Monday, November 24, 2014

Movie Review: Mockingjay Part One

Movie: Mockingjay Part One
Genre: Drama/Dystopian Fantasy
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
Rating: PG 13
My Rating: two thumbs up


While I was plenty excited to see this movie, I was also a bit worried about it since it's a part one and all. I don't like part ones very  much. I mean, they are usually good movies but I hate that whole "to be continued" feeling at the end when things are just getting going and then you have to stop and wait a whole freaking year for the conclusion and satisfying (hopefully) ending.
I liked Effie's new look! :)

I was worried about that feeling. And I must admit, that feeling happened pretty much as I expected. I was glad they ended where they did though, and not about five or so minutes before. Because at least one problem was solved, even if there are plenty more waiting for them.

Poor Peeta.

That being said, I thought the movie itself was awesome and very engaging and not slow as some people have said. But then again, I'm invested in these characters and have been for a long long time, way before the movies. Which makes even the slow bits fascinating.

So I enjoyed it and thought the actors did an amazing job at building the tension and showing the emotional trauma these characters are facing. They are just so good! I loved seeing more of Gale. I'd forgotten he had a more prominent role in this part of the story. I loved seeing him but am nervous for what's to come!
A sweet moment with Gale.

The music was awesome, especially the part where Katniss starts singing. I totally didn't remember this part in the book and came home and looked it up and sure enough, there's the song. It's such a haunting song and such a pivotal point in the story, I think it will go down as the coolest part of this whole movie.

So, those are my thoughts! If you've seen it, what did you think?

With Jenni, Kami, and Toto.

With our husbands in the theater. 



Here's the trailer if you missed it somehow along the way:



And here's The Hanging Tree song:

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Walking Dead Discussion: S5E6 Consumed (Spoilers!)


Finally! The Carol/Daryl episode! We've been waiting for this one for awhile. We were left hanging when they went chasing off after a car with a white cross on it. So we pick up with them at that point.

This one, though an awesome episode, was a bit of a slow one. Agreed?


But it was fun to see the relationship these two characters have. Hardly any talking, just lots of feeling. We follow them as they bounce from spot to spot in the city trying to figure out where this car came from or is going to. They don't figure it out until they meet up with Noah who has just escaped from the hospital. At first he isn't so nice, but then he gets in a bad way and they end up saving him. It's after that they realize he has seen Beth and knows what's up.

So they decide on a plan. Sort of, but not really. And before they can do anything, Carol runs out and gets hit by one of their cars and bam, they take her in!

So that answers one question... they didn't send her in there on purpose and she really is hurt. Did you see Daryl freaking out when that happened? Oh my gosh that was crazy intense. Interesting to see so much emotion pouring out of him.


Oh, and that fall in the van? Wow, that was crazy. I can't believe they could actually come through something like that okay, you know?

A lot of fire symbolism in this episode too. What'd you think? And when Daryl said, "We ain't ashes." I loved it!

Well, and now next week it looks like we might be seeing everyone's story again. Maybe. I don't know.

So, what did you think about the Daryl/Carol episode?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Book Review Discussion: The Unhappening of Genesis Lee by Shallee McArthur and Launch Party Pictures

Book: The Unhappening of Genesis Lee by Shallee McArthur
Genre: YA SF
Rating:★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
For: Review and Supporting Local Authors
From: Received for free from the publisher through Edelweiss. All opinions are my own. 

Short Synopsis: This is a world in the future where some of the people have the capability to store their memories in links they wear on their wrist or neck or some where. They can also sense memories of others through touching. The other people are "normal" and have to remember their memories in their heads. There's a huge rift between the two groups and in this story, this divide comes to a head. It started when someone starts stealing memory links. Our heroine, Gena, somehow gets all mixed up in this business and has to find a way to make it all end.

My Response: Very interesting premise this is. You'd think that having all our memories stored and readily accessible would be a good thing. But no, I think not at all! This made me so glad for our good old brains and ability to have all our memories with us, even if we don't remember ALL the details. But I did love the idea of storing memories within objects and while we don't necessarily do this, we do have a way to visibly store memories... scrapbooks, photograph books and videos! Yes,  I love this stuff for this reason and it pains me when I get behind or haven't backed them up or printed, or burned or whatever I need to do with them. Because I do feel that it does preserve our memories for those that come after us and it's a big deal.

