Friday, 31 March 2017

Books To Movies

Welcome Back Bookworms

It's been quite some time since I posted and that is because I just haven't felt like reading in a while now. GASP! I know it's crazy isn't it; not reading despite running a book blog. But I was starting to feel bad for not updating this blog so I came up with a post idea and I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments. 

Books are often transformed from words on a page into visuals on the big screen. The transition from book to movie can either enhance a story or leave the things you enjoyed about it out of the picture. It's always a difficult decision about going to see a movie for a book you absolutely loved. So that poses the next question:

Do you see the movie before or after reading the novel?
I've gone both ways with this one and I'm still undecided as to which way is better. Let me break it down a little bit as to why that is. 

There are series I've read, such as The Hunger Games or Divergent, where I knew the story before seeing the directors depiction of said stories. In the first case, that of The Hunger Games, I was glad to have read the novels first because I had a greater understanding of the dynamics of the Districts and the Capitol; I felt as though I knew it was going on, which is something I wouldn't have achieved if I'd see the movies first. However, in the second case, that of the Divergent series, I was left at a loss because of changes to the original plot. In most cases they were minor details, but they were still deviations from what I was expecting, which made watching the movies more painful than enjoyable.

On the flip side, I've watched movies that I really enjoyed that I later discovered were based on books, so I of course went back and read them. One example of that is If I Stay which I absolutely loved, despite some people saying it was too cheesy or it moved at too quick of a pace initially with the development of their relationship. After watching the movie, I knew I needed to go back and read the original story, as well as the sequel. I loved falling in love with the characters again, but this time through words on a page and not pictures on a screen. I don't know if it would have gone so well the other way around. I also recently just watched Me Before You, a movie that I haven't yet read the book for (though it had been on my list to read). Having watched the movie now, which I thought was adorable, I'm not sure I want to read the book because the movie seemed so perfect. 

The Final Dilemma? 
Reading a book before the movie means you have more insight into what the author thinks about the characters or the plot, but this means you have higher expectations of the movie and become disappointed by mistakes. Watching the movie before reading the book means you have clear images of what the characters and places look like, but it can become frustrating if you later discovering something wasn't replicated correctly which ultimately ruins both the book AND the movie. 
So, I pose the following to you: which do you do first?

Friday, 3 March 2017

This Is My Genre, Tell Me Yours (Book Tag)

Happy Friday Bookworms
I came across this book tag while scrolling through Instagram. I saw Carolyne from Bookish Queen Blog post about doing this tag and thought it sounded interesting! I know I wasn't formally tagged but I like the questions. I tag anyone reading this to post their responses and definitely let me know if you do because I love reading everyone's answers!

The tag was made by TheTattooedBookGeek 

 1. What’s your favorite genre?

My go-to genre will forever and always be Fantasy/Dystopian 

2. Who’s your favorite author from the genre?

I honestly don't know if I can pinpoint just one author out of the bunch! But a few of the names that pop into my mind are... 

Ally Condie - Matched/Crossed/Reached

Jessica Verday - Hollow/Haunted/Hidden

Maggie Stiefvater - Shiver/Linger/Forever

3. What is it about the genre that keeps pulling you back?

 I think for me it's because the books always have the same familiar vibe which makes them feel all connected somehow. It's also nice to pick up a new book knowing that there's going to be something recognizable about it, despite it being new. Also, it doesn't hurt to get lost in another world for a couple hours at a time! 

4. What’s the book that started your love for your favorite genre?

It wasn't just one book that started my love for Fantasy novels, but instead of was a series of seven novels: Harry Potter. I think for most people, the world of fantasy and exploring unique universes with mystical beasts began with those books. It was so unlike anything I had ever read before or had read to me that it made me want to devour more far-off worlds that I hoped could be real one day (without the destructive portions mind you). 

5. If you had to recommend at least one book from your favorite genre to a non-reader/someone looking to start reading that genre, what book would you choose and why?

