Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Book to Movie: Mockingjay Part 1

It really should go without saying that this is full of both book and movie spoilers. 

The Good
There is nothing quite like seeing a book you love brought to the big screen. There is a romance about seeing characters and places in real time right there in front of you. Now, before you roll your eyes and give me the classic, movies aren't as good as the book speech, let me tell you that I know. I am the biggest believer that the book is always better. But now that we are three movies in, I'm over the fact that Peeta was poorly cast (okay, nearly over) and that as much as I love J-Law, I didn't really picture Katniss like that (and the training centers, those are weird too). Okay, but seriously, even the flaws that are everywhere because this is a movie people, don't take away from how much I really do like these films. 

1. Since I'm fully #teamgale I'm totally on board for the increased Gale presence in the movie version. 

2. Jennifer Lawrence's emotional pull in this movie was epic ... seriously, even though she didn't look like the Katniss in my head, she was amazing and I wouldn't want anyone else to play the part. 

3. I love getting to know Prim more.

4. It wasn't that visible to me in the book, but sober Haymich and undone Effie are such "real" characters now. I love that their defenses have been stripped away and they are still #teamkatniss all the way. Dedicated and understanding. (I realize that Effie wasn't in District 13 in the books.)

5. Unlike other movie reviewers, I don't think that this whole first part should have been skipped. If we don't care about the characters, if they aren't full developed, how will we care what happens to them in part two? We have to love Katniss, Gale, Peeta and Prim now so that we can laugh and cry with them in part two. Is there any laughing in the Hunger Games? Probably not. That isn't a spoiler, that is just a fact.

The Bad

Where was all the distrust of President Coin? I feel like it was there, just lurking under the surface and I was looking for it. Where was Katniss' lamenting about how dishonest this new President is? Where is her comparison of how this was just a new cage? Will that come in movie #2? I felt like that part of the book really needed to be a part of the movie and was missed. How will that effect the ending?

1. Effie in District 13 - can you imagine if Effie weren't here (I realize you've seen it in the book)? Effie is my favorite character - I have a dog named Effie Trinket for goodness sake! Katniss needs Effie and she is an important piece of showing Katniss' slow breakdown. 

2. Where is Finnick? Although we do spend lots of time with Gale and Prim, we spend little time with Finnick. In the books I didn't like how much "page time" Finnick got. He was never a favorite character of mine and so I wasn't sad to see less screen time for him in the movie. Finnick really is a secondary character who I think is around simply for the eye candy of it all. 

3 and 4. The Final Propo and the Rescue- does anyone really care that Finnick handled this one leaving Katniss to watch the rescue? Are we sad that Katniss got to see the rescue? Nope, I'm glad that I was able to bear witness to this. In the book I felt like that whole part was rushed just to get to crazy Peeta. However, in the movie we needed that. When you bring something to film the tension has to be cast in a different way - I can't believe I'm defending film differences, but these are good changes. 

5. As for Katniss not demanding to kill Snow, well I guess I like this Katniss better. She isn't so blood thirsty and in the book that demand felt out of character for her. She nearly had a mental break after killing ONE person in her first Hunger Games - she doesn't even feel like the Mockingjay yet, let alone have the power or desire to kill a person in cold blood. Even President Snow. The way the scene was played out and how hard she was fighting for the rescue, asking for another BIG thing would have felt like a lot, played the scene out too long. Collins is one of the writers/producers on the movie so I don't think we are in for a total ending rewrite just because of this little thing. But, you never know. 

All in all, I'm happy to go see the movie again on Sunday :) 

Book Review: The Iron Trial

by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Tweet Synopsis: Callum has always been told not to go. Callum goes. Callum learns. Callum is amazing. #friendship #adventure

Book Review: The Dream Thieves

by Maggie Stiefvaer

Tweet Synopsis: Ronan can take things from dreams Blue's deadly kiss is coming Gansey is trying to hold it all together Adam doesn't fit  

Monday, November 3, 2014

Book Review: Solstice

by Jane Reed

Tweet Synopsis:
Come and meet a new Dystopian that has been covered with water and Jez has been tasked to save it all ... if only she knew what was going on. 

Bingo Update

A Book with a Blue Cover
2. Leader's Eat Last by Simon Sinek
A Book of Non-Fiction
A Book with a One Word Title
A Book You Heard About Online
A Book with a Mystery
A Book by a Female Author
A Book Written by an Author Under Thirty
A Book with More than 500 Pages
The Second Book in a Series
A Book with Non-Human Characters
A Book that Scares You
A book published this year
A book your friend loves
A book from the bottom of your 'to-read' pile
not a part of Bingo
not a part of Bingo
A book that became a movie
A book of short-stories
A Best-Selling Book
First book by your favorite author
21. The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black
not a part of Bingo

Kicked that reading challenge's butt!

I NEVER finish my reading challenge. I try to set my goal appropriately and then I never make it. This year I set it low, seriously low (25 books) and I beat it. Okay, I did it in October, which means that was a sad number of books to finish this year, but still!

You can set your own goals and read my reviews on www.goodreads.com 

Book Review: The Case of the Bedtime Bandit

by: Toodles and Whistlehoot (I'm sure those are their real names)

Tweet Synopsis:
Ellie and Ace are not just best girl and best dog friends, but they are also world-famous detectives on the hunt to solve the mysteries of the neighborhood. 

Why Did I Pick It Up:
This was a review copy of the book, although I am reading simple chapter books like this at the library all the time, I haven't reviewed one officially on my blog before. I agreed to review the book because I buy the beginning readers for my library and am familiar with how they look, read, and sound. My favorites are Elephant and Piggie, in case you were curious. 

The Good:
Ellie and Ace are an adorable duo who are smart and curious. Ellie, the human counterpart is one part smart and one part Inspector Gadget (that is, sometimes she is a little oblivious) and Ace is one part trouble-maker and one part Penny (that is, he seems to know what is going on, but no one really listens because he's a dog). 

The Bad:
The narrator talking to the audience would be a writing style I'd save for an older audience as it reads more like a report and less like a story - which could make it hard to understand. I'd recommend this book to a stronger end of second grade reader, who might not like it because of the simple storyline.

Who will love this book? 
Readers of Amelia Bedilla and Fly Guy will like these simple mysteries and getting to know Ellie and Ace better. Kids who like smart pets will really like these stories as well.

How much did I like it? 6.5/10 (that whole style vs age gap presents a problem)

Will I read more? Possibly, at my library :) 

Disclaimer: I received this book as a review copy, but the review is all mine.