This book includes lots of science which, if you've read many of my reviews before you'll know that it tends to go over my head. So there was a lot I just didn't get. But it sounded pretty cool anyway!

Bottom Line: Very fun, clever and unique science fiction adventure.

Let's Talk About: How about you and the storing of memories? Do you wish we had a more fail safe way to do it? Do you keep up on the methods I mentioned above? Do you ever feel panicky about making sure memories are stored?

Other Reviews:

I didn't know who to trust or what to believe, and I loved that! I love stories that keep me guessing and surprises me in the end. From Kami's Library Thoughts

The antagonist was well written too. I didn’t figure out who they were before they were revealed. The story kept me guessing all the way to the end. From Jenni Elyse

This book was surprisingly deep at times when talking about what memories one would want to forget and keeping all of your memories to deal with them properly. From Woven Magic

I couldn't flip the pages fast enough to get to the heart of this mystery. I wanted to know who the memory thief was SO BAD. From Elana Johnson


And finally, some pictures of the launch party we went to for this book! I'm a bit behind as it happened a few weeks ago. But we had a great time, even joining Shallee and her family and friends at a restaurant afterward. (Sadly, I didn't get any pictures of that part of the evening.)


We (Kami, Jenni, me and my daughter made fan signs!
And then made Shallee get in the picture too!
During the awesome fun presentation.



There was quite the signing line. 


More line pictures with Kami and Jenni.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Two for One!

So my brain doesn't seem smart enough to be able to come up with top ten lists the past little while. I liked last week's topic, but only came up with five very unoriginal side characters. And then this week's list about sequels I'm wanting just made me crazy too. So I've decided to combine the two weeks into two top five lists! Though, they are really boring lists at that. As I said, my brain is feeling list lazy I think.

Top Five Characters That Need Their Own Book!

1. Roar
2. Gilbert
3. Heathcliff
4. Mr. Rochester
5. The Queen in the Queen's Thief books

(some of these might have their own book already and I'm unaware though I do know Roar has one of those ebook novella things)


Top Five Sequels I'm Looking Forward To

1. All Our Yesterday's by Cristin Terril (I think there's more of this one, yes?)
2. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray (ditto)
3. The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain
4. Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (and in fact this one might already be out?)
5. The Infinite Seas by Rick Yancey (well technically the next book would be #3!)


What do you think I should have on this list!??? I'm forgetting so many things!

Be sure to link up your list over at The Broke and the Bookish today!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Book Thoughts: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

We just finished reading and discussing The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger for book club this
month. More people enjoyed it than I thought there'd be! I guess poor old Holden is a sympathetic character after all!

I first read this book back in 2008 and reviewed it then. My feelings haven't really changed since then. I do like Holden. I feel sorry for him. He needs help. The book is interesting as a character study. Re-reading it now I caught more things than I did the first time around. For instance, I was much more tuned into his suicidal thoughts, the fact that he was extremely depressed about his brother's death (something he's never gotten over,) that he has a terrible self image which is why he's cutting everyone else down, and that he's actually a really nice guy and does a ton of nice things for most of the characters in the book. I'm glad that by the end this story, we understand that he's in treatment and here's hoping it worked!

Anyway, I gathered some quotes that stood out to me, which I'd love to share:

"What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.  That doesn't happen much though."

"I didn't answer him. All I did was, I got up and went over and looked out the window. I felt so lonesome, all of a sudden. I almost wished I was dead."

"Sleep tight, ya morons!"

"By any chance, do you happen to know where they go, the ducks, when it gets all frozen over? Do you happen to know, by any chance?"

"The #($(#% movies.They can ruin you. I'm not kidding."

"I mean you'd be different in some way-- I can't explain what I mean. And even if I could, I'm not sure I'd feel like it."

"I'd rather have a $%&* horse. A horse is at least human for God's sake."

"I shouldn't have. I laughed. And I have one of these very loud, stupid laughs. I mean if I ever sat behind myself in a movie or something, I'd probably lean over and tell myself to please shut up."

"That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be. I know it's crazy."

"I mean how do you know what you're going to do till you do it? The answer is, you don't. I think I am, but how do I know? I swear it's a stupid question."

