Randomness: YA Musicals

Can this please be a thing?

Or maybe I shouldn’t wish for this (see High School Musical).  But with all the YA adaptions out there today, I’m surprise there hasn’t been a musical version of some of our favorite (and least favorite books) yet.  And adapting books into broadway shows have been done time and time again.  So, why not for YA?  You’d have some instant numbers in there.  The poor misunderstood protagonist, a trio that conveys the angst of the torment of a love triangle, and of course the ballad where the heroine taps into her her secret powers.

It’s been done before.

Though grant it, not for a YA book.  So, I thought for this post of randomness.  I’d talk about a few books that I’d think would be perfect to be turned into a musical.

 

1)

The Princess Diaries has already had the YA movie treatment, but I think its plum for picking for musical status.  First of all, Julie Andrews starred in it and she’s the queen of musicals.  Grant it, her vocal chords were damaged.  But still.  If Julie Andrews is in your movie that means its destined to become a musical.  Besides that there are plenty of musical moments with Mia lamenting about being a princes, her mom dating her algebra teacher, and the Cultural Diversity Dance.

Suggested Song Titles:

  • “Princesses Suck”
  • “The Paparazzi Parade”
  • “Tall Drink of Water” (this one was actually in the book and if it ever did hit the broadway stage it has to be made into a song).

 

2)

 

Cruel Beauty has a slightly dark vibe to it that makes this Beauty and the Beast retelling perfect for the stage.  I think with the Gentle Lord is described there’s almost a Phantom like feel to this one-note, it is not a Phantom retelling.  I just love how much darkness this story oozes though.  And we already know that a more straight up version of the fairytale was a smash.  So, why not try a more mature route.

Suggested Song Titles:

  • “The Dreaded Gentle Lord”
  • “Born to Die”
  • “Dressed to Kill”

 

3)

 

Based off of the summary, this book looks more ABC Family worthy than musical worthy, but I think there’s potential for Don’t Look Back.  Believe it or not, there are a few good musical mysteries out there.  I think making this one into a musical rather than a traditional movie or TV show could make this book stand out.  Plus, I think using songs could be an interesting way to show the flashbacks.

Suggested Song Titles:

  • “I  Once was a Bitch”
  • “You’re So Sensitive?”
  • “Murder She Did?”

4)

I’m not a fan of this book (okay, I’m a big fat hater), but I think changing Halo into a musical could do it some good.  Sometimes, great music can elevate the flimsiest of flimsy of plots.  And God knows, there could be some pretty cool flying sequences on the stage.  And a love ballad or two can also help insta love.  Why I chose Halo for this feature is I think that there is some potential with the book as much as I hate it.  Plus, doesn’t stuffy Gabriel have a job as a music teacher?  See.  Anyway, if a liberal adaption is done. Then well…it could be good.

Suggested Song Titles:

  • “Flying Fantasy”
  • “I Used to be Vegan, Till I Met You”
  • “PROM!”

5)

Rural romances having always been made for the perfect plot and setting for musicals (cough, Oklahoma, cough).  And Magnolia oozes cheesy goodness that would make well a pretty wonderful musical.  As for the special effects…well, if The Wizard of Oz has been doing tornados on stage for years it should be no biggie.

Suggested Song Titles:

  • “Love to Hate You”
  • “Storm of Feelings”
  • “What Happened to Us”

Come on and Rub the Book:The Art of Wishing Duo-logy by Lindsay Ribar

Occasionally, I like to review books by the series which is what I’m doing with The Art of Wishing Duology.

About the Series: Think Meg Cabot, genies, with some heavy issues snuck in and you get this duo-logy.  Okay, want to know more. ….fine.

He can grant her wishes, but only she can save his life.

Margo McKenna has a plan for just about everything, from landing the lead in her high school play to getting into a good college. So when she finds herself in possession of a genie’s ring and the chance to make three wishes, she doesn’t know what to do. Why should she put her life into someone else’s hands?

But Oliver is more than just a genie — he’s also a sophomore at Margo’s high school, and he’s on the run from a murderer. As he and Margo grow closer, she discovers that it will take more than three wishes to save him.

A whole lot more.

Source: GoodReads

This book is what I want from a YA book.  It’s cute, fluffy, and actually has substance.  And did I mention it features genies…and I’m in desperate need of a good YA genie book but never seem to get my wish.

Until this book.

In the words of Katy Schwartz, sweet baby Jesus.

This book is cute.  Made of kittens, sunshine, and all things perfect.

Let’s start with the main character.

I actually liked Margo.  Yes, she had some bonehead teenage moments, but I didn’t want to rip her hair off like I did with a lot of YA protagonists.  Oh yeah, she still makes mistakes but she actually felt her age.

I also liked the love interest which I really didn’t think I would.  Oliver is not your stereotypical YA boy and I think that’s what I liked the most about him.  It’s true, the romantic relationship between him and Margo developed a little too fast for my tastes, but Ribar made sure that their insta love sort of had some pitfalls.  So, the development really just worked.

I also loved the plot.

