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text 2017-04-22 20:55
My 99p eBook Haul or Don't Look at Books When You Have Had a Bad Week!
The Witchfinder's Sister - Beth Underdown
The Roanoke Girls: A Novel - Amy Engel
Sometimes I Lie - Alice Feeney
Our Endless Numbered Days - Claire Fuller
Yellow Crocus - Laila Ibrahim
We Were Liars - E. Lockhart
The Light of the Fireflies - Simon Bruni,Paul Pen
Carrion Comfort - Dan Simmons
Black Hills - Dan Simmons

So, a while back I promised myself I wouldn't succumb to the £0.99 temptation and I would only buy reduced books if they were on my tbr. Well, I was doing really well until...I had a bad week. Let's face it, other people buy shoes and handbags when they feel they need a boost but we buy books. Not that I need them, my physical bookshelves are full to bursting - I have had to start storing books in a (dangerous) third row as two deep just doesn't hack it - my kindle is full of freebies and deals I never will read and even my kobo, which I swore faithfully to myself would mainly be used to borrow books from overdrive, is slowly filling up with unread (but very good and mostly cheap) books. What can I say? I stand up now and confess:

"My name is Julie, I'm a bookaholic" (but I can stop anytime I like, it's just I have these books reserved at the library...)

 

Edit: I might as well go the whole hog and buy two more. I've added Carrion Comfort and Black Hills to my Kobo, I like Dan Simmons and I've wanted to read them for a while, I'm ruined anyway.

 

Oh dear, I'm depressed now, I wonder what's on offer at Amazon...

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review 2017-04-14 17:22
Going Against the Tide With This One
We Were Liars - E. Lockhart

So I happen to know a ton of Goodreads friends and real life friends who went ga-ga over this book. I had a friend that reads about 12 books a year make it a point to talk up this book to me every time she saw me. I was reluctant since it was getting a lot of buzz and most buzz-worthy books and I hate do not see eye to eye with each other. When we do, it is of course glorious and I want to hug the book and read it until my eyes blur. But man, when I don't like it and/or hate the characters, the whole thing becomes a straight up hate read. I only finished this book to make sure the "twist" I guessed at a few chapters in was right. I was right. 

 

Image result for meh reading book gif


This was the most navel gazing book I have read at some time. Rich is bad and we need to give more to others, and also maybe not do that, I don't know, the book went from one extreme to another.  

 

I believe that the main character, Cadence (Cady) Sinclair Eastman, is running toe to toe with the character of Holden Caulfield (The Cather in the Rye) as most annoying teen character in a book. There are some real similarities between both characters and the two books especially with regards to the whole unreliable narrator gimmick. FYI, most of those don't really work since readers can clue in on certain things, and also it's kind of aggravating to read. 

 

"We Were Liars" is Cady's tale of her family's woes. Cady is the only daughter and the eldest Sinclair grandchild. Her two other cousins (Mirren and Johnny) and a family friend (Gat) make of the Liars that get referenced in the title. 

 

Cady's mother is one of three daughters that are left of the Sinclair family and you pretty much get to read a lot about how the three sisters are just being so terribly put upon by their rich and also grieving father. Seriously though, this book should just have been titled, rich white people problems. Cause that's all it really was. I could not take anything seriously at all with what Cady spells out. The whole defining incident that led to the overall book's mystery was a hot mess of a thing. At least even Cady (through Lockhart maybe realizing that the whole thing fell apart towards the end) realizes how dramatic and stupid things were (the only reason why I gave this one of 2 stars).

 

The Sinclair family has a very tough life being rich (there are numerous allusions to trust funds) and the fact that most of the family does not have to work and or they do work, but it's definitely not going to pay their significant bills. After Cady's grandmother dies the whole family kind splinters, but does it best to not bring up sad and awful things. Because that is what a Sinclair does. Also I hope you enjoy reading that line throughout the book.

 

The family gets together every summer on their private island and of course the year after the grandmother dies, the grandfather turns into a tyrant. There are allusions made to leaving money to one child or another, or to one grandchild or another, and if one does what he doesn't want to happen, he threatens to cut people off. I swear this whole thing is a Wes Anderson film in book form. 

 

Cady starts to fall for family friend Gat (seriously his name is terrible) and starts to think about love and how sheltered and oblivious her family is. Gat of course starts to lecture Mirren, Johnny, and Cady about their family's largess like it's something they should deal with and I know that a lot of readers loved Gat, but I found him just as annoying as Cady. 

 

When an incident leaves Cady sick and reeling, she is left bereft since her liars don't try to talk to her as she recuperates. So pretty much most of the book is Cady trying to get permission to go back to the family's island and see her "liars" again and fix her broken family. She is annoyed at her mother's hovering and concerns and starts to give away her things. She dyes her hair black. She is mysterious (eyeroll). 

