Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 Blog Challenges

As 2012 quickly approaches, I wanted to post about the different Blog Challenges that I will be participating in over the course of the year.

From The Story Siren2012 Debut Author Challenge!

CHALLENGE OBJECTIVE:
  • To read & review a minimum of twelve young adult or middle grade debut novels between the dates of January 1, 2012 – January 31, 2013.*
RULES & GUIDELINES:
  • You must have a Blog to post your reviews or be a member of Goodreads. Youtube Book Reviewers count too!
  • Your blog/video must be written in English.
  • Deadline to join is May 31, 2012.
BOOK GUIDELINES:
  • Must be a young adult or middle grade title.
  • Must be the author’s YA or MG debut, released in 2012.
  • If an author has a previous novel published for adults or children, they can still qualify for the challenge.
  • If an author has a previous YA or MG title, they do not qualify for the challenge.
If you want to participate too, just follow the link above and sign up! 

From Evie-Bookish and friends2012 To Be Read Pile Reading Challenge

Challenge guidelines: 

  1. This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2012 - Dec 31, 2012.
  2. As we would like to see quality reviews linked up to our monthly wrap-ups, only bloggers can enter. Sorry about that!
  3. Any genre, length or format of book counts, as long as it is a book that's been sitting on your shelf for some time now. Only books released in 2011 and earlier! NO ARCs and 2012 fresh-off-the-press releases allowed!
  4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
  5. When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the 2012 TBR PILE Reading Challenge (You need to include the info + host list + challenge button. You can also grab the button code and add it to your sidebar!)
  6. You can move up levels, but no moving down.
  7. Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2012, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.
  8. At the end of each month one of the hosts will post a wrap-up. Every wrap-up will have it's unique theme, a mini-challenge, a giveaway and place for you to link up your reviews from this month. For each review you link up, you will get one entry in a drawing of one book of choice from Book Depository. It's open to INTERNATIONALS. For participating in the mini-challenge you will get +1 entry.
  9. If you miss a wrap-up post + giveaway, you can link up your reviews next month. Do not, however, try to link up one review twice - we will be checking ;)
  10. December is a wrap-up for the whole year. All the book reviews you linked up January-November + the ones you'll link up in December will be entered into a HUGE giveaway - 12 books, 12 winners, INTERNATIONAL. 
  11. You don't have to follow all the hosts to join the challenge, but you do have to follow all of us to be entered in giveaways!
Levels:
1-10 - A Firm Handshake
11-20 - A Friendly Hug**My level.21-30 - A Sweet Kiss
31-40 - Love At First Sight
41-50 - Married With Children

Hosts:
Evie from Bookish - http://www.evie-bookish.blogspot.com @SeoEvie
Nicole from All I Ever Read - http://www.nicoleabouttown.com/ @Nicoleabouttown
Bonnie from Hands and Home - http://www.handsandhome.ca/ @HandsHomeBlog
Donna from Book Passion For Life - http://bookpassionforlife.blogspot.com/ @BookPforLife
Caitlin from WatchYA Reading - http://whatchyareading.net @caitlingss
Rie from Mission To Read - http://missiontoread.com/ @missiontoread
Vicky from Books, Biscuits & Tea -http://booksbiscuitsandtea.blogspot.com/ @alouetteuette
Christa from Hooked On Books - http://christashookedonbooks.blogspot.com @ChristasBooks
Jenna from Fans Of Fiction - http://fansoffiction.blogspot.com/ @fansoffiction
Angel from Mermaids Vision - http://mermaidvision.wordpress.com @mermaidvisions



