Mar 20, 2011


Changeless by Gail Carriger
(Number 2 in Parasol Protectorate series)
Published: April 1, 2010 by Orbit

Alexia Tarabotti, the Lady Woolsey, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears - leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria.

But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. Even when her investigations take her to Scotland, the backwater of ugly waistcoats, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only the soulless can. 

She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it. 

       I decided to start reading this series (which starts with Soulless) after reading tons of great reviews that made me curious about it. These books are great, just be aware that they are adult books found in the regular Science Fiction section, not the Young Adult section. There's nothing graphic, but there is sex. 

Reasons I love this book:
  • the cover- I know this doesn't actually effect the story, but this series has some of my favorite covers. They're designed by Lauren Panepinto, who made this video showing her design process. I found it fascinating so I thought I'd share. Take a look if you haven't seen it! (Bonus: Watching it here means no nasty Youtube comments!)                        

  • the mystery- basically the plot I suppose, but whatever you call it, it's great. Also, once you read it you'll know why the title is so fitting. 
  • Alexia- I love this girl: her parasol weapons, the banter with her husband, being stubborn and never doing what she's told, taking absolutely no nonsense, and not giving a care about long-established pack protocol
  • the lighthearted nature of this series is such a refreshing change- some paranormal books take themselves so seriously, but not this one
Huh, what?:
  • Ivy and Felicity (but mostly Felicity)- they annoy me almost as much as they annoy Alexia, and their competition for Tunstell's attention makes them sound like teenagers. The only thing keeping them from driving me nuts is the way Alexia deals with them.
  • the Kingair Pack- You betrayed us! No you betrayed me! It's a little tiring after awhile. 
The boyfriend factor:
  • My boyfriend loves these books. He always asks me for things to read so I gave him Soulless, thinking he might like it. After reading Changeless he bought me Blameless just so he could read it and now he's telling me I need to read it immediately. 
Is this the end?:
  • No way after a cliffhanger like that! It was infuriating and one of the best/worst cliffhanger endings I've ever read. Best because it's a bomb of a cliffhanger, worst because it made me so mad!
  • The 4th book, Heartless, comes out June 28th of this year. 
Favorite Quotes:
  • "Does this thing work as an umbrella? she asked Madame Lefoux on her way back, waving the parasol.                                                                                                                                                 The inventor looked sheepish. "I forgot that part."                        pg. 207
  • "I believe your husband just smashed one of the hall tables into a thousand pieces with his fist." She cocked her head. "It was an astonishingly ugly table, but still, one could always give it to the deserving poor, couldn't one?"                                pg. 373

5 Robots
This is a series I will definitely be keeping up with, even past the dreaded 4th book in a series doldrums!
Acquired: Bought

Mar 13, 2011


Beastly by Alex Flinn
Published: October 2, 2007 by HarperTeen

Privileged, popular, and proud, high school student Kyle Kingsbury knows he can get away with virtually anything because of his good looks and his father's money.  But Kyle goes too far when he sets out to humiliate a mysterious and unpopular girl at the school dance.  The girl turns out to be a witch who casts a spell on Kyle, turning him into a beast who is now as ugly on the outside as he is on the inside. The only way for Kyle to break the curse is to fall in love with someone who will look past his appearance and love him in return.

      I decided to read this book after seeing and really enjoying the movie version. The book definitely feels like it's geared toward younger teens while the movie feels like it's appealing to all ages. There are tons of substantial changes that were made for the movie. Overall, I enjoyed the movie more than the book, although this may have something to do with the presence of Alex Pettyfer in the movie. 

