Friday, October 20, 2017

50/50 Friday (55): Favorite/Least Favorite Book to Movie Adaptation

50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today's Topic: Favorite/Least Favorite Book to Movie Adaptation


"A story about, among other things: A girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul. Winner of the 2007 BookBrowse Ruby Award.

Winner of the 2007 BookBrowse Ruby Award.

It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist – books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau. This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul."

I absolutely loved this story.  I think they did such a good job transforming the feeling of the book onto the screen.  I loved their choice of voice for Death and while there are a few discrepancies, they aren't glaring and they add to the overall effect that the movie places on the audience.  Both the movie and the book make me cry every time I watch/read it :)

Some other favorites are LOTR (the original trilogy is my favorite), The Giver, and The Fault in Our Stars.

Least Favorite:

The Inheritance Cycle #1

"Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders?

When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself. Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands. . . .

I just couldn't stand this movie.  I read these books while I was just getting into YA and I loved them (even though there was that whole LOTR controversy, I think they helped me get through all of LOTR (the movies of LOTR also helped)).  The movie ended up changing plot points (a lot like PJO) and smushed all four of the books (which top out something like 3,000 pages all together) into one movie which was such a disservice.  I'm not saying it couldn't have been done, but the way it was done was just annoying.  It did simplify everything but that ended up getting rid of all of the things that I loved about it that distinguished it a little bit from the classic hero's journey story line (and LOTR).  I also didn't really like how they did the special effects (granted, it was 2006 when special effects are nowhere near where they are today but still).

That being said, I also didn't like the PJO movies.  I still haven't seen Maximum Ride but I'm thinking it's going to be a bust for me.

What are your favorite and least favorite book to movie adaptations?  Make a post and link up down below!

Next Week's Topic: Favorite/Least Favorite Scary Novel

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A Guide: Review Writing

This is the next installment of my series that is commemorating my third blogoversary!  I've decided to sum up all of my knowledge that I've gained as a blogger into these guide posts.  My first guide was all about how to find the right reviewer for your novel (see it HERE) and this next one will focus more on the reviewer's side of things: review writing.  I hope you enjoy and if you have anything to add, leave your thoughts down in the comments!

Now I'm sure you've heard this before but it really helps if you sit down for a minute and decide what type of blogger (and reviewer) you're going to be.  People will visit your site because of you, not because your reviews are formatted perfectly.  There are a lot of different general types of reviewers which I've detailed below.

  • The GIF lover.  Let me just come out and say it: GIFs are wonderful.  If you haven't yet discovered their awesomeness, giphy is a good place to start.  They can provide animation and interest in your review and can express emotions you can't with words!  These are especially useful for those books on both ends of the spectrum (good and bad) that you just have no words for.   The GIF lover intersperses frequent GIFs in their reviews and a majority of the review is, in fact, GIFs.
  • The contemplator.  These types of reviewers are the ones who write detailed reviews on both the surface and deeper meaning of the novels they read.  They tend to focus more on themes and intrinsic elements of the book.  If you're looking for a thought-provoking read (or you're a thought-provoking person) these types of reviews are for you!
  • The short stack.  These reviews are great for all the Twitterbirds out there.  If you really just want to give people the gist of a book and don't have too much time on your hands, these types of reviews are for you.  Typically they're just a paragraph or two and almost every blogger has one or two of these on their blog.  Most bloggers do mini review round-up type posts (see HERE) which are a collection of these short and sweet reviews.
  • The list.  Lots of reviewers use variations of this to write their reviews.  It helps with structure (aka let's me know when I'm rambling for too long) and allows the reader to have better navigation.  Your review could be a list of why you should read this book, a list of attributes and how you felt about all of them, etc etc.  There are so many ways you can take this!
  • The meme queen.  This review is closely related to The GIF lover except instead of using GIFs, there's an abundance of memes!  Memes are equally great (and also don't require as much load time as gifs so there's that) and can illuminate your feelings about the book while giving the reader an easier reading time.

So there you have it!  If I left any types out, let me know in the comments :)

Basically, figure out what style fits you best and which you find to be the most helpful, fun, and immersive in your blog!  You can do one style, a combination of styles, or variations; these are just some ideas for you.

It may take some trial and error to figure out what really works for you.  For me, I started out with the short stack, migrated into the contemplator, and landed in the list.  I also tried out a little meme or gif here and there and found that I just didn't seem to enjoy finding memes as much as I thought I would.  If there's one that really goes with what I'm saying that I know off the top of my head, I'll include it but otherwise I find the search tedious.  I do enjoy a good meme, though!  Especially of Sherlock :D

Overall: Figure out your reviewing style.  Sometimes it takes some trial and error but you'll get there!

This may seem rather obvious but you'll probably have to read a book before you can write a review.  Some people go about reading differently, however if they know they'll be writing a review about it.

  • Take notes!  This is a great option if you know you're the type to forget things if left too long.  Personally, I like doing this if I know I won't be able to write my review for a while (for example, I'm reading right before bed so I don't want to get out my laptop and write a review and expose myself to the blue light right before I'm supposed to be sleeping).  Just jotting down a few thoughts can help jog your memory.
  • Use post-its!  If you have quotes you really want to include and you're reading a hardcopy (or use the note feature on ereaders), then post its are the way to go.  You don't even have to write anything on them, just marking a place can really help when you're trying to remember where that one spot was where that one awesome thing happened.
  • Generally reading more carefully.  I tend to do this with many of the books I know I'll want a full, in-depth review on.  I'm the type of person who can speed read through a 400 page book in around 2 hours but if I want to write a good review, I like to take my time and read it in about 5-6 or throughout several days.  This can really help you absorb everything and help you develop your general feelings as the book progresses rather than finishing it in a hurry and having a depressing moment right after where you're just overwhelmed.