Wrap-up POST Schedule:
January - Donna (Theme: Let It Snow + Book Cover Challenge)
February - Nicole (Theme: Un-requited Love/Love Gone Wrong + Advice Column Challenge)
March - Rie (Theme: Green or Pinched + Green Cover Challenge)
April Bonnie (Theme: Easter + Mini Challenge)
May - Christa (Theme: MayDay - Disaster Books! + Cover Disaster Challenge)
June - Jenna ( Theme: Camping + Sentence Challenge)
July - Rie (Theme: International Day + Cover Comparison Challenge)
August - Angel (Theme: Summer Memories + Send Your Fav Character On Vacation Challenge)
September - Nicole (Theme: Life Changing Books + Mini Challenge)
October - Caitlin (Theme: Thanksgiving Theme + Share-A-Book Challenge)
November - Vicky (Theme: Spooky Halloween + Book Puzzle Challenge)
December - Evie (Theme: Xmas Bliss + Book Bachelor Challenge)

**My progress in these challenges can be followed on my Reading Challenges Page.

Let's Get Our Read On!  =)

Reflections: Forgotten God by Francis Chan

Reflections Posts:  These are a special type of book review where I will just comment and "reflect" upon what I have just read.  A book that would get a reflection instead of a review would be books that deal with religion and philosophy, nonfiction memoirs, or other nonfiction books that I feel I cannot review in my normal manner.
So, with that being said, here is my first Reflection. 

F:  Forgotten God—Francis Chan
“The Christian’s life in all its aspects—intellectual and ethical, devotional and relational, upsurging in worship and outgoing in witness—is supernatural; only the Spirit can initiate and sustain it.  So apart from him, not only will there be no lively believers and no lively congregations, there will be no believers and no congregations at all.”—J. I. Packer
Though this book is considered “Inspirational,” I feel that Chan’s narrative voice is very distinct—he is not preaching at his readers, but rather working through what he is writing for himself and sharing it with those who decide to pick up his book and take this journey with him.  This book is not merely another instructional guide for living a better life according to so-and-so’s personal opinion.  Instead, this book delves into the Word of God, and Chan lets the Scripture do most of the talking.  Yes, he interprets and remarks upon his thoughts and feelings, he also lets his readers know that he acknowledges the fact that he does not know everything, and that this is as much of a challenge for him as it is for anyone else.
“So while hopefully you will learn something new about the Holy Spirit in this book, my prayer is that it will draw you into deeper communion with the Spirit and greater experience of His power and presence in your life.”—Francis Chan, pg 36
With that being said, Forgotten God:  Revising Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit addresses the sad truth that the people of the church are neglecting the Holy Spirit.  We tend to focus so much on God the Father and God the Son in the church that many times we tend to gloss over The Holy Spirit.  But the Holy Spirit is a necessary part of a Christian life, one that both we as individuals and the church as a whole desperately needs yet tends to forget about.  Chan uses this book to walk himself and readers through the importance and power of the Holy Spirit.
He states that his purpose in writing this book is “to explore how God has called us to more, through the presence and strength of the Holy Spirit” and invites us on a Scriptural study of the Holy Spirit.  He tells us from the beginning that he is reflecting exegetically on the Scripture he includes—meaning, he is starting with the text and then drawing out meaning from it—rather than starting with the idea he wants to portray and then searching for Scriptural evidence (eisegesis). 
He begins this book by focusing on the power of the Holy Spirit from the very beginning, as recorded in Acts chapter 2.  The early church embraced the Holy Spirit when it came down to dwell within them, and through the Holy Spirit they were able to do miraculous things for the message of Christ.  The power of the Holy Spirit proves to be so incredibly radical in the days of the early church—so why has that radical-ness died out in the church of today?  Why does the church tend to focus on “rules” and not on the power and the movement of the Holy Spirit of God?  That seems like such a bogus question to me, yet it is completely relevant and ringing with truth.  Francis Chan challenges his readers [of the church] to re-evaluate the importance, purpose, and power that the Holy Spirit can have in each of our lives and the life and love of the church.
