Lazy Saturday Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

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Title: The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Series: The Maze Runner #1
Edition: Paperback, 371 pages
Publication Details: August 4th 2011 by Chicken House
Genre(s): YA; Dystopia
Disclosure? Nope, I bought it.

Goodreads
Purchase

When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he’s not alone. He’s surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade – a walled encampment at the centre of a bizarre and terrible stone maze. Like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they came to be there – or what’s happened to the world outside.

Review

OK so this is more of a book-to-movie rant than it is a review. Soz.

I really wanted to read the book before I watched the film, but that didn’t happen. And it turned out that I really loved the film. I needed to know what happens next so I figured I’d finally pick up the first book and move on to book two ASAP…but now I’m not really sure I want to.

In my experience with book to movie adaptations, I ALWAYS prefer the book, and spend a lot of time ranting about what they changed or missed out…but I also nearly always read the book first.

Therefore, with The Maze Runner, I found it really hard to judge how much I would have enjoyed it if I’d read it first, because seriously guys, I preferred the film so much more. I found myself picking out parts they did better in the film and completely agreed with why they changed some things.

In the book, protagonist Thomas is a bit of a cry-baby to start with and I just found him annoying throughout. I also much preferred the relationship between both Thomas and Chuck and Thomas and Teresa in the film. The book felt quite one dimensional and evoked little emotion from me.

I guess I liked that the whole solving the maze was more about the code in the books, but then I think what they did in the film with the Griever’s machinery as it were, was genius.

Overall, it is a really great story full of action and suspense but I’m not sure if I’ll continue with the series. Don’t get me wrong, I do still really want to know what happens next, but I kind of want the movie version not the book one.

And that my friends, is truly a first.

It leaves a weird taste in my mouth.

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The Maze Runner is available in paperback now from Waterstones.

Friday Feature: James Frey and the Goodreads Trolls

I am really starting to get annoyed about the Goodreads trolls. I’m a book blogger so I guess I take reading and reviewing books seriously to a degree, but man, some people need to chill the fcuk out.

I’ve personally been involved in two incidents thus far. Firstly, I said in a review that a book was ‘vampire erotica’ and someone felt the need to tell me that it was in fact paranormal romance. I didn’t particularly take offence to the correction, but it was worded in a way which annoyed me. And I just thought why bother!?

The second incident, however, really ignited the rage in me. I requested a book from Netgalley without realising it was the second book in a series. We’ve all done it, right? I didn’t enjoy the book very much, but I put it down to that fact, and made that clear in my review. I even made a point of saying that people shouldn’t be put off by my 2/5 rating.

Someone took offence to this and decided to leave this lovely comment:

I also received this book as a giveaway. Knowing it was a SECOND book, I bought the FIRST book and read it BEFORE I received the other book. It is NOT FAIR to rate the SECOND book so low because YOU did not take it on yourself to READ THE FIRST BOOK BEFOREHAND!!! It is NOT the author’s fault that you walked into the mist in the middle!!!”

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Alright Sarah, Jeeze. Funnily enough, once I pointed out exactly what I’d said in the review I didn’t hear another peep out of Sarah. And the best thing was that the author got in touch and asked if I’d like her to send me the first book to find out how the story began. She obviously didn’t have as many issues with my review as Sarah did.

What does this have to do with James Frey? I hear you cry. I’m getting to it, bear with me.

The other thing I hate about Goodreads is when people leave ‘reviews’ or comments on books BEFORE THEY’VE EVEN READ THEM. I mean, why? You can’t have an opinion until you’ve at least started the book, right?

And that’s what brings me to James Frey.

Oh James Frey, I do love you. I know that a lot of people don’t though, for various reasons, and that’s fine. But is there really any need to fill the Goodreads page for his upcoming book with such vileness. Go take a look.

So it sounds a bit like The Hunger Games? What doesn’t. And while we’re on the subject do these people really think THG was an original idea? REALLY? Battle Royale, anyone? The Long Walk? The Running Man? Gah.

And no one seems to mention the whole concept of this series, probably because they have no idea about it. Each book is a piece of a puzzle that will link up to a Google map, incorporating social media into a global treaure hunt. Kind of a modern version of the Masquerade hunt. It’s explained better here.

I think it sounds awesome, but whatever.

So to sum up: I love Goodreads, BUT CAN YOU JUST STOP. You know who you are.

