Blue Egg Books

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So, I saw Divergent on Friday…

and I can’t lie: it was amazing.

I went in with super low expectations. I re-read the books earlier in the week to prepare myself and honestly expected the worst, especially based on the crappy reviews it was getting.

Let’s be real for a minute – Shailene Woodley was not my first choice for Tris. Whenever I think of her, I just picture her from the seemingly awful ABC Family show where she is pregnant.

Sidenote: during the movie I realized that poor Shai and I have the same hair type: thick, heavy, and wavy. Makes me like her more. 😉

See all that hair? Girl I RELATE.

ANYWAYS…

I had no idea who Theo James was before this and he didn’t seem to “have it” either when the casting annoucement was made.

People, I was W R O N G. They both were fantastic! Maybe not quite as badass as the Tris and Four I pictured in my head but they were really dang good.

The world looked perfect. The other characters were perfect (except for Peter but we’ll get to that). Even the book to screen adaptation went well!

I was pleasantly surprised at how well the movie explained things; I saw the movie with my mom who hadn’t read the books and I was kinda worried she would have no clue what was going on but gurlfriend picked up on everything right away and even called the ending. Nice job, movie!

What I didn’t like?: PETER. Holy crap. He was my #1 problem with the movie.

Look at this man’s face… does he look EVIL and AWFUL to you? No. Not at all.

Peter?

The incredible hatred for Peter that I felt during the book was simply not on screen. Yeah, he was a jerk and snarky but he kinda just reminded me of the spoiled pretty-boys I went to high school with.

I know I said that the book to screen adaptation went well (and it did!) but I so wish Tris’ tattoo had been explained. That scene with Tori is kinda a big deal and I wish we had seen the reason for Tris’ choice.

Bonus Points:

Maggie Q. You gorgeous, perfect Dauntless woman.

Scruffy, swoony men. I’m looking at you, FOUR!

All in all – I LOVED it. You should see it. Like right now. Drool over Four for me!


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Review: The Juliet Club

Author: Suzanne Harper
Series: N/A
Publishing: May 27, 2008/HarperTeen/402 pages
Format Read: Paperback
Source: Borrowed
Classroom shelfability: Yes
Rating:
Review Blue Egg 3
Summary (from GoodReads): Italy . . . Shakespeare . . . but no romance? Kate Sanderson inherited her good sense from her mother, a disciplined law professor, and her admiration for the Bard from her father, a passionate Shakespeare scholar. When she gets dumped, out of the blue, for the Practically Perfect Ashley Lawson, she vows never to fall in love again. From now on she will control her own destiny, and every decision she makes will be highly reasoned and rational. She thinks Shakespeare would have approved.So when she is accepted to a summer Shakespeare symposium in Verona, Italy, Kate sees it as the ideal way to get over her heartbreak once and for all. She’ll lose herself in her studies, explore ancient architecture, and eat plenty of pasta and gelato. (Plus, she’ll be getting college credit for it–another goal accomplished ) But can even completely logical Kate resist the romance of living in a beautiful villa in the city where those star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet met and died for each other? Especially when the other Shakespeare Scholars–in particular Giacomo, with his tousled brown hair, expressive dark eyes, and charming ways–try hard to break her protective shell?”In fair Verona, where we lay our scene . . . ”

My Thoughts: Gotta love a good Shakespeare/travel to Italy/YA romance. This was a light, fluffy fun read complete with some “meh” writing but all-in-all a cute and satisfying beach read.
Some of the writing made me cringe but in the book’s defense I’m more “A” than “Y” so perhaps I just have a lower tolerance? It was definitely high school chatty-type writing that served it’s purpose but kinda grated on my nerves.
Kate is your typical YA star – pretty but doesn’t know it, grumpy but still had at least one good friend, headstrong but easily wooed by a pretty boy. And, Giacomo fits his mold perfectly as well.
The story is predictable but I’m a super for Shakespeare so I can’t complain much. 😉
Don’t let my cynicism prevent you from picking up this perfect Spring Break read. It is definiely “good” and it sure is fun. It would find space on my classroom’s book shelf but maybe not my shelf at home.


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Booking Through Thursday: Nightmare Cast

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme about (mostly) books and reading!

This Week’s Question: And, the reverse–which actors have been particularly badly cast in roles of characters you first met in the pages of a book? Do you blame the actors or the writers and other film-people for the failure? Who would you have cast instead?

My Answer: Okay, this is probably the most unpopular opinion of all time and I *can’t* believe I’m going to admit it buutttt… Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter. ::Flamesuit ON::

Breathe, folks, and let me explain.

I can’t imagine a different actor playing Harry (or is that just because he was the one cast..? HM!?) and on the whole, Mr. Radcliffe did a fantastic job. He looked the part (minus the eyes – such a huge deal in the books!), he portrayed all the complexity perfectly, etc.

My biggest problem? Book Harry Potter is SASSY and funny. Movie Potter? Not as much…

Now, I understand this has little to do with Daniel and more to do with the script, writers, the director but I’m going to be honest, I missed Sassy Potter. Every summer I re-read the series (creature of habit) and always remember how much I prefer Book Potter over Movie Potter.

Don’t get me wrong: Daniel Radcliffe IS Harry Potter and I can’t think of a re-cast but I so wish that Daniel/the writers made Harry the Sassy Harry that us book fans all came to love.

