Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Movie vs. The Book: Hugo Cabret

Back in December, when the movie was still in theaters, I read The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. I saw the movie, by the name of Hugo, over the weekend.

The cast included the following and more:

Hugo Cabret - Asa Butterfield
Isabelle - ChloĆ« Grace Moretz
Georges Melies - Ben Kingsley
Madame Emilie - Frances de la Tour
Monsieur Frick - Richard Griffiths

Overall, I believe the movie followed the book with exciting chase scenes and magical moments. The actors and director made the mystery of the Automaton, the key, and the old man, come alive for the viewer in an egaging and fun way.

This movie is definitely geared toward a younger age level, as was the book.

Click here to read my review of the book.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Movie vs. The Book: The Hunger Games

According to Parade magazine, The Hunger Games was the most anticipated movie of 2012.  The first, in a three, possibly four motion picture series was released this past Thursday at midnight. I had reserved my ticket back in February and had been anxiously awaiting my chance to see it.

Overall, I believe the movie was true to the book, and any small changes they did make, did not directly impact the plot.

Some differences include:
-Madge is eliminated from the movie all together, therefore Katniss buys the mockingjay pin herself.

-While the games take place, Seneca Crane is shown with other Gamemakers creating  the events inside the arena.

-The mutated dogs at the finale of the games do not have the dead tributes features.

Again, none of these changes made the movie any less fantastic, and as Suzanne Collins is listed as one of the screenwriters of the movie, she obviously was okay with the changes as well.

The theater was completely full when I went yesterday evening, and many people were dressed for the occasion. One fan, was dressed at Finnick Odair (trident and all) who appears in Catching Fire. Others wore black and gold, or homemade Hunger Games t-shirts.

The movie had some very sentimental moments as did the book. *Spoiler* When Rue died, the entire audience in the theater put their hands up in the traditional three-finger salute.

If you haven't already read the book, I absolutely suggest you do, and then of course, go see the movie!

Click here to read my review of  the books in the series, The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay.

Click here to watch the official movie trailer.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ugly to Start With

Ugly to Start With
John Michael Cummings
168 pages

Jason Stevens is a teen-aged boy growing up in historic Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. His father is hard to please, and the tourists never seem to leave. All the while, Jason is forever unraveling stories about his family, and the town he thought he knew everything about.

Cummings' new novel is made up of several short stories, all based upon the same main character. The only drawback to this novel is that it lacks a central plot line. That drawback can be easily overlooked though as clear descriptions and metaphoric phrases are not shy. The reader will have a painting in their mind drawn in by phrases like these: "Mrs. Grove had hair as red and frizzy as a copper wire." , "As I wrapped on the paint-blistered door of Rusty's whitewashed shack" , and "All around now were the greenest, picture-perfect expanses of transplanted grass, stabbed with shiny power-line polls,".

Jason's character is unique and engaging, again created in the reader's mind with details and imagery. Readers will be attracted to his distinct voice and care-free way of acting.

Written in first person, Jason's complicated life of confusing girls, unlikely jobs and failing grades, clearly depicts the lifestyle of a rural town, and the challenges that growing up has to offer.

Overall, Ugly to Start With was a good read, and I would like to thank the author for giving me the opportunity to read and review his book before its published date.

Look for Ugly to Start With, on shelves near you this fall.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My Sister's Keeper

My Sister's Keeper
Jodi Picoult
448 pages

Anna Fitzgerald was born as a genetically-matched donor for her older sister Kate, who was plagued with leukemia as a child. Kate has always been dependent on Anna, therefore Anna has not been able to live the life she wants. Now, Kate has gone into renal failure, and needs a kidney from Anna. Although she loves her sister, Anna has had enough and decides to hire a lawyer to sue her parents for medical emancipation.

This was an amazing book to read. Picoult tackles such an uncommon topic with clarity and sensitivity. Each chapter alternates between different main characters in the book; Campbell Alexander; her lawyer, Sara; Anna's mother, Brian; Anna's father, Jesse; Anna's brother, Anna herself, and others. I love this feature of the book because it helps the reader to understand how the lawsuit effected the people she loved the most.

Throughout the book, flashbacks occur, to show the connection between Anna and Kate. Each is meant to touch the reader in a sentimental or humorous way.

Some quotes from the book that I enjoyed include:

“You don't love someone because they're perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they're not.”  

“Maybe who we are isn't so much about what we do, but rather what we're capable of when we least expect it.”    

“Extraordinary things are always hiding in places people never think to look.”   

“It is the things you cannot see coming that are strong enough to kill you.”  
“If you have a sister and she dies, do you stop saying you have one? Or are you always a sister, even when the other half of the equation is gone?”    

Picoult wrote a book that will certainly touch your heart, and if you haven't already learned it, she will teach you the definition of family.