Friday, July 17, 2015

Film Fridays! -- July 17, 2015

*movie titles link to IMDB pages*


Because we finally started Orange is the New Black, I ended up only watching one movie this week, so let's get right into it!

Title: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Starring: Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel

Thoughts: My mom and I watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel a few months ago, and absolutely fell in love with it. The premise is that several elderly British people find this long-term hotel in Jaipur, India, that caters specifically to the elderly. Sp we've been anxiously awaiting for this sequel to release on DVD so we could see it, and it finally came out this week!

The first movie was a sleeper hit, but this sequel got less enthusiastic reviews. And I now can see why.

The first movie was full of beautiful, touching moments, and every member of the ensemble cast got their own chunk of the story. It had its sad moments, but it was full of joy and finding meaning in your life, even in your golden years.

The sequel also had its merits; there were a few touching moments and plenty of laughs. And even though they probably weren't necessary, the dance scenes gave me so much happiness; I will never turn down an opportunity to see Dev Patel dance. (That boy is so goofy looking, but he is downright sexy when he dances. Don't ask me why.) But the story is much more of mess here. More characters are introduced, which leaves less time for other original characters. Plot threads are introduced and never fully explored, and a few are left hanging all together at the end. Though I had cried in the first movie, it left with me hope and satisfaction; the sequel left me wondering where the rest of the movie was.

I still enjoyed it. It's impossible not to love the adorably awkward Bill Nighy try to start a new relationship with Dame Judi Dench. But it just didn't give me the warm fuzzies like the first film did.

Rating: B-


In addition to The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, several more movies came out on DVD this week. On Tuesday, July 7th, the following movie came out on DVD and Blu-ray: 

Starring: Kevin James, Raini Rodriguez

Starring: Britt Robertson, Scott Eastwood

Title: It Follows
Starring: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist

Title: Ex Machina
Starring: Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson,
 Oscar Isaac

And two movies are releasing to theaters! 

Title: Ant-Man
Starring: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll

Title: Trainwreck
Starring: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader

What am I most excited for? ANT-MAN. Obviously. It's an MCU movie, come on! I probably won't make it out to see it this weekend, but I'm still VERY interested to see how it does in the box office. The industry thought Guardians of the Galaxy was going to be a long-shot, and we all saw how that turned out. I would venture to say that Ant-Man is even more of a stretch for box office gold, but I'm hoping that the turn out is good. So if you're a Marvel fan, go see it! 

What I'll Be Watching

I can't imagine that we won't watch at least either It Follows or Ex Machina this weekend. Maybe even both. We'll just have to see. 

Coming off the heels of Comic-Con this last week, we've got a TON of new comic book movie trailers to watch. So many, in fact, that I actually made a separate post all about them! So click here to watch the trailers and read my thoughts, then comment below in either post and let me know what you think! 

Tell me: what movies have YOU seen lately? What are you planning on seeing very soon? And what trailers are you the most excited about? Let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Comic Book Movie Trailer Bonanza!

It's been a while since I've done a full-on movie trailer bonanza. In fact, the last one I did was the first one! With the release (and leak) of so many comic book movie trailers coming on the heels of Comic-Con this last week, I thought I'd go ahead and share them all (and my thoughts on them) with you! Tomorrow's Film Fridays post will still be up as scheduled, but it will link back to this post for the trailer discussion. So let's get started!

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Release date: March 25, 2016
Starring: Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Jesse Eisenberg

Thoughts: I could go on for days about this trailer. I think I will actually really enjoy Ben Affleck as Batman, and especially as Bruce Wayne. He looks great in the role. I love Henry Cavill, but I don't think he even says one word in this trailer. Jesse Eisenberg is nowhere near intimidating enough to pull of Lex Luthor, and THAT HAIR. It has got to go. I especially hated his little smirk and the line near the end of the trailer: "The red capes are coming!" I think they're pushing the Superman/Jesus imagery a little hard. What I loved about Man of Steel was that Superman wasn't just a robot superhero. Underneath the superhero is a person, alien or human, with feelings and emotions and the ability to make difficult decisions. Hopefully we'll still see some of that in the finished movie. 

The one thing I'm absolutely in love with in the trailer? Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman! We only see her a couple of times, and I'm very interested to see what side she falls on in this fight, but she looks fantastic and badass. Oh yes. I'm here for it. 

So I guess we'll see. I anxiously await the day we get another trailer to get even more footage. I'm reserving full judgment until I see the finished product. 

