Monday, August 31, 2015

Book Review: Summer Of Sharona By Brian Humek

Summer Of Sharona By Brian Humek Review

Summer Of Sharona started off so normally, I had absolutely no idea what was coming. The story was intense and at time I was deeply frightened for Ashley, the main character. However the story was a little predictable at times, but that didn't really affect the overall reading experience too much.

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Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 5, 2014)
Pages: 274
Source: Author 

Fifteen year old Ashley believes life should come with one rule: No one should ever crush a ladybug. Well, make that two rules, she also believes people who meet in the nut house should not be allowed to marry. If only her mother had followed that rule, Ashley's life wouldn't be such a mess. It's the summer of 1979, the song My Sharona is skyrocketing to the top of the charts, disco is fading, and on a fateful evening on Chicago's south side, thousands of disco records are physically destroyed. Ashley's life goes from bad to worse on another warm Chicago evening. Exactly one week after experiencing Disco Destruction Night at the ballpark, Ashley enters Grant Park and leaves it twenty minutes later, a changed girl forever. After this traumatic event, finding a love is the last thing on Ashley's summer "to do" list. The funny thing about love is that it's most successful when it comes out of nowhere and simply happens.


Rating

★★★★★

Favorite  Quote

"...even if you did probably just crush a number of ladybugs"

This book does handle some heavier topics, such as abuse, rape, death and abortion, just warning you, however I really think they add depth to the story and make it more realistic.

On the romantic note Summer Of Sharona brought the boy next door to a whole new level, totally elevating the whole falling in love with the person next door plot, creating a new twist on the old classic. It's hard not to giveaway any plot points without spoiling you!

I really enjoyed the inclusion of music, it was a nice unique touch and added a lot of charm to the story, especially since the author mentioned a soundtrack for the book, I'll be checking that one out.

Ryan I have to say is my favorite character by far, he was so sweet in always being there and supporting Ashley even when it was hard or difficult for him. Ashley was also a well written character, I enjoyed her out going personality and how she breaks the stereotype for rock music fans. Their relationship was innocent and cute (which I really like) but wasn't really my focus when it came to the book, I wasn't as concerned with it as the other story lines.

The ending was sweet and wrapped the book up well, but I can't help but think that while it is a good ending it was a little bit convenient and could all easily been avoided, however the author probably said something concerning that, I just didn't catch it.

I enjoyed Summer Of Sharona quite a bit, however it wasn't really a book that really screamed brilliant at me. It was a pleasure to read but not something I'll likely look back too, this particular book wasn't especially memorable, though I may look into reading any future books of Brian Humek.
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Monday, August 24, 2015

Book Review: How To Train Your Dragon By Cressida Cowell

How To Train Your Dragon By Cressida Cowell Review

As you probably know, I absolutely loved the How To Train Your Dragon movies, and I hadn't read the books. So out of curiosity I decided to try them out and I did not know what I was missing. Both the the books and the movies go in extremely different direction, but they are equally delightful and amusing.

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Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (February 1st 2003) 
Pages: 240
Source: Audiobook from the Library 

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III is a truly extraordinary Viking hero known throughout Vikingdom as "the Dragon Whisperer"...but it wasn't always so. Travel back to the days when the mighty warrior was just a boy, the quiet and thoughtful son of the Chief of the Hairy Hooligans.
Can Hiccup capture a dragon and train it without being torn limb from limb? Join the adventure as the small boy finds a better way to train his dragon and become a hero!

Rating

★★★★★

Favorite  Quote

“I was not a natural. . . . This is the story of becoming a hero . . . the Hard Way.” 

I was hesitant to start this book, because I was worried it would ruin the movies for me or something like that, but I was hooked from the very first word. The story was engaging and David Tennant did an amazing job as well, my only complaint with the audiobook was that Toothless's voice is a little grating, but I believe that is the intended the effect.

Sadly enough this book got a lot of bad reviews on Goodreads simply because it didn't match the movie and that angered me, I understand you weren't happy but the party at fault there is really Dreamworks. Now I'm not saying the film should have been an exact carbon copy of the book because I loved the deviant universes, am I the only one? It was a lot of fun to see what the movie took and changed (which was a lot!)

