What If Book Characters Were Pokemon?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


So, if you're anything like me, you're eagerly awaiting November 21st. And, no, for once it's not because a book is coming out. Instead, it's the release day for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire! Wooot! I'm a 90's kid, so I grew up with Pokemon and, while I don't collect the cards or watch the anime anymore, I still play just about every game that comes out involving Pokemon. Last year, I went to the midnight release of Pokemon X and Y, and I intend to do the same this year! Until November 21st comes around, though, I've been occupying myself with Pokemon thoughts, mostly - what Pokemon would my favorite book characters be? 

So, without further ado, here are five characters that I love and what Pokemon I think fits them best!

Number One: Liesel from The Book Thief




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Purrloin's PokeDex Entry: They steal from people for fun, but their victims can't help but forgive them. Their deceptively cute act is perfect. So, Purrloin steals valuables and Liesel steals books and they're both too freakin' adorable. Sounds like a great match to me!


Number Two: The Darkling from The Grisha Trilogy





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Zoroark's PokeDex Entry: Each has the ability to fool a large group of people simultaneously. They protect their lair with illusory scenery. First of all, Zoroark's a dark type Pokemon. Dark Type = The Darkling? Lol. But really, Zoroark is oftentimes misunderstood, just like the Darkling. They both use illusory magic and are tough cookies to crack.


Number Three: Katniss from The Hunger Games 
 
 



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Talonflame's PokeDex Entry: In the fever of an exciting battle, it showers embers from the gaps between its feathers and takes to the air. First of all, Katniss = Girl on fire/Mockingjay. Talonflame = Fire Bird. 'Nuff said. Lol. But seriously, one of the reasons I chose Talonflame is because it can be a fierce protector, and Kaniss certainly is, too.


Number Four: Harry Potter



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Pikachu's PokeDex Entry: It has small electric sacs on both its cheeks. If threatened, it looses electric charges from the sacs. Yup, Harry and Pikachu are quite the match. First of all, because they both sport a lightning bolt, as well as the fact that both characters are practically icons for their associated groups. When you think Pokemon, you think Pikachu. When you think great books, you think Harry Potter. 


Number Five: Bella Swan from the Twilight Saga





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Ditto's PokeDex Entry: Capable of copying an enemy's genetic code to instantly transform itself into a duplicate of the enemy. Okay, Bella is mainly Ditto because she's plastic, derpy and has no real personality of her own. Haha!

So, did you Pokemon lovers out there enjoy this little post? I hope it gave you a good laugh. I will probably make at least two more posts like this, up until the release date next month. What characters would you like to see me "Pokemonize" when I post next? Let me know in the comments!

Movie Review - Gone Girl

Title: Gone Girl
Director:  David Fincher
Writers: Gillian Flynn (Screenplay & Novel)
Rating: R
Release Date: October 3, 2014
Running Time: 149 Minutes
Actors: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, and Tyler Perry.
Synopsis: With his wife's disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it's suspected that he may not be innocent.

Wow. This movie. Where do I even start?

So, I saw this movie with a friend last Saturday - after the Southern Festival of Books where I met LAUREN OLIVER! - and it was a great way to end a great day. I knew from the moment that I saw that Gillian Flynn had also written the screenplay that we'd be watching a gem of a book-to-movie adaptation. And boy was I right. 

The Story: Let's face it. All us readers like to read the book before seeing the movie, and half the time it's not even because we want to see our favorite movies come to life on the big screen. More often than not, it's so we can berate the movie for falling short of the books we love. But considering that the screenplay was also done by the writer, Gone Girl was very close to the source material. I could count on one hand the real changes they made to the movie. The two biggest changes I noticed were with Tanner Bolt (who was actually portrayed as African American in the movie) and the final ending, where Nick tells Amy that he's good to her because she has to wake up every day as herself. I, personally, would've liked to see those final words from him, but with the direction the movie was going, I think it would not have stayed true to Ben's performance of Nick.

For the most part, though, this movie did a fantastic job of bringing to life the dark and gritty tale that Flynn originally wrote. Though I knew how things were going to end, I found myself completely enamored with the story and probably more invested than half of the audience there with me.

While the movie is very close to the source material, I still highly recommend reading the book before seeing the movie, just so you can get the shock value from the pages of the book. It makes for a much juicier read and a much more exciting movie experience!

