Monday, March 30, 2015

Book to Movie Review: Insurgent

Book by Veronica Roth
Directed by Robert Schwentke

Beatrice Prior must confront her inner demons and continue her fight against a powerful alliance which threatens to tear her society apart with the help from others on her side.

You can read my review of Divergent (movie) here.

Well. The trailers for this movie were pretty stupid in my opinion. I remember seeing lots of action and CGI, and overall being like whaaaaaat. 

And it turns out that feeling was pretty accurate regarding the entire film.

I did NOT come with expectations- one reason being the weird trailers, another being that I never was that invested in the trilogy originally, and lastly because I more or less forgot what happened in the books. 

All these would have served me well if the movie had been a bad adaptation, but enjoyable on its own. However, it was truly bizarre even just as a film. At any given moment something that did not make sense was happening. ENTIRE ILLOGICAL ELEMENTS WERE ADDED- just HOW exactly is a device supposed to say what faction you're in or how divergent you are?? WHY would Four wait until the factionless nearly killed them three times over to play his my-mommy-is-your-boss card? And there is NO WAY Four could have really made that jump in front of the train and survived. The plot stayed nonsensical all throughout. 

Cinematically, it was not a smooth watch. So many pieces were dream scenes or simulations that I was always second-guessing whether what I was watching actually happened. Also, I can't believe I'm saying this but... it was too dramatic. All the flying-burning-building shtick really took away from the characters and their stories- and they are not lacking. I think the movie would have been better had they given more time to Four's relationship with his parents, Caleb's betrayal, Christina forgiving Tris... I could go on. Potentially, Insurgent could have really tugged on the heartstrings. 

The good thing that I will say is that the actors shone more (than in the first). Miles Teller stole every bit he was in. Ansel Elgort was FUNNY (granted, that might be more due to bad acting than good... of maybe he will just always be Ansel in my mind) Shailene was amazing as usual. The biggest difference goes to Theo- I liked his character so much more in Insurgent. In Divergent, he was just a pretty face (and back). Now I felt and saw all his feelings more, and it was a real pleasure to watch him act and relate. 

Rating: 3.5 stars


Friday, March 27, 2015

Sneak Peek - Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally!

Image result for jesse's girl miranda kenneallyJesse's Girl
Miranda Kenneally
Contemporary Romance

Practice makes perfect.

Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow the Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.

But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?

Guys! News!! 

You all know Miranda Kinneally, right? I have heard so much about her and have been dying to read one of her books for AGES. SO, above is the info of her new book- and below, surprises!

In celebration of Miranda’s new book, Sourcebooks Fire is offering some really cool stuff for readers, fans, etc. 

Everyone who emails will automatically receive an email of the EXCLUSIVE Jesse’s Girl Playlist, and will be invited to attend a LIVE online author event on July 6, the day before Jesse’s Girl goes on-sale!

In addition, if you pre-order the book and send your proof of purchase (and mailing address) to, you’ll not only get the exclusive playlist and event invite, but you’ll also receive a signed/personalized bookplate, a super-cute custom guitar pick, and entered to win a $300 gift card to TicketMaster so you can go to a concert or musical or some other fun event.  

And in case you weren't salivating yet....


As much as I love music, I am generally not a fan of country. I don’t like banjos. I don’t like sappy lyrics about trucks and hauling hay. Dolly Parton is my mortal enemy—my mom plays “Jolene” over and over and over and over, and it makes me want to chop my ears off like van Gogh. Yeah, yeah, I’m from Tennessee, where it’s a crime if you don’t love country, but I like deep, rumbling beats and singing loud and fast and hard. I do not like closing my eyes and crooning to a cow in the pasture. Yet here I am at a Jesse Scott concert, getting ready to meet him and to see if he’ll let me shadow him next Friday.

My school requires every senior to “shadow” a professional for a day. It’s their way of helping us figure out what kind of career we want. Like, if you want to be president when you grow up, you might get to shadow the mayor. Want to be a chef? Have fun kneading dough at the Donut Palace. When I said “I want to be a musician,” I figured they’d send me to work in the electronics section at Walmart.