Of River & Reyn: Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

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Title: Immortal Beloved
Series: Immortal Beloved #1
Author: Cate Tiernan
Edition: Paperback, 400 Pages
Published: September 1st 2011 by Hodder & Stoughton
Genre(s): YA; Paranormal
Disclosure? Not really, I got it for free from YALC UK

Goodreads
Purchase

Nastasya has spent the last century living as a spoiled, drugged-out party girl. She feels nothing and cares for no one. But when she witnesses her best friend, a Dark Immortal, torture a human, she realizes something’s got to change. She seeks refuge at a rehab for wayward immortals, where she meets the gorgeous, undeniably sexy Reyn, who seems inexplicably linked to her past.

Nastasya finally begins to deal with life, and even feels safe–until the night she learns that someone wants her dead.

I’ve developed a love/hate relationship with this book. It started off pretty dire to be honest and I was just about to give up on it when I glanced at some of the reviews on Goodreads. Most of them said the same – a terrible start but that it gets much better. So I persevered.

I guess I am glad that I did, because it did get much better, but I’m still not entirely convinced.

Immortal Beloved starts with our protagonist Nastasya and her group of friends whose entire mission in life is to party all night and sleep all day. It’s all a bit cliched. We soon learn that they are immortal, and apparently the only way to spend their time is to get wasted and hook up with each other, or any willing mortals they can find.

I found the whole thing pretty boring and repetitive.

The point at which something worthwhile happens is when Nastasya’s best friend/sort-of boyfriend/immortal life partner, Incy uses ‘magick’ to break a cab driver’s back for no apparent reason. This, thankfully, doesn’t sit well with Nastasya. She develops a conscience overnight, realising what a terrible path she she is on with her terrible immortal friends, and she decides to leave.

She runs away to America to find River, an immortal she met a hundred-or-so- years earlier when she was involved in a car crash. River, a mysterious, hippy-type, had told Nastasya to seek her out at River’s Edge when she’s ready to be a better person.

I couldn’t help but think that this is where the book should had started – instead of the mess that was the first 70 pages – then as a reader we’d wonder what had driven her to this point, and the cab-driver incident could be revealed in a flashback. But it’s not my book, what do I know!?

River’s Edge turns out to be a working farm, which acts as a sort of rehab to immortals who want to be reminded to appreciate every day.

Because of the relative length of our lives, so many things lose importance or become lost themselves […] we forget how to value things, how to feel things. We forget how to love. […] What we start off doing here is to give you a crash course in relearning the significance of moments, of minutes.

I did kind of like that idea, but the constant descriptions of Natasya scrubbing vegetables and washing dishes in order to appreciate every moment was just way too dull. It was like she’d entered into the dullest cult on the planet.

However, there were a few saving graces in this book. Enter Reyn – the viking-esque, grumpy hottie whom Nastaya recognises but can’t place. Between Reyn and good magick classes, Nastasya starts having flashbacks to when she was growing up in Iceland (another saving grace) before she knew she was immortal.

Without giving away the whole plot, let’s just say that Reyn becomes Nastasya’s public enemy #1, but he’s just so damn hot! Can she resist him?

Thwooooarrrrr!

And that, my friends is the ONLY reason I have to continue with the series. Hot, Viking Reyn – a combination of Eric Northman and Hemsworth’s Thor in my mind. More please.

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Immortal Beloved is available in paperback from Waterstones. Click here to see how you can get 10% off.

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts #2

This meme is hosted by the Bookishly Boisterous and the idea is simple. It’s a round-up of your week, in and out of book world. A place to store your thoughts, and basically anything you’d like to share on your blog.

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1. Divergent

At some point this week I will be watching Divergent. I can’t wait to be able to rant about it! Last Saturday I walked through Leicester square and they had it all set up for the UK Premiere the following day, and I must admit seeing all the faction flags was pretty exciting.

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I did have a chuckle at all the kids who were already queuing up (overnight!) to get a good view of the red carpet. I had to text Di about it, apologies for the ‘freaks’ comment…all in jest I assure you (I was secretly really jealous, obvs)!

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And while we’re on the subject, the awesome Di has an amazing rant some thoughts on Insurgent which I’ll hopefully steal off her for a guest post. Watch this space.

2. We like Graves

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This is turning into a bit of a Dianne Tanner special, but this weekend just gone, Di and I had a lovely time wandering round Nunhead Cemetery, taking photos, looking for Narnia, and generally enjoying the spring-time sun.