Suicide Squad

Release date: August 5, 2016
Starring: Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Jai Courtney, Viola Davis

Thoughts: YES. Now this is what I'm talking about. First of all, you should know that I'm not a huge DC fangirl. I'd prefer Marvel over DC any day. But this just looks fantastic. It's only the very first footage we're seeing, so the jury's still out, but I'm excited. Margot Robbie especially steals the spotlight in the trailer as Harley Quinn. I will say, Will Smith playing a bad guy makes him not look like a bad guy. Cara Delevingne is an interesting choice for a comic book role, so color me intrigued. And Viola Davis is a goddess, so hell to the yes. But really, we're all just waiting for more Jared Leto as the Joker, right? That little bit at the end of the trailer was not nearly enough. But it definitely gives us just enough of a taste to be intrigued! I'm still not completely sold on the tattoos or the silver teeth, but he seems to have the attitude down and that voice sends chills down my spine. So I cannot wait to see more from this, but for now, I am very excited. 

X-Men: Apocalypse

Release date: May 27, 2016
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, plus a lot more!

Thoughts: First of all, I apologize for the quality. I also apologize if at any point there is no trailer above, because it is the leaked trailer from Comic-Con and it may get taken down for copyright infringement. So watch it now, before it's taken down! 

Oh, X-Men. As a franchise, you've had some major ups and downs. I want to say that I think this looks good. I want to say that I believe in this movie. But I have been burned before. First by X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Then by X-Men: Days of Future Past. It's such a shame because I really loved X-Men: First Class. I still think it's a fantastic movie, and I watch it every time it's on TV. So when the trailer for Days of Future Past came out, I was enamored. First of all, that trailer uses the John Murphy Adagio in D minor that was originally composed for the movie Sunshine. I LOVE that score. It's beautiful and perfectly enhances the sense of darkness and heartbreak. (Fun fact: it is also used in the first trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness, which also gave me all the feels.) Second of all, they made us believe that this movie was going to solve all of the continuity errors between the past six films. 

But Days of Future Past let me down. Every X-Men movie that has been released is still considered canon. However, the timeline is so messed up that I can't even tell what really happened and what didn't at this point. I've seen Days of Future Past, but I still couldn't tell you exactly what happened in that movie. None of it made sense and characters had gone rogue. I mean, seriously. Where was Rogue? 

So going into Apocalypse, I am less than thrilled with the current state of the X-Men franchise. This trailer seems to go the same way as Days of Future Past, promising more and more darkness. Our poor X-Men can't seem to catch a break these days. I like the Oscar Isaac casting, but I don't like that was just keep adding back in the same characters, young and old. We're seeing young Jean Grey here, but with James McAvoy-era Professor X. And a teenage Storm who's working with Apocalypse? Remember that timeline I mentioned earlier? Yeah, this is what I'm talking about. 

So for now, I'm only going to say one thing: I'm digging Michael Fassbender in flannel. 

(warning NSFW: slight nudity and loads of profanity)

Release date: February 12, 2016
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Gina Carano

Thoughts: First of all, I once again apologize for the quality. I also apologize if at any point there is no trailer above, because it is the leaked trailer from Comic-Con and it may get taken down for copyright infringement. So watch it now, before it's taken down! Also, be warned:

As for me? YES, YES, YES, YES. This is EXACTLY what we signed on for when we, the fandom, asked for a Deadpool movie. It is going to be a bloody, profane, fourth-wall breaking good time, and I couldn't be happier. Ryan Reynolds is on point here with his wise-cracking sense of humor that vibes perfectly with Wade Wilson's character. He's not called the "Merc with the Mouth" for nothing. I'm so excited to see Morena Baccarin here as the love interest, be still my Firefly-loving heart. It's cool to see Colossus here, and the line about Negasonic Teenage Warhead? So perfect. The trailer just nails it. We were promised an R-rated Deadpool movie, and that is completely what we're getting. THANK YOU. 

Tell me: which of these movies are you the most pumped to see? Did any of these trailers make you more excited than you were before? Let me know in the comments below!

Halfway Point -- Goal Progress Report!

Hey guys! I was inspired by Regan of PeruseProject's recent video (here) to do a sort of check-in on my progress in completing my goals and resolutions for the year, especially since it is now July and we are officially in the second half of the year. So I went back to the beginning of the year and found three posts about my year to come that I can check in on. So without further adieu, here we go!

Bookish Resolutions/Goals

1. Post more often!

I've actually been doing pretty well on this! There have been very few weeks (other than my vacation hiatus) when I didn't post at all. And in participating in the Bout of Books readathon, it actually forced me to update every day, which has been a good thing! 

2. Booktube more often!

I've been doing okay at this. I've definitely uploaded several videos, and I have plans to do more. It's just hard to find the time and space to do it while living with my parents. But I shall persevere!

3. Tweet/Instagram more often!

I've been trying to remember to tweet my links all the time, so that's better. And as for Instagram, I had a lull for a while, but I'm getting back! Thanks to the readathons and monthly photo-a-day challenges, I've been posting more often than I used to! 

4. Be more active in the community in general!

I've been trying to comment on more videos and liking more Instagram photos. I still need to be more active in the blogosphere especially, but I'm trying! 