I certainly never expected to shadow the king of country music.

It turns out that Jesse Scott is my principal’s nephew. Jesse won TV’s Wannabe Rocker when he was ten and has gone on to become very successful. In sixth grade, every girl in class—myself included—took the Teen Beat quiz: “Would Jesse Scott Like Your Kissing Style?” (Obviously the answer was yes.) In middle school, I had a Jesse Scott poster on my ceiling. It’s hard to believe he’s only eighteen, because he’s already won three Grammys. When he was younger, his songs were about family, fishing, and playing baseball, but lately they’re about love and making love and all things sexy.

I wouldn’t say I’m a fan anymore, but I would never give up an opportunity to learn from a professional with such a gorgeous, pure voice. I want to learn what it’s like to perform day in and day out. Despite what everyone and their mom says—that I’ll struggle as a musician—all I want is to play guitar in front of a crowd and hear people cheer for me.

I can’t believe I’m backstage at the Grand Ole Opry! I bounce on my toes. Jesus, is that an archtop Super 4, the model Elvis played? I’ve never seen one in real life. It probably cost more than my house. I’m ogling the guitar when Jesse Scott comes out of the bathroom, drying his hair with a towel. He pads across the room to the couch, wearing nothing but a pair of rugged jeans with more holes than Swiss cheese. The lighting is dim, and he doesn’t seem to notice I’m here, which is good, because I’ve moved from ogling the guitar to ogling him.

Who wouldn’t? He was one of People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People,” and it is a truth universally acknowledged that you should stare at people who’ve made that list. The guy’s gorgeous. Like in the boy-next-door way. His wet, wavy, brown hair curls around his ears and nearly hits his shoulders, and while he doesn’t have a six-pack or anything, his body is fit. I wish he’d look my way so I can see his famous brown eyes. They always remind me of those caramel chews Poppy gives me when I visit. Jesse has some sort of Gaelic symbol tattooed on his left shoulder blade. I want to reach out and trace the design.

God, get ahold of yourself, Maya. Don’t be a horndog. Besides, he’s so not my type. I don’t do pretty boys.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
Happy weekend!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Review: A Study in Scarlet + The Sign of Four

The Sherlock Holmes NovelsThe Sherlock Holmes Novels
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

Apparently, these stories are so famous they were denied a blurb from Goodreads(;

So last summer I fell totally, absolutely, and irrevocably in love with BBC's Sherlock (and um, Benedict Cumberbatch), to the point where I now know all 9 episodes by heart. Various members of my family, after being horrified that a huge reader like me has fallen in love with a tv show having never read the iconic stories, started buying me copies. 

I now have 3 collections, one of them full (all 54 on kindle!).

I came at A Study in Scarlet with minimal expectations. I was right to do so. 

As a reader, I'm more a people person than a plot person (hence, why I love Cassie Clare's Shadowhunter books. No one could possibly attribute literary genius to them but BEST. CHARACTERS. EVER). Anyway, as opposed to the tv show that explores Sherlock's character development and his relationship with the rest of the crew, the original stories are truly all about the mystery. My favorite bits are when Watson marvels at Holmes, but those are few and far between.

Another thing that was difficult for me to get into were the background chapters towards the end of each novella. In both A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four, there are a good few chapters devoted to the murderer's history with the murderee. This SOUNDS fascinating but in both cases was slow, long-winded, and most annoyingly, NOT ABOUT WATSON AND HOLMES. 

Also, these stories were written over 120 years ago. THEY ARE HARD TO UNDERSTAND. A lot of times after the big reveal my response was like, 'WHAT are you talking about??'

YET SOMEHOW, I really enjoyed them! And I never really like short stories! It's truly bizarre. There is something intriguing about them - maybe because each story is new, so you never know what to expect. That is almost a guaranteed way of making me read all of them.