So, have I been disowned, blogging world? 😉


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Review: The Truth About Forever

 

Author: Sarah Dessen
Series: N/A
Publishing: May 11, 2004/Penguin Group/374 pages
Format Read: Paperback
Source: Borrowed
Classroom shelfability: Yes
Rating:
Review Blue Egg 3
Summary (from GoodReads): That’s what Macy has to look forward to while her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp. Days will be spent at a boring job in the library, evenings will be filled with vocabulary drills for the SATs, and spare time will be passed with her mother, the two of them sharing a silent grief at the traumatic loss of Macy’s father.But sometimes unexpected things can happen—things such as the catering job at Wish, with its fun-loving, chaotic crew. Or her sister’s project of renovating the neglected beach house, awakening long-buried memories. Things such as meeting Wes, a boy with a past, a taste for Truth-telling, and an amazing artistic talent, the kind of boy who could turn any girl’s world upside down. As Macy ventures out of her shell, she begins to wonder, Is it really better to be safe than sorry?
My Thoughts: I was really nervous about this book. I am typically not a YA “regular” fiction kinda gal. I don’t really like books that don’t have some type of fantasy/paranormal/alternate universe thing goin’ on. I’ve always said “I don’t like reading books about real life or drama – I have enough of that in my own life!” Which is totes true, y’all.
For years I’ve heard wonderful things about Sarah Dessen and decided to pick up The Truth About Forever. The cover seemed the least offensive – no one was hugging on the beach or standing under the sun kissing.
The good news? I liked it! I really liked it! The bad? I “liked it” – didn’t love it, wouldn’t read another Dessen book, probably, but hey, progress is progress.
Dessen IS good at what she writes. The characters and the plot were both well developed. I felt connected to her characters, I was invested in their stories. There were just enough romantic elements without being overbearing. And I’ll admit it: I may have teared up at the end.. so sweet!
I typically find that YA books about teens, heartbreak, love, etc are pretty painful to read. Not true with Dessen. Everything was well balanced and she weaved a story that held my attention and had my rooting for and against all the right characters.
So, why 3 eggs? It was just “meh” to me. Perhaps I’m biased – I shouldn’t review non-fantasy/paranormal/adventure YA books because they really just aren’t my cup of tea. It was fun to experience the emotions of falling in love, having a great best friend, etc. but I’ve gotta be honest: I’d much rather prefer some magic or dare I even say it… vampires.
I think most people would enjoy this book. As I said, it is well written and it’s engaging. Dessen is a good author and there is no denying that. In addition, I’d put this on my classroom shelf – my kids would eat this book up. For my genre specific loving readers, this may be one to skip if you’re picky like me.


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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Oh Monday. You’re back. UGH.

I *finally* finished The Night Circus (cue the Hallelujah singing cherubs) and posted my review yesterday.

This week I decided to try another Kristin Cashore book!

Graceling was good (see review here) but I was a little underwhelmed and mentioned that I wanted more Bitterblue and Leck… well, my friends, ask and you shall receive! Kinda.

At the suggestion of one of my GoodReads friends, I picked up Bitterblue at the library and am already digging it. SO much better than Graceling! And, I get my Bitterblue along with some Leck, Po, and Katsa tied in. NICE. So far, so good. I hope it keeps up the momentum, mystery, and overall goodness.

In other book related news, I got tickets to see NEIL GAIMAN! Woohoo!! Hubby and I (along with some of my internet book club friends) will be off to be enchanted by NG himself in June. Just stare at his wonderfulness until my post tomorrow, go ahead:


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Review: The Night Circus

Author: Erin Morganstern
Series: N/A
Publishing: September 13, 2011/Doubleday/387 pages
Format Read: Hardback
Source: Borrowed
Classroom shelfability: No
Rating:
 Review Blue Egg 3
Summary (from GoodReads): The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

 My Thoughts: I have a confession– I feel like a bad book blogger. I heard WONDERFUL things about this book. Raving reviews, tons of praise, “OMG THIS IS THE BEST BOOK EVAR!”  fangirling, etc. I was all prepared to a d o r e this book and be swept up by it’s amazingness.

But, I didn’t…

In fact, the only reason this book got 3 eggs instead of 2 or 1 (eek!) is because of Morganstern’s imagination. Holy macaroni, I’d love to live in that woman’s head. I was seriously blown away by her truly fantastic writing and vivid imagery. In that sense, this book was beautiful.

I also LOVED the cover and interior of the book. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous.

And that’s where my praise ends. Everything else? “Meh.” I gotta be honest: I was TOTALLY bored by this book. I kept waiting for more– romance, a battle, more magic, some type of serious twist or exchange between characters. Nada.

While the characters were likeable enough, none of their stories sucked me in. I was apathetic, at best, to their situations and the only character who I even kinda liked was Bailey. And, I am the type of reader that usually wants to cuddle around a campfire with all the characters singing “Kumbaya”- not this time, folks.

I am usually very taken with changes in POV and multiple time frames but it didn’t work for me here. Perhaps because there was a very weak, boring-as-heck plot? It took me FOREVER to finish this book.. like 2 weeks, at least. Very rare for me. Even my husband said “isn’t it taking you a really long time to finish that book?”. I meekly replied: “I don’t like it.” “Well, clearly!”… yeah, pretty much solidifed my fairly unpopular opinion on The Night Circus.

I will give credit where credit is due- the ending was one of the other decent parts of this book. But even combined with the positives I discussed above, this book still fell super flat for me. Enough cannot be said about Morganstern’s craft or incredible imagination and for that I commend her highly {she very well could be one of the best writers in the bunch}. But, everything else? Not my piece of cake.

It’s funny: from the blogger folk I’ve talked to, you either love or really dislike this book. I can’t even begin to loosely group people together who I’d think would enjoy this book- it seems fairly random. So here’s what I’ll say, read The Night Circus for the imagination and creativity that oozes off the pages but don’t expect anything more.

Classroom shelfability? Heck to the n o.