When I first read the summary, I thought it was going to be pure fluff.  However, color me surprise when Ribar added a killer genie in to the mix.  And strangely enough, it worked.  The book would’ve been bland without it.  Well, fluffy but bland.  The killer genie though was pretty awesome.  I liked the twist to the whole freeing the genie plot and it really added dimensions to the second book.

I tried to find faults in the first book, but to be honest I couldn’t find anything that major enough to gripe about.  Just saying that makes me feel all teary eyed.  Because I rarely ever get to say it. And it’s such an awesome feeling when I can’t complain.

I thought for sure  there’d be some complaining with a killer genie coming out in an otherwise fluffy book…

But nope.

Overall Rating: A+

 

 

 

 

Here’s what Margo McKenna knows about genies:

She’s seen Aladdin more times than she can count; she’s made three wishes on a magic ring ; she’s even fallen head over heels in love with Oliver, the cute genie whose life she saved by fighting off his archenemy. But none of this prepared her for the shock of becoming a genie herself.

At a time when she’s trying to figure out who she wants to be, Margo is forced to become whomever her master wants. Everything she’s taken for granted—graduating from high school, going to college, performing in the school musical, even being a girl—is called into question. But she’s also coming into a power she never imagined she’d have.

How will Margo reconcile who she is with what she’s becoming? And where will she and Oliver stand when she’s done?

Source: GoodReads

As for the sequel any other book and I would’ve said success…but this one was sort of a disappointment.

Don’t get me wrong.  The Fourth Wish had a lot going for it.  I liked the look that Ribar took on serious issues-like sexuality, slavery, and free choice.  But compared to the first book. Well, I didn’t get the chemistry between teh two characters.

Yeah, the fluffy kitties were gone.

It’s still a good book.  And even though I wasn’t having a purr worthy moment reading about Margo and Oliver, there were some cute moments.

One thing I did like about this book (and the previous book) was how all the characters-save for Oliver-were teens.  Undeniably teens.  A lot of YA protagonists just don’t act like high school kids.  But Margo, she actually has parents, classes that she’s passionate about, and a social life other than the love of her life.

So, the fact that Ribar kept most of that up in the sequel gets a plus from me.

Probably the best thing about this book was the way it handled such sensitive and deep subjects.  I never felt like Ribar was trying to force anything down my throat.  And I thought all the characters reactions were natural.

That being said, the resolution was a bit abrupt.  And I did feel like there were lots of loose ends to this book.

So, while I liked it I didn’t love it like I did the first one.

Overall Rating: A solid B.

Overall Series Thoughts:

I would recommend this duo-logy even though the second book was a little wishy washy.  If you love cute and fluffy YA books and genies this is your series.  There’s an edge to this series that’s actually surprising and even more surprising really works.  Ribar is an author to watch in the future.

Overall Series Rating: B+

Top Ten Tuesday: Apparently I Just Have to Read This

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.  Since I can’t come up with top ten list on the top of my head, I’m joining their meme.

There are some  people who make great book recommendations and there are some that…are just inane and bizarre.  And some where I’m like do you even know me.  Here are the top ten books people try to shove down my throat.

 

1)

Oh, yeah.  I get asked if I read this one almost anytime people find out I read YA.  I’m like no.  And their like why?  John Green writes thoughtful realistic YA fiction that actually has value unlike your pink Meg Cabot books.  And I have to go on this big rant of how I don’t like cancer books.  And before you tell me give it a chance or to grow up, I’m pretty adamant in the no on this one.  So, don’t bother.

2)

I’m always told that I’d love Robin McKinley’s retelling of Beauty and the Beast.  Have I ever gotten around to it?  Well, I checked it out at the library.  Once.  Didn’t read it though.  I think I was distracted by something.  Anyway, I know I should read this one but I just don’t know when it’s going to happen.

3) 

With the moving coming out, you wouldn’t believe how many people have told me to read this one.  It’s another one where I probably won’t.  Dark subject matters and I don’t mix.  Real life is too dark for me to want to read about it.  I use books to disassociate.

 

4)

 

Awhile back I was bemoaning about the lack of good angel novels in YA and someone (okay, many someones) recommended Unearthly.  It turned out to be one of the better recommendations I have gotten.  While the finale is a little lack luster the first two books are break your heart good.  Cynthia Hand is one of my favorite YA authors.  And to think I probably would’ve ignored this book if I hadn’t heard so many…oh you should try it.

 

5)

So many recs for this one.  And honestly, not impressed.  Oh, yeah it was well crafted.  But I was expecting something more original than this.  Look at this cover.  I thought it was going to be a lot more Russian inspired than it actually was.

6)

Another one that people kept badgering me on about for awhile and I was a little hesitant about, until I read it.  And fell in love.  This one is probably my favorite YA series that’s going on right now.  If you haven’t read it pick it up.  Even if you don’t like it, you’ll be surprise with how different it is to the standard YA stuff that’s out there.