Thought of course Toothless took a little to get used to, I soon grew to love him just as much as his movie counterpart. While the tiny green green who is actually toothless and the black nightfury with retractable teeth are very different characters they are both lovable in there own very different way.

It took me about a day to finish the book and that was about three hours of audio, How To Train Your Dragon is one of those books you pick up and don't put down till you are out of pages or audio in my case. I picked this book out for a road trip and was unable to get an ebook or paper book format, which quite saddened me. I have heard that the art adds a lot to the reading experience, but was unable to get my hands on it.

I liked how for children this tale is told in a believable fashion, I positively loved the fact that this story explores the disappearance of dragons! It's just such a brilliant idea, while I will be sad to see the dragons go if they do indeed disappear I think a book series explaining why dragon's are no longer in the human world will be fun to read and explore, and I look forward to starting How To Be A Pirate. All hail Hiccup the Useful and his dragon Toothful.
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Monday, August 17, 2015

Movie Review: Minions

Minions Movie Review

So this is my first movie review, and it's gonna be on the Minions movie. As you can probably see I'm more than a little late, but that's mainly because I wasn't planning on watching Minions. A lot of the reviews said it wasn't much good, and beside I was worried that the minions wouldn't be able to carry their own story, after all I personally didn't feel like they really had that much personality beside being funny and cute, in the first two movies

IMDb: 6.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 54%
Meta Critic: 56% 
Length: 91 min
PG 
My Rating: 67%

Evolving from single-celled yellow organisms at the dawn of time, Minions live to serve, but find themselves working for a continual series of unsuccessful masters, from T. Rex to Napoleon. Without a master to grovel for, the Minions fall into a deep depression. But one minion, Kevin, has a plan; accompanied by his pals Stuart and Bob, Kevin sets forth to
find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow. Their search leads them to Scarlet Overkill, the world's first-ever super-villainess.

However I did end up watching it and I must admit it wasn't half bad, but not really memorable. Minions offers comedy and a fun movie experience but in the end it's not something I see as becoming a classic. Minions is filled with slapstick humor and has no real depth

The humor wasn't bad, we see the British people drinking tea gag a lot and honestly after the third or second time it just got plain annoying. Though I  admit putting Queen Elizabeth II in the movie was a interesting move, I wonder whether she has seen the movie and if so what was her reaction. It would be really weird to see someone else play you, or see your self animated in an imaginary world.

I was not expecting a movie that makes you cry or anything, Minions is definitely just a straight up comedy. I am amazed that Illumination Entertainment was able to create a movie where you can't even understand the characters; well of course that only applies to those who can not speak french or spanish. So they kind of had to heavily rely on facial expressions and tone of voice, and for me if you can tell a story just using that then you have scored a win.

If your looking for a comedy fix then this is the movie for you, Minions is overflowing with jokes gags and random antics. Just don't go into this movie expecting to come out crying or pondering the very meaning of life, this movie is just for laughs. Though I have to say we don't see that many upright comedy movies these days in the animation department, it seems that every movie is trying it's best to teach us a lesson and make us cry. So in a way Minions is a rare gem.
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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

My Blog Title Is Changing To Quartz Feather

When I first created this blog I didn't have a blog name and I wanted to start blogging but I didn't want to rashly pick a name, because I knew the right name would come, and it has. Within the next week my blog's url will change along with a lot of my social media, I will keep my old url up if you can't find me. The review for Sharona Summer should be up soon, see you then.
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Marissa Meyer Has Just Annouced a Fanfiction Contest!

Hi guy just wanted to let you know Marissa Meyer is hosting a fanfiction contest in honor of her sailormoon fanfiction origins and the impending release of Winter, the last book in The Lunar Chronicles. The deadline is September 30th and the grand prize winner receives a trip to the Winter Launch Party in Tacoma, WA! The prompt and the basic info are below for more information and the submit form please vist The Lunar Chronicles Website

The Prompt: Write a character from an original Grimm’s Fairy Tale into the world of the Lunar Chronicles. This character must not already appear in the Lunar Chronicles. In your story, this character should in some way encounter one of the main characters of the Lunar Chronicles books by Marissa Meyer. The story can take place at any time between the time periods of Fairest and Cress by Marissa Meyer.

