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2014 Books to Movies

10 Jan

First, I am taking a moment to apologize for my extended absence. I was having unusual difficulties with my normally cooperative technology. But now my internet is fixed, and I’m delighted to return to my every-other-day blog schedule.

Since I was stuck on my phone rather than my laptop the past few days, the only thing I could really do was read up on book related articles, and this one was really popular: 16 Books to Read Before They Hit Theaters This Year. Now I’ve talked about what I think of movie adaptations before, and you can read about that here, but I just want to repeat my opinion in case you’re a newcomer (welcome!)

I look at movie adaptation as sister pieces – rather than something that needs to represent the novel exactly. I normally quite enjoy movie adaptations, even when other readers don’t. This doesn’t really mean anything aside from I love seeing a piece of art being interpreted using another method. So I wanted to share the upcoming movie adaptations and what I think about the book and/or the future movie. The links will take you to IMDB rather than the book. I would also love to hear what you’re looking forward to and what you’re worried about, so comment below so we can talk about it :D

1. Labor Day by Joyce Maynard

I am a Kate Winslet fan, and the trailer left me wanting more. I will probably see this, but I have yet to read the 4.2/5 star novel. I will probably wait for the DVD, but it looks like a promising drama that leaves questions about the good, the bad, and the ugly.

2. The Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter

I must see this. Again, I haven’t read this novel, but I am planning on checking it out a.s.a.p. I love history, and I love art. I plan on seeing this in theaters. It looks worth it to me. I’m also a John Goodman fan, so that helps.

3. Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

I’m really on the fence about this one. I wish I could say more, but I honestly don’t know how to elaborate except that I’m afraid the magic will be hard to convey on the screen.

4. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

As much as I’m a young-adult fan, this novel failed to gain my interest, and – like many – I’m a little burnt out on vampires. (Although it is directed by the same director who did Mean Girls. I don’t know if this means anything, considering I’m not a fan of the story, but I hope it does well for the fans!

5. A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby 

I don’t think this is my cup of tea, but this doesn’t mean I think the book is bad or anything.

6. Divergent by Veronica Roth

I think this might be one of the biggest films of the year in terms of young-adult trends. It will be interesting to see how the Chicago setting is done and/or if it fares well with the diehard fans. I’ll definitely be checking it out.

7. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

If I have the urge to have a cry fest, then, yes, I plan on seeing this emotional tale on the big screen.

8. The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais

Although this is a remarkable tale, the trailer didn’t really interest me enough. I might change my mind, depending on what else it out around this time.

9. The Giver by Lois Lowry

This is one of my favorite novels of all-time, and I’m a HUGE fan of Meryl Streep, but I am worried about their decision to cast Taylor Swift. It makes me feel like they are simply trying to get people to come using big names, rather than finding the right people for the parts, but I still have hopes that Ms. Swift will live up to the high expectations of this classic and prove everyone wrong that she can, in fact, act.

I am wishing for too much, but I think it would be really neat if the first half shows how the world sees in black and white until the color vision begins to develop with the apple and hair through the protagonist. In fact, I made the photo below when thinking it would be really neat to see in black and white for one day. My roommate mentioned The Giver, and I got even more excited for this movie adaptation. I guess you could say this one is the one I look forward to the most.

So this is my black and white photograph inspired by black and white films!

So this is my black and white photograph inspired by black and white films!

10. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

I really want to see this dark tale, too. I think it will translate well, and I hope the visuals add to the dramatic and twisted story.

11. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

Not sure about this one, but I am not familiar with the novel either.

12. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Yes. Yes. and Yes. I will be seeing this. I think that’s all I need to say.

13. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Wow. Second movie of the year inspired by Gillian Flynn. I’m a fan of Flynn, so I’ll probably see this, but I think I might wait until it’s out of the theater. But congrats to Gillian Flynn on the big year!

But I do have some (sad?) news about this movie adaptation. According to the guardian, the ending has been rewritten by choice of the director. Flynn has supposedly written it, but this mysterious ending is leaving readers wondering why and what will happen.

14. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand & 15. Wild by Cheryl Strayed 

Again, these both sound interesting, but I don’t think they are for me.

