Sunday, March 25, 2012

Best Book to Film Adaptations

With all of the excitement over the Hunger Games, I am just going to list off the best movies which are, in my opinion, the top five best book to film adaptations.
  1. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe 
  2. The Princess Bride
  3. The Hunger Games
  4. Water for Elephants
  5. The Help
Sorry Harry Potter. You just got the books all wrong.

Hunger Games

Who knew that a book about the forced murder of 23 kids could be so popular? And then make a movie that is so popular? Bizarre, yes. But yet we all still seem to be perpetually on that bandwagon.
I'm not gonna lie, I really enjoyed Hunger Games.
Its not Harry Potter or anything, but the book was still really good. After the first one, I felt that the following two left much to be desired, but still, that first book was so interesting and different to anything I had read before.
And the movie?
Oh. My. Goodness.
It was so good.
True, the camera work made me want to vomit after the first three minutes of "Let's be as jerky as we can! Whee, this is fun!" but it was still really good. I read the books about three years ago before they were THE Hunger Games, and from what I remember the movie followed the book very well. The actors were all phenomenal, and while it was a tad on the long side for me, I felt very pleased by the end of it.
If only all book-to-movie adaptations could be this good *cough cough* Harry Potter *cough cough.*
When the cast was first released, it seemed like a lot of people had some problems with Josh Hutcherson but I found him to be a great actor in this movie. My Team Gale friend sitting next to me huffed quite a lot throughout the movie (especially at the kissing scene) but I found him to be simply superb. All the other actors did a good job too, I just want to give Josh some credit. And the scene with Rue? I almost cried.
And my parents think I'm dead inside.
(So you don't get freaked out, its just because I didn't cry when Beth died in Little Women. But seriously, I just wanted to keep reading while my mom was sitting there with tears pouring down her face. What do you expect from a six-year old?)
 I'm not going to get into the plot or anything, because if you don't know anything about what this book/movie is about, I would highly advise you to climb out from underneath your rock. But this movie was truly phenomenal and I would suggest anyone to go see it.
(4/5 stars. Just knocking one off because I almost threw up. Don't be judgemental.)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

2012 Challenges

I am trying to read more books than ever this year, so I have joined three different reading challenges:
I am also going to read and review 12 new young adult authors!

I am also going to reread all the Harry Potter books! (which will take me about a day...)

I am, finally, also going to read 25 more books by new authors (which may coincide with my debut author challenge just a little bit...)
New Author Challenge 2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012

There You'll Find Me

I loved this book for several reasons. 1) It takes place in Ireland, so I am trying to convince my parents that I simply must do my blog adventure-ing for this novel there. 2) The main character's name is Finley, which is just kinda a cool name. 3) Finley doesn't like the whole vampire craze either, just like me. 4) Finley falls in love with a vampire actor anyways, which kinda disproves number 3, but the vampire actor doesn't really like vampires either, so I guess it is okay.
Okay, here is the synopsis: Finley's brother died, and she wants to become close to him again, so she goes to one of his favorite places in the world, Ireland. Somehow, she manages to sit next to teen heartthrob, Beckett Rush (stupid name, I know.) Even though she is cold and distant with him, he finds her attitude refreshing and decides to help her find all the places her brother went to. You can kinda guess what happened with that. Still, it was a refreshing novel that makes you want to laugh and cry, but definitely reaffirms your faith in both God and love. A must read and a 5/5 star-er.


It is a living, breathing prison. It is built to save humanity and create a utopia. But it failed. Only one person has survived, while the rest live out their lives in sadness. It is, Incarceron!
I know, it sounds like some commercial for some sort of bad horror film, but it was good. Finn was born inside the prison, but was convinced that he came from the outside. Claudia is the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron. She is determined to escape an arranged marriage to the horrible prince, and to learn more about the supposed utopia. By chance, Claudia and Finn meet. Claudia is determined to help Finn and his friends out because she believes that he is the lost prince and her first fiance. Finn simply wants to save as many people as possible and get out of the horrible prison. But the prison has ideas of it's own, and is determined to let nobody leave.
Author Catherine Fisher wrote an engaging and creative novel (I mean, come on. How many other LIVING PRISONS have been created?) While it may have slowed down at parts (which are quite easy to skim over) it still had you excited to find out what would happen to Finn and his friends at the end.
This is where the biggest problem was in the book.
It is a series.
I am not against series at all (I mean, I am a complete and utter Potterhead) but there are some books that are simply not good for series-dom. This was one of those books that you just want to read, be done with and think, oh, that was nice. I like the way that ended, even if it was a little too perfect. What you do not want to do is have to read another 400 page novel to find out that everything ended perfectly... It wasn't that good. So, if you are up for a cliff hanger ending, read it. It still gets 4/5 stars as a stand alone book. But if we are going for books destined for major series-dom, it only gets 3/5 stars. On a good day.

