Friday, January 31, 2014

Review: Frozen Movie


This movie wins for most misleading movie trailer. If it weren't for the fact that I'd heard such amazing things from other people and was told that it, in fact, isn't just about an annoying snowman and a reindeer, I wouldn't have gone to see it. Well, thank you to everyone that gushed about it and pushed me to go watch it.

Firstly, the annoying snowman and reindeer thing? SO NOT TRUE. OLAF <333 (the snowman) The reindeer I don't care much for, although I loved the bit at the end. Oh yay, vague mentions. But no spoilers, so! Anyway, Olaf is so sweet and HILARIOUS, and I love him so much. I thought he'd be annoying, but nope! So much love for Olaf. [Insert me singing In Summer.]

Then there's the guys in the movie. I knew there was something up with Hans, but I can't go much further without spoiling something. I do have to say that I loved the wonderfulness that was Love Is An Open Door. Seriously. The vocals in that song? Amazing. Kristoff was awesome, although I knew he would end up with [retracted for spoilers, though I'm sure you can figure it out] in the end. I love the connection between the scene in the beginning and what happens later on. And the rock family is cute. ;)

Of course, there's also the leading ladies. Firstly, can I just say, I am so in love with both Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel (How can you not??? Her voice is AMAZING.)! They both shined in their performances, both voicing the characters and also singing. Can I please have their voices? No? WHY?!?! But seriously, I'm so glad that this Disney movie isn't primarily about finding a prince or something, although it did seem that way in the beginning. This is about the relationship between siblings, and I am so glad it was that way. The ending (or close to the ending) surprised me but in all the best ways. The characters, particularly the ladies, were far beyond amazing. This is now one of my favorite Disney princess movies, right up there with Beauty and the Beast, Tangled, and Mulan. Thank you to Disney for finally making a movie that focuses on friendship and family rather than primarily romantic relationships.

The ending in general did feel a bit rushed, but I'm really happy with the solution, if you call it that, at the end. There was also a huge character learning arc, and I think that Anna and Elsa changed so much, for the better. Elsa became more comfortable and confident in herself. She realized that she can use her powers for good, rather than bad. She realized that she doesn't have to hide anymore. And Anna came to see how much her sister really loved her. She learned that she isn't alone and that she's more than just a girl that needs a guy/a relationship.

If you're looking for an all around solid movie, go watch Frozen. If you're looking for a movie that's about more than a romantic relationship, go watch Frozen. If you're looking for a movie with important life lessons and morals but still want it to be funny, go watch Frozen. If you want to go watch a movie but can't decide on one to watch, go watch Frozen. I can almost guarantee you won't regret it. 

On a side note: THE SOUNDTRACK. I am SO in love. Seriously, just go listen to it now. Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell in particular are amazing, and In Summer is a shout-out to my love for Olaf.



Thursday, January 30, 2014

Characterize It (#4): Wild Card


Wild Card (Favorite Character of Any Kind)
My topic of choice is favorite character(s) from Harry Potter (there are so many that I love, but I'm going to include two).


Hermione Granger--Gryffindor House
Luna Lovegood--Ravenclaw House

Fine, maybe the choices for this week were obvious but sucks for you. If you didn't know already, I'm a huge Potterhead, so I'll take opportunity available to talk about Harry Potter.

(PS. Nope, I'm not a fan of Snape. Sorry not sorry.)

Who's your favorite Harry Potter character?

Review: Once We Were by Kat Zhang (ARC)

Note: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for this. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Kat and HarperCollins!

Once We Were by Kat Zhang
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: September 17th, 2013
"I'm lucky just to be alive"

Eva was never supposed to have survived this long. As the recessive soul, she should have faded away years ago. Instead, she lingers in the body she shares with her sister soul, Addie. When the government discovered the truth, they tried to “cure” the girls, but Eva and Addie escaped before the doctors could strip Eva’s soul away.

Now fugitives, Eva and Addie find shelter with a group of hybrids who run an underground resistance. Surrounded by others like them, the girls learn how to temporarily disappear to give each soul some much-needed privacy. Eva is thrilled at the chance to be alone with Ryan, the boy she’s falling for, but troubled by the growing chasm between her and Addie. Despite clashes over their shared body, both girls are eager to join the rebellion.

Yet as they are drawn deeper into the escalating violence, they start to wonder: How far are they willing to go to fight for hybrid freedom? Faced with uncertainty and incredible danger, their answers may tear them apart forever.
Sequels are usually never as great as the first book. But Once We Were is one of those exceptions. Of course it wasn't perfect (nothing is), but I enjoyed it much more than What's Left of Me.

Again, the thing Kat does best is the actual writing and prose. Just as in What's Left of Me, it's so elegant and pretty and just really well done. I love reading her words, and everything just flows so well. There's a beauty to the words and sentences she writes and forms.

But anyway. I think that the plot moves much faster in Once We Were, although it's mostly towards the end (again). But what made this different was that I found the beginning/middle-ish to be more character based, allowing us to learn more about the new characters and gaining a deeper understanding of the characters in What's Left of Me. Yeah, it might feel slow, but at the same time, it's enough that you're not bored. And then everything happens so quickly at the end that you just want to keep reading! I also found the ending to OWW much more satisfying in that it was more cliffhanger-y than the first (in the best way possible).

Going back to the character-driven plot idea...I loved seeing Ryan/Devon and Eva/Addie struggling with differences between themselves (I suppose...I mean, they're sharing the same body). It shows how complex the situation with hybrids are. And I think it helped us to learn a lot more about their personalities. I'm still a bit iffy on Addie, but I understand her a lot better. I did find the amount of Devon to be lacking, but I suppose that part of it is also that it's told from Eva's perspective.

One of the few things I didn't like so much was the introduction of so many characters in such a short period of time. It took me almost the entire book to figure out which two names went together with the same person. Some characters that I deemed to be important didn't seem to be. And a lot of them felt very one-dimensional, probably as a result of there being so many of them. But I get it. If it were real life, it would probably be very much like that. You can't know everything about everyone. It was just really confusing, and Eva/Addie and everyone else seemed to catch on a lot faster than I could.