Basic Info: Each story must be an original work at least 1,000 words long but no longer than 2,000 words and must comply with all of the guidelines set forth in the official rules. To enter, fill out the form on this page with your finished story. The contest is open until 11:59pm EST on September 30, 2015

I don't know if your going to enter but I am! Have fun and good luck!
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Monday, August 10, 2015

DNF Discussion: We Were Liars By E. Lockart

We Were Liars By E. Lockart Review

Okay as of today I have officially DNFed a book, and if you can't tell from the title our guest today is We Were Liars. Oddly enough I didn't decide to not finish this book, because I had a better book in mind. In fact as of now I basically don't have anything on my personal TBR list.

Buy It Here

Published by Delacorte Press (January 1st 2014)
Pages: 240
Source: AudioBook From Library 

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it. And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

Discussion- This book had some pretty good reviews, so I expected a really good read, however I found myself at chapter 47 and still bored. A main reason for my choice to DNF this book, was the fact that I lost interest and my motivation to continue reading. The story just didn't speak to me, the writing was very well done, and E. Lockhart has a way with words, but the plot line and the main characters were my problem. The plot didn't capture my attention, and a few of the characters got on my nerves quite a bit. I have heard that the ending was well done, but if I do hope on enjoying a reread I have to wait a few months, that way I can start reading again with a semi clean slate. 

I requested this book from my local library because the book had very mixed reviews (as I said above We Were Liars did have some very good reviews, but at the same time a lot of  reviews were equally bad. From what I saw, you either loved the book or didn't like it at all, there wasn't much in between) so I was hesitant to buy it. I waited about six weeks for the book and was quite disappointed with it. As I said before, it is very likely that I might look into finishing We Were Liars sometime in the future. If you think I should continue reading it and would like a full scale review or booktalk leave a comment below and We Were Liars might just end up on my TBR list again.
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Monday, August 3, 2015

Fangirl Fathoms: Titles of Episodes 13-26 of Race To The Edge on Netflix?

Titles of Episodes 13-26 of Race to the Edge

Source: Tumblr
Okay so I just found this picture on tumblr, and I'm like freaking out. I know this is a book blog but I did warn you in my header that this is also a fangirl blog, so if your only here for books just ignore any post that has fangirl fathoms in the title. (EDIT: My header has since then changed.) My
first DNF explanation should be posted soon.

If you aren't following me on twitter or haven't read my about me page, I am pretty much addicted To How To Train Your Dragon so obviously I binge watched Race To The Edge as soon as it came out and ever since then I've been waiting for the next set of 13 episodes to come out, and looks like we finally got some news. While as IcelandicEel said, the episodes themselves will probably not show up till after a few months, I'm still pretty excited about the posting of the titles.

Though judging from the fact that Dreamworks and Netflix have a two year contract and Race To The Edge has 52 episodes planned, that will be released in 13 episode increments, I guess that there will be 6 months wait between each release. So I can infer that episodes 14-26 will be released around mid November, but at this time its hard to say.

Edit: VelocityTheSpeedStinger has pointed out to me that I probably shouldn't have counted June in my six month guess, and they are most likely right. Oops my mistake. So December is probably the most likely guess. 

I've heard rumors about a musical episode, not sure what to think but all I can say is that if this is true I'm excited to hear Hiccup, Astrid, Fishlegs, Snotlout, and the Twins sing. That would be interesting... There also appears to be three two part episodes which is a lot, I personally prefer these because the story arc is normally more detailed and feels less rushed, in my opinion. I'm especially excited for Bad Moon Rising (episode 17) because that sounds like the weredragon episode which was mention by the Race To The Edge creators during an interview. 

If you can't read the names of the episodes on the image I've left a list below, with a few notes of my own. What do you think these titles mean? Was this a leak? Are these real? What do you think?

      14. Team Astrid (Ooooh, more character development?)
      15. Night of the Hunters, Part 1 (Hmm... I'm feeling Nightfury)
      16. Night of the Hunters, Part 2
      17. Bad Moon Rising (I must assume this is the weredragon episode) 
      18. Snotlout Gets the Axe (Okay, this title by itself sounds like a dream come true. JK)
      19. The Zippleback Experience 
      20. Snow Way Out (Return of the Snow Wraith?)
      21. Edge of Disaster, Part 1 (Maybe Dagur?)
      22. Edge of Disaster, Part 2
      23. Shock and Awe
      24. A Time to Skrill (More about the Skrill!)
      25. Maces and Talons, Part 1 (Definitely Dagur) 
      26. Maces and Talons, Part 2

PS: I just published my first ever fanfiction, its called How To Convince a Dragon Queen, its a retelling of the first How To Train Your Dragon movie. You can read it here.

