September/October Wrap Up

Book Post Title Picture          Finally! I know! School just kind of slammed me and I had no time to do anything. I mean, I read one book in the month of September! One! So, let’s get to the Wrap Up, and the next post will be the November TBR.

10 October13          So, in the month of September I read The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy. This book, oh my gods, this book!!! I loved it so much, and I cannot wait for The Infinite Sea! I loved the characters in it; Cassie Sammy, Ben Parrish, Evan, Vorsch, BEAR! Who didn’t love the dynamic due of Cassie and Bear? “Shut up, Bear. Don’t look at me like that, Bear.” They were great. There were some awesome pairings in this, besides Cassie and Bear. There was also Zombie and Nugget, who were just great to watch. Zombie was the only person who really took care of little Nugget. And man, all the twists! Tracker chips to screw with the soldiers minds, the virus, Wonderland (that program that the aliens “left” here… yeah.), silencers like the one who shot Cassie. And I really loved the way Yancy wrote dialogue. Like when Evan tells Cassie that she can’t leave the house for three to four more weeks: “Three more weeks? Who does this teenage version of the Brawny Paper Towel Man think he’s kidding?!” Cassie waking up after being shot by the silencer thinking that Evan’s house can’t be heaven. And when her and Evan were heading for the military base where She knew Sammy had been taken and they got attacked, Cassie found her pet log, Howard. Howard was a brief character, but he was a wonderful one. I loved when she broke into the base and shoved a tracker chip up Dr. Pam’s nose. Cassie’s kinda awesome, guys. And Ben/Zombie, oh, he was great too. I was glad when he realized what was going on, it was just such an awesome part to watch unfold. And as I said, I loved watching Zombie take care of our little Sammy/Nugget. And how Sammy just kept believing that Cassie was going to come for him, even when people told him he’d be wrong. And the Cassie-Ben “reunion” when she saw him at the base and she tried to tell him that they knew each other, “I sat behind you in honors chemistry”. And at the end of the book, with Evan coming DOWN THE VENTS and saving things and giving them the chance to get away. Please let Evan be alive. HE HAS TO BE ALIVE! HE’S ALIVE RIGHT?! I like Yancy’s style of writing, I like how he kept me guessing all the time with things like Evan and was he an alien. I just never knew who to trust and who to not trust. Which I really loved about this. Can it just be May 2014 so I can read the next book. Although let’s not lie about it, I’m slightly disappointed it won’t be titled The 6th Wave. Not too much though.

In October I read a few more books. The first book I read was The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan. I actually started reading this book in September when I finished The 5th Wave, I just was so busy that I didn’t finish it until October. This is Book 1 in the Kane Chronicles. This is a series that may not be completely on the same level as our beloved PJO and Heroes of Olympus Series, however, it’s definitely a great story for the first book of a series. Carter and Sadie Kane are the children of Egyptian magicians, are magicians themselves (although they don’t know this in the beginning), and may even be descended from the pharaohs of Egypt. At the begining of the book, they see their father get taken to the underworld, and start out on a quest to save him, as well as to stop the ancient god Set, who their father released before he disappeared. They travel all over the place using the Duat, and are protected by such awesome characters as the cat goddess Bast, who has been protecting Sadie for years as her cat, Muffin. Bast is kind of an awesome character. While I felt that the book moved a little slower than other Riordan books, I still loved it, and thought it was a great book, and can’t wait to get the other ones in this trilogy.

I also read Strangers of Death by J.D. Robb. I absolutely love the books in the In Death series. This one starts out with a man murdered and his wife coming home from vacation. Eve just doesn’t like the widow, believing that she’s reacted too coldly throughout everything that has happened to her. And you know our girl Eve; when there’s something that strikes Eve as suspicious, she keeps digging into it until her suspicions are proven right or wrong. Things in this book connect with other things that we don’t even see happen, and the simplest things are connected, whether or not you see it coming. It was a great installment in the series. And of course, seeing Eve, Roarke, Peabody, McNabb, Charles and Louise, and the lovely Troy Trueheart, along with all the other cast of series regulars just makes this book better.

