Tag Archive: May


Diana and I have completed The Night Angel Trilogy! It was such an epic adventure. Thank you for following us along our buddy read as we completed this great trilogy. We hope you check out these books if you haven’t already because they are definitely worth it. Our giveaway winners  are announced at the bottom of this post as well. 🙂

**The following may contain spoilers for The Way of ShadowsShadow’s Edge, and Beyond the Shadows

 

Did anything surprise you in this section?

{Diana} Honestly? I thought more people would die. Weeks has this habit of toying with your emotions in the most brutal way possible, so I thought that there would be bucket loads of carnage (now there’s a visual for ya), but there wasn’t nearly as much as I expected.

And it may be just me, but I was surprised at how rushed the ending felt. Don’t get me wrong, it was pretty satisfying, but I kind of felt like it was all, “Here’s what happens after the final battle. I hope you enjoyed flying Night Angel Air. You can collect your baggage a luggage claim 3.”

Also, there were a few things that I would have liked to have seen the resolution of first hand. This may be a spoiler, but I kinda felt like the ending was left slightly open. There’s still so much potential storyline left over that I would have loved to have explored. Maybe I’m just greedy.

{Heather} I completely agree with Diana. I’m actually really surprised that more people didn’t die. I was waiting for most of the cast to be killed off and being stuck with Elene for the rest of the book. Speaking of Elene, I was really surprised with her role in the end of this book. It still doesn’t change how I feel about her.

The ending definitely felt rushed. I was surprised how much was crammed into the end to finish the trilogy. It could have almost been another whole book to sum up everything that happened. Then, maybe, we could have had more resolutions. I wanted more of the plots summed up, but I’ve heard that Brent Weeks will be venturing back to this world, so maybe we will get to see how all the characters ended up.

 

Who was your favorite character in this section?

{Diana} For me, it’s a toss-up between Kylar and Dorian. Kylar did some pretty amazing things in the final battle, but I think Dorian made the biggest sacrifices for the greater good. He totally redeemed himself to me from his actions in the last section.

{Heather} I would have to say Logan. He grew so much as a character in this trilogy, and I really like how he was in the end. He was such a great king and an even better husband. I really enjoyed that he conquered his past and made himself a better person because of it all. King Gyre all the way!

 

Who was your least favorite character?

{Diana} Definitely Neph Dada. What he did with Khali could have been catastrophic for sure. I don’t understand how he ever thought that was a good idea.

{Heather} (Spoilers) Elene again. This girl just can’t get a break from me. I’m just constantly hating on her, but I can’t stand her. I especially hate how she fit into everything at the end. It just felt odd since she didn’t seem all that special to me. I’m just glad I got my wish. 😉

 

What was your favorite quote or passage?

{Diana} I don’t know what it is about this quote, but it kind of gives me the warm-fuzzies. I don’t think it’s a spoiler but, just in case, you’ve been warned.

” Kylar saw that Curoch wasn’t a simple tool of magic. It wasn’t an amplifier of Talent. Curouch amplified the whole man.

Elene’s beacon of hope, Durzo’s titanic determination, Dorian’s penitence and astounding focus, Ariel’s intelligence, Logan’s courage, Vi’s longing for a new beginning, Kylar’s love of justice, the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood, sacrifice, hatred of evil, feelings martial and impulses nurturing. Through it all, the glue that made the magic was love, and love sounded each instrument from its top to its bottom notes—and each man and each woman performed beautifully, heroically, some capable of only a few notes, some with huge range but little depth, and some of them true masters, but each giving all.”

{Heather} I definitely like the quote Diana chose. It was perfect for the ending of this trilogy. For me, I had two quotes for this round. The first is between Kylar and the Wolf. It will be a bit of a spoiler.

Kylar took a breath, looking over the city in all its splendor and remembering what it had looked like not so long ago. “We live on a great battlefield, and you and I fight behind enemy lines,” he said. “Like it or not, my lupine friend, you are one of the lights that helps me believe.”

[The Wolf] hmmed. “I will consider what you’ve said. The creature stirs. The day’s battle begins.”

“May the light shine on you, my friend,” Kylar said.

I just love how this relationship changed over the course of this trilogy. It was interesting to see who the Wolf really was.

This second quote is from Logan, and I just think it’s so sweet. I ended up squealing because of it. Logan is such a sweetheart and a great king.

“I’ve always wanted to be a dad,” Logan said.

 


Giveaway Winners

The giveaways have officially ended! Thank you to everyone who entered and participated. Diana and I are happy to announce the winners.

The winner for The Night Angel Trilogy paperback boxed set is . . .  Stephanie M.

The winner for The Night Angel Trilogy ebooks is . . .  Michelle M.

Congratulations to both of you!

