The Librarian We All Wish We Had

I need to apologize. I had promised you all a little something everyday. The only problem is, I’ve had a perpetual brain fart in the last two days. So for that, I am sorry. I have also been quite busy. My fiancé and I went for a little viewing with our photography to see the […]

via — The Struggling Librarian

Book Review-Pendragon: The Merchant of Death

I promised last week that I would provide a book review on a new series I started a couple weeks ago called Pendragon by D.J. Machale. The first book was published in 2002, but for some reason has not received as much credit as Harry Potter did (the first one published in 1997). Perhaps the idea of Harry Potter being British was something that we turned toward, who knows? But I am here today to give you a little insight to the Pendragon series and hopefully pique your interest enough to get you to read it as well.

Pendragon

The Story

The story takes place in a small town/city/suburb in the United States. It starts with following the Main Character, Bobby Pendragon, a 14-year old high school basketball player who has no cares in the world. Bobby is a popular boy in school but his best friend, Mark, is nerdy and different. Bobby is getting ready to go to a very important basketball game and just as he is about to leave the house a girl, Courtney, shows up at his doorstep. This is what the readers are introduced to, not a whole lot happens because Machale is setting the character stage.

Machale does a fantastic job of not providing too much about the characters to where we end up getting bored of them too quickly. This is especially interesting to me because I find too many books that the first 100 pages are a complete bore because the author has decided to tell me too much of the past without revealing enough of the present or future.

Moving on.

The story takes off pretty quickly after Courtney shows up. Bobby’s Uncle Press shows up and takes him off on his motorcycle to an abandoned subway station. The story continues with Bobby using a type of portal called a flume to travel to another territory (a type of world). Soon after arriving, and commence drama, Bobby finds out he is a traveler, which is not fully explained but he is basically someone who is destined to travel between territories and assist the territories during dark times.

Now this is all special and whatnot but what makes this book stand out over all the other books about young teenagers, is that it is written from the POV of Bobby to his friends Mark and Courtney. Bobby writes to them in journals throughout his adventures, recapping what he has done since he has written or seen them last. Machale actually numbers the journals so that the readers don’t get lost and can understand how many he has written to his friends. This way of writing is not a common form of separating out a novel but I like it.

So anyway, loads of weird stuff happens that I can’t go into full detail on or else I would be giving too much away. Bobby finds himself in a village of people called the Milago, they are basically slaves of the people called the Bedoowan (big bad dudes). Bobby is expected to assist the Milago in getting out from their enslavement and overcome their struggles but he must accept his new life in order to help them.

The story has its own ups and downs where the MC makes stupid mistakes, assumes too much, but eventually redeems himself. Machale introduces many new creatures to the world of stories. I think a lot more will be explained as the books go on but the first one definitely captured my attention. I want to know what happens to Bobby, to Uncle Press, to Courtney, and to Mark. Why is he a traveler? I have so many questions and I am sure this review did you no justice because you’ve never read it before, but I implore you to do so.

The Characters

Bobby Pendragon- is the main character. The story, mostly, takes place from his point of view through journals that he writes to his two best friends, Mark and Courtney.

Mark- is a side character that gets his own POV from time to time and only then has to share with Courtney. He doesn’t add much to the story but gives the readers a character who helps tidy up the story.

Courtney- is the other side character that shares POV moments with Mark intermittently. She has less to give to the story but that may change as I get further into the books.

Everyone else- there is the comic relief that is Uncle Press, the hard-ass that is Loor, and the goofy side-kick that is Alder. They are Bobby’s peeps when he is not on Earth. They move the plot along and provide any new information that Bobby, and subsequently the readers, need.

Originality

The originality score for the Pendragon series ranks pretty high or well for me it does. There aren’t many books or series that can be published without being compared to a book or series that already exists (Twilight will be forever compared to everything for some reason). Machale has done an excellent job of taking his readers into a different set of story all together. We haven’t ever been to the different territories before or anything similar to them but now we get to explore them. I look forward to reading his other books and letting you all know how they turn out. 🙂

Overall 

Machale wrote ten books in the Pendragon series, each taking place in a new territory with a new problem. I don’t plan on writing a review for each book that I read, though I might, but I will write a final review going over the entire series. I don’t want to spoil too much of the series for anyone who plans on reading it or who might read it in the future.

