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Movie Madness: July Wrap-Up

While nothing beats curling up with a good book and entering a new world, we sure do love a great movie! Comedy, Drama, Action, Thriller; whatever the genre may be, escaping for two hours into a world of Hollywood created bliss is always great fun… Hosted by  The Talking Teacup and A Girl, Books & Other Things
I was on holiday last week and didn't bother to take any DVDs with me (I wanted to get some reading done) but I did watch some stuff before I went away!

  1. Star Trek: Voyager - Season 1
  2. The Simpsons - Season 4
  3. Forrest Gump
  4. Public Enemies
  5. Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman - Season 2
  6. American Psycho
  7. The Dark Knight Rises
  8. Batman: The Mystery of the Batwoman
  9. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

Fairy Metal Thunder Read-Along: Week Four

Week 4 hosted by Jen of In the Closet with a Bibliophile

1.  Grizelmore the Goblin has some really weird cravings and eating habits. Tell us about some of your weird eating habits. Bonus point if you can show me a picure!

My culinary specialty is tomato ketchup sandwiches. It sounds really gross, but if you like ketchup as much as I do, then it is absolutely delicious. Here's how I make them:
  1. Microwave two pieces of white bread (we freeze them so they don't go mouldy)
  2. Butter the bread
  3. Squirt some ketchup onto the bread (not too much because it spills out the sides and inhaling the scent makes me cough)
  4. Fold the bread over and enjoy!
I didn't take a picture because I wasn't hungry when I did this post >.<

2.  In chapter 22 Aiode and her friends try to go and get their instruments replaced at the factory. There are a ton of different instruments there being made for the fairies, but man are they a fortune. Do any of you play any instruments? Have you ever played an instrument? If not, what would you play if you could?
I played the flute for two years starting when I was nine but I had to give it up because we couldn't afford to continue on with lessons. I think I only performed in front of an audience twice and fortunately that was one moment in my life that wasn't caught on camera (seriously, I was one of the most photographed and videoed children in the world) but it was fun. I wish I still played, wind instruments are awesome!

3.  Jason and the band are finally discovered by the elf (with the crazy long name) and Buttercake the freaking adorable unicorn who turns into something not so adorable. If you were a detective who would you choose for your magical accomplice?

I just had to. Jorgen von Strangle is awesome and he's magical. Win!

4.  The book ends on a happy but painful note. What do you think of the ending? Were you happy with the turn of events?

I thought that the end was a-ma-zing! I love books that end with a lot of action and excitement that keep me glued and sad when the book finally ends.

5. Tell us your favorite quote(s)/part(s) from the book!

Favourite parts? But the whole part was just one big piece of awesome cake! Am I allowed to say the whole book? No? Okay then, I'll try to choose....

I think my most favouritest part of the book was when the band filmed the music video in Mitch's house and brought the house down. Literally. That was absolute awesomeness!

On Holiday

Pretty self-explanatory. I'm on holiday from today until next Monday and will have my last read-along post schedules for Friday. Ciao!

Review: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

The Dark Knight Rises
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, et al.
Based on: characters by Bob Kane
Genre: Superhero / Action
Released: 20th July 2012
by Warner Bros. Pictures
Running time: 164 minutes (2 hrs, 44 mins)
Cert: 12 (BBFC) PG-13 (MPAA)
Rating: ★★★★

IMDb | View Trailer
In the final part of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy, Batman must face a foe unlike any he has ever faced. In The Dark Knight, Batman saved Gotham, but could not save himself, as he ultimately had to take the blame for Harvey Dent's crimes, and began being hunted by the Police, and thus had to leave the task of protecting Gotham in Gordon's hands and the superb job that Gordon did in finally bringing peace to Gotham, after what seemed like ages, was enough to convince the Dark Knight that Gotham was safe and that Bruce Wayne need never put on the Batsuit again. However 8 years after the events of The Dark Knight, an unknown foe emerges, and threatens to destroy Gotham.When the foe proves too much for Gordon to handle, Batman must break his 8 year exile and return to defeat Bane from fulfilling his devious plan and claim his rightful place as the true Savior of Gotham.
I think it's fair to say that I've been waiting quite a long time for this film to come around. Four years to be precise. I love Batman, blah, blah, blah, you get the gist of that part. But there was one part that I was not thrilled about at all: Catwoman. I really don't need to explain why but I was hoping that Anne Hathaway would convince me otherwise about Catwoman and make me somewhat like her.

For me, the story of the film moves at an incredibly slow pace for the first half when everything is being established and set up. Thankfully, things move faster during the second half, when all of the action beings. I liked seeing scenes that mirrored those of scenes from comics such as Knightfall, No Man's Land and The Long Halloween which I feel really fleshed out the story and connected things together. However, the ending didn't do anything for me. I thought that the ending was a bad way to end a series of epic proportion. It just seemed a bit lazy to me and even left me frustrated to the point that my head-canon couldn't do anything to make it better. I was disappointed.