We have already sent the winners an e-mail, and they will have 48 hours to reply to claim their prizes. If neither one replies, we will pick another winner. We’ll pick someone every two days until the prizes are claimed.

We enjoyed this buddy read and hosting these giveaways. Thanks again everybody!

May 2014 Wrap-Up

The May Wrap-Up is finally here and only three months late. In May, I read five books and watched three movies. It’s a bit of a step down from April where I read 11 books and watched seven movies, but I still did pretty good. I’m working on my June and July Wrap-Up, and I plan to have both up sometime during this month. Let me know if you’ve read or watched any of these books and movies and what you thought of them.

*All descriptions for books taken from Goodreads and all descriptions for movies taken from IMDb.

The Sons of Liberty #1 – Alexander Lagos and Joseph Lagos
Genre – Young Adult/Historical Fiction
My Rating – ★★★★

Forget everything you thought you knew about America’s early days-history packs a punch in this full-color, two-fisted, edge-of-your-seat adventure!

Graphic novels are a revolution in literature, and The Sons of Liberty is a graphic novel like no other. Visual and visceral, fusing historical fiction and superhero action, this is a tale with broad appeal-for younger readers who enjoy an exciting war story, for teenagers asking hard questions about American history, for adult fans of comic books, for anyone seeking stories of African American interest, and for reluctant readers young and old.

In Colonial America, Graham and Brody are slaves on the run-until they gain extraordinary powers. At first they keep a low profile. But their mentor has another idea-one that involves the African martial art dambe . . . and masks.

With its vile villains, electrifying action, and riveting suspense, The Sons of Liberty casts new light on the faces and events of pre-Revolution America, including Ben Franklin and the French and Indian War. American history has rarely been this compelling-and it’s never looked this good.

Review: The Sons of Liberty was my first graphic novel, and it did not disappoint. The concept for this book is a entertaining new twist on American history. The artwork is beautiful and vibrant. The details are great, and it’s easy to distinguish between each character. While characters may not be completely relatable, they are enjoyable and engaging. I wanted a lot more action because of the set up during the first few pages, but I’m glad that we were able to see the backstory of the main characters and how they got accustomed to their powers. I would definitely recommend this graphic novels to anyone that loves historical retellings or anyone interested in a fun and entertaining story about two boys who gain special powers.

 

The Sons of Liberty #2: Death and Taxes – Alexander Lagos and Joseph Lagos
Genre – Young Adult/Historical Fiction
My Rating – ★★★

Several years have passed since Graham and Brody escaped the bonds of slavery. Now, when the streets of Philadelphia erupt in violence, the two boys must decide: will they use their extraordinary abilities to aid the growing rebellion or to quell it? An ambitious, thought-provoking, and visually stunning graphic novel, Death and Taxes offers an entirely new way to experience all the hope and heartbreak of America’s early days.

Review: Death and Taxes is the second installment for the The Sons of Liberty dualogy. While I still love the story and wanted to find out what happened to Graham and Brody, there were elements missing that the first one had. The story can be a bit dull in places, and the main villain isn’t a scary as he is made out to be. The artwork is still nice, but at some points, it’s hard to figure out the difference between the characters. However, it’s a great story, and I did enjoy the unpredictable ending. I want to find out what becomes of the two main characters, and I would really love another addition to this story.

 

This Song Will Save Your Life – Leila Sales
Genre – Young Adult/Contemporary
My Rating – ★★★

Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.

Review: This Song Will Save Your Life was a bit of a disappointment for me. I did like it, but I didn’t love it like I thought I would. I’ll start with everything that I liked. I think the messages the book focused on are important for young teens in high school or anyone not sure about themselves. It shows that everything gets better over time and that you can find something you love that makes you happy. However, I did have problems with other parts of the story. I didn’t really like Elise. Of course, I felt terrible for her at the beginning with what she was dealing with, but as the story progressed, I felt that she was very judgmental of everyone around her and made impulsive decisions. Some of her actions were unjustified, in my opinion such as (SPOILER)  – destroying her stepsister’s project – (END SPOILER). I understand her reasons and why she committed the act, but I felt there wasn’t a good enough reason to do so. There were also times when the motivations of some characters were strange or silly such as the person’s reason for making the hateful blog about Elise. I would recommend this book because of it’s message, even though I didn’t enjoy everything in the story.

 

Geek Love – Katherine Dunn
Genre – Horror
My Rating – ★★★½

Geek Love is the story of the Binewskis, a carny family whose mater- and paterfamilias set out–with the help of amphetamine, arsenic, and radioisotopes–to breed their own exhibit of human oddities. There’s Arturo the Aquaboy, who has flippers for limbs and a megalomaniac ambition worthy of Genghis Khan . . . Iphy and Elly, the lissome Siamese twins . . . albino hunchback Oly, and the outwardly normal Chick, whose mysterious gifts make him the family’s most precious–and dangerous–asset.