5. Read Insurgent and Allegiant before March 20th! 

I actually finished Allegiant ON March 20th, but it still counts! I did it! 

6. Finish more series than I start! 

I was doing really well on this at the beginning of the year, finishing FOUR series in January alone! I'm starting to slide a bit, but I'm still on track. So far, I've finished NINE series and started SEVEN. But three of those seven are already completed trilogies, so I marathoned them. I'm currently reading Ashes to Ashes, the third book in the Burn for Burn trilogy by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian, so I'll be adding another series to my finished list! 

By the way, I've decided not to include graphic novels or comic book series in these counts. It's too hard to keep track of when and how many volumes come out in trades, so they just aren't counted in the series counts. 

7. Read more contemporary!

I have definitely read more contemporary this year. I've actually read more contemporary than any other genre this year, which is crazy. It never would have been the case in years past. But I'm learning to love the romance/angst/realism of contemporary YA!

8. Limit the book buying!

Well...? Hehe. I don't know how to answer this. I definitely haven't gone quite as overboard as I did in the second half of last year. But I haven't really cut down enough, either. I'm still buying a ton of books. But many of them are graphic novels that I've started really getting into. And many are the result of sales I just couldn't pass up, or my mom bought them for me! So we'll see how it goes for the rest of this year. But I definitely wouldn't expect me to really achieve this goal. :P

9. Participate in at least ONE readathon! 

I did! I participated in TWO actually! I did the Bout of Books 13 and RYBSAT in May and ended up reading six books between the two. Six books in two weeks? That's amazing for me, so I'll definitely continue participating in readathons whenever I can! 

10. Read 40 books in 2015!

YES!! I already completed this goal in June when I read my 40th book on my way home from vacation! I have now read 47 books. BUT, my mom keeps accusing me of cheating because I've been counting graphic novels and novellas into the count. So without those factored in, I have read 35 full-length novels. So my new goal is to read 50 full-length novels by the end of the the year. But I have a feeling I'll accomplish that in no time!

Most Anticipated Releases of 2015

Let's see how many of these I have already read, which ones I own but have not read yet, or which haven't been released yet!

11. Fairest by Marissa Meyer -- READ
10. 99 Days by Katie Cotugno -- OWNED, UNREAD
9. The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West -- READ
8. Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan -- OWNED, UNREAD
7. Forged by Erin Bowman -- READ
6. The Rose Society by Marie Lu -- UNRELEASED
5. Please Remain Calm by Courtney Summers -- READ
4. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo -- UNRELEASED
3. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas -- READ
2. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas -- UNRELEASED
1. Winter by Marissa Meyer -- UNRELEASED

So I've read 5/11, I own 2 more that I need to read, and 4 are not released yet. I'd say that's pretty good for mid-year!

Books I HAVE to Read in 2015

1. Insurgent by Veronica Roth -- READ
2. Allegiant by Veronica Roth -- READ
3. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare -- UNREAD
4. City of Glass by Cassandra Clare -- UNREAD
5. Lark Ascending by Meagan Spooner -- READ
6. Echoes of Us by Kat Zhang -- READ
7. Forged by Erin Bowman -- READ
8, 9, 10. The Darkest Minds trilogy by Alexandra Bracken -- UNREAD
11. The Body Electric by Beth Revis -- UNREAD
12. Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld -- UNREAD
13. Reached by Ally Condie -- UNREAD

So I've read five of these 13. OOPS. I need to really get on the ball! I'd actually forgotten that I made this list until I saw Regan's video. So now, I have no excuse. I have to read them!

So that's it for this post, everybody! I think I'm doing pretty good so far, and for those areas that I still need to improve? I've got almost six months still to do it! I think I can, I think I can. 

Tell me: how are YOU doing in your goals for the year? Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


Today is such an exciting day, because I have officially been a book blogger for ONE YEAR!!

This is so exciting. Before last summer, I never would have imagined that there was a way to share my bookish love with the world. Not many of my IRL friends are YA fanatics like I am, and the only person I really had to talk to about my favorite books was my mom (who also reads YA. Go Mom!) But discovering the book community online was amazing! I discovered some awesome book blogs, and I learned what booktube was. (And subsequently, lost all my free time to the interwebs. Oops!)

Now, I have more followers on my blog Twitter than on my personal account. I get comments sometimes on my blog posts, and on my Youtube videos. I've entered (and won) some giveaways, watched an infinite number of videos, and most importantly, I've gotten to talk to some of YOU. That's the best part of this. Finding new people to talk to and flail with about the books that we all love. 

As many of you know, I have a degree in music education, and I'm still looking for a job in that field. But in the meantime while I'm searching and substituting, I am LOVING blogging. I hope to make more friends in the community, and continue to be more active around town, so to speak. 

