Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday Muse: My Favorite Book-to-Movie Adaptations

Hello everyone, and happy Monday! It has been awhile since I last did Monday Muse. I hope you guys are ready for another dose of silly conversation hehe. Today I’ve prepared a list of my favorite book-to-movie adaptations! This list is heavily biased and in no way serves as movie analysis device, but I hope you’ll like it anyway! ;)

1. The Hunger Games


Oh, heaven knows my obsession over The Hunger Games trilogy. I just can’t get enough of Finnick Peeta. While Katniss might not be the easiest heroine to relate to, I just can’t seem to hate her. That girl is so awkward in letting herself being loved. I think Jennifer Lawrence is perfect for Katniss! Katniss doesn’t say much but the emotion is totally palpable on her face.

The first movie, The Hunger Games, has great portion of action and romance. I think they do great job in the second movie, Catching Fire, as well, adding more action in order to make things more interesting. Fingers crossed they’ll do awesome job in the third movie, Mockingjay, which focuses on Katniss’ unstable emotional state. Raise your hand if you’re going to watch Mockingjay: Part 1 as well in November! ;)

2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower



Cough, sorry for the fangirl moment. I just need a little shout out moment for one of my favorite actors ever, Ezra Miller. Ezra plays a really wonderful part as Partrick, one of the main trios in the movie adaptation of this book.

Oh Patrick how much I adore you.

When I read the book, I was like, “Oh Patrick yeah he’s cool”. But when I saw Ezra in the movie I was like, “WHAT PATRICK I LOVE THAT GUY MAN YOU GOT ME AT THAT SMIRK”. So, um, yeah. #fangirlproblem

The Perks of Being a Wallflower has a really good story and stunning casts. I think that the cinematography is very beautiful as well (though I’m in no way expert in that area haha). Thanks to this movie, I ended up listening to songs from bands which I wasn’t accustomed to like The Smiths. And yeah, they’re cool like Ezra’s hair. (LOVE HIS HAIR AAAHHH)

Practically everyone's favorite part.

3. Julie and Julia

I’m a big fan of cooking show. I can’t whip up anything more complicated than brownies or spaghetti, but watching people cook always make me happy. Julie and Julia, with lovely storyline, adorable accent, and delicious-looking dishes, is totally on my favorite list. How I wish I could get into the movie and taste the dishes! (I’ll even try escargot gah)

This is a cute movie I’ll recommend for watching together with your friends! Julie and Julia makes me want to take my apron and get into the kitchen. But for the safety of everyone, let’s just stick to making more brownies(es), Hilda! xD

I want a kitchen like this! (and extra boost of cooking talent would be good too haha)

4. Howl’s Moving Castle

idea for cutest date ever (hanging out among the clouds)

This animation movie is an adaptation from classic fantasy book by British author, Diana Peterfeund Jones. Some of you know how much I adore animation movie and especially the producer of this amazing work, Ghibli. Howl’s Moving Castle is romantic and appropriate for all ages. It has a quirky heroine, Sophie, who has been magically transformed into a grandma and totally okay with it. There’s also Howl, the hero who is sometimes a coward but still very lovable. I highly recommend watching Howl’s Moving Castle with your children/younger cousins/anyone who enjoy animation movie!

You can check other works from Ghibli if you want to (they’re as amazing!): My Neighbor Totoro, The Borrower’s Arriety, and Princess Mononoke. Ghibli is very popular in Japan and when I met new Japanese friends, we ended up talking about Ghibli movies. Therefore, it’s a great way to branch to other movie genre and meet new friends! ;)

5. The Devil Wears Prada

hang in there, Andy!

I’m sorry but I really like The Devil Wears Prada. #sorrynotsorry It’s a total chick-flick movie, yes, but who am I to resist the temptation of chick-flick? ;) It has great storyline, wonderful casts, and GORGEOUS sets of clothes and shoes. I’m a happy audience, thank you.

The plots in the movie deviate from the book, but I like it so it’s okay. Plus, no one can pull of Chanel like Anne Hathaway can.

I'm fabulous and I know it.

6. Pride and Prejudice

Mr. Darcy! I first watched the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice when I was much younger (about 12 years old...?). Needless to say how confusing the story was for me. Re-watched again when I was few years older and I have to say that people of different eras think of the same thing! Marriage. Sisterly bond. Not fitting in. Lizzie, Jane, and other Bennett sisters are just like reflections of girls in this time (minus the corset). Applause for the cinematography: simply breathtaking.

If you haven’t watched it (gee, I don't know you live under a rock), please watch it. What, you have watched it before? Good. NOW WATCH IT AGAIN.

7. The Fault in Our Stars


GAHHH THE FEEELLLLSSS. I’m so grateful that I didn’t watch The Fault in Our Stars in cinema because OMG I was such a mess when I was watching this. I cried a river and made incoherent noises and was practically a puddle of mess haha. The movie is ROMANTIC with capitals. I'm glad that some of my guy friends managed to enjoy it though! :)

However,I did miss some of my favorite quotes from the book ("My words are stars I can’t fathom into constellations"), but I’m content with all the staring and unspoken words between Gus and Hazel.