The Handmaid's Tale

I am not going to spend a lot of time on this book either for one simple reason:
It sucked.
I am also not one to use language like that, but sometimes, you just have to be brutally honest.
Do not read at all costs.
Thank you.
1 star.

The Importance of Being Earnest

I am not going to write a super long review for this book, simply because it is a play that I had to read for AP Language, but I still believe that it deserves some recognition. So let me sum it up in one word: funny. I was expecting absolutely nothing good from this book, just because the author, Oscar Wilde, seemed like kind of a jerk from what we watched about him on TV, but it was surprisingly clever and funny. I'm not going to say much about the plot, because it is a 30 page book and therefore something you could quickly read while eating your cereal in the morning, plus the plot is confusing to explain, and would either make your heads spin, or give away too much of the story. However, it is deserving of 4/5 stars (one taken away because Wilde is a jerk.) I am also not going to do any adventure-ing for this book either, because I believe that reading the play in a bad English accent, watching the movie on Oscar Wilde, watching the Colin Firth-ed movie on this play, and writing an essay that is almost as long as the book, counts for more than enough adventure-ing. So cheerio and Firth on. 


So I have decided to just have an explosion of book reviews, since I have been reading a lot but am also contained to my home so there is a limited amount of adventure-ing aloud for me. So here it goes...
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian:
Okay, before I get down to it, I'm just going to say that this book is absolutely hilarious. Sure, a few people die, and sure it shows just how much it stinks to live on an Indian reservation. But the protagonist, Junior, takes it all in a comical light. I wasn't expecting much from a young adult book with pictures in it, but this book just shows how stuck up I can be. He was born with "water on the brain," which results in a wide variety of medical issues and the taunts of his fellow Indians. But when he grows tired of life on the rez and decides to go to the white-person school, he still endures taunting. So his life is just going great. It may sound like a weird plot, but author Sherman Alexie brings this all together into a funny and outstanding novel. I'm just gonna take a star away because there are perhaps a few too many inappropriate jokes, which is fine for some, but just not my style. So 4/5 stars and read it peeps.
Just to show what this book is like, I'm going to show a picture from the book:


Dear People who may not be in the know,
JK Rowling is going to release a new book. In her statement, she said:
“Although I’ve enjoyed writing it every bit as much, my next book will be very different to the Harry Potter series, which has been published so brilliantly by Bloomsbury and my other publishers around the world.” 
I find this an extremely bittersweet moment. Rowling is writing another book, but it is not another Potter book... Even if she did write another Potter book, it probably wouldn't be about Harry, which is another depressing factor. His story is done, and while we have no clue what this one will be about, there still isn't that same excitement that the last book brought to us diehard fans. Plus, as I am still underage (no care, and parents who enjoy sleeping at night), I have never had the opportunity to go to a midnight release. While I can still go to the release of this book, I probably will not be able to dress up in my wizard's robes. I feel like, while this is a fresh and exciting moment, it symbolizes that Harry's world is truly and 100%-ly over and done. Something that I have been denying for 5 years. Regardless, let us hope that Ms Rowling's book is released later this year, and it matches the same beauty that the Potter books did.
Potter on,

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ship Breaker

Since I'm snowed in for the weekend, I fear that the adventuring will be put on a hold for a little bit. But I do have a ton of books to review, so I'll just get that out of the way first.
Ship Breaker. Umm... yeah. So this kid Nailer has kinda a stinky life having to tear through ships looking for scrap metal, and then he finds this swank girl on a ship, and is about to cut off her fingers thinking that she is dead so he could get her expensive rings and well, she wasn't dead.
So Nailer helps this swank girl Nita, and they go on this adventure, and then, well, that's it. That is pretty much all I can say without giving away the whole story.
So while I might be writing this in a slightly scathing and sarcastic tone, it was well written. The plot was a little slow, but it was interesting and the exciting parts where maybe too much so. It is worth the read despite the slow middle part. So, um, yeah read it. 3/5 stars and all.