16. Serena by Ron Rash

I love Jennifer Lawrence too much to not see this. It’s on my top movies to look out for in 2014. Although I have to admit that I used to not be a huge fan of Bradley Cooper’s, he’s made a huge comeback with me since Silver Linings Playbook, and I adore every movie Lawrence and Cooper have done together. (American Hustle was great!) So I will be seeing this on the big screen if possible! Not that this matters, but Serena is also my favorite name for a girl, so…that’s one more reason, right? :] (Fun fact: Serena is the name of my protagonist in my first, published novel, November Snow.)

So what do you think? Are you looking forward to any of these flicks? Are you worried about any of them? Which novels have you read? Are there any you plan on checking out before you watch it? 

Feel free to elaborate as much as you want to about a specific novel. In fact, I hope you do! I would love to hear more about a story I’m on the fence about from someone who has read it and loved or hated it. Some of my favorite movies were ones I never thought I would see. (I can admit Silver Linings Playbook was actually one of those.) I’m really open-minded, and I love a challenge – meaning, I adore those moments where I have low expectations and the art blows me away. Surprises can be a beautiful thing.

~SAT

P.S. I took Bogart to the vet for his annual checkup, and he’s 18 lbs.! Now, I was worried he was overweight, but it turns out he is part Maine Coon. I thought that was pretty cool – and explains why he’s so HUGE! So I had to share :D

He’s a little mad at me after the vet, but he’ll come around.

He’s a little mad at me after the vet, but he’ll come around.

Movie Mention: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

24 Aug

I first mentioned The Mortal Instruments on October 2, 2012 on my post Relax & Read: The Mortal Instruments. Then I followed it up on November 15, 2012 when I realized it was being adapted into a movie, and I couldn’t help but post Movie Mention: City of Bones. Now I’m here, almost a year later, reviewing the very movie I’ve been looking forward to for such a long time!

Before I get into the review, however, I want to clarify that I’m not going to have spoilers, because I know many of you might be seeing it this weekend or in the future. (If you decide to comment with a spoiler, I will respond, but please begin your comment with “SPOILER ALERT” so no one’s experience is tainted.) That being said, my review is also going to seem very short, because I cannot say a lot without spoiling certain parts. So here we go:20130823_172945

I’ve seen it twice now, and I loved it both times. I thought it was fantastic, and, yes, I’ve read all of the books–numerous times. I understand they changed a lot, including sequencing and the overall ending. But I’m very openminded when it comes to movie adaptations, and I look at books and their movies as separate pieces of work. As readers know, the books are very detailed and long. I think it’s important to remember how little time the directors and screenwriters have to fit everything in. Plus, it’s an adaptation–something I like to consider a “sister piece” (something inspired by the book–not the actual book.) I do think the movie is easier to understand if you’ve read the novel, because some explanations are only one or two sentences long, and, sometimes, it is whispered. However, the movie storyline is linear, and the graphics were awesome. I loved Jamie Campbell Bower, and I was impressed by Lily Collins as well (I was more worried about Collins than Bower, because I loved him in Camelot and haven’t seen so much range from Collins before.) Also, I think they retained Clare’s humor as much as possible in the two-hour dark tale. In regards to the “secret” revealed, I can see why people are upset, but, at the same time, I understand why Hollywood would change it for non-readers. Plus, let’s be real, readers would have told everyone the truth anyway.

But I will say one thing:

If you want an exact (or closely told) story of City of Bones, you’ll probably be disappointed, especially towards the end. I’d simply recommend an open mind to the changes. I absolutely love, love, LOVE the books, and I enjoyed this movie.

The only disappointments I had included Magnus Bane and the lack of presence Alec and Isabelle had (but I’m hoping they will get more screen time in City of Ashes.) Despite the overall popular disappointment with the movie adaptation and the book, City of Lost Souls, I remain a loyal fan of Cassandra Clare. It’s safe to say that I’m counting the days until City of Heavenly Fire (Book 6) is released on May 27, 2014 and City of Ashes (movie) comes out.

Aside from my review, I also wanted to share two book reviews I’ve received from two lovely ladies:

"Anne" by Carmen Stevens

“Anne” by Carmen Stevens

  • Author of Anne, Carmen Stevens, reviewed Minutes Before Sunset on her blog. “For me, there was a continuum of fast page turning as the story developed and the two main characters developed an interesting romance. This book is compelling, dramatic, funny and sweet, with lots of edge and action. I’d rate it 5 out of 5 stars, and this comes from someone who NEVER reads fantasy. Check it out today! It’s totally worthy of the Goodreads award it was given.” Read the rest here.