7)

If anyone’s a fan of frothy contemporary YA, they’ve probably have been told to read this book.  While there are some issues, St. Clair is a bit (okay, a lot) of a jerk and Anna has her moments where you want to pull out her hair.  This book is pure sweetness.

 

8)

When this book was released everyone was recommending it to me.  I bought a copy and then it just sort of sat on my book shelf and I then dropped into  a storage bin when I didn’t pick it up within a year or two of purchasing it.  Maybe one day when I can afford of house and get everything out of storage, I’ll read it.  After all, if everyone recommends it must be good….right?

9)

 

A book seller tried to pimp these out for me for years.  I relented.  And now, I refuse to shop at said bookshop.  I think that’s pretty much enough said.  But if you’re interested in reading more of my diatribes about my intense passionate hatred for this series, you can always read my drinking game series on it (yeah, I know that was a pathetic plug).

10)

This was probably the most hyped up book this spring.  And everyone was recommending it to everyone.  It’s actually lives through most of the hype and is enjoyable.  So, yay!  Winning recommendation.

 

 

 

If Independence Day Had a Baby With Roswell:Opposition by Jennifer L Armentrout

 

 

 

 

Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came.

She can’t believe Daemon welcomed his race or stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred, and love has become an emotion that could destroy her—could destroy them all.

Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal.

They must team with an unlikely enemy if there is any chance of surviving the invasion. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything— even what they cherish most—to ensure the survival of their friends…and mankind.

War has come to Earth. And no matter the outcome, the future will never be the same for those left standing.

Source: GoodReads

Let’s talk about finales.  How would you like your series resolved:

A) A big epic battle where the hero or heroine has to make the ultimate choice to win the day.

B) An epic battle resolved by the main character create a unique and cunning plan.

C) A lame epic battle where nothing happens where all you have to do is walk out and say I’m Bella Swan a vampire and you win.

D) Have other people do the dirty work while you make out and win the day.  With a few causalities to insignificant ESPN watching characters.

If you answered D well you guessed the ending of the Lux series.

Yeah.

To be honest, I didn’t really have a lot of hopes for this one.  But considering that this one was the last book in the series and I made it through four books, I sort of felt trapped to finish this one.  The good news: it had it’s moments.  But God….it was still bloody annoying.

Let’s talk about the good.  The romance is not as noxious as it was in Origin.  Yeah, there were still a lot of moments where I was like stop making out, stop having sex, the world is ending and you need to act like Will Smith and try to do something.  But there weren’t as much sweet baby Jesus-es exchanged this time and for that I can be thankful.

There were occasionally some nice moments between the two that reminded me why I sort of liked them in the earlier book.  Oh, don’t get me wrong I was still annoyed, but less so than the last book.

I also liked the fact that this particular book was action packed.  Again, while I didn’t like some of the plot choices, I am appreciative that the story kept me entertained and had a moment or two where I laughed.

Now for the bad.

Oh, man, guys.  Where do I start?

This book was suppose to be about an alien invasion.  But while we were told this complete with the same opening music from Independence Day  (“It’s the End of the World as We Know it (and I feel fine)), are brave characters are still able to make a road trip clear across country with minimum damage and not have to face off with advance alien technology.

Armentrout, dear lord, watch an episode of Ancient Aliens, will you?  Giorgio Tsoukalos will tell you over and over again how much more high tech the stupid aliens are than us.

But I guess we need plot holes.

Just like we need a plot hole why the freaking US government never thought about using nucs on the aliens.  Again, watch Independence Day- it might of failed there but it would’ve probably been a better option than your lame weapons.

I digress.

I think the point I’m trying to make from all this digressing is the invasion plot could’ve been handled better.  Some build up in the previous books instead of having a new big bad thrown at us in the end.

Did I really care about these villains?

No.

Even if they did kill a relatively minor character.  I still couldn’t give a shit.

The whole Luxen hive mentality also didn’t make sense.  The was no foreshadowing in previous books, so the whole thing made little to no sense.

And it was the power of love that broke the mental connection?

Really?

Oh, please.

You know, if I reread this series again I might make it a drinking game.

You know that could be fun.  I can already think about things to drink from:

  • Every time Damon calls Katy kitten.
  • Every time he makes an ass of himself.
  • Every time Katy mentions her book blog, so she can appear “normal”.
  • Every time they make out at an inappropriate time.
  • Every time sweet baby Jesus or aliens or some variant is used.

Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Oh, and did I mention I found typos in my finished copy.

Freaking typos.

To be fair, if I would’ve been younger and not reading YA books every other day I might’ve liked this one better.  It’s a fun read.  If you can look past the faults, be extremely shallow, and like cheesy romance this is the book for you.  For me, I’m just glad this series is over.  I really enjoyed the first few books, but the series has just seemed to go down hill.  Or maybe my reading tastes have changed.  The funny thing is, I have enjoyed the past few books by Armentrout.  But this one.  No thanks.

Overall Rating: C+

Overal Series Rating: C+ started strong and then just sort of failed.

