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Monday, March 31, 2014

My Birthday Wishlist

It's my birthday!! Well, almost. My actual birthday is next Monday- April 7th. I love birthdays. I love my birthday. It's my special day. Heh. Anywho. I thought I would share with you my birthday wishlist. Please know this is all in good fun. Don't think bad thoughts at me.

1) Scarlet and Cress by Marissa Meyer in Hard cover- I am not sure why I don't own these two books yet. But I know that I want them in my life and I want them to match my copy of Cinder. I actually really want to reread Cress already.

2) Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special: The Day of the Doctor on DVD- I love all things Doctor Who... and I really liked the 50th Anniversary special. I want in in my life.

3) Catching Fire on DVD- I wouldn't mind owning this. I have only seen it the one time and I kind of wouldn't mind rewatching it.

4) Infinite by Jodi Meadows- My trilogy is incomplete without this one. And I am dying to read it, to see how it all ends.

5) Supernatural: The Complete Eighth Season- I own this whole series- seasons 1-7. I would really like season 8. It was a good season.

6) The Great Gatsby quote 'So we beat on' vintage book page framed print- that I found on Etsy. I love it.

7) The Fault in Our Stars IPhone 5 case- Because I am obsessed with this book. I found the one I want on dftba.com

8) Theo James- No explanation needed- but if he could come with a bow...

9) Thor: The Dark World on DVD- Because I am shallow and Chris Hemsworth is beautiful. And I liked the movie.
Thanks to my friend Hannah (and Dave)

10) Cheesecake- I saw this peanut butter cheesecake with a brownie base on Pinterest a few weeks ago and I want it. I love cheesecake and I love peanut butter. This would make my life. I have sent the link to my housemate (at her request) and I am hoping it makes it's way to my belly.
Thanks to my friend Stephanie- This cake was amazing!! 

I hope you enjoyed my Birthday wish list. I will also attach a link to my Amazon wishlist in case you're interested in seeing what else is there.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

From Book to Movie: The Book Thief

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

DISCLAIMER: This is full of spoilers. For both the movie and the book. I ramble and bit. But go ahead... read it anyway.

The Book:

What can I say about this book? I finally caved and read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak early this year, and I was overwhelmed with how amazing it was. A lot of trusted bloggers and friends had read this book and had nothing but good things to say about it. However, I am usually reserved when it comes to the hype that surrounds books,  because I dislike being disappointed. Therefore, The Book Thief sat on my shelf for years (seriously) before I finally picked it up. And I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner.

I loved this book. There are so many reasons why I loved it. First, the writing. It had been a long time since I felt completely immersed in a story- as I was reading The Book Thief I felt like Markus Zusak's words were a comforting blanket wrapped around me, I felt surrounded. The beauty of his writing is something I am struggling to express.

This story is not a light read as it takes place during the Second World War and the Holocaust. But what's interesting about this novel is that it takes a look at the war from the perspective of the Germans. This is not something I have experienced at a reader prior to this novel. The majority of the novels that I have read that focus on this war are seen through the Jewish lens. I appreciated this new look. The fear the German civilians lived with, the hunger, the poverty, how difficult it was to take a stand against the Fuhrer and if you were not a part of the Nazi party it greatly affected your quality of life, were not things I would have considered. Also, The Book Thief is narrated by death. This is an essential part of the story. Death's voice really enhanced the tone of the book, and made it an enriched experience.

Quickly, there are a number of powerful relationships in The Book Thief. Liesel (our protagonist) is a lovely character and she certainly has gotten the short straw. But her relationship with her foster father (Hans Hubermann) is beautiful. They love each other and it's so special. I also want to quickly talk about Liesel and Max (the Jewish boy, the Hubermann's are hiding).  They also develop a really strong and intense relationship and it tugged at my heart.

Overall, The Book Thief is an amazing novel, and I think that everyone needs to read it.

The Movie:

Now, I was so concerned with being spoiled by this trailer that I didn't watch it until after I read the book. Which is funny. Once I had completed the book I was really excited about the film. Because of how I felt reading the book.

Initially I did not really have an opinion about who was cast is in the film. But, I think they did a very good job in casting Geoffrey Rush as Hans Hubermann, I thought he was perfect for the role. He wasn't who I pictured as I was reading The Book Thief, however, while watching the film I found that his portrayal of Hans was spot on. I also really liked Sophie NĂ©lisse as Liesel. Sophie's Liesel wasn't as snarky as book Liesel, but I still think she did a good job.

I watched this movie with my sister who hadn't read the book (my sister doesn't read), and it was interesting to watch The Book Thief  with someone who didn't know the story. It's a pretty long movie at just over two hours, and unfortunately, it got really boring. Because my sister hasn't read the book and she was often confused during the film and didn't know what was going on and why. And because I was familiar with the plot I found myself explaining back story and context to her that the film adaptation failed to do.

In all honesty, I did not enjoy the film adaptation of The Book Thief. There were so many amazing things about the book that failed to make it into the film. As I previously mentioned, the book is narrated by Death, whose voice makes the reading of The Book Thief a really profound experience. His voice is all but absent in the film. What I also found lacking was the depth that was found in the interactions between Liesel and Hans Hubermann. They had this really amazing and inspiring relationship and it's not nearly as intense in the movie- they are very reserved and almost distant in the movie.

My biggest hang up about this movie is how off the movie makers were when it came to capturing the essence of the relationships Liesel has with a number of the characters. With Rudy, with Rosa, with the mayor's wife even with Max. They didn't capture what books meant to Liesel and how they influenced her life. Movie makers just missed the mark on this one (for me at least).