But really, I did love the action, especially towards the end. There were a bunch of plot twists that I should have seen coming because of the foreshadowing but didn't, and it was a really fun and quick read. I wanted to stay up late and finish it all in one night, but that wasn't possible. It really sets up well for the third book, and while you can tell it's the middle book, it isn't in a bad way. I personally liked this over the first book, which is often pretty rare.

If you liked What's Left of Me, you'll really enjoy Once We Were.


You can find Once We Were on: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | The Book Depository | Goodreads

You can find Kat Zhang on: Facebook | Twitter | her official site | her blog | Pub(lishing) Crawl

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cover Reveal: Sacrifice by Jennifer Quintenz

I was super excited to be asked to host this cover reveal. It's for a book in a series I haven't read, but I really like the cover, and the book sounds interesting!

Sacrifice (Daughters of Lilith: Book 3) by Jennifer Quintenz
Release Date: January 31st, 2014

Just when Braedyn Murphy thought she understood the danger descending on Puerto Escondido, a new threat arrives. A cult devoted to Lilith has taken up residence in the little town, and when Cassie gets tangled up its intrigue, Braedyn realizes she might have to chose between protecting her friends and stopping Lilith from reclaiming this earth. With her duties to the Guard wearing on her, Braedyn turns to Lucas for solace. Together they wonder if now is the time to claim their one night together—knowing that one night is all they may ever have. Darker forces have their own plans for Braedyn and the Guard. Braedyn knew this fight could be brutal—but how much can one girl be asked to sacrifice in order to save the world?

Without further ado, here's the cover!

[Drum Roll]



















"Sacrifice" (Daughters of Lilith: Book 3) by Jennifer Quintenz 

Isn't it lovely?! Well, I think it is! I like so much about it, and that's why I wanted to share this with y'all. :)

If you'd like to learn more about the series, here's what some people are saying about books 1 and 2:

Praise for "Thrall" (Daughters of Lilith: Book 1):
"Before you even start this review, put down anything you are doing and go read Thrall. It's AMAZING! BREATHTAKING! Engaging and smart, Thrall leaves you speechless!" - Savannah, Books With Bite

"The writing style is so smooth, yet gripping. Add some good characters, well-paced story and you have something that I like. No, not like. Love... No surprise that “Thrall” gets full five stars and the highest recommendations I can give." - Linda, The Fantasy Librarian

"How do I even begin to put all the crazy, gushy, ramblings in my brain about this book onto paper?!? Where to even begin?....This book is a MUST read!" - Hooked In A Book review on Amazon

Praise for “Incubus” (Daughters of Lilith: Book 2):
"If you like gutsy fantasy of the urban variety this should definitely be on your 'must read' list. Don't let the YA label put you off either, like all the best YA fiction, this can be enjoyed by adults as well. I give it an unreserved 5 stars." -Tahlia, Awesome Indies

"This is one of those books that I have been looking forward to since June of last year... I loved this book and I'm so happy I finally got to read it. I recommend the entire series for the fully developed characters, the impressive mythology, and the fight scenes. I am dreading waiting for the next book." - David, David-Reviews.com

"Great reading. LOVE IT. Jennifer Quintenz is a special writer who can be very riveting... Spent several sleepless nights in a crazy rush to see how it ends. Can't wait for the next books." -Terri, review on Amazon

And here's a little something about the wonderful author, Jennifer Quintenz!

About the author: Jennifer Quintenz is an award-winning film and television writer, author, and graphic novelist. She has written for Twentieth Television, Intrepid Pictures, and Archaia Studios Press. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son.

Thanks to Jennifer for asking me to host this cover reveal! I hope you all like the cover as much as I do!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Review: Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Crewel by Gennifer Albin
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (BYR)
Release Date: October 4th, 2012
Incapable. Awkward. Artless. That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: She wants to fail.

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen to work the looms is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to manipulate the very fabric of reality. But if controlling what people eat, where they live, and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and used her hidden talent for a moment. Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her dad’s jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because tonight, they’ll come for her.
My gosh this book was amazing. I'm going to start off right away and say that if you haven't read this yet, go do it. But alas, I am quite glad I waited for a few days for my initial reactions to sink in and give me time to think. If I had written this review as soon as I'd finished, I'd have given it a 5/5 right away. (I would still give it that in terms of my own enjoyment of it, but critically it fell just a bit short.)

The premise is completely new, and I love it. It's dystopian, which I'm usually really on the border about, but it's so well-written, and I think that even readers that don't like dystopian would have a big chance of enjoying this book. I think it's really the concept that originally drew me to the book.

The pacing of the story was pretty quick, and I was glad that there wasn't really a lot of info-dumping. It moves fast enough that you're kept interested and sucked into the novel, especially towards the middle-ish, end-ish, though that isn't to say the beginning isn't. I don't want to say it's necessarily a quick read, but it's a book that I personally wanted to keep reading and not put down.

What I think Albin did extremely well was world-building. You could imagine the strands of the weave. You could picture the metro stations. And again, there wasn't much info-dumping (more on this below). This kind of ties back to the premise thing above, but really, the world-building stuck out.

But the thing I loved most about the book was that it was thought-provoking, at least for me. The thing is, a lot of people are criticizing the book for slut-shaming, sexism, etc, but that's kind of the point. Look, Albin minored (or was it double majored) in Gender/Women's Studies (I forget which). I think she'd know better than to do something like that unless it was intentional. And it was. What I found interesting was how, on the one hand, it shows how much our own society has moved forward and improved, but at the same time it shows how much further we have to go. This applies to sexism, homophobia, stereotypes, segregation, etc. While it contrasts our society in many ways, it also shows how there are so many similarities. So no, Albin isn't sexist; she did it on purpose, and I think she wanted to start a conversation about it.

So, you might be thinking, if it's so awesome, why don't I just give it a 5/5 right away? Or what about the characters? Don't fret--here's your answer.