I Will Never Look at Rabbits In the Same Way: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

Source: GoodReads

 

Stephanie Perkins really knows how to make readers swoon. Even if you don’t like her books, you have to admit there are moments in them that just make you want to swoon.  They also make you look at the world a different way.

Like, I can no longer look at rabbits without flinching after reading Isla and the Happily Ever After.

Mad, I tell you. Perkins made my version of rabbits dark and twisted and horrifying.

Before I start this review, I’ll let you know that I was so hyped up about this book that I read it within three hours (total time minus all the breaks I had take because of pesky things like work, lunch, and sleep).  The thing is, after I finished it I sort of had a tug a war with myself.  While I did swoon over Josh, loved the romantic scenes between him and Isla, and liked the St. Clair and Anna cameos, Isla was probably my least favorite in the series.  Which isn’t necessary a bad thing since I enjoyed all these books, but after reading Anna and Lola it was a bit of a downer.

I think what bothered me the most about Isla was the pacing.  Josh and Isla fall in love incredibly fast and while Stephanie does this to  get to the meat of the story, I couldn’t help but wonder if it would’ve been a better story if it would’ve been about Josh and Rashmi so that I wouldn’t be forced to sort of get over the insta love. And I wouldn’t have horrifying dreams about rabbits.

I swear they’re going to kill me.

Don’t get me wrong, I do think Isla and Josh were cute together.  They had their moments.  The Barcelona scenes were wonderful and swoony, but it was hard for me to root for them when I felt that their relationship was at times superficial.

What I did like was the approach that Stephanie took with this story.  I liked that we saw the pitfalls that can occur in a relationship.  Those scenes were well done.  I liked how Isla was a little bit unsure of herself and a bit of a blank slate. I know a lot of high school seniors who were just like her and that felt right.

I did get annoyed with Isla at times.  I think my annoyances with her, go back to my annoyances with Anna.  She’s a teenager and she’s going to be annoying at times.  But the whole rabbit thing.

Really rabbits.

I loved bunnies and you sort of ruined that for Isla.

So, thank you.

Not.

As for Josh, I don’t know.  There were moments I was swooning over him but compared to St. Clair and Cricket, I just didn’t really didn’t get as much a sense of self for him. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like him though.  I just think because he and Isla go hot and heavy so fast I didn’ t long for him as much as I did for the other two boys. But did I swoon for him…well, yes.  But just a little compared to well the other two.

What I did like about this book was that it’s very obvious that the author took chances.  And does it work?

For the most part yes.  While there are definite flaws in this novel, it was still highly enjoyable.  Anyone who enjoyed the other two books in this feel good melt in your heart series, will enjoy this one.  But is it the best…no.

Overall Rating: B.  A nice send off, but the other two books kick its ass hands down.

Beneath the Slaughter House…I Know he’s There: Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine

There are whispers of a ghost in the slaughterhouse where sixteen-year-old Wen assists her father in his medical clinic—a ghost who grants wishes to those who need them most. When one of the Noor, men hired as cheap factory labor, humiliates Wen, she makes an impulsive wish of her own, and the Ghost grants it. Brutally.

Guilt-ridden, Wen befriends the Noor, including their outspoken leader, a young man named Melik. At the same time, she is lured by the mystery of the Ghost and learns he has been watching her … for a very long time.

As deadly accidents fuel tensions within the factory, Wen must confront her growing feelings for Melik, who is enraged at the sadistic factory bosses and the prejudice faced by his people at the hand of Wen’s, and her need to appease the Ghost, who is determined to protect her against any threat—real or imagined. She must decide whom she can trust, because as her heart is torn, the factory is exploding around her … and she might go down with it.

Source: GoodReads

I was introduced to The Phantom of the Opera way back when I was in the second grade when I had a slightly obsessed Music Appreciation teacher who showed us all those old Sarah Brighton music videos that were made back in the day since Gerard Butler hadn’t made the movie version yet.

Given the fact that my music teacher had a very skewed version of the original source material…it took me years to realize that she was a Phantom fangirl and trying to impose on young impressionable mines a skewed version of what happened in the show..I’m not exactly one to talk about The Phantom of the Opera.  That being said though, Of Metal and Wishes takes a different approach to the storyline where Phantom lovers, haters, and people who have’t heard of the broadway show/the book  can enjoy this version.

I think one of the things that Fine did brilliantly was take the setting and turn it on top of its head.  The original iconically takes place in an opera house.  How can anything overtop an opera house.  Well, a slaughter house might just work.

Really.  It worked.

Quite brilliantly.

Now I know those of you who are squeamish like yours truly are like a slaughter house, really?

It’s not that bad.

Okay, there are some scenes that will kind of have you grimace.  But the scenes are a necessity for the book.  And they surprisingly work without grossing out the reader (much).

In fact, I sort of liked how the setting was confined to the slaughter house.  I think that if we would’ve gotten a better view of the world outside the slaughter house the book would’ve been rated lower.  Most of the world building that is done is sort of murky.  There’s some vague sense that this book takes place in an dystopian version of an Asian country but that’s about it. As for the time period, I can’t tell you.  Sometimes I thought it took place maybe at the turn of the twentieth century while other times I wanted to say it was almost modern.