Unfortunately, Anne Hathaway didn't convince me to like Catwoman. I still hate the character and I honestly think that Hathaway was miscast. She wasn't sexy, there was no sizzle and her chemistry with Batman/Bruce Wayne was quite bad. Sparks did not fly and I found their more intimate moments to be incredibly uncomfortable to watch. I hate to say it, but I didn't particularly like Hathaway's performance and I really wanted to.

Although I really liked Tom Hardy's performance as Bane, there was one big downside to it. The voice. What was going on with the intonation and accent? It was all over the place. Bane is supposed to be a menacing villain, he's incredibly imposing and whever I read his speech, he certainly doesn't sound like an English dandy to me; mainly because Bane is supposed to be South American. Other than that downside, I really enjoyed his performance, it was a very different take on it and showed who Bane really is since Joel Schumacher's crapfest Batman and Robin turned him into a mindless henchmen rather than an intelligent terrorist, like he really is.

From the start, there was something about Marion Cotillard's character Miranda Tate that just unnerved me and as the film progresses, I realised that she is yet another character that I hate. When did I realise this? When a certain someone whose name has been pronounced completely wrong shows up. Two characters that I don't like in one film: what a lovely surprise.

The stuns and special effects is definitely the best part of the film. I didn't see the film in IMAX (too expensive) but I kind of wish that I did because seeing the action scenes on a bigger screen would have really enhanced the experience for me. I really loved the new addition to Batman's vehicle collection, it is epic and even has a completely fitting name: The Bat.

The signature score of the series isn't heard until about half-way through the film but the music before that point is still commendable. Even though it isn't technically the "theme song" of the film, it is still instantly recognisable as Hans Zimmer's work if you're familiar with film music conductors like I am.

In all honesty, this was not the perfect ending to an epic series. In fact, the very end was disappointing. But, putting the negatives aside, I really enjoyed the film. The action was incredibly memorable, I loved most of the characters and acting was top-notch. Like I said, not the perfect ending, but it was commendable despite its end scene. Next stop, Man of Steel!

Fairy Metal Thunder Read-Along: Week Three

Week 3 hosted by Tina of Tina's Book Reviews

1. In the beginning of chapter 14, poor Jason is having a tough time at work. Its busy, people are rude, there are hot girls talking to him, big lady's are about to starve, all in all bad work day. So tell us about a time when you had to deal with a pushy customer or rude behavior, did you freak, keep it together, throw a slawburger?

I've got plenty of times that I've dealt with rude people that it's really hard to pick just one (most of them happened at school). One example that just really confused the hell out of me was when I was at school I was walking out of the school gates with my friend. We were talking and this boy appeared out of nowhere behind us, mimicked me in a voice that sounds nothing like my own and queried me about my sex. He asked me if I am a boy. Seriously. I don't mean to be vulgar, but that was a moment where I just had to point at my chest and ask the question "what are these?". Thankfully, I didn't freak out at him. Just gave him a funny look and put him in his place.

2. In chapter 16 Jason is getting ready to shoot his rocking music video and perform for a crowd. Have you ever made a rock video, been in a play or anything that shows you doing something with musical talent? Extra points if you want to show us.

I used to do a lot of singing at school in the bands but as I'm incredibly camera shy, I don't have any pictures or videos. I was also in the school production of We Will Rock You which was a lot of fun even though I'm not a Queen fan. Oh, and someone caught me and a couple of friends dancing in front of a class on video, which was incredibly surreal. I can't find the video on YouTube but I'm only in it for a couple of seconds doing Joey Tribbiani's signature dance move:

3. Speaking of videos, the boys have a little chat about Steven Spielberg in chapter 17, what is your favorite Spielberg movie? Can't think of one...well then tell us about one of your favorite Sci-fi movies.

Just one Spielberg movie? But I have so many! Hmm, let's see... My four favourite Spielberg films of all time are:


Raiders of the Lost Ark

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Schindler's List

4. At the end of Chapter 17 the guys say bye to Dred who is getting ready to move, did you ever have to start over in a new school or new place when you were in highschool? Was it good, bad...horrible?

I've lived in the same house all my life and moving up schools wasn't really hard for me since when I moved from Infant to Junior school, it was all the same people but moving up to Secondary school was quite hard because all the people that I did know weren't in my classes and I spent the first year by myself. That was awful.

5. If you had a pet Unicorn what would you name it?

If I had a pet Unicorn I would probably name is Nightdancer or Winddancer or something like that. It sounds really pretty and mystical.

P.S. I'm away on holiday next week so I will have a post scheduled but I may not be able to comment!

Review: The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

The Luxe
Anna Godbersen
Series: The Luxe #1
Genre: YA Historical
Released: November 20 2007
by HarperCollins
Source: Borrowed from library
Rating: ★★★

Add to Goodreads | Purchase online
Imagine, if you will, New York City, 1899...