But if you're reading this, then I want to thank YOU. Because honestly, if my blog had never been seen by anyone? If I hadn't gotten comments on my posts? If I hadn't gotten feedback from other bloggers or booktubers or authors? I probably would have quit by now. It's knowing that at least someone is seeing my posts and valuing my opinion that keeps me going. It means so much to me, and I can't thank you enough. 

So here's to one year down, and many more (hopefully) to go! 

Waiting on Wednesday (27): TRUTHWITCH

WoW is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine!

Title: Truthwitch
Author: Susan Dennard
Series: The Witchlands #1
Release date: January 5, 2016

Summary: On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a "witchery," a magical skill that sets them apart from others. 

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble--as two desperate young women know all too well. 

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It's a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires. 

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her--but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken  her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi's hotheaded impulsiveness. 

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship's captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch. 

Thoughts: I absolutely love Susan Dennard's writing, and I love her previous trilogy, Something Strange and Deadly. So when I heard she was releasing an epic fantasy series? I jumped all over that. I cannot wait to read this. Like last week's WoW, I actually featured this book among my very first WoW posts last year. But at that point, the cover and synopsis hadn't been released yet, so I decided to feature it again now that we have all the information. 

Tell me: what are YOU waiting on this Wednesday? Does my choice sound interesting to you? Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (21): Last Books I Bought

TTT is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish!

This is a pretty straightforward topic this week! I don't receive review copies, and I haven't been to a public library in years, so these are the last ten books I've bought! (Not including books that have been purchased, but have not yet arrived at my house.) 


10. Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan

6. Something Real by Heather Demetrios


5. Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

4. The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clark

3. Rat Queens Vol. 1: Sass and Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebe

1. Hawkeye Vol. 2: Little Hits by Matt Fraction

Tell me: have YOU read any of these? Did you enjoy them? And what were the last books YOU bought? Let me know in the comments below!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Review: MAGONIA by Maria Dahvana Headley

Title: Magonia
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Series: Untitled #1 (Magonia?)

Summary: Aza Ray is drowning in thin air. 

Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak--to live. 

So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn't think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name. 

Onluy her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who's always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world--and found, by another. Magonia. 

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power--and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza's hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity--including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie? 

Why I read it: It was touted as a standalone fantasy, so it was the perfect book to take on vacation!

Thoughts: First of all, this is so NOT a standalone. There will be a sequel next year. It is a duology. DO NOT read this thinking it is a standalone. Just don't do it.

Okay. Now, with that out of the way, I really enjoyed this book.

I adored both Aza and Jason. Once Aza is introduced to Magonia, it was so interesting to learn more about the world in the sky, and figure out how Aza fits into it. And when we got Jason's POV, I loved him ten times more. Jason is infinitely quirky, and I loved that about him.

The side characters really rounded out the world, both on the ground and in the sky, in Magonia. The other Magonians that Aza meets and gets to know are all unique, both in appearance and in personality, and I appreciate that. On Earth, both Aza and Jason's families were perfect. They are both supportive and understanding of their children, and it was so heartwarming to see that in a YA, where so many parents are absent or uncaring.

As far as the plot goes, I can't say much without delving into spoilers. The book is pretty short, but a lot happens and it's all packed into a short space. There is a lot of world-building that happens in this book, as well, because halfway through the book we're thrust into Magonia without much explanation. We learn about Magonia alongside Aza, and there's never an info dump. We're given pieces of information very deliberately and slowly, keeping the mystery alive for almost the entire book. And at the moment everything finally comes together, the climax happens and it is so intense that I almost didn't breathe for several pages.

The book was a little short for my taste, but it wouldn't bother me as much if I had known going into it that there would be a sequel. It was marketed as a standalone, but believe me. Once you get to that last page, you know there's no way it could be. And sure enough, the author has confirmed that there will be a sequel next year. If I had known that from the beginning, I'm sure I would have enjoyed this book much more. As it was, the closer I got to the end, the more annoyed I was, because I thought, How can this possibly get wrapped up in these few last pages? It diminished my enjoyment of the book slightly.

Also, as much as I enjoyed Aza as a character, I didn't feel for her as much as I did Jason. Maybe it was, once again, the fault of the short length, but I didn't connect to her emotionally as much as I could have.

I definitely recommend reading it, though. It's wholly original and insanely creative. And I will definitely be picking up the sequel next year!

Rating: 4/5 stars

Tell me: have YOU read this book yet? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!

Film Fridays! -- July 10, 2015

*movie titles link to IMDB pages*


I know last week I said that I probably wouldn't be watching any movies. But it turns out, I lied! I actually watched three movies this week, so let's get into my mini-reviews! (Also from now on, I'll be rating movies on an A-F scale rather than stars. Books will still be given a star rating!)