Luckily, these faults are overlooked because the slaughter house setting overtakes them as well as the well formed characters.

When I first started reading the book, I didn’t like Wen.  She seemed weak and annoying. To give her credit though, her mother had just died so I couldn’t hate her…that much. What I did enjoy about her was that she evolved as the story progressed.  You’d think that this would be something you’d commonly see in a book-character development-but surprisingly it isn’t.  And Wen’s character development is well…quite excellent.  It’s true that she doesn’t exactly become a BAMF at the end of the book, but I’m actually glad she doesn’t.  Her strength is quite and strong.  And it’s sort of refreshing to see this type of character in YA.

As for the other two leads, Bo and Melik, both of them are surprisingly well drawn as well.  I think what worked for me about these two characters was nothing about their relationship was instant love or friendship or really anything.  And that both were portrayed as gray characters (though one being slightly more deranged than the other).

Besides having great characters and a wonderful setting, Of Metal and Wishes discusses some mature themes such as racism, sexual harassment, and labor rights.  And it goes to (excuse the horrible pun) the meat of these issues.  As an adult reading YA I love this. There are parts of this book that are thought provoking.  Are some of the themes a little mature for younger teens…maybe.  However, I think it’s one of those books that’s good to talk about.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one and am green lighting reading the sequel even though I have probably a year to wait for it.  It’s a lovely book and I can forgive some of the murky world building.  If you like deep YA books and retelling, or even if you’re an ardent Phantom fangirl I recommend you give this one a try.

Overall Rating: B+

 

Do Judge a Book by Its Cover: To the Dogs

Note: If you’re interested in joining in on this feature.  Please, sign up for the meme on the Do Judge a Book By Its Cover Meme page I made. Or just click here.

This month’s theme is in honor of the dog days of summer.  So, essentially, all the covers or summaries had to be pooch related.  To make this theme more authentic, I decided to have Patty Beagle write the feature this month.

DSC02342

Patty Beagle, better known as the adorable camera hog.

 

What Patty Thinks: It’s a crazy Cesar Millan wannabe who’s walking like thirty dogs.  How degrading.  And claustrophobic.  Not to mention the guy with the ponytail should try to watch where he’s going I bet that bulldog left him a present.  Note, when I go on a walk I only go by myself.  I refuse to walk in a pack.  It’s soooo humiliating.  I guess Ponytail Poo Boy and the Cesar Millan wannabe will probably get together by the way they’re eyeing each other.  And maybe Poo Boy has a treat in his pocket.  I mean, why else would his hands be in there?

What the Cover Says:

Romance can be ruff….

Alana loves her dog-walking job, but it blows her mind to see how pampered these pooches are. Her newest clients actually feed their poodle steak and treat her to massages at a doggie spa! Alana can’t make heads or tails of why anyone would do this—or why she complains to hunky handyman Connor and not her boyfriend, Sammy.

When Sammy starts keeping her on an awfully tight leash, Alana wonders whether Connor might be a better match for her. But Alana’s puppy love comes to a screeching halt when she learns that Connor isn’t who she thought he was. Is Alana barking up the wrong tree with him, too?

Source: GoodReads

 

Patty’s Verdict: Um, no.  Cartoons are better on TV.  And seriously, as a dog this book is no bueno.

 

 

What Patty Thinks:  Grant Dane, Ferdinand, is annoyed at his owner, Holly.  She refuses to take his to KFC.  Instead, they have to go the park and sit there like they’re in a rom com.  Only guess what, Mr. Wonderful isn’t there.  If Holly would have some common sense she’d just go knock on the door next store.  The Boy Next Door has KFC and therefore, in Ferdinand’s  opinion he’s Mr. Right.

What the Book Is Really About:

To: You (you)
From: Human Resources (human.resources@thenyjournal.com)
Subject: This Book

Dear Reader,

This is an automated message from the Human Resources Division of the New York Journal, New York City’s leading photo-newspaper. Please be aware that according to our records you have not yet read this book. What exactly are you waiting for? This book has it all:

*Humor
*Romance
*Cooking tips
*Great Danes
*Heroine in peril
*Dolphin-shaped driftwood sculptures

If you wish to read about any of the above, please do not hesitate to head to the checkout counter, where you will be paired with a sales associate who will work to help you buy this book.

We here at the New York Journal are a team. We win as a team, and lose as one as well. Don’t you want to be on the winning team?

Sincerely,

Human Resources Division
New York Journal

Please note that failure to read this book may result in suspension or dismissal from this store.

*********This e-mail is confidential and should not be used by anyone who is not the original intended recipient. If you have received this e-mail in error please inform the sender and delete it from your mailbox or any other storage mechanism.*********

Source: GoodReads

Patty’s Verdict: I like Ferdinand.  Not so much Holly.  I don’t know what they’re suppose to be looking at.