One thing that I realized after reading through this book that I never really thought about before is that the Holy Spirit is His own being—He is God the Holy Spirit, He is the Spirit of God, He is the God who indwells within us, who we house as believers.  How radical is that?  Yet how hard it is to think of the Holy Spirit as His own being.  We can identify God the Father as our Heavenly Father, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Moses, and we can identify God the Son as Jesus Christ who walked among us and died for us.  So why is it a little strange to think of God the Holy Spirit as the indweller of our bodies, who walks with us day by day, who guides us, who comforts us, who encourages us?
Chan continues to pose questions:  Why do you want the Holy Spirit?  Do you try to lead the Spirit or follow the Spirit?  If God led you to where you are right now, then are you making a difference there?  Would anything change if you were gone?
“The Spirit is not a passive power that we can wield as we choose.  The Spirit is God, a Being who requires that we submit ourselves to be led by Him.  Do you really want to be led?” –Chan, 89-90
According to Scripture, the Holy Spirit is our source of security, intimacy with God, and encouragement.  He leads us towards a life of holiness, which tends to be an uphill trudge through distractions and difficulties.  Yet He is there to support us, strengthen us, and encourage us every step of the way—So why do we spend so much time neglecting Him?  Why do I spend so much time neglecting Him?  As a believer in Christ, He dwells within me.  Because of that, my body is transformed into a Temple of God, just like those of the Old Testament—where people were struck down if they entered into the inner-most part of that Temple without a repentant heart.  Because of the promise of the Holy Spirit, I have become that inner-most part of the Temple of God—why doesn’t it matter more?  For such a powerful thing that each believer experiences, why don’t we care more?
“The God of the universe is not something we can just add to our lives and keep on as we did before.  The Spirit who raised Christ from the dead is not someone we can just call on when we want a little extra power in our lives.  Jesus Christ did not die in order to follow us.  He died and rose again so that we could forget everything else and follow Him to the cross, to true Life.”—Chan, pg. 122
The Book of Acts depicts a church that is completely unstoppable in their listening and following the Holy Spirit, in allowing the power of the Holy Spirit to move through them so that God is glorified.  What are we doing today?  Why are we discouraging and dissuading the movement of the Spirit of God in our churches and in our lives rather than embracing and encouraging and celebrating it?
“God is not a coercive God.  And though He desires for His children to know peace and love and to have wisdom, I have noticed that often He waits for us to ask.”—Francis Chan, pg. 146
What is stopping us from asking?  What is stopping us from acknowledging, from seeking, from embracing the power of the Spirit of God like the early church did unashamedly?
This is the challenge Francis Chan leaves his readers with.  These are the questions he asks himself everyday and encourages us to do the same.  Chan acknowledges these challenges and questions and encourages us to search, to seek, to journey with him as we learn more about the Holy Spirit of God and commune with Him more and more.
This book is not just another “how to live better” book.  This book reminds us of the things that we typically take for granted, the things that the church has engrained in our heads, and challenges us to shed new light on the Holy Spirit for ourselves, to delve deeper into the Word, and to learn, acknowledge, and ask for the promises of God.