The Acting: The acting in this movie is superb. I definitely smell an Oscar, or - at the very least - a nomination. Ben did a great job at playing the clueless and desperate Nick, and - just to put it bluntly - he did a great job playing as the douchebag that Nick was meant to be. I have a real love/hate relationship with Ben, because he's a great actor but consistently takes on crappy roles. This time, though, he's definitely hit the mark. Rosamund Pike did a wonderful job of portraying the manipulative and downright ape-shit crazy Amy and if I had to pick whether or not Ben or Rosamund did a better job, it'd be a close call, but I'd have to go with her. Nick's character is rather stagnant throughout the storyline, meaning that Ben has a somewhat easier role to play. Rosamund, however, had a variety of "characters" to portray, as Amy pretends to be so many different people. Either way, though, both actors definitely brought their A-game and made this a fantastic movie.

Neil Patrick Harris plays Desi, and I honestly wish we would've gotten to see a little more of him, because really, who doesn't love Neil? But from what we got to see, he did a pretty good job playing Desi. Desi's pretty clueless, too, as well as controlling and NPH definitely brought these traits to the screen, but I think I would've been able to appreciate the acting and character a little more if I'd seen a bit more of him.

Lastly, we get Tyler Freakin' Perry as Tanner Bolt. You guys have no idea how excited I was when the opening credits started and I saw that he was part of the cast. I've loved Tyler Perry for years. His movies are all a part of my personal collection and I love his work as Madea. He's one of the best comedians I know. But enough fangirling. I might be biased, but I definitely feel that Perry brought the feel of Tanner to the screen. Tanner was meant to be a high-powered, self-assured kinda guy. If not that, perhaps even a little self-absorbed. And, though we only had a third of the screen time with him, his performance was definitely great. Much love for the guy. <3

The Cinematography: Finally, the movie itself. All I can say is that it's definitely one that you'll remember and leave you gushing about for days afterward. The soundtrack is phenomenal and definitely sets the feel for the thrilling movie. I think the settings of the movie were great choices, from Nick and Amy's modest home, to Nick's father's dilapidated home, to Desi's stunning lake house. Many of the places were just as I had pictured them to be while reading.

I was definitely intrigued - and a little worried - about how they would tell the beginning of the story, where it alternated Nick and Amy's point of view, but the flow was spot on. And overall, the creepy, eerie feel of the story was captured. I loved it!

One thing I will mention, though, is that the story definitely earned it's R rating. There was a great deal of sex - though most of it was done rather modestly, up until the scene with Amy and Desi - as well as nudity. There are boobs galore, as well as full front nudes of Ben and Neil Patrick Harris. So, if you are uncomfortable with that type of thing, then perhaps this movie isn't for you. There are plenty of F-words, as well as the occasional C-word, so it's definitely not a movie you want to watch with your parents or children around. But it would be a great movie to watch with friends. As well as a great movie to watch with boyfriends - to keep them on their toes. ;)

My final verdict? Read the book now - and see the movie as soon as you finish the book!

Waiting on Wednesday, Interview with Katie McGarry and Giveaway!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


A summer road trip changes everything in this unforgettable new tale from acclaimed author Katie McGarry

For new high school graduate Echo Emerson, a summer road trip out west with her boyfriend means getting away and forgetting what makes her so... different. It means seeing cool sights while selling her art at galleries along the way. And most of all, it means almost three months alone with Noah Hutchins, the hot, smart, soul-battered guy who’s never judged her. Echo and Noah share everything — except the one thing Echo’s just not ready for.

But when the source of Echo’s constant nightmares comes back into her life, she has to make some tough decisions about what she really wants — even as foster kid Noah’s search for his last remaining relatives forces them both to confront some serious truths about life, love, and themselves.

Now, with one week left before college orientation, jobs and real life, Echo must decide if Noah's more than the bad-boy fling everyone warned her he'd be. And the last leg of an amazing road trip will turn... seriously epic.
 I've absolutely fell in love with Katie McGarry and her wonderful books. While Noah and Echo are not my favorite couple from her Pushing the Limits series, I'm definitely looking forward to the second book about them, Breaking the Rules. I'm hoping to see where their relationship goes and - hopefully - learn to like them a little better. Perhaps why I didn't relate to them much in the first book was because we didn't get to see their relationship reach it's full potential. So, I'm really looking forward to reading the next installment in their story. Plus, it releases on my birthday! =D

I had the pleasure of meeting Katie McGarry when she came to my town for a conference. In addition to getting my book signed, she was kind enough to do a little Q+A session for my blog! So, here it is!