Society's elite: the glamour, the grandeur, the glittering parties, the most handsome beaux, the most beautiful debutantes... the rich girl, the humble boy, the forbidden love, the stolen glances, the whispers, the scandal, the mystery, the revenge.

You are cordially invited to step into The Luxe, where the secrets are dark and the sins are delicious...
I love Anna Godbersen's Bright Young Things series and I thought that I would check out The Luxe. I'd tried reading it at school but I didn't really have a clue of what was going on and it didn't really interest me at the time since it sounded a lot like what was going on around me (I was at school after all). I think what attracted me to the book in the first place was the amazingly gorgeous cover. It has embossed butterflies on and an insanely pretty dress on it!

For me, this is one of those books where not much happens until the end. There was peaks and troughs of climactic moments, but those peaks were quite infrequent. The story moves quite slow throughout and even the more exciting moments are introduced quite slowly. I kept waiting for something sensational to completely wow me, but that something never really arrived.

I wasn't to fond of most of the characters. For the most part, they seemed generic and hard to empathise with. I absolutely loathed Penelope; as cruel as it sounds, I wished that it was her floating in the Hudson rather than Elizabeth. She was a lot of the things that I hate in a person: sly, manipulative, stubborn and incredibly jealous to the point of no reason. However, I did quite like Diana, she was the most well-rounded character.

The New York setting is fantastic, but I felt that the city wasn't really explored enough. I like getting to see a city like New York from all angles, but here I only got to see it from the high-class angle, which bored me a little bit. Hopefully the city is explored more throughout the series.

One thing that I think is incredibly clichéd and I cannot stand is love triangles. Which there are two of in this book. I honestly find love triangles to be incredibly boring and something that makes me roll my eyes in think 'really?'. However, they do add a bit of something to the plot.

I love Godbersen's writing style; I often find that her beautiful way of describing objects, people and places is the best part of her work as I'm able to form a good clear image from her descriptions. I can honestly say that the descriptions and imagery was definitely the best part of this book, that's probably how the book earned the rating that I've given it.

Overall, I wasn't too impressed with The Luxe and I'm hoping that the next books in the series will be better, since this wasn't a particularly strong start to the series. Not much happened, the characters were quite generic and the pace was just a bit too slow for me. Oh well.

Review: American Psycho (2000)

American Psycho
Directed by: Mary Harron
Starring: Christian Bale, Reese Witherspoon and Willem Dafoe.
Based on: the book of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis
Genre: Psychological Thriller / Satire
Released: April 14 2000
by Lions Gate Films
Running time: 102 minutes (1 hr, 42 mins)
Cert: 18 (BBFC) R (MPAA)
Rating: ★★★★

IMDb | View Trailer
Patrick Bateman is handsome, well educated and intelligent. He is twenty-seven and living his own American dream. He works by day on Wall Street, earning a fortune to complement the one he was born with. At night he descends into madness, as he experiments with fear and violence.
This will be the only time that I will break my pledge of reading the book first since I've had the cellophane wrapper of this DVD unbroken since I bought it months and months ago. Need I say why I wanted to watch this film? I think it's quite obvious...

I still have yet to read the book (which I hear is quite grisly), but I enjoyed the story. This is definitely one of those films that I watch with a constant edge; most of the time the tenseness (is that a word?) was killing me, I was anticipating what was going to happen next. I enjoyed how the story unfolded but my only problem was the end. It didn't really make sense to me and seemed like a bit of a cop out. I also loved the satirical nature of the film, dark humour has always been my thing and, honestly, I didn't find the film to be as explicit as IMDb's content guide makes it out to be (I'm obsessive like that).

I loved everything about Christian Bale's performance as Patrick Bateman. And not just because I got to see him naked from the back about five times. Bateman is the kind of person who is hard to sympathise with since what goes on in his head is just plain wrong. To me, the film is more about Bateman's vanity rather than his insanity, which became incredibly clear to me during the threesome scene where he flexes his arms and even winks at himself in the mirror, all while being videotaped. For some reason, I found Bateman to be quite a funny character and his constant voiceover kind of proves that to me. Especially at the beginning when he describes his morning routine. He's also not a very pleasant person. He's hot but I wouldn't want to be in a relationship of any kind with him.

I loved how the New York setting was shown from all angles: the glittering side and the dark underground side. I have a thing about contrasts and I found the setting here to show an immense contrast, which suits me more than just fine. This is going to sound weird, but I liked the use of white in the apartments. I'm not sure why but it kind of made Bateman look like he is pure on the outside and his apartment reflected that. Or something along those lines, I'm overanalysing again...

Music plays a bit of an important part in the film, since it really tells the audience when the film is set (the late 1980s). I could recognise most of the artists that were used, since I'm quite used to hearing them (thanks, Dad). The orchestral score was fantastic. It was used at the right times and fitted completely with the tone of the scenes.