The book I was most excited to read in October, and that it felt like waiting was agony was The House of Hades by Rick Riordan. First, let’s start with Riordan’s lovely dedication of the book to his fans. Oh Riordan, you awesome, wonderful, little troll. Laughing at our pain. But still, we love you. And OHMYGOD THIS BOOK YOU GUYS THIS BOOK!!! So after the end of Mark of Athena, where we leave Percy and Annabeth falling, hanging off a cliff, into Tartarus, this book starts off basically right where Athena left off. As we all know, Riordan gave new meaning to the term “cliff-hanger”. The first chapter is from the perspective of Hazel, and we get other perspectives, Leo, Piper, Jason, Frank, Percy, and Annabeth. And when we meet up with Percy and Annabeth, they’re falling into Tartarus, and things just don’t get better for them once they land. We’ll get back to them in a bit, as I have way more to say about those two than I do about most of the other things, so let’s start with the other characters. Everyone in this book seemed to grow up a lot during the book. Seeing Percy and Annabeth fall into Tartarus took a lot out of the team, plus without two of their best leaders, everyone else has a lot more to do. Piper seemed to grow, and Frank and Leo definitely had some big changes come to them in this book. Jason… Jason, just go sit in a corner, okay? Within the first minutes of a fight, Jason heads straight into a trap. To quote Christine of polandbananasBOOKS: #JasonFail. Luckily, Leo is pretty good at this fight and handles by himself just fine, and is able to tell Jason he just wasted a Peter Pan-like entrance because everything was already wrapped up.
Let’s just talk about Jason for a minute. By the end of the book he did seem to be doing a little better, but all throughout that book he was kinda dumb. All he had to do was take the southern wind horses that he needed when the ship was disabled, but instead, he went to chat with Auster. Big fight happening on the ship? Oh Jason’s just gonna fall into a dream sleep. Yes, you were a little good in the fight with Hazel, working with her well, but only after she figured out what to do. The Legion ghosts didn’t even listen to you in the fight at the House of Hades. But okay, by the final battle after Percy and Annabeth have come through the Doors of Death, you did have a good line, and you did do well there. Maybe you’ll be better by the next book.
And Leo! Leo was a character who had definite growth in this book, and I loved seeing every second of it. Watching him handle that fight when Jason was in the trap was awesome. I was shouting “OH HELL NO! YOU DID NOT JUST TAKE LEO’S BELT!” But he got it back, and got the guys on his side (loved seeing them mess things up at the Legion’s army outside of Camp Half Blood). And when the ship was attacked and Leo was flying through the air, I just knew he was about to end up at Calypso’s Island. Which was a hilarious moment when that was confirmed. “You wrecked my table!” Leo may have just crash landed on the beach, but we have to be way more concerned about the table. And when he was working to fix everything, seeing him fix stuff for her, even though they didn’t get along, was great. As was him getting her to make that fireproof pouch for Frank’s piece of wood. That was really a cool moment. And of course Calypso started to like him, and boom, there’s the raft to take him away. I really hope that we get to see him go back to the island and rescue her from it, because I just think the two of them together would be sweet. And him after the island, he definitely was not like he had been. While he was still goofy and awesome and lovable as Leo always is, there was a sadder, kind of deeper (I guess) side to him.
Piper, well, Piper did grow a little more during this book. Still, shooting fruit out of that horn isn’t gonna work forever, my girl. Now that Annabeth is back, maybe you could get her to teach you a few more things about fighting so you don’t have to depend on hitting someone with a watermelon? Her best moments were definitely when she was convincing monsters to fight each other, telling them it’d be fun, and when Frank had her fighting the empousa’s in the battle by charmspeaking them and telling them gossipy things: “Your makeup is smeared! Your friend called you ugly! That one is making a face behind your back!” Yeah, that was an awesome part. And she also did pretty damn good when Khione attacked the ship, charmspeaking to Festus to make him turn on. She wasn’t half bad in this book.
And then there was Hazel. Hazel had serious awesome moments in this book. Learning to control her magic, and with it, control the Mist. That was awesome. And when she screamed and pulled all the jewels from the walls in the cave, that was brilliant too. I liked that the book started with a Hazel chapter, and I really liked all the Hazel chapters that came after. I’ve always thought she was an interesting character, and I like learning anything about her that I possibly can. Her first time manipulating the Mist against Sciron was really great. Also, the farting polecat. Only Riordan could come up with this kind of stuff, guys.
Frank was another character with some great growth in this book. When he helped Triptolemus find another python for his chariot, he really did well. It was also cool to see Ares/Mars in that scene, to see how much the personality problem the gods are facing right now is really affecting them. Although, really Troptolemus, is it that hard for you to find your own damn python? AND HOW DARE YOU TURN NICO DI ANGELO INTO CORN?! Luckily, Frank came through and saved his friends. And then when he became the commander of the Legion, that was just so awesome to watch. And when things were smoothed out between him, Hazel, and Leo, it only got better. Yes, I love Frank and Hazel. And when the rubble fell between Frank and Hazel, I started to get teary and scared that I was going to lose one of them.
I’d really like to see a Nico POV in the next book. He interests me. Although, did anyone else not see the “Nico loves/loved Percy” thing coming? I just feel like I never saw any hints for it before. I’m okay with that being a storyline, it’s cool. I just feel somewhat like it was just thrown in there. I guess I need to go back and reread the PJO books. Darn. Or maybe he just hid his feelings really well. But as always, Nico may be the most awesome side character ever, which is why he needs his own POV, even if it’s just one chapter. Although, it’s pretty fun to watch him just skulk in the back and scare other characters. And do things like call forth the ghosts to have them fight. Nico’s pretty awesome, guys.
WE GOT TO SEE GROVER! And also Rachel Elizabeth Dare. As they went to meet with Octavian and Reyna. I like Reyna. I loved when it was revealed that she and her sister were on Circe’s island when Percy destroyed it, and that just made her character even more interesting. I’m also glad that she’s still fighting Octavian on that whole destroying the Greeks thing. At least the praetor sees sense! Also having Grover turn the spears of the Roman guards into Christmas trees using his pipes was cool. I really like seeing Grover, and there hasn’t been nearly as much of him in this series. Understandably so, but still. It makes me excited when he shows up. Also, Coach Hedge going to be Daddy Hedge, adorable. I’m so on the lookout for fanfics about that, someone please make it happen. Can you just imagine how awesome? It made me sad to see Reyna lose Scipio. But way to make it to where Reyna needed to get, Scipio. May you rest in piece. Hopefully Nico, Reyna, Coach Hedge, and the statue of Athena make it back to Camp Half Blood in time.
Alright, now for the two characters who I have the most things to say about: Percy and Annabeth, our beloved Percabeth. It was just so hard reading their chapters, we see them in such a struggle that we’re not used to seeing these two in. They’re Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase. They handle everything just fine. But here, from the moment they landed in Tartarus, things weren’t easy. Drinking the fire water just to stay alive, watching them struggle when they were on their own, seeing Percy just so out of his element, even with the “water” there, oh it was hard. And EVERY SINGLE CHAPTER that was from one of their POVs was so stressful, I feel like I only half-read the chapters in between them, just rushing to get back to the two of them. It was the worst reunion ever, the two of them with all the monsters they had killed over the years, and that part with the curses on the two of them, just so hard to read. It was entertaining to watch Annabeth outwitting monsters there though. Getting Damasen to treat Percy by asking if Bob overstated his talents. And her and Percy getting Nyx upset by telling her that her house wasn’t in the brochure for best places to stop in Tartarus, and then asking for a picture with her and her favorite child. That was possibly one of the most entertaining moments in Tartarus, and in the entire book. Although I’m afraid one of these days, that trick isn’t going to work and then the dynamic duo will be in trouble. Also, Bob. I loved Bob helping Percy and Annabeth throughout Tartarus, going from Iapetus, fighting Percy and falling into the River Lethe, to Bob, an awesome, lovable giant with his pet, Small Bob. I loved that part, “I shall call him Small Bob!” Going to the Doors of Death, fighting TARTARUS! TARTARUS TAKES A SHAPE AND PERCY FIGHTS HIM! I was freaking out in that part. And all through the book, knowing that someone had to hold the Doors of Death so they could get out, I was so afraid that Percy was going to stay behind and hold the doors and be separated from Annabeth again. Bob and Damasen coming to their aid, and Bob holding the doors for them, Annabeth repeatedly kicking her foot in the door to keep it open for Percy, Percy saying goodbye to Bob, the ride up in the elevator to the other side of the doors of death. IT WAS SO STRESSFUL AND TERRIBLE! But also so wonderful. And does anyone else have a sinking feeling that Percy is going to somehow try to go back to rescue Bob and Damasen from Tartarus? Because I have a sinking feeling. May it be wrong.
But all in all, it was another great installment in the Heroes of Olympus series, and it took me a day to read. Which means a day of bliss followed by a year of agony, waiting for The Blood of Olympus. Although, this book ended about ten times less stressful than The Mark of Athena did, so at least the waiting isn’t as agonizing. I wonder who’s going to die in the final book. Can it just be that douche Octavian? Because I really wouldn’t mourn that death at all, to be honest. And I’d mourn any other death that happened. Yes, even Jason.