Shelf Placement: 

This book challenges, inspires, and makes you think and rethink things.  Definitely Fourth Shelf Worthy.

Book Review: The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfield

U:  Uglies Series—Scott Westerfield

**Be forewarned, this post probably contains some plot spoilers.  I have done my best to cover them up (with a gray box) but some comments might spoil some of the plotline if you have not read this series yet.**
This review will be in a little bit of a different format than normal due to the fact that it was written before I started this blog, and that it reviews an entire series at once.

Honestly, there is not that much to say about these three novels ( Uglies,    Pretties,    Specials ).  There is a fourth in this series, Extras  , which takes place generations after the first three, but after the abysmal ending to the trilogy, I immediately returned the 4th without even cracking it open.
General Summary of the Trilogy
Tally Youngblood is growing up in a dystopian society centuries after a war tore apart the world as we know it.  And in her world, beauty is everything.  At age 16, each citizen is able to get an operation that makes one pretty—beautiful and flawless—and Tally cannot wait for the day when she gets to have the surgery and join her friends in New Pretty Town. 
But then Tally meets Shay, another fellow “ugly” who shares her same late-in-the-year birthday.   Shay does not share the same enthusiasm for becoming pretty, and she shares with Tally her secret—she is going to run away from the city and join a community of permanent uglies in the wild, and she wants Tally to come with her.  Tally declines, and Shay leaves without her, but not without leaving her a cryptic set of directions to her new home.
Tally gets picked up to go get her pretty surgery on her 16th birthday, but she never makes it there, and is instead swept away into a part of the city that people don’t believe exists—Special Circumstances.  Dr. Cable, who essentially runs the entire city, tells Tally that in order for her to become pretty, she must go and find Shay and the community of “New Smoke” where the runaways live.
So Tally sets out on a journey, and reaches New Smoke, but instead of turning them in, she realizes what they all know—the city is horrible and robs you of your freedom.  With the help of David, an 18 year old boy who was born in the wild, Tally becomes a real Smokey, learning that the pretty surgery actually changes your brain, but there is a possible cure that could help fight against the “brain lesions”.  And Tally is willing to help; that is, until she becomes the traitor that wipes out the community of New Smoke.
Everyone is captured except for Tally and David, and they devise a plan to rescue everyone from Special Circumstances before those “Specials” can make all of the Smokeys pretty.  They mostly succeed—but not before Shay has been turned pretty.  At the end of Uglies, Tally makes the decision to return to New Pretty Town and get the pretty surgery, so that she can take the cure and prove that it will work.
And then Pretties is all about Tally trying to get “bubbly” enough to escape from the clutches of prettiness and rejoin the New Smoke, but along the way she makes a new friend in Zane.  Together, they split the curing pills, and together they help plan a revolt and an escape.  And they finally make it to New Smoke, only to be recaptured in about 5 minutes at the end of the book and turned into Specials.
And this is where it pretty much lost me, and I almost didn’t even bother reading the third book.  But I did (well, I in-depthly skimmed over a majority of it while still understanding the general plot), and essentially the story finishes as so:

To view the spoiler, click and drag mouse over the gray box.  If you want to read it for yourself, then skip down to my comments.
Tally becomes a Cutter, a new Special division of the Specials, programmed to recapture New Smoke.  Yet Tally thinks her way to curing herself, and she ends up manipulating Dr. Cable and winning the war for the New Smokies.  But not before Zane’s brain damage kills him.  So Tally and David save the world from the control of the Special Circumstances, but insist on living in the wild together.  The end.


My Thoughts/Analysis:
Scott Westerfield really sets up a potentially good (not great, but good) dystopian story, but somewhere he fails to achieve this potential.  I believe it has a lot to do with the character development.  Uglies does a good job of introducing the characters and letting us into their ugly minds, and we see characters like Tally and Shay and David for who they really are.  And then Shay and Tally become pretty, and we see a new side of them, which is okay in terms of character development because we see Tally’s growth and Shay’s confusion and the introduction of Zane, and that is all satisfactory in my book.  But then we get to the end of Pretties, and things just kind of fall to pieces.  All of a sudden, the characters we have been connecting with are changed again, and this time they don’t recover.  Specials does not do a good job of allowing the reader to continue to fall in love with the characters, and, in turn, we lose them, thus losing the story.
Plus, the ending to this trilogy is kind of a big disappointment.  There is so much build up, with the continual changes to the characters (both physically and mentally) that we expect something relatively powerful at the end.  And yet, we get this dinky, thrown-together ending that neither explains nor expounds upon the storyline, leaving the reader (or at least me) with this sense of negativity and disappointment.

Bookshelf Rating:
 


Uglies and Pretties can both go on the Middle Shelf, but Specials ends up on the Second shelf for tragically ruining the series enjoyment factor for me.  And Extras just got left on the floor.  I couldn't even put it on a shelf.  Thus, the whole series has to get a big fat 2 from me because I wouldn't want to re-read a series I just couldn't finish on principle.  Sad.  Because this really did have the potential to be good.

 

2012 is almost here!