 

Cady is thoughtless and looks at her mother, aunts, and even her grandfather with contempt. Hell I think at one point she disparages some of the family's dogs that are apparently not that smart. She is also overly dramatic (at least that's how Lockhart writes her) and I was really tired of reading all of the freaking metaphors and adjectives that littered this book when Cady is telling your her innermost thoughts and feelings. She seems totally indifferent to her absent father, but even when she refers to him, there tends to be annoyance that he just doesn't do what she thinks he should do.

 

Case in point, she gets annoyed at her grandfather and brings up his dead wife (her grandfather) cause you read in that moment she wants to cause him pain (ie to not tell a lie for a moment) and with the quickness he shuts he down after a few moments. Frankly, I wanted to tell Cady and Gat, that sometimes people process grief their own way, and you don't get to tell someone how to do it. 

 

The other characters in this book are not developed well. But that is due to us reading about all of these people through Cady's eyes. I can't tell you anything about her cousins besides their heights and they had Sinclair looks (blonde hair) and that's about it. Lockhart provides more details about the dead grandmother than she did anyone else.

And was anyone else weirded out by the fact that Cady and others don't know much about Gat's home life or anything? It made no sense to me. These kids apparently don't speak to each other via email, IM, or text at all after the summer is up. So Cady being devastated after Gat and her have not spoken since the summer before, and know he is seeing someone made me roll my eyes. He's not a plant. You can't just imagine him siting around doing nothing until you want to play with him again.

 

The writing was too much. Honestly, I the whole thing was ripe with purple prose. The only things I did like were the fairy-tale stories (reason for the second star) that Cady interjects throughout the book that symbolizes her grandfather and her aunts and mother. But once again I am going to say that Cady equating those fairy-tales with what her family was doing was eye roll inducing. 

 

The ending which I called just made me sigh until I was finally done with the book. 

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review 2016-10-21 14:44
Lies and Truths..
We Were Liars - E. Lockhart
❝It still seemed so magical that I could do that, and that he would kiss me back. So magical that we showed our weaknesses to one another, our fears and our fragility. ❞
This is a romance book mixed with drama and suspense. "We Were Liars" had a gorgeous prose and I loved the way it was presented.

Actually, the less you know about the story the better (that was emphasized enough in a couple of reviews I read of the book, making me want to read it more). So: read it.

The bottomline truth? you will not regret it.

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review 2016-06-16 17:04
We Were Liars - E. Lockhart

After reading reviews about this book by other bloggers, I went into this book expecting one thing: a plot twist.

This book is told in flashbacks and the present. In the Summer fifteen something happened to Cady. Now, in summer seventeen Cady is trying to figure out exactly what happened by going back to the house that her accident took place. The private island that Cady goes to has been in her family for years. She spent every summer there with her cousins and a boy named Gat. These four are called the Liars. I absolutely loved these characters and the poetic method in which they were written about.

 

The writing in this book was phenomenal! The prose and scattered pieces of writing made reading this book imagery heaven. I knew I was in for a great read when on page 5 this happened:

 

“Then he pulled out a handgun and shot me in the chest. I was standing on the lawn and I fell. The bullet hole opened wide and my heart rolled out of my rib cage and down into a flower bed. Blood gushed rhythmically from my open would, then from my eyes, my ears, my mouth. It tasted like salt and failure.”

This is a book about a family. It is a book about love. It is a book of lies and friendship. It was a book that I am incredibly happy I read. I thought this book was genius and it left me speechless at the end. I did NOT see the ending coming, not even close, which made it very satisfying.

I would recommend this book to every single person I know. It was that good. Please, if you decide to read it, don’t read a ton of reviews on it and for the love of God, don’t read any spoilers. Just hold your breath and dive right in.

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url 2016-03-31 13:16
Young Adult Adaptations That Will Become Successful

As the release dates for the adaptations of the final books in The Maze Runner series and the Divergent trilogy approach, people are hungry for the successor to the young adult franchise throne. After The 5th Wave movie adaptation yielded less than expected in the box office, some film analysts have written that no YA adaptation could truly follow in the footsteps of The Hunger Games, Twilight, and Harry Potter and that the young adult adaptation market was dead.

It's not.

(Will future films ever reach the level of success that those "Big 3" did? I don't know that anyone can make a prediction of that magnitude, but films like Divergent, Maze Runner, The Fault in Our Stars, If I Stay, Paper Towns, etc. were still considered successful even without becoming a "Big 3." And I do think that future films have, at least, the potential to reach that level of success.)

Most of the aforementioned articles, though intended to analyze the future success of the YA adaptation market, fail to take into account the perspective of its target audience, avid fans of young adult books. While they may not live up to the massive success of Harry Potter, these adaptations have the potential to do well and have even caught the attention of Hollywood studios.

Here's to hoping that they're greenlit soon.

 

 

1. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater: Every November on the fictional island of Thisby, its inhabitants compete in a dangerous race riding legendary, deadly water horses.

