Friday, July 30, 2010

Movie Review: The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones

Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Rachel Weisz
             Mark Wahlberg
             Saoirse Ronan


★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

A movie based on a novel by Alice Sebold, directed by Peter Jackson. 

This is a story of a young girl who was murdered by his neighbor and watches her family and friends from "in between heaven and earth".

Casting is great, Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz. They're great in portraying the role of the murdered girl's mom and dad. And yeah, Saorise Ronan is perfect for Susie's role. I cannot see other girl acting as Susie in this film.

The visual effects are also great. Peter Jackson created a somewhat wonderful idea of "in between heaven and earth". A place that looks like a perfect piece of painting. 

And while everything is great, casting, acting and visuals, I think Mr. Jackson forgot to focus on the story. I have not read the book so I don't really know what happened in the book but in the movie, the story went on how Susie's family and friends wept on her death, and then after a while, moved on. In some parts, the movie dragged on and on. I was expecting something BIG to happen but nothing really major happened in this movie. And again, I was not satisfied with the ending. It's like after watching the whole movie, sat for almost 2 hours and then nothing. "Is that it?"

Lastly, since the title is Lovely bones, may I ask where are the lovely bones?!?! It was funny because I even asked my husband that question. I might have missed it and up until now I don't know why it's called The Lovely Bones.

About the book:

When we first meet 14-year-old Susie Salmon, she is already in Heaven. This was before milk carton photos and public service announcements, she tells us; back in 1973, when Susie mysteriously disappeared, people still believed these things didn't happen. In the sweet, untroubled voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death and her own adjustment to the strange new place she finds herself. It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swing sets. With love, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie watches her family as they cope with their grief, her father embarks on a search for the killer, her sister undertakes a feat of amazing daring, her little brother builds a fort in her honor and begin the difficult process of healing. In the hands of a brilliant novelist, this story of seemingly unbearable tragedy is transformed into a suspenseful and touching story about family, memory, love, Heaven, and living. - Goodreads

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Vampire Academy News!! News!!

I'm closely following any news re Vampire Academy and I've got some updates I got from Richelle Mead's website and her Facebook page.


This is the OFFICIAL Last Sacrifice coverart. The series will end in December, so excited and at the same time, so sad that the world I so love to live in is now going to end, at least for Rose and Dimitri. The book will be released on 7 December 2010 and I hope the last book won't disappoint me!
And this is the coverart I got from FB in May 2010. They edited the girl's hair from blond to dark brown hair. So they say, this is also the girl they used in Blood Promise and Spirit Bound *huh?* 
Vampire Academy will be made into a graphic novel and will be out in stores in August 2011. I am not so thrilled about the Dimka in the graphic novel. Dimitri's not looking good here eh? Where's the cowboy duster?!?!?
I like Rose, though, looking sooo badass!!! And yeah, Lissa looking so lady and so blond! *wink*
And lastly, Richelle Mead has a short story in this book KISSES FROM HELL, about Lissa's parents coming out on 24 August 2010. Might be a good one, gotta check that out!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Marriage Portrait by Pamela Bauer

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

The story is predictable but it's still a good read.

She was pretty as a picture.but that certainly didn't mean Michael McFerrin would marry her! True, Cassie Carrigan had snared his interest, but she was the linchpin in his lovable-but-meddling mother's plan to garner a grandchild. The beautiful portrait artist claimed she wasn't a willing player in this game of marriage-go-round, but her kisses said otherwise. Michael was determined to halt his mother's antics-and the havoc Cassie caused in his heart. Why, he'd show Cassie who was in control.even if he had to marry her to do it!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Book and Movie Review: Dear John

Dear John

Director: Lasse Hallstrom
Stars: John Tyree: Channing Tatum
           Savannah Lynn Curtis: Amanda Seyfried

Movie Ratings:
★ ★

Author: Nicholas Sparks
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Mti edition (December 1, 2009)

Book Ratings:
★ ★

My thoughts:

This is about finding and losing true love. Everyone who has read Mr. Sparks books knew too well that he writes romantic books ending with tragedies. I gave it a chance because it was John's P.O.V. and while I enjoyed some parts of the book, I can't really say it's a good one.