Overall, I really enjoyed this film. It was nowhere near as grisly as I had originally expected it to be, but there is tons and tons and tons of eye candy, which is just as good. It's a lot funnier than it looks and the satire is unexpectedly hilarious.

Review: Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson

Daniel H. Wilson
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Released: June 2011
by Simon & Schuster
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★★★

Add to Goodreads | Purchase online
In the near future, at a coordinated moment that goes unnoticed by humans, all the dazzling technology that runs our world spontaneously malfunctions. It unites... and begins to turn against us.

A massively powerful artificial intelligence called Archos is created and cannot be contained. Humanity has no idea when it starts to silently take over our cars, power grids, aircraft guidance systems and computer networks - the entire global system that runs our lives.

In those early months, only a handful of technological glitches are noticed by humans across the glove. Laura Perez, US congresswoman, senses a menacing new awareness in her daughter's 'smart'doll; Takeo Nomura, a lonely inventor, is victimized by his domestic robot companion; Paul Blanton, an American soldier stationed in Afghanistan, witnesses the violent meltdown of a military pacification unit; and a hacker in London unwittingly accesses a hidden network and comes face to face with a merciless digital entity.

Known later as Zero Hour, when the robot war suddenly ignites, humankind is both decimated and for the first time in history, united.

We will not be exterminated.
I first spotted Robopocalypse in my local Forbidden Planet shop (which is actually twelve miles away from me) quite a while ago but didn't have the money on me to buy it. I'd never read books about robots before this, but robots have always seemed awesome to me. The cover reminds me a little bit of the robots in the music video for Björk's All Is Full of Love. It's not exactly the same but it is a bit reminiscent. Just a little bit.
Maybe just a little bit?
I found the plot-line of Robopocalypse to be overall engaging, but I felt that it dragged a bit in some parts. The constant flitting around POVs and locations got a tiny bit frustrating at times since I didn't know which character would tell their story next. However, the switching does slow down to just two character POVs eventually, which I was relieved at. One thing that bugged me was that a couple of characters seemed to appear just out of nowhere (well, it seemed that way to me).

Robopocalypse is told from the point of view of numerous characters, which makes the attack sound more like it affects everyone on the planet, rather than just one person in one place. I found that the multiple POVs gave the story a lot of depth but I sometimes forgot who was narrating and at other times, didn't know who or what was narrating at all. It got a tad confusing at times.

I found the writing style to be a mixture of action and suspense, which kept me on edge throughout the book. Again, the multiple POVs confused me at times but I enjoyed them for the most part. I loved being able to hear different people's stories through their point of view.

Overall, I found Robopocalypse to be an exciting read which kept me on edge throughout. However, the multiple POVs and characters that appear from nowhere frustrated me a bit, as well as certain points that dragged.

Fairy Metal Thunder Read-Along: Week Two

Week 2 hosted by Kelly of Reading the Paranormal

1. Unfairly grounded by his parents, Jason decides to lie to them so he can go to the audition in Minneapolis. Unfortunately, not only does the audition end poorly but his parents discover his lie and things go downhill from there. Tell us the most outrageous lie you've ever been caught in. Bonus points if you can provide pictorial proof. Reenactments eagerly accepted.

This actually happened last week. My mam has three candles on the fireplace and one of them is burnt out. I lit one of them and threw the match into the burnt out one without blowing the flame out. The burnt out candle was full of old matches and they all caught light from this burning match. It was just a little flame at first but it got bigger and bigger and bigger to the point that it was a fire. I ran into the kitchen and got a glass of water to pour onto the fire and forgot that water has oxygen in it. That made it worse so I ran away (how stupid of me) and then came back when the fire was gone. To hide the evidence I got some oven gloves, picked up the candle holder, ran outside and poured the melted wax in the corner of our yard.

The next day, my parents asked me if I'd poured wax into the yard. I didn't tell a complete lie and say no, I just bended the truth a little. I said that I took the candle outside while it was still on fire (which is actually incredibly dangerous), and left it there to go out so I could pour the wax away. The wax in the yard is gone now, but this is what's left of the candle:

My parents actually believed me. Hopefully, they won't read this...

2. In Faerie, Aoide is summoned to see the Faerie Queen. Have you ever met someone important like the Faerie Queen? Someone famous? Tell us the story behind how it happened. Once again, pictures are a plus!

I haven't met many important or famous people but I did meet the mayor quite a few years ago and I've met a children's author before. When I did my student librarian qualification at school, Alan Gibbons was at the presentation and I got my picture taken with him. I never did get the picture though. They probably didn't want to give it out because I ruined it by pulling a stupid face!

3. Caught lying to his father about his non-existent job at the car wash, Jason has now found gainful employment at Buddy McSlawburger's - where he's forced to wear "the funny hat" as part of his uniform. What's the worst job you've ever had? Did it involve a particularly noxious uniform? Tell us about it - in riveting, full-color detail!