 I would recommend Ally Condie's series that I mentioned above. That trilogy consumed my mind and I couldn't put them down! I gave both Matched and Crossed 5 stars when I read them back in the summer of 2014. Reached I gave a little under 5 stars but only by a small margin. All three had me wanting more from the series - to this day, I still want them to make it into a movie! It was said that Disney bought the rights to the first book before it was released but that was several years ago unfortunately.

  6. Why do you read?

I do so for many reasons. I read because it's a distraction if my mind is running a mile a minute, worrying about things I'm supposed to be doing. I read because it's a great use of time and gives my eyes a break from my computer screen. I read because it helps me sleep at night; the fantasy world gives my mind something to think about besides my endless to-do list. I read because it's a universal, timeless thing that I think everyone should do and keep alive.


Never Stop Reading

Friday, 24 February 2017

Tropical World (Millie Marotta)

Happy Friday!

I'm back from my two weeks of silence which I honestly don't have a reason for other than not really picking up a book. However, while I sat on my bed staring at my bookshelf, I realized there's one book I've never talked about that consumed a lot of my time during the summer. The unique thing is that it's a colouring book! Yes I know it's the stereotypical bandwagon to hop onto since everyone and there dog has one, but it is incredible. 

I purchased one of Millie's adult colouring books before my summer co-op placement because I knew that I would be stuck in a small town and alone without any of my friends for three months. That idea was a bit daunting to me, especially since I have anxiety. Being someone with anxiety, I often enjoy hobbies that consume your mind and your time; that's one of the reasons I read and it's one of the reasons I picked up this book. I wanted something to consume time and thoughts whenever I felt homesick.

For the first month of living in a slightly isolated town, I coloured almost every night after getting home from work. Each time I sat down with my box full of pencil crayons and a playlist of relaxing music, I was always finding myself smiling at the creation I was making.The act of planning out a colour scheme and seeing it through to completion was so completely satisfying; I recommend it to everyone! I'm not going to give it a formal rating because I believe that some people wouldn't find this as satisfying as I do, but that's because I'm slightly obsessive and have anxiety. It's designed for people like me.

With all that said, I'd like to end off by sharing some of my favourites that I've completed thus far in my colouring book journey.

Happy Colouring!

Friday, 3 February 2017

2017 Anticipation: January - June

Welcome Back Bookworms

 Now this is not a review, which is highly unlike me; however, like I mentioned at the start of the year, I want to incorporate some different types of posts into my blog. For this non-review post, I want to talk about some books being released this year that I'm looking for either because of the author, the cover artwork, or the synopsis. I'm going to pick one book for each month of the first half of the year. I'll do a second one of these later on. Hope you like this idea!
Reason: Author 
Release: January 17

On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not—their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world? Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power—something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows. Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive—no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive—or to destroy one another.

Reason: Cover
Release: February 21 

Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. Forty years ago, he carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancĂ©e, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost objects—the things others have dropped, misplaced, or accidently left behind—and writing stories about them. Now, in the twilight of his life, Anthony worries that he has not fully discharged his duty to reconcile all the lost things with their owners. As the end nears, he bequeaths his secret life’s mission to his unsuspecting assistant, Laura, leaving her his house and and all its lost treasures, including an irritable ghost. Recovering from a bad divorce, Laura, in some ways, is one of Anthony’s lost things. But when the lonely woman moves into his mansion, her life begins to change. She finds a new friend in the neighbor’s quirky daughter, Sunshine, and a welcome distraction in Freddy, the rugged gardener. As the dark cloud engulfing her lifts, Laura, accompanied by her new companions, sets out to realize Anthony’s last wish: reuniting his cherished lost objects with their owners.