Another book I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of on my doorstep to be read was Allegiant by Veronica Roth. It was released on October 22. On October 23, I had a test in Anatomy and Physiology on the muscular system, SO I HAD TO WAIT A WHOLE EXTRA DAY TO READ IT AFTER GETTING IT! I can’t even describe how sucky it was to look at it sitting there all shiny and new, and not be able to dive in. So the second I left class on Wednesday I was pulling it out of my school bag and reading it, while walking to the bus stop. So much happened in this book! It started fast, with Tris lying under truth serum, and it just never let go until the final scene. Okay, it kind of let go when Four was narrating the last few chapters. I’ll be honest, the Four POV chapters didn’t excite me all that much. I liked the Tris ones best.  And oh, that ending! I hoped it wouldn’t happen the way it did. I’d have been okay if it was Caleb, but no. Tris had to do what she always did, only this time it didn’t end well. I honestly cried, although more when Christina reacted to the news than when Four did. Her grief felt more painful for me. I really loved learning so much about the world, the genetically pures and unpures, what happened in the other cities in America. It was really cool. Although I feel like when dystopian books have to wrap everything up in three books, things can feel a little rushed in the last book. I almost wish there was one more book to see how everything works out, government systems after the corruption that was in place for three books is changed, daily life, everything. But I loved this book, and when I finished it, I moved the whole series to my “favorite completed series” bookshelf.