________________


Many of the books in your Pushing the Limits series deal with heavy issues (foster systems, homelessness, drug abuse), as well as complicated concepts (like cars – which I have no idea about, haha – and boxing) – how did you do your research?

I jump head first into my research. Some of the stuff I write about, I do have personal history with, but even with that, I still do research. Just because I experienced situations one way, it doesn’t mean that’s how other people faced that same scenario.


I have talked with therapists, people involved in the foster care system, and people who deal with homelessness and drug abuse. For some of my more exciting research, like the drag racing or MMA, I got more hands on.


For Crash Into You, I hung out at a legal dragway and I even got to go down the dragway. For Take Me On, I hung out at a gym that was Muay Thai (kickboxing) focused.

After reading the final two books in the PTL series, it seems like Abby is quickly becoming a fan favorite. Did you ever expect her to get so popular? Do you think we’ll ever be able to learn more about her, perhaps in her own book?

Abby! How I love Abby! She’s honestly one of the favorite characters I have written. Did I expect Abby to become so popular? No, but I knew I was in love with her. There’s something about Abby that causes my heart to ache, plus you can’t help but love how quick witted and tough she is.


I would love to write Abby’s story one day. I’m crossing fingers and toes that will happen.

Thunder Road, you’re newest book, releases next year. Can you give us any juicy tidbits to keep us satisfied until then?

The title of the new series is actually called Nowhere But Here. Thunder Roads was a working title for a bit, but then we decided to go with Nowhere But Here.


Nowhere But Here will debut in Spring 2015 and follows teens who are raised in a motorcycle club. I had a blast doing the research for this book and I can’t wait for you to meet this new cast of characters! 
_______________________

Thank you, Katie, for being so kind and answering my questions!

Lastly, and because it was my favorite story out of the Pushing the Limits series, I'm offering up a signed ARC edition of Dare You To. Since I'm a poor college kid, I can only send it within the US. Sorry, my out-of-country readers!

 
 
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Book Cake Tag!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014




I was tagged by the wonderful Lauren from Always Me to do the Book Cake Tag! (I also stole her picture for it, sorry!) So here we go!

Flour: A book that was a little bit slow to start off but really picked up as it went along.




I'll be the first to admit that Throne of Glass was something of an acquired taste for me. The beginning was a little slow, not to mention a tad bit confusing, but once I got the history and characters memorized, I really enjoyed reading about Celaena, as well as the other characters. I still need to read Crown of Midnight, and I hear even better things about that one! 





Margarine: A book that had a rich, great plot




All books by Rick Riordan have interesting and compelling plots, but I think that that really shines through in the Heros of Olympus series, where we get to see not only the Greek side of Percy's world, but the Roman side, too. In addition to that, we get to meet plenty of other interesting characters and, overall, it's just a great ride of a story.






Eggs: A book you thought was going to be bad but actually turned out quite enjoyable.


 
The only reason I picked this up was because it was a part of the "Banner Challenge" in my GoodReads group. I'm definitely not a big fan of werewolves, but there was something strangely addicting about this book. It wasn't so much the romance between Grace and Sam as it was the biology behind the wolves themselves... and Cole. ;) I was definitely pleasantly surprised.







Sugar: A surgary, sweet book.

 
 
I was introduced to Perkins by a friend of mine and I was so glad I got the book as a birthday present a couple of years back. If you're looking for a light, sweet book full of fluff and romance, you need to look no further. Lola and Isla, the companion novels, are wonderful, too! I love me some St. Clair, Cricket, and Josh!








Icing - A book that covered every single element that you enjoy about a book (funny moments, action moments, sad moments, etc.)