I've never had a job but my school uniforms have been horrendous. The first one was a red jumper/sweater with a white or red polo shirt which wasn't so bad but it gets worse from there. My junior school uniform was a navy blue jumper with a yellow polo shirt. Taking off that jumper in the summer was just the worst idea ever because you would get attacked by a swarm of midgies (incredibly small, annoying little flies that bite) and they wouldn't go away until you put your jumper back on! In the senior/secondary school that I went to, they were incredibly anal about uniform. The rules were ridiculous. Here's some of them:

  • All hair accessories must be black
  • Skirts must not be at the most 5 cm above or below the knee
  • Shirts must be tucked in
  • Ties must be five buttons long
  • Top buttons of shirts must be fastened (you ended up choking if you followed this rule)

And then there were the colours! Purple and gold. What an awful, awful colour combination. The school now has a summer uniform but they didn't when I was there so we all had to pretty much wear suits all year long. Black clothes + heat + sunshine = a hot sticky sweaty mess. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any pictures.

4. In an effort to regain their stolen instruments, Aoide and Rhodia travel to the sugar swamp to hire a hunter. Wouldn't you love to live somewhere where the water is sweet and the grass is made of sugar cane? Show us a picture of you enjoying your favorite sweet treat. Or, rewrite history and tell us how your version of the sugar swamp would differ from the one in the book.

Mmmm... Chocolate buttons....

Waiting on Wednesday (8)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick this week:
(The Taking #1)
Melissa West
Expected publication: October 16 2012
by Entangled

Add to Goodreads
In the future, only one rule will matter: Don't. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed--arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she's been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she's falling for him. But Ari isn't just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She's a military legacy who's been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know--especially an aliens spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.
How awesome does this sound? Help or everyone on Earth dies? Yes please! Gah, I really can't wait for this book to be released ^_^

What are you waiting on this week? 

Review: Public Enemies (2009)

Public Enemies
Directed by: Michael Mann
Starring: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale and Marion Cotillard
Based on: Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933–34 by Bryan Burrough
Genre: Historical Crime / Biopic
Released: July 3, 2009
by Universal Pictures
Running time: 140 minutes (2 hrs, 20 mins)
Cert: 15 (BBFC) R (MPAA)
Rating: ★★★
IMDb | View Trailer
The difficult 1930s is a time of robbers who knock over banks and other rich targets with alarming frequency. Of them, none if more notorious than John Dillinger, whose gang plies its trade with cunning efficiency against big businesses while leaving ordinary citizens alone. As Dillinger becomes a folk hero, FBI head J. Edgar Hoover is determined top stop his ilk by assigning ace agent Melvin Purvis to hunt down Dillinger. As Purvis struggles with the manhunt's realities, Dillinger himself faces an ominous future with the loss of friends, dwindling options and a changing world of organised crime with no room for him.
I've owned this film since Christmas and I didn't get around to watching it until very recently. Need I say why I wanted to watch this? In case you're not sure, here's photographic evidence:
Image from weheartit
Mr. Perfect, in a suit. Yes please!

Although the premise of Public Enemies is interesting, I found it predictable. It's obvious what it going to happen in the end and it takes an awful long time to get there. Obviously not everyone is going to die just fifteen minutes into the film, but it shouldn't have taken to so long for the end to come round. There is a lot of action and don't get my wrong, I like my fair share of action, but the gunfight scenes outweighed the drama of the film, which is equally important.

I'm not a fan of Johnny Depp. I never have been and I don't suppose I ever will be. Despite that, I quite liked his performance as Dillinger. He was suave, smooth, mysterious and just oozed with the swagger of a man of Dillinger's kind. I think I appreciate Depp a bit more now, I liked how he was able to show both sides to Dillinger rather than just one. He showed how Dillinger was a romantic but he was also a dangerous, cruel person too.

I'm not saying this because I think that he's hot, but Christian Bale's performance, I think, was the best in the entire film. I loved his performance as Melvin Purvis. Everything was authentic: the accent, the stature, the attitude. He is first introduced when Purvis is chasing down Pretty Boy Floyd (who is played by an unrecognisable Channing Tatum) and, I'm just going to say it, there is a full view of his butt. Clothed, but still. I couldn't find a still but I squealed.

The camera work of this film was just awful. It was incredibly obvious to me that a dolly was not used because whenever a character was walking and the camera followed them, the camera would bob up and down for the entire scene. GAH! I can get motion sickness just from looking at something and this was just awful. Sometimes I appreciate a realistic camera look in films, but not if it makes me feel like I'm going to throw up. Not fun. Experimenting with different camera techniques in period films just seems like a huge no-no to me.