Kinda wish that they had put more highlight into Gus’ breakdown moment in the car because it is the moment we see a crack in tough Augustus Waters. The movie also ignores some symbolisms in the story, like when Gus and Hazel watch movie in the plane and Gus’ movie is few seconds quicker than Hazel so he always laughs/exclaims first. Still, I think it’s a very lovely movie and a definite tear-jerker. You gave us a beautiful love story within the numbered pages, and for that we’re grateful, Mr. John Green.


And that’s my short list (and looooong explanation) of my favorite book-to-movie adaptations! Do you find any of your favorite in my list? What is your favorite book-to-movie? :)

Happy Monday, and thanks always for reading, everyone! I hope you’re having a wonderful (and inspirational!) Monday! :)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #2

Stacking the Shelves is a meme to share books that I've received for the past few weeks. The books are either bought, borrowed, stolen, or received. This meme is hosted by the awesome Tynga's Reviews!

Wow. Just wow. It must have been forever since I last this feature or a similar one. (2 months, to be exact) *shakes off dust* I'm very sorry and I miss you guys and I wish there are 26 hours/day for extra blogging time and I know I really need to learn how to manage time gah.

So, without further ado... here are the books I'm getting these past few weeks!

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green
I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Openly Straight and Will Grayson, Will Grayson are books I read for my Academic Journal Writing class in college. I'm very curious in the premise of Openly Straight since it's a different take on LGBT issue. I'm in chapter 2 of Will Grayson, Will Grayson and arrrrgh, would it be bad that I dislike the gloomy will grayson guy already? I'll Give You The Sun has received wonderful praises, so I'm excited for it! Same thing for Landline. Rainbow Rowell is just magic. <3

Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff
Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
Miss Marple's Final Cases by Agatha Christie

I received Playlist for the Dead from HarperCollins - thank you! I've read the prologue and I can't wait to continue reading the story. I've got my eyes on Let's Get Lost ever since I read about it in a blog, so I'll make sure to read it very soon! Miss Marple's Final Cases is one of the discounted books in my bookshop. I just have to pick it because Agatha Christie has always been my favorite. :)

Highlight of this week's book: quotations from Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg


Where had Rafe gone? Where was I? The image I saw was so two-dimensional that I couldn’t recognize myself in it. I was as invisible in the mirror as I was in the headline the Boulder Daily Camera had run a month earlier: Gay High School Student Speaks Out.
It's so interesting that the main character feels his identity is defined by only one word: gay. I can't wait to read the rest of the story and hopefully be able to finish this today! :)

What books you got/buy this week? Let me know and we can have a read-along! :)

On a more personal note, I'm taking Russian class this semester and gee was it hard. I'm also taking Film Analysis class though and it was fun! I got to watch Citizen Kane and The Sound of Music. The Sound of Music is beautiful - a must watch for lovers of musical and classical movie! :)

I hope you had a wonderful week as well! Tomorrow I have Monday Muse scheduled and it's full of silly, totally biased things as always haha. Please do stop by tomorrow too! :)

Have a great Sunday, everyone! :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Made for You by Melissa Marr

Title: Made for You
Author: Melissa Marr
Publication date: September 16, 2014
Publisher: Harper Collins
Goodreads | Buy from The Book Depository

From Goodreads:
When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.

For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has applied her extraordinary talent to contemporary realism. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive this Gothic, racy thriller—a story of small-town oppression and salvation. Melissa’s fans, and every YA reader, will find its wild ride enthralling.

Made for You is well-known author Melissa Marr’s debut into contemporary fiction (albeit with a touch of paranormal), and I must say that it’s a stunning one! Emotional gripping and fast-paced, Made for You might be my favorite out of Marr’s novels.

We meet Eva Elizabeth Tilling-Cooper, heiress to giant winery and granddaughter of a minister. Out of nowhere, the sweet Southern belle suffers a hit-and-run. She’s considered lucky to be alive despite of broken bone, brain injury, and serious scar on her face. Nobody has a clue on the driver in the accident. When more girls fall victim to this ‘accidental’ hit-and-runs, Eva starts to wonder whether it’s actually accident at all. And the hallucination she has whenever she touches other people’s bare skin? It might not be hallucination at all. She might actually has ability to foresee people’s death. The ability might be the key thing Eva can rely on in order to save herself and people she loves from her obsessive killer…

I might not be Marr’s number one fan of her fantasy books, but I’m eager to jump on her future contemporary works! Made for You is certainly an exhilarating read, and I become more and more invested with the story the more I flip the pages. Despite of her lucky upbringing, Eva is not a snotty brat at all. She’s considerate and rational most of the time. Grace, Eva’s best friend, is very supportive in helping Eva coping with her harsh condition. She’s exactly what you need and wish from a friend! Nate and Eva’s romance is cute. I’m kinda glad it doesn’t take the front seat of the story however since I am more attached in the mystery.

One reason I might like this book more than Marr’s other works might be because of the use of first-person POV, rather than her usual third-person POV. I like first-person perspective of Eva, the killer, and sometimes Grace. All of them gives a little glimpse towards the story. The thoughts of the killer is very sickening anyway – can we please tone it down a little? It left me with bad taste in my mouth every time I read the killer’s perspective. If Marr does want to create a horrible, terrifying psycho, then I guess it really works!