Overall, I would suggest to simply read The Book Thief. Don't think you've experienced this story by seeing the movie alone. Because you are truly missing out.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring TBR (2)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at The Broke and Bookish

Top Ten Books On My Spring 2014 TBR List (to be read list)

I'm doing things a little differently. I've had some major success with these TBR post in the past and I have been wanting to whittle down the amount of unread books on my shelf. I've split this week's list into two sections, books that have been sitting on my self for eons, and books that I don't own but I am excited about. Hope that makes sense. 

From My Shelf:  

1) A Discovery of Witches by by Deborah Harkness- I bought this book, maaaaaybe three years ago. It's time to get it read. 

2) The Last Letter From your Lover by Jojo Moyes- Again, another book that has been sitting on my shelf since the beginning of time that I need to get read. 

3) Tear You Apart by Megan Hart- Just sitting there unread. Which is shocking because I love Megan Hart. 

4) The Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella- I won this book last year sometime and I think it looks pretty cute and I need it in my life. 

5) The Lightning Thief by Rick Riodan- I bought the box set of this series sometime in the summer and thinking that I would finally get the chance to read it. I still haven't and this needs to change. 

Excited For: 

6) Infinite by Jodi Meadows- This is the last book in the Incarnate trilogy, and I really enjoyed this series, so I am eager to finish it. 

7) The King by JR Ward- Love this series. I have already pre ordered The King and I never Pre order anything. 

8) Take Me On by Katie McGarry- I am amazed at how quickly McGarry can get a book out and that they're never bad. They are actually amazing!! 

9) Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor- Can. Not. Wait. Three more weeks. 

10) Half Bad by Sally Green- I am very curious about this book. I am hoping to get to it at some point this spring. 

So what say you? Do you think I'll be able to read all of these books in the next three months? I hope so. Don't forget to leave links to your TBRs so I can go check them out. 

Happy Reading Everyone. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

My Thoughts: The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

**Review Copy received by publisher. 

There has been a lot of buzz surrounding Maria Rutkoski's The Winner's Curse. It's been all around the the blogging community and I don't think I've seen a negative review. Also, Macmillan has been pushing this book like crazy- and rightfully so. I was in a pretty nasty reading slump when I began reading The Winner's Curse- but at the time I was determined to get over it. So I committed to reading for a full hour to really get into the story. Before I knew it three hours had passed and I was 40%  done and I didn't want to stop.

What was the most fun about The Winner's Curse, is that I did not know much about the story when I began reading it. I had read the synopsis when I requested it, but I hadn't read it since and I wasn't sure what to expect. This really added to my reading experience. I was able to let go of my expectations and just enjoy the story for what it was.

Everything that is being said about this book is true. It's a great story. I don't want to tell you much about the plot because the mystery of it all was so great for me.

Arin is a Heranni slave that  Kestrel bought on a whim. What I found the most interesting in The Winner's Curse was the relationship between Arin and Kestrel. In reality Kestrel owns Arin. However, her attitude towards slavery and the war that made slavery a thing is changing as she gets to know Arin and his situation. I really liked the story Rutkoski told about slavery. She was able to convey how complicated slavery was and she used the budding relationship between Arin and Kestrel an example.

Throughout the novel Kestrel proves herself as an intelligent, strong and independent individual. She is confident and sure of herself - which is good as she finds herself questioning society even going against the norms- this strength comes in handy. Arin was kind of a fantastic character. I am not sure what to say about him. He was conflicted, but again, very loyal. He had an agenda and he never lost site of it- which sometimes was to his detriment. I really am doing my best to not spoil anything.

The romance between Arin and Kestrel is very slow burn, it almost is non existent. For some this may not work and in most stories it wouldn't. But in this case, it does, it's necessary. Especially with the kind of initial relationship the two have with one another.

There is so much that I am not saying about The Winner's Curse, so much that I want to, but as I mentioned earlier not knowing to much about the story was great for me.

Overall, The Winner's Curse is a great story. Marie Rutkoski has made a fan out of me. I am terribly excited about this series and I can't wait to see where Arin and Kestrel's journey will take them.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Unread Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the Broke and Bookish.

This week's topic:

Top Ten Popular Authors I've Never Read 

1) Jane Austen- Shame on me... I know.

2) Victoria Schwab- She's got a good number of books out now. And I have heard nothing but great things about her stuff. Why haven't I read any of it? Because I'm crazy that's why.

3) Patrick Ness- I feel like SO many people have read Ness. Again, another well known author who has written a few books and I have yet to experience them.

4) Rick Riordan- Yup- Haven't read the Percy Jackson series or the Heroes of Olympus series. I have the whole Percy Jackson box set sitting on my shelf. I just need to get on it.

5) Meg Cabot- Everyone who is anyone has read Meg Cabot, but not me. What is going wrong in the world?

6) Harper Lee- I have not read To Kill a Mockingbird. I keep meaning to. Harper Lee is a great American author. Yes, I am hanging my head in shame.

7) E. Lockhart- I feel like E. Lockhart is a pretty big figure in the world of contemporary.  But, again, I haven't read anything by her. I am pretty excited about this year's release of We Were Liars. That may break me into the world of E. Lockhart.

8) Dean Koontz- This guys is a favourite of my mum's. But I've never read him. He's kind of a favourite of everyone's. But with Odd Thomas being adapted for the big screen.

9) Stephen King- This is probably no surprise ad I don't read horror (I can't. I'm a big chicken). I tried once to read a book of his (for my book club) and I couldn't.

10) Kelley Armstrong- This is kind of sad because I think Kelly is a Canadian author. She is wildly popular and again, I hang my head in shame.

That's my list everybody. I hope you enjoy.

"So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall."
— Roald Dahl