 

  • Goodreads reviewer, Satarupa, also read Minutes Before Sunset: “I loved the story line, it is fresh and unique and totally ‘kick-ass’! The action scenes are awesome and they are capable of sending chills down your spine and the suspense will drive you crazy with anticipation.” Read the rest here.

Novels to Movies

11 Jul

Before I start, I have to apologize! I’ve been really busy with numerous things in my life. I’m working really hard to finish the edits of Seconds Before Sunrise while completing my senior year in college. I’m also spending a lot of time with my family, but I promise I’m trying to post every other day!

Okay. Phew. Now today’s topic:

Every time I go to the theatre, I see a new preview to a novel-movie adaptation. The crowd either sighs or is filled with excitement. There are even entire bookcases at the bookstore dedicated to upcoming movies, but movie adaptations are arguable. Readers are often disappointed by this, but do all adaptations deserve this? I don’t think so. In my personal opinion, I look at adaptations as separate pieces of art–”a sister piece.” It isn’t going to be the novel, but it will represent the novel in a visual manner, so I try to stay positive and open-minded by taking the movie as what it is: a movie. Because of this, I wanted to reflect on my top recent favorites. Why? Because I have a list of upcoming novels-to-movies that I can’t wait to see, and I’m hoping others do too! (Or considering seeing them after they think of their favorites and maybe decide novels-to-movies aren’t so horrible after all.)

1. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (Adventure/Drama/Mystery)

book-vs-film-extremely-loud-and-incredibly-close

The novel has much more time to get in-depth with the protagonist’s background along with his family’s background, so I am biased when I saw this movie is great. A lot of information is left out. (The novel is amazing!) But I understand why they had to cut it. They didn’t have hours and hours to put in all of the stories they put in the novel. But, in my opinion, if you have read the novel, the director seems to do everything they could to hint at these stories and bring up all of the emotions the novel did. This is a very sad book, revolving around loss and 9/11, and the movie isn’t any different. There are amazing performances done by all of the actors, and I really enjoyed this adaptation, even through I watched most of it through tears.

2. Never Let Me Go (Drama/Fantasy/Romance)kazuo_ishiguro

This is one that I strongly encourage reading the novel beforehand. The way the reader learns as a child would learn (and with the characters) without the writer simply coming out to explain the situation is phenomenal. This was the biggest loss in the movie, because they had to come out and say it in the movie. But I still loved it, because the movie allowed me to simply concentrate on the relationships between Ruth, Kathy, and Tommy, while also considering the point of the novel (no spoilers.) I recently watched this movie again with a friend who hasn’t read the book, and they loved it. But it is a tear-jerker! (As most of my favorite movies are.) However, I still found remarkable beauty in the meaning, and you won’t walk away without thinking about life.

3. One Day: (Drama/Romance)

One Day Movie_book

I fell in love with this novel like Em fell in love with Dex: insatiably and with hopeless aggravation. The movie brought up an entire different range of emotions. I didn’t necessarily fall in love with the characters, but I remained in love, and I saw them for who they were, and it was perfect. I have to admit that I’m not normally a fan of Anne Hathaway, but I loved her in this movie. She did a marvelous job, and Jim Sturgess rounded Dexter’s character in a way I was worried the movie wouldn’t. In the end, I was filled with the same emotions I was with the book, and I walked away satisfied and chatting about all the symbolic aspects of the characters’ lives. 

4. On the Road: (Advernture/Drama)70401

A Jack Kerouac classic. I love this novel. It’s one of my favorites. (In fact, most of my favorite novels-to-movies are my favorite novels.) In this case, there were some major changes, especially at the beginning, but I could understand why they did it. I still think the director retained the voice of the novel while also depicting the Beat Generation. I definitely loved Dean Moriarty. I thought Garrett Hedlund did an amazing job.

5. Beautiful Creatures: (Young-adult/Fantasy/Romance)

You may have noticed, but this is my first young-adult book-to-movie adaptation. When I originally sat down, I realized I was generally disappointed by young-adult adaptations, but I am very open-minded when it comes to adaptations. The reason I think I loved this one so much, despite a lot of information being left out, was how visually stunning it was. The director clearly put in a lot of hours in to the set alone, and I found it beautiful and dark–just like the storyline.