The music of this film just seemed incredibly unnecessary at times. The score pops up at the stupidest of times, the worst example being when Billie (Cotillard) is opening a present. It wasn't even a particularly emotional moment! It just seemed inappropriate to have music playing when it isn't needed at all. One other thing that bugged me was the use of progressive bluegrass music. I'm pretty sure that progressive bluegrass didn't exist in 1933.

This film was just not as good as I was hoping it to be. I did have a couple of swoons, but then was when I didn't feel like I was on a merry-go-round due to the awful camera work. For me, the action and drama were incredibly unbalanced. However, the acting was the one thing that I enjoyed. If it weren't for the cast (mainly the support lead man) I wouldn't have even thought about watching this film.

Follow Friday (5)

Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read.

Q: Jumping genres: Ever pick up a book from a genre you don't usually like and LOVE it? Tell us about it and why you picked it up in the first place.

I never used to like anything that was in the horror genre because I'm quite squeamish and jumpy (the video for Michael Jackson's Thriller still scares me) but the first horror book that I read and really loved was The Dead Zone by Stephen King. I picked it up because my mam told me what it was about and I thought it sounded interesting so I took it out of the library and took it everywhere with me. I took it to a wedding, I even took it to Germany with me!

Happy Friday!

Fairy Metal Thunder Read-Along: Week One

Week 1 hosted by Missie of The Unread Reader

1. At the beginning of the story, the Assorted Zebras are just a garage band, but they are expecting to make it big. Who knows, you just might find yourself at one of their concerts someday. Until then, show me your favorite concert t-shirt. It could be a picture of a concert you actually attended or a pic of a vintage tee of your favorite band. Be sure to tell me the story behind the tee.

This is actually the only concert shirt that I own. I'm not really a regular concert goer and the merch is usually far too expensive for me. This is a shirt that I got at a U2 concert at Wembley Stadium. The concert tickets were my birthday present that year and the four hour drive to London was completely worth it. However, I think that I may have come into contact with the swine flu at the concert because the next day I was trudging around the markets in Camden like a zombie. Not fun. When we got home, I was quarantined inside the house for a week and the doctors had to make a house call, which they don't do anymore. The concert was amazing though!

2. Jason’s mom forces him to agree to do some yard work for Mrs. Dullahan, which wouldn’t be so bad if she wasn't rumored to be a witch. Tell me about the worst chore you were ever forced to do. Who made you do it? Bonus points if you have a picture to share of you doing the dirty work.

Yes, I went there, I took a picture of our toilet. When I was younger, I was in the Brownies and every year we would go on a holiday that they called "Pack Holiday" and everyone had a chore to do on the last day. Mine and another girl's chore was the clean the bathroom. That included the toilets. That had been used by over twenty women and girls over the entire weekend. I never want to look into a toilet ever again...

3. Uh oh! There seems to be a jewelry thief in the neighborhood. Have you have had anything stolen from you? Or have you ever lost something precious? Did you ever find it? Make a Reward if Found poster for the stolen or lost item. Convince us to find it for you. Make the reward good!

Click to enlarge
Yeah, my reward isn't that good. Oh well. Also, I used the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant's number (you know, the one from The Simpsons).

4. In Faerie, Jason declares himself as Jason the Guy Who Wants That Necklace Back. Weird, but then again every name has a meaning. What does your name mean? What is the origin? Do you go by any kind of nicknames? How did you get that nickname? 

My name means "famous warrior" and is of French and German origin. I have quite a few nicknames, most of them really silly. Here are a few examples:
  • Lou
  • Lula-bell
  • Squish (don't ask)
  • Squeezie
  • Lou-squeeze
  • Weeza
  • Luigi
  • Scooby-Doo (no seriously, don't ask)
Most of those nicknames are only used by family, which is why they're so weird. I honestly have no idea where Scooby-Doo and Squish came from.

5. When Jason gets home from his all night adventures through Fairy, his parents unfairly ground him for a month! Care to share a time you were grounded by your parents for no good reason?

I've never been grounded, so here's a picture of a very smug-looking SpongeBob.

Review: What to Expect When You're Expecting (2012)

What to Expect When You're Expecting
Directed by: Kirk Jones
Starring: Cameron DiazMatthew MorrisonJennifer Lopez et al.
Inspired by: the book of the same name by Heidi Murkoff
Genre: Comedy
Released: May 18 2012
by Lionsgate
Running time: 110 minutes (1 hr, 50 mins)
Cert: 12 (BBFC) PG-13 (MPAA)
Rating: ★★★★

IMDb | View Trailer
Over the moon about starting a family, TV fitness guru Jules and dance show star Evan find that their high-octane celebrity lives don't stand a chance against the surprise demands of pregnancy. Baby-crazy author and advocate Wendy gets a taste of her own militant mommy advice when pregnancy hormones ravage her body; while Wendy's husband, Gary, struggles not to be outdone by his competitive alpha-Dad, who's expecting twins with his much younger trophy wife, Skyler. Photographer Holly is prepared to travel the globe to adopt a child, but her husband Alex isn't so sure, and tries to quiet his panic by attending a "dudes" support group, where new fathers get to tell it like it really is. And rival food truck chefs Rosie and Marco's surprise hook-up results in an unexpected quandary: what to do when your first child comes before your first date?
The story of me going to see this film is quite a funny story. I went to go see What to Expect on a total whim, by myself. I'd never been to the cinema alone before seeing this and I didn't really know what I wanted to see (I was planning on seeing Red Lights, but maybe another time).

