Tag Archive: 2013

Ender’s Game Review (film)

Rating: PG-13

Ender’s Game was released in 2013 and was directed by Gavin Hood. It’s a science fiction action movie based on the novel written by Orson Scott Card. The movie stars Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Abigail Breslin, Viola Davis, Hailee Steinfeld, and Ben Kingsley. Once I heard one of my favorite books was being turned into a movie, I was a bit skeptical as a lot of fans were. How could the studios do justice to such a masterful story? Well, let’s just say they didn’t.

(Description from IMDb) Young Ender Wiggin is recruited by the International Military to lead the fight against the Formics, a genocidal alien race which nearly annihilated the human race in a previous invasion.

While this is quite a basic description of Ender’s Game, it pretty much sums up what the movie was focused on. There was little character development within the movie. The book covers a span of 7 years of Ender’s life, whereas the movie has no sense of passing time. It felt as though all the different events that happened to Ender spanned only a year or two. It’s understandable that they wouldn’t want to cover that much time since that would likely require more than one actor to portray some characters. Unfortunately that takes away from one of the biggest aspects of the book which was that Ender spent half his childhood in the military.

One of the things I enjoyed a lot within the book was the relationship between Ender and his siblings. Valentine kept Ender sane throughout the novel, and Peter was a constant reminder of what Ender could become. One of reasons Ender was so compassionate was because Peter was always there reminding Ender of the monster he could otherwise be. On the other hand, Peter was a complex character that had a hard time expressing his love to Ender. In the movie, Valentine and Peter had hardly any screen time, they were almost completely overlooked. It seemed as though Petra was used to replace Valentine, which I didn’t like since there was no real connection besides being a love interest.

Many key points were missing in the movie. There is not enough emphasis put on how important the “mind game” is that Ender is playing in Battle School. Of course, it’s talked about and the visuals were decent, but the game is there to demonstrate just how intellectual Ender is and how different he is compared to other students. The ending was another area that was completely changed for the film. I won’t spoil anything major, but Petra was not supposed to be there and Ender was supposed to be older. This basically told me that the studios were not interested in continuing with the Ender’s Game timeline properly, and we would most likely not be getting a sequel (not that I want one at this point).

The acting was not terrible, but it wasn’t great either. Several of the actors stood out while most of the cast was average. Some of my favorites were Bonzo (Moises Arias) and Bean (Aramis Knight), even though Bean didn’t get as many lines as I was hoping for. Everyone else, to me, was alright. None of the actors/actresses stand out above anyone else.

I feel like Ender’s Game was only used to gain the studios money for their next projects; it did not seem as if there was a lot of care put into making this film. The only reason I didn’t give this movie a rating of 1/5 is because the battle room was done quite well, and it was nice to see that come to life. Other than that, I didn’t enjoy this film at all. I mostly slouched down in my chair and kept shaking my head throughout the movie. I’m sure the movie would have been a fun and entertaining film for me had I not read the book, but alas, I did read the book, and this movie was a huge disappointment to me. If you want to delve into the world of Ender’s Game, please just read the book and skip the movie. As a lot of book lovers say, “Do not judge the book based on the movie.”

Feel free to tell me what you thought of the movie. I would really like to know others’ opinions on this subject, whether you read the book or not.

My Rating: ★★


December 2013 Book Haul (#2)

December 2013 Book Haul (#2)

You can never have too many books (at least that’s what I tell myself when I buy more).

*All descriptions taken from Goodreads.

A Hunting We Will Go – Hal Friedman
Genre – Thriller

The Ultimate Hunter. . . Arthur Combs is LA’s hottest story. Dubbed Starman, this terrifying serial killer is a monster who preys on beautiful, famous women–guided by the sadistic urges of a mysterious partner.

The Perfect Prey. . . Katlyn Rome is LA’s hottest TV news anchor. Intelligent and ambitious, she is the leading reporter on this career-making story–and Starman’s next target.

In A Deadly Battle For SurvivalAs Starman closes in, Kate turns to the one person who can help her survive, veteran cop and department outsider Dan Jarrett. Together they must outwit a diabolical psychopath in a game with only one rule–kill or be killed.