In preparation for the 2012 reading year, I have spent countless hours trying to organize my new blog to be exactly how I want it to be.  That way, when the clock strikes 12am, it's FULL READ AHEAD!  =)

That being said, I have updated my blog look a little bit, mostly because I couldn't stand reading my text over that picture, so I figured out a sleek look that's library-related without sacrificing readability and color choice.  I have also added informative page tabs at the top, with references to how this blog will be running in terms of memes and my book rating scale and the likes.  So feel free to browse around.

I am also adding a couple of reviews from my other blog, as they do pertain to a 2012 Goodreads Reading Challenge (My ABC Challenge Books), so I will copy those over at some point today to keep my blog consistant. 

Thanks for your patience and understanding, and for all of your help.

Love and pixie stix,
Jennifer

Friday, December 30, 2011

Coverday Friday! (1)

Well, it's funny how things happen.  Today, I read Behind a Million and One's post about Coverday Friday, and then I stumble upon a cover that is just completely captivating.  And so, in following with the Friday "Meme" by this talented book-blogger:

*~*~*


Her Rules:  This "meme" will be about your favourite cover that is clouding your thoughts, or have recently seen that left you stunned, shocked, laughed, cried (haven't seen one of these yet), or is just truly beautiful and you can't stop looking at it. As the title of the "meme" suggests, it is held on a Friday for the cover that you choose each week.
For each week you'll have to answer a couple questions about the cover you've chosen:
  • What gets your attention first? (titled: Why Hello There)
  • A synopsis/blurb of the book (titled: At the Other End)
and either:
  • Link to review of the book (titled: Behind the ___ Pages)
OR
  •  If you think you'd read the book in the future (titled: The Consideration Game)
(the reason that you can choose the final question depends solely on if you have read the book before)
*~*~*
As for my Cover, it looks something like this: 

Why Hello There:  I was glancing through the Goodreads giveaways (as I often do) and saw this cover and just had to stop and scroll back up to look at it again.  It just really intrigues me!  The silhouetted faces reminds me of that 2 black faces vs. 1 candlestick optical illusion, and with the title of this book as Between, I feel this cover invokes a sense of wonderment and curiosity.

At The Other End:  (This is the second in Mary Ting's Crossroads series)  As the alkins head back to Crossroads, Claudia leads her normal life; but not for long. Having a special soul, Claudia attracts danger, and she soon finds out who Gamma asked to watch over her. The Twelve, known as Divine Elders on Earth, are very much involved when they find out that Aliah, one of the God’s first angels, escaped from the Abyss when the gates were opened by Aden. Needing Claudia’s soul to escape the only place Aliah can reside–a place between Heaven and Earth–he sends his demons in search of all Claudia Emersons on Earth. Taking her soul will enable him to be released from Between and cross over to Crossroads, which would give him immense power. As more secrets are revealed Claudia learns about the venators—nephilim, demon hunters. Now two opposing forces must work together in order to save Claudia and humanity from the most dangerous angel ever created. But along the way, trust becomes a big issue. Will love be enough to keep Claudia and Michael together? Who will make the ultimate sacrifice? Who will betray them all?  (synopsis from Goodreads)

The Consideration Game:  I have never heard of this series, or Mary Ting for that matter, and to be honest this synopsis doesn't sound like something I would really get into.  But this cover has forced me to put the first in the series, Crossroads, on my TBR list to try it, and her, out. 

From Novel To Film: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo:  Review of the Book, the Swedish Film, and the New English Film, in tandem
**Disclaimer:  This will contain spoilers, as I am comparing the book to both films.  Ergo, if you have not read the book yet, then I would probably avoid this review.  Consider yourself warned.