Check out her photography blog, Icefloe which will feature much better Nunhead photos than these at some point.

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3. Crazy Golf is best with Dinosaurs

I had a work outing on friday to Jurassic Golf which is so much fun, despite them playing the Jurassic Park Theme Tune ON REPEAT. I’ve been humming it all weekend. Also, I didn’t lose for once, and my team came in second place (OK so there were only 3 teams). I also bet on the Grand National and came 2nd with Balthazar King. I’m waiting for my dad to let me know how much I won…maybe even a whole five pounds!

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4. ❤ Patrick Ness' Twilight Tweet-Along!

Patrick Ness had me in creases last week as he read Twilight and tweeted about it. I like that his tweets were hilarious, but not derogatory or patronising. He made it clear that any book that has been that successful deserves respect.

Here were some of my favourites:

Seriously, they are all gold! Go and read them all and behold the joy!

5. Fail

Regular readers or Goodreads followers may have noticed that I started Marcus Sedgwick’s A Love Like Blood. I was really intrigued to see what his first adult book would be like but I had so any ARC deadlines at that time and I fell behind. I did start it, but I only read about 5 pages and really couldn’t get into to it. Plus, I was desperate to get to Vampire Academy 2 which had just arrived in the post. So when A Love Like Blood was archived in NetGalley just a few days after the release date I decided to just scrap it. :s Hopefully, I’ll give it another go sometime!

6. Game of Thrones

GoT!!! That is all!!!

7. M’s the word

The ‘m’ on my laptop keyboard is buggered I have to hold it down and show it soe love before the M actually works, see! MMMMMMMMMMMMM. Danit. So if you see soe missing mmmmm’s, please fill in the blanks. Why thanks.

Have a good week everyone.

Di & Lipsy do…Divergent

For those of you that don’t already know, Di is my YA BFF and when we get together we get a bit carried away ranting and/or swooning over our latest reads. We are not allowed to discuss The Hunger Games in public, or watch Twilight in the cinema because we get into trouble. A lot.

Our latest joint YA adventure was DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth.

If you want to read an actual review of Divergent, you might want to go elsewhere…but this is pretty much everything you need to know! Oh, and if you haven’t read Divergent, there aren’t any huge spoilers here, but continue at your own risk.

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Did you have any preconceptions/expectations of Divergent before you started it?

DT: I was given my copy by a friend who sold it to me as “The Hunger Games but with guns and stuff” so this is pretty much what I was expecting. I’m still not sure if that was my take-away from it though.

L: I saw so many bloggers rave about it but I never really thought it would be that good. I knew it was Dystopian so expected it to be like THG, because everything is these days!

What do you think of the cover? (It’s sooooo much better than The Hunger Games & TMI covers, I think)

DT: I think it’s shit, but it might just be the version I have. Why is it holographic!?

L: What is wrong with you, what’s not to like about a holographic cover!?? It’s better than these atrocities:

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Overall concept:

L: I thought it was imaginative in places (the fear simulation for one) but too similar to other recent dystopian YA. Factions/Districts/Casts…enough already!

DT: The fear simulation bits were pretty good. I am not sure what I make of the idea of “factions” I think this reminded me more of The Selection than The Hunger Games, [yeah me too!] I think it’s interesting that a lot of books are starting to sort us into categories in our dystopian, shitty futures, in different ways. I think I quite liked the way it was done in this book but I basically think the Dauntless were obviously set up to be “the cool kids” right? Ooh they all wear black and jump off trains they are so DANGEROUS.

L: Yeah I think the idea behind Dauntless was a bit thin. Their Manifesto was pretty ridiculous. I think Roth just really wanted a reason for people to be tattooed & pierced. But I’m OK with that, it was hot.

DT: The Erudite made me think of FRINGE. You know the bald guys, they were well Erudite. [HAHAHAHA yes, THE OBSERVERS!] I also like that I have no idea how to say any of the names of the factions out loud and I also had to look them up online because I couldn’t remember any of them. Nice one.

L: I can only remember Abnegation, Erudite and Dauntless, what were the others….

At one point I was kind of expecting President Snow to pop up and start sending Mutts into the simulation tests….


DT: Let it go, it’s not the Hunger Games!

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What Faction….