As the Binewskis take their act across the backwaters of the U.S., inspiring fanatical devotion and murderous revulsion; as its members conduct their own Machiavellian version of sibling rivalry, Geek Love throws its sulfurous light on our notions of the freakish and the normal, the beautiful and the ugly, the holy and the obscene. Family values will never be the same.

Review: Geek Love is a strange story, and it’s definitely not for everyone. If the description sounds odd, believe me when I say it gets quite weird. There are a lot of disturbing things that happen within this novel such as cults, taking drugs while pregnant to get “special” children, sketchy doctors, and mutilation. This is a unique story with quite a few subplots, and it’s easy to see that a lot of time and research went into creating this novel, which is admirable. The characters are not exactly likeable and they have plenty of flaws, but they’re distinct and add their own dimension to the story. They’re intriguing and make you want to find out what happens to the family. I didn’t particularly like the parts of the story where there was a focus on Oly when she’s older. These moments seemed to drag the story down and make it a little boring. I wanted the story to stay with the Binewskis when Oly is younger because I feel like the book would have had more of an impact. If the book ended with Chick’s final act, it could have been more powerful with a more drawn out scene. I ended up having to read that section twice to confirm what actually happened and that moment could have been more epic if that were the official ending. This book is worth reading but be warned that this novel takes disturbing to a new level.

 

Emotional Blackmail – Susan Forward with Donna Frazier
Genre – Non-Fiction
My Rating – ★★★★

Emotional blackmail is a powerful form of manipulation in which people close to us threaten to punish us for not doing what they want. Emotional blackmailers know how much we value our relationships with them. They know our vulnerabilities and our deepest secrets. They can be our parents or partners, bosses or coworkers, friends or lovers. And no matter how much they care about us, they use this intimate knowledge to win the pay-off they want: our compliance.

In Emotional Blackmail, bestselling author Susan Forward dissects the anatomy of a relationship damaged by manipulation to give blackmail targets the tools they need to fight back. In a clear, no-nonsense style, she outlines the specific steps readers can take, offering checklists, practice scenarios, and concrete communications techniques that will strengthen relationships and break the blackmail cycle for good.

Review: Emotional Blackmail is a great book for people who have individuals that manipulate them. It goes through steps to figure out if you are being emotionally blackmailed and how to possibly deal with this information. This is a great book to find out if you have a blackmailer in your life and different ways to deal with the situation in a constructive way. It’s extremely useful to learn why the blackmailer is putting you through this turmoil. There were plenty of actual cases shown within the book and each of them demonstrated how each individual handled his/her blackmailer.  Of course, each case is different and might not be solved in the best possible way but having knowledge about the situation is helpful. I would definitely recommend this book because it might shed some light to some who don’t even know they are being emotionally blackmailed.

 

Hero
Rating – PG-13
My Rating – ★★★★

A not-so-nice man rescues passengers from a crashed airliner, only to see someone else take credit.

Review: For a large portion of Hero, I was incredibly frustrated with the characters. From everyone not believing the actual hero to the news reporter’s feelings towards the fake hero. Then near the end, I started enjoying it a lot, and I really liked how it wrapped up. It was a perfect ending to this sort of movie and matched all of the characters’ personalities. I feel the plot is unique, and I’ve never come across another movie like this one. The characters are not a hundred percent likeable, especially the hero, but it only adds to the overall story. This is worth watching, and if nothing else, you get to see Dustin Hoffman be a really grouchy little fella.

 

Quest for Camelot
Rating – G
My Rating – ★★

An adventurous girl, a young blind hermit and a goofy two headed dragon race to find the lost sword Excalibur to save King Arthur and Camelot from disaster.

Review: Quest for Camelot was a disappointment for me. I was excited for a great adventure with a strong female lead, but all it seemed to be was a girl in need of help on her journey. I do appreciate the incorporation of a blind young man to give the story a different twist, but it really isn’t very different from other stories with damsels in distress. Girl goes on adventure, she gets in trouble, guy rescues her, guy continues to save girl throughout story, and funny side characters join in to add silly banter and sing humorous songs. I honestly cannot remember any of the characters’ names, and at this point, I don’t care enough to look them up. It was saddening to keep seeing the girl constantly in danger and then being saved by the guy. The villain is pretty laughable as well. While he is extremely evil and scary looking, he ends up making silly decisions about the escaping girl and breaks off into song and interpretive dance to explain his next move to the mother and girl. I feel there are much better children’s movies out there and while I don’t hate this movie, I would have to say it’s worth skipping.

 

Godzilla (2014)
Rating – PG-13
My Rating – ★★★★½

The world’s most famous monster is pitted against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.