Don't get me wrong, I loved the characters for the most part. I liked Adelice, Jost, Erik (to some extent), Valerie, Enora, and Loricel. I loved to hate Priyana, Cormac, the Guild, and Maela. But the thing is, those are pretty much all the characters. Sure, there's Amie and Adelice's parents and for a short time, other Eligibles, BUT THAT'S ABOUT IT. And the thing is, a lot of the characters lacked the depth that I look for, particularly Erik. I think we did get to know a lot about him, but there was always something missing. Enora, though one of my favorites, was also pretty flat (as well as Valerie). They were more like plot devices more than anything else. Enora provided much of the info-dump, and then her and Valerie, who was hardly involved beforehand, had a pivotal role towards the end but also in a more plot device-y type of way. Yes, Adelice and Jost, and arguably Priyana and Loricel, were well thought out and complex, but there was very little of that from everyone else (I was going to say possibly Cormac, but I'm not sure). It was enough for me to get through the book and not notice until I thought more in-depth about the novel, but it was there. (Also the love triangle thing is a bit iffy for me. I feel like she never even really knew Erik, so that felt so fake. I just don't like how it's done.)

And lastly, the other thing was that I was left with so many unanswered questions at the end, and even while reading, there were many concepts I still couldn't grasp until the end. Those weren't huge bumps, but it did break up the reading a bit. So what were the parents involved with? Were there others involved? What exactly is the Guild? What exactly is remapping? etc, etc. Again, this didn't hinder the reading and didn't make the book any less enjoyable, but it was always in the back of my mind.

All in all, I'd seriously recommend this!

You can find Crewel on:  Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads | Gennifer's official website | Indiebound.

You can find Gennifer Albin on: Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest | her official website

Monday, January 27, 2014

Review: Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith (ARC)

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (Penguin)
Release Date: February 11th, 2014
Sixteen-year-old Austin Szerba interweaves the story of his Polish legacy with the storyof how he and his best friend , Robby, brought about the end of humanity and the rise of an army of unstoppable, six-foot tall praying mantises in small-town Iowa.

To make matters worse, Austin's hormones are totally oblivious; they don't care that the world is in utter chaos: Austin is in love with his girlfriend, Shann, but remains confused about his sexual orientation. He's stewing in a self-professed constant state of maximum horniness, directed at both Robby and Shann. Ultimately, it's up to Austin to save the world and propagate the species in this sci-fright journey of survival, sex, and the complex realities of the human condition.

"[Austin has] a unique voice, but it's one that you have to like in order to get through the book."

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book via Penguin's First to Read program. This did not affect my review in any way, and I was not compensated for the review.

I had heard great things about this book, but clearly, I shouldn't have set my expectations so high. Oops.

The book reminded me quite a bit of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, at least at first glance. What makes it so reminiscent is the voice of the protagonist, Austin. It's a unique voice, but it's one that you have to like in order to get through the book.

I, for one, did not like the voice. I was able to get through Perks for various other reasons, but I couldn't get through Grasshopper Jungle. The thing is, I wasn't sure whether or not I would push myself to read it to the end because I could see the glimpse of the potential, and I could see the potential of it straying a little bit from the events and thoughts of Austin at the beginning of the book. But it was his "voice" that I couldn't get through.

I kept getting annoyed or just felt really awkward. I don't need to know that you're feeling horny every two seconds. Yes, I did like the exploration of sexual orientation and of the confusion that it is, but I didn't need to feel so overwhelmed by it. And I couldn't stand the way Austin treats or talks to/about others.

And now that I think about it, maybe it's because he's so self-centered or something, but I, as the reader, don't actually know all that much about Shann or about Robby. All I took away from what he said/thought was that Shann is his girlfriend and he wants to have sex with her and that Robby is his best friend, is gay, and [SPOILERS] kissed him [END SPOILER], making him even more confused about his sexual orientation (since he liked it/didn't mind it).

All of this being said, I can see some people liking it. I really can. I can see myself finishing it. But I don't want this to bog me down, and I don't want this to drag me into a reading slump again. So, with all that being said, and not holding anything against this book other than personal preference, this was a DNF.



Andrew Smith: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Blog

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Review: The Blessed Unrest by Sara Bareilles

The Blessed Unrest by Sara Bareilles

Track Listing: 
1. Brave

2. Chasing the Sun

3. Hercules

4. Manhattan

5. Satellite Call

6. Little Black Dress

7. 
Cassiopeia
8. 1000 Times
9. I Choose You

10. Eden

11. Islands

12. December

I'm not-so-secretly in love with and jealous of Sara Bareilles and her musical abilities (including songwriting). This album just reinforces that fact. 

I have to admit that part of the reason that it's taken me this long to review the album is a) because of what I stated above, b) I had a hard time working through my thoughts at first (just see below), and c) it's the kind of album that took me some time to really get into and love.

The first time I heard the entire album, it was on Spotify with the commentary by Sara. While I think you should definitely do this at some point, I think that listening to the album in such a way broke the flow and made it harder for me to get into the songs. I loved the first half(ish) of the album the first time around, but the last few songs just weren't working out for me. I loved the lyrics and the musicality, but it didn't stick with me. But I stuck it out and kept listening to it with the commentary.

That's when I had my breakthrough, and I just listened to the album straight. (Why I hadn't thought of that earlier I don't know.) And it completely different. I could focus on the songs, and I finally got those last few songs. (I think Eden is the only one that I'm still really iffy on.) And it was then that I fell in love with this album. There was a flow in the music and there was a similar sound to the tracks, but not in a way that made them all sound the same. There was just this common thread. And that was wonderful to finally hear/get. (I particularly found "I Choose You" interesting from a songwriting perspective because she doesn't make it cliche (like I would).)

But wow, that was hardly a review. Okay. I continue to love Sara's work. Yeah, I find some of this a bit hard to get into the first few times around, but I think that's part of the reason I love it so much now. I get it now, and I really like it. As always, the lyrics are fantastic. Sara is an amazing singer-songwriter, and this album only supports that. I loved listening to her commentary (especially that one tidbit about the ending of "Manhattan"). But even without that, you can hear how personal these songs are to her. And you feel it in the music. Great music makes you feel something, and The Blessed Unrest definitely does that. There's also no doubt that Sara's a great singer so of course that aspect of the album is great. But I think the best thing about her is her ability to weave words and melodies together. She really did that so well here, and everything just worked. (Again, except maybe Eden...I still feel a bit iffy on that song.) I think this album has some of my favorite songs of hers and for good reason.