A) Do you think you are most suited to?
DT: DAUNTLESS OBVIOUSLY BECAUSE I AM AWESOME AND WEAR BLACK ALL OF THE TIME AND HAVE TATTOOS.
L: Naturally! I think I would be a bit rubbish at being Dauntless, but it’s still the one that appeals the most. They hang out wearing black and getting drunk. That is already my life.

B) Would you want to choose?
DT: Weirdly I did find myself thinking this while reading the book which is something I didn’t do with The Selection or The Hunger Games (although for the record in The Hunger Games I would choose district 12 because even though they are starving and stuff they have the best clothes, I really love the whole coal miner/lumberjack look (read: Hemsworth). I think I would probably choose Amity because then I could have a pony. Except I’m not sure how I feel about being happy ALL OF THE TIME.

L: AMITY…I’d forgotten about that one. Are they just really nice? No offence Di, but you couldn’t be Amity. Being happy all the time? Hahahaha as if! And while we’re talking about clothes, why does the Divergent poster have them in Hunger Games wetsuits? Just wrong. IT IS NOT THE HUNGER GAMES.

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Characters:

What did you think about Tris? (I hate that she called herself Tris btw. I don’t like it)
DT: Tris is a shit name. At first I really hated her and I thought I was going to give up like I did with Uglies, but it turned out to be OK, we made peace. There was some pretty H.O.T making out on a train segments I totally spaffed over, and she was pretty great towards the end.
L: Yeah it took me a while to warm to her too, but she was pretty badass in the end.

We obviously have to talk about Four:

L: I thought he was a great love interest for Tris, but I only found him hot until he started calling himself Tobias. (What’s wrong with me?) I have a pretty sexy-in-my-pants image of him. Obviously, I have casting rage where the film is concerned.

DT: I TOTALLY ONLY THOUGHT HE WAS HOT AT THE END AS WELL!!![No! I thought he was hotter BEFORE we found out his name is Tobias. That really put me off!] Do you think it was when he took his shirt off and the hot tattoos etc, whatttt![That was pretty fit though] In the film he is hilariously being played by the guy that died in series 1 of Downton Abbey – MR PAMUK hahaha, he is not hot at all. Sad times! I quite liked him as a character as well but thought his whole story line was pretty obvious. NO SPOILERS.

L: It was really obvious, but I was OK with that. He’s damaged. That’s hot. I have no idea who that actor is, but he’s deffo not how I pictured Four.

Christina: What happened to her!? Oh, she’s going to be heartbroken when she finds out about Will. Sigh.

DT: I DON’T REMEMBER ANY OF THIS I was way too jetlagged and really should have read it again before answering these questions, but I am trapped forever reading THE HOST which is THE MOST DULL BOOK EVER.

L: Take that back!!!

Caleb?
I’m hoping he will have a bigger part in the next one too. I think he’s gonna end up being pretty awesome.

DT: WHO THE FUCK IS CALEB?
L: You are RUBBISH.

Favourite Part/Scene?

DT: Hot make out scene on the train, blates.
L: Blates.

What do you want from the next book?

L: I’m scared to read it in case it is rubbish.
DT: Yeah I’ve heard loads of really bad things and I really don’t know if I want to read it. Except that I obviously do, and obviously will.
L: I’m not going to buy or anything, but you are clearly going to lend it to me, right. RIGHT???

I give Divergent all the Unicorns. Take them all!

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Di has an awesome photography blog called Icefloe. You should it check it out!

Related: Di & Lipsy do…The Selection

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Turn-offs

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (Click the image to visit them). This week the theme is Top Ten book turn-offs.

It takes a lot for a book to annoy me enough to put it down but here are the things that sometimes make me want to throw in the towel! These are in no particular order…I hate them all equally!