I read a Veronica Roth short story, The Transfer, which was pretty interesting. This takes place when Four is still Tobias in Abnegation, on the days before and day of his Choosing Ceremony. Tori also gives him his aptitude test, with him getting Abnegation results because it’s what his father, Marcus wanted. We see Tobias at home with his father, and see just how terrible Marcus really was to Tobias. I was so glad to see Tobias choose Dauntless. I obviously knew he would choose that, but reading up to that point, and Tobias not really thinking that way until the moment he got to the ceremony was just so interesting to see. And then seeing him in his fear landscape, with his four fears, was so good. Seeing Amir name him Four, seeing the beginnings of his firendship with Amir, it was all great. While I may not have loved his voice in Allegiant, in The Transfer, it was great.

I read Haunted by Kelley Armstrong as well. This is another of the Women of the Underworld series, and it focused on Eve, the mother of Savannah. Savannah was the ward of Paige Winterbourne in the last two books in the series (Dime Store Magic and Industrial Magic). In those books we heard a little bit about Eve, but in this one we get to see Eve herself. Another awesome woman named Eve. In Industrial Magic, Eve promised the Fates a favor if they let Paige and Lucas return to the world of the living. In Haunted, the Fates call on that favor, wanting Eve to hunt down one of the worst escapees from the ghost world, the Nix. The Nix inhabits bodies of people such as Lizzie Borden, and gets them to kill others, then leaves them behind to face the consequences on their own. Teaming up with an angel, Eve hunts her down, but is almost always a little behind. She goes into some awesome places in the ghost world, as well as some terrible places. I really liked this one in the WOTU series, it was incredibly interesting, and Eve is an awesome main character. While the ending wasn’t a perfect one, I liked it, it didn’t frustrate me. Eve is right up there with Elena as an awesome main in this series.