Description:

What if Toothless was the one who told the tale? In this retelling of How To Train Your Dragon, the roles are switched and the story changed to see the world from the eyes of two misfits a dragon and a young viking, who despite being two different species have more in common then you would think.
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Book Review: Ghostboy, Chameleon and the Duke of Graffiti By Olivia Wildenstein

Ghostboy, Chameleon and the Duke of Graffiti By Olivia Wildenstein Review

Ghostboy, Chameleon, and the Duke of Graffiti is one of the most touching books I have ever read. Oops it's 4:10 in the morning looks like someone forgot to sleep, oh well when something strikes my emotions guess what happens? I binge watch How to Train Your Dragon, I know how guilty of me...

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Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 15, 2015)
Pages: 318
Source: Recieved Ebook from Author

Cora Matthews, the principal’s gloomy goth daughter, is not exactly popular Duke Meyer’s type. Still, Duke finds himself inexplicably drawn to her dark eyes and mysterious manner. She makes it clear she doesn’t return his admiration, but when a burst appendix lands Duke in the hospital, he and Cora will be forced to come together by the most unlikely intermediary: her eight-year-old brother, Jaime.

Duke learns Jaime has brain cancer and little chance of long-term survival. He admires the kid’s plucky positivity and wild imagination and offers to write a story about Jaime’s make-believe superheroes. So begins an epic tale—that of Ghostboy, Chameleon and the Duke of Graffiti—and a deep friendship between Duke and Jaime.
Despite their outward differences, Cora and Duke bond over their affection for Jaime, but unintended betrayal and Jaime’s advancing disease threaten to derail their blossoming romance before it can truly take root.

Ghostboy, Chameleon & the Duke of Graffiti is a gorgeous debut novel that will resonate with the thoughtful fans of John Green’s blockbuster The Fault in Our Stars.


Rating

★★★★★

Favorite  Quote

A song about heroes. About flying. About bleeding. About dying. About fighting. A song for Jaime.


I just finished this book and I'm in tears. Ghostboy, Chameleon, and Duke of Graffiti is just so beautiful, it made my heart ache. Olivia Wildenstein did a phenomenal job! I stayed up till 12:30 finishing this book and it was totally worth it. This book has real depth and emotion, I cried with the characters, I laughed with the characters.

For a debut book this is simply astounding, Ms. Wildenstein certainly has talent. I would definitely recommend this for fans of The Fault in Our Stars, while this book isn't romance centric it shares some of the best qualities of The Fault in Our Stars. The plot lines are completely different but they both left me with a mixture of remorse and happiness. Crying at 12:30 am in the morning isn't normal for me I promise.

Now lets discuss the characters. Duke leads a privileged life and is vying to make it in to an exclusive group called the Alpha's. While all the rest of his friends are dating "popular" beautiful girls, Duke falls for Cora Matthews, the goth daughter of the principal, in other words an outcast. Duke was adorable in a mischievous way, the first sentence was a absolute bomb.

"In retrospect, spray-painting an enormous white penis on Principal Matthews’s Volvo woodie was not the idea of the century."

Like I said amazing, Duke was definitely one of my favorite character. His humor and gimmicks bring a light hearted aspect to the book.

Cora also has some good character building, her back story was an intriguing. While her overwhelming gothiness may have seemed a little cliche, the rest of the story totally made up for it.

On the other hand, Jamie is such a sweet little boy and seems to be more mature than both Cora and Duke. His general response to life is remarkable, he remains cheery and optimistic through all the trials of his young life. I love how Duke befriends Jamie and helps him write a story. It's just so amazing, and was such a beautiful moment

I applaud the author, the book was beautifully done, and was a wonderful read. I was hooked from the start to the end. Ghostboy, Chameleon, and the Duke of Graffiti deserves five stars, hands down.
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