  1. Unnecessarily Long Chapters: I get distracted easily and when chapters run on and on I find my mind wandering. I like chapters to be short and snappy so I can dip in and out of a book and not be lost.
  2. Too Much Description: You know when the author just has to describe EVERYTHING in minute detail making the book really hard-going and putting too many images in your mind? I prefer to visualise things my own way – otherwise I’d just put a film on!
  3. Jumping Timelines: When done well this can be great (Kate Morton for eg) but I feel like sometimes it’s done to mask a dull plot, or just for the sake of it and it makes me angry.back_to_the_future 2
  4. Poor Editing/Proofreading: The odd mistake makes no difference to my enjoyment of a book but there have been a few occasions where the text is sooooooo laden with mistakes that it makes the book hard to read.
  5.  Unlikable Characters/ Characters with no Redeemable Features: Sometimes having a horrible/evil character as a protagonist can work but on the most part unlikable characters are a big turn off. I particularly can’t stand narcissistic/ shallow characters and have to really push myself to keep reading to see if they change throughout the book – they usually do, but it’s never a good start for me!  Also related is when you just can’t relate to a main character on any level.
  6. Tenuous Links: You know when there is a plot hole and the author tries to cover it up with a very tenuous link or a coincidence or something? I can’t think of an example right now but it happens quite a bit in YA Fantasy. Ugh.
  7. Models on Covers: This is impossible to get away from, especially if you read a lot of YA and Paranormal Romance but ahh I don’t like it. I don’t mind when the covers aren’t centered on the models face but when they are it makes me angry because they never look like the characters described. And again, I like to visualise characters myself – this is why I also hate most film adaptations! BOOK RUINERS.
  8. Overwiriting/Trying too Hard: I hate it when authors try to sound clever or unique by using stupidly long, or odd words instead of simple ones. Yes, it’s good to be different but a twig is a twig! Hemlock Grove springs to mind here. ‘Her heart was a flicked mold of gelatin’ – Whaaaaat? That one will haunt me forever.
  9. Obsessive Romances/Stupid Teenage Girls: You all know the ones. Those so-called romances where the girls are unhealthily obsessed with a boy, or where the girls are all ‘but it can’t be because he likes me’ when it’s so obvious that he does. Rage! Just Stop!untitled
  10. All Tell and no Show AND Preaching: I wanted both of these on this list and I could probably choose another ten to be honest. The  former speaks for itself and the latter, well I hate when the author is trying to prove a point or take the moral high ground on an important topic that just comes across as preaching. No Thanks.

That was better than therapy, thanks, Hosts! 

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare: A reread review plus film rant!

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When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder — much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing — not even a smear of blood — to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .

When I first read this last year I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would, or as much as other people expected me to. I didn’t dislike it, but I just wasn’t completely captivated by it. I enjoyed it enough to read the second book but I got distracted by a million other books after that and didn’t continue the series.

This time round however, I enjoyed it more. I forgot how funny Jace was (I found myself having a LOL frequently) and Clary didn’t annoy me as much, although it does still piss me off that she goes on and on about how much she loves Simon (as a friend of course) but always seems to forget he even exists or care how much danger she’s gotten him into.

I was impressed that Cassandra Clare’s story is based in our normal world but she’s created a whole new world within that, rich and complex and with its own history and by the end of the book we have one foot firmly in each side just like Clary does.

I also liked how religion and sexuality were portrayed in a ‘real’ and frank way. Clary questions Jace’s beliefs suggesting that if he believes in demons then he must believe in God.

“I’ve been killing demons for a third of my life. I must have sent five hundred of them back to whatever hellish dimension they crawled out of. And in all that time I’ve never seen an angel. Never even heard of anyone who has.”

My father believed in a righteous God…And when I saw him lying dead in a pool of his own blood, I knew then that I hadn’t stopped believing in God. I’d just stopped believing God cared. There might be a God Clary, and there might not, but I don’t think it matters. Either way, we’re on our own”

It’s clear to Clary that Alec is in love with Jace and I liked the fact that no one has an issue with it but they worry about the reaction from ‘the elders’ which definitely reflects our society at the moment. Naturally, the Jace/Alec bromance/unrequited attraction was hot!

Howwwwwever, the chapters dragged for me and seemed way too long than was necessary. I think it could have done with another edit to cut out some of the filler. And what is it with YA novels where the female protagonists are just so dumb when it comes to romance??? It’s like writers are scared of having a character who can admit to themselves that someone fancies them, as if we’ll think they’re vain or arrogant or something. They’re all like, ohmygod, why is he looking at me like that, he must hate me. Or, ohmygod he couldn’t possibly like me even though everything he has ever said or done has proved that he does.

None of it had been real anyway. Jace might be an exceptional kisser but he didn’t care about her at all. He’d said as much.”

Arrgh.

But other than that, I’m glad I gave this another go and will hopefully continue with the series at some point.

AND NOW FOR THE INEVITABLE FILM RANT ***MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD – 1ST BOOK ONLY****

Oh, where to start.

1. Never before have 3 hot men been made to look so unattractive. Whyyyyy? Jonathan Rhys Meyers is hot. Jamie Campbell Bower is hot. Robert Sheehan is hot. In City of Bones they look like this:
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Not very hot.