You should definitely listen to the album, although I suggest listening to it straight through first before listening to it with the commentary! If you already loved her, I have no doubt that you'll love this album. And if you haven't listened to her at all yet, you should get a move on!

You can find Sara on Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Instagram | her official website.
You can buy The Blessed Unrest on iTunes, Amazon, her website, Barnes and Noble, and wherever else you can buy music.

(Note: I am sincerely sorry at this lame excuse of a review.)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Announcement: Hiatus

Hey guys!

So it is that time of the year again. *sigh* And by that, I mean time for midterms, quickly followed by the start of FAWM.

School has been stressing me out a ton lately, and I think it's time to step away from blogging a bit to get some rest and not worry about blogging. On top of that, I'm participating in FAWM again this year. It's basically like NaNoWriMo but for songwriters. The goal is to write 14 songs (about the # of songs in an album) in 28 days. That will take a lot of my time and energy on top of school.

Thus, I will be on hiatus until March. (Woah, scary.) This doesn't mean I won't ever be on or posting, but I don't want to feel the need to read and review for a bit. I still have some things to wrap up, and I'll try to post about the blogoversary giveaway soon (as soon as I wrap up everything for the What's In the Snow? event). Additionally, I still have posts scheduled for every day or every other day in February, so there will still be new content. I'll try to respond to comments because I love doing that, but please bear with me if I'm not able to just yet. Otherwise, I'll still try to be online in February (I'll most likely be online all the time--don't worry).

Thanks again for sticking with me, and I'm sorry for going on hiatus again so quickly after my last hiatus, but I'm sure you all understand. Sending y'all my love. <3


Review: What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: September 18th, 2012
Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t.

For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable-hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet... for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.

I've been following Kat Zhang for a very long time, and I've been interested in reading this book FOREVER. But for some reason, I never got around to it. Oh, how I wish I had.

First off, the writing is fantastic. Kat really has a way with words; there's no doubt about that. I especially love how she writes character interactions, and I think that's what made the book so strong. Although I love, love, love Eva/Ryan, the most interesting character interactions are between Eva and Addie themselves. I have to admit that I'm not particularly sure how I feel about Addie (especially after reading Once We Were), but I can say that I love the way they interact and react to one another. It feels so real. I can understand where both of them are coming from, even if I don't always agree.

I also enjoyed the premise. I know a lot of people label this book as dystopian, but I don't view it that way. I'm not going to go that far into this particular matter, but I think the idea of two souls sharing a body is a really cool and new idea. I think Kat set everything up extremely well, and I could imagine living in that kind of world. I felt as if I were a part of the setting and of the book. It felt real. The explanations weren't too complicated, and they were well-woven into the plot.

However, the world-building also came with some consequences. Mostly, it was the fact that having to set everything up slowed the plot down. It wasn't boring or slow per say, but it didn't keep me as interested in the book. I get it--it was important to set everything up. All of it was necessary information. When you build a world, this happens a lot. And while I think Zhang's writing made up for it, plus the fact that I knew it would become more fast-paced, it made it hard to get into the book. Even the "fast-paced" parts did feel slow, but that may have been more from what I've been reading prior to the book than the book itself.

All in all, what stands out about the book is the characters and their relationships, the very premise of the book, and of course, Kat Zhang's spectacular writing. I'd definitely encourage everyone to read this book!

You can find Kat Zhang on: Twitter | Facebook | her official website | her blog.

You can find What's Left of Me on: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository | IndieBound

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Characterize It (#3): The Bibliophile


The Bibliophile (Favorite Bookish Female Character)

 

Celaena Sardothein FROM Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Cather Avery FROM Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

EDIT: HOW COULD I FORGET THE BIGGEST AND FIRST MEGA BIBLIOPHILE I KNEW OF IN A BOOK???


Hermione Granger FROM Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

(Do y'know how ashamed I am for forgetting? No? Well, I am.)

Who's your favorite female bibliophile?

Talk About It Thursday (#1): Blogging Tips and Advice

Every other Thursday I will make a post that's meant to bring about some conversation, discussion, and perhaps even a debate. This can be about a book, movie, artist/album, or anything!

Welcome to the first Talk About It Thursday post! Now, if you see in the title, the topic is blogging tips and advice. Chances are, my tips aren't the best, seeing as I'm a newbie blogger too. But I have learned a few things along the way, and I'd love to hear some of your tips and advice for me and for other new bloggers as well, so be sure to leave comments below.

1) Do it because you love it.
I think most bloggers will agree with me. Don't blog for other people. Do it for yourself. Do it because you like discussing books and movies and television shows or whatever it is you blog about. If you don't do it because you love it, you'll find blogging a chore, and it'll only add stress to what I assume is an already busy schedule. Blogging takes a lot of time and effort, but just like anything else you're passionate about, you can find time. But don't make it a chore. If you don't do it because you love it, you'll get burned out. Don't be in it for the free books. It's not easy first of all, and second of all, that's not what we're here for.

2) Don't just follow others. Be yourself.
It's okay to take inspiration from others and to look up to other bloggers. I do too. But don't forget to stay true to yourself. If that means something similar to other bloggers, that's fine. But it means that if you're different, don't be afraid to show that. We're all special and unique. Embrace it. At first, I saw that I was one of the few bloggers I know that doesn't just blog about books, but you know what? I've become a fan of so much more than books, and now, I'm glad I focus on everything, not just books. But that's me. I'm a huge fan of TV shows and movies and music, and this is my way of talking about what I like talking about. Stay true to yourself, and don't let other people tell you who to be. If you start to lose yourself, take a step back. Remember why you're doing this. Remember what you love. Remember that you're doing this for yourself first and foremost.

