Liebster Award!

dearest

WOO! Thanks Around the World in 80 Books, or as I know them Tqwana and Heather! So without further ado, let’s do this!

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1. What defines a good book for you?

Hard one right off the bat! A good book for me keeps me gripped. I need to love the characters, and I need to feel interested; semi-decent writing helps. Doesn’t matter if it is traditionally published or self-published, if you have a great characters, and a good story, I will usually enjoy it. A GREAT book for me is something that I will recommend by word of mouth.

2. Other than blogging, do you do any other writing? What kind?

Other than blogging, I work on intellectual property. Basically, I do story crafting for someone else. There was a time when I did want to be a writer (I was in sixth grade) and I know could focus on the melodramatic climaxes. I leave it to the professionals now

I also write for professional settings. I used to be a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Unfortunately due to the nature of that, I can’t tell you more.

3. What’s the one book you’d NEED with you if you were stranded on a deserted island?

Honestly, who can choose just one? But because I am stuck on a deserted island (I am assuming there is no air conditioner or guacamole), I want/need a book about how to get off said deserted island. It would be fun for a hot second, but I need modern tech: Netflix, eBooks, indoor plumbing.

4. Preferred mode of time travel: time-turner, standing stones, or TARDIS? Why?

SOOOO hard! Probably TARDIS. A) it’s controlable. Those standing stone things don’t seem to be too reliable. B) time-turner means I have to avoid previous self. What if I need a wardrobe change? How will I make sure I won’t run into me? I am a creature of habit so I am more likely  to slip up.

5. Where and when would you go if you could time travel?

So I have a TARDIS and will be the same age as I am now, I will go to the Library of Alexandria and leave around there before it burns. Thankfully the TARDIS has a language simulator so I can read any language

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Nerd Level UP!

6. What’s the one book adaptation you would NEVER want Hollywood to make b/c there’s just no way it can be done right?

Alana, the First Adventure. Part of me wants it, but part of me is afraid something like Ella Enchanted will happen.

7. Who is your favorite fictional villain?

Klaus. Watch it, love it. Never love another the villain the same.

8. What book do you hate, but everyone seems to love?

I don’t know if there are books I hate that others love, but there have been books that I was just like “It was meh.” The Fault in Our Stars and Red Queen were good but everyone fans over them and I am like “Did I miss something?”

9. Was there a person who inspired you to start reading?

Harry Potter. For reals. Expect a post about the new developments in the HP world (I have angry/happy feelings), but Harry Potter was the first domino to fall. I was an advance reader, who didn’t like to read; I preferred being read to. The first Harry Potter book changed that. I started consuming books, and then considering a career in publishing. I had no concept of the author when I first read the book so for me it was the books themselves.

10. What fantasy world would you most like to live in?

Narnia. I have daydreams of it. William Moseley is in it (from the movies.) He’s hot now, people!

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11. What is your favorite quote?

quoteAnd that’s me in a nutshell!

So I nominate: (Sorry if you are getting nominated again! I love each of your blogs!)

1. Heather

2. The Misfortune of Knowing

3. Maniac With Books-Antonio

4. Mylittlebookblog

5. #LoveBooks

6. Jenny in Neverland

7. Words We Heart

8. Becca and Books

9. The Bookish Universe

10. Tqwana

11. Socially Awkward Book Worm

My questions:

1. What was the first and last book you read?

2. Why do you read the books you read?

3. Perfect day: what book do you read? Why?

4. Do you have a favorite book cover/author/title? Why?

5. If you could predict the next big book trend just by what you wanted to see, what would it be?

6. You can only take 5 books with you to a new planet. Which books are you going to take and why?

7. You have the opportunity to get a signed first edition, in pristine condition, from any author ever and it will always look brand new no matter how many times you read it. Who’s the author and which of their books is it?

8. Dream job?

9. You can cast any book for a move. Which book is it and who are your choices?

10. Where is the best place for you to read?

11. Why do you blog?

RULES OF THE LIEBSTER AWARD

1st Rule – Thank the blogger who nominated you and post a link to their blog on your blog.

2nd Rule – Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”.

3rd Rule – Answer the 11 questions, given to you by your nominator.

4th Rule – Nominate 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have less than 200 followers.

5th Rule – Must inform the bloggers that you nominated their blog for the Liebster Award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it.

6th Rule – Create your own 11 questions for your Nominees to answer.

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The Hollywood Teen Romance I Need to Happen

Lately I have been feeling like I am all about the book reviews, which is fine, because it means I am reading (yay for reading!) and I have so many books to read.

But I am oddly not satisfied with my reading.