 As an avid lover of the Millennium book series, it was extremely interesting to see it put on the big screen.  I have watched all three of the Swedish films (which are phenomenal, by the way), so naturally when I heard that they were making an English version, I was ecstatic!  I patiently waited a year for this film, tracking its progress and watching the trailers as soon as they were posted on youtube.  And this past week I finally marched to the theatre line and walked in to see this film.  And it was so incredibly good!  =) 
This review, which just happens to be my first review, is actually going to be a "from book to film" (or in this case, films) kind of review, so it is structured a little bit different than normal.  But I have broken down my comments into general categories, with the corresponding commentary to follow.
Thus, my review. 
Characters:
Noomi
Rooney Mara
Lisbeth Salander:  After seeing Noomi in all three of the movies, I must admit I was very worried about an unknown Rooney Mara in the new movie.  However, she pleasantly surprised me with her obvious dedication to the role (including multiple real piercings).  Both her and Noomi do a fantastic job of showcasing the many emotions (or lack thereof) that Lisbeth experiences in the book.  They are both strong female leads who encompass the Lisbeth of the novel so very well.  I give 5 stars to both of them.  =)
Michael vs. Daniel.

Mikael Blomkvist:  Oh em gee Daniel Craig.  For serious, I really do not think they could have casted a better man to play the role of Blomkvist.  He is attractive, confident, determined, and dedicated.  Plus he’s sexy as hell. ;-)   Swedish Blomkvist is very similar to Daniel Craig in my opinion, just a bit older.  And he’s a pretty good actor as well.  He is very intriguing to watch on screen, and plays just as convincing a Blomkvist as Daniel Craig. 
Henrik Vanger:  Swedish Henrik is a lot more of how I pictured the character of Henrik as I was reading the novel.  He is a weak but gentle old man.  English Henrik is more bold and too strong of a personality in my opinion to play the sweet old man who is so worried about what happened to his niece.
Bjurman:  Creepy character, played by two creepy men.  English Bjurman is a curly-haired chubby man  who looks like a nice man, yet has that creepy smile and just general bad vibe.  Swedish Bjurman is an older man with a really creepy mustache.  Both men were cast pretty well to depict the hateful man that the novel unveils.  He is supposed to be a very good citizen kind of man with a very secretive sadistic personality, and both actors really encompass this on the screen, almost too much.  It really is disturbing to watch. 
Erika Berger:  For some reason, neither film really captured the woman I saw while reading the series.  To me, the book portrays Erika as this strong, confident, and poised middle-aged woman, and I just didn’t see her in either of the chosen actresses.  But as she is only a minor character in the movies, it doesn’t really affect the movie so much. 
Martin Vanger:  As I was reading the book, I really didn’t view him as an ugly villain, but rather a handsome and charismatic, almost presidential-like.  Swedish Martin does not capture this image for me like English Martin does.  Swedish Martin is waaay too squimish and timid(much like Wormtail in Harry Potter), not at all the strong and confident character Martin Vanger should be.  English Martin played his role perfectly.    




The Mikael/Lisbeth chemistry:  There is a lot of chemistry, sexual tension, and general respect between the two of the in the novel, and you can’t really help but love them together, as odd as it may be.  The Swedish film, to me, fails at capturing the true essence of their relationship—it stays pretty much surface the entire time.   However, the English version—well, can you say hot?!  Yeah.  It was hot, and very real to me.  Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, however odd a pair, really pull off the very delicate relationship that is Mikael and Lisbeth, and they do it while staying true to Larsson’s written characters.  Props to them, I say. 
The Setting:
Honestly, I just love the way that the Swedish film lays out the map of all of the places.  That film really mirrored exactly how I imagined it while reading.  Not downgrading the new English film, but the cabin Mikael stays in and the Millennium office were just a little off. 
Plot Differences:
The main plot difference in both the Swedish and the English version do that is different from the novel is almost completely taking Cecilia out.  She makes only a small appearance in both movies.  In the novel, she becomes Mikael’s confidant and lover for almost half the time he is living in Hedestad.  But both movies remove her involvement with the plotline, just down to a very short “Hello, I’m Cecilia” scene.
The biggest change that occurs in the English film would have to be the way that Harriett is found.  She is not, in fact, living in Australia as a rancher as she should be.  Rather, she is posing as the real Anita Vanger in London.  Yet this change doesn’t really matter in the long run.  It was just one of those changes that directors make to simplify the plot.
 I did love that the English film included Blomkvist’s daughter exactly how she appears in the book, very little screen time, but a really big impact on the plotline.  The Swedish film leaves her out completely.