In anticipation of the November release of Champion, I read Prodigy by Marie Lu. I really loved the first book in this series, Legend, and Champion was not a disappointing second book, as some middle books in trilogies can be. June and Day are wonderful in this book, even if a little frustrating at times. I was also relieved to see that Tess was okay, after not completely knowing in Legend. Razor was a character that I just didn’t like from the moment we met him. He just didn’t seem trustworthy. At least June seemed to pick up on that eventually. Kaede, I’ll miss you. You were one awesome chick, and also one hell of a pilot. I was glad when she came over into the Colonies and got June and Day out. Also, seeing the Colonies of America? Kinda awesome. At first, they seemed all wonderful and glittering prosperity, but they turned out to be at least as bad as the Republic to some of their citizens, if not worse. Anden, I want to trust you. I think that you really mean well, and want to be a good Elector Primo. Thank you for releasing Eden and giving him the care that he needed. Although I was kind of skeptical to the idea that Anden had released Eden. I was afraid it would be too good to be true. But no Anden, you may not have June. June belongs with Day. I got all girly and happy when Day gave June that little paperclip ring. It was so cute. Throughout the book June and Day had great moments. Day all worried and trying to care for June when she was sick. Man, worrying about June having the plague was not cool. From the moment she started to not feel well, I had an uneasy feeling. And finally, the ending. OH MY HOLY SHIT THAT ENDING! WHAT EVEN?! First with Day climbing up the building in Denver and announcing his support for Anden, I got chills at that part. But then I realized there were still too many pages left in the book. Finding out Day had a bad growth on his hippocampus was terrible. And seeing him trying to “save” June by letting her go and telling her to accept Anden’s offer of becoming a princeps-elect. Just no. June, you saw something was wrong with Day. YOU COULD HAVE SAID SOMETHING! I hope the next book picks up at that spot and June stops Day from being dumb. I can’t wait to read Champion!

I read The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. Holy shit. This book. This book was amazing. I really could not stop reading it. Which was kind of a problem, since it was on my kindle and sometimes the battery would run really low. I’d be running looking for my charger and a place to plug it in. (Yes, I know that this wouldn’t happen with “real” books, but the kindle store was selling this book for either free or $.99 at one point, and I wanted to read it.) We follow Ruby through life after a plague takes out the majority of children under 13, when Ruby is about 10. And the kids that are left have mind powers of one type or another. Ruby gets taken to Camp Thurmond, which is claimed by the government to be a rehabilitation camp for the kids. They’re all classified as different colors, with reds, oranges, and yellows being the most dangerous. Ruby gets classified as a green and lives at the camp for about six years, working and living an awful life. It was unsettling reading that part just because it was so terrible and the thought of it happening upset me a little. She becomes so beaten down and hopeless at the camp. And then one of the doctors at the camp from The Children’s League breaks her out, telling her that her secret, that she’s not a green, is about to be discovered. She then escapes from the people who helped her escape, and goes on a kinda awesome road trip through the Shenandoah Valley with Liam, Chubs, and Zu. Liam, Chubs, and Zu are looking for East River and The Slip Kid, a place for the escaped children to live and the Slip Kid, an Orange who has escaped custody many times, and started East River. I loved that they traveled through the Shenandoah Valley, as it’s near my home and I go there a bit every year. The Slip Kid was one of the many people in this book who I wanted to believe was good, but just couldn’t do it. Yes he sort of helped Ruby with her powers. But I didn’t like him. I was sad to see Zu leave the group, as I love her and she’s adorable. But hopefully she’ll get to California safely and we’ll see her reunite with the others later on. I was also very glad she got out before things got bad. I was so glad Chubs came for Ruby and they were able to get away from the PSF agents. I was glad that Liam came back and was okay too. I really hope Chubs didn’t die. CHUBS CAN’T DIE! He’s too cool. And Then Liam and Ruby. Oh my god that broke my heart. Just as much as learning what happened to Ruby and her parents broke my heart. I really need him to find her again and for them to be together. I just need Ruby and Liam, okay?! Props to Ms. Bracken for having a scene where Ruby talks about having had a map of the D.C. Metro System on her wall when she was a child. So many people call it the Subway system, and that’s wrong. I take the metro a lot, so when I see people refer to it correctly, it makes me very happy. I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of Never Fade, be it on Kindle or hardcover. I must read it!