I'll admit that I'm kinda cheating on this one. I honestly had no idea what to do for Grimm Legacy unless I want to go to NYC and take out a flying carpet or some such thing from the library (which I DO want to do, but there are certain things preventing me from doing this, like how I don't have a car.) So I decided, they have this whole thing where they turn royalty into dolls (bizarre, I know) and when I was little I thought that I was a princess, so couldn't that count for this? Well I think it does.
I am awesome.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Grimm Legacy

I just realized that I read this book a while ago, but never posted anything about it... Oops!
I really liked this book, mainly because I just have such a soft spot for Grimm fairytales. I don't really know why either, they are all so gory... Did you know that they cut off Cinderella's stepsister's toes? Creepy... Anyways, this book was interesting regardless. Elizabeth Rew, who feels lonely in the midst of a new step family, is ecstatic when she gets a job at a library at the New York Circulating Material Respiratory. However, instead of lending out boring ol' books, they lend out items, including items that were once owned by the Brothers Grimm. Of course, one person starts to create havoc with a Grimm item, and an adventure ensue. Polly Shulman (the author) has written an interesting and fun novel that is definately worth the read (or maybe that is just my nerdy librarian side talking who wants to now work in the Grimm item checkout). Regardless, this book gets 4/5 stars.

For the measure,  I find this line on the cover: "Borrow the magic... If you dare!" really cheesy. Just sayin.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

One of Many

I will inform you right now that I am a huge Potterhead. It is pretty much my life and passion. So I will try to keep the Potter to a minimum so I am not too biased, but there will be the occasion when I have to remark on something Potter-related. Like this:

It is so amazing. I may have actually liked Chemistry last year if I had this. If you need to see it larger, I think that just clicking on it should work... Well, enjoy! And Potter on.

Do not try this at home...

Okay, I know that I tried this at home, but I am simply advising others against it. I decided to make Hatter Madigan's hat from The Looking Glass Wars, which is a top hat that flattens down forcing several sharp blades out that are very good for slicing things. I realized that this probably wasn't the smartest of ideas fairly quickly, so I decided that I would not wear or attack anyone with the hat. Just quickly make it, take a picture, and disassemble it. I am pretty fond of my eyes and of not being in prison. Whether you are or not, I do not know.... (But for all legal reasons, I am uninvolved and therefore unable to be blamed) So here is the beautiful hat: :)
Isn't it amazing? That Hatter has got to be jealous.

The Looking Glass Wars

The Looking Glass Wars [Book]
The main reason I read The Looking Glass Wars was because of how much I hate Alice in Wonderland. I'm probably getting a ton Wonderlanders wanting to kill me now, but I do have my reasons. My mom read this book to me as a child, and I just have this horrid memory of a little baby that Alice picked up turning into a pig. It was a moment in my childhood where it was like, "Okay, what the hell is this? This is so ridiculous..." As a result, I have been yelled at by several friends who loved the movie Alice in Wonderland (which I again didn't like, Johnny Depp is so creepy. I don't get why people think that he is hot. And besides, its all "Ohhh... Johnny Depp," but its ALICE in Wonderland. Not Mad Hatter in Wonderland. I apologize for this rant, back to the topic at hand...)  Plus, in Creative Writing we had to do a report on a different poet, and one group got Lewis Carroll. They presented on him, and to be blunt, he is a creeper. I am not going to get into the details because they make me sick, so do the research yourself.
I just realized how off topic I got, so back to the main point. What was it again? Ah, The Looking Glass Wars. Yeah, I pretty much read this, because it I heard it shows Carroll in a bad light, and that it was what REALLY happened in Wonderland. Not all of the drugged up gobblededuke that Carroll came up with. (Gobblededuke is a real word! Trust me!) And that is exactly what I got out of it. A completely different version of Alice in Wonderland. And I must say, it was very good. Alyss as a small girl was attacked by her Aunt Redd on her birthday, but barely managed to escape. Hatter Madigan saved her and she accidentally ended up in our world, without Hatter (who is the Mad Hatter for those slow on the uptake). She meets Lewis Carroll and tells him her story and he completely changes it, and destroys Alyss. She looses faith in Wonderland while Wonderland itself is undergoing turmoil brought on by Queen Redd. This version was much better than Carroll's and I felt completely satisfied with author Frank Beddor's version of events. (4/5 stars)

