The Knife Of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness ( a re-read)

The Knife Of Never Letting Go, the Chaos Walking series, holds a special place in my heart.  Never have I raved so much about an author’s brilliant writing style since JK Rowling.  Ness makes the book literally come alive and the font very well may be a character in itself.    ~Sheila

My brief synopsis:  Protagonist Todd Hewitt, lives in a world where a virus has killed off all of the women and caused men’s thoughts to be heard out loud in a way that has become known as Noise.  Todd is the youngest of Prentisstown at almost 13 years of age.
When Todd takes a walk away from the town one day he discovers a void in the noise.  When he searches more closely he finds something that he never thought he would see again…

a girl.

Suddenly Todd’s world has changed in a blink of an eye.  How can he keep his thoughts quiet enough so no one knows of his discovery?  And why are the people who raised him – the only people he trusts suddenly sending him hurriedly on his way once they know of his discovery?  Todd’s world has just been upended.

I wish my writing could do this book justice.  There is so much rave-worthy content yet when I try to write it down… I feel a little…well, “duh.”  I read this book (originally read in 2011) and now again I read it with my friend Mena over a series of weeks where we would talk every Sunday on the phone and discuss what we have read.  Even though it was a second reading for me – it was exciting and often new all over again.  There was so much I had forgotten.  With the movie hopefully out by the end of this year or the first part of 2020… I am renewed in my love of this book.  If you enjoy a good dystopian read, I recommend this book.  (So does Mena) 😀

At The Movies: How To Be Single

how to be single, book journey,Last weekend my cousin Cheryl and I had lunch and then went to a movie.  We decided to see How To Be Single.  I adore Leslie Mann, I think she is so funny, and Rebel Wilson was first introduced to me in the movie Pitch Perfect (which I love love LOVE).

Let’s bring you up to speed… (Note trailer is a bit “R”) – skip it if you just want my review 🙂

I have to admit, the movie was really funny.  Yes there is some crude language, but I have to say it is not a crude movie.  Last month I seen Sisters with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and IF I decide to review it is will not be favorable.  That movie was raunchy.

In case you skipped the trailer here is my cleaner version of what is happening…

After four years of college and being with the same sweet guy the whole time, Alice (Dakota Johnson), decides she needs to explore the dating world a bit before she settles down forever with Josh.  Excited to give her new singleness a try, she moves out of her apartment to live with her older sister (Leslie Mann) in New York for awhile and finds a job as a paralegal.  Her co-worker Robin (Rebel Wilson) decides Alice needs to loosen up a bit and learn what New York is all about.  With Robin as her undesignated guide, Alice is taught how to get free drinks, be non committal, and feel the freedom of being single in the city that never sleeps.

But when it gets right down to it, is this really what Alice wants?

I thought this was a really sweet movie. It is hilariously funny, but at the same time there is actually a story line running through along side that keeps the movie real at the same time.  The casting was wonderful.  Dakota Johnson can pull off the right level of innocence, and really if you have watched anything with Rebel Wilson in it, you know she can be outrageous in funny ways.  Leslie Mann provides a nice level between the two actresses as she is a single, well educated, and successful woman who has found she does not need a man or a child to feel fulfilled… or maybe not.  😉

If you do mind a little sexual humor, I would recommend seeing this movie.  This movie is rated R for language, not for visual happenings.  In fact if you watched the movie without hearing it, it would be PG13.  I only bring up the language because I want to be sure you know what you are about to hear, however if you watch the trailer you will have a sample of what I am talking about, it really doesn’t get over the top bad.

Recommended.

 

Paper Towns The Movie Based Off John Green’s Book Of The Same Title

abbey

Its been a long time since I have had a lazy day where I have spent a Saturday morning or afternoon watching movies, but that is what I did today.  Granted a miserable head/sinus cold, fever, and drowsy feeling helped.  So me, a couple of books to movies (Paper Towns an Scorch Trials), hot tea, Kleenex, and I was set.

Paper Towns is a book by John Green.  When I first started reading John Green I was told that your first John Green book will be your favorite.  I never was able to test that theory because my first John Green was Fault In Our Stars and yes, it is my favorite.