Review: I have a full review of GodzillaGodzilla is a great summer movie. If you were worried about seeing this because of previous versions, don’t be because Godzilla has been redeemed in this movie. It’s the perfect blend of action and suspense and contains great acting and special effects. Of course, I wanted to see more Godzilla, but it makes it more enjoyable when he is onscreen. I’ve read that there’s a possibility of this becoming a trilogy. I’m excited for future installments and hope to see Godzilla in all his glory.

May 2014 Book Haul (#2)

More books! My wallet no longer likes bookoutlet. I seem to always end up with books in my cart on that website, even when I’m only browsing. I just need to stop browsing, I suppose. I’m happy to say that I don’t have anymore books in my cart at the moment. That will change soon, I’m sure, but I’m doing great so far. I did end up buying two graphic novels in this haul that I’m excited about. The covers are beautiful, and the artwork is even better. I’ve never bought a graphic novel before besides the Vampire Academy in my last haul. The only bad thing about this is that I want to get more now. I’m sure there will be plenty of book hauls in the future that will have some graphic novels. I would love to have recommendations for some good graphic novels if anyone has any to share.

*All descriptions taken from Goodreads.

The Sons of Liberty #1 – Alexander Lagos and Joseph Lagos
Genre – Young Adult/Historical Fiction

Forget everything you thought you knew about America’s early days-history packs a punch in this full-color, two-fisted, edge-of-your-seat adventure!

Graphic novels are a revolution in literature, and The Sons of Liberty is a graphic novel like no other. Visual and visceral, fusing historical fiction and superhero action, this is a tale with broad appeal-for younger readers who enjoy an exciting war story, for teenagers asking hard questions about American history, for adult fans of comic books, for anyone seeking stories of African American interest, and for reluctant readers young and old.

In Colonial America, Graham and Brody are slaves on the run-until they gain extraordinary powers. At first they keep a low profile. But their mentor has another idea-one that involves the African martial art dambe . . . and masks.

With its vile villains, electrifying action, and riveting suspense, The Sons of Liberty casts new light on the faces and events of pre-Revolution America, including Ben Franklin and the French and Indian War. American history has rarely been this compelling-and it’s never looked this good.

 

The Sons of Liberty #2: Death and Taxes – Alexander Lagos and Joseph Lagos
Genre – Young Adult/Historical Fiction

Several years have passed since Graham and Brody escaped the bonds of slavery. Now, when the streets of Philadelphia erupt in violence, the two boys must decide: will they use their extraordinary abilities to aid the growing rebellion or to quell it? An ambitious, thought-provoking, and visually stunning graphic novel, Death and Taxes offers an entirely new way to experience all the hope and heartbreak of America’s early days.

 

 

Don’t You Wish – Roxanne St. Claire
Genre – Young Adult/Contemporary

Plain and unpopular Annie Nutter gets zapped by one of her dad’s whacked-out inventions into a parallel universe Ayla Monroe – gorgeous, rich queen bee of her high school. In glitzy Miami, her different billionaire dad supplies money but is absent. Friends hit the clubs, party backstage at concerts, and take risks that are exhilarating, and illegal. Ayla has a date to lose her V-card with the hottest guy she’s ever seen, but she’s still Annie on the inside. Will she take the chance to leave the dream life and head back to dreary Pittsburgh?

 

Siren’s Storm – Lisa Papademetriou
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

Nothing has been the same for Will ever since what happened last summer. One day, on an ordinary sailing trip with his brother, there is a strange accident. When Will wakes up, he learns his brother has disappeared, presumed drowned. Worst of all, Will can’t remember what happened—his family finds him unconscious, with no memory of the accident.

Now Will and his best friend and neighbor, Gretchen, are starting a new summer. Gretchen seems troubled—her sleepwalking habit is getting worse, and she keeps waking up closer and closer to the water. Will is drawn to Asia, the exotic new girl in town. Nobody knows where she’s from—all Will knows is that her beauty and her mesmerizing voice have a powerful effect on people.

Then there is another mysterious drowning, and Will and Gretchen begin to wonder: Is Asia just another beautiful, wealthy summer resident? Or is she something entirely more sinister . . . and inhuman?

Fury’s Fire – Lisa Papademetriou
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

At the end of Siren’s Storm, the Sirens were defeated, and now the town of Walfang is once again a peaceful beach community.

Or is it? Gretchen and Will are still haunted by the memories of the night the Sirens were destroyed—Gretchen because she can’t remember what happened and Will because he doesn’t know how to tell Gretchen what he saw. He doesn’t even understand what he saw, but he does know now that Gretchen is more than what she seems, more than a human girl. And at the same time, he is more in love with her than ever.

Gretchen knows there’s something wrong, too. She feels like an alien in her own body, but she doesn’t know why. And she feels a presence stalking her at every turn. Have the Sirens returned to Walfang? Or has some other force come to claim her?