3) Connect to other bloggers. Interact!
I highly recommend Twitter, even if it'll suck away time that could be used for blogging or reading or writing or whatever. Seriously, it's one of the best ways I've found to network and make your blog known. Participate in Twitter chats. Attend Twitter parties. Talk to other bloggers. Not only will you make tons of new friends with similar interests, but it'll also expose others to your blog. I've met some amazing people on Twitter, and I know they're friends I can trust. They're fun(ny), they cheer me up, and they encourage me. They provide advice and help and all of that when I need, and they're just amazing people.

And of course, connecting on Twitter also allows you to connect with authors. It's been so amazing to talk to the writers behind some of my favorite books. They're almost all completely down to earth and humble, and it gives great insight to the writing process if you're a writer. You really see how hard it is, but they're also there to give advice, support, and laughs. Seriously, I've talked to so many authors, and it's really been awesome. They're all so nice, so don't be afraid to tweet or email them!

4) Don't be afraid to take a chance.
I have to say, starting over almost completely was a bit scary. Emailing authors for the What's In the Snow? event was a little nerve-wracking. Requesting ARCs, through any means, is scary, even though it shouldn't be. Applying for certain street teams was a huge leap. They all involve a little leap of faith, but don't be afraid to do those things. I changed blogs almost completely in the new year because it felt right for me. I'm so much happier to be starting with an almost clean slate. Yeah, it was a risk, and it still feels like that, but I'm not so completely alone this time. All of the other things were also small risks. So what if you don't get an ARC you asked for? You're still a new blogger. You have time. Don't worry, you'll receive an ARC soon. But you don't know until you try. I still struggle with this, but don't be afraid! The worst that will happen is that you don't get it. But if you don't try, you definitely won't get it. And speaking to authors? They are some of THE nicest people, seriously. They're not all that different from many of us. They need us as much as we need them.

5) If you're feeling burnt out, take a break.
I felt guilty when I took that huge blogging break in November and then came back but barely posted (for a variety of reasons). But you know what? I was feeling burnt out then, just a little bit. Not so much from having been blogging for too long but because I had so much going on outside of the blogging sphere, and I needed to focus on that before it took over me. I had also just hit a reading slump, and I wasn't feeling it. My friends were all so understanding about it, and now I'm really glad I took that break. In December, I just couldn't get myself to write any reviews. Many of the books I read then probably won't ever really be reviewed. But now I'm feeling more rejuvenated (probably also because I was on school break), and I'm so pumped to continue. I didn't realize I needed a major break, but I'm glad that I took that time off to sort things out and focus on other aspects of my life. Don't let blogging become a chore and also keep in mind your priorities. Don't be afraid to take a step back and remember why you're blogging.

6) See what you like about the blogs you admire.
Don't steal ideas or anything, but think about why you like their blogs or why they might have the following that they do. Don't compare yourself, and remember to stay YOU, but you'll often pick up on what works and what doesn't. Try out some memes if they interest you (see more in my next point though). Read some of their reviews. What do you like/not like about them? Check out some of the advice that those blogs give.

7) Create more original content than memes, blitzes, blasts, tours, etc.
I'm guilty of having done this, which is partially why I decided to start with a clean slate. Most people will likely skip over these things. They can find those on other blogs. Make your blog stand out as best you can. Write reviews because that's what your blog is mostly about, isn't it? If not, at least create discussion posts. Generate interest in YOUR blog. What can you offer that other blogs can't?

On this note, also don't expect to gain tons of followers, loyal followers and readers, through giveaways. Sure, it's a start, and I've made a few blogging friends through giveaways, and I've found out about many blogs/bloggers that way, but the truth is that most people, whether they follow you or not because of a giveaway, won't stay. They just want to win, sadly. It's a great way to increase your numbers temporarily, but in the long run, you're not creating a lot of new readership. I'm not saying not to host any giveaways, but just keep in mind that it's not the way to gain loyal readers.

8) Have fun!
This goes along with the do it because you love it and take a break if you need to points. Make sure you have fun with this. If you don't, why do it? If you're running out of steam or it isn't fun anymore, step away, take a break, or consider if it's worth your time anymore.

That's all I have at the moment because I'm running out of steam for this post. There's plenty of other advice I have, but I'm getting really tired, and everything in my brain feels like mush.

What's some of your advice or some of your tips? Any tips/advice for me? For other newbies? What do you think of my advice/tips?

Comment below and share the love!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (#2): First World Problems by Leigh Ann Kopans

This feature is hosted by Breaking the Spine!
For more info on this feature, see my features page.

First World Problems by Leigh Ann Kopans
(A Solving For Ex companion novel)
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: September 2nd, 2014
Sofia's had a really rough year - busted for cheating at prep school, dumped - dumped! - for the first time ever, and her new non-profit working stepmother is turning out to be an uppity bitch.

She deserves to treat herself. But when she throws herself a birthday party with 20 of her closest friends in Paris and (accidentally!) maxes out her dad's credit card in the process, he’s had enough of her attitude. As punishment, he switches her planned gap year touring Europe to one doing community service work with the evil stepmother’s relief organization in Guyana.

The rural village of Dabu needs help in every area from education to getting safe drinking water. But Sofia’s more concerned about her roommate Callum, the gardening expert, who calls Sofia "Princess" and scoffs at her distaste for sweaty, muddy, iguana-eating, outhouse-using life in Guyana.

Eventually, life on the equator, her work in the village, and especially Callum - with his brooding eyes and bewitching New Zealand accent - start to grow on Sofia. Though life is rough in Guyana, Sofia thinks the villagers are getting by just fine - until a nighttime walk shows Sofia the dark and desperate struggle girls in the village face every day.

Determined to change the girls’ futures, she comes up with a strategy to help the village. But what starts out as a plan to convince Callum and her father that she’s fallen in love with Guyana, turns into the realization that maybe she’s falling for Callum, too. And that by changing these girls’ lives, she might also be changing her own.

Why I Want to Read This Book

I LOVED Solving for Ex, and I think this will be really interesting, getting to read something from Sofia's POV. I know it'll be tough at first, but I really hope to see some major character development, and it seems as if there will be a major change, so fingers crossed!

Lastly, I thought Leigh Ann Kopans wrote about experiences such as depression really well in Solving for Ex, and having worked in a poor area, I'm interested to see how Kopans will write it this time. I know Sofia is nothing like me, at least in Solving for Ex, but I wonder if Sofia will have similar experiences and thoughts, whether it be in the beginning or all the way at the end.

