Posts Tagged ‘beautiful creatures’

Random Book Reviews #1

Sometimes I am too lazy to write full reviews.

This is what happens.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson – John Green & David Levithan

Two boys, one name. Also romance and friendship and extraordinary musicals.

I enjoyed it – of course I enjoyed it, I love John Green and David Levithan is amazing. However, I didn’t come away from it thinking anything other than that was fun. The writing was gorgeous. The characters were solid (if not a little predictable). Not life-changing, but definitely not bad.

4 shuriken stars.

Paper Towns – John Green

Boy likes girl. Girl disappears. Boy searches for girl. Road trip = fun times.

Loved this one. It grew on me as I thought about it, and I learnt a lot from it. Fun characters, fun times. However do I love it as much as TFIOS? That’s hard.

5 shuriken stars.

Out of the Easy – Ruta Sepetys

Girl’s mum is a prostitute. Also it’s set in the 50’s which makes it extra fun to read.

Loved the setting, loved Josie, loved loved loved the writing. Especially loved Willie. However, some of the characters were a little under-developed with such a short book and I didn’t feel like it came to much conclusion by the end (also, the twists were kind of predictable, though not bad twists at all).

4 1/2 shuriken stars.

Beautiful Creatures – Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Boy meets girl. Girl has supernatural powers. They fall in love.

Expectations were way too high going in.

Forgot that I was reading a high school paranormal romance until it got to the book and then I went “Oh. Right. This again.” The characters were fun (though the emphasis on Lena being such a special snowflake because she wasn’t a ‘slut’ or ‘fake’ grated on my nerves, and – though I wouldn’t know from any personal experience – there seemed to be a lot of negative southern stereotyping), plot was a little dense and hard to follow, and I admit that I wasn’t paying much attention while reading, but the book held my attention.

3 1/2 shuriken stars.

Mark of Athena – Rick Riordan

The demigods meet, but unfortunately, it’s not like the Avengers.

Kind of disappointing, to be honest. The initial interactions were very mild and friendly, which was a little boring. I was looking forward to some complex characterisation and relationships, but everyone was pretty content with each other. (Except Leo and Frank, whose tension was more annoying than interesting. The love triangle amongst all the other love triangles was just one too many, I’m afraid.) Also, there wasn’t much character development, but I always enjoy seeing my favourite characters, and the plot is beginning to gain pace.

4 shuriken stars.

Random Unrelated Reviews: Book-to-Movie Adaptations

I have a lot of opinions on things that aren’t just books. However, I don’t feel even slightly competent enough to do full reviews on them, so I’m going to use this as a massive dumping ground for my thoughts.

Book-to-Movie Adaptations

The Great Gatsby:

Wasn’t so great. The music was awesome, the actors were great, and the tone of the movie was what I had in mind, it just felt very superficial. Maybe that was the point, but it definitely felt like a movie told from Gatsby’s perspective rather than that of Nick’s. The entire thing felt very over-romanticised and Daisy was held up as this perfect, lovable character, whereas when I read the book, I absolutely despised her. And the entire lurking corruption through this broken façade of the American Dream never really came through to me, though maybe that was the director’s intention.

Also, the visuals really weren’t my type of movie. They were pretty, but far too loud and in-your-face, that after a while, it actually got tiring. I found myself checking the time halfway through.

On the plus side, I have found that I could quote most of the movie. They stayed quite true in terms of dialogue, usually having it word-for-word, and you can’t dismiss the poetry of F Scott Fitzgerald’s writing.

I don’t think I can really give these ratings, because I have no idea what I’m doing right now. I’ll say, watch it if you want, because it’s fun and bright and colourful and the soundtrack is awesome, but just remember it might feel slightly off as an interpretation.

Beautiful Creatures:

Surprisingly good. I liked the book, but was not a huge fan, and I didn’t remember most of it, which might be why I didn’t mind all the changes they made. In the book, I never felt that I could connect with any of the characters (though that might be my fault, as I had WAY too high expectations, going in), whereas Alice Englert and Alden Ehrenreich really brought these characters to life. They made them loveable and I actually rooted for their relationship, which is quite a new thing for me. I usually hate the relationship in every book-to-movie adaptation, no matter how much I love the movie. (Yes, this includes Harry Potter. I did not care one bit about Harry and Ginny.)

The script was a lot better than I expected it to be, the acting was very good, and I really enjoyed it.

If you liked Beautiful Creatures, you will love this, so you should watch it. And if you aren’t, you should watch it anyway because it’s a really enjoyable film.

The Host

And this is where YA Fiction goes to die.

Saoirse Ronan is a good actress. I have not seen much with her in it, but what I have seen, I’ve liked. I know she can act. I’m sure everyone in this cast can act. The problem is, the script is abysmal. And her role, in particular, is hard as all hell.

The reason I really liked The Host by Stephenie Meyer is not because I swooned at the romance. It’s not because I fell in love with all the characters and I wanted to marry all the guys and just wished that I could have a Jared for myself.  In the book it questioned morality, the violence of humanity, survival of the fittest, loyalty to your  own kind, and above all: the importance of family and friends. My favourite relationship was the friendship of Melanie and Wanda.

But the movie took out all the parts I liked about The Host, and left all the Cons that I would have been happy without. They took out all the backstories of the different planets, including the people gradually becoming closer and closer to Wanda through their curiosity. They got rid of Wanda becoming more sarcastic and cynical due to spending too much time with Melanie. No Walter. No football match. Nothing but the overbearing love triangle, which might have pleased other fans, but made me groan in despair.

Also, separate point: when showcasing Melanie and Jared’s relationship, they never had a conversation that didn’t lead to making out. That’s fine watching it the first time, but after that it becomes tiresome and makes their relationship seem oh so very empty.

And oh the characterisation was bland. And the dialogue was awkward. And the internal conversations were not done well.

Sea of Monsters

I enjoyed it most of the time. Though I’m not sure whether I was just forcing myself to like it or not. Or maybe it’s because I’ve forgotten most of what happens in the book, and the more I remember, the more I realise they left out.

The acting was a lot more awkward than I expected it to be, though I think that may be the fault of the extremely cheesy script. The visuals were pretty, and the humour was pretty fun, but they did forget a lot. And if you’ve seen it, you’ll know. The characters had very little personality, they cut out a lot of interactions with minor characters at the camp, and the voice overs felt unnecessary.

Also, the battle at the end. With Kronos.

I do not remember that happening. Ever.

All of this would be fine if I didn’t know there were 3 more books, and that these scenes and interactions would be very important later. It means they might have to cut the whole Silena & Beckendorf arc in the Last Olympian, because she was on the ship and they saw her. Plus Beckendorf doesn’t actually exist yet. The romance between Annabeth and Luke has no weight, because all that was cut, and the Percabeth romance is kind of pathetic at the moment.

Ok, good points: Nathan Fillion (Hermes)  & Stanley Tucci (Dionysus).

So watch it if you like Percy Jackson, and if you can stand a lot of major plot changes.

Well, that was fun! There are so many book-to-movie adaptations coming out soon, that this may just be the first of many. But who knows. We’ll see.