As for the movie, there are books that are not meant to be adapted in the big screen, and this one falls into that category. It was really hard to see the characters in Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried now that I've read the book. When they got separated, it became a boring one for me. They said in the reviews that this was another The Notebook and I expected a lot in this movie. I guess doing a movie for a long distance relationship was not a good idea. It was hard to feel the connection when they were just writing to each other. The one thing that made me almost cry was the scene when John got Savannah's letter breaking up with him. Everything in the movie was very predictable and so I think I'm giving it only a 2-star. 

Anyway, this is the alternate ending I got from Youtube.

About the book:

"An angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life--until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who has captured his heart. But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else. "Dear John," the letter read...and with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives were changed forever. Returning home, John must come to grips with the fact that Savannah, now married, is still his true love—and face the hardest decision of his life."

About the author:

Nicholas Charles Sparks was born in Omaha, Nebraska on December 31, 1965.

After breaking the Notre Dame school record as part of a relay team in 1985 as a freshman (a record which still stands), he was injured and spent the summer recovering. During that summer, he wrote his first novel, though it was never published. He majored in Business Finance and graduated with high honors in 1988.

He and his wife Catherine, who met on spring break in 1988, were married in July, 1989. While living in Sacramento, he wrote his second novel that same year, though again, it wasn't published. He worked a variety of jobs over the next three years, including real estate appraisal, waiting tables, selling dental products by phone, and started his own small manufacturing business which struggled from the beginning. In 1990, he collaborated on a book with Billy Mills, the Olympic Gold Medalist and it was published by Feather Publishing before later being picked up by Random House. (It was recently re-issued by Hay House Books.) Though it received scant publicity, sales topped 50,000 copies in the first year of release.

He began selling pharmaceuticals and moved from Sacramento, California to North Carolina in 1992. In 1994, at the age of 28, he wrote The Notebook over a period of six months. In October, 1995, rights to The Notebook were sold to Warner Books. It was published in October, 1996, and he followed that with Message in a Bottle (1998), A Walk to Remember (1999), The Rescue (2000), A Bend in the Road (2001), and Nights in Rodanthe (2002), The Guardian (2003), The Wedding (2003), Three Weeks with my Brother (2004), True Believer (2005) and At First Sight (2005) all with Warner Books. All were domestic and international best sellers and were translated into more than 35 languages. The movie version of Message in a Bottle was released in 1999, A Walk to Remember was released in 2002, and The Notebook was released in 2004. The average domestic box office gross per film was $56 million -- with another $100 million in DVD sales -- making the novels by Nicholas Sparks one of the most successful franchises in Hollywood. - Amazon

Monday, July 19, 2010

Book Review: Moon Sworn by Keri Arthur

Title: Moon Sworn
Author: Keri Arthur
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Dell (May 25, 2010)


★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

I was surprised to learn that this is the final book in the Riley Jenson series. Well I should have known since the title is Moon Sworn, that means Riley's finally getting married.

The author managed to give good closure to the series. I love the characters, I will definitely miss Riley, Quinn, Rhoan and Kade. I'm so glad that after all those pain and difficulties since birth Riley gets a happy ending.

The ceremony was great! It was a perfect ending... Sometimes I wonder if these things really happen in life :) Thanks Keri you made such a wonderful series. Now waiting for Risa's and Dia's series!

About the book:

"Some nights never end. Some desires never die. . . . She ventures where no one else dares—into realms of peril and pleasure. But will this next journey be her last?

Shape-shifting werewolf and vampire Riley Jenson is through with death–causing it, solving it, surviving it. Her soul mate, Kye Murphy, is dead–and at Riley’s own hands. Not even the seductive embrace of her vampire lover, Quinn, can fully ease her mind, for she has begun questioning everything that makes her Riley–including her job at the Directorate.

Now, the ritualistically slain bodies of ex-cons have started turning up. Reluctantly, Riley takes the case, but something even worse is waiting in the wings. For a vicious enemy from her past is determined to strip Riley of everything that gives her life any meaning: her lover, her brother–and even her own identity. Can Riley survive this ultimate assault? All she knows is, she must fight one last time to find answers, before everything goes dark forever…"

About the author:

Keri Arthur has been nominated in the Best Contemporary Paranormal category of the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Awards, and recently won RT's Career Achievement Award for Urban Fantasy. She lives with her daughter in Melbourne, Australia.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Looks like you're dead Sookie, dead. . .