All in all, Made for You is a terrific ride and one I’d recommend to fans of contemporary mystery. It’s interesting to see how wealth and family background can matter so much in a small Southern town. Makes me wishing to read more Southern tale! With strong plots, great characters, and neat writing, Made for You is a recommendation for fans of YA fictions with mystery.

None of it makes sense to me. Micki did nothing to me, and although Amy slept with Robert, that’s not reason enough to wish this on her. Neither of those things explain why the killer attacked me. I sit on the sofa trying not to think that someone wants me dead—someone who has now killed two girls I know.

 4 cups of tea!
Great mystery and wonderful character. We call it creeptastic, I guess? ;)


This is part of the tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours. Thank you for letting me joining the fun, Giselle and Melissa! :)

You can follow the tour HERE. :)

Friday, August 29, 2014

Review: Gilded Ashes (Cruel Beauty novella) by Rosamund Hodge

Title: Gilded Ashes
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Publication date: April 2014

From Goodreads:
A romantic and fantastical reimagining of the classic Cinderella tale, Gilded Ashes is a novella by Rosamund Hodge set in the same world as the author's debut novel, Cruel Beauty.

Orphan Maia doesn't see the point of love when it only brings pain: Her dying mother made a bargain with the evil, all-powerful ruler of their world that anyone who hurt her beloved daughter would be punished; her new stepmother went mad with grief when Maia's father died; and her stepsisters are desperate for their mother's approval, yet she always spurns them. And though her family has turned her into a despised servant, Maia must always pretend to be happy, or else they'll all be struck dead by the curse.

Anax, heir to the Duke of Sardis, doesn't believe in love either—not since he discovered that his childhood sweetheart was only using him for his noble title. What's the point of pretending to fall in love with a girl just so she'll pretend to fall in love with him back? But when his father invites all the suitable girls in the kingdom to a masked ball, Anax must finally give in and select a wife.

As fate would have it, the preparations for the masquerade bring him Maia, who was asked by her eldest stepsister to deliver letters to Anax. Despite a prickly first encounter, he is charmed and intrigued by this mysterious girl who doesn't believe in love. Anax can't help wishing to see her again—and when he does, he can't help falling in love with her. Against her will, Maia starts to fall in love with him too. But how can she be with him when every moment his life is in danger from her mother's deadly bargain?

Cinderella is one of my favorite fairytales, so I was over the moon when I found out this book! I love Rosamund Hodge’s debut, Cruel Beauty, and I’m so excited to tell you guys that Gilded Ashes is just as amazing! It has all the things I love from Rosamund Hodge’s Cruel Beauty: strong heroine, slow-building romance, twisted humor, and intricate plots. ♥

My mother loved me more than life itself. That’s how everything went wrong.

In Gilded Ashes, we meet Maia, daughter of a noble family who spends her days acting as the maid of her family. Maia’s family consist of a stepmother who demands nothing less but perfection, an uptight and desperate to be loved stepsister named Koré, and a kind yet foolish stepsister named Thea. They have no money and live in a rundown mansion. When Stepmother learns about the upcoming ball in a Duke’s house, she knows that it’s their chance to restore the family’s wealth and honor by marrying her daughter to the Duke’s son.

Koré asks Maia to deliver her letters to the Duke’s son, Lord Anax. This leads to Maia’s encounters with the ignorant noble, their unlikely friendship, and later, their slow-budding romance. But this is not a usual Cinderella tale and Maia can’t risk loving or hating anyone – not if she wants those people to stay alive. The only person she can love in this world is her mother, or specifically, the ghost of her mother.

Gilded Ashes is set in the same world with Cruel Beauty, and I love the similar references. Shadow that can make you go mad and a demon lord who will grant wishes if you’re willing to pay. While the novella is only 105 pages, it’s rich with characterization. Every character is not one-hundred percent good or bad, and even Stepmother has her own reason of being cruel to everyone including herself. The stepsisters are not usual ornaments in the story, but they serve great roles.

I love Rosamund Hodge’s heroines: they are delicate balance of intelligence, snark, and kindness. They are not easily won over and I like that about them. I very appreciate the fact that those heroines are the ones who decide their own fates in the end. They create their own stories and do not serve as only vessels for other people.

In short, I really enjoyed Gilded Ashes and look forward to read future books from the author. It’s a satisfying book for a novella and one I would recommend to those searching for short work or great fairytale retelling. It’s not usual Cinderella retelling. If you enjoyed Cruel Beauty, feel free to dive in! You wouldn’t disappointed. :)

If Koré can convince Lord Anax to marry her, then she will leave this house. Probably she will take Thea with her. Maybe they’ll even convince Stepmother to live at the palace with them, and then I won’t have to protect anyone.

Nobody to protect. I can hardly imagine such freedom.

“I’ll do it,” I say, my heart beating a swift, dizzy song of maybe, maybe, maybe. “I’ll do it.”


4 cups of tea!
Absolutely fairytale-ish. Beautiful.


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