Gosh, there were many books that could've competed for this spot, but - ultimately - I had to go with the one that defined my generation and one that I grew up obsessed with. But, really, do I even have to explain this one? XD







Sprinkles: A book series that you can kind of turn back to for a little pick me up when you're feeling down.
Harry Potter, as well as Warriors, could've competed for this spot, but my all-time favorite anime won out. I love many of the characters, and with romance, wit, and funny scenes, it's definitely a book I can always get a smile from. And, if that doesn't work, I can always turn to my Fruits Basket roleplays I have going. ;)
 





 
 The Cherry on Top - Your favorite book this year so far.
The was my most anticipated book of the year, as well as the favorite so far! At some points, I was too scared to keep reading, for fear of something happening to my favorite characters! But with action, humor, and romance - this book definitely has it all. Not to mention, it was a great conclusion to one of my favorite series!







If I tag you, I'll let you know and don't forget to link back to me so I can see your responses!  If you want to play along even if I didn't tag you, feel free to jump right in and link me as well. 

You've Been Tagged!

Cassie @ Citrus Reads
Connie @ The YA Book Thief 

Top Ten Tuesday - Character Driven Novels





It's Tuesday, so that means it's time for The Broke and the Bookish Top Ten! This week we're supposed to feature character driven novels. While I've seen some people divide their choices into categories (such as driven female leads and so on), I'm not going to be that specific. Instead, my books are those where there were characters I fondly (or not so fondly) remember. For those of you who frequent my blog, you'll probably notice some of my favorite books once more. ;) They're in no particular order, either!

Number Ten: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

This book is just utterly beautiful, and the character are definitely what made the book. From Hans to Liesel to Rudy to Max - they're all wonderful characters that I loved getting to know and ones that I love to revisit, often. If you haven't read this book yet, pick it up now!






Number Nine: The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

In addition to an especially memorable setting, Bardugo brought us one of the strongest female leads I've ever read in YA, as well as some swoon-worthy male leads to boot. While I loved both Nikolai and Mal, the male with the most character and development, I felt, was The Darkling. I was obsessed with him from book one and kept rooting for his redemption up until the last book. Definitely a book to check out if you love strong characters.



Number Eight: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

This book remains on my all-time favorite book shelf. It's one of the best Southern Fiction books I've ever read and the characters are fresh, human, and memorable. Skeeter, Aibileen, and Minny are all heroines to root for and even those less likable characters, like Hilly are memorable - a character you love to hate. This one is definitely one to pick up if you haven't already!




Number Seven: My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

If you know me at all, you know I love John Green, but that I think The Fault in our Stars - as wonderful as it is - is definitely overrated. Now this book? This was the original Cancer book. Instead of just a love story, this book brought to us a love that is a little more complex, between sisters and family, as well as other issues. This is the book people think of when you mention the author and the characters definitely leave you wanting to turn the pages. I'm so excited to meet her next month!


Number Six: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Ya'll knew this one was coming, right? Little Women is my favorite classic, as it was the first I ever read. And, being a young woman when I read it, I was able to relate to the March sisters, each in their own way. I loved Meg's sense of responsibility, Jo's adventurous spirit, Beth's quiet strength, and Amy's artistic nature. I loved getting to know them both when they were young and grown. If you've never gotten the chance to read this classic, be sure to make time!



Number Five: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

I've already looked at many other TTT so far, and it seems like everyone is putting down Austen. But my favorite character driven classic, besides Little Women, will always be Wuthering Heights. It's a lesser read book, but I think of it as an epic love story. While I didn't necessarily love Heathcliff or Catherine, I certainly fell for their incredible love for one another. It's not your typical hearts and flowers romance of that day and I guess that's why I find it so fascinating.



Number Four: Jennifer Scales Series by MaryJanice Davidson & Anthony Alongi

I really can't praise this series enough. It's definitely a hidden gem, one that I would've never found if it weren't for a friend of mine introducing them to me. Jennifer is definitely a kick-ass heroine and many of the side-characters know how to bring a bad guy to their knees as well! I've said it before and will say it again: read this series!
Number Three: Harry Dresden Series by Jim Butcher

I guess I really don't have the right to put this book up here, seeing as I've only read the first two, but hey - they were awesome books with some very memorable characters - both likable and not-so-likable. I can't wait to delve deeper into the series and see what other amazing characters I meet! I'll get to you soon, Harry! I promise!




Number Two: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I just finished this book a few days ago and it's definitely worthy of a spot on this list. I certainly didn't find any of the characters likable, but boy did they pack personality! You'll want to kick many of the characters where the "sun don't shine," but let's face it - that sort of dislike isn't easily achieved without the characters being ones to remember!