Title: Teen Beach 2
Starring: Ross Lynch, Maia Mitchell, Grace Phipps

Thoughts: Even up until just a couple of years ago, I used to watch the Disney Channel all the time, especially when there was just nothing on. Nowadays I turn to things like Food Network or HGTV, or even just some movie that I've seen a million times. I rarely watch the Disney Channel anymore.

The exceptions are Girl Meets World (a must for Boy Meets World fans), and occasionally a Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM).

Teen Beach Movie was one of those exceptions and I loved it so much more than I expected. So when the sequel was released, of course I had to watch it! Our two leads, Ross and Maia, are just adorable together. The movie is just a ton of fun; song and dance numbers, fun riffs on 60's beach movies, and a lovely beachy setting. In the original, Brody and Mack got sucked into the world of their favorite 60's beach movie, Wet Side Story. (Har har.) In this sequel, the two leads from the movie have been changed by their interactions with Brody and Mack and find their way into the real world, which could have disastrous results for the movie!

I loved the journey our characters take. It's way deeper than you would expect from a DCOM these days. And oddly enough, I cried near the end. Yeah. I'm a huge softie. Overall, if you enjoy fun, fluffy DCOMs, and especially if you loved the first movie, I recommend you see this sequel!

Rating: A-

Title: Project Almanac

Starring: Jonny Weston, Sofia Black-D'Elia, Sam Lerner

Thoughts: I wanted to like this movie much more than I did.

Our protagonist David has just been accepted into MIT, but has not received the full scholarship he needs to make it work financially. In his endeavors to find another scholarship, he stumbles upon an old camcorder of his Dad's that inexplicably shows him, 18-year-old David, at his own 7th birthday. This leads him to find the plans and makings of a time machine in his basement, so he and his scientifically-minded friends put themselves to work in building it.

There were definitely parts of the movie I enjoyed immensely. Once they've got the time machine up and running, they (David, his friends, his sister, and his crush) immediately jump into using it for their own benefits. One guy redoes his pop quiz presentation over and over again until he aces it; they learn the winning lotto numbers and use them to win a huge sum of money; they attend Lollapalooza with backstage passes that were sold on ebay after the fact for $5. It's so much fun, and there are plenty of laughs. And the development of the romance between David and Jessie makes you root for them the whole way. Unfortunately, that's also where things start to go haywire.

Without giving too many spoilers, it was the conflict of the movie that started to screw things up for me. Time travel movies are often confusing in their logic, and Project Almanac definitely fell prey to that flaw. Once things start to show their inconsistencies, the movie loses its momentum for me. I still enjoyed the movie, especially the first half, but the second half seemed to spiral out of control a bit. There were really interesting concepts that weren't fully explored, and other concepts seemed to contradict themselves.

Also, I just really don't understand what happened to David's dad. Watch the movie for yourself and tell me if you figured it out.

Rating: C

Title: Need for Speed
Starring: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots

Thoughts: This movie got terrible ratings when it was released. And so, I put off watching it for a long time. That was a mistake.

This is an adaptation of the popular racing video game franchise of the same title. The plot and characters, however, are entirely original, so I'm not exactly sure how it can be based on the games, when the only things they share are car races and police chases. Then again, I've never played the games, so who am I to say it doesn't compute?

Barring the adaptation talk, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Yes, it draws comparisons to the Fast & Furious franchise (which I LOVE with a passion), but the main thing the two share is fast cars. So I'm comfortable saying that I don't see why you can't enjoy both.

We follow our main character Tobey on a quest for revenge against the rival racer who caused the death of his friend. The movie is full of awesome driving sequences, fun banter between friends, and even a nice bit of romance. I was hooked from the beginning, and never bored.

And I must say that after watching this movie, I need more Aaron Paul in my life. His voice is so not what I expected from that face, but I definitely swoon a little when he talks. And when he gets that serious look in his blue, blue eyes. My mom and I recently decided to binge-watch Breaking Bad after we finish this season of OITNB. I am ten times more excited about it now.

Would this movie ever win any awards? No. In general, it's pretty over-the-top and the acting isn't always on point. But if you're looking for a fun, action-filled racing movie with a dash of heart, you should definitely check it out.

Rating: B+


This was a really slow week for DVD releases. On Tuesday, July 7th, the following movie came out on DVD and Blu-ray: 

 Woman in Gold
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Helen Mirren

And three movies are releasing to theaters! 

Title: Minions
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm

Title: The Gallows
Starring: Reese Mishler, Pfeifer Brown

Title: Self/less
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Ben Kingsley

What am I most excited for out of all this week's releases? MINIONS. I mean, come on. Who doesn't love those adorable little yellow guys? I swear they only speak in either foreign languages ("Mi bellas") or fruits ("Banana! Papaya!"). They're the best.