"It's funny. Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody."



And just for kicks, I looked up the poem by Robert Burns from which this book gets its title:

Comin Thro' The Rye

O, Jenny's a' weet, poor body,
  Jenny's seldom dry:
She draigl't a' her petticoatie,
  Comin thro' the rye!

Comin thro' the rye, poor body,
  Comin thro' the rye,
She draigl't a' her petticoatie,
  Comin thro' the rye!

Gin a body meet a body
  Comin thro' the rye,
Gin a body kiss a body,
  Need a body cry?

Gin a body meet a body
  Comin thro' the glen,
Gin a body kiss a body,
  Need the warl' ken?

Gin a body meet a body
  Comin thro' the grain;
Gin a body kiss a body,
  The thing's a body's ain.


So, it remains a fascinating book for me. What about you? Have you read it? Are you a fan? Do you want to be Holden's friend?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014: Google Searching


We're half way there! Wow, time flies!

One of the most interesting things about writing a book is researching. And by researching I mean simply finding the answers to questions that come up as you are in the middle of a scene or something. Or you are pondering something but then you don't feel like you can write it correctly until you google around for a minute. It happens pretty much constantly. And I love it though it is EXTREMELY distracting to doing the actual writing and can make what would be an hour writing moment turn into hours and hours.

So, I've been making a list of  stuff I've been googling this week:

* John Travolta movies of the 70s
* Led Zeppelin
* How long ET was in the theater
* renting VCRs  and what movies were available to rent in the 80s
* what a bracelet from Poland would look like
* 80s slang
* what was playing in theater on specific weekends in 1982.
* what songs were on the radio during specific weeks in 1982
* Flock of Segulls, Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, B 52s
* My Favorite Year

What have you been learning about for your Nano writing experience?

And now I'm off to try and get to 25,000 today, the half way point. I have a couple thousand to write. Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Walking Dead Discussion S5E5: Self Help (Spoilers!!)


So with this episode we switch focus again. Now we've left Beth seeing Carol being wheeled in and we've left Daryl in the woods saying, "Come on out." Gotta keep track of the cliff hangers we're racking up here!

Now, we are with Glen and Maggie off with crazy Abraham to get Eugene to D.C. At first it all seems a little slow and they are just chitchatting on the bus like it's any other road trip, asking Eugene about his mullet and everything.

I kinda like his hair...

Then BAM, the bus explodes and rolls. Like out of nowhere. And then they have to fight off the walkers and suddenly everything is back to normal, fighting for their lives!

The interesting thing about this episode was that it focused on Abraham and Eugene, a couple of characters we've yet to know very well. There were flashbacks to Abraham's past, how he ended up where he did. It's a sad story. His family freaked out when they saw him kill some bad guys and then then they left him and when he went to find them it was too later. Killed by walkers. Just then Eugene comes "running" up begging for helping and telling him he can save the world if only he can get to Washington DC. And thus starts his mission to save Eugene. He has focus again!

It's all very deep.

In between the flashbacks we are with the bus group as they try to decide what to do. Stay or go? Abraham is having none of the stay business... he's all GO GO GO. Glen says, chill, we'll go with you!

They find a bookstore to hunker down in for the night. Sweet. Glen and Maggie have a nice moment reflecting on life. Abraham and Rosita have a nice moment that was TMI for me and Eugene watches. That was.... awkward.

Wasting water!!!

In the morning, after some fire hosing of more walkers, they are off again. That is until they crest a hill and see an entire field full of thousands of walkers. There's no way they can get through, but Abraham is crazy and says... on we go!

It's then that Eugene loses it and suddenly he's all... I AM NOT A SCIENTIST!!! Wait, what? Yeah, and now the whole world caves in because there is suddenly no more mission! Abraham beats him up and who knows if he is alive or not (cliff hanger number three to keep track of!) and everyone else is pretty much speechless.
One good thing, Eugene makes his first kill!

So.. now what do we do? I guess we find out next episode! Maybe!

I enjoyed seeing the back story of these two characters. I'm still missing all the "normal" group though.

What did you think? Were you surprised at this reveal? (I guess if you are a fan of the books you aren't surprised by much of anything, right?)

Devastation!

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