Finally, I read Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier. This book was interesting. Gwen comes from a family of time travelers, and her family thinks the gene for it has passed her by and gone to her cousin Charlotte instead. However, she ends up being the one who can travel through time, and is the final person in the circle of twelve, the Ruby. She starts traveling with Gideon, and she tries to unearth the mystery of why her mother hid her real birth date, her ability (she can see ghosts), and basically take a crash course in everything time travelers need to know, history, manners, and all. I loved that her best friend Leslie is such an important part of the plot, which is something that some books don’t really cover. She helps Gwen when she starts traveling through time, looking things up for her. She also convinces Gwen that she has to tell her mother that she has the gene, as Gwen is afraid to tell anyone else. I also loved the costumes that Gwen gets to wear, the wardrobe mistress (sorry, forgot her name) was awesome. The end scene when Gwen and Gideon visit Gwen’s great grandmother and Lucy and Paul are in the scene. That was awesome. And all the reveals between the prologue and that one scene were amazing. Are we going to have vampires in this, with all the talking about Transylvania? The count in there was really kind of creepy, what with all his mind abilities. He’s just not someone I like so far. AND WHO WAS TRYING TO KILL GWEN AND GIDEON?! In that sword fight scene? WHO?! I think I’ll definitely have to read Sapphire Blue and Emerald Green.

So that’s what I read in September and October. Next I’ll put up my November TBR, which I’m already about halfway through. So year. Back soon!

Meera’s Movie Reviews – Frozen

Hey everyone, Meera again with a review for Frozen.  This is an extra early review for this movie since it doesn’t come out for a couple of weeks. Seriously, I haven’t even started seeing commercials for it yet.  Since this is early and I really don’t want to give anything away, I’m just going to say SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS, just to be safe.  I absolutely loved this movie for so many different reasons.  I’ll tell you right now, I’m totally Disney biased and am such a sucker for just about anything they release, so I don’t know how an actual critique of this movie will be.  So before I get into this, I’ll do a little disclaimer.  I pretty much had very medium expectations for this movie before I saw it.  Since I’ve only seen maybe two trailers prior and I had absolutely no idea what the story was about or what I was getting.  All I saw was a snowman, a reindeer, two princesses and the fact that it’s the newest Disney movie.  With all this in mind, I went to the theater not super excited, but that kind of excited you get when you get free stuff. 

Now about the actual movie, I think it was absolutely amazing!  It managed to capture the essence of old favorite Disney classics and as you sit there watching it, you really can’t help but feel like a kid again watching a brand new Disney princess singing her heart out on the screen.  They definitely did their usual thing by picking a style of music and running through the movie with it.  Sleeping Beauty had an opera style, The Princess and The Frog had a New Orleans/Cajun style, and Frozen, at least in my opinion really had a Broadway feel to their songs.  I can really see this transitioning well to the stage.  And on the topic of songs, just a teaser, this movie has one of the saddest summer songs I’ve ever heard in my life.  Voices were amazing. They had Idina Menzel singing and I am so proud that I was able to recognize it. I kept thinking, “I know this voice! I know this voice!”  That may be why I can really see this on stage.  Her voice is just perfect for it.

