Trailer Talk: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

I recently realized that I somehow never got around to watching the official trailer that was released for the film adaptation of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I remember reading and loving the first book (don’t worry, I’ll get around to the others eventually!) and particularly liked the use of old, odd photographs in the book’s pages. To be able to see the entire book visually will be awesome.

Judging by the trailer, the film certainly will be exciting. I’m still unsure of how close it will match up to the book. I mean, I read it a long time ago, but even I saw the trailer and wondered where the heck they’d gotten some of those scenes from. Still, as long as it’s done well and they justify what they’ve had to take away, I don’t really care how much they add to it.

Check out the trailer below and let me know what your thoughts are on it. Are you excited? Disappointed? Indifferent? I’m feeling the urge to re-read book one and then marathon the other books as well.

Marvel-ous Monday: Daredevil, Volume 1

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Daredevil Volume 1

Series: Daredevil Vol. III #1

author : mark waid

illustrators : paolo rivera & marcos martin

pages : [hardcover] 152

summary :

THE DEVIL IS REBORN. RENEWED. RESURRECTED. With new enemies, new friends … and that same old “grinnin’ in the face of hell” attitude, the Man Without Fear is back in action and leading with his face! Mark Waid (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, IRREDEEMABLE, RUSE) joins neo-legendary artists Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin for a new spin on Daredevil that will leave you gasping for air. Having turned his world upside over the past several years, Matt Murdock realizes that justice may not be blind to his past and villains may not be the only ones looking for answers. Bring it on. if Matt Murdock could see what he was doing … he’d be terrified.

review :

I picked up this volume because I started to watch the Netflix series and honestly thought that this was going to be a new start to Daredevil–as in, from the beginning, not beginning years after pretty much everyone found out that Matt Murdock is Daredevil and he’s been doing his superhero/vigilante thing forever. So I’ll probably have to go backward and see if I can find anything else to read about him.

This volume wasn’t exactly boring, it was just . . . unimpressive. Some of the bad guys were interesting, some familiar superheroes showed up for little cameos, and I could follow everything that was going on in spite of my realizing that this isn’t an origin story (I’m new to comics, don’t judge me). Immediately after I finished, though, it was hard to remember much of what I’d read. It was fun while reading but isn’t anything lasting for me. Daredevil isn’t one of my favorite heroes and I can’t exactly pinpoint why.

I’d say to give this a try if you’re interested in other Marvel heroes, want to pick up something different, or have watched some of the show like I have. While I’m definitely going to continue the Netflix series, I’m not sure that I’ll be scrounging for more Daredevil comics until I find something to more solidly hold my interest.

3.5/5 stars

 

Cathy’s Key is an awesome + romantic + paranormal mystery

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Cathy’s Key

Cathy Vickers Trilogy #2
Book 1: Cathy’s Book

author : jordan weisman

illustrator : cathy brigg

pages : [hardcover] 144

favorite character : cathy

memorable quote :

summary :

Cathy’s Book was literally a word-of-mouth success story, with over 120,000 copies of the groundbreaking, interactive teen novel in print. Perhaps less noticeable was the heart of the book: a good story well told. Now fans of Cathy Vickers will return to the exciting, unpredictable world that made the first book such a success. Cathy was your average high school student-doodling in the margins of her journal, crushing on a cute boy, and hanging out with her best friend Emma. As this story begins, she’s trying to keep a job, her journal is stolen, the cute boy is not who he seems to be, and even Emma’s side project/start-up company, Doubletalk Wireless, is about to get caught up in the mystery surrounding Cathy and her search for the truth about her father. Her presumed-dead father. It’s just a simple story really: Girl loves Boy, Boy disappears, Girl discovers secret that will alter the course of humanity….

review :

I absolutely loved the first book in this series so of course I needed to continue it when I realized that there were more. Cathy and Victor, and the rest of the gang, all return. This is one of those books where you’re like yeah falling in love with an immortal sounds like a terrible idea and every character, Cathy and Victor included, agrees and tries to find a happier solution to the whole situation. Plus there is the awkward fact that Victor’s dad is either going to try to date Cathy or kill her. Plus Cathy hasn’t been a great friend to her closest confidant, Emma, so there’s drama that is a little more relatable there.

I loved this sequel. There were more twists that I couldn’t have predicted and new characters to tangle with. The conspiracy of the immortals truly is beginning to reach its peak. Just when you think that it can’t get any crazier, it does. I mean, these people have been around for hundreds of years so they’ve had plenty of time to amass great wealth and power. Add that to the fact that they know they can never be killed and Cathy has some pretty formidable enemies against her. But it was also interesting to see the odd assortment of allies that banded together to support her.

These books are so unique I feel like no review will give them justice. The story itself is fairly short, but captivating, and the inked drawings on the pages just bring the text to life. The little pocket of ‘evidence’ collected by Cathy and Co. just makes the story that much more believable (and creepier, considering the murder and intrigue going on here).