What I'll Be Watching

Honestly, we still haven't started Orange is the New Black, but that will be happening this week. I may see if my mom wants to see The Gallows this weekend, because we're huge horror movie buffs and we love seeing them in theaters, even if my dad doesn't come with us. I'll probably watch Kingsman sometime this week, as well. My parents have seen it, but I haven't yet, and I've heard such great things about it.  

On the new trailer front, the trailer for the Goosebumps movie was just dropped yesterday! I read a lot of Goosebumps when I was younger, so it's fun to see it come to life. It does look like it's going to be pretty family friendly; they're definitely playing up the laughs in the trailer to make it less scary for younger kids. It definitely looks fun. Does it look like it's living up to my childhood? Maybe not. But I'm interested to see what the full, finished product looks like! 

Tell me: what movies have YOU seen lately? What are you planning on seeing very soon? And what trailers are you the most excited about? Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Review: UNEARTHLY by Cynthia Hand

Title: Unearthly
Author: Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly #1

Summary: In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees...

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans ( a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy. 

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side. 

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny? 

Why I read it: I wanted to read an entire trilogy on vacation, and this was the one that caught my eye!

Thoughts: I enjoyed this so much more than I thought I would.

I knew I would probably enjoy it at least somewhat; I just wasn't sure how much. Part of that uncertainty came from the fact that this is a paranormal romance. These were all the rage back in the post-Twilight days; there was even an entire section of YA devoted to them in Barnes & Noble for a while. They come in all different varieties of paranormal: vampires, werewolves, angels, demons, aliens, etc. And honestly, I've mostly avoided the genre. Don't get me wrong; I live for romance in a book. I'm ten times less likely to read a book if there's no romance at all, no chance for swoons. But I have to have a plot, as well, and my number one fear of reading paranormal romances nowadays is "too much romance, not enough plot."

Also, the last time I tried to read an angel book with a girl in a pretty dress on the cover, it was not a fun time. (Bonus points if you know what book I'm talking about.)

So I went into this series with a bit of trepidation. Luckily, my fears were banished by the end of the first book.

The book begins with Clara receiving her purpose, though she doesn't yet know all of it, or what any of it means. Clara's purpose uproots her family from California and deposits them in Jackson, Wyoming, where her visions are telling her she's meant to be. From there, it's a journey to find out what her true purpose is, how she's supposed to fulfill it, and how to balance her angelic side with her normal, everyday life.

Clara is a fantastic protagonist. When we first meet Clara, it's only been a few months since she learned of her angelic heritage, so she's still figuring things out along with the reader. But despite the fact that Clara has supernatural powers and a purpose she's fated to fulfill, she's still a very normal teenage girl who worries about what her hair looks like and what her classmates think of her. And I loved that.

Clara's mother is also an angel-blood, and while she teaches Clara a lot about what that means, she also keeps a great many secrets from her. But I still loved Clara's relationship with her mom, and the way they can never stay mad at each other because they've always basically been best friends. Clara's little brother, Jeffrey, is also navigating his life as an angel-blood, and it's fascinating to read about the three of them together.

Now let's move on to Christian and Tucker, our love interests. Yes, there is a love triangle. But you should know by now that I actually like love triangles when done properly, and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Christian is the mysterious boy in Clara's vision, so she knows he factors into her future somehow. But Tucker is the boy who throws a wrench into everything, and makes Clara more confused than ever.

I will say that I was a Tucker fan from the moment we met him. Clara and Tucker's relationship at first is slightly combative and sarcastic, and we all know I love relationships that grow from antagonism. But Christian does have his merits, and it was easy to see why Clara had feelings for both of them. They are both decidedly swoon-worthy.

I love the mystery of Clara's vision, and seeing the hints peppered throughout the book as to what will happen. The twists and reveals that happen are perfectly plotted and foreshadowed, and I definitely guessed at least one of them, but I was taken by surprise by the others. When Clara's visions finally come true, it's a rollercoaster ride from there to the end, including the introduction of a very intriguing antagonist.

The other thing I really liked about this book was the mythology of the angel-bloods. It's very original, like nothing I've ever read before. I loved learning about angel-bloods and their powers, and about the different kinds of angels and and angel-bloods. Every new piece of information felt like a piece of a puzzle, a small part of the bigger picture.

My only problem with this book is that it was a little slow in parts. The pacing is mostly fine, but there just isn't quite enough action to go around in a book this size. There's a very slow build from the beginning of the book to the climax, and then it's intense until the end. But it didn't lessen my enjoyment for this book by much.

If you, like me, are wary of the paranormal romance genre, I recommend you giving this book a chance. The plot and mythology are just as interesting as the love interests, though the romance does provide plenty of swoony moments.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Tell me: have YOU read this book yet? What was your opinion? Let me know in the comments below!

Waiting on Wednesday (26): SIX OF CROWS

WoW is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine!

Title: Six of Crows
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Dregs #1
Release date: September 29, 2015

Summary: Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price--and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge. 