 

 

What Patty Thinks: There have been murders by a supposed wolf pact made by wolves.  But the fantastic who done it solver, Patricia C Beagle, knows better.  She is now going to solve the case with her faithful sidekick, MJ, and figured out who murdered the red headed lady. Hopefully, there will be no Milkbones to distract her.

The closest I have to a detective costume (unfortunately).

The closest I have to a detective costume (unfortunately).

What the Book is Really About:

From the bestselling author of Blue Bloods, comes a series that will reinvent the myth of the werewolf in the same way that Blue Bloods did with vampires—with style and NYC flair!

Lawson and his brothers escaped from the underworld and now lead desperate, dangerous lives. They’re pursued by the Hounds of Hell from one town to the next, never calling any place home. But when the hounds finally catch up with them and capture the girl Lawson loves, the hunters become the hunted. Lawson will stop at nothing to track down the hounds, even if the chances of saving Tala are slim…

The only hope he has lies in Bliss Llewellyn. Bliss, too, has lost someone to the beasts and will do anything to get them back—even if it means joining forces with the insolent, dangerously good-looking boy with a wolf’s soul.

Source: GoodReads

Patty’s Verdict: Seriously, that red hair is fake.  And I would so solve that case within three pages.  I am an ace detective beagle after all.

What Patty Thinks: There’s something about the moon that just makes me vocal.  You know, why?  Moon people.  And that so is a moon person there.  Moon people are weird.  And evil.  That’s why  we bark to warn you.  Someone needs to do something about this moon person.  Where’s Underdog when you need him?

What the Books Is Actually About:

Phaet Theta has lived her whole life in a colony on the Moon. She’s barely spoken since her father died in an accident nine years ago. She cultivates the plants in Greenhouse 22, lets her best friend talk for her, and stays off the government’s radar.

Then her mother is arrested.

The only way to save her younger siblings from the degrading Shelter is by enlisting in the Militia, the faceless army that polices the Lunar bases and protects them from attacks by desperate Earth-dwellers. Training is brutal, but it’s where Phaet forms an uneasy but meaningful alliance with the preternaturally accomplished Wes, a fellow outsider.

Rank high, save her siblings, free her mom:  that’s the plan. Until Phaet’s logically ordered world begins to crumble…

Suspenseful, intelligent, and hauntingly prescient, Dove Arising stands on the shoulders of our greatest tales of the future to tell a story that is all too relevant today.

Source: GoodReads

Patty’s Verdict: See.  Moon people.

 

What Patty Thinks: A brave Beagle must battle an evil murderous Yorkie set on pushing her off of her pink pool floatie and drowning her to death.  Will brave little Patricia Cakes survive (of course I will) and I kick some Yorkie butt while I’m at it.

What the Book Is Actually About:

 Success hasn’t spoiled screenwriter Lou Calabrese — it’s just given her a taste for luxury. And it’s put her in some bizarre situations — like in a helicopter en route to the wilds of Alaska, sharing too-close quarters with the last man she wants to be with: Jack Townsend! Once a sexy nobody whom Lou helped make a somebody, Jack’s just been dumped by a high-profile Hollywood airhead — who’s eloped with Lou’s longtime love! So what else could go wrong?

Well…

Their pilot could try to shoot the most adored man in America. They could crash land in the icy, mountainous middle of nowhere. And at the worst possible moment, when survival should be their only consideration, Jack could start wondering if maybe he wasn’t a wee bit too hasty for not giving this sexy screenwriter a second look — while Lou could start noticing how superstar Jack is kind of hot after all …

Source: GoodReads

Verdict: This cover really scares me.  I’ve had bad experiences with Yorkies so even though MJ thinks they’re just downright adorable I’d rather hang out with a Rat Terrier and that’s saying something since Dolly really scares me.

Evil terriers, though slightly less evil than Yorkies.

Evil terriers, though slightly less evil than Yorkies.

 

Coming in September: Top Fall Covers.

Read You Maybe: Top Ten Books I’m On the Fence About

So, I’m joining the band wagon and attempting to do the Top Ten Tuesday meme that’s hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Today, I’m looking at books that I might read.

 

1)

I have this one on my shelf, but I haven’t gotten around to read it.  I probably should’ve kept myself from grabbing it in the first place, but the cover was just too lovely.  The thing is alternate reality with what I’m assuming is a dystopia type of thing isn’t really my thing so I just don’t know…..

 

2)

 

The cover is lovely and description is intriguing.  But the reviews just have me scared. Comparing people’s physical features to food just doesn’t do it for me.

3)

 

Another one that has sat on my shelf for a long time.  I don’t know why I haven’t read it.  I do like superheroes.  Maybe the sheer veracity of the book. Seriously, stop super sizing all my  books when it’s not needed.

 

4)

I have this one actually in my storage unit.  Or maybe my chest.  Reminder to self-check the book chest this weekend.  I love jinn centric books, so I should pick it up but every time I see that clueless face I just think she’s passing gas or something.  And I just pass on the book. But at the same tiem I want to

5)

Someone told me it ends on a bit of a cliffie and there’s no sequel.  Which I hate.  So, I’ve been postponing this one even though the summary looks like something I would adore this time of the year. But maybe I should pick it up.  Maybe.