I'm so excited, and I have high expectations! (Also, my review for Solving for Ex will be up in February around the time of its release, so be on the lookout for it.)

Review: Every Day by David Levithan

Every Day by David Levithan
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (Random House)
Release Date: August 28th, 2012

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

I'm going to start off truthfully. I didn't finish the book. But I'm still rating it. Why? Well, I'll get into that.

The thing is, I don't think this book is bad by all means. I think it was more of a "it's me not you" situation. The premise of the story is really intriguing, and that's what drew me to this book. (Also the fact that so many people were saying such great things about it.) It's new, and it's interesting. But in the end, it felt lacking in the actual story. Things weren't always explained properly and the reader is left with a million questions that are only answered if it's important to the plot.

I also felt that the plot itself was just.so.slow. Maybe that's because I've been reading such fast-paced books lately. Perhaps it's because I couldn't connect or feel for A. This leads me to my next point. A few characters were actually interesting, particularly Rhiannon. But the problem that comes with the premise is that, with a few exceptions, you don't know other characters long enough to connect to them. Plus, A is so focused on Rhiannon that that's all the book seems to be about (besides the ordeal with Nathaniel, but that's a different story). And I just couldn't make myself like A, and when I read something, I need to have at least some glimmer of liking the main character or narrator (which is also why I'm not a fan of THG). The way that he thought about Rhiannon was honestly a bit unsettling. It didn't feel like love. It felt more like stalking. And maybe a lot of other readers never took it this way. But I did.

About halfway through the book, I realized that this would only keep dragging on for me and that I have tons of other books to read. I couldn't let this book bog me down. Which is why I ultimately decided to drop it. I desperately wanted to like this book, which is why I kept reading it for so long. But I don't even feel that bad about putting it down now. Maybe one day, I'll give this another shot when I'm not reading so many action-packed books. Or maybe I won't.

And lastly, I will give it a small rating because there were some things that I did like about it (mainly the premise and Rhiannon's character) even though I didn't finish it.



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

TV Tuesday (#1): Thoughts on Almost Human


Confession: I have no idea what to do about watching this show.

Confession: The main reason I started watching the show was because it was created and produced by the people that created Fringe, which I loved. The premise was only second to that fact.

Now, onto why I'm conflicted about the show now.

On the one hand, I do enjoy most of their plots. Sure, I get confused easily, but at the same time, I'm always trying to figure out what's going on, just like the characters. I like how it's set in the future and there's new, better technology, yet it's also reasonable. It's not that far-fetched.

I like the premise and idea of having MXes in the police force and that they have flaws too.

I do like Dorian, and I can definitely see Kennex changing A LOT along the way. Their interaction is hilarious, but it also highlights their personalities and experiences. I do wish they would have shown how Kennex's absence changed those around him, but I guess there weren't that many people. The character arc with his, I believe it was, girlfriend is quite interesting, and I'd like to see where that goes, but I'm not invested in it.

And I guess that's one of my main issues. I know it hasn't even been a full season yet, but with the amount of shows that I watch, I don't know if it's worth it to keep holding out on the hope that I'll be more into it later on. While I love Dorian, and Kennex is okay, the other characters fall a bit flat. The captain is mehh, and I'm glad to see a woman in charge, but is it necessary to question her ability simply because she's not in a long term, stable relationship? Why did that need to be brought up?

Then there's poor Valerie. I was really hoping she'd be similar to the females in Fringe, given the producers' background with Fringe. I don't necessarily mean personality-wise or anything like that, but in terms of being her own person and of being defined by something other than a male. It's okay for her to want to be in a relationship, and it's okay for her to rely on her superiors, often men of a higher position, if she doesn't have the clearance. But in Almost Human, Valerie seems to just want to do what others, especially Kennex, tell her to do. She only shows up when they need her. She doesn't seem to take much initiative, and if she does, it's to please males, particularly Kennex. And on top of that, there's the whole thing with what I believe will eventually be a Kennex/Valerie romance/relationship. Sure, that's what happened in Fringe with Olivia and Peter, but the thing is, Olivia wasn't defined by that relationship. I can foreshadow Valerie being defined in that light. And it ANGERS ME, as a female, as an independent thinker, as a feminist. We are told she's a competent, well-trained detective. She seemed like that in the first scene that we met her. But have they portrayed such a woman? No.

It makes me so angry because of how glaringly obvious it is. Yes, I want to watch the show in the hopes that it gets better, but I can't deal with how the show treats its women. Valerie Stahl is just as competent as the other detectives, and she shouldn't be treated as if she's nothing but a love interest or someone that only does things to please men. I would like to see the character development of Valerie, Kennex, and Dorian, but I don't know if I can put up with the show any longer.

I'm not invested, I don't care much about any of the characters except for Dorian, the feminist in me is super angry any time I watch the show. Yet I want to hold out on the hope that it'll start to treat the women like they were treated and portrayed in Fringe. I want to hold out on the hope that they'll come up with a way to get me invested in the show, wanting the next episode. But I just don't know if it's worth it. I know I shouldn't compare the show to Fringe, but it's hard not to, and most of these complaints remain the same, even when not compared to Fringe.

What do you think? Should I give it a try until the end of the season and then decide? Should I just focus on the other shows I already watch and AM invested in? 

What do you think about the role of women in television? Am I being too hard on the producers and the show?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Music Monday (#2): Psych: The Musical

Every other Monday, I'll share a song/artist/album that I'm either currently listening to or currently obsessed with, though they often go hand-in-hand.


The song people may know more: Santa Barbara Skies, I've Heard It Both Ways, Jamaica Inspector
Song I Love Most: Shawn Hears the Theme/The Breakdown

While the musical was slightly disappointing, as much as I hate to admit it, I'm kinda grooving out to the soundtrack. So they don't make a lot of sense out of context, especially if you don't watch the show, and they're not really meant to be taken seriously, but I like it. It's fun. It's funny. It's meant for fans. Sure, not all the singing is fabulous, but they're actually pretty good.