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager. 

A runaway with a privileged past. 

A spy known as the Wraith. 

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. 

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. 

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction--if they don't kill each other first. 

Thoughts: MORE GRISHA WORLD. I've been dying for this book ever since it got announced. It was actually one of my very first Waiting on Wednesday posts, but back then, it didn't even have a cover or a proper name. So I thought I should feature it one more time, now with complete information. There have been hints that we may get to see Nikolai in this series eventually as well, and you know how much love I have for Nikolai. But anything by Leigh Bardugo, especially in the Grisha world, I will devour. I cannot wait for this book, and I'm beyond jealous of everyone who got ARCs at BEA! 

Tell me: what are YOU waiting on this Wednesday? Does my pick sound interesting to you? Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (20): Hyped Books I've Never Read

TTT is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely ladies at The Broke and the Bookish

At first, I thought this was going to be a really hard topic. Most of the books I read are fairly popular; I don't read many indies or self-pubs, so most of the books I read get a lot of hype. But then I realized that there are quite a few popular books/series that get talked about a lot on booktube that I haven't read yet. Between those and a few newer releases that got huge pre-release hype, I found enough to participate this week! 

10. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
I do own this book, as I gave into the hype when I saw it at Costco, but I have yet to read it! It's the first in a new series, and I don't want to start it yet when I've got so many other series to read. 

9. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
I don't even own this one yet, but I want to read it so bad. I just recently got Barnes & Noble coupons in the mail, so one of them may have to help me obtain this book. Because the sequel releases this month, and I want to get on this bandwagon!

8. The Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Or anything by Jennifer L. Armentrout, really. I haven't read any of her books, YA or NA. It's not that these don't sound good, because they do. I just had never really heard of them before I started watching booktube last year. And since then, there have been so many more books on my wishlist that I just haven't had the time to get to yet. 

7. The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
I own this book, as well as the second in the trilogy, but I just haven't read them yet. They keep ending up on my monthly TBRs, but I somehow don't get around to them. Soon. Very soon!

6. The Selection series by Kiera Cass
I wanted to read this so bad when it first started coming out. But in the last year watching booktube, I've heard so many mixed feelings about it. And with so many other series to read that I already own, this one is not at the top of the priority list. 

5. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
I've heard AMAZING things about this series, and I loved Meagan Spooner's Skylark series, but I just haven't gotten around to this one yet. 

4. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
I know! It's crazy that I haven't read this one yet. I own the whole trilogy and my mom has read them, but I just haven't gotten there yet. Soon!

3. The Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson
To be fair, I really only started hearing about this one in the last few months. It's everywhere on booktube right now. I've never really read any adult fantasy, though, so I'm a little hesitant to pick this up. And they're super chunky books, too, so it's intimidating. Maybe one day!

2. Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
I know, I know! I got this boxset for Christmas, so it really will be getting read this year sometime. I just need to buckle down and start!

1. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
This is probably the one I feel most guilty about. Because my mom and many of my best friends absolutely love this series. I have read the first book! I just haven't continued yet. But like I keep saying, I really want to read the Infernal Devices trilogy, but I'm not even allowing myself to buy that until I've finished at least City of Ashes and City of Glass. If I don't finish this series in the next year, it will be a serious problem. So keep yelling at me to do it! 

Tell me: have YOU read any of these hyped books? Which should I absolutely get to sooner rather than later? And what hyped books go unread on your TBR shelf? Let me know in the comments below!

Book Birthdays! -- July 7, 2015

Whew! It's been a while since I celebrated Book Birthdays! Honestly, June was definitely a slow month on the release side, and July looks that way, too. BUT, there are a few to celebrate today, so let's get to it!

*Note: when celebrating birthdays for books in a series other than Book 1, I will not list the summary, in the interest of avoiding spoilers. If you've read the first book(s) in the series, or are just insanely curious, follow the book title link to the Goodreads page to read the summary there! 


Title: A Million Miles Away
Author: Lara Avery

Summary: When high school senior Kelsey's identical twin, Michelle, dies in a car crash, Kelsey is left without her other half. The only person who doesn't know about the tragedy is Michelle's boyfriend, Peter, recently deployed to Afghanistan. But when Kelsey finally connects with Peter online, she can't bear to tell him the truth. Active duty has taken its toll, and Peter, thinking that Kelsey is Michelle, says that seeing her is the one thing keeping him alive. Caught up in the moment, Kelsey has no choice: She lets Peter believe that she is her sister. 

As Kelsey keeps up the acts, she crosses the line from pretend to real. Soon, Kelsey can't deny that she's falling, hard, for the one boy she shouldn't want. 