6)

It looks cute.  But it’s been sitting on my shelf for months.  I really don’t know why.  I guess it just doesn’t interest me that much.

 

7)

Something about lying to someone who has amnesia just seems so wrong to me.  But at the same time, I am interested in reading about the shenanigans.  But will I cringe the entire time?  That is the question.

8)

 

 

 

 

There was so much talk up about this book before it released and then some of the reviews deflated it’s promise like a balloon.  I have it on my to read shelf but I just don’t have a lot of heart to get into it.  Not after another recent fantasy release that to me was a bummer.  Maybe someday?

9)

I just don’t know.  The premises seems awesome.  But Warrior Badass YA books often seem to be not so awesome.  Just see my review of  Defy.

 

10)

 

 

 

 

There are so many things about the summary of this book that make it look so appealing.  Then there’s the reviews and the comparison of it to Cassandra Clare that make me go ugh.

 

Should I give any of these books more than a read you maybe?  If you think so or have any remarks about my choices feel free to share.

If Swan Princess and Twister Had a Baby: Magnolia by Kristi Cook

 

In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, the Cafferty and Marsden families are southern royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbecues, and the overwhelming desire to unite their two clans by marriage. So when a baby boy and girl were born to the families at the same time, the perfect opportunity seemed to have finally arrived.

Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden have no intention of giving in to their parents’ wishes. They’re only seventeen, for goodness’ sake, not to mention that one little problem: They hate each other! Jemma can’t stand Ryder’s nauseating golden-boy persona, and Ryder would like nothing better than to pretend stubborn Jemma doesn’t exist.

But when a violent storm ravages Magnolia Branch, it unearths Jemma’s and Ryder’s true feelings for each other as the two discover that the line between love and hate may be thin enough to risk crossing over.

Source: GoodReads

Disclaimer: I live about ninety minutes from the Galveston which means I’ve had dealt with my fair share of tropical storms and hurricanes. That means some of the mellow drama that is in Magnolia does not fly with me.

That being said, despite the severe amount of melodrama, eye rolling, and cringing I did enjoy Magnolia.

I think what made Magnolia work more than not work for me was the formula.

Shocking, I know. But despite the ridiculousness of the situation Cook uses the formula well.  For one thing, her characters are pretty well formed.  This is better than most disaster stories out there (see any movie directed by Roland Emmerich). Still though…when I closed Magnolia  I felt a little bit manipulated.

Let’s talk about the good first.  As I said, the characters were pretty well formed.  They have backstory and I was able to tolerate Jemma throughout most of her narrative.

As far as love interests go, Ryder’s not that bad.  There’s several mind candy moments and he wasn’t that big of a bonehead.  Really, it was Jemma who had the bonehead moments.

The side characters were alright for the most part too.  The one character I did have a problem with was the quasi love interest Patrick.

He’s almost like a bad PSA.  I don’t want to go into too spoilery of details, but let’s just say I really wish Cook would’ve handled this subject matter in a more realistic manner instead of demonizing it and giving you a big after school lesson.

God, not everyone who…

Yeah, not going to go there for spoiler purposes.

Let’s just say the way she hammed up this particular character defect of Patrick’s was just how the whole hurricane plot was handled.

Let’s start with the school evacuation.  That would so not happen.  When hurricanes Ike and Rita hit my area, let’s just say we were out of school way before the hurricane even hit.  Actually, it was sort of ridiculous just how early we released.  There is no way that a school would be open the day the storm hit.

What else was ridiculous?  The whole handling of the storm.

There were some parts I thought were handled really well, but there were other parts that made me just want to hit something.  For instance, I wanted to see more storm prep.  It seemed like these two kids had no problems buying bottled water and bread-note, never go to Wal-Mart that’s in your town two days before a storm hits.  You’re likely to lose a limb or something.

Trust me, I’ve been there.

Also, trying to get in and out of your neighborhood might be next impossible.  Okay, these guys might not have to deal with that since they don’t live in the fourth largest city full of paranoid people who watched one too many CNN reports about Katrina but still.

I couldn’t get out of my neighborhood during Hurricane Rita.

Ike, where it actually hit us, I didn’t have that much of a problem.  Instead, I didn’t have a room since I we let one of my sister’s friends crash with us.

Digressing.

Also, why didn’t these two kids complain about the horrible heat and all the mosquitos that happen during the aftermath of a hurricane when you don’t have power and you can’t do anything because your cell phone is dead.

Digressing again.

I think the point, I’m trying to make is that I thought that a lot of the storm scenes were romanticized.  And you can argue all you want whether that this was needed or not to make a decent book.  But I’m going to give myself one more ranting point: I get that Jeema’s sister was undergoing critical surgery but who the hell leaves their teenage daughter in the hands of a teenage boy?

Just saying.

Other than that, I really did enjoy this book.  The romance really reminded me of The Swan Princess-which if you haven’t seen is a lovely movie if a bit hokey. And it’s set up is one of my favorite romance cliches to go off on, so that was a point in Magnolia’s favor.