2. The whole Simon not being turned into a rat thing: Isabelle was supposed to be much more of a bitch than she was in the film and was supposed to let Simon drink the blue drink that turns him into a rat. I don’t have an issue about him not becoming a rat, but why include the drink in that case? In this version someone spikes Simon’s drink and Isabelle tries to stop him drinking it. She fails…but it doesn’t do anything to him anyway. Pointless.

3. The vampire fight scene in the hotel was awesome but why does Simon say they kidnapped him to get the cup…why do they want the cup??? They were just trying to get revenge for them ruining their vampire motorbikes…which don’t exist in this version. Tenuous.

4. Magnus Bane…really? I was picturing a flamboyant, hot version of Elton John but we get this:
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5. Jace’s quips and sarcasm just didn’t translate. I’m assured that Jamie Campbell Bowers .. is a good actor but he was just wooden and flat.

6. The whole last 40 minutes or so just went batshit. Did they lose the script? What was Hodge doing? Why are we told that Valentine is just going to lie about Jace being his son – we’re all supposed to think it’s the truth the whole time- and why would Jace even believe him? He gave him no reason to. Plus how/why has Clary ended up with the Mortal Cup…Valentine is supposed to have it…therefore I have no idea what they’ll do for the next film….oh there’s not going to be a next film because this one did so badly. RAGE.

7. The kiss was pretty hot.

8. There was no homoerotic bromance going on between Alec & Jace. Which made me sad.

I’m sure I could go on but I won’t. I didn’t hate it, which is a feat. The action was good but it was way too long and lost its way towards the end. It provided me and Dora (Hi Dora – please add your additions below!) with many laughs however. All for the wrong reasons of course.

Here Endeth the Rant.

We Need to Talk About: The Film Industry Ruining ALL OF MY FAVOURITE BOOKS

This Week’s Top Ten Tuesday is Books/Series that you’d like to see adapted for Movies/TV Shows. I had already scheduled this post to go out today so now I’m looking at it as my anti-TTT post. lol.

This is is why I couldn’t choose 10 books I’d like to see adapted for the screen.

Dear Film-makers, please stop.

First you turned Twilight into such a farce I nearly got thrown out of the cinema for laughing AT IT so hard. You made Edward look like Lurch and there was something really wrong with Jasper’s face.
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You also made to the only person in it that was not supposed to be hot, really hot. Well done.
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Then you turned one of the most awesome and exciting books I ever read into a complete SNOOZEFEST when you tried to adapt The Hunger Games. I realise that I might be the only person in the world who hated that film, but it was RUBBISH. I mean, I really love Jennifer Lawrence but even she couldn’t save it.

1. Katniss was supposed to be starving but that didn’t really come across so it kinda just looked like Peeta tried to kill her by throwing a brick of burnt bread at her head. Luckily he missed. 2. Peeta…oh jesus, really? NO! 3. The fights were lame, the mutts were pointless and the training scenes were just too boring. Haymitch was alright though. So +1 point to The Hunger Games. Actually no, make that 1 pt to Woody Harrelson and 0 to The Hunger Games.

And don’t even get me started on The Time Traveller’s Wife. There are just no words to describe how awful that film was and how perfect the book is. Or Inkheart, or Cirque Du Freak. Or Five Children and It. Truly, truly terrible all of them. I could go on but I’ll spare you for now.

I think the only adaptations that I have actually liked have been Interview with a Vampire, Tuck Everlasting, Peter Pan (the live action version) and The Neverending Story. The Narnia films were enjoyable but obviously nowhere near as good as the books, or the BBC version for that matter. And The Host was surprisingly OK.

But now, there is The Book Thief. Why, why why? The trailer is not giving me much confidence really, it’s bound to be difficult to adapt a book in which the narrator is Death and I just can’t see how they will translate that so the essence of the story is intact. It just won’t be will it!?

For some reason I am kind of looking forward to The Mortal Instruments – City of Bones though which I’m going to see tonight. I didn’t love the book so hopefully I won’t get that ohmygodwhathaveyoudonetomyfavouritebook feeling. I do have CASTING RAGE with it though, as is standard. I mean, really?

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I don’t know why I continue to go and see film versions of my favourite books because afterwards I can’t help but picture the characters that way instead of how I pictured them in the first place. It totally ruins it. But I do it every time. I have issues, I know. I do really enjoy slagging them off though.