Don’t get me wrong, I have loved so many of the books I read. They are truly great, and I would love to have found them. But have you ever loved something so much, you ate it all the time, and even though you still love it, you also wonder what else could be done to make it better?

Take The Royal We for instance. If you read my review, you know how I feel. And as most of my friends can attest, I have been hankering (much like I would for tacos) for a princess book or a Hollywood teen romance.  A Royal We came along and I DEVOURED it. (In case you can’t tell, I am hungry). But it oddly left me wishing for something more.

Actually what I really want is an insightful book about Hollywood and romance. Rebecca Serle’ Famous in Love, which I was soo excited for, and then it fell flat for me, was a good spring board, but I want more.

I would recommend for anyone in the same boat to check out Emily Evans’ The Accidental Movie Star. It was closer to what I wanted to see then Serle’s book, though the TV show might end up fulfilling the things I wanted to see expanded on in her book.

Basically, I have been saying Hollywood Teen Romance would be the next thing. I have wanted it for at least three years now.

So the Hollywood teen (new adult?) romance I want would explore what happens after they get together. Say for instance, you ( a regular girl) met and started dating the heartthrob of Hollywood (I have no idea who I am imagining in this role, to be frank.  So for the time being just say the girl met a Henry Cavill looking man at a Starbucks (side note to my side note: He’s hot)).

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Marry me.

How would this relationship work? How would she feel about him being away to work? Maybe she is cool with it because she is not looking for a relationship, and is in her first year of college. How would he feel about having to be away? All those college parties are just ripe pickings for a hook-up. How to they navigate keeping their relationship secret from the paparazzi? Kate Middleton storyline!  And how do they deal with these hurdles as they become more involved?

I want this book. I want the nitty gritty of navigating this relationship. I want to see the actual Hollywood process!  This is my Hollywood teen romance.

Let me just orchestrate this.

UPDATE: I just found out Map to the Starsa Epic Reads Impulse title, is on this same premise. I promise to read and report back my findings.

Throwback Thursday: Anne of Green Gables

In case you missed it, Jonathan Crombie “Gilbert Blythe” died. In honor of this man, and my love of Gilbert Blythe because of him, I decided to re-read Anne of Green Gables.

Now, I am partial to this cover since I thought this accurately captured my vision of Anne, I will say this version is gorgeous.

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So what to say about this beautiful book? Well, I love when Anne breaks her slate over Gil’s head. There is also the scene with the drowned boat in a lake, or the  imagination of Anne in general.

Basically, this book is just a fun read. It is wholesome, if that makes any sense. I would totally give this to my kids to read, if I had any. I highly recommend a re-read of it.

Diamond in the Rough

Sometimes I get really weird dreams. Like REALLY weird dreams. And the other night I had an interesting, yet odd dream.

But strangely enough, I felt there was something there and when I recounted my dream to by roommate, she agreed. So without further ado, I give you my weird dream:

Imagine the hero as Kevin Sorbo built like Jason Moymoa but no quite either man.

Kevin Sorbo from my dream

He is attracted to our heroine who looks like Mila Kunis. Our hero is this rich man who has a house on a jungle cliff side. Hero and Mila are having a fun flirtation when she is kidnapped by terrorist along with his family (i.e.  Mother, uncle, and kid cousin). The terrorist have them on a speed boat and Mila Kunis is handcuffed to the steering wheel. The terrorists drop the family slowly over the edge, but they can swim so they are shortly rescued. Mila is still handcuffed when a helicopter comes and takes out the terrorist. Our hero has rescued Mila but she is like “Where are you?” And he tells her he used a remote control helicopter he has been controlling from the cliff side with his assistant (the assistant is female).So Mila makes it back to land, and the reporters are hounding her. The assistant comes to get her. As they are walking back up the house, Mila asks if the assistant can get her stuff and the assistant tells her that he (Our Hero) is more fascinated with Mila than Mila is fascinated with him.

And then I woke up.

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So my dream was weird, but I feel like there is a good story nestled in all the weirdness. My dream feels like Fifty Shades of Grey meets Twilight meets Speed 3, and it wasn’t even done when I got up for work.

So let’s reimage this as more YA and less weird. I’ll make our hero a teenage tech genius with his own start-up (like Mark Zuckerberg, but better looking, and not Kevin Sorbo). Our heroine will be a normal high school student that he meets at a coffee shop (she works there) as he is working on some new code. His assistant will actually be his older sister, who is majoring in business and is helping our hero with his business.