The Search – Christiane Heggan
Genre – Mystery

When Philadelphia assistant district attorney Sydney Cooper gets an urgent late-night call from her best friend asking to meet her, she can’t help but wonder what kind of trouble investigative journalist Lily Gilmore has gotten herself into this time. But exasperation soon turns to fear when she becomes the sole witness to her friend’s brutal kidnapping. Knowing she cannot rely on local law enforcement, Sydney believes she’s Lily’s best hope for survival.

Armed with only her determination, Sydney delves deep into Lily’s two latest high-profile cases — with shocking results. But when Jake Sloan, an enigmatic stranger, comes to her aid, Sydney slowly realizes that Lily’s disappearance is more complicated than she ever imagined. In a perilous race against the clock, Jake and Sydney must uncover a kidnapper’s motives … before the search is too late.

Hush – Anne Frasier
Genre – Mystery/Thriller

It’s criminal profiler Ivy Dunlap’s job to unravel the psyches of the most dangerous men alive. None haunts her dreams more than the killer who took her son’s life sixteen years ago, then silently disappeared into the dark. Now an urgent request for help from the Chicago police has reawakened Ivy’s greatest nightmare.

The Madonna Murderer has returned to fulfill his calling. This time Ivy understands the killer instinct. She knows what man is capable of. This time she’s ready to confront her deepest fear, face-to-face. For the very last time…

Intensity – Dean Koontz
Genre – Mystery/Thriller

Past midnight, Chyna Shepard, twenty-six, gazes out a moonlit window, unable to sleep on her first night in the Napa Valley home of her best friend’s family. Instinct proves reliable. A murderous sociopath, Edgler Foreman Vess, has entered the house, intent on killing everyone inside. A self-proclaimed homicidal adventurer, Vess lives only to satisfy all appetites as they arise, to immerse himself in sensation, to live without fear, remorse or limits, to live with intensity. Chyna is trapped in his deadly orbit.

Chyna is a survivor, toughened by a lifelong struggle for safety and self-respect. Now she will be tested as never before. At first her sole aim is to get out alive until, by chance, she learns the identity of Vess’s next intended victim, a faraway innocent only she can save. Driven by a newly discovered thirst for meaning beyond mere self-preservation, Chyna musters every inner resource she has to save an endangered girl as moment by moment, the terrifying threat of Edgler Foreman Vess intensifies.

Cold Fire – Dean Koontz
Genre – Horror/Thriller/Mystery

Now repackaged–the classic story of reporter Holly Thorne, who is intrigued by the strange, quiet Jim Ironheart. Jim has saved 12 lives in three months, and now Holly’s falling in love with him. But what power compels an ordinary man to be a hero? Reissue.

December 2013 Book Haul

December 2013 Book Haul

*All descriptions taken from Goodreads.

Undone – Brooke Taylor
Genre – Young Adult

When Kori Kitlzer, the “dark angel” of the 8th grade, tells Serena Moore that they are more alike than she thinks, Serena is instantly intrigued.  As their friendship solidifies and their lives entwine, Serena tries to become more like the fearless, outspoken, and ambitious Kori. Soon Serena doesn’t know where she begins and Kori ends. But when a twist of fate yanks Kori away from Serena, she will need to find a way to complete her best friend’s life left undone.

Undone is a striking debut novel about friendship, family, and the secrets we keep from the people to whom we are closest.

I Will Save You
– Matt De La Peña
Genre – Young Adult

Kidd is running from his past and his future. No mom, no dad, and there’s nothing for him at the group home but therapy. He doesn’t belong at the beach where he works either, unless he finds a reason to stay.

Olivia is blond hair, blue eyes, rich dad. The prettiest girl in Cardiff. She’s hiding something from Kidd—but could they ever be together anyway?

Devon is mean, mysterious, and driven by a death wish. A best friend and worst enemy. He followed Kidd all the way to the beach and he’s not leaving until he teaches him a few lessons about life. And Olivia.

Shrinking Violet
– Danielle Joseph
Genre – Young Adult

High school senior Teresa Adams is so painfully shy that she dreads speaking to anyone in the hallways or getting called on in class.

But in the privacy of her bedroom with her iPod in hand, she rocks out – doing mock broadcasts for Miami’s hottest FM radio station, which happens to be owned by her stepfather. When a slot opens up at The SLAM, Tere surprises herself by blossoming behind the mike into confident, sexy Sweet T – and to everyone’s shock, she’s a hit!