Reason: Synopsis
Release: March 21

What would you do if you realized that your new husband, a man you adore, is keeping secrets from you—secrets with terrifying consequences? Bryn Harper, an accomplished self-help author, already has plenty to deal with. She’s still recovering from a devastating car accident that has left her haunted by recurring, smoke-filled nightmares. Worse still, she can’t shake the ominous feeling her dreams contain a warning. 
In the beginning, Bryn’s husband Guy couldn’t have been more supportive. But after moving into a new house together, disturbing incidents occur and Guy grows evasive, secretive. What the hell is going on, she wonders? Then, a woman hired to cater their dinner party is brutally murdered. As Bryn’s world unravels—and yet another woman in town is slain —she must summon her old strength to find answers and protect her own life. Her nightmares may in fact hold the key to unlocking the truth and unmasking the murderer. 

Reason: Cover
Release: April 4

BEFORE: Bridge and Wil have been entangled in each other’s lives for years. Under the white-hot Florida sun, they went from kids daring each other to swim past the breakers to teenagers stealing kisses between classes. But when Bridge betrayed Wil during their junior year, she shattered his heart and their relationship along with it.

AFTER: When Wil’s family suffers a violent loss, and Bridge rushes back to Wil’s side. As they struggle to heal old wounds and start falling for each other all over again, Bridge and Wil discover just how much has changed in the past year. Though they once knew each other’s every secret, they aren’t the same people they used to be. Bridge can’t imagine life without Wil, but sometimes love isn’t enough. Can they find their way back to each other, or will this be the end of their story?

Reason: Synopsis
Release: May 16

Death, accidental and early, has always been Abby Walters's preoccupation. Now thirty-three and eager to settle down with her commitment-shy boyfriend, a recurring dream from her past returns: a paralyzing nightmare of being buried alive, the taste of dirt in her mouth cloying and real. But this time the dream reveals a name from her family's past. Looking for answers, Abby returns home to small-town Minnesota for the first time in fourteen years, where she reconnects with her high school crush, now a police detective on the trail of a violent criminal. When Abby tries on her grandmother's mesmerizing diamond ring, a ring she always dreamed would be hers, she discovers a cryptic note long hidden beneath the box's velvet lining. What secret was her grandmother hiding? And could this be the key to what's haunting Abby? As she begins to uncover the traces of a love triangle gone shockingly wrong nearly seventy years before, we, too, see that the layers of our lives may echo a past we’ve never known.

Reason: Cover
Release: June 13 

Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again, century after century. Each time they are total strangers thrust together under unusual circumstances. Each time their presence changes history for the better. And each time they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated. Why does fate keep bringing them together to save the world, and what must they achieve before they can finally be left to love in peace? Maybe the next together will be different. Told in parallel time streams through a mixture of prose, diary entries, letters, “original” historical documents, news reports, and Internet articles, and spanning the Crimean War, the Siege of Carlisle and the near-future of 2019 and 2039, The Next Together is a glittering, sweeping story of time travel, fate, and the power of first love.

Let me know in the comments if you're going to read any of these!

Friday, 27 January 2017

The Kingdom of Oceana (Charles Mitchell)

The Kingdom of Oceana
Rating: 4.5/5

Genre: Fantasy & Action
Length: 222 pages

It's the last Friday of January and I somehow managed to post every single Friday this month. Not too shabby considering I hadn't posted at all in November and December! From this point forward, the pacing will likely drop to every other week again for reviews, but I might add some different book-related posts in between. Speaking of different, this book is unlike anything I had read before and clearly that paid off based on my rating. I couldn't put the book down! Thank you to the author for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Five centuries ago, on the island now called Hawaii, there was a kingdom filled with adventure, beauty, and magic. When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise. As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt-just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki's spell. Can peace be restored to the kingdom? Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future king of Oceana? Only one can rule. (From GOODREADS)
What I found fun about this book was the use of native language, because it added an element of education and immersion to the story. I've never been to Hawaii but it's a place that's always been on my bucket list due to the nature and the culture. Charles Mitchell's novel captures both of those things really well and combines that with an ancient legend that could threaten the beauty of the Kingdom. The plot is intricate and filled with unexpected twists and turns. Once you hit 1/3 of the way into the book, it's like you become entranced by a spell that makes you want to finish it in one quick sweep.