This is all up to personal preference but you never know what might work for you!  You can also store things in your mental palace like Sherlock!

Overall: Find an awesome book and read it!  If you like, use some memory jogging techniques.

This is the fun part!  Just start out with what format you want to go with from step one and let it all flow out!  One of the best ways to start writing a review and figuring out what you want it to look like is to just let all your feelings pour out onto the screen and once it's all there, work with what you've just said.  Some things to include in your review:

  • The title of the book
  • If the book is part of a series and if so, what installment
  • The cover
  • The blurb (or your own summary)
  • Links to where people can find the book (popular ones are Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository, etc, etc)
  • Your rating (if you want to do ratings.  If you don't, some kind of summary statement about the book that you'll include with every review.  Cristina @Girl in the Pages is an excellent example)
  • The body of your review

Generally, you start out with the book's general information before moving into the review so your readers can get a sense of what kind of book it is before diving into your take on it.

It's also a good idea to separate out your review (use different paragraphs and bold important, summarizing statements, etc etc.  It just helps the reader to more effectively read your review without getting bored or feeling like reading it is tedious.  People have short attention spans nowadays (myself included!) so sometimes it can be hard to read through a whole review, especially if it's just a passing curiosity.

This process can take anywhere from half an hour to a week depending on how polished you'd like it to be.  For myself, I do my best writing when I just spit it out, read it over once, then publish it.    I don't like to sit on things for too long but for some people, it'll turn out better if it's had time to stew for a bit.  It's all up to you!

Overall: Keep your review organized and make sure you have some sort of overlying template for most of your reviews so they're easy to follow.  Bold the important stuff and use that enter key!

Now all you have to do is publish your review!

If you have a blog, obviously it's best to publish it there.  You can also publish reviews on a number of other sites as well.  Here's a list of what I use:

  • My blog
  • Goodreads
  • Amazon
  • Barnes and Noble
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Niume

Cross-posting is the name of the game in the blogging world and it allows your reviews to be seen by more people and drives more traffic to your blog.  You also help out a lot more people in deciding whether or not to buy a book!

Overall: Cross-post your heart out!

And that's all there is!  If you have any more advice, feel free to leave it in the comments (because I'm 100% sure I forgot something majorly important and I just can't seem to remember what so help me please?)

Also, please enjoy this last Sherlock meme because this show is my life at the moment.

Friday, October 13, 2017

50/50 Friday (54): Best/Worst Bookish Job

50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today's Topic: Best/Worst Bookish Job (job you'd want/not want from a book)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A Guide: The Pursuit of Reviewers

Today, before I jump back into posting regular reviews and 50/50 Friday's (I'm still here, Carrie!!), I'm going to be starting a new series all about what I've learned through my three years as a blogger and some advice.  And yes, I'm very bad at celebrating my blogoversary because I always forget about it when it comes around or I'm not prepared enough to organize a giveaway or something of the sort.

This guide is centered mainly for authors (especially authors who have never blogged and therefore need some pointers on etiquette).  I'll be writing guides on review writing, blog design, etc etc soon!  Keep in mind that this has just been my experience!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Review Sunday: Such a Good Girl by Amanda K. Morgan

Standalone to date

Goodreads Blurb:
"Riley Stone is just about perfect.
(Ask anyone.)

She has a crush on her French teacher, Alex Belrose.
(And she suspects he likes her, too.)

Riley has her entire life planned out.
(The plan is nonnegotiable.)

She's never had a secret she couldn't keep.
(Not ever.)

Riley is sure that her life is on the right track.
(And nothing will change that.)

She's nothing like a regular teenager.
(But she doesn't have any problem admitting that.)

Riley doesn't usually play games.
(But when she does, she always wins.)

She thinks a game is about to start....

But Riley always has a plan....

And she always wins."

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Review Thursday: Out of the Ashes by A.M. Heath

Ancient Words #3

Goodreads Blurb:
"Sometimes peace is won through battle.

Haunted by the memories he can't escape, Ralph Williams wants to be left alone to lick his wounds. He doesn't understand why he's forced into the company of the one woman he least desires. Can God bring him healing through such uncomfortable circumstances?

Frank Harper thought he had left the war and its turmoil behind, but the home to which he has returned is anything but peaceful. When racial tensions arise in Maple Grove, Frank finds himself on a battlefield once more. He's desperate for peace, but at what cost?

When George Chandler heads off to wed his beloved bride, things don’t go as expected. Just as George starts to get comfortable with what he believes is God’s new plan for his life, history threatens to repeat itself. Will he fight for the woman he’s come to love, or will he let her go?

The War Between the States has destroyed more than just a nation. In four years, it has damaged bodies and wounded souls until the people think that nothing is left. Will they find the healing they so desperately need from the God that loves them?"

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Agatha Christie Review Round Up: Part Three

I've been reading more Agatha Christie!  If you don't follow me on Instagram, I posted a picture a while ago of my new Agatha Christie shelf.  As a birthday present, my parents gave me something like 35 Agatha Christie books; most from the Hercule Poirot series (which is my favorite).  Suffice to say there will be a lot more Agatha Christie around for the rest of the year!  I'll be posting round ups of my reviews (since I don't have too much to say about each one so far) with 3 books in each.

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