Even Gavin, the only guy in school who she dares to talk to, raves about the mysterious DJ’s awesome taste in music. But when The SLAM announces a songwriting contest — and a prom date with Sweet T is the grand prize – Sweet T’s dream could turn into Tere’s worst nightmare…

Miles From Ordinary – Carol Lynch Williams
Genre – Young Adult

Thirteen-year-old Lacey wakes to a beautiful summer morning excited to begin her new job at the library, just as her mother is supposed to start work at the grocery store. Lacey hopes that her mother’s ghosts have finally been laid to rest; after all, she seems so much better these days, and they really do need the money. But as the hours tick by and memories come flooding back, a day full of hope spins terrifyingly out of control…

Now this award-winning YA author brings us an equally gripping story of a girl who loves her mother, but must face the truth of what life with that mother means for both of them.

Infinite Days – Rebecca Maizel
Genre – Young Adult

“Throughout all my histories, I found no one I loved more than you… no one.”

Those were some of Rhode’s last words to me. The last time he would pronounce his love. The last time I would see his face.
It was the first time in 592 years I could take a breath. Lay in the sun. Taste.
Rhode sacrificed himself so I, Lenah Beaudonte, could be human again. So I could stop the blood lust.
I never expected to fall in love with someone else that wasn’t Rhode.
But Justin was… daring. Exciting. More beautiful than I could dream.
I never expected to be sixteen again… then again, I never expected my past to come back and haunt me…

The Knife That Killed Me – Anthony McGowan
Genre – Young Adult

Paul Vanderman could be at any normal high school where bullies, girls, and annoying teachers are just part of life. But “normal” doesn’t apply when it comes to the school’s biggest bully, Roth—a twisted and threatening thug with an evil agenda.

When Paul ends up delivering a message from Roth to the leader of a gang at a nearby school, it fuels a rivalry with immediate consequences. Paul attempts to distance himself from the feud, but somehow Roth keeps finding reasons for him to stick around. Then one day Roth hands him a knife. And even though Paul is scared, he has never felt so powerful.

House of Night: The Beginning – P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Genre – Young Adult

(Marked) The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird’s world, vampyres have always existed.  In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire — that is, if she makes it through the Change.  Not all of those who are chosen do.  It’s tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling.  She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx.  But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers.  When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny–with a little help from her new vampyre friends.

Guardian of the Dead – Karen Healey
Genre – Young Adult

“You’re Ellie Spencer.”
I opened my mouth, just as he added, “And your eyes are opening.” 

Seventeen-year-old Ellie Spencer is just like any other teenager at her boarding school. She hangs out with her best friend Kevin, she obsesses over Mark, a cute and mysterious bad boy, and her biggest worry is her paper deadline.

But then everything changes. The news headlines are all abuzz about a local string of serial killings that all share the same morbid trademark: the victims were discovered with their eyes missing. Then a beautiful yet eerie woman enters Ellie’s circle of friends and develops an unhealthy fascination with Kevin, and a crazed old man grabs Ellie in a public square and shoves a tattered Bible into her hands, exclaiming, “You need it. It will save your soul.” Soon, Ellie finds herself plunged into a haunting world of vengeful fairies, Maori mythology, romance, betrayal, and an epic battle for immortality.

Legend – Marie Lu
Genre – Young Adult

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Prodigy – Marie Lu
Genre – Young Adult

Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother to an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic’s most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots – a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring down the Republic. But can they trust them or have they unwittingly become pawns in the most terrifying of political games?

Champion – Marie Lu
Genre – Young Adult

He is a Legend.
She is a Prodigy.
Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps-Elect, while Day has been assigned a high-level military position.

But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them: just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything.

Life Before Legend – Marie Lu
Genre – Young Adult

Find out more about June and Day in this never-before-seen glimpse into their daily lives before they met in Marie Lu’s New York Times bestselling LEGEND series. As twelve-year-olds struggling to survive in two very different worlds within the Republic’s stronghold, June was starting her first day of school at Drake University as the youngest cadet ever admitted, and Day was fighting for food on the streets of the Lake sector. LIFE BEFORE LEGEND contains two original stories written by Marie Lu that give readers a sneak peek into the lives of their favorite characters in a thrilling new context.