Movies like War Horse (also an adaptation) and Seabiscuit prove that there are plenty of filmgoers who find stories focusing on horses compelling. Like Stiefvater's writing, the story premise has a cinematic quality, and may appeal to fans of The Hunger Games who don't necessarily want another dystopian tale but appreciate the danger inherent to The Scorpio Races. Stiefvater would appeal to Hollywood backers looking for an already established fandom; she has sold millions of copies of her books and maintains an active online presence. As for merchandise, which has typically been associated with several YA films, I can picture water horse stuffed animals and the ribbons that riders wear sold alongside the t-shirts and artwork that would accompany any film. Stiefvater has also posted a recipe for November cakes, a treat written into the culture of Thisby.

Status: In September 2015, Focus Features announced that Matt Sobel would direct The Scorpio Races based off the screenplay written by Jack Thorne.

2. The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani: Two best friends are kidnapped to attend the legendary School for Good and Evil, which trains its ordinary students to become fairy tale heroes and villains.

Technically, The School for Good and Evil is middle grade, not young adult, but it should still appeal to YA fans, especially given its premise. The success of series like Marissa Meyer's The Lunar Chronicles and Sarah Maas' A Court of Thorns and Roses prove that the young adult market remains interested in fresh spins on fairy tales while popular TV shows like ABC's Once Upon a Time (now in its sixth season) highlight the interest of a mainstream adult audience. The School for Good and Evil also has its own legion of fans: in a promotional article for the trilogy's conclusion, which was published in July 2015, Publisher's Weekly reported that over 500,000 copies had been sold worldwide. Soman Chainani hosts an online Youtube show, Ever Never TV, to promote the books and interact with his fans.

Status: Universal Studios optioned The School for Good and Evil, but as Chainani wrote on his website this past January, the script is currently being rewritten.

3. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson: A girl follows travel instructions written in envelopes from her dead aunt, which she must open one by one, and backpacks through Europe without a cell phone or guidebook.

I was in eighth grade when the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants adaptation was released, and I can still remember my excitement. Capturing a similar adventurous summer feel, 13 Little Blue Envelopes is in the unique position as a YA contemporary novel of appealing to fans who don't want another teary If I Stay or The Fault in Our Stars but who liked the recent journey-focused story in Paper Towns. Fans of 13 Little Blue Envelopes will love watching the characters come to life onscreen while a wider audience, unfamiliar with the novel's contents, will be caught in the suspense of not knowing what instructions the next envelope would contain. All moviegoers can imagine what adventure they would plan or take with their own set of envelopes. As one of the early YA writers and a close friend of YA author celebrity John Green, Maureen Johnson has a significant fanbase that should also draw Hollywood's attention.

Status: In conjunction with New Line Cinema, Alloy Entertainment purchased the rights to develop 13 Little Blue Envelopes as a feature film in April 2015.

4. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart: A girl no longer remembers the tragedy that happened at her family's summer home but seeks to discover the truth behind all the lies.

The rich setting -- a private island off the coast of Massachusetts -- calls to mind the previously successful adaptation of Gossip Girl and the notoriety of the Hamptons and Martha's Vineyard. Slipping into the lives of the wealthy Sinclairs enables a kind of escapist fantasy even as the truth and the main character's confusion lend a heartbreaking edge to the suspense of what happened two summers ago. Random House came up with a catchy slogan to encompass the fanbase: if anyone asks you how the book ends, just LIE. Like Maureen Johnson, E. Lockhart is a well-established YA author and friends with John Green, whose blurb on the first edition proclaims that We Were Liars is "utterly unforgettable."

Status: Imperative Entertainment hired Stephanie Shannon to write the screenplay in April 2015.

Bonus: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, The Fever by Megan Abbott, This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, The Young Elites by Marie Lu, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle, and Just One Day/Year by Gayle Forman are also movie and tv adaptations widely held as promising.

(Ask me more about these, and I'll tell you why ;)).

Bonus (X2): Set for 2016 releases, the tearjerker A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, fan-favorite Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling, and star-studded Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs look like promising adaptations as well. And this year we can prove to all the naysayers of YA and YA films that no, they are not dead even if they don't reach the "Big 3" level of success.

Ah, but now you're asking, "So, Christina, what are you trying to do? Is this a call to action? Is this a letter to studios? Are you updating all of us on the status of these films?"

It sort of is a call to action. I wish studios were listening. Sometimes I think that what gets made into a film, or what's optioned, are things that I can't ever actually imagine playing out on the big screen - like whoever optioned the book wasn't actually envisioning the movie but just keeps hoping for the success of the Big 3.

But I'd like to hope that's not what all the options mean; I'd like to hope that the YA market stays alive and well. I'd like to hope that the movies above will eventually get greenlit, as I think that they particularly would be successful. And I am updating y'all on the status of those adaptations, so that we can all discuss the awesome potential of those adaptations and maybe our collective enthusiasm will push for those books to be made into their respective adaptations. Maybe a studio representative will see this post (ha ha ha), and push for those adaptations as well. Who knows? But above all, I do love to discuss YA books, so let's chat!

Do you think that those adaptations will be successful? What books would you add to the list?

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