan to complete half of that (25,000 words) this month. Anyone else participating? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Music Monday ~ Gregory and the Hawk

I recently discovered this small, virtually unknown group and fell in love with their sound. The lead singer's voice is so simple, a bit gruff yet pure at the same time. I can't describe it. Take a listen below.