Story and characters really were the strongest element in Frozen.  The story actually takes place during the summer and an eternal winter is cast over the land.  To be honest, once I got that feeling of a classic Disney princess movie, I was expecting a similar formula.  The whole, “princess on a quest/love story” formula, but it was different. I remember a while back, just after Tangled was released, Disney stated that they were going to change things up.  It really didn’t hit me just how they changed until I saw this movie.  They moved from a formula of “Romantic Love” and instead are really focusing on “Familial Love”.  It was extremely evident in Brave and was just solidified in Frozen.  An amazing thing happened while I was watching it.  About half way through the movie, I realized that I’d seen something like this before.  Turns out, it was based on a fairy tale entitled “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Anderson and I remembered a version of the story from a 1995 animated adaptation by the same name.  Seriously, my biggest geek moment during this movie was watching it and knowing who the author was before seeing the credits.  This is another reason the movie will really leave you with a sense of nostalgia.  It’s one of Disney’s fairy tales, taken from one of the most well-known authors, who also wrote The Little Mermaid. However, with Disney’s reputation with fairy tales, I’m really interested to see how the original story is.  If it’s as different as The Little Mermaid was from its original story then I’m really nervous.  Okay, enough about me geeking out over fairy tale authors and on to the characters.  You almost instantly love them, especially Olaf the snowman. He was mainly in the story to serve at comic relief, but he’s also a link between the sisters’ childhood and present selves.  He was hilarious! While you’re watching, just look at his facial expressions.  He’s such a happy character and you just can’t help but like him. The human characters are great an all. There’s the strong female lead and her conflicts with others that drive the story, and that’s great, but to me, Olaf stole the show from the moment we hear him speak.  The princesses, Anna and Elsa, are great additions to the Disney princess lineup. They show all the markings of the others in that category like strength and guts. I would comment on the animation and graphics, which were beautiful by the way, but I get the feeling that we have all come to expect excellence in the animation/graphics department from Disney. 

Overall, definitely will give Frozen a 5 out of 5! It was just amazing. It really takes you back, for those who grew up with classic Disney movies, and based on the reactions in the theater, it was truly a beautiful, magical, delight for children just starting their Disney journey.

How was this review? I feel like I said “Disney” in just about every sentence and I tried my best to get a good review across without revealing anything vital. I really hope you enjoy watching it! Hopefully, if my plans for this weekend work out, I may do Thor 2.  But I will warn you, I will be geeking out like crazy because LOKI!

So what have we learned about Meera from these reviews? She’s a sci-fi and fairy tale/mythology geek who loves Disney, thinks the book is better, and unashamedly has a serious weakness for villains and British men.

Meera’s Movie Reviews – Ender’s Game

Hi all, Meera here with a review for Ender’s Game.  Bit late with this review since opening weekend has come and gone, but as this is my first fleshed out review, I’m giving myself a little wiggle room.  First of all, I loved this movie.  It’s been a while since I’ve seen a sci-fi movie like this and even though it was certainly not as good as the book, I would still highly recommend it.  Just don’t go to the theater expecting to see all the stuff from the book on the screen and you’ll be a much happier movie-goer. Next is my critique so SPOILER ALERT!

Now, as far as a critique, I’ll begin with the bad.  I think the biggest fault I found with this was the story.  Not that it wasn’t good. It was actually really good, but I’ll get to that later.  The problem I had with it was the whole “it wasn’t like the book” thing.  Hardcore fans of the book will definitely find fault with this movie and if you compare it to the book, you’ll likely think they messed up a lot, which they did, but it’s really understandable why they did things the way they did.  There were a lot of things that were changed from the book.  The book, for the most part takes place over a span of about 5 years so we get to see a lot of growth in Ender and I was a bit excited to see that.  The movie seems to take place over the span of a year, two at most.  The age he is through the entire movie is about the age he was during the climax of the book.  Personally, I would have liked to see tiny, six year old Ender and watch him grow from that to the age he was in the movie. All they would have needed to do was cast for a young Ender. Some of the characters he encounters and befriends during his time at the Battle School were simply there for casting convenience.  There was definitely a bully problem for Ender and they did manage to convey that, but not nearly to the extent that the book had it.  I think the only friendship they got semi-correct was with Petra Arkanian.  She is shown as an older sister figure and a best friend who takes Ender in and helps him out which really works out well in the movie.  My only issue with her was that I couldn’t shake the feeling that the film makers were trying to get us to ship Ender and Petra.  The book has her as a helpful older sister figure, but she draws a line to show that while she may be helping him, she is still competition.  There were also quite a few omissions that I just couldn’t look past.  Ender’s brother plays a really large role in his psychological battles and I feel like that part really wasn’t developed much at all in the movie.  It was mentioned but I’m not sure how much that fear of turning out like his brother came across.  Another omission, though I can understand why they didn’t include this, is the mention of Ender’s brother and sister and the things they do while Ender is at Battle School.  This inclusion in the books is more of a set up for much later books.  I also found a minor problem with graphics, but that may just be me being picky. The scenes in the battle room with the zero gravity just didn’t work too well for me.  It wasn’t done too badly. Like I said, it’s me being picky, but I felt like their movements looked too animated at certain parts.