I was reading reviews about Dead in the Family and most of the people who have read the book didn't think DitF is a good follow up on Dead and Gone.

I am now having second thoughts on buying the hard bound book. They also talked about having HBO True Blood's characters in there? One even suggested to just skip this book, wtf? Like there is no plot at all. And the one thing I'm waiting didn't happen, Bill and Sookie getting back together!

I think if that's the case then i will just wait for the paper back copy of DitF or just skip it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Book Review: Burnt Offerings by Laurell K. Hamilton

Title: Burnt Offerings
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Jove (September 24, 2002)


★ ★ ★

My thoughts:
Book 7 of the Anita Blake Series
I don't know. Anita's life wasn't really great in this book. I don't really enjoy Anita's life with the were pack, and I was not also impressed by the Vampire council politics. The only thing I enjoyed in this book was again Jean Claude-Anita-Richard story. I am really enjoying the series but maybe I have to stop for a while.

About the book:

"You can't trust anyone who sleeps with monsters.”

That's what Anita Blake had always believed. But now she was sharing a bed with the Master Vampire of the city. So when an arsonist began to target vampire victims, the creatures of the night turned to their former enemy. For now only "The Executioner" could save them from the inferno...

It's often hard to tell the good from the evil. Just ask Anita Blake. She seems to be developing a soft spot in her heart for vampires-one in particular. So, when an arsonist's fires begin licking at St. Louis's undead, it's up to Anita to save the very monsters she's sworn to destroy.

About the author:

Laurell K. Hamilton is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of two series that mix mystery, fantasy, magic, horror and romance. 

Her Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter novels from Berkley Books began with GUILTY PLEASURES (now a hugely successful graphic novel from Marvel - the first sexy paranormal comic ever!) and continues with the SKIN TRADE, number seventeen in the series, in which Anita's complex personal and professional relationships with a master vampire and an alpha werewolf continue to evolve.

There are now more than 6 million copies of Anita in
print worldwide, in 16 languages. Hamilton's Ballantine series features Fey princess and private investigator, Merry Gentry and there are now six novels exceeding one million copies in print. Divine Misdemeanors, the eighth in the series will debut Octobe 29, 2009. 

She lives in St. Louis County Missouri with her husband Jonathon Green, daughter, one pug dog and one boxer/pug dog.  -

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Movie Review: The Notebook

The Notebook

Director: Nick Casavetes
Stars: Allie Hamilton: Gena Rowlands
           Noah Calhoun: James Garner
           Young Allie: Rachel McAdams
           Young Noah: Ryan Gosling


★ ★ ★ ★ ★

The movie started out with an elderly man (James Garner) reading a story written in a notebook to an elderly woman (Gena Rowlands) with dementia.

The story was about a two young couple, Allie (Rachel McAdams) and Noah (Ryan Gosling). The story dates back in 1940, set in Seabrook, South Carolina.

Allie Hamilton is a girl from a wealthy family and Noah Calhoun is just a boy who works in a lumber mill, obviously with different financial background. Over the summer, their romance blooms. Allie's mother is against their relationship because Noah isn't good enough for Allie. She thinks that Noah could get nowhere because of his financial status. Noah overhears this and they broke up. Anne, Allie's mother then decided to go back in Charleston, South Carolina even before the summer ended. Ally was devastated, went to Noah's work unfortunately he wasn't around when she came.

Noah was also devastated with this, decides to write her a letter everyday for a year then writes a last farewell letter when he didn't receive any reply from her. After a year, both of them moved on but was later reunited after 7 years.

Do you believe in true love? This is the perfect movie for believers of true love and soulmates. The movie was absolutely my all-time favorite love story ever. I could watch this over and over and still cry every time I watch this.

Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams have incredible chemistry in this movie. I love them both as Noah and Allie.  This movie is perfect to watch with your significant other -  highly recommended, a must watch movie for those who wants to watch an excellent tearjerker.