 

 

 

Me Before You- Book vs. Movie Review

For the past couple years I have learned to ignore the idiotic and biased “critiques” that come from the well-known Rotten Tomatoes website. The critics that end up with their reviews on the site seem to have specific taste in movies and if a certain film does not match that taste then, by their specifications, the movie is garbage.

This has fully prompted me into writing my Book vs. Movie Review for Me Before You. I went to see this film, after having read the book in May, with my lovely husband, three of my good friends, and one of my friends’ mom and sister. Two of my friends had a difficult time not shedding tears or blubbering throughout points in the film. But Rotten Tomatoes wants to say it was a blubbering mess. Well, yeah that’s the point.

SPOILERS!!! Do not read this if you have not read the book or watched the film. If you have done neither then go to Amazon and get the book. Do it. Right now.

If you want to read their “reviews” of the movie then click the link here, if you dare.

Anyway, I could rant about those people for days so we must move on.

I don’t normally go see movies like this (romantic or little action) in theaters because I feel like they are best for sitting at home and enjoying with made-at-home popcorn and snuggles :). But I had to go see it because I couldn’t wait.

 Story line

The Movie

The movie follows the book timeline well. There are bits throughout the movie that are sped up or shortened, in a sense, to make up for movie time but I think that is something that we will just have to expect when it comes to book-to-movie adaptations. However, I didn’t feel like I lost anything from the bits that were shortened or sped up. The story still held itself together and the audience gets to feel and see everything (mostly) that was included in the book. I know that they did this well enough because the people who failed to read the book beforehand wanted to desperately after watching the movie. Kudos movie people, you have potentially turned your audience into book readers (maybe).

The Book

I wasn’t sure I was going to like this book. No, honestly I really wasn’t sure. I had read reviews and had seen the trailer and I knew I had to see the mushiness of it but wasn’t sure if the book would be as sappy as what I was hoping it would be. It was better. I got to know Lou on a level that some authors don’t establish between reader and character. I fell in love with her personality, her silliness, and her absolute unique personality. I would want her to be my friend if she were real. Oh and let’s not even go down the Will Traynor road. Okay, I have to! For a man who is handicapped, Moyes was able to create a hell of a character. Remember how all crazed the teenagers got over Edward in Twilight (I know more Twilight references)? Okay, Will Traynor is about on the same level of jerk-hawt-guy, but he is HANDICAPPED. Handicapped, people, and Moyes was still able to make him be sexy. Okay I gotta stop or my husband will get jealous over a handicapped fictional dude.

Characters/Actors

The Movie

The movie missed a great opportunity to show us more of Treena (Lou’s sister played by Jenna Coleman), Lou’s parents (Samantha Spiro and Brendan Coyle), and Patrick (Lou’s boyfriend who is played by Matthew Lewis). I think that they spent a lot more time on the Main Character’s (rightly so) than showing us the side characters. I personally would have liked to see the established Treena that we meet in the book (and to see more of Jenna Coleman) as well as seeing more of Patrick (Matthew Lewis is so grown up now!!). They missed some drama points by having those two characters’ stories not be as much of a focal point for Lou as it is in the book. I mean she makes some of her decisions around those people because of what they’ve done or said to her. Overall, the two MCs were fantastic and beautifully cast. Props to the movie genies for making those decisions. The cast in general was spot on.

What was added/taken out? 

There were several so I think bullet points are necessary here.

  • Patrick and Lou moving in together
  • Lou’s small bedroom
  • Lou moving into the big bedroom when Treena moves out
  • The severity of Lou’s parents lack of money
  • Lou’s grandfather
  • More reasons why the cafe job was such a loss for her (customers, atmosphere, etc.)
  • Patrick and Lou’s relationship overall seemed to be undermined to give her the full justification for leaving him
  • The happenings in the maze
  • Their first kiss didn’t happen in the book like they presented it in the film
  • The cover is a lie. She wore a blue dress when she sat on his lap at the wedding, although in the book she wore the red one. Lies.