Torn to Pieces – Margot McDonnell
Genre – Young Adult/Mystery

Anne is used to her single mother’s being away on extended business trips. But when her mom is a few days late coming home and her hotel phone has been disconnected, Anne knows something is wrong. Then a strange man starts leaving messages on their answering machine, threatening a woman Anne has never heard of.

Frightened and worried, Anne confides in her grandparents, who give Anne a sealed envelope containing a letter that her mother wrote before she left. With each page, the fabric of Anne’s relatively normal life is torn to pieces. Not only does her mother explain why she disappeared, but she reveals other dark secrets that put Anne in grave danger. Now Anne doesn’t know whom to trust . . . especially since those closest to her are not who they claim to be.

Outpost – Ann Aguirre
Genre – Young Adult/Science Fiction

Deuce’s whole world has changed.

Down below, she was considered an adult. Now, topside in a town called Salvation, she’s a brat in need of training in the eyes of the townsfolk. She doesn’t fit in with the other girls: Deuce only knows how to fight.

To make matters worse, her Hunter partner, Fade, keeps Deuce at a distance. Her feelings for Fade haven’t changed, but he seems not to want her around anymore. Confused and lonely, she starts looking for a way out.

Deuce signs up to serve in the summer patrols—those who make sure the planters can work the fields without danger. It should be routine, but things have been changing on the surface, just as they did below ground. The Freaks have grown smarter. They’re watching. Waiting. Planning. The monsters don’t intend to let Salvation survive, and it may take a girl like Deuce to turn back the tide.

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim – David Sedaris
Genre – Non-Fiction/Humor

David Sedaris returns to his deliriously twisted domain: hilarious childhood dramas infused with melancholy; the gulf of misunderstanding that exists between people of different nations or members of the same family; and the poignant divide between one’s best hopes and most common deeds. The family characters his readers love are all here, as well as the unique terrain they inhabit, strewn with comic landmines. ‘The Rooster’ is back, and getting married in the funniest wedding ever described. David attends a slumber party and gets the upper hand in a unique version of strip poker. ‘Rubber or plastic?’ The strangest questions can tear people apart. A skinny guy from Spain, wearing a bishop’s hat and accompanied by six to eight men, invades your house and pretends to kick you. Is this any way to spend Christmas? With this new book, Sedaris’s prose reaches breathtaking new heights and marks off a territory that is unmistakably his own. Read it and weep tears of humane laughter.

Psychos – John Skipp (Editor)
Genre – Horror

This collection of thirty-five terrifying tales of serial killers at large, written by the great masters of the genre, plumbs the horrifying depths of a deranged mind and the forces of evil that compel a human being to murder, gruesomely and methodically, over and over again.

From Hannibal Lecter (The Silence of the Lambs) to Patrick Bateman (American Psycho), stories of serial killers and psychos loom large and menacing in our collective psyche. Tales of their grisly conquests have kept us cowering under the covers, but still turning the pages.

Psychos is the first book to collect in a single volume the scariest and most well-crafted fictional works about these deranged killers. Some of the stories are classics, the best that the genre has to offer, by renowned writers such as Neil Gaiman, Jack Ketchum, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Bloch, and Thomas Harris. Other selections are from the latest and most promising crop of new authors.

May 2014 Movie Haul

Here are all the movies that Chad and I bought over the weekend. This haul consists of mostly DVDs, except for three VHS. Some of the movies we have seen and loved and others are ones that are new to both of us. Hopefully, some of these will show up in my wrap-up at the end of the month.

*All descriptions taken from IMDb.

Sleepy Hollow
Rating – R

Ichabod Crane is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate the decapitations of 3 people with the culprit being the legendary apparition, the Headless Horseman.

Director: Tim Burton

Writers: Washington Irving (story), Kevin Yagher (screen story)

Stars: Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson

 

Knowing
Rating – PG-13

M.I.T. professor John Koestler links a mysterious list of numbers from a time capsule to past and future disasters and sets out to prevent the ultimate catastrophe.

Directed by Alex Proyas

Writers: Ryne Douglas Pearson (screenplay), Juliet Snowden (screenplay)

Stars: Nicolas Cage, Chandler Canterbury, Rose Byrne

 

Minority Report
Rating – PG-13

In a future where a special police unit is able to arrest murderers before they commit their crimes, an officer from that unit is himself accused of a future murder.

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writers: Philip K. Dick (short story), Scott Frank (screenplay)

Stars: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton

 

Jerry Seinfeld: “I’m Telling You For the Last Time”
TV Special

Live from New York City, Jerry Seinfeld, aided and abetted by a host of friends and fellow comedians, performs his 1998 Emmy-nominated performance on Broadway.