The deep South was also handled in an unoffensive way so point there too.

If you like  sweet contemporary romances, I’d recommend giving this one a try.  Buying it is not going to make you hate yourself.  It’s a comfort read.  However, it’s not my favorite contemporary.

Overall Rating: B.

A Revisit: What Would Lola Wear?

 

When I reread Lola and the Boy Next Door for the Isla Is Coming Readalong that is going on right now, I couldn’t help but be in awe with the amazing descriptions Stephanie Perkins used to describe her main characters fashion sense.  So for this revisit post I decided to fuse it with an old feature of mine called What Would _____ Wear and make some Polyvore sets for Lola.  Here’s the thing though, a lot of Lola couture is hard to find.  So, I’ve had to modify some of the outfits.  Hopefully, I still captured the spirit of these looks.

 

 

Meet Lola

 

Meet Lola by howdyal featuring a round top
 “I’m wearing a tank top. I also got on my giant white Jackie O sunglasses, a long brunette wig with emerald tips, and ballet slippers. Real ballet slippers, not the flats that only look like ballet slippers.” (Perkins, 8-9)
My Interpretation: Polyvore doesn’t have any red Chinese style pajamas.  Believed me, I looked.  In fact, finding pajama bottoms that didn’t look like they were fit for a camping trip or the seedy side of town was quite difficult, but I did eventually manage to find a fairly normal looking pair.  The black ballet flats are unfortunately flats.  But I like them enough where I think they’d be a decent substitute.  Since Stephanie didn’t have a particular description with the tank top, I played around with lots of different tanks before settling on this one.  Surprisingly enough, the easiest thing to find was the glasses.
Strawberry Lola

 

“Today I’m a strawberry. A sweet red dress from the fifties, a long necklace of tiny black beads, and a dark green wig cut into a severe Louise Brooks bob.” (Perkins 44).
My interpretation:  This set was actually fairly easy to put together.  The red dress, unfortunately, is not vintage.  I went for a modern dress with a vintage-y feel from Modcloth.  The shoes were added by yours truly since I just couldn’t see Lola going barefoot.  I almost went for a pair of white shoes until I spotted these strappy sandals.  Something about them just seemed so happy to me.  And let’s face it strawberries are a happy fruit.  Or least that’s the impression I have always gotten from that cartoon.
Lola's Sparkly Look

 

 “I placed a rhinestone barrette in my pale pink wig. I’m also wearing a sequined prom gown that I’ve altered into a minidress, a jean jacket covered with David Bowie pins, and glittery false eyelashes.” (83)
My Interpretation: This was probably one of my favorite looks to put together.  It was just so much fun.  I will admit though, I couldn’t find the eyelashes.  So I substituted them with some earrings.  As for the rest of the outfit it’s pretty much standard to the Stephanie’s description ( I hope).  Ironically, the wig is a My Little Pony wig.  Sort of fitting, given the attitude of the outfit.
Lola's Picnic Date

 

I settle on a similarly checked red-and-white halter dress, which I made form an actual picnic blanket from last Fourth of July. I add bright red lipstick and tiny ant-shaped earrings for theme, and my big black platform boots because walking will be involved.” (Perkins 127).
My Interpretation: I had to include the picnic look because that scene was one of my favorites in the book.  There was a lot of leeway with this outfit though.  For one thing, Polyvore doesn’t have dresses made from actual Picnic blankets and I couldn’t find a red and white dress that I liked with a halter type of neckline.  The dress I did end up choosing, while not being an exact match, had the romantic picnic type feel I wanted for the look.  The thing I’m really happy about is the earrings.  Yes, I was able to find actual ant earrings.  Grant it, they were six hundred bucks but still….ant earrings.
Lola as Lindsey

 

 “Per annual tradition, I’m wearing jeans, a nice blouse, a black wig with straight bangs, and red sneakers.” (Perkins, 210)
My Interpretation:  Lindsey is Lola’s best friend who has a Nancy Drew obsession and is described as being sort of plain.  While I tried to keep true to the Lindsey character in this look, I also thought that there’d be a little Lola peaking out.  Which is why I decided that rather than having a plain button up blouse, I’d use one with a little embroidery that would sort of give it a Lola vibe.
Lola Has Her Cake and Eats It Too

 

 “It’s not my costume, which would make Marie Antoinette proud. The pale blue gown is girly and outrageous and gigantic. There are skirts and overskirts, ribbons and trim, beads and lace. The bodice is also lovely, and the stays fit snugly underneath, giving me a flattering figure-the correct body parts are either more slender or more round. My neck is draped in a crystalline necklace like diamonds, and my ears in shimmery earrings like chandeliers. I sparkle with reflected light.”(Perkins, 319).
My Interpretation: I was actually really scared about this look.  Surprisingly though, it was the easiest one to put together. The gods of Polyvore really were helping me out on this one.  I did make one alteration to the described look.  The cake necklace.  Yeah, I sort of couldn’t help but add it when I saw it. And I’m sure Lola would too.