Paranorman Review

I am currently watching ParaNorman because it is part of the 13 days of Halloween.  I watched this in theaters when it first came out thinking it looked like a cute kids movie.  Boy, was I wrong.  This review has some spoilers.

Not saying that the movie was bad.  In fact, I’m saying the opposite.  ParaNorman reminded me off all the kids that are misunderstood.  The movie placed an emphasis on the fact that some people are treat very differently from others and they don’t always know how to take it.

For example, Noman is this kid that can see ghosts.  He lives in a house where he has no support from his father (his father wishes he was normal) and a mother that doesn’t know how to talk to either of them about it, and a teenage sister who obviously has other stuff on her mind than her little brothers mental health.  Norman has no friends because he is labelled the “weird” kid and he seems to not handle it very well.  However, his friend Neil, is this other misunderstood kid who is called names for being overweight.  He also lives in a weird family.  His older brother is obsessed with working out and is gay.  But with Neil, he is able to remain somewhat happy and doesn’t let bullies get the best of him.

Norman is supposed to take on the burden of trying to keep a “witch” from going nuts and rising from the dead and killing everyone for killing her first.  That’s a pretty big responsibility for a kid.  Norman gets some pretty unclear and vague instructions on what to do for this witch and all hell breaks loose.

Well sort of.  There are only a few zombies are running around the town causing havoc.  The zombies happen to be the people who tried the witch for being a witch.  They end up going into the town and being more afraid of people than the people are of the zombies.

Eventually, Norman finds out that the witch that they had tried had been a scared little girl with a special gift that she didn’t know how to control.  The towns people that tried the little girl were sorry and were trying to tell her that because they were never able to be fully put to rest.

Norman ends up finding the witch and telling her that she has become this monster that everyone made her out to be because she was mad at everyone and wanted them to pay.  The girl calms down and we see this girl that has been sad and lonely for a very long time.  Her soul finally at peace, Norman is finally starting to be accepted by his whole family and things look like they may end up being better.

However, this movie also had touches of depression that I wanted to talk about.  Things always seem impossible in life.  Things don’t always turn out how you want them to and sometimes it feels like the whole world is against you.  I urge you to not give up hope.  Although things may seem bad now, there is always someone who cares about you and wants to help you.  You may not even know that there is someone who cares about you.  So I urge you to reach out to others and to talk about your problems.  There are help lines you can call and people on social media who are always willing to talk and want to help those in need.  I am always willing to listen and help people with their problems.  Don’t give up hope, nothing is ever fully lost.

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The Night Circus Review

This is one of those books where people can’t agree whether or not it is young adult fiction or not.  In my opinion, it’s not.  I am not the best judge because I don’t actually read too much YA.  However, I do think that this reads more like a fiction novel more than anything.

Anyway, this book was amazing. I was actually kind of disappointed that the back of the book (the synopsis) had a major spoiler in it and it kind of ruined the twist.  I think anyone else that has read the back of the book and then read the book might have had the same problem as me.

This book is about two magicians who make it a game to train two others into using magic against each other to see which one is the better teacher (pretty much).  The two children they are training won’t be told who the other is but they will know that they are working against another person.

The circus is a magic circus where each tent is something new and fabulous and held together by magic.  It shows up randomly in certain places at night and it is only open at night time until about dawn.  It is a circus I wish actually existed and I wish I could go to it.

The book skips around certain years, places, and points of view.  At first it was confusing and then it started making more sense when I caught on.

I recommend this read to anyone.  There aren’t any really scary parts of this book.  It is filled with magic, love, betrayal, and hope.  It is really well written and worth the time to read.

Sleep Hollow Children of the Revolution Review

I really enjoyed this book.  It takes place in the first season of the series (it is not part of the tv show) somewhere in the middle.  This book reads like an episode of Sleepy Hollow.  I read almost the entire thing in Ichabod’s voice even though it is not all from his point of view.

This story starts out with Ichabod in a park when he suddenly receives a vision from Katrina.  She shows him a bunch of images from his past and then tells him that he must find his Congressional Cross that he was awarded.  He goes to find Abbie to tell her of his vision and also tells her that he has no idea where the cross is because he died before it was ever awarded to him.

Meanwhile, in a museum, two crosses that were also awarded to other members (there’s 10 in all) were stolen.  throughout the book they are trying to find his cross and prevent other crosses from being stolen, as well as trying to figure out why someone wants to take the crosses in the first place.

Sorry this is kind of short.  For once I don’t want to give away the big plot twist.

This book is fairly fast paced and a good read.  I thought that the author captured the characters so perfectly that they could have made this into an episode.  I think that this book should be read by any Sleepy Hollow fan.

FTC disclaimer: “I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry Review

I recently read The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry for a book club on Instagram.  I didn’t think I would enjoy this book as much as I did, but a few months later, I am still thinking about the book.

This book is about a man named A.J. who is a book store owner on a fairly small island and how he touches the lives of others over time.  A baby girl is left in his store one night with a note from the mother basically saying that the baby is smart and that she hopes that if she lives in the bookstore with A.J. that she will be in a better place than being left to the foster care system.  He calls the local police because he thinks that he is unable to take care of a child, but in the end, raises her on his own.  He gets the police officer into reading and he falls in love with a woman who sells books for a certain publishing company.  When A.J. is diagnosed with cancer and only has so long to live, his family and friends try to do everything they can to save him.