Paper Towns the movie was actually better than I thought it as going to be.  I had forgotten about the great friendships displayed in this book.  I also really enjoyed the lead roles of Margo and Quentin,  it was a good fit from the book to the movie.

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Looking over my review today of Paper Towns I found I had the same thoughts about the movie that I did about the book.  Margo frustrated me then and she does now.  I think I understand why she does what she does but at the same time her ability to disconnect from everyone baffles me.  As in my review, I found the friendships in the movie to sustain me and leaving me enjoying both.

 

Overall movie thoughts?  Yes, rent it.  Its a good story and in the end, while it is not the end I would have hoped for…. it still leaves a good impression and message.

Not So WILD about WILD (My thoughts on the movie)

WILD, Reese Witherspoon, Book Journey, movie, Minnesota

I had recently read listen to on audio and reviewed the book WILD by Cheryl Strayed.  I had mentioned at the time the draw that I have always had to do something like this – just escape and be with me… whoever I am at that particular time in my life and try to really get to know…

me.

I am fascinated with those who do it.

After finishing the audio book I rented the movie.  I usually appreciate a movie version to a book – I like to see the creative vision the directors come up with and how they bring an authors work to the screen.  Here, are my thoughts…

What I liked:

Reese Witherspoon rocked this role playing Cheryl Strayed.  I enjoyed her performance very much and I like that Cheryl is a Minnesota native.  I also, as I did in the book, liked that while much of the time Cheryl was alone hiking the trail – she met interesting people when she crossed into towns.  For the most part I found her very brave to rely on help from a stranger… and of course there is one part where I find her super cool but also crazy to hike the trail alone and have already decided if I ever did something like this I would have to have a friend along… or several friends who switch out throughout the process…. alone can be dangerous.

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What I did not like:

I mentioned in the book that I was not too thrilled with her (Cheryl’s) problems with being faithful to her husband and the talk of her sex life with multiple men.  For some reason I thought someone had told me that was not the case in the movie but CLEARLY I got that part wrong as the sex was even more prominent in the movie.  Thank you to Stacy who warned me in a comment to skip the movie, by the time I read the comment I had finished watching the movie.  😉

 

My take away –

Yes, I think the book is worth reading.  It is inspiring to see how Cheryl hits rock bottom in her life and how she turns herself around through this almost cleansing process of the 3 months hike.  3 months is a pretty impressive endeavor!  The movie was good, but if the sex stuff bugs you like it does me… be satisfied with the book.  At least in the book it is not so graphic and you skip those parts if you choose.

Movie: Jurassic World

Jurassic world, Book Journey

On July 4th Al and I were keeping our day pretty low key.  We stayed close to home and then in the afternoon decided to go and check out the movie Jurassic World.  I grew up around the Jurassic movies and remember the excitement of imaging that such a park could exist and of course, the implications around having such a park exist.

 

We really enjoyed the movie.  It was like the next generation of Jurassic Park.  They were trying again to create the park that once failed all those years ago.  Now they were trying to keep up with the ever changing demands of this world – not just wanting to see a dinosaur… but a bigger, scarier, dinosaur then ever seen before.

Super sizing is not always the way to go.

It’s actually a great idea and an apparent win (according to an article I read this morning the movie is well on its way to becoming one of the biggest movies of all time).  Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are pretty amazing in their roles.  Chris playing Owen, the “Raptor whisperer” with the smoking good looks and kick ass attitude, and Bryce playing Claire a stuffy over achiever who is all about her job and has little time for anything or anyone else.

If you get the chance – see this one at the theater for the BIG screen feel.  We went to the 3D version (mainly due to the timing) and found it to be well done.

Insurgent: The Movie

Insurgent, Divergent, Book Journey

Now that the factions are scrambling for safety and the world is literally in chaos, Tris and Four are trying to stay safe all the while knowing that the only way anyone will have hope of feeling safe is once Jeanine is dead.  In this world, you never know who you can trust.

 

A friend and I went to Insurgent this week.  I had read the book, as well as Divergent (the first book) and had been impressed with what they had done in the first movie.  Shailene Woodley (who also starred in Fault In Our Stars) makes an excellent Tris and I love the diversity in the roles that she plays.  Theo James as Four is a new actor to me although I see he was also in Underworld and an episode of Downton Abby so I must have seen him.  Theo is also perfect for the role that he plays in the movies.