I think that is pretty much all of them. I would have to re-watch the film in order to catch all the little details missed between movie and book. I mentioned these specifically because I think that they would have added more depth to the characters and given the audience more insight into who Lou is and why she made the decisions she made. Also, the relationships between her sister and Patrick were severely  underdeveloped. The audience does not get the full picture or all of the answers and that makes me sad.

Justice

Did the Book to Movie adaptation do the book justice? Yes, I believe they did a good job with the movie. As mentioned above I would have liked to see more development and explanations but it is okay, I understand that films can’t all be five hours long to give me the full picture that the book gave me. I also know that the book will always be vastly superior than any film could ever be. I enjoy watching the movies, though, because my imagination can only go so far.

Bonus!

If you have made it this far then I applause you. I MUST add this! The moment where they are celebrating her birthday and Patrick’s gift is so un-Lou like and then she opens Will’s gift. Oh. Em. Gee. Most perfect moment ever! She reacted brilliantly at that point. It gave me the feels and everyone in the theater laughed and probably cried a little too. Wow. What a great moment to capture on screen.

So long and thanks for all the fish!

So that is all I have for you today! I plan on writing more of these and have a couple that won’t be as congratulatory! Hope you enjoyed it!

Another Update and a bit about my book hangover

So I know since the spring semester ended I haven’t had much of an appearance on here. I spent two and a half weeks taking two interim classes and slept when I was home. I had to catch up after the semester ended. Currently I have been trying to read a book a week, spend twenty hours at my internship, and go to work in the afternoons. This means that I am waking up at 5am and going to bed at 9. Yes, yes I am an old lady.

This is why my posts have been about once a week instead of several ranty posts a week…

I do have a couple posts planned for you in the coming weeks. I am going to work on a book vs. movie review on Me, Before You. (The movie was fantabulous btw), a review on the Pendragon series I just started last week, and probably stick in another life post because this life has got me chasing it around with how much it changes on me.

For now I wanted to inform you that there is a series called Pendragon by D.J. Machale. The young man that suggested (too many times to count) that I read it, says it is like Harry Potter. He lies.

I will get a synopsis out to you but know that Pendragon is unlike any book you’ll have read. It is like a young Doctor (Doctor Who, anyone?) ventures out to worlds (in this case territories) where he must save the specific territory from an evil bad dude. Not kidding. There is a little bit of what you could call “magic” but not in the Harry Potter sense. The man character has a boy and girl best friend (only Harry Potter connection), and is 14-years old.

If you haven’t heard of it, which I am sure you have not, then go to Amazon and get yourself a copy, you won’t regret it.

Okay, I promise to get you a book vs. movie review within the week and other posts out soon thereafter. Make sure you keep up with my Wood Elf Adventures! Thanks and have a great weekend!

My Novel

For over two years I have had a story in my head that came to me one night in a dream.

I know how lame that sounds but it is true. Now the story has changed aspects, details, and what have you BUT the overall story line, characters, etc. have stayed the same.

I am here to announce that I have finally gotten off my lazy ass and written the first 400 words of my novel. Now, this is not edited and it won’t be until I finish it, because that’s how it works.

I want to give you the first chapter of my novel that way I have to continue. I have to push myself to continue this story and get it out of my head.

I hope you like it.

NO TITLE:

The smell of coffee wafted through the air as the rain poured down, striking the pavement all around the corpse. I walked cautiously through the sparse crowd trying to make my way to get a closer look at the dead body. People had crowded around the area, pointing, exclaiming, making gestures in regards to the scene that displayed before them. They didn’t seem to believe the sight that was before them. I heard several say how they couldn’t believe it, how could this have happened right outside their doorstep. I wish I had an answer for them.

I got the call from Detective Judge to come as quickly as I could to the scene. Crime never seemed to care if it occurred in the middle of the night. Criminals enjoy committing the majority of their crimes at night while the rest of the world is trying to get some rest. The Detective wanted me on the scene to help identify what would cause a person to commit the crime that they had. He seemed to think that I would have some kind of insight. I don’t think he understands what journalism really entails. Regardless, here I was, standing in the rain surrounded by a crowd of confused bystanders, getting soaked. That’s what every girl dreams about when she is called by her boyfriend in the middle of the night.

