Monday, April 07, 2014

Monday Muse: Movies from Books in 2014

Happy Monday! Last week has been a hectic week with all the midterm tests. I'm sorry I couldn't be around much. HUGE thank you for all the short story suggestions! It's such a big help and I can't thank all of you enough. *bows*

My class decides to pick Lysistrata for our theater performance. It's a funny Greek comedy which will not be set in Greek anymore when we perform it haha. I'm thinking of Binge by Rachel Vincent for the rewriting task in my Short Story assignment - it's wonderful and very sad! It's part of Immortal: Love Stories with Bite anthology. You should check the anthology out when you have time! :)

Today I'm going to talk about 2014 movie adaptations from books which I can't wait!

1. The Fault in Our Stars

Anyone who is around this blog long enough must have known my undying obsession with The Fault in Our Stars. The trailer is okay for me. It's so fluffyyyyyyyy. Hopefully the movie will hold more of the aching and brilliant thoughts which I adore! ;)

Read my review of The Fault in Our Stars here.

2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl is a very twisted story with even more twisted characters. IT BLEW MY MIND. With Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike for the casts, I hope we're going to have a movie as great as the book! You can read what to expect on Gone Girl movie here on The Hollywood Reporter. :)

Read my review of Gone Girl here.

3. Mockingjay Part 1 by Suzanne Collins

I'm going to pass the possibility of humiliating myself by gushing again and again and again how much I can't wait for the movie adaptation. Aaaah Peeta. How I wish we could have more of you in the movie later! My only console is dear Finnick, of course...

4. If I Stay by Gayle Forman


I can't imagine watching this without crying once or twice. The second book, Where She Went, is even better with all the angry tone from other character's POV! You should read it at least once for its beautiful, heartwarming story. :)

And that's the list of movies from books which I can't wait to watch! Of course, there are still many other movies I can't wait like The Maze Runner, Trash, and Hector and the Search for Happiness. If only Anna and the French Kiss could be adapted into a movie! *prays*

What movie adaptation are you most excited for in 2014? :)

Happy Monday, and I hope you're having a wonderful start of the week! <3

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Review: Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler

Title: Afterparty
Author: Ann Redisch Stampler
Publication Date: December 31, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse

From Goodreads:
Emma is tired of being good. Always the dutiful daughter to an overprotective father, she is the antithesis of her mother -- whose name her dad won't even say out loud. That's why meeting Siobhan is the best thing that ever happened to her...and the most dangerous. Because Siobhan is fun and alluring and experienced and lives on the edge. In other words, she's everything Emma is not.

And it may be more than Emma can handle.

Because as intoxicating as her secret life may be, when Emma begins to make her own decisions, Siobhan starts to unravel. It's more than just Dylan, the boy who comes between them. Their high-stakes pacts are spinning out of control. Elaborate lies become second nature. Loyalties and boundaries are blurred. And it all comes to a head at the infamous Afterparty, where debauchery rages and an intense, inescapable confrontation ends in a plummet from the rooftop...

This explosive, sexy, and harrowing follow-up to Ann Redisch Stampler's spectacular teen debut, Where It Began, reveals how those who know us best can hurt us most.

“I made you and I could undo you in three minutes. Two online.”

Reading Afterparty is like watching a train wreck in front of my eyes. We know that things will go bad, like very bad , yet we can only watch it without doing anything.

Emma, the ultimate good girl, is the new girl in Latimer, school for the riches in California. She has trouble fitting in with the rest of the school, except with the other new girl, Siobhan. Siobhan is wild and borderline crazy, but she is the perfect best friend for the new Californian Emma. However, their friendship becomes more dangerous as Siobhan spins out of the control, and Emma can’t help but getting carried in. When lie becomes the second nature, sneaking out of night is a given, and her best friend becomes a stranger… Emma must confronts herself on the choices that she makes.

In the beginning of the book, we get a passage of fastforward Emma on the rooftop confessing to the readers that she just killed her best friend. I must give brownie point for Miss Stampler – what a brilliant way to open the book with a bang! Then we are introduced to Emma and Siobhan’s first meeting and the beginning of their toxic friendship. Peer pressure at its best.

Siobhan. You will wish that you’d never get into her bad list. Self-destructive and insane at times, it’s clear that Siobhan needs professional help. This girl is losing her grip and I can’t help but feel sorry for her sometimes. She tries to protect herself so bad by clinging onto promises with her friends, the ‘pacts’, and pretends that everything is a game. The queen of denial and self-destruct.

The characters are very well-thought, with their flaws, values, and imperfections. While I didn’t really connect with any of them, I did feel sympathy towards some of them. The main plot nicely progresses although the sub-plots didn’t really work for me. The whole drama with Emma’s extended family in Canada felt a bit pointless because there is no real resolution in the end. Personally, I feel that the story could do better with resolved subplots of the side characters, but I understand that the whole book intends to put spotlight on Emma and Siobhan’s friendship.