I really enjoyed this second installment of the Divergent Series.  I have yet to read the third book due to grumblings I heard when it came out about how they should have just ended it at two books.  I have a year before the next movie will come out (Allegiant) which I see will be broke into two parts (the new trend to S T R E T CH out our movie addictions I guess.  I will read the final book before then.

I enjoyed the movie, I can not recall the book well enough to do a comparison, but I love the action and the story line. Kate Winslet gets kudos from me for playing the evil mastermind rule keeper of all (she is the equivalent of President Snow from Hunger Games).

Overall:  AWESOME SAUCE.  If you like YA Dystopia even if you have not red the books, see these movies.  They are kickin.

 

The Duff… The Movie, The Book, And How My Opinion Has Changed

The DUFF, Book JOurney

Yesterday my cousin and I went to this movie.  I wanted to go because:

1.  I met the author my first year at the book Expo in 2010 (she was 17 at the time)

2.  I read the book and was not a fan.

 

Book Synopsis:

1aBianca has two popular and gorgeous best friends.  The three have hung out together for years and while Bianca does not care about fashion or getting up two hours early to do her hair and make up for school it has always been a non issue.

Until now.

At a party, the hot popular guy that Bianca has her eye on, Wesley Rush takes advantage of Bianca’s feelings for him and then tells Bianca she is the DUFF of the group.  Designated Ugly Fat Friend.  Naturally Bianca is offended, but Wesley says not to take it so literally, it just means that she hangs out with friends that are much hotter than herself, making her the approachable one to get information.  Wes explains that every group has one.

Over the next few days Bianca starts to notice that what Wes said might be true.  Guys did approach her to get information on her friends dating status. With Bianca’s home life a mess with her fathers alcoholism and no one really to turn too Bianca throws all caution to the wind and sets her eyes on a goal that seems impossible…

Wes.

 

Ok that was based off the book synopsis…. the book had quite a few teenage sexual encounters and Bianca although being put down by Wesley could not seem to stop herself from coming back for more.  I did read this book almost 5 years ago now so a lot of the details are fuzzy, but I do remember not liking all the extreme sexual content.  I also did not like the idea of what a word like DUFF could do to a young girls image… if a young girl already had self esteem issues, reading this book I feared could make her even more so.

 

the movie synopsis was somewhat QUITE a bit different.

Movie synopsis:

Bianca has two popular and gorgeous best friends.  The three have hung out together for years and while Bianca does not care about fashion or getting up two hours early to do her hair and make up for school it has always been a non issue.

Until now.

Bianca goes to a party at the most popular girl in schools home it hopes to see her crush Toby.  When her hot neighbor the popular Wesley Rush that Bianca can not stand tells her that she is the DUFF of her group of friends, Bianca is offended.  She leaves the party early.  At home she has no one to talk to as her divorced mother is a published Life After Divorce guru with her mind set on publicity events and what to wear.  Bianca decides if she is not part of a group she will not be the duff, so she proceeds to dump both of her bewildered best friends.

Bianca makes a deal with Wesley to help him with his failing grade in science if he helps her to sharper up her image to get Toby’s attention.  By working together the two discover they have more in common then they thought.

 

The movie is a lot different from the book.  There is no sex (YAY!).  Bianca’s dad is already out of the picture in the movie (probably due to the alcoholism and divorce). Wesley is not an ass, in fact quite likable and you route for him.  Madison, the popular mean girl ex girlfriend/girlfriend of Wesley is an awesome addition to the movie but does not appear in the book.  There is also a funny teacher who really takes Bianca under his arm who also does not appear in the book.

 

While book (my original review) and movie are different, the ending good message is the same.  It was curiosity that made me see the movie made from this debut book, and I am glad I did.  The movie is really funny.  My cousin and I laughed out loud many times.  To me it flowed better than the book did, but at the same time it gave me a new appreciation for the book and it’s overall message.

See the movie – at a PG13 rating it is a fun one and yay to author Kody Keplinger!  What an exciting moment this has to be!

 

**Fun Fact:  At the end of the movie there is a quick cameo from author Kody Keplinger.  If you do not know what she looks like you may miss it.