Year of the Dragon

I honestly had no idea whatsoever as to what adventure to pursue for Falling Leaves. Unless I traveled to China, there was no real way for me to recreate her life. So I was forced to create my own China. Yesterday we ordered a ton of Chinese food (which I don't even like) and polished off the evening with a Jackie Chan movie (which I do like.) I am starting to feel like this version of China could seem a little racist as to what we assume of the Chinese. Oh well. This is the best I could do. By the way, it is really hard to eat with chopsticks. I swear that shish-ka-bobs were created for people like me who can't use them. I was left to eat with my kid chopsticks. They pretty much rock:
Who knew that pandas have such long legs anyways? My fortunes were pretty lame too. Last year, my cousin got a fortune that said "An attack or windfall is present in your near future," or something to that effect. A few seconds later I attacked him from the back while he promptly choked on his fortune cookie. Now THAT is a good fortune.
Who really wants to earn anything?
We watched Shanghai Knights with Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson, which was good but it would have been nice to know before hand that it was a sequel. It would have made more sense. Plus, you may not want to watch it with your dad... It is quite, um... Awkward....
Oh well, happy year of the dragon!

Falling Leaves

I took a temporary break from my dystopian novels to read Falling Leaves by Adeline Yen Mah for Chinese New Year. I had already read one memoir by her called Chinese Cinderella when I was 13 years old, but my dog Lucy has since chewed up that particular book by her. I had remembered really liking Chinese Cinderella, however Falling Leaves did not live up to the fond memories I had of the previous book. Mah was a much abused child who always strived for her father and stepmother's approval, but was never able to gain it, no matter how well she did in school or how wealthy she became. Much of this novel is composed of Mah's woes over her childhood memories, which I understood but a 250 page book without much color or change grows tedious. Mah is obviously a good writer, but is lacking of any emotional changes. She never had much of a bright spot in her life, so there was no good that at least made you smile occasionally. You just had to sit and grimace at her misfortunes throughout the whole book. You would at least imagine that when she became an adult things would have gotten better, but her parents continue to rule over her a continent away, and even choose her job for her. I still found the culture interesting, but there are still far better books that you can read about China. I am sure that you are all now rushing to the bookstore to pick up a copy. (2/5 stars)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I am now the legend of my neighborhood...

All right, so I thought, Legend. Day does a lot of climbing right? He scaled a 6-story building in 10 seconds. June pretty much spends her life on roofs. How hard could it be? Ah, we need to take down our Christmas lights? What a perfect opportunity. Let's say that the adventure went a little something like this:

And of course my dad just stood there taking pictures of me. I'm starting to think that this little blog here isn't worth the two dislocated shoulders...


Legend was the second book that ended up in my "read all the dystopian books possible in the next month." It took me a little longer to get a hold of, since it was taken out at the library, so I had hopes that this would turn out to be a good book as so many people wanted to read it. My suspicions were luckily correct. It was a thrilling book that was hard to put down. I finished it in a single weekend while I was waitressing for 6 hours and playing my drums for a solo competition. While it may be slightly stereotypical, cookie cutter dystopian book, Marie Lu threw a wrench in the plot. Instead of a completely brainwashed nation, the United States has been cut in half and the country is at a point where it doesn't even remember being united. June has been brainwashed by the government. She is the elite soldier that they love and who could be a great asset for their schemes. Day is the government's most wanted criminal. Of course, they meet and Day introduces June to the truth the government has been hiding from her. While I admit that this happens in pretty much every dystopia novel (in fact, looking at this plot it looks surprisingly similar to that of Matched) Lu has created an engaging novel that you can't put down and is definitely worth the read. (4/5 stars.)

My Match

So I decided to, in honor for the book Matched, find out who my own match would be. I was afraid at first, but then his picture came up, which I will now post on here. I blacked out his eyes to preserve his privacy:

Well, I was gonna black out his eyes, but then I decided to, not. You are all jealous right now I am sure. The only irony is that I don't even like Twilight. Oh well, I'm still not gonna turn down Taylor Lautner!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I have to read a dystopian book for AP English, so I decided that with all the Hunger Games hype going on, I should try to read more books of that nature and then do an article for NeXt in the Buffalo News... Plus I get to use the books for my blog. Is that multi-tasking or what? I started off my dystopian phase with Matched. It follows the pretty generic "government has taken over everybody's lives, life stinks without us knowing because we are all brainwashed" format. Everything is chosen for you, where you work and who you love. There are no books or outside thinking allowed. Cassia Maria Reyes has been matched to be with her best friend, Xander, but ends up falling for the mysterious Ky, who is an outsider. Of course, he awakens within her a realization that this form of government isn't good, and she needs to decide whether or not to play it safe like the government wants, or go against everything she believes in. Of course. Despite the plot being pretty generic, author Ally Condie creates an interesting, well written world that is worth the read. Matched gets a magical 3/5 stars.
Matched [Book]