So what novels-to-movies are coming out? There are plenty, but here are my top five:

In the meantime, I will be writing, working, studying, and walking my cat...

In the meantime, I will be writing, working, studying, and walking my cat…

1. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

2. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

3. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

4. The Spectacular Now by Tim Thrap

5. Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

Other popular ones: 

Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (Second one)

Do you have any novels-to-movies you really enjoyed and/or looking forward to seeing? I would ask about ones you dislike, but I try to stay positive and talk about what others like rather than the parts they dislike. However, I also believe that the things people dislike are just as telling, so feel free to talk about that as well. If you have any older novels-to-movies you think I may not have seen, please let me know! Considering novels and movies are two of my favorite things, it isn’t surprising when I say I love reading and watching them.

Again, I’m sorry I’ve been so busy, but I’m trying really hard to stay on schedule! I hope everyone is having a great week, and I’m loving all these reviews coming in. I’m always available at shannonathompson@aol.com, and AEC Stellar Publishing is still giving away free ebook copies to celebrate Minutes Before Sunset winning Goodreads Book of the Month. I appreciate all the support that has poured in. It means a lot to me, and it keeps me on my toes as I continue on with the editing process of Seconds Before Sunrise.

~SAT

Goodreads Quote of the Day: “I wasn’t sure what was worse: being oblivious or living within reality.” (Minutes Before Sunset)

Movie Mention: Star Trek Into Darkness

21 May

Before I begin my posts over the next couple of days, I’m going to be sharing links to Minutes Before Sunset reviews and interviews from some wonderful bloggers. Today, I’d like to thank Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie, blogger on “Keep Calm and Write On” for posting this review. I’d also like to thank the Kansas City rock band, Averya, for already reviewing Minutes Before Sunset. Their reviews push me forward! And I’m looking forward to the abundance of reviews coming from those who have volunteered to participate in my last posting and others who’ve participated since the release. Thank you!

I’d also like to offer another opportunity: I’m a part of a website called Happify. It’s a website dedicated to creating time for happiness in your personal life, and I’ve earned five invites. Comment below if you’re interested (with your email) and I’ll do a raffle for the invites! The winners will be announced on my next post. 

The night I went we had tornadic weather, and this tree got struck by lightning right before we got there!

The night I went we had tornadic weather, and this tree got struck by lightning right before we got there!

Onto the movie: 

During another adventure of Midwest storms last night, I saw Star Trek Into Darkness. I know. I know. I’m a little late on this review train, since some were able to see it as early as May 9, but I finally found the time to go, and it was fantastic!

Just to give you a little bit of my background, my mother was a trekky, so I actually know a lot about the series. That being said, I did think some of the changes were unnecessary. But, again, I’m pretty openminded about movie adaptations, and I ultimately found this movie really entertaining–both visually stunning, action-packed, and humorous, although I did find the plot pretty predictable (aside from one part.) However, despite the predictability, I still enjoyed this movie immensely.

StarTrekIntoDarkness_FinalUSPosterI get enough of Zachary Quinto  and Zoe Saldana. On top of that, Benedict Cumberbatch (I’m sure many of you recognized him from Sherlock Holmes) is an interesting villain. I don’t want to give away the movie, or I would expand on this statement.

Basically, I had a really good time seeing the second one, and I’m looking forward to the third movie when it comes out. (I’ve actual spent a large portion of my afternoon researching this, and it looks like there is definitely a third one in the making.)

Have you seen this movie? What did you think? If not, are you planning on seeing this movie in the future? I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially if you’ve read and/or watched the old series. That way, if anyone is interested and comes to this page, they can get an array of opinions!

Hope there isn’t tornadic weather where anyone else is. Have a great day.

~SAT

Minutes Before Sunset: Goodreads quote of the day: “Identity was everything, but it seemed I never had one.” (Jessica)

Contest Winners and Poetry From My KU Reading

10 May

Thank you to everyone who participated in the contest involving the final decision over the back cover of my young-adult paranormal romance, Minutes Before Sunset! As I’m writing this, we had 68 responses, and I’m really happy, because I love it when my readers can influence the final product. The voting went as follows (we considered the third part a vote on both, because very few seemed to see it, since it wasn’t visibly available):

Longer Description: 11

Shorter Description: 14

(Third received 3 votes)

After speaking with my publisher, since the split was so divided, we decided to go with the medium description with the author reviews, that way we get the best of both worlds :D Here’s the official photo:

The official Minutes Before Sunset cover, back and all, decided from your words!

