Saturday, 31 May 2014

Dreams and Shadows--movie adaption

published February 1st 2013
A brilliantly crafted modern tale from acclaimed film critic and screenwriter C. Robert Cargill—part Neil Gaiman, part Guillermo Del Toro, part William S. Burroughs—that charts the lives of two boys from their star-crossed childhood in the realm of magic and mystery to their anguished adulthoods

There is another world than our own—one no closer than a kiss and one no further than our nightmares—where all the stuff of which dreams are made is real and magic is just a step away. But once you see that world, you will never be the same.

Dreams and Shadows takes us beyond this veil. Once bold explorers and youthful denizens of this magical realm, Ewan is now an Austin musician who just met his dream girl, and Colby, meanwhile, cannot escape the consequences of an innocent wish. But while Ewan and Colby left the Limestone Kingdom as children, it has never forgotten them. And in a world where angels relax on rooftops, whiskey-swilling genies argue metaphysics with foul-mouthed wizards, and monsters in the shadows feed on fear, you can never outrun your fate.

Dreams and Shadows is a stunning and evocative debut about the magic and monsters in our world and in our self.
Now, if I were rating this on a plot-only scale--meaning, based on just what happened and how awesome it all was--I'd give it 5 stars. But if I were to add in the character analyse, and thought of the story as a whole with what in and out--if I was a really hard-core critic--and if I based my judgements on what is correct and incorrect and not by whether or not I had fun while reading it, then I'd give this book a whopping 1; one away from being trash.
    But I did enjoy reading this book and loved it and the only flaw that irked me was the grammar. And the strangest thing occurred; I am a person with responsibilities who is afraid of the dark and thinks there is a blood Mary-zombie monster/ghost in my bathroom sometimes--but this gruesome-bloody-gory book did not scare me. And I' m talking about child-snatching, mother-hanging-herself-because-her-changeling-son-told-her-to, turning-people-inside-out-and-the-innards-spilling-out, and Wild Hunt-from-Hell scary.
    So, yeah, I liked this book a lot and recommends it to all.
    But now I, if I was viewing this from a tough critic's view, then I'd still love it because that critic would be me, but I would also point out that the characters all seemed flat and there weren't many, if any, development in characters.
    And I feel I should point out that this book would make a great movie/show--not just horror, but also romance with a pinch of funny. It seems obvious, though, considering the author is a film critic, it was completely expected that the book read like film.


Friday, 30 May 2014

Psychos: a White Girl Problems

SUMMARY:Fresh from a four-month stint in rehab for her “alleged” shopping addiction, Babe Walker returns home to Bel Air ten pounds lighter (thanks to a stomach virus), having made amends (she told a counselor with bad skin she was smart) and confronted her past (after meeting her birth mother for the first time—a fashion model turned farmer lesbian). Although delighted to be home and determined to maintain her hard-won inner peace, Babe now faces a host of outside forces seemingly intent on derailing her path to positive change. Not only is she being trailed by an anonymous stalker, but she’s also reunited with the love of her life, a relationship that she cannot seem to stop self-sabotaging.

Babe’s newfound spirituality, coupled with her faith in the universe and its messages, leads her all over the world: shoulder dancing in Paris, tripping out in Amsterdam, and hooking up in the Mediterranean, only to land her back in New York City, forced to choose between a man who is perfect in every way (except for one small detail) and a man who could be The One if only he didn’t drive Babe to utter insanity.

Please don't take this personally; I did not like this book all that much and couldn't finish it. I only made it to page 13 before giving up because Babe was not the type of character I liked--the truth is, from the start, I did not like her, at all. I do feel her character will develop further on in the book but I just could not stand her character:
 "I was annoyed that the focus wasn't 100 percent on me an my struggles, because I'm pretty sure I was the one who just got out of rehab, but I just smiled and nodded." Ugh.
Babe was once a shopaholic but went into rehab and is now an overly confident non-shopaholic who--from what I saw of he fashion sketch--has a cool sense of style but still, in my opinion, spends too much time on her appearance.
Don't take my words too seriously, though, because this book happened to be the sequel to a book I have not read and I was not the targeted audience for Babe Walker; I might have enjoyed reading this if I was. What I read from other reviews on this sounded really interesting but I hated he characters too much.
If you happen to like this of story, then go for it. Read it--then gush about how much you loved it to everyone because someone needs to do it, and I am an unwilling participant for that job.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Days of Blood and Starlight

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

                                                         ...this is me speechless...
Laini Taylor did a magnificent job of world-building and don't even get me started on the flashbacks--genius. Makes me wanna SING praises. Perfectly crafted and timed, I loved this book even more than the first one and is very exited to get my hands on the third book.