A small change in the English film is that Lisbeth’s mother is not included.  Instead, they include Palmgreen in the nursing home, with Lisbeth visiting him rather than her sick mother.  These visits with Palmgreen do not happen until book two of the series.  But again, not really that big of a difference overall.  Just a little detail worth mentioning. 
Cinematography:

Let me be both nerdy and out of my league for a moment (for I have very limited knowledge and experience with the art of filmmaking).  Overall, the best cinematography award goes to the newly released English version.  The film was just filled with beautiful shots the really capture both the emotion and the essence of what is going on in a very skilled and artistic way that is very invigorating for the audience.  But I love the way that the Swedish film captured certain moments, even more so than the English version. 
For example, the scene where Mikael first moves into the cabin, and he is taking a tour of the island with Henrik and learning about the different members of the family, the Swedish film just does a much better job of capturing that moment.  For one, they actually walk around the island, with flashes to the cabin wall where Mikael tapes the pictures of each member.  The English film merely has Mikael and Henrik standing in his driveway and looking at each house. 

I think both films did a fantastic job of incorporating flashbacks and voiceovers of Harriett.  It really allows the viewer to feel like they can know Harriett like readers can in the book. 
Specifically for the English film, I really loved how it incorporated all of the background with the trial and what happens when Wennestrom is exposed through the news reports and paper headlines.  The Swedish film does this to an extent, but I thought that the English film did a spectacular job at really including a lot of details that otherwise couldn’t be included, especially when Mikael is reading all of the old police reports and highlighting on the screen so that the audience can read along with him.  Pure brilliance, there. 

And, as a mention of pure genius and mystery with the cinematography, the plastic bag over Daniel Craig’s face during the torture scene was just plain brilliant.  And I have absolutely no idea how they accomplished that.
The last minute of the English movie was exactly 100% like the book, which I absolutely adored.  The beauty of the emotion Rooney as Lisbeth expresses is so perfect and so exactly how it happens in the novel.   The last minute of the Swedish film is Mikael realizing that Lisbeth stole all of Wennestrom’s money and shows her in the tropics, which doesn’t happen in this book.  As far as endings go, English version takes the whole cake.



Overall Thoughts:
I love the books, and I love the films.  All of them, and both versions.  And I am really excited for the other two to be made with the new cast.  I am looking forward to seeing Rooney Mara grow as Lisbeth, and I am always up for seeing Daniel Craig on the big screen.  =) 



Rating:
On a novel to film job well done.

Up Next on the Review Log:  The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Memorable Book Quotes

I feel like on the days that I do not have a review, I will post really good book quotes, either from the book I am currently reading or one of my general favorite novels.  Thus,  Memorable Book Quotes.  =)




Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Attempt At A Book Blog

Hello to the world of book readers.

I am just your average book-lover.  I read for entertainment.  I read to learn something new.  I read to venture into new worlds.  I read to understand people.  I read for the love of reading and for the love of books.

Because of this, and because of all of my 2012 reading goals (thank you Goodreads), I have decided to start my own book blog.  I have been an avid follower of many book blogs and look forward to reading them daily, so I thought, well, what the heck.  Why not join the community of book lovers by creating my own blog where I can review the books I have read and maybe share a good story or two with others.
That is why I want to become a librarian, after all.  I have a passion for reading, and for sharing a love of reading with others.  So, if this blog can help inspire one person to pick up a book, then it will be worth it.
I hope that this will be successful.  I hope that it will inspire someone.  I hope that people read it.  =)

I will be posting my goals and such and organizing this blog as best as I can, and then it is full-steam ahead for 2012 reading.


Love and Chocolate Pie,
Jennifer