Number One: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Like I said before, I love John Green and the best "character driven" novel by him, I believe, is Looking for Alaska - mainly because of Alaska herself. Miles I found rather forgettable, at least as far as Green's character's go, but Alaska had depth and many layers to her, making the climax of the story especially compelling. While it's not the most celebrated of Green's books, it's definitely the best when it comes to characters that leave you thinking.




And that's my list! What did you think? Did you have the same books on yours or were there books you thought should've made the list? Feel free to let me know in the comments as well as link me to your TTT!

Review - Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Monday, October 6, 2014



Gone Girl
By Gillian Flynn
Release Date: May 24th, 2012
Genre: General Fiction/Thriller
Source: Purchased
 

 Wow. Where to even start with this book? First of all, it’s going to be hard to review this one without posting too many spoilers. Since the book is so widely talked about, many of you already know the gist of the story, so I don’t feel too bad about talking about some of the more major plot developments, but I’ll try to keep from posting anything that might be too spoilery. Anywho, here we go. 

Nick Dunne and Amy Dunne have been married for exactly five years when the story opens, as it is their anniversary. Immediately, we learn that Nick is a little disillusioned with his marriage, thinking that Amy isn’t the woman he married and further explaining that things had been difficult for them the past couple of years. The morning of their fifth anniversary, Nick leaves the house early and kills a little bit of time before going to the bar that he and his twin sister, Margo (Go) run together, funded by the last of Amy’s money. It isn’t long before Nick receives all call from a concerned neighbor, claiming that their front door has been left wide open. Nick heads home, only to find that his house had been ransacked and his wife is missing. From then on, things get really difficult for Nick. After alerting the police about his wife’s disappearance, he immediately becomes the prime suspect. As the evidence against him starts to build up, Nick is left to convince everyone that he is innocent and that his wife isn’t the sweet, loving victim they believe her to be. 

Here’s the first big bombshell I don’t feel too bad about sharing, as I figured most of you know about it anyway. Nick believes that Amy isn’t dead and is, in fact, framing him for her supposed disappearance and murder. But why would she do this? To get back at him for being a lousy husband, of course. The measures that Amy takes to build up the evidence against him are crazy, leading us to understand that she is vindictive and hateful toward her husband, as she had also been feeling the strain of their marriage. 

Clearly, Nick and Amy aren’t the best of people. They each made mistakes and hold each other accountable for the kinks in their marriage. As I read and delved deeper into the problems they were encountering with each other, I really started to wonder who was to blame for everything that had happened and that’s not something that you can really answer easily. They each contributed to the failing marriage, and it makes it very difficult for a reader to decide which “side” they’re rooting for. That was one of the more minor issues I had with the book. I like characters that I can relate to and identify with. In this case, Nick and Amy weren’t very likable at all. Usually, I would’ve had a very difficult time finishing a book when not invested in the characters, but this one – as you’ve all guessed – is quite different from other books. It’s strangely addicting, dark, and twisted. And the ending? It’ll leave you with your jaw on the floor and guessing what happens next. 

I gave this book four stars instead of five mainly because of the characters. I definitely loved the layers that Flynn gave both Nick and Amy. They’re human. But many of the issues they dealt with in their marriage consisted of the fact that neither thought the other was the “person they married.” In fact, Flynn leads us to believe they both were pretty much faking their true selves while dating and for the first two years of their marriage. That’s a long time to keep up a fa├žade. I just… don’t believe that two people could spend so much time with each other and take so long to realize that one is a lying asshole and the other a vindictive bitch. On top of that, they’re both incredibly intelligent but they just keep falling for each other lies. I guess it just left me a little frustrated. In addition, I found it hard to believe that the police didn’t find any evidence against Amy at the end of the story, either. (Not going to go into more detail, as it deals with a VERY big spoiler).

 It was just those little character quirks that left a bad taste in my mouth, thus the four stars. Other than that, though, Gone Girl definitely proved to be a page-turner and I’m so glad I finally read it. I wasn’t (too) disappointed with the twisted plot everyone had raved about and I definitely recommend picking it up if you’re looking for something dark and gritty. As for me, I’m off to see the movie on Saturday!