Now for the Diamond in Rough:

Our hero meets our heroine in the coffee shop where she works as he is working a problematic new code for his company. He is fascinated by her normalcy, i.e. going to high school and all that entails. She is drawn to his brilliant mind. They quickly become friends. She starts hanging out with him and his family. He shows her his company and she has some insights into how to help him recruit more people. He is attracted to her but also a bit shy. Terrorists, in an attempt to control his company for their own means, kidnap our heroine along with his mother, uncle, and kid cousin. The terrorists are using a speed boat to get away, with our heroine handcuffed to the steering wheel. The terrorists drop the family slowly over the edge. Our heroine is still handcuffed, thinking through a plan of escape now that the family members are out of direct harm’s way, when a helicopter, remotely controlled by our hero, comes and takes out the terrorists. Our heroine pilots the boat back to land where she is met by our hero’s older sister/business manager. The business manager tells our heroine that our hero is more fascinated by our heroine than she is with him and that our heroine needs to be careful not to break his heart. Our heroine is rejoined with the family and our hero and they share their first kiss.

End of book 1, I think.

I know it needs work, but hey, it started from a weird place.

Complex Characters: The Tragedy of Severus Snape

Most people who know me know I am a Harry Potter fan. This series changed the trajectory of my life. I cannot overstate the impact it had on me and my dreams for the future.

Before continuing, please watch the YouTube video below from user kcawesome13.

Now that you have been punched in the feels, let’s talk about Snape the complex hero.

So I love a complex character, be it hero or villain. It is a mark of a great writer when they can bring you fully developed complex characters. Snape is one of my favorites; next time, we will talk about a complex villain.

Snape had his flaws: he bullied kids. And I am talking straight up bullied them. It’s understandable because he came from an abusive home. Does it make it right? No. Do I feel for him? Yes. Can he still be a hero with flaws? Yes.

Snape had an extreme hatred of Harry because of who Harry’s father was. Leaving aside the fact that James ultimately ended up with Lily, the only person to ever show Snape kindness, James also tortured and humiliated Snape from the get go. Imagine if Ginny Weasley fell in love and married Draco Malfoy. I think Harry might not be so keen to be buddy buddy with the children of that union.

Snape also probably still harbored anti-muggle sentiment because of his abusive father. Everybody has issues when it comes to their parents. Even the most well-adjusted of us (and frankly, I almost want to meet that unicorn) have issues with our parents. I can fully believe that Snape looked down on muggles and muggle-born with a certain disdain, in part colored by his father.

All this is balanced against the fact that he ultimately did the bravest thing in the whole series because he loved the right woman. Snape duped Lord Voldemort the whole series, protected Harry, and died a complex hero because he loved Lily Potter.

The difference between Snape and Voldemort was the love Snape had for Lily. Snape, however, spends the whole series being hated by almost every character, and millions of readers.

The triumph of Harry Potter is tempered with the tragedy of Severus Snape.

My Thoughts on Jupiter Ascending

***SPOILERS****

I recently had the opportunity to see a preshow viewing of the Wachowski’s Jupiter Ascending. To say that this movie had potential would be an understatement. It had the actors, the beautiful sets and computer renderings, and amazing worlds that I am itching to explore. It LACKED a great script and pacing that allowed viewers to really enjoy the story.

As I am watching the movie, I can’t stop thinking about how this would make a better YA trilogy than a movie. In fact, this movie is the movie that should have been made AFTER a YA book was first published. Jupiter Ascending should have been three books. I will vaguely outline my thoughts below so as not to fully spoil the movie. I do recommend it as a Netflix option.

Book 1:

We are introduced to Jupiter, a Russian immigrant, who works as a house cleaner, but dreams of more. One day, she is attacked by aliens (think cross between the Worms from MIB: Men in Black and the Silence from Doctor Who). A hunky man named Caine, with awesome space boots, saves her and reveals that Earth is not the only plant with sentient creatures. We, as readers, get the back-story of the human race, why Jupiter is special, and exactly why aliens were sent to kill her. A bit of space travel later, and some crumbs of back-story for Caine, Jupiter ascends to her space heritage, and learns the secret of time as a commodity.

Of course there are some fights and building romantic pairings (it wouldn’t be YA without it).

Book 2:

Jupiter now controls her space heritage and must contend with adversaries intent on taking that from her. Her growing attraction to Caine is stymied by Caine’s personal drama.

Book 3:

After thwarting a plan to steal her heritage, Jupiter returns to earth to discover her family has been kidnapped by The Big Bad in a ploy to steal her heritage to make the commodity of time. Jupiter and Caine finally realize their feelings.

As you can see much better as a book series. There is more time to explore areas that were glossed over by the pacing of the movie and allow for world building.

Transmedia is the future, people. And Jupiter Ascending would benefit from that treatment.