Full review will be written after I've read the third book

Friday, 9 May 2014

Mother's day

I don't know if any of you have noticed, but, Mother's Day is this Sunday. I already have Sunday's meals planned out and I sure hope you have something planned for your mothers because carrying that extra weight for 9 months is not fun (not that I have first-hand experience). And if you haven't and need something, there are a plethora of Mother's day songs on the internet.

Below is a few plus a tribute video I found.

I know, this one isn't really suitable for Mother's day, but I like it--plus, it's titled Mama's song.

And here's the tribute video I found--you might even see this in ads across Youtube.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Allison James prologue

The beginning…what was it? Some would say it was the day they were born, while others would say it otherwise.

I am if the former.

I was given life at birth—that was my beginning, the day I became a living, breathing being.

But I am also of the latter.


I watched her from the door. The doctor was checking her symptoms over, and over again, looking for the cause of the illness. He checked her temperature once more; cold. He shook his head, said something to John in a foreign tongue I had yet to master but could now translate to, “There’s no hope; give her this, a swift death,” handed him a little brown bottle from his bag, and left.

And a swift death was given.

I watched her as she took her last labouring breath, as she was lowered into the ground, as she was buried in the earth she once walked upon. I did not watch as

John gave her the swift death, I knew.

I retreated into myself, reading at the table that was now too quiet and empty without her. I read the books we used to read together, continued my studies but not understanding them without her guidance. I could not make sense of the science of the Earth without her there.

Three months later, I took ill. The same symptoms of her illness showed on mine. The doctor, once again, could not determine a diagnosis.

“I’m afraid there is nothing I could do.” He sighed, shaking his head of a ridiculously tall, white powdered wig, and left. No little brown bottle, this time.

John read to me. Or he tried to, at least. I had corrected him for what seemed like the millionth time when I broke into a coughing fit.

When I stopped exhaling my lungs out through my oesophagus, I said, “I wish to die.”

John closed the book. “If you are gone, who will teach me to read?”

Even then, with the pain and cold, I had chosen to stay. But that didn’t mean I did not still wished for death.

I repeated the words, “I wish to die,” in many forms until I was too tired to move my lips. My blink drooped and froze at a shut position.

A pregnant moment later, John spoke. “Allison?”

I managed a hum that indicated that I heard him.

“It’s October 16th.”

I cracked open an eye to peer at him, “Mama’s birthday?”

He nodded. “And yours.”

Mama, her mother, and I were all born on the 16th of October. Some said it was fate or the work of God; I don't believe it to be so, or a paranormal occurrence— it was just pure coincidence and genes, nothing more, nothing less.

“Let’s go see her.”

I nodded and coughed a little before weakly climbing out of bed. We took twice as long to arrive at the final resting place of Jane Jones; a poppy garden, the tissue-y flowers covering Poulton Hill Grave half genetically engineered and half natural.

As we stood in silence before my mother’s grave, thoughts struck me. I was alive while she was not; I lived.


Before I lived, I was halfway dead.


            I live.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
This book should be in the suspense genre--oh, wait, *checks genre list*, it is--on my bookshelf, that is.
Laini Taylor made everything drag on, kept mysteries for chapters at a time, and wrote in a cryptic, riddling way, and, at times, was funny and quirky.
    AND I LOVED IT! And she didn't drag EVERYTHING. Fight scenes--minus one--were short--which I liked because fight scenes aren't really that easy for me patiently read; I'd never completely read a fight scene, ever.
   I loved the suspense that seemed to lure me in, made me turn the page until the end. And there was a lot of flashbacks and memories, most of them needed to be shorten or placed at some other part of the novel--but never removed. NEVER REMOVED.
   I confess, I was listening to the audiobook--I know, lazy me. And the characters were all so interesting and real--probably because I was listening to the audiobook instead of reading.
I will atone for my audiobook-sin by READING the next 2 books using my retina instead of auditory cortex (I might have gotten those science-y words wrong).
    I really wish all authors could write with such perfect balance of creativity, writing technic, and suspense. Scratch that, too much suspense is not good for my heart.
    I am currently reading Days of Blood and Starlight and LOVING it to DEATH--there is a lot of DEATH, blood and starlight in the second novel.
Postscript. Will write a full-scale review/praise/book talk once I've read the third book, which came out a month ago--good thing, too, 'cause I don't think I could have quietly waited, this time.