Reasons I love this book:
  • Plot- Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite fairytales and I loved seeing elements of it in a modern setting. My favorite was the mirror and how Kyle could use it to see anyone he wanted to.
  • Kyle- you really get to see what Kyle's thinking and what he is struggling with internally. 
  • Support group- the support group chats were really cool to read, and the characters are from the classic fairytales rather than the Disney-fied versions. 
  • Kyle/Adrian's sacrifice- his sacrifice to let Lindy leave and see her father even if it meant his being a beast forever was so sweet.
  • Princess Bride- Adrian and Lindy watch The Princess Bride, as evident from the 2nd quote.
Huh, what?:
  • Lindy's dad- he's even more of a jerk than Kyle's dad. I mean offering his daughter to a stranger rather than taking responsibility for his own crimes is so low.
  • Kendra (SPOILERS!)- Kendra turning out to be disguised as Magda the housekeeper was so unexpected and totally unnecessary to the story. 
  • Names- Kyle. Adrian. It doesn't really matter, but the name change is a detail that bothered me. I like that Kyle means handsome and Adrian means darkness though. That's pretty cool. 
Movie vs. Book (SPOILERS!):
  • Kendra- In the book, Kendra = Magda. In the movie they are 2 totally separate characters that never meet and Magda has her own family she wants to get back to.
  • Lindy- In the book, Lindy's dad offers her up so he doesn't have to deal with his own mess. In the movie, Kyle asks Lindy's father for her after witnessing how much danger she's in around her father.
  • Names- All kinds of names were changed for the movie. Kyle becomes Hunter rather than Adrian. His last name is slightly different, and there is no mention that Lindy's name is actually Linda. Magda's name is Zola. 
  • Will- In the book? Not really a character with much impact. In the movie Will is hilarious and will have you wishing he was in more scenes. 
Favorite Quotes:
  • "Who...who is that?"                                                                                                           "Adrian..." Kyle...the master of this house...the beast who lives here. "My name is Adrian. I'm the one..." The one who is holding you prisoner. "I wanted to meet you."           pg. 169
  • By the time Vizzini fell over, dead, I'd finished my popcorn and put the bag down. I wanted some more. It seemed like the beast was always hungry. I wondered, if I was transformed back, would I be fat?                  pg. 203

3 Robots
Pretty good, but I can't help comparing it with the movie

Acquired: Borrowed from a friend

Mar 10, 2011

Beastly (Movie)

Privileged, popular, and proud, high school student Kyle Kingsbury knows he can get away with virtually anything because of his good looks and his father's money.  But Kyle goes too far when he sets out to humiliate a mysterious and unpopular girl at the school dance.  The girl turns out to be a witch who casts a spell on Kyle, turning him into a beast who is now as ugly on the outside as he is on the inside. The only way for Kyle to break the curse is to fall in love with someone who will look past his appearance and love him in return.

      This movie is based on the book of the same name by Alex Flinn. The above summary is from the book, but some names were changed for the movie (such as Kyle's last name). Yes, it's a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast (one of my favorite Disney movies), so we all know how it ends. While all the critics' reviews I've read have complained about this, I was really interested in seeing the journey to get there, especially since it involves Alex Pettyfer. I did not read the book prior to seeing this movie.

Reasons I love this movie:
  • Neil Patrick Harris- NPH plays Will, Kyle's blind tutor and gets some of the best lines, especially when he's playing darts. All of his interactions with the other characters are great, particularly when he thinks something is too mushy or corny. 
  • Kyle's beast form- The makeup effects they did on Alex Pettyfer are awesome. Not very ugly, but definitely unique and interesting. Plus it looked like his left eyebrow said "suck". 
  • Kendra- Mary-Kate Olsen managed to make the witch creepy and entertaining in every scene she was in. 
  • Romance- I know it's a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but this movie has all the aspects I look for in a sweet romance movie like this. When Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens) and Kyle were falling in love it was great to watch and I couldn't wait to see how everything in their way worked out so they could live happily ever after. When they were talking at parties it was so sweet to see them kind of flirting but still having real conversations about life. 
Huh, what?:
  • Lindy's dad- The whole situation that occurs to make Lindy live with Kyle seems so rushed, although it was incredibly sweet the way Kyle wanted to protect her. (I'll try to stop using the word sweet I promise!) I know it wasn't too important why she was there as long as she was, but it still bothered me, especially because her dad comes up later in the story. 
  • Lindy's messages- A few times in the movie Lindy's feelings are expressed through instant messages and emails with people in the outside world. The impression I got (and I could be wrong) was that she was planning to escape with another guy, but it was kind of vague and never really acknowledged again. 
Is this the end?:
  • I get the impression that Beastly is a stand-alone book, so probably, but you never know if Hollywood will come up with some bone-headed idea to make a sequel. 