Again, this isn't for everyone, but it should be nice for fans of the show. And it's good for when you're not feeling great and just want a laugh (same as the show! Until it gives you ALL THE FEELS).

Review: O-Mouth to Smoke Alarm Bundle (Graceland)


All my shipping thoughts have been taken out of my reviews. ;)

O-Mouth (Aired July 11th)
Shhh, let's pretend I remember everything about this episode...

But seriously, I think this was the episode when Mike starts his spiral toward recklessness (sorry if that's an unpopular opinion, but Mike is one of my least favorite characters on this show). Also, Abby. Ugh. Anyway, the Briggs, Charlie, and Whistler scenes were really great. They were what stood out in this episode. There's so much that I love about Charlie, and I loved seeing her so vulnerable at the end of the episode.
(Also, the whole Briggs/Charlie almost-sex scene was quite entertaining to say the least, especially since they tricked Johnny.)

Hair of the Dog (Aired July 18th)
If I ever talk about this episode, the first thing I'll say that Vanessa and Manny deserve ALL THE AWARDS for their performance in this episode. Honestly, I think that's why I loved the episode so much. Again, seeing Charlie so vulnerable was not only important but just so well done. Seeing the repercussions of everything that happened near the end of O-Mouth was so crucial and was handled perfectly (it also set up the rest of the season so well). I think it was Vanessa at her finest, so to speak. And then the way she interacts with Johnny? *dies of perfection* Honestly, that's what I remember most from this episode. It totally outshined the Mike and/or Bello scenes. (And Abby is still just such an ugh character.) Finally, the Mike and Johnny scene later in the episode is also a highlight.

This was one of my personal favorites from S1 (also the one I consider the best episode)

Goodbye High (Aired July 25th)
You know who stood out in this episode? JAKES. And I am so glad that he had this episode to shine. This revealed so much about him and about the person that he is. His back-story broke my heart, but I could imagine it being exactly like that. And then the way he uses his experience to give Mike advice? Perfect. I really wish Jakes was a more prominent person on the show, but this made up for some of it. As for the rest of the episode? A lot of the same things I had to say for the previous two. Mike continues to spiral towards recklessness (sorry not sorry), and Abby is still just as bland and ugh (maybe I'll go into this one day, as well as why even though I LOVE Graceland, after the initial love of it wore away, there are so many flaws that are hard to see past at times).



Bagman (Aired August 8th)
I think this is where the true downward spiral began head-on for this show. I already wasn't a fan of Briggs and Mike. After this episode in particular (although it started in the previous few episodes), I was left really not liking either of them. There are times, of course, when something makes me hate them a bit less, but gahh! Also, I'm so glad Abby's FINALLY gone. And I think this is the turning point episode for Charlie. For anyone that follows the information about Graceland, you'll have some idea about what's in store for Charlie in the finale, and I think this is where they truly set it up (although the whole heroin thing before was part of it).
All in all, this didn't leave a big impression on me other than that I really don't like Briggs anymore.
Smoke Alarm (Aired August 15th)
*cries over this episode*
With the exception of a few important and well done scenes, this episode was just so lacking, particularly given everything that led up to it. It wasn't boring per say, but it was so predictable. This is truly the weakest episode of the season so far, at least in my opinion. Yeah, the end was of course another cliffhanger, but I didn't think it had the same effect as the previous ones (more on the cliffhangers in some other post). I still love all the Charlie and Johnny scenes, but this episode was just not as well done as the others were. I don't think it was because of the writing or anything but more because of the directions the characters were already headed towards and the plot and just how disappointing and empty it felt after all the episodes before it.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Review: City of Bones Movie


"This movie didn't impress me. I would be willing to watch the second movie (but not in theaters), and I do want to read the book, but this left me feeling disappointed."

First things first. I haven't read the Mortal Instruments yet. I plan to at least give it a try some day, but that day has not yet arrived. Thus, this is coming from someone that hasn't read the books. I can't compare it to the books, but I have heard that it's pretty inaccurate and that fans were really upset by it. I guess I'll find out eventually...But anyway! Where do I even begin?

I suppose I'll start with the romance. Let me first tell you that I love Simon. I don't know if Clary deserves Simon, but I do love their friendship. But alas, unrequited love is always tough, and my heart goes out to Simon. Then there's Jace. I felt that Jace's relationship with Clary moved SO quickly. Like WOAH slow down there. It didn't feel natural. I could sort of see why Clary would be drawn to him, but they barely even knew each other! Then, there was that whole awkward scene between Simon, Clary, and Jace. If you watch(ed) the movie, I think you'll know which scene it was. Jace pissed me off in that scene, and I sort of wish Simon could have laid off of Clary a little bit (I understood how he felt, but). So far, in the movie at least, I am not a fan of this love-triangle. (I do know who Simon (and Magnus) end up with, and there were hints of both in the movie, but.)

Next, there's the plot. It was okay. Didn't keep me on my toes and guessing the entire time, and there were times when I just wasn't into it. I mean, yes, I went into this expecting this exact thing, but I was subconsciously hoping it would surprise me more. But alas, no. It was good enough to keep me watching the entire time, and I sort of want to watch the next movie, if only to tide me over until I can read the books, but I don't have this dire need to go back into the world of the movie.

Then, of course, there's the characters. I don't feel particularly interested or attached to any of the characters, although I do love Simon, as I mentioned before. I don't care much about Clary, nor do I care much about Jace. I feel like we don't know enough about Isabel and Magnus. I do think Luke (I should double check if this is actually his name) is interesting, and I'd like to learn more about him and his background/back story. Overall, I felt like this movie tried to be mostly plot centric, but the plot itself wasn't that strong anyway. They could have tried harder with the characters at least.

There's also the raging feminist in me and my recent English lecture project...Yup, this movie is not particularly a good one for all the feminists out there. I just wanted to enjoy the movie! But alas, that brain of mine didn't allow me to. *sigh* Female characters that are reliant on male characters? Check. Female characters that don't seem to do much expect to help male characters fight (as secondary heroes)? Check. Females that mainly just talk about the males? Check. Scenes with hypersexualization of women? Check. Yeah, sometimes I cry because of this. Or more accurately, want to pull my hair out and scream. I give up.