Di & Lipsy do The Selection!

A couple of days ago I officially declared my LOVE for The Selection by Kiera Cass but I was finding it hard to put my love into words so I enlisted my BFF Dianne of the Tanner to help me. Read my original post here. But if you’re too lazy to go and read that (shame on you), here’s the lowdown on The Selection again.

View on Goodreads

View on Goodreads

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

To my delight Di didn’t hate The Selection. WIN. We talked about the book, the similarities to the Hunger Games (because we are a bit obsessed with the Hunger Games) and the TV show that will or won’t or possibly already happened (!?). And of course, we had to decide: Team Aspen or Team Maxon.

Our rant went something like this:

ME: I’d never heard of The Selection until I saw it on Amazon and WOWed at the cover. I thought it was so pretty and looked magical and I HAD to buy it. When I handed it over to you however, you did what can only be described as a guffaw and said it looked terrible.

What were your actual first impressions from the cover and the premise? DT: Oh lord. My initial reaction when I saw the cover was ‘have you given me a Princess Diaries book to read?’ The cover is hilariously awful but I kind of love it. I felt pretty amazing reading it on the tube.

I really had no idea what to expect from the premise and initially was a bit wtf until about 3 pages in when I realised it was a bit HUNGER GAMES and perked up. Oh they live in America gone wrong in the future, it’s fine this I can get into.

What did you think of America Singer initially…apart from the stupid name of course? Aw bless her, she is trying so hard to be a stereotypical “tough girl” in a “hard world” who looks after other people and has no idea what others see in her – a bit over done at this point! *Katniss*
-Yeah it’s nice to have that ‘hardness’ and it not be about violence though. That’s refreshing. It’s all about her CHARM.
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Did the similarities to The Hunger Games annoy you? I thought it was a bit of a rip off at first but I thought the Casts were actually a pretty good idea in the end… Frankly anything that is vaguely similar to the Hunger Games to fill the gap since there is NO MORE HUNGER GAMES can only be a good thing so I have no idea what you are talking about.
-Haha true dat. I was just anticipating you hating it.

How did you picture Aspen? A bit fit obviously, but what a douche.
-SUCH A DOUCHE! Almost as bad as Peeta!

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The dialogue was pretty laughable on some occasions, OK on most occasions…especially the way Maxon talks. I bet you hate him don’t you? I actually really loved him! I KNEW you expected me to be Team Aspen. I wonder if maybe we didn’t get to spend enough time with him. He sounds like a bit of a douche, but then he gets all muscles and stuff later on so maybe IDK. Wait this question was about Maxon. What?

Oh yeah. He was quite lovely. I feel like he has a nice smile.
-I REALLY DID EXPECT YOU TO BE TEAM ASPEN. I was all ready for a ‘hunger games’ debate about it. I’m a bit disappointed in you really. WE NEVER AGREE, SO WELL DONE KIERA CASS. Also…haha ‘quite lovely’. Indeed.

But would you be his ‘Dear?’ LOL. Most certainly. I feel like there is a WHOLE LOAD of unwritten dark shit going on with the country and stuff and lets be honest he is clearly going to sort that shit out. [Let’s hope so] This book is so predictable I feel like I could write the next 3 – 4 in the series.
-Yeah I really wished that element of the story was explored more. It is a little bit in the next book but still definitely not enough. It could be a really cool dystopian series if that was concentrated on more but I guess with the dystopian element being left in the background we could focus on swooning over Maxon and hating on all the other girls. I am such a girl-hater sometimes.

America is feisty though, I love her. After all, she did kick the Prince in the balls. Discuss: In the thigh IT WAS HIS THIGH. I love how often they use the word “groin” in this book. She is feisty but it felt a little forced. Oh like you have to be the feisty one who is “true to herself” right because that’s what all girls can relate to. Unless you are Bella Swan then you are just LAME.
-(Ignoring that Bella comment!)Are you sure it wasn’t the balls? Surely ‘groin’ is just YA code for BALLS?

May Vs Prim? I liked May. Much better than Prim.God Prim is so annoying.

OK we can’t put it off any longer….ASPEN OR MAXON??? Maxon. Everything about Aspen just wound me up I feel like if he ever actually had sex with America he would be like meh.
-YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS I CAN’T BELEIVE WE ACTUALLY AGREE. And now we will have to compete for his affections.

