Monday, May 19, 2014

May Reading Challenge: Monument 14 Series


Author: Emmy Laybourne
Rating: an average of 4 stars
Review Contains Spoilers
                                       






















Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May Challenge: Love Letters to the Dead

Meeting an author in real life became a reality for me a few years ago. In 2013 I met Lauren Oliver, Hugh Howey and Jodi Picoult. 2014 has not been as exciting, mainly because I haven't met anyone. I'm counting on June's Fierce Reads tour to change that. Leigh Bardugo, Emmy Laybourne, Ava Dellaria and Jennifer Mathieu will headline the YA tour with their May/June releases.
I challenged myself to read and familiarize myself with these authors and their latest novels in May so I'm ready for the event in June.
I'm one book down for my goal after reading Love Letters to the Dead.
Author: Ava Dellaria
Rating: 4 stars
Review Contains Major Spoilers


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

"Leaving Doctor Who is the saddest thing that's ever happened to happen to me"


Photo Credit: Cristina Roock
Emerald City Comicon 2014
Contains Mild Spoilers
From March 28-30, thousands upon thousands of people flock to the Seattle Convention Center for Emerald City Comicon. Since 2003, the con has attracted fans of all ages with their activities and panels on comic books, graphic novels, TV shows, movies and more. According to ECCC's website, 2014 was their most successful year. This year was also my first time ever attending a comic con. I have one theory on why this year may have been the biggest yet: Karen Gillan. 
Scotland native Karen Gillan, 26, played Amy Pond on the British show Doctor Who. The show became a big hit in the States during her era as the Doctor's traveling companion. Her last episode aired in September 2012, causing worldwide heartache. Thankfully, Doctor Who isn't the last we'll see of her. Since Who, she's starred the indie flick Not Another Happy Ending and will be in Oculus, her first mainstream horror movie out April 11. Not to mention this one movie called Guardians of the Galaxy, where she'll portray the villain Nebula. 
During her panel, Gillan touched on all of her projects and discussed her costars, family and future as well. Gillan had never visited Seattle before ECCC, she said.  Seattle's weather is much like Scotland and Starbucks was on her to-do list before flying out, Gillan said.
Fans lined up and took turns asking Gillan questions on a microphone. From children to aspiring actors and actresses, Gillan received an array of interesting questions.
.Doctor Who: Getting the role
The saddest thing Gillan has ever experienced is leaving Doctor Who. One bittersweet story she shared with the audience regarded her mother, a longtime Doctor Who fan. After snagging the role of Amy Pond, Gillan traveled to her home with the Doctor Who crew to surprise her mother with the news. Her mom was washing the dishes and started crying, Gillan said.
Matt & Arthur
Gillan and Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams) were both introduced to the Doctor Who fandom around the same time as Matt Smith. All three of them went on a wild ride as the show's popularity increased. "Matt's my best friend and they are both like the brothers I never had," Gillan said. Gillan and Smith would play around all day on set and film scenes in between, Gillan joked. 
Pranks and laughter were common on set. "Arthur once printed a picture of Mrs.Doubtfire and taped it on my trailer," she said. Matt was chatting with a pretty girl and knocked over a light trying to look cool, Gillan said.
When one fan asked if Gillan would ever reprise her role as Amy she replied only if Darvill and Smith returned as well.
The 12th Doctor
When Doctor Who returns next fall Peter Capaldi will be the Thirteenth Doctor. Capaldi and Gillan guest starred in the same Pompeii episode during David Tennant's era. Gillan thinks Capaldi is a good match for the role because he's a huge fan of the series, she said. Capaldi, known for his infamous cursing, might need the TARDIS vortex sounds to bleep out language, Gillan joked.
Time Travel, Memorable Scenes and Desert Islands
Some of my other favorite questions:
When asked where she would travel to with TARDIS if she could, Gillan chose to go as far into the future before the world ends. 
"I would say hi to the Prime Minister and the President of America," she said.
'The Girl Who Waited' was Gillan's most memorable scene to film, she said. When Gillan mentioned how she enjoyed playing an older Amy Pond and filming the last scenes with Rory the crowd squealed and laughed.
Gillan chose the Eleventh Doctor and Clara as the Doctor and companion she'd like to have with her on a deserted island. 
Several audience members were aspiring filmmakers, actors and actresses. Some advice Gillan had for them was to harden themselves to rejection and never give up. She also advised people to soak up all knowledge from first-hand experience in theater, movies and TV show acting.
Guardians of the Galaxy/Oculus
Marvel's 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is out this summer  To prepare for her role Gillan had to exercise a lot and eat way more protein, she said. Filming fight scenes with Zoe Saldana was her favorite part to film, Gillan said. 
Until Guardians is released Gillan fans have Oculus (out April 11) to tide them over. In Oculus, Gillan plays a woman tortured by a haunted mirror and her family's dark past. It looks like fans have plenty of Gillan projects to look forward to.

Photo Credit: Cristina Roock

Monday, March 3, 2014

Burn

Author: Julianna Baggott
Rating: 4 stars
Review Contains Spoilers

Burn is the last book of Julianna Baggott's amazing Pure trilogy. Each book, especially the ending, always left me fangirling or with my mouth hanging wide open.
If I had read Burn as a hardcover the ending would have made me throw the book against the wall. Luckily I read it on a Kindle, which I threw into a pile of pillows.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Perry and Gobi series

Author: Joe Schreiber
Rating: 3.5 stars average
Review Contains Mild Spoilers
       








         

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Gone Series

Author: Michael Grant
Rating: 3-5 stars pending on the book
Review Contains Spoilers
Book One (Gone) and Six (Light) Covers Featured
 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Age of Miracles

Author: Karen Thompson Walker
Rating: 4 stars
Review Contains Mild Spoilers



Being an 11-year-old can be such a fragile thing. A kid's mind is still developing and tender right as puberty is inching closer. School/homework, crushes and arguing with parents are main parts of everyone's puberty. 11-year-old Julia gives readers a special point of view when the world starts ending. First of all, this is not the average apocalyptic novel. The end of the world is slow and never really happens (more on that later). Issues and drama are planted like seeds--slowly budding and evolving before exploding before Julia's eyes.

Earth's rotation is slowing down. Days grow longer. Daytime and nighttime flip flop. Gravity is a memory and the environment suffers. All things people take advantage of every day. Julia and her family live in California and are forced to adjust to a different life. Readers also get to see how Julia's neighbors challenge and adapt to new ways of life.

I don't know if it's just me but survival of the fittest came across as the underlying theme. All the characters--whether they oppose or support the new daylight rules--survived based on their will to adapt to their liking.

Despite the end of world coming undone, Julia grows up and experiences heartbreak and wisdom. She loses her best friend. Not to death or disease but the natural growing apart what happens between friends and cliques. Julia's crush turns into a good friend and somewhat of a boyfriend. Her relationship with her grandfather is also tested as he prepares for a fallout, feeding on his own government conspiracies. Julia and her parents are tested as an affair threatens to break them apart.

As the novel ends, Julia and her family overcome obstacles and stay together. Several years have passed since the rotation slowed down and while things get worse, Julia deals with the new normal as well as she can. I wasn't expecting anyone to be alive at the end but maybe the end is not always so definitive. The end of the world will happen, just on its own time. While Age of Miracles ended on a bleak note, the concept felt fresh to me.