The character development of A.J. is nice.  Although some of the book seems incredibly rushed, it actually suits the book nicely.  It is able to make the book (which to some could be considered long) to not drag at any point.  All the characters with the exception of his daughter develop their character as the book goes along and you know what goes on in their lives and fall in love with everyone.  This book has stuck with me for the past couple of months and I would recommend it to anyone.  It is a good, short read that will have you wishing you could live there with everyone.

Battle Royale: Movie vs. Book

I recently read Battle Royale by Koushun Takami.  This book is very similar to The Hunger Games (Battle Royale came first) in that this book is about a middle school class that is forced to fight and kill one another until there is only one survivor.  The book and the movie start out in a fairly similar way.

There is a bus full of students on their way to a field trip and while they are all talking and what not, they all suddenly fall asleep.  The main character, Shuya, wakes up in a desk, slighly disoriented, and stares at his sleeping classmates around him.  Eventually they all wake up and there is slight pandemonium because they have no idea where they are or how they got there.  Their new “teacher”, Sakamochi, tells them that they have been chosen by the Republic of Greater East Asia (the dictatorship that rules Japan) to be the new class to compete in the Battle Royale.  He tells them all of the rules of this game which are: one student must be killed every 24 hours or else every one dies (collars explode), there are certain zones which become forbidden every 6 hours and if they are caught in these zones their collars explode, and there can only be one winner.

During this explanation of the rules, Sakamochi ends up killing two students and injuring one (Noriko the other main character).  Each student is given a bag which has food, water, a map of the island they are on, and a weapon of some sort.  Most of the students end up with guns, a few with knives, and a few with other special items like one studdent has a bullet proof vest another has poison, another has a pan etc.

Shuya and Noriko end up leaving the school together and try to unite the students, in vain, to not fight and to find a way off the island.  Throughout the book, Shuya tries to find his best friend Shinji and he runs into other students.  A few he kills in self defense and others he ends up getting them killed by distracting them from another student.  They end up with Shogo, a random student who had just transferred into their class, and he tells them that if they stay with him throughout the game that at the end he has a way off the island.  Eventually he reveals that he had been in the games before and that he was the survivor of the games a year or so before.

Most of the students end up killing each other out of madness, fear, or just because they can.  Eventually the only students left are Shuya, Noriko, Shogo, and Kazuo.  While Shuya, Noriko, and Shogo were camping most of the game out, Kazuo was the notorious, ruthless killer who had killed most of the students on the island.  There is a huge gun fight between them and eventually Kazuo is killed.  Shogo fakes Shuya and Noriko’s deaths (the collars had a device in it that could hear what the students were saying even though the students other than Shogo didn’t know that.) and goes aboard the winners ship where Sakamochi grills Shogo about the time it took for Shuya and Noriko to “die”.  Shuya and Noriko end up taking out most of the boats sailors to save Shogo.  Shogo kills Sakamochi and teaches Shuya how to steer the boat before dying of his injuries from the gun fight.  Shuya and Noriko escape to the mainland where they become fugitives.

The movie is pretty different from the book.  The only scene that was pretty much the same was the lighthouse scene.  The book, of course, goes into greater detail about how most of the students were killed but even some of the main points weren’t in the movie.  I’m not saying the movie was bad it was just a bit different from the book.

Overall, I think that both the book and the movie were fantastic.  Each one was slightly different from the other, but the overall outcome was the same.  I think I liked the book slightly better if I had to compare the two against each other.  However I give both the book and the movie 10/10

Slight blog change

I know my info says that this is a book blog, but I decided to change it to a book and movie blog.  I plan on reviewing books and movies that have already come out as well as things that are about to come out and things I want to read or watch.  Also if anyone knows how to change the name of your blog can you give me some pointers?   I am new to this and I don’t even know how to change the background.  Thanks!

Landline Review

I recently finished Landline by Rainbow Rowell and I have to say she is becoming one of my favorite authors.  I really connected with this book because it reminded me, somewhat, of my own marriage.  I am a stay at home mom and I have always wanted to do more with my life, but I never had a plan to do anything.  My husband has a job and is still going to school and I support him in every way that I can.  It never seems to be enough, but we still get by alright.

I loved that there was the idea of being able to go back and fix a mistake.  I think everyone would have something that they want to fix in their past, but then there could be a ripple effect.  I think that if there was a rewind button on life that life would be boring.  People would constantly try to fix things that they thought was not perfect.  I think that being able to make mistakes, yet learning from them is something to take away from this.

I didn’t like that there was a love triangle.  It was kind of unbelievable to me.  The idea that he wouldn’t try anything when he knew that her marriage was in trouble is just unrealistic even in the book.  He was described as a womanizer who just goes for anyone pretty much and yet he didn’t try anything?  I don’t know it didn’t seem like that would happen even in today’s standards.

Overall this book was really good.  The characters were well developed and even though it dragged slightly, it showed the depth of their love and how their relationship was.  It makes me think that a lot of marriages are not perfect in every way, yet if you are willing to try to do something about it you can work through a lot together.  Love may not be enough, but communication and trying to do something about whatever situation you’re in may be enough.  Sometimes your best can be enough.