About the book:

A man with a faded, well-worn notebook open in his lap. A woman experiencing a morning ritual she doesn't understand. Until he begins to read to her.  The Notebook is an achingly tender story about the enduring power of love, a story of miracles that will stay with you forever. Set amid the austere beauty of coastal North Carolina in 1946, The Notebook begins with the story of Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner returned home from World War II. Noah, thirty-one, is restoring a plantation home to its former glory, and he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met fourteen years earlier, a girl he loved like no other. Unable to find her, yet unwilling to forget the summer they spent together, Noah is content to live with only memories. . . until she unexpectedly returns to his town to see him once again. Allie Nelson, twenty-nine, is now engaged to another man, but realizes that the original passion she felt for Noah has not dimmed with the passage of time. Still, the obstacles that once ended their previous relationship remain, and the gulf between their worlds is too vast to ignore. With her impending marriage only weeks away, Allie is forced to confront her hopes and dreams for the future, a future that only she can shape. Like a puzzle within a puzzle, the story of Noah and Allie is just beginning. As it unfolds, their tale miraculously becomes something different, with much higher stakes. The result is a deeply moving portrait of love itself, the tender moments, and fundamental changes that affect us all. Shining with a beauty that is rarely found in current literature, The Notebook establishes Nicholas Sparks as a classic storyteller with a unique insight into the only emotion that really matters."

Book vs Movie

1. In the book, it is set in North Carolina and in the movie, South Carolina
2. Set in 1946 for the book and 1940 for the movie
3. In the book, Allie's last name is Nelson and in the movie it's Hamilton
4. In the book, the time apart for Allie and Noah is 14 years while in the book was only 7 years
5. Noah and Allie died at the same time while in the book, Allie died and Noah lives. Noah is one of the main characters in The Wedding, a follow-up book of the Notebook.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

My Sister's Keeper (Movie)

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

The movie was based on a book by Jodi Picoult and it was directed by Nick Cassavetes who gave us an excellent tearjerker, The Notebook (one of my favorite movies).

I have already read half of the book but didn't manage to finish it all because of the storyline. I have a problem with this kind of storyline since I became a mommy.

The movie was all about a family who was once happy and contented with their lives. It was when Kate was diagnosed with leukemia that problems after problems came to their family.

When the doctors diagnosed Kate's condition, her mom and dad decided to make another baby, Anna who would be the matching donor for any of Kate's failing organs. Now Anna resolves not to do it anymore. She doesn't want any of those anymore. She wants to feel she's important too to her family. She loves Kate so much but she's starting to feel sorry for herself everytime she remembers she was just made by her parents for extending Kate's life.

So she hired a lawyer, sued her parents and the story goes from there.

The movie was good, i cried and ocassionally laugh with them. The director made sure viewers will keep on crying but I wouldn't say it was perfect like The Notebook.

What I didn't like in this movie was there were a lot of characters with their own problems. I couldn't concentrate on the family because everyone seemed to have their own issues and its like all the bad things in the world were here in this movie.

What the mother did to Anna was not even believable. I don't believe that any woman in her right mind would do that, create another baby for her dying daughter/son? That's BS! Right?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Vampire Academy has been optioned for film by Preger Entertainment!

It's all set for the Georgina Kincaid series. Richelle just mentioned in her blog that they already have decided the title of the last Succubus book and its release date. It's called Succubus Revealed and the release date is September 2012.

It would be a long wait, I know, i know, but it's better to have the book late with a good story and good ending than have it sooner but totally disappointing us, right? She said this was because she has a lot of things going on right now (yeah like finishing Last Sacrifice which was the more important one RIGHT?! *wink*)

Okay let's move on to the Vampire Academy Series, Richelle also talked about the spin off series which will be released in 2011, yay, i have a feeling it'd be a good one too just like VA! It's already set but she has not given us the title of the first book but can wait on that one.

Okay here's the bestest news!

Georgina has been optioned for a TV series (or movie?) and VA for a movie!! Yay!! I was like, really, REALLY?? OMG, was surprised of these two wonderful news. Georgina has been optioned by Fox Television and VA by Pregger Entertainment. You can read it here:

So that's the two wonderful news for us! All we have to do is be patient to wait for these deals to move on to the big screen.
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