Director: Marty Callner

Writer: Jerry Seinfeld

Stars: Jerry Seinfeld, Michael Barryte, Grace Bustos

 

Devil’s Advocate
Rating – R

A hotshot lawyer gets more than he bargained for when he learns his new boss is Lucifer himself.

Director: Taylor Hackford

Writers: Andrew Neiderman (novel), Jonathan Lemkin (screenplay)

Stars: Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, Charlize Theron

 

Die Hard
Rating – R

John McClane, officer of the NYPD, tries to save wife Holly Gennaro and several others, taken hostage by German terrorist Hans Gruber during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.

Director: John McTiernan

Writers: Roderick Thorp (novel), Jeb Stuart (screenplay)

Stars: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia

 

Desperado
Rating – R

A gunslinger is embroiled in a war with a local drug runner.

Director: Robert Rodriguez

Writer: Robert Rodriguez

Stars: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Joaquim de Almeida

 

 

Hero
Rating – PG-13

A not-so-nice man rescues passengers from a crashed airliner, only to see someone else take credit.

Director: Stephen Frears

Writers: Laura Ziskin (story), Alvin Sargent (story)

Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Geena Davis, Andy Garcia

 

 

Agent Cody Banks
Rating – PG

A government agent trains Cody Banks in the ways of covert operations that require younger participants.

Director: Harald Zwart

Writers: Ashley Miller (screenplay), Zack Stentz (screenplay)

Stars: Frankie Muniz, Hilary Duff, Andrew Francis

 

Waterworld
Rating – PG-13

In a future where the polar ice caps have melted and most of Earth is underwater, a mutated mariner fights starvation and outlaw “smokers,” and reluctantly helps a woman and a young girl try to find dry land.

Directors: Kevin Reynolds, Kevin Costner (uncredited)

Writers: Peter Rader, David Twohy

Stars: Kevin Costner, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Dennis Hopper

 

The Pebble and the Penguin
Rating – G

A lovable but introverted penguin named Hubie plans to present his betrothal pebble to the bird of his dreams.

Directors: Don Bluth (uncredited) , Gary Goldman (uncredited)

Writers: Rachel Koretsky (screenplay), Steven Whitestone (screenplay)

Stars: Martin Short, James Belushi, Annie Golden

 

The King and I
Rating – G

Traveling to the exotic kingdom of Siam, English Schoolteacher Anna Leonowens soon discovers that her most difficult challenge is the stubborn, imperious King himself.

Director: Richard Rich

Writers: Oscar Hammerstein II (adapted from the musical by), Arthur Rankin Jr. (conceived and adapted for animation)

Stars: Miranda Richardson, Martin Vidnovic, Christiane Noll

 

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Rating – PG-13

Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson join forces to outwit and bring down their fiercest adversary, Professor Moriarty.

Director: Guy Ritchie

Writers: Michele Mulroney, Kieran Mulroney

Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Jared Harris

May 2014 Book Haul

*I wanted to apologize for hardly posting anything this past week. It’s been kind of crazy, and I’ve been super busy. I promise to get back on track.*

It’s been an entire month since I’ve posted a book haul. It’s amazing that I haven’t bought any until now. I have quite a few books to show today. The book fair opened up again, so I ended up buying books this weekend. Afterwards, Chad and I went to thrift shops and a pawn shop and bought some books and movies. I’ll have a movie haul up on Wednesday of this week. On another note, I won a Goodreads Giveaway recently for an ARC of The Fever by Megan Abbott. I’ll have a bit more information about the book in this haul.

*All descriptions taken from Goodreads.

Vampire Academy: The Graphic Novel – Richelle Mead
Genre – Young Adult/Paranormal

After two years on the run, best friends Rose and Lissa are caught and returned to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a private high school for vampires and half-bloods. It’s filled with intrigue, danger—and even romance.

Enter their dark, fascinating world through a new series of 144-page full-color graphic novels. The entire first Vampire Academy novel has been adapted for book one by Leigh Dragoon and overseen by Richelle Mead, while the beautiful art of acclaimed British illustrator Emma Vieceli brings the story to life.

Willow – Julia Hoban
Genre – Young Adult/Romance

Seven months ago on a rainy March night, Willow’s parents drank too much wine at dinner and asked her to drive them home. But they never made it–Willow lost control of the car, and both of her parents were killed.

Now seventeen, Willow is living with her older brother, who can barely speak to her. She has left behind her old home, friends, and school. But Willow has found a way to survive, to numb the new reality of her life: She is secretly cutting herself.

And then she meets Guy, a boy as sensitive and complicated as she is. When Guy discovers Willow’s secret, he pulls her out of the solitary world she’s created for herself, and into a difficult, intense, and potentially life-changing relationship.

Julia Hoban has created an unflinching story about cutting, grieving, and starting anew. But above all, she has written an unforgettable tale of first love.