Fans of Go Ask Alice would love this book. Overall, what I enjoyed the most are the fun, strong voice of the main character and the original plots. If you go for Afterparty looking for excitement and crazy ride, I think you will have more luck with this book.

If things aren’t looking a whole lot better for both of us by the end of the year, we should jump off a tall building.”

“Sign me up.”

“You’re in,” she says. “Pact.”
 3 cups of tea!
 Love the crazy ride, but could be better.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday Muse: {Looking For} Short Story Recommendation

Hello and happy Monday! :)

How is the beginning of your week so far, awesome people? I myself am being busy bee with enormous college assignments. My univ. department is having a theater production. We haven't yet decided between A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen, Animal Farm by George Orwell, or some other type of brilliant scenario. Which brings me to my next point...

Do you have any short story recommendation?

It doesn't have to be tailored for theater. I'm also looking for short story to rewrite in my Creative Writing class. I'm currently setting my eyes on Jhumpa Lahiri's stories, but other stories will definitely help too.

Any short story that you're read in an anthology and you really loved? Maybe from a YA author?

I'd love to hear any recommendation. Thanks in advance! *HUGS* I promise that next week's Monday Muse will be fun again. I might review Divergent (SQUEAAAAL!) or talk about other fun trends in YA community. :) HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publication Date: December 2010
Publisher: Speak

From Goodreads:
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

4.5 stars

Oh sweetness! Fluffy in a good way, Anna and the French Kiss is the ultimate book for anyone looking for light reading. It’s just the right amount of sweet, funny, and hot French-British guy in one book! Sprinkle it with the Parisian setting, and mmm! Simply delectable!

Set in the lovely setting of Paris, Anna and the French Kiss told the story of Anna, an American girl who is transferred to France in her senior year. Paris is a great city, but short visit and living for one year are obviously different matters. However, Anna’s homesickness quickly disappears as she meets some new friends in School of America, especially the French guy with British Accent and US nationality, Étienne St. Clair. Anna totally swoons over Étienne, but Étienne already has a gorgeous, older girlfriend. Surely Anna won’t be stupid as to fall for Étienne despite of knowing it’s impossible… right?

I’m not good at summarizing the story so let’s forget the kinda-summary above. I think Anna and the French Kiss lives up to its hype. It’s not just a simple story about a girl and a guy going in circle before they finally confess their undying love to each other. It’s MORE than that. It’s also about adapting in a new environment with new set of culture and language, a guy’s struggle with his oppressed father and his dying mother, and friendship above love. And those issues, tackled gently without any cliché at all.

You will love Anna when you meet her – she’s quirky, smart, and fun in the most possible way. Étienne, of course, is the guy you’re supposed to fall in love with (like it’s the hardest thing to do, duh!). Étienne. *le sigh* The gorgeous French guy with brilliant mind and polite British accent. Very good hair and kind personality as well. Oh Étienne please just be human already.

Reading this book made me wish I could get into the story and join Anna and her friends in School of America. I only worry that when I go to Paris, it wouldn’t be as lovely as it’s portrayed in the book. For one thing, Perkins seems to gloss everything in Paris – everything seems much lovelier. The cafeteria, the shops, the way people dresses, even the strangers’ attitude. I’m sure that Paris is a wonderful city, but it just seems unrealistic that everything is much better in that city. Another thing, I won’t have a gorgeous, kind, funny French-British-American guy like Étienne showing me Kilometer Zero Paris or Shakespearean bookshop. Obviously my experience later won’t match with Anna’s.

All in all, Anna and the French Kiss was a very entertaining book and I would recommend to it to anyone ready to get their heart strings tugged by this romantic story. I like how clever Perkins tackled issues like family and friendship, and even tough ones like cancer. I don’t want the book to end. We need more Anna, Étienne, and Paris! (Of course, there are cameo appearances of Anna and Étienne in the next book, Lola and the Boy Next Door, but no Paris! Boohoo.) I want so, so bad to book the next plane to Paris after I read this book. Anna and the French Kiss, with its great storyline, fun characters, and gorgeous setting, will definitely capture your heart.

Words are engraved around it: POINT ZÉRO DES ROUTES DE FRANCE.

“Mademoiselle Oliphant. It translates to ‘Point zero of the roads of France.’ In other words, it’s the point from which all other distances in Frances are measured.” St. Clair clears his throat. “It’s the beginning of everything.”

I look back up. He’s smiling.

“Welcome to Paris, Anna. I’m glad you’ve come.”

4.5 cups of tea!
A feel-good book that will cheer you up.


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