In general, this movie didn't impress me. I would be willing to watch the second movie (but not in theaters), and I do want to read the book, but this left me feeling disappointed. There are other movies I would have rather spent this time watching.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Review: Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
Publisher: Philomel Books (Penguin)
Release Date: February 12th, 2013

It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test. With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.
If I had written this review right after I finished it, I would have quickly given this a 5/5. But I'm glad I waited because as I thought about it, I thought that maybe I didn't want to give it a 5/5 so quickly. I'll admit that I'm actually a pretty harsh critic; it's hard for me to give a book a solid 5/5, even if I personally loved it that much. I think Out of the Easy is one of those books.

Don't get me wrong. I love this book. It's probably among one of my favorites at the moment. But a lot of that has more to do with me than it does with the book itself, I believe. It's for this reason, and because I just can't decide, that I will not leave a rating at the end of this review. Maybe someday I'll come back and decide, but for now, I'm going to leave it open.

Now, to the actual review.
~~~~
I love the intricate characters. Almost every single character has such a different and complex background. I want to say that almost all of the characters, no matter how minor, are more than one-dimensional. You connect with the characters. You feel their pain, sorrow, happiness, anger, and you'll probably end up hating at least two of them. But this book is mainly a character driven book, so thank goodness the characters are amazing.

The plot is, as I said, mainly character driven. If you're looking for an action packed book, this probably isn't the best choice. There are some more suspenseful sections, but there aren't many. Personally, I love character driven books, which is probably why I love the book as much as I do. Some of the plot twists I saw coming, but there were definitely a few, particularly one surrounding Patrick, that I was not expecting. I cried so many times while reading the book. It felt real, as if you were right there with Josie.

Another aspect of the novel that I enjoyed was how Willie and the girls that work for her aren't defined by their profession. So often in society, these kinds of people are looked down upon because of what they choose to do (perhaps that has changed a lot from the setting of the book to the present day, but I think the idea still stands), and the book shows that there's more to them. They're all people. Ruta handled this extremely well.

There was something about this book that I can't quite explain in concrete words. It left me feeling something that I can't quite describe. Perhaps it's something like hope, but it's also so much more than that. Both Josie and Jesse grew up in such tough childhoods, yet they both turned out okay. It was a bit obvious that they'd end up together, but I kept rooting for them until the end. Their chemistry was so obvious, which made it all the more aggravating when Josie kept pushing him, and everyone else, away. But I'm straying. I can't get over how perfectly the title fits the book, and I think it also compliments what I was feeling when I finished. It was that feeling that made me want to jump to write this review and give it a 5/5.

But the one thing I can't shake is that the plot was also lacking in many parts. Yes, it's character driven, but there were some slow sections that I really had to push through. They were necessary, but they weren't the easiest to get through. That's really the main reason I've been struggling to rate this; because the book is amazing, and the slow(er) pace doesn't detract from the other parts of the book that are so well done that they overshadow the pace. It's more like an issue that's pushed to the back of your mind because the characters and their interactions are so compelling.

And I suppose that I should leave it at that!

Rating: ?/5 (See above for my explanation!)

You can find Out of the Easy on: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | the Official Website!
You can find Ruta Sepetys on: her Official Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Review: Thor: The Dark World Movie


Hmm...what can I say about Thor: The Dark World? Well, I have a lot to say, but I'm not sure how to best do so.

I suppose we can start with the acting and characters. Firstly, I was disappointed that Jane Foster, a completely competent woman, gave up all her work once Thor left. Fine, I sort of get it, but move on with your life! Maybe I say this because I've never been heartbroken, but she's an amazing scientist. Why give up on everything just because Thor's gone? She knew he'd leave. What if he never came back? Would she have lived the rest of her life that way? What a shame. 

Besides Jane, I continue to be a huge fan of Darcy, although come on, we knew what would happen with Ian in the mix. But Darcy continues to be hilarious and Kat Dennings does a fantastic job. I don't have much to say about Ian, but he's okay as a character. Erik was...interesting, to say the least. Jaimie Alexander continued to be great in her role as Sif, though I was annoyed that while she seemed independent, she was portrayed to be someone that's just jealous of Jane because she (Sif) likes Thor. Like come on!

Tom Hiddleston and Christ Hemsworth continue to portray their characters well. I continue to enjoy the mischievous,  manipulative Loki, and I think Hiddleston portrays that well. Also, that little scene where [retracted for spoilers] shows up was awesome and hilarious! And Chris continues to portray a really interesting character. I can't say he's (Thor) changed a lot, but I think Chris does a good job of showing the emotions and actions of Thor.

Lastly, Christopher Eccleston!!! If you know anything about me, you know I am a Doctor Who fan and that I love Nine. Don't ask me about which Doctor I like most because you'll get a super long explanation. Moving on, Eccleston does a fabulous job as Malekith. Definitely creepy. Definitely villain-y. My personal favorite parts are the times when you can hear Eccleston's voice. They just reminded me of Doctor Who. *cries*

Speaking of being reminded of something else, for at least half of the movie, all I was thinking about was the similarities and parallels between Thor: The Dark World and Star Wars. Okay, part of it may be that Natalie Portman was in both (by Star Wars, I mostly mean Episodes 1-3). I really would elaborate on this further but again, I don't want to spoil anything. Let's just say, that it kind of took away from my overall enjoyment of the movie. Sure, it was a great movie, but really. I love Star Wars, but I'd rather not think about it as I watch Thor. Maybe it's inevitable. Maybe it's just me.

Additionally, there's the whole predictability factor. Maybe I've just watched too many of these types of movies. Maybe it's supposed to be a little predictable. Maybe that's inevitable. I don't know, but there were so many times where I knew what would happen. Sure, there were a few surprises, but it could've been better.

Overall, this was an enjoyable movie with really great acting. (Also, did you know I met Zachary Levi the day I watched the movie? Heck yes.)

[Sorry, I was just listening to some really great music, and everything else I was about to write just escaped me and jumped out the window, so uh...I guess this is it. *sigh*]


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