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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 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.


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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey that helps readers stay on top of their reading week!

It’s Spring Break! Woohoo! I’m getting lots of quality time with my books. Right now I’m finishing up Torn by Amanda Hocking and plan on starting The Night Circus Tuesday or Wednesday! I’ve heard wonderful things about the Night Circus and I can’t wait to pick it up. I am a little nervous though… the circus terrifies me. I hope there are minimal/not scary circus elements!

I picked up 3 other books from the library and am so grateful for the time off to be able to enjoy reading!

Have a great Monday!


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Booking Through Thursday

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

This week’s question: Does your current mood affect your reading? Affect your choices? I know there are plenty of books I enjoy, but only if I’m in a particular kind of mood–or books that can lift me out of a bad mood without fail. Surely I’m not alone?

My response: Sorta. I don’t typically read any type of sad, realistic, or depressing book. EVER. (Unless we’re talking dystopian and then I’m all in.)It’s just not my style and I’m NEVER in the mood to read those genres or titles that feature a lot of those elements. I’m always reading fantasy-type books because real-world settings just irritate me- I have enough drama and reality in my own life, thank you very much!

I will admit: every once in awhile I will read a sad book if I need a good cry. It happens very rarely.

On the whole, I have to be in a mood to read certain books but I have completely cut out various types of books from my reading diet because I’m never in the mood to read them. 😉


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Review: Firelight

 

Author: Sophie Jordan
Series: Firelight #1
Publishing: September 7, 2010/ HarperTeen/326 pages
Format Read: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Classroom shelfability: Yes
Rating:
Blue EggSummary from GoodReads: Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki, a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will’s dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away;if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She’ll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide. 

My Thoughts: I wanted to LOVE this book. But, I didn’t. In fact, I really really really disliked this book. It had SO much potential too. IT’S ABOUT DRAGONS, PEOPLE. But, sadly, it was just like Twilight with dragons and dragon hunters.That’s the best possible way for me to describe it- Twilight with dragons. So much is the same– he tells her she shouldn’t hang out with him, she says he’s like an addicting drug, he has a posse, he’s “different”… I could go on and on. The parallels are endless. And annoying.So much of this book just seemed underplanned to me. For example, Jacinda does not like where she is living and wants to leave- she whines about it on every page. But doesn’t. And, I don’t get it. If she’s that miserable, why doesn’t she leave. She can literally FLY AWAY.

That said, I am intrigued by the Draki world and want to know more. I’d also like to know more about the hunters– do normal people not know about the dragons flyin’ around? Credit where credit is due: I like that the author created multiple types of dragons with different types of “abilities” and the gems that each family has seem very interesting. I just wish we had more about Draki than Jacinda’s crying.

I will admit that I read the preview for the next book. I was SUPER excited about a spoiler and considered reading the next in the series but I can’t bring myself to. Would my students love this book? Yes. Would dragon lovers like this book? Doubt it, or at least don’t compare it to any GOOD dragon lore. Would you like this book? Probs not. Skippable.


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Review: The Lightning Thief


Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1
Publishing: April 1, 2006/ Hyperion/375 pages
Format Read: NOOK
Source: Borrowed
Classroom shelfability: Yes
Rating:
Review Blue Egg 3

 

Summary from GoodReadsPercy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school… again. And that’s the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’ master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’ stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

My Thoughts: I foggily remembered the plot of this book because I saw the movie on an international flight. As a result, the book left me kind of underwhelmed.

First things first: I adore Greek mythology. Always have. That’s the number one reason I chose the movie on that plane. The good news is that the book on the whole is good. Not bad, not great– good. Average.

The characters are likeable enough. Percy is relatable and all of the characterization felt appropriate. I loved the basis of the backstory: a “summer camp” for half bloods. The different cabins, the kids, all a lot of fun. I wish we could’ve spent more time there instead of questing.

Riordan did a beautiful job describing things. I got a little weak kneeded at the descriptions of Olympus and the Underworld. And, I loved that Cerebus was a Rottie like my baby Bowser.

Another thing I really enjoyed was all of Percy & Co.’s encounters with different mythological beings. Their human tie-ins were funny and overall I think those scenes were some of the best parts of the book.

So what did I not like? Having spoiled the plot for myself. As I said, I was left pretty under-wow’d because I knew the twist from that dumb movie. While it was still fun to read, I probably should’ve skipped this one. However, I do believe that 3 eggs would be what I would’ve rated it had I seen the movie or not. The book was your average, fun, middle-grade read. And, my students would love it. It most certainly has shelfability in my classroom.

If you’ve seen the movie or don’t typically like middle grade YA, steer clear, although the mythological aspect is enough to pull most fantasy lovers in.


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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey that helps readers stay on top of their reading week!

Today I am starting a new book! A NOOK friend lent me Switched by Amanda Hocking. It looks absolutely intriguing. I need to get my butt in gear, though. NOOK only allows a book to be lent for 14 days and my time is ticking…

Hocking is an indie author who was later signed to a major publishing company-gotta love a good success story! Expect a review soon but for now check out the GoodReads summary below!

When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn’t until eleven years later that Wendy finds out her mother might’ve been telling the truth. With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed – and it’s one she’s not sure if she wants to be a part of.