This is one of those films where everyone is connected in some way, shape or form. I thought it would get confusing, but it doesn't because all of the connections are revealed as the film progresses. Now, I'm going to come right out and say it: I am child un-friendly. I really do not like children, specifically babies. Has this film changed my view on babies? I'd say no, but I am now more sympathetic of what pregnant women go through (I have a habit of ripping the pregnant women on One Born Every Minute to shreds) after watching this film. I think what I liked the most is that the film showed both sides of pregnancy and having children, rather than just one. There were plenty of touching moments in the film, two of the most being Jennifer Lopez' character, Holly, travelling to Ethiopia with her husband to adopt their child and (spoiler alert!) Anna Kendrick's character, Rosie, suffering a miscarriage. I don't like babies, but one dying (regardless of whether it's been born yet) never makes me feel anything warm and fuzzy.

There are a ton of characters to talk about, but I'll only mention the ones that stuck out the most for me. The first one being Skyler, played by Brooklyn Decker. How she managed to stay stick thin while pregnant with twins, I will never know. It was unreal how much of a breeze her pregnancy looks, even giving birth was easy (all she had to do was sneeze)! I thought it was actually pretty funny how her pregnancy was so easy to the point that she looked like she enjoyed it.

I had my doubts about Jennifer Lopez's acting skills because from what I've seen on IMDb, she's been in quite a few bombs. However, she was really, really good here. Surprisingly, she has quite good comedic timing. I loved her character, Holly; I loved how she was willing to do what's best for her upcoming family and her husband, however bad it is. I love characters like that.

I loved the use of music in What to Expect; everything was allocated to the right scenes. Also in Rosie's miscarriage scene, that I mentioned above, there is no speech at all, just music. I love it when filmmakers do that. It just emphasises how horrible a moment can be for someone, and I think that that particular scene was the perfect example.

I wasn't expecting (no pun intended) to like this film as much as I did. It was funny, it was heartwarming, and I really, really liked it. It's not necessarily a film that I would go see at the cinema again, but one that I liked enough to wait for the DVD release.

Waiting on Wednesday (7)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I'm going to start doing my WoW posts a little differently from now on. Since I don't usually know what upcoming book releases there are, I will only feature upcoming books when I know an upcoming release that I am dying from anticipation for.

My picks this week are:
Midnight City
(The Conquered Earth #1)
J. Barton Mitchell
Expected publication: October 30th
by St Martin's Griffin

Add to Goodreads
In a post-apocalyptic world controlled by alien invaders, two teens and a young girl with mysterious powers embark on a dangerous journey. What they find will change everything...

Earth has been conquered. An extraterrestrial race known as The Assembly has abducted the adult population, leaving the planet's youth to fend for themselves. In this treacherous landscape, Holt, a bounty hunter, is transporting his prisoner Mira when they discover Zoey, a young girl with powerful abilities who could be the key to stopping The Assembly. As they make their way to the cavernous metropolis of Midnight City, the trio must contend with freedom fighters, mutants, otherworldly artifacts, pirates, feuding alien armies, and perhaps most perilous of all: Holt and Mira's growing attraction to each other.
A post-apocalyptic world caused by aliens? There is absolutely no need to say any more than that. Gimme, gimme, gimme!

The Assassination Game
(Starfleet Academy #4)
Alan Gratz
Released June 26 2012
by Simon Spotlight

When a terrorist attack rocks Starfleet Academy, it’s clear someone has a very serious—and very deadly—secret agenda.

The rules are simple: Draw a target. Track him down and “kill” him with a spork. Take your victim’s target for your own. Oh, and make sure the player with your name doesn’t get to you first. No safe zones. No time-outs. The game ends when only one player remains.

James T. Kirk is playing for fun. Leonard “Bones” McCoy is playing to get closer to a girl. But when a series of terrorist attacks rock the usually placid Starfleet Academy campus, it becomes clear that somebody is playing the game for real. Is it one of the visiting Varkolak, on Earth to attend an intergalactic medical conference? Or could it be a member of a super-secret society at the Academy dedicated to taking care of threats to the Federation, no matter what rules they have to break to do it?
I featured the third Starfleet Academy book in my Stacking the Shelves on Sunday and this book came out on Tuesday last week. I've ordered in and it'll be in my mits any day now!