Series Starters

Title: The Fixer
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: The Fixer #1

SummarySixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick has spent her entire life on her grandfather's ranch. But when her estranged sister Ivy uproots her to D.C., Tess is thrown into a world that revolves around politics and power. She also starts at Hardwicke Academy, the D.C. school for the children of the rich and powerful, where she unwittingly becomes a fixer for the high school set, fixing teens' problems the way her sister fixes their parents' problems. 

And when a conspiracy surfaces that involves the family member of one of Tess's classmates, love triangles and unbelievable family secrets come to light and life gets even more interesting--and complicated--for Tess. 

Title: Silver in the Blood
Author: Jessica Day George
Series: Silver in the Blood #1

Summary: Society girls from New York City circa 1890, Dacia and Lou never desired to know more about their lineage, instead preferring to gossip about the mysterious Romanian family that they barely knew. But upon turning seventeen, the girls must return to their homeland to meet their relatives, find proper husbands, and--most terrifyingly--learn the deep family secrets of The Claw, The Wing, and The Smoke. The Florescus, after all, are shape-shifters, and it is time for Dacia and Lou to fulfill the prophecy that demands their acceptance of this fate...or fight against this cruel inheritance with all their might. 

Series Continuers

Author: Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #2

Tell me: what new releases are YOU excited for this week? Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments below! 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Film Fridays! -- July 3, 2015

Welcome to a new weekly feature here on my blog! I have long been considering starting up a second blog for all of the other stuff I love, like movies and music and concerts and stage shows. But honestly, I couldn't find the time or the energy to do a whole second blog AND continue being caught up on this blog. So instead, I just decided to bring my love of movies to my bookish blog, and use Fridays as a brief break from all the bookish talk! (That was a lot of B words in one sentence. Whew!)

So begins Film Fridays! Here's what you can expect from me in a Film Fridays post: 
  • Reviews -- I'll let you know what (if any) movies I've watched in the past week, and I'll write mini-reviews for each one to let you know what I thought. If I watch a book-to-movie adaptation, I will still write a full review for it, and it will be linked in this post, as well!
  • Releases -- I'll let you know what movies came out on DVD each week (DVDs are released on Tuesdays), and what movies are being in released in theaters (movies are released to theaters on Wednesdays or, usually, Fridays.) 
  • What I'll Be Watching -- I'll let you know what movies I plan on watching in the next week, either on DVD or at the theaters. I'll also use this space to share any trailers that have recently dropped for upcoming movies, and give you opinions on the trailer. 
If any of that sounds like something you'd be interested in, please be sure to stop by every Friday for a new Film Fridays post! But enough explaining now; let's get right into the first edition! 


I hate to disappoint on this, my first Film Friday, but I haven't actually watched any movies in the past week. I know, I know! I've just been very wrapped up in TV recently. Between both Big Brother and So You Think You Can Dance starting, and The Bachelorette getting super dramatic, I've been very invested in reality television lately, so that usually only leaves me and my mom the weekends to watch movies. But last weekend, we started watching Empire, and by watching two episodes a day, we finished the first season in less than a week. (Sidenote: if you're skeptical about Empire, try it out. If you're not hooked after the second episode, then it might not be for you. But it is SO good, and the music is fantastic.) 

BUT, I will be writing my film reviews for the big screen adaptations of The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Austenland this week, so look for those links here next week for sure! 


This was a relatively slow week for DVD releases. On Tuesday, June 30th, the following movies came out on DVD and Blu-ray:

Title: Get Hard
Starring: Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart

Starring: Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver, Amanda Seyfried

However, two huge movies released to theaters this week, and both released on Wednesday, July 1st: 

Starring: Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke, Jai Courtney

What am I most excited for out of all this week's releases? MAGIC MIKE XXL. I saw the first movie with my mom in theaters when it came out, so we're both extremely excited for the sequel. Especially because we both adore every guy in it. 

What I'll Be Watching

To be perfectly honest, I might not get to watch any movies in the next week, either. Unless we're just feeling super gung-ho about a certain movie in particular. Sometimes we get like that. But my main priority will be the 3rd season of Orange is the New Black. It's been out for almost a month, and because of our vacation in Florida, I didn't get to start it yet. Then we had to catch up on PLL when we came back, and then we jumped into Empire because the whole season was On Demand, and we wanted to catch it before it left. 

So it's OITNB time! If I watch any movies this week, it'll probably be Teen Beach 2. Because yeah, I loved the first one. My favorite recent Disney Channel Original Movie. 

However! The first trailer for Creed just dropped this week. Creed is the return of Rocky Balboa as he agrees to coach Apollo Creed's son, being played by Michael B. Jordan. (Yay!) What I love about this trailer is that it looks like a movie about Creed's son first and foremost, instead of a movie about Rocky coaching him. Rocky is there, but Creed is the main character. This trailer got me way more excited than I was before!

Tell me: what movies have YOU seen lately? What are you planning on seeing very soon? And what trailers are you the most excited about? Let me know in the comments below!