The two brothers in the story are so real to how I feel brothers usually are: competitive. Though they have grown up together in a loving family, they still fight for the inevitable battle of who will be King; something they both have different views upon in terms of style. In was such a captivating dynamic that made you feel like you knew these two brothers really well.

Overall, I would highly recommend The Kingdom of Oceana 

Happy Reading!

Friday, 20 January 2017

Children of Eden (Joey Graceffa)

Children of Eden
Rating: 4.5/5
Genre: Science Fiction; Distopian
Length: 278 pages
I don't often buy books - instead I'll borrow from a library - but this book was most definitely one I wanted on my shelf. Joey's choice of artwork is incredible and the texture of the front cover is a nice added bonus. This was the only book I pre-ordered in 2016 and I'm so glad that I did!

Rowan is a Second Child in a world where population control measures make her an outlaw, marked for death. She can never go to school, make friends, or get the eye implants that will mark her as a true member of Eden. Her kaleidoscope eyes will give her away to the ruthless Center government. Outside of Eden, Earth is poisoned and dead. All animals and most plants have been destroyed by a man-made catastrophe. Long ago, the brilliant scientist Aaron al Baz saved a pocket of civilization by designing the EcoPanopticon, a massive computer program that hijacked all global technology and put it to use preserving the last vestiges of mankind. Humans will wait for thousands of years in Eden until the EcoPan heals the world. As an illegal Second Child, Rowan has been hidden away in her family's compound for sixteen years. Now, restless and desperate to see the world, she recklessly escapes for what she swears will be only one night of adventure. Though she finds an exotic world, and even a friend, the night leads to tragedy. Soon Rowan becomes a renegade on the run – unleashing a chain of events that could change the world of Eden forever. (From GOODREADS)

First off, I absolutely fell in love with Rowan within a few paragraphs of reading about her. She has a spunk to her despite being hidden away in one location for her entire life. I mean, let's be honest, if any of us were locked inside our homes for 16 years we would probably be miserable; but not Rowan. She still has faith in her chance to live among society, even if it means a few risks. 

The plot was also very enjoyable and was paced well, until the final 50 pages or so; then it became too rushed and abrupt. Despite that discrepancy in pace at the end, the entire book was well thought out and even had a few plot twists that I did NOT see coming at all. Some of those twist had me close to tears and others had me mentally yelling at my book. Good job Joey... well played!

If you haven't read this yet, definitely pick up a copy

Happy Reading!

Friday, 13 January 2017

Kitty Hawk (Iain Reading)

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold
Rating: 4/5 
Genre: Mystery & Adventure
Length: 336 pages

Welcome to the first review of 2017! This is a book that I was approached to read in exchange for an honest review; they kindly sent my a physical copy and it's a gorgeous book. There are illustrations and maps to help the reader understand the locations of events that occur during the plot.
After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty's adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada and as the plot continues to unfold this spirited story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada's Yukon, the harsh land made famous in the stories and poems of such writers as Jack London, Robert Service and Pierre Berton. It is a riveting tale that brings to glorious life the landscape and history of Alaska's inside passage and Canada's Yukon, as Kitty is caught up in an epic mystery set against the backdrop of the scenery of the Klondike Gold Rush. (From GOODREADS)
 I was extremely excited to start this book, mainly because it takes place in Canada. Being a Canadian, I was happy to see that an author wanted to showcase the beauty found along the Western coast. The second reason I wanted to read and review this novel was because it has an independent, female lead. I love books that let females use their own mind and take nothing from other people.

The plot and characters for Kitty Hawk were unique, as I can't say I've ever read a book that uses the history of the Yukon gold rush in a modern story line. The plot followed a logical order and timeline which I definitely appreciated. The only downfall to this novel was that a chapter consisted of no more than four pages; I find excessive chapter breakage to be disruptive to the flow of the story. I wish the author had of decided to create longer chapters instead.

Overall, I would definitely recommend Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold

Happy Reading!