Emerging from the crowd, that continued to get larger, I finally got my first look at the corpse. My first glance stunned me, my feet locked up in horror as my eyes took it all in. It was a young woman, not much older than I am. She had been beautiful. Porcelain skin, long dark hair, and a good sense in fashion. She had been someone who had lived her life in confidence. The body looked completely untouched aside from a gash about two inches long vertical on each of her wrists-she had bled out. But that isn’t what stood out to me. No, not her beauty, not her clothes, not the obvious way that she died… She was strung up to the light pole by her right ankle and left there for any spectator walking in the street. Hung up like clothes left to dry on the line. Whoever had done this wanted to display his handiwork.

We were dealing with a sociopath.

Pride and Prejudice-Book vs. Movie Review

I will start off saying that it has been a few months since I have seen the Pride and Prejudice  movie but I did finish the book recently. I am going to compare (review-ish) the book and the movie, because we all know that the book will always be better than the movie (or do we?).

There will be no rating in this “review,” I am simply comparing the two.

Story line

 

The Movie

The story line follows (it better) what happens in the book fairly flawlessly. Obviously for film making there are situations that have been sped up or simply neglected to be included  in the film (if not we would be looking at a five or more hour long p159494_p_v8_afmovie. Nobody wants that).

The story takes us, briefly, through the life of Elizabeth (Main Character) with the introduction being shot watching her read a book, going through her house, and then coming up on her sisters eavesdropping on a conversation her parents are having. This is necessary to introduce the MC to the audience.

The movie moves along quickly with the introduction of Mr. Beasley and Mr. Darcy by having the next big scene be the ball where the two Misters meet the Lady Bennets.

The film flows easily between scenes but does not take away from the audience seeing the disgust Mr. Darcy has on Elizabeth. Some scenes have been altered to show more scenery than what was going on in the book, but it did it without taking away from what we really care about.

The Book

The book opens up with Mrs. Bennet begging Mr. Bennet to go and speak with the newcomer Mr. Beasley.

As a book the scenes take up a considerable amount of time compared to the film (it is a book after all). It takes several chapters until we get to meet Mr. Beasley and Mr. Darcy. The ball lasts a lot longer and we get to see much more distaste from Elizabeth in regards to Mr. Darcy.

As the plot moves on we get to see how anxious of a woman Mrs. Bennet is (something I didn’t care to read too much about because it happens all of the time) when anything involves her daughters or the house or, well, anything really.

The book allows for a deeper understanding of minor characters and how each one is connected to the other and how word travels between the characters. It is fun to learn about each character and what makes each one of them tick.

The book also reveals a backstabbing and dislike between two characters that is only hinted at in the film. I found that bit more interesting to read about than I did to see it on the TV screen.

For the most part the film did a great job of adding in the most important characters (though we do lose some time with Elizabeth’s Aunt and Uncle), and important plot moments.

Characters/Actors

The Movie

The actors play the book characters in a very truthful way. When I read the book I visualized the characters as their actor portrayals and I felt like they were good matches.

Unlike some films (ahem, Twilight) that hire actors who do not do the characters any justice (Mortal Instruments, anyone?).

I think it is very important for films to cast actors who do well in not only looking like the characters (sometimes that can be difficult) but in also being able to bring that character to life (uhhhh, we all remember Twilight…).

The movie did well in casting people who were able to do both of those.

Uhhh I don’t know what else to add to that.

What was added/taken out?

Oooooh well for starters, as mentioned above, the movie has to cut out or shorten scenes. Although it doesn’t feel like we lose a whole lot of what is going on by the shortened scenes.

Elizabeth’s Aunt and Uncle are only in the movie for a short time while they visit the home of Mr. Darcy. Although the two play a much bigger role in the book and are around for half of the book than what they were portrayed as in the film.

The time that she spent with the Cullins was significantly shorter in the film and far less revealing to her relationship with Mr. Darcy. I feel like this is one of the moments that may have been worth a lengthier film so that book lovers could have seen more of what occurred between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy.

There is a huge section of the book that involves Lydia and Mr. Wickham that did not make it into the film. The scene is short in comparison to all of the gibberish that happened in the book. There is far less drama involved during this part, perhaps to make the movie more focused on Elizabeth.

Justice

I believe that justice was done in the making of the film adaptation. I don’t think that book lovers can disagree with the way that they brought it to life.