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text 2016-11-01 10:30
Reading progress update: I've read 155 out of 224 pages.
Ouija - Katharine Turner

This book is pretty good! I'm dying to see both movies now- the original and the new prequel that just released. I'm pretty chicken though when it comes to really scary movies so I hope these aren't too over the top or I'll be seeing things around every corner & have nightmares for days. : ) Lol

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review 2016-11-01 10:04
Obsession & Possession...
Burnt Offerings - Robert Marasco

This was one of the best haunted house stories I've ever read! I just loved it! It's about The Rolfes- Marian, Ben & their son David. They live in a noisy apartment building in Queens so in order to get some peace they rent a house in the country for two months for their summer vacation. The house turns out to be a huge mansion that has fallen in disrepair. They find the renters, Roz & Brother, to be very eccentric and in the back of their mind they know that something isn't quite right. They present them with an offer they can't refuse though so they move in and take possession of the house but they'll come to find out that the house has taken possession of them; and as Marian's obsession with the house intensifies and her will to choose her family over the house is slowly taken from her, the house comes back to life...

 

Sometimes I find the endings to haunted house stories can be kind of hokey but I thought this one was very satisfying. The entire story was very atmospheric and I really enjoyed the sense of dark foreboding that overcast their stay. Seeing the house take possession of the family was very eerie and nicely written by the author.

 

If I absolutely 'had' to pick something that I didn't care for, it would probably be Marian & Ben's lovey-dovey dialogue. It was kind of sweet at first, and to give the author credit where credit is due, it was pretty realistic but I really don't care to hear couples baby talk in real life so I definitely don't care to hear it in a book either. That's really just a personal preference though and it didn't bother me enough to sway my rating.

 

On a side note, my 'obsession' with books 'possessed' me to buy a 1973 first edition of this but I'm so glad I did! It was totally worth it and I know I'll go back and reread it one day. For now though, it's going back in its Brodart and I'm going to find a copy of this movie that I'm dying to see!

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review 2016-07-31 07:04
The Last Letdown...
The Last Star (The Fifth Wave #3) - Rick Yancey

Uhh I've been sitting on this review, thinking that if I ponder over this book a little longer I'll have a better grip on my feelings but that hasn't happened. I still have mixed feelings about this book and the whole series actually. It had so much potential but I feel like Yancey is his own worst enemy. Sometimes he can write so beautifully, then other times he gets on these tangents and the storyline and dialogue gets so convoluted you don't know what the hell he is going on about. I kept thinking well maybe I'll like it more if I can see it as a movie where I can actually see the story come to life but seeing as The 5th Wave movie didn't do a whole lot for me and The Infinite Sea isn't even greenlit yet I don't have much faith in that happening.

 

Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate it but I didn't love it either.  I just felt more of an indifference really. Honestly my last thought when I finished reading this was-

   

     I'm glad I don't have to hear about that damn bear anymore!!

 

So if that tells you anything.... Don't have too high expectations and you won't be disappointed...

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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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text SPOILER ALERT! 2016-02-22 00:49
Book to Movie: Love in the Time of Cholera
Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel García Márquez,Edith Grossman

A couple weeks ago, I watched "Love in the Time of Cholera" because I recently read the book. I gave the movie 3 stars, and the book 2.5. So, I wasn't a fan of the book, and my husband makes fun of me for watching movies for books I didn't like. But what can I say? I'm just a completist. (Also, if you didn't like the book you don't have to worry about the movie "ruining" it. In fact, sometimes it even improves the experience.)

 

If you liked the book, you should definitely check out the movie. The acting is good, the costumes and setting are beautiful, and overall it is a very lush and well-done film. It's also surprisingly faithful to the book -- and I say surprisingly just because it seems so many Hollywood adaptations of books resemble their source material in title and character names only.

 

There was one thread in the book that they left out of the movie, to its detriment, I think. In the book, Florentino has a friendship with a woman who has risen through the ranks in his place of work. At one point, the book has him wishing she were a prostitute so that he could sleep with her, even if he would have to pay her to do so. This is because, when he does get around to propositioning her, she turns him down. Never in their long friendship does she allow it to become sexual. 

 

This relationship was completely eliminated from the movie, which gives the viewer the impression that every woman in the world that Ariza ever wanted, he got. Except, of course, Fermina Daza. Which really just cements my interpretation that "Love in the Time of Cholera" is mostly a horny-man's fantasy, and the fact that it is written well and portrayed on film skillfully and beautifully allows it to be considered "high art" instead. But Florentino comes across as just as skeezy in the movie, and I was just as repulsed by him as in the book. 

 

The book also made a second concession: it aged Florentino's 14-year-old lover (who was also his ward) into a college student. This makes a HUGE difference, because while a 71-year-old who sleeps with a college student is still pretty much a dirty old man, he is no longer a pedophile or a child abuser. Although the movie directors wisely surmised that probably nothing could bring the viewer back to sympathy with Florentino after seeing him in bed with a youngster, in some ways I think the movie does the viewer a disservice in glossing over what a skeeze Florentino really was. 

 

So, similarly to the book, a beautiful execution was not enough to save a truly puerile and sickening protagonist. 

 

 

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