Review: Inkheart

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, translated by Anthea Bell

71366Series: Inkworld
Genres: Fantasy, Middle-Grade
Maturity Level: 3
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Rating: ⋆⋆

One cruel night, Meggie’s father reads aloud from a book called INKHEART– and an evil ruler escapes the boundaries of fiction and lands in their living room. Suddenly, Meggie is smack in the middle of the kind of adventure she has only read about in books. Meggie must learn to harness the magic that has conjured this nightmare. For only she can change the course of the story that has changed her life forever.

What a disappointment! I’ve been looking forward to reading Inkheart for several years, and it fell short of every expectation. It was just so bleh.

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Why the Book is Always Better than the Movie

It’s a well known rule that the book is always better than the movie. I mean, there’s definitely some exceptions, but it’s actually a pretty reliable rule. Why? What is it that makes the book so much better? I’ve got a few ideas that I want to throw out there.

Character Thoughts

A large portion of a book is character thoughts, emotions, and internal stuff. These things don’t translate very well to screen without doing a narration. And for most movie makers narration doesn’t fit well with their vision. (It killed in Clueless, though!) So in movies we don’t get to know the characters as well, and many of the deeper points are lost in translation. The 2005 Pride and Prejudice comes to mind, with entire minutes of Keira Knightly just staring thoughtfully into the camera, all of Elizabeth’s wit and sarcasm inaudible to the viewer.

InfamousEnchantingIrishwolfhound-small Continue reading

Sorting Hat Sunday: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

Sorting Hat Sunday (1)

Rosemary awkwardly watched the older kids laugh and yell at each other and literally bounce of the seat. She had just been sitting here, minding her own business, when that especially bouncy girl, Kizzy maybe?, walked right in and told her they were going to be best friends. Then all of her friends piled in too.

So, here she was, part of this group somehow. But she smiled. She kind of liked them. Especially Sissix. She liked the way Sissix kept patting her leg without much worry about personal space.

Also, how was it that nobody seemed weirded out that the compartment was talking to them? I mean, that couldn’t be normal, right?


So… I’m probably going to end up sorting everyone into Hufflepuff, because this entire book is about friendship and all the characters are so dang NICE. It’s pretty much inevitable. So I may as well start off with Rosemary. She’s definitely neither brave or ambitious. And while she seems intelligent enough, she really wants to find people. She cares about friendship and doing the right thing. Continue reading

Review: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

24233708Genre: Science Fiction
Maturity Level: 5
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Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆

The Carls just appeared. Coming home from work at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship–like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor–April and her friend Andy make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world–everywhere from Beijing to Buenos Aires–and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight. 

Now April has to deal with the pressure on her relationships, her identity, and her safety that this new position brings, all while being on the front lines of the quest to find out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.

At the end of this novel I’m not quite sure where the title came from, so I can only assume the absolutely remarkable thing is that Hank was able to write a book this amazing on his first try.  Continue reading

Calendar Girls November Theme

Thank goodness fall is finally setting in, am I right? I mean, it’s still 90 degree weather here in Texas, but at least it isn’t 100 degree weather anymore! So that must mean fall is right around the corner!

I love fall. Isn’t it just the best?

Speaking of fall, the polls are in, and we have decided on a Calendar Girls Theme for Nobember. Survey says…

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Six Degrees of Separation: The Outsiders to Harry Potter

6 degrees

Six Degrees of Separation is a monthly blog event hosted by Kate at booksaremyfavoriteandbest. It’s inspired by the 6 Degrees of Separation, a movie game where you attempt to connect actors in six movies or less. But we do it with books!

This month we’re starting with The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.

Once again Kate picked a book that I haven’t read! I must be the only person in the whole world who didn’t read The Outsiders in school. Honestly, I didn’t even know it was a book until I worked in a bookstore. Weird! Another book that it seems like everyone had as required school reading except for me was…
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Review: My Plain Jane

My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton

36301023Series: The Lady Janies
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Maturity Level: 3
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Rating: ⋆⋆

You may think you know the story. After a miserable childhood, penniless orphan Jane Eyre embarks on a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester. Despite their significant age gap (!) and his uneven temper (!!), they fall in love—and, Reader, she marries him. (!!!)

Or does she?

Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Brontë, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.

Everyone said that My Plain Jane wasn’t as good as My Lady Jane, but I ignored them because I figured it was just a preference thing. But Reader, I am here to tell you that they were right. They were so, so right. Continue reading