I wish that more people knew about these books. Reading Cathy’s Key just made me excited to get my hands on the third (and final!) book in this trilogy.

5/5 stars

 

“A Monster Calls” is becoming a movie???

Apparently I’ve been living under a rock, because not only is A Monster Calls becoming a movie, the trailer for it came out over a month ago.

Yes, so apparently I missed it, even though this is one of the best children’s/young adult books I’ve ever read, written by one of my favorite authors EVER. Apparently he also wrote the screenplay for the film, so that makes me doubly excited! I was actually fortunate enough to meet him at BookCon last year and he is incredibly nice, too. So basically everything about this is going to be perfect.

I mean, Liam Neeson is in it. This book gave me so many emotions and just judging from this trailer, I feel like the movie is going to capitalize on that, too. Click the video below to watch for yourself and let me know what your thoughts are. Are you as excited as I am?? I can’t wait to see this.

Boo by Neil Smith will definitely make you cry

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Boo

author : neil smith

pages : [paperback] 310

favorite character : boo

summary :

When Oliver “Boo” Dalrymple wakes up in heaven, the eighth-grade science geek thinks he died of a heart defect at his school. But soon after arriving in this hereafter reserved for dead thirteen-year-olds, Boo discovers he’s a ‘gommer’, a kid who was murdered. What’s more, his killer may also be in heaven. With help from the volatile Johnny, a classmate killed at the same school, Boo sets out to track down the mysterious Gunboy who cut short both their lives.

In a heartrending story written to his beloved parents, the odd but endearing Boo relates his astonishing heavenly adventures as he tests the limits of friendship, learns about forgiveness and, finally, makes peace with the boy he once was and the boy he can now be.

review :

I can’t remember when this book first landed on my TBR pile. It’s been on my list for months, at least, if not since it was first released almost exactly a year ago. Finally I was able to get my hands onto a copy of it. I checked this book out of the library but, to be honest, I wish that I’d bought it. I feel like this is one of those books I need to read again over the years.

Boo  hooked me in immediately. I don’t know why unique books about the afterlife (Everlost and Elsewhere are two that immediately come to mind) constantly fascinate me. Maybe because even though each religion has their own idea of what comes after death, even individuals within that certain religion can have wildly different conceptions of what the afterlife exactly is like. Although I really hope that Smith’s version isn’t so true, because if I’d died at thirteen and ended up stuck in a town filled with other thirteen year olds, that’d have been miserable. Middle schoolers are terrible–well, for the most part–and Boo kind of shows that, alongside showing how even thirteen year olds can be mature if they’re forced to remain thirteen for several decades.

I loved how easily I could immerse myself in the world. Boo has his quirks, so he immediately finds a group of people who are able to love him in spite of it, people who may have their own insecurities about themselves. It’s never established whether or not Boo possibly had some form of autism and I like how it is just implied that he is different, and lonely, and incredibly smart (maybe too smart, sometimes). Boo likes to look at everything from a scientific point of view, has trouble connecting socially, and struggles with emotions. But he’s a great friend, very observant, and immediately tries to understand things about the afterlife that would have remained incomprehensible to the less scientifically inclined.

Because it was just so interesting to see his world, I read this book in about a day and a half. I just couldn’t stop reading because I needed to know what was going to happen next. There was so much mystery surrounding Boo’s and Johnny’s deaths, because most of the afterlife’s residents don’t remember much about how they died in order to protect their own happiness. I won’t go into much detail because I don’t want to spoil it, but throughout the book you’ll definitely cry. But it is so worth it.

I’m definitely going to be recommending this book. I’ll probably be buying a copy for myself, eventually. It was so amazing, lasting, and touching that I just can’t resist.

5/5 stars

 

The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee: Book of the Month

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The Queen of the Night

author : alexander chee

pages : [hardcover] 561

memorable quote Men often complain of the wickedness of women. Of how we delight in what power we have over their hearts. But they reign over everything else, so of course, they grudge us this, should we ever come to rule over this thing the size of their fist.

summary :

Lilliet Berne is a sensation of the Paris Opera, a legendary soprano with every accolade except an original role, every singer’s chance at immortality. When one is finally offered to her, she realizes with alarm that the libretto is based on a hidden piece of her past. Only four could have betrayed her: one is dead, one loves her, one wants to own her. And one, she hopes, never thinks of her at all.  As she mines her memories for clues, she recalls her life as an orphan who left the American frontier for Europe and was swept up into the glitzy, gritty world of Second Empire Paris. In order to survive, she transformed herself from hippodrome rider to courtesan, from empress’s maid to debut singer, all the while weaving a complicated web of romance, obligation, and political intrigue.