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Pick one thing you LOVED about The Selection… I liked that although it was clearly aimed at 14 year olds, there were parts that were quite dark with regards to the “dystopian” nature of the world they live in. As I said, I feel like there is a lot more of that to come out in further books. I was like 1 chapter from the end going “but how can this book be about to end they haven’t even done anything.”
-Yeah I remember flicking through the pages that were left and I was like THERE IS HALF THE BOOK MISSING, SURELY. I’m quite worried you will be disappointed by The Elite because there is still not enough Book. THERE WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH.

And one thing you HATED?
I don’t think there was any need to end this book when it did. Right in the middle of everything, its such a short book I feel like they could have expanded a lot. I can’t work out what age group exactly it is aimed at because there is quite a lot of HEAVY PETTING.
-HAHAHA HEAVY PETTING. That is all.

Now please explain to me why I loved it so much?? Because you love trash, Lauren.
-Too right.

Would you like book #2, The Elite? Yes immediately please.
-I might not see you for a few weeks. I will post it to you if you’ll post The Selection back. I NEED IT BACK PRONTO.

What else do we need to talk about?
The One (#3) isn’t out until MAY 2014 – What kind of bullshit is that!?

I refuse to believe it takes that long to write these books.

AND, THE TV SHOW: The powers that be have been trying to turn The Selection into a TV show for a while now. Apparently the first pilot starred Ethan Peck as Maxon and PETER PEVENSIE as Aspen but wasn’t picked up.
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Another pilot is said to be in production with none other than GILES!!!!! WTFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF!
I had heard that this was already a straight to TV movie actually. PETER PEVENSIE IS THE PERFECT PRINCE MAXON! [He was Aspen, Di…oh never mind] Who is Giles playing, THE KING??? KING GILES???

KING GILES IS THE KING OF ALL KINGS!

KING GILES IS THE KING OF ALL KINGS!


OF COURSE HE IS PLAYING THE KING! It will fill the King Giles-sized hole that Merlin took away from me! IT HAS to get made.

WE WILL WATCH THIS SPACE!

About Di
I first met Di on the streets of London YEARS AGO (let’s not think about that!) when we used to stalk the same band up and down the country. She knew my name and it freaked me out. I signed her enormous NZ flag (YUSS, she’s Kiwi) and realised that she was even louder than me. It kind of went from there and long after said band disappeared and we got a bit grown-up (eurrrgh!) we have remained friends. Even though we live on opposite sides of London, we meet up for book-swapping, film-watching and ranting over a few (a lot of) drinks as often as possible. Di is a self-taught photographer and jewellry maker. She blogs about these things plus books and life n’ shiz at Icefloe. Go say hi, she is lovely.

TEAM MAXON!

We need to talk about…The Selection

I’ve kind of been putting off posting about Kiera Cass’ The Selction & The Elite ever since I started this blog. I think it’s because I loved them more than should be acceptable for a 29 year old, and I am ashamed about it.

OK so ashamed is going a bit far. Embarrassed maybe? Nope that isn’t any better is it? Basically, they have well and truly propelled Twilight off of my guilty pleasure mountain of glory; they’ve stolen my Trashy Crown and Edward will just have to wait until I’m finished with Prince Maxon. TEAM MAXON. Ahem.

The worst part is that I can’t exactly decide why I loved them so much. The writing is adequate at best; the premise is hardly original being an amalgamation of The Hunger Games, TV show The Bachelor, and just about any YA novel about a prince and a pauper. BUT THEY ARE SO AWESOME I WANT TO READ IT AGAIN RIGHT NOW. (I may or may not have already read The Selection twice this year). I need help.

Therefore, I have enlisted my BFF Dianne to read The Selection so we can discuss it. And when I say enlist, I mean forced.

Me and Di have shared many books over the years and we’re both suckers for trashy teen novels. Most of the time we love (and hate) the same books. BUT, that’s where the similarities end. Everything I love in a book Di hates, and vice versa. Which makes for some great debates (screaming) and rants (whole nights lost).

The infamous Gale vs Peeta debate of 2011 is now banned from our lips, but not our thoughts. Obviously. PEETA IS A DOUCHE. Sorry. So I look forward to finding out what Di thinks of The Selection (She is definitely going to hate it). Watch this space.

If you have absolutely no idea what I’m blathering on about, here’s the lowdown on The Selection.

View on Goodreads

View on Goodreads

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.