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Stop Motion

This is just something cool that I found on the magic machine that is the wonderful internet... But it is book related!:
I love all this stop motion stuff (but it is very tedious) so I created a video over the summer through a class at my school, and promptly put it on Facebook for all the world to see before deleting it off my then-full camera. How I regret that now. Due to some technical difficulties, it is refusing at gunpoint to show up. It was so amazing too! There were books and they were attacking a mannequin. The mannequin didn't like it very much. Alas, I cannot share it with you, but I will work on making it possible as soon as my computer decides to negotiate. (Which means I will be going into a several hour long Union meeting... Boy will this be fun.) Still, return soon and I will hopefully have the video posted along with another review. To see the books I am reading, just glance over to the sidebar, and I may post on it later this week. Happy watching!

Half Broke Rusty

Okay, so I attempted to ride a horse after reading Half Broke Horses. I was able to pull myself over the thing's bony rump, dig my foot into its side, and then I was flying. It was glorious and breathtaking. I had never gone so fast in my life, or felt so terrified and exhilarated at the same time. I was just getting used to the thing, but then the cashier from Vidler's pulled me off and told me I was too big to go on it. That was a waste of 10 cents, let me tell you. I didn't get the chance to take a picture of myself on it, but I do have a picture of my amazing horse:

Okay fine. The picture isn't mine. I couldn't find my own picture of Rusty (thank my computer for that) so I got one off the internet- but it is still Rusty! Just, an older picture of him. And he's not so, broken. Or old. Or worn out looking. But whatever state he is in now, it is not (completely) my fault! (Oh, and thank you to whomever I just stole that picture from.) 
Okay, so here is the exciting part... A real picture of me riding a horse a few years ago.

Oh, yeah. I am awesome. And it is 100% genuine. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Half Broke Horses

The first book that I have read for this here blog is called Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls. I wanted to read this book because I absolutely loved Walls own memoir, The Glass Castle. As I got about to actually reading this book however, I felt an increasing sense of disappointment. It is well written, but not The Glass Castle. I put this down to the fact that Walls actually lived Glass Castle, but had to go off second hand information for Half Broke Horses. It lacked the personal effects that Glass had, and was both barren in details and lacking in emotions. However, Horses was still a good book. It was focused on the author's grandmother, Lily Casey Smith. Lily lived a difficult life on a ranch. Here, tornadoes and flash floods were common, and her parents didn't do all that they could to help her. Perhaps I feel emotionally unconnected to this book because it has been snowing outside for the past 24 hours, gathering over a foot of snow and leaving me feeling not very sorry to other people's weather problems. Boy it has been fun here (heavy sarcasm).  Since Lily was six she began breaking horses for her father's business. She eventually moved out of this life to try her hand at city living, but the country always beckoned her home. This book is a good read, and is an even better companion to the Glass Castle. Walls' life becomes more interesting the more I read about her family. I must say that my initial disappointment abated and I became quite excited when I read this book, because I had such a good activity in mind for what to do with it. I will learn how to ride a horse, preferably a half broke one. How perfect will that be? So later this week (hopefully this weekend) I will ride a horse, and more importantly, I will not fall off and die. So wish me luck, and I hope you enjoy Half Broke Horses. Next time I write, I will also be writing as a horse rider. Maybe I should be a rodeo clown, that would be cool, right? I digress. Happy reading!
3/5 stars


Hello Internetees!
My name is Alissa, who will not give away any more personal information than my name. My purpose here is to review books in a hopefully amusing way, but also to do at least one activity from each book so that I can actually live inside of a book for a little while and so you have something mildly interesting to come back here and look at. So this means that this blog is here for your input. Let me know of any books or activities you want me to partake in and I will try to do it to the best of my ability, just please keep it clean and relatively cheap because I am a high school student and therefore pretty much broke. So I will post my first review in a few minutes (if my computer stops acting stupid) and let the reading/adventure-ing begin!