Folly – Marthe Jocelyn
Genre – Young Adult/Historical Fiction

Three fates intertwine in this moving and passionate love story set in Victorian London.

Mary Finn: country girl, maid to a lord in London

Caden Tucker: liar, scoundrel, and heart’s delight

James Nelligan: age six, tossed into a herd of boys

When Mary Finn falls into the arms of handsome Caden Tucker, their frolic changes the course of her life. What possesses her? She’s been a girl of common sense until now. Mary’s tale alternates with that of young James Nelligan, a new boy in an enormous foundling home.

In Folly, Marthe Jocelyn’s breathtaking command of language, detail, and character brings Victorian London to life on every page, while the deep emotions that illuminate this fascinating novel about life-changing moments are as current as today’s news.

Anger: Taming the Beast – Reneau Z. Peurifoy
Genre – Non-Fiction

DON’T LET ANGER CONTROL YOU

If you or someone you love is experiencing difficulty coping with their anger, this useful and practical book is the first place to turn to for help. With its clear, evenhanded approach, this book will show you

o Why you handle anger the way you do, and how to change
o How to manage anger in positive ways
o When anger is a fitting response
o How to express anger appropriately and effectively
o How to handle frustration and resolve conflicts
o How best to cope with stress, embarrassment, and shame

Whether you have an explosive temper or are brooding over suppressed anger, the questionnaires, step-by-step exercises, and strategies outlined in Anger: Taming the Beast will teach you how to change the way you experience and express anger. You will learn how to speak up strongly and effectively, set limits and say no to unreasonable demands, and relate your feelings to others without losing your cool.

Emotional Blackmail – Susan Forward with Donna Frazier
Genre – Non-Fiction

Emotional blackmail is a powerful form of manipulation in which people close to us threaten to punish us for not doing what they want. Emotional blackmailers know how much we value our relationships with them. They know our vulnerabilities and our deepest secrets. They can be our parents or partners, bosses or coworkers, friends or lovers. And no matter how much they care about us, they use this intimate knowledge to win the pay-off they want: our compliance.

In Emotional Blackmail, bestselling author Susan Forward dissects the anatomy of a relationship damaged by manipulation to give blackmail targets the tools they need to fight back. In a clear, no-nonsense style, she outlines the specific steps readers can take, offering checklists, practice scenarios, and concrete communications techniques that will strengthen relationships and break the blackmail cycle for good.

Clockwork Princess – Cassandra Clare
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

Tessa Gray should be happy—aren’t all brides happy? Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa’s heart, will do anything to save her.

 

The Fever – Megan Abbott
Genre – Young Adult/Horror

The Nash family is close-knit. Tom is a popular teacher, father of two teens: Eli, a hockey star and girl magnet, and his sister Deenie, a diligent student. Their seeming stability, however, is thrown into chaos when Deenie’s best friend is struck by a terrifying, unexplained seizure in class. Rumors of a hazardous outbreak spread through the family, school and community.

As hysteria and contagion swell, a series of tightly held secrets emerges, threatening to unravel friendships, families and the town’s fragile idea of security.

A chilling story about guilt, family secrets and the lethal power of desire,The Fever affirms Megan Abbot’s reputation as “one of the most exciting and original voices of her generation” (Laura Lippman).

Songs of Love and Death – Neil Gaiman, Diana Gabaldon, Jim Butcher, etc.
Genre – Fantasy/Short Stories

In this star-studded cross-genre anthology, seventeen of the greatest modern authors of fantasy, science fiction, and romance explore the borderlands of their genres with brand-new tales of ill-fated love. From zombie-infested woods in a postapocalyptic America to faery-haunted rural fields in eighteenth- century England, from the kingdoms of high fantasy to the alien world of a galaxy-spanning empire, these are stories of lovers who must struggle against the forces of magic and fate.

Award-winning, bestselling author Neil Gaiman demonstrates why he’s one of the hottest stars in literature today with The Thing About Cassandra a subtle but chilling story of a man who meets an old girlfriend he had never expected to see.

International blockbuster bestselling author Diana Gabaldon sends a World War II RAF pilot through a stone circle to the time of her Outlander series in A Leaf on the Winds of All Hallows. Torn from all he knows, Jerry MacKenzie determinedly survives hardship and danger, intent on his goal of returning home to his wife and baby, no matter the cost.

New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher presents Love Hurts, in which Harry Dresden takes on one of his deadliest adversaries and in the process is forced to confront the secret desires of his own heart.

Just the smallest sampling promises unearthly delights, but look also for stories by New York Times bestselling romance authors Jo Beverley and Mary Jo Putney, and by such legends of the fantasy genre as Peter S. Beagle and Tanith Lee, as well as many other popular and beloved writers, including Marjorie M. Liu, Jacqueline Carey, Carrie Vaughn, and Robin Hobb. This exquisite anthology, crafted by the peerless editing team of George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, is sure to leave you under its spell.