4 Robots
This is a great movie and my boyfriend also really enjoyed it (he went under his own will).

Mar 8, 2011

Spy Glass

Spy Glass by Maria V. Snyder
(Book 3 of the Glass series)
Published: September 1, 2010 by MIRA

An undercover mission leads to danger, adventure and an impossible choice.

After siphoning her own blood magic in the showdown at Hubal, Opal Cowan has lost her powers. She can no longer create glass magic. More, she's immune to the effects of magic. Opal is now an outsider looking in, spying through the glass on those with the powers she once had, powers that make a difference in the world. Until spying through the glass becomes her new power. Suddenly, the beautiful pieces she makes flash in the presence of magic. And then she discovers that someone has stolen some of her blood - and that finding it might let her regain her powers. Or know it could be they are lost forever. 

       If you haven't read anything by Maria V. Snyder, now's the time. The Study series, starting with Poison Study, is one of the best fantasy series out there, and characters from the Study series appear throughout the Glass series. While it's not absolutely necessary to read the Study series prior to the Glass series, you should read the Study books anyway because they're awesome!

Reasons I love this book:

  • Plot- there are so many things interwoven into Opal's story- trust, love, sacrifice, it's all there
  • Valek- I love Valek- he could appear for half a page and do nothing more exciting than sneeze and I would still be thinking "Oh my goodness, Valek is so awesome!"
  • Kade- I love Kade. That's all there is to it.
  • Reema (and Teegan)- this little girl is one tough chick and her relationship with Opal is hilarious and frustrating at the same time
Huh, what?:
  • Devlin- I am all for 2nd chances, but I feel like Opal is still so naive and trusted him too easily
  • the Bloodroses- the whole cult thing was way creepy, especially the marriage and ritual cleansing thing...just ugh, it gives me the creeps thinking about it
  • Devlin again (SPOILERS!)- really? Opal, you are the 1st heroine to choose against my love triangle choice. While I'm all for the unexpected, and he was sweet toward the end of the book, I'm still trying to get over his reform from hardcore criminal and torturer
Is this the end?:
  • It seems like it- everything's resolved and taken care of. Plus Maria V. Snyder's got the Inside Out series going now. But you never know- there might be something extra, like Ice Study is for the Study series. 
Favorite Quotes:
  • "Okay, but I'm taking my switchblade along."                                                                                   "To defend yourself against my mother?" he asked with an incredulous tone.                                     "No. To slit my throat if the day goes badly."                                                                                     He laughed. "Make sure you don't bleed in front of her. She faints at the sight of blood."             pg. 200
  • "You're either a child genius or older than you look."                                                                       She flashed me a grin. "I'm both."                  pg. 256

4 Robots
Go read some Maria V. Snyder books!

Acquired: Bought

Mar 1, 2011

TWLOHA Movie Needs Extras!

NOTE: If you find this post because you or someone you know needs help, you can call 1-800-442-HOPE (4673)  ANY TIME DAY OR NIGHT, or click HERE  for 24 hour online chat help. If you need something different, click here for a list of helplines.

To Write Love On Her Arms is something you've probably heard of by now. Started back in 2006 with the help of Myspace, TWLOHA gives hope to all who are depressed, who injure themselves by cutting or in any other way, and those who are considering suicide. If you haven't already, visit and read Renee Yohe's story, the story that inspired Jamie Tworkowski to found TWLOHA.

"Renee" is a movie being shot in Orlando about Renee Yohe's story, and extras are needed! This Thursday, March 3, 1000+ extras over the age of 18 are needed for a music festival scene. If you are interested in being a part of this inspiring story, or want to learn more about it and other days extras are needed, visit and get involved.

I myself will be there Thursday with some friends and roommates :)

Much love,