Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Book to Movie Review: The Scorch Trials

The Maze Runner #2: The Scorch Trials
Directed by Wes Ball
Book by James Dashner

You can read my review of The Maze Runner movie here. 

While I wrote in my review that I loved it, I actually didn't remember it that way when I went to go see The Scorch Trials. I remembered The Maze Runner as good but mediocre. However, you can be assured that this installment WILL UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES BE FORGOTTEN, because ya, it was just that amazing.

Literally- I watched it a week ago, and I have been endlessly stalking the cast and have been completely inspired to finish reading the book series. The shots were absolutely GORGEOUS. The action was non stop- I got so into it!! And that never happens in action movies! Usually I spot something I deem unrealistic and then am rolling my eyes. Here, I was jumping up and down and yelling and punching the air - well, as much as I could without pissing off everybody else in the theater.

Character wise, Thomas really shines. He is super smart and daring and sassy and fun and overall a total badass. Oh, and smoking hot. Not that that colored my judgement. At all.

Minho gets a lot more screen time, and Newt is as adorable as always. Theresa continued to be pointless until the part where she became a downright obstacle. Sigh. At least now we all have a legitimate reason to want her gone. 

Brenda and Horhe were difinitely captivating additions to the story. 

Overall, there was so much new and exciting information to process in The Scorch Trials movie - new memories, people and places that just kept the pace of the plot running along. Basically? Go to the theaters and go have fun. 


Happy movie watching and Dylan O'Brian lusting!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Review: Eternal

Eternal (Tantalize, #2)Eternal
Cynthia Leitich Smith
Vampires and Angels

At last, Miranda is the life of the party: all she had to do was die. Elevated and adopted by none other than the reigning King of the Mantle of Dracul, Miranda goes from high-school theater wannabe to glamorous royal fiend overnight. Meanwhile, her reckless and adoring guardian angel, Zachary, demoted to human guise as the princess’s personal assistant, has his work cut out for him trying to save his girl’s soul and plan the Master’s fast-approaching Death Day gala. In alternating points of view, Miranda and Zachary navigate a cut-throat eternal aristocracy as they play out a dangerous and darkly hilarious love story for the ages. 

So what with my practically nonexistent reading time and this seemingly endless reading slump, Eternal was just my cup of tea. Allow me to say BEST FIRST PAGE EVER. This wasn't the book I had PLANNED to read over the weekend but God, with an opening like that I just couldn't resist. 

I had read Tantalize, which is the author's other novel (you don't need to read them together- totally different cast) set in this universe, a while ago and while I thought it was pretty good it was also weird and a little unclear. I can delightedly tell you that while Eternal was deliciously eccentric, I was able to follow the whole thing - actually, race through it was more like. 

Zachary, first off, was sooooo cute and funny. I love how he loved Miranda all her life and really was willing to cross lines for her, even though she didn't even know of his existence. I absolutely adored how he called her 'my girl' and never gave up on her even when she became a bratty vampire. This story was really special in my eyes because it had true love in it without making a big deal of it like in most other stories, especially in YA. 

Miranda goes through a MAJOR change it the book, and there aren't many chapters for you to get to know her before the vampire transformation. After the bite the book skips a few months past Miranda's 'soul sickness' period - the time after the bite where she still retains her humanity and is disgusted with the vampiric way of life. Even so, I felt that I got to know her enough that I was able to relate to her, and her gradual development from a self-entitled vampire princess willing to murder back into the girl she once was was a really well-written journey. 

I totally was not anticipating that ending, another point in Eternal's favor. Basically, READ THIS BOOK if you like alternate, fantastical universes (Smith's books are set in the 21st century just with the open existence of vampires and werepeople), romance, and really good humor and vampire jokes. Rating: 


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Review: The Alchemyst

The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Famel #1)The Alchemyst
Michael Scott
Middle grade fantasy

He holds the secret that can end the world.

The truth: Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on September 28, 1330. Nearly 700 years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest Alchemyst of his day. It is said that he discovered the secret of eternal life.

The records show that he died in 1418.

But his tomb is empty.

The legend: Nicholas Flamel lives. But only because he has been making the elixir of life for centuries. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects—the Book of Abraham the Mage. It's the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. That's exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won't know what's happening until it's too late. And if the prophecy is right, Sophie and Josh Newman are the only ones with the power to save the world as we know it.

Sometimes legends are true.

And Sophie and Josh Newman are about to find themselves in the middle of the greatest legend of all time.

Talk about a book that sat in my TBR for YEARS. Honestly, I'm preening with satisfaction that I've finished it, finally. 

Overall? For such a loved series it was freaking DISAPPOINTING. Like if I were able to not finish books, this one would have been ditched a quarter way in. It was such a struggle.

At about 3/4 in it became mildly more interesting, but not enough that you should push yourself throught 250 pages. I will say that this sells at the bookshop I work at to a lot of middle grade boys, so I guess the book isn't terrible- it may just not have any crossover appeal. 

Sophie and Josh were cute, likeable enough main characters, except that there was nothing remotely remarkable about them or their story to draw you in and differentiate The Alchemyst from other MG stories. Also, this novel was SORELY missing a funny character (there was what I think was an attempt at this with the character of Scathach, but it failed...). What kind of kids' book doesn't have humor?? The whole read was just dry without this.

Nicholas Flamel was ALL OVER THE PLACE. I honestly couldn't tell if I was supposed to like him or not. He was inconsistent in all his qualities. Also, I totally felt that he dragged the kids into this for no good reason. Prophecy shmophecy. You didn't know about that yet.

All the different elements in the book just did not come together smoothly. It almost felt like the writer was TRYING to drag everything out. We have no idea what anyone can do until conveniently something weird and unexplained happens so they get to use it. Nobody had any real motives - it felt like they were all hanging around the action because they were bored. There were no real stakes. Sure, Perenelle was captured - but they weren't doing anything to her and didn't seem to bother. Another thing done without any real reason. 

I could probably gripe on and on, but I'll just say that after the age of 11, don't bother with this. The Kane Chronicles did it better. Rating:


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Review: Legend

Legend (Legend, #1)Legend
Marie Lu

From different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths...

Until June's brother is murdered, and Day becomes the prime suspect.

In a shocking turn of events, the two uncover what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths to which their country will go to keep its secrets.

Years ago, I had borrowed my friend's ARC of Legend, then with a black temporary cover and no colored fonts. I remember being like, I don't know what this is, but DAMN it's good. 

I have only recently gotten a hold of this series for myself, and since it's been so long and I didn't remember much of the plot I've decided to review it despite being a reread.

Legend is just awesome. Truly. The concept is one I've looked for in dystopia since the start of the genre - society divided based on intelligence. I've since seen it only in Pawn by Aimee Carter. It is done in the world of Legend masterfully, and you can't help but root for Day.

As for June- she grew on me, but it took awhile. Before she rebels against the Republic I couldn't help but hate her for her ignorance despite being so smart. Granted though, she is 16 and has been sheltered her whole life, so when she starts to change and develop she becomes really likable.

The romance - ehhhhhh. I was not feeling the sparks. There just isn't enough reason in approximately  the week they've known each other to like each other all that much.

Aside from the above, all I can say is READ THIS BOOK. Dystopia has been an annoying, overdone genre since after The Hunger Games, but Legend is one of the few that hasn't disappointed me. Rating:

Happy weekend! First of the school year for me. What will you be reading?