The Killing Club – Marcie Walsh with Michael Malone
Genre – Mystery

Over a decade ago in the small town of Gloria, New Jersey, feisty, red-headed outcast Jamie Ferrara and eleven friends from Gloria Hart High School started a club. They would come up with ingenious ways to kill people they didn’t like – pretty much everybody they knew – and write down these “pretend” murders in a Death Book. Calling themselves the Killing Club, the group of misfits voted on who was most likely to get away with their imaginary murders. It was harmless fun, or so they thought.

Now, more than a decade later, Detective Sergeant Jamie Ferrara of the Gloria Police Department, has a homicide investigation on her hands. The victim is Ben Tymosz, one of her fellow Killing Club members. And worse, Ben’s death is an exact replica of a “murder” once dreamed up in the club. Jamie’s boss (her fiance, Rod) is sure the death is just a ghoulish accident. But when the club reunites for Ben’s funeral, the unimaginable happens: another murder, another Killing Club member dead, another crime copied from the Death Book.

Soon, Jamie is getting death threats – anonymous notes with details only those in the club would know. Someone is targeting the Killing Club, and all signs point to one of their own. Jamie’s oldest friends turn into suspects. In a race against time, Jamie must separate her teenage memories from her hardened cop’s instincts and find the killer – by learning dark secrets at the heart of the Killing Club – before everyone in the group is dead, including Jamie.

Carniepunk – Rachel Caine, Jennifer Estep, Kevin Hearne, etc.
Genre – Fantasy/Short Stories

The traveling carnival is a leftover of a bygone era, a curiosity lurking on the outskirts of town. It is a place of contradictions—the bright lights mask the peeling paint; a carnie in greasy overalls slinks away from the direction of the Barker’s seductive call. It is a place of illusion—is that woman’s beard real? How can she live locked in that watery box?

And while many are tricked by sleight of hand, there are hints of something truly magical going on. One must remain alert and learn quickly the unwritten rules of this dark show. To beat the carnival, one had better have either a whole lot of luck or a whole lot of guns—or maybe some magic of one’s own.

Featuring stories grotesque and comical, outrageous and action-packed,Carniepunkis the first anthology to channel the energy and attitude of urban fantasy into the bizarre world of creaking machinery, twisted myths, and vivid new magic.

Thirst No. 1 – Christopher Pike
Genre – Young Adult/Paranormal

Includes:
The Last Vampire
Black Blood
Red Dice

As to blood –ah, blood, the whole subject fascinates me. I do like that as well, warm and dripping, when I am thirsty….

Alisa has been in control of her urges for the five thousand years she has been a vampire. She feeds but does not kill, and she lives her life on the fringe to maintain her secret. But when her creator returns to hunt her, she must break her own rules in order to survive.

Her quest leads her to Ray. He is the only person who can help her; he also has every reason to fear her. Alisa must get closer to him to ensure her immortality. But as she begins to fall in love with Ray, suddenly there is more at stake than her own life….

Death Match – Lincoln Child
Genre – Thriller/Mystery

Everyone’s looking for the perfect match, a life-long partner, and Lewis and Lindsay Thorpe have found theirs, thanks to hi-tech matchmaker Eden Inc. But when the happy couple’s life together ends in what looks like a double suicide, Eden Inc. has some explaining to do. So they hire forensic psychologist Christopher Lash to figure out what went wrong. And then another perfect match ends in death…

 

 

 

My Obsession

I’ve watched quite a few movies and even read a few books that have a main character with psychological problems, and they are some of my favorites. That sounds kind of morbid, but I will explain. I absolutely love psychological thrillers, especially ones where the main character is searching for the killer or trying to solve a mystery and finds out that the culprit is himself/herself. An example of this would be that the protagonist has dissociative identity disorder (multiple personalities) but doesn’t realize it until the very end. I love when there is a high re-watch value for a movie or I can reread a book and find all of the clues I missed the first time.

I’d rather not mention any of the books or movies with this twist because I don’t want to spoil any of them for anyone. It would ruin the fun of finding out.

Which brings us to my dilemma. While reading or watching a new thriller, I seem to be obsessed with the idea of the main character being the perpetrator. I will be reading or watching a thriller or some type of mystery, and my first thought will be that the main protagonist is the killer or the person everyone is looking for. I will then pick out clues as I go along and create this elaborate ending that goes with my guess. Of course, when it turns out to be someone else, I’m a bit disappointed. I guess in my mind, the protagonist should always be the murderer or offender.

I just wanted to share this to find out if I’m the only one with this strange obsession. What are some unusual movie/book obsessions that you have?