What are you waiting on? Leave me a link and I'll pop by!

Review: Jenny Pox by J.L. Bryan

Jenny Pox
J.L. Bryan
Series: The Paranormals #1
Genre: Adult Horror
Released: July 22 2010
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★★★★

Add to Goodreads | Purchase online
Eighteen-year-old Jenny Morton has a horrific secret: her touch spreads a deadly supernatural plague, the "Jenny pox." She lives by a single rule: Never touch anyone. A lifetime of avoiding any physical contact with others has made her isolated and painfully lonely in her small rural town.

Then she meets the one boy she can touch. Jenny feels herself falling for Seth...but if she's going to be with him, Jenny must learn to use the deadly pox inside her to confront his ruthless and manipulative girlfriend Ashleigh, who secretly wields the most dangerous power of all.
I've been wanting to read Jenny Pox for quite some time now and I've finally gotten round to reading it (hurray for being free on Kindle, even though I don't own one)! I love the cover of this book, it's so pretty! I love the colours used in the photograph (I'm a complete sucker for pretty colours).

Jenny Pox tells the story of eighteen-year-old Jenny Morton (nicknamed Jenny Mittens by people at school) who spreads a horrible disease through her touch. To prevent it, she wears gloves and long clothes that cover her skin while she is out, which she is mocked for by the horrible Ashleigh and her minions. Before reading the book, I had never heard of anything like Jenny Pox, the idea seemed incredibly unique to me, and it still is. I can't gush about the originality enough. One thing that I wasn't too keen on, was that there is quite a lot of filler material, which did become relevant as the story progressed.

As soon as the story starts, we are introduced to Jenny, who I just couldn't help but love. I wanted to give her the biggest hug ever because I could empathise with her (I can't spread a disease by touching people, but I have been taunted ad picked on - essentially bullied - for quite a chunk of my life). I loved seeing Jenny grow from the shy girl who just wants to be normal, to a strong young woman who embraces who she really is.

To me, Ashleigh was the perfect villain. She's malevolent, manipulative, sly, all those kind of adjectives that conjure up the image of a really nasty piece of work. I hated Ashleigh straight off the bat and as the story progressed I hated her more and more. Every time she talked about God or Jesus, I rolled my eyes and wanted to punch her; she's such a hypocrite!

Despite cheating on Asheligh with Jenny, which is not cool, I really liked Seth. He's such a nice guy, but Asheligh won't let him be nice, he has to fit her mould and be her pawn. Thankfully, he breaks free of Asheligh and shows who he really is. I liked getting to learn more about Seth and his creepy family history, it was very interesting.

I loved the small-town setting of Fallen Oak because everyone is connected in some way or another. I'm going to over-analyse like I always do because I think that the setting shows how people can turn against one another just from lies and stories that they heard from someone. No? Oh well...

I loved the gore of Jenny Pox, the descriptions of how the pox spreads were just so wonderfully macabre that the image of it stuck in my head. I love it when a book does that to me!

I loved every word of this book, it was just so amazing! I would never have guessed how the book ends, not in a million years. I would definitely recommend Jenny Pox to anyone who loves paranormal or horror books.

Stacking the Shelves (3)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews featuring books added to your shelves and sharing your excitement for them.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Graheme-Smith
The Gemini Agent by Rick Barba
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Graheme-Smith
Slated by Teri Terry
Glass Houses by Rachel Caine

Borrowed from the library:

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
I have been thinking about checking out Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter for quite some time now and since the film is out and I really want to go see it, I bought the book which I will be reading before I go see the film.

I'm addicted to the Starfleet Academy series so it's only natural that I'd buy the third one. I'll be buying the fourth very, very soon (or when I get some money, that is) as it was just released on Tuesday.
I have the DVD of the film adaptation of American Psycho and I've been plucking up the courage to watch it but I will not disobey my rule of reading the book first. I've heard the book is pretty graphic but I'm okay with that in books, I can visualise it better than if it's shown to me.

I've also been wanting to check out Pride and Prejudice and Zombies for a long time now. I never used to like zombie books until recently and mixing zombies with a classic novel just seems like a fantastic idea to me!

I actually bought Slated a couple of weeks ago but I didn't feature it in a post because I didn't buy anything else, so I'll include it here!

I've had my eye on Glass Houses for quite some time (probably the shiny cover) since my local branch of The Works has nearly every book in the series (1 - 13, none of the decimal ones) as part of their 3 for £5 deal but I didn't have £5 so I just bought the one. Oh well!

I'm a fan of Anna Godbersen's Bright Young Things series and I can't believe that I haven't read The Luxe yet. I love historical fiction and I enjoy Godbersen's writing style so I've taken it out of the library to check out!

I have a feeling that my Stacking the Shelves posts will be quite infrequent since I don't have enough money to buy new books every week, so I will only post when I get more than one book in a week.

What did you get this week? Leave me a link below!