I know I said spoilers at the beginning, but I still hope I didn’t reveal anything too major.  Can’t say the same for this part so once again, SPOILER ALERT!

Now for the good!  It will likely be a lot of me gushing about how good the movie is and a lot of “amazing”s and exclamation points so be prepared.  I think one of my favorite things about this movie was the acting. It was exceptional!  It might just be me being a geek, but I absolutely loved seeing Harrison Ford in this movie and did an amazing job playing Graff!  I was definitely surprised by the casting choice for Anderson.  Viola Davis as Anderson was great and definitely did her job of acting as a foil to Ford’s Graff, but I was thrown especially since Anderson was a male in the books.  It’s one of those little, nit-picking things that really doesn’t take away from the movie at all. I think Ford’s Graff and Davis’s Anderson are excellent together.  Now Asa Butterfield.  This kid was perfect for the role of Ender!  Not only does he have the look, but I love how he was able to perfectly convey Ender’s psychological ups and downs during the movie especially at the end! He was just so great! Here’s that gushing part I warned you about! I just loved him as Ender so much! The more I dwell on the movie, the more I love him! Next, the graphics. Yes, I know I mentioned graphics in the bad section, but that was one of those really specific, picky things.  This is for overall graphics, especially during the simulations. It was really beautifully done and is exactly what you would expect from a good sci-fi movie.  These graphics are definitely worth watching in IMAX and it’s really a shame that it wasn’t in 3D because that would have been so amazing! There’s really not much more to say on graphics because it’s one of those, “just watch and see” sort of things, but just wait ‘til the simulation scenes near the end and you’ll see those great graphics I was talking about. Lastly, the story.  The story, while it won’t please fans of the book, was actually very well crafted and stood well on its own even with the omissions from the book.  The people I know who haven’t read the book said it was a really great story.  If you haven’t read the book and you’re a sci-fi geek, then I think you can truly and fully appreciate this movie as it is: a great sci-fi story and movie. I know there’s really not much for me to say about the story too, mainly because it’ll be me just gushing about how good it is.

Overall, I would give Ender’s Game 4 out of 5 and that’s likely because I have that whole, “The book was better” mentality, but I think that even if I hadn’t read the book, it would still get a 4 out of 5.

End of review! How’d I do? Eventually, I would like to have a rating system that is just my own instead of a scale of 1 to 5. I know that 1 to 5 is easier since it’s already known to most people, but I do really like the idea of having my own rating system.  I’m also wondering which movies I should review.  So far, I’m thinking I’ll do the ones I get screeners for and the ones I see on opening weekend.  Anyways, there’s a chance I’m seeing Frozen tomorrow so if I get to, I’ll see about crafting a review for it! ‘Til next time!

–Meera

Update on the September/October/November TBR’s and Wrap-Ups

So I’m trying to write a wrap-up and TBR post for the past few months. I only read The 5th Wave in September and have been so swamped with studying for my anatomy class that I haven’t been able to think to write about other books. It’s very frustrating. But a new post will be up sooner or later. I have read a couple books and I have stuff to say about them.

Also, my friend Meera is joining in on this blog project soon. So there will hopefully be even more posting coming up! It’s gonna be good, we’ll get there.