Featuring a cast of characters drawn from history, The Queen of the Night follows Lilliet as she moves ever closer to the truth behind the mysterious opera and the role that could secure her reputation — or destroy her with the secrets it reveals.

review :

This book was much more than I’d expected.

Lilliet Berne is a complex character. For starters, that’s only one of the various names she uses to identify herself throughout the book as she continuously switches identities. Whether it’s because she moves to a new place, starts a new profession, or meets a new group of people, Lilliet is constantly changing herself to fit in. She’s an exceptional chameleon, and great at surviving terrible times in Paris, America, and Germany, just to name three countries in which she almost died.

In spite of how intense that is, and how much of a badass she could be, the plot was very slow. This is an enormous book, packed with historical detail and character pieces. I enjoyed knowing so much about the time period and the various settings Lilliet found herself in. In spite of this, however, there seemed to be a constant thrum of repetition. Yes, I understand, she couldn’t completely escape her past and all of that. But I had no idea of where the book or plot was going to go because Lilliet seemed to have absolutely no life goals for herself. I understand taking the best opportunity when it is presented to you and going with it, but come on. We could have had some idea of what she’d have liked to do with her life if absolutely no one would have interfered and money was no object.

I’ve been really interested in historical fiction lately so I was glad to see this as a choice as a Book of the Month pick. Honestly, I might not have picked up this book on my own otherwise, because I’d never heard of it before. It’s unlike anything else I’ve read and it’s the kind of story that stays with you long after you read the final page. Usually wondering what if THIS had happened instead of THAT and knowing that you had just as little control over the plot as Lilliet had over her complicated, dangerous life.

3.5/5 stars

I received this book from Book of the Month in exchange for an honest review. My review was in no way effected by this.

Book of the Month is a monthly subscription service in which you can choose one out of five book picks to be sent to you each month. While reading you can discuss plot, characters, and more on the book message boards. You can even choose up to two other books you’d like to receive that month for just $9.99 more per book. Find out more on the website.

Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon

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Flight of Dreams

author : ariel lawhon

pages : [hardcover] 336

favorite character : werner franz

summary :

On the evening of May 3rd, 1937, ninety-seven people board the Hindenburg for its final, doomed flight to Lakehurst, New Jersey. Among them are a frightened stewardess who is not what she seems; the steadfast navigator determined to win her heart; a naive cabin boy eager to earn a permanent spot on the world’s largest airship; an impetuous journalist who has been blacklisted in her native Germany; and an enigmatic American businessman with a score to settle. Over the course of three hazy, champagne-soaked days their lies, fears, agendas, and hopes for the future are revealed.

Flight of Dreams is a fiercely intimate portrait of the real people on board the last flight of the Hindenburg. Behind them is the gathering storm in Europe and before them is looming disaster. But for the moment they float over the Atlantic, unaware of the inexorable, tragic fate that awaits them.

Brilliantly exploring one of the most enduring mysteries of the twentieth century, Flight of Dreams is that rare novel with spellbinding plotting that keeps you guessing till the last page and breathtaking emotional intensity that stays with you long after.

review :

Flight of Dreams is the exact book you need to read if you’ve ever been vaguely interested about the Hindenburg. Better yet, if you’ve never heard of it, you’ve going to want to anxiously research everything you can find about the explosion after you finish this novel because the historical context is just so interesting.

I received this book as my Book of the Month choice for April and I’m glad that this was the selection I made. For a book slimmer than I’d expected, there was so much detail and intrigue packed into the pages. I think the size was perfect because while it never skimmed over important details or character traits, the plot never dragged either. And the chapter headers, which slowly count down to the Hindenburg’s inevitable explosive fate, are completely ominous.

The characters were hard for me to like and enjoy, at first. It seemed like everyone was either cranky or trying to stab someone in the back (literally or figuratively, depending on the character) but I like how it was a slower process for me to piece together their pasts and motivations. Some, like the American, remained mostly a dangerous mystery. Some, like Emilie, I grew to love. And some, like cabin boy Werner, I really rooted for. Everyone knows what it is like to start out at a job where you need to do everyone else’s job and get none of the credit. But he’s so adventurous, a hard worker, and, okay, he was kind of adorable to read about.

Just as some of the characters were purposefully spreading rumors about each other to make them seem suspicious, there were several characters who were shady enough, and details that just didn’t add up, that I wasn’t really certain of what would happen until the end. I love that I wasn’t able to predict the ending, even though obviously with all of the historical detail to this some events needed to remain the same.

This book is a great blend of fact with fiction. I’m the kind of person who always reads the author’s notes at the end of a book and I’m so glad that I did that, here. Tiny details that I never would have guessed were real, characters that actually existed, and tragedy that truly struck–that’s the kind of thing that keeps you interested in the events. I’m invested in this story, in these personalities that were created to fictionalize and somehow come up with a meaning behind a great tragedy. And I loved it.

4/5 stars