The official Minutes Before Sunset cover, back and all, decided from your words!

The winners from the raffle are: (Email shannonathompson@aol.com within the week to receive your prize)

Paperback:

L. Marie (El Space)

eBook: 

kayuk (Where Do I Go From Here?)

whiteravensoars (Random Acts of Writing)

Nadeen Chrystal Davis (Nadeen’s Reading Corner)

Charles Yallowitz (Legends of Windemere)

Katsy Faustino (A Daily Dose of Katsy)

Congrats to the winners! But thanks go out to every person that contributed. If you still want a copy, Minutes Before Sunset is already available as an eBook through Amazon and Smashwords (includes Nook, Kindle, and more) along with KoboIt will be specifically available on Barnes & Noble when the paperback is released.

I also wanted to thank follower, Tuan Ho (The Noif Matrix), for posting an interview about my novel, Minutes Before Sunset. I really recommend checking it out, because Tuan Ho influenced the serious with the humorous, and it’s a great read! (It may or may not involved Shania Twain and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.) Click here to read it

And, as an extra, and special thanks, I wanted to post the two poems I read on Wednesday at the University of Kansas. Thank you to the Kansas followers who came out to listen to some talented poets I was blessed to get to know over the semester. (I had 10, so if you want more, I can post them. These are the two I specifically read.)

Terror-rium

We had an aquarium

A river, a lake, a sea.

On our desk—the ocean.

Our exotic fish, fished

from the very river, lake, or

sea which we have now.

On our desk—we provide forage,

food, plants, water, and fish.

The aquarium had us.

We had an insectarium

An arachnid, an insect, a butter

-fly. On our counter—the air.

Our countertop full of flourishing

flowers, fluttering wings of broken

butterflies, falling from feed, because

they drink—and we pluck their

wings, tape them to tapestries to

stare. Say, how pretty they are.

The insectarium had us

We had a terrarium.

A desert, a savannah, a floor of sand.

Our room is lit by a woodland, a

jungle, a place we’ve never been.

African violets decorate our reptiles,

all scales and shells and condensation.

It rains today—the lid which collected

our precipitation. Our pebbled floor,

formed over our marbled kitchen.

The terrarium had us

We had an arium,

and we destroyed it

to keep them on our desks,

nuzzled between family portraits and pens,

to remind ourselves of what

We used to have and

what we’ll never have

again, but at least they are

pretty, and no one needs

National Geographic to stare

anymore. We have our countertops.

In a world where traumas are written all over our bodies

He has a bipolar jaw line and a suicidal knee cap,

collapsing and shaking

and reverberating his thoughts through his PTSD lip.

It quivers, and she looks away with an autistic eyelid.

See her a deaf cheek?

Their blind foreheads fluctuate, and their arthritic fingers vibrate.

Reynard’s Disease. Or Disorder IV. Perhaps,

one we’ve never heard before consumes the heart that’s about to break.

I hope you enjoyed the contest and the poems as much as I did! I am so excited for the future, and I cannot wait for the paperback to be in my hands (and yours!) Time is moving forward so fast, and it’s astoundingly lovely.

As usual, thank you for your encouragement and support. In case you haven’t already seen, the acknowledgements page ends with this comment: “Thanks to the all the passionate writers, readers, and dreamers who follow me at ShannonAThompson.com and inspire me every day to keep writing.” 

That’s for you guys :D Have a great weekend

~SAT

P.S. If you’re looking for something to do, and you enjoy superhero flicks, I definitely recommend the new Iron Man movie! I saw it Tuesday, and it doesn’t disappoint!

Movie Mention: The Host

4 Apr

Website Update: I hit 6,000 followers on ShannonAThompson.com. Thank you for all of your continuous and loving support :D

27 days until Minutes Before Sunset release!

I’m going to be super careful with this review, because I think it’s necessary.

The Host is the movie adaption of Stephenie Meyer’s novel, The Host, which I wrote about my post December 21: Relax: The Host. So I’ve read the novel before seeing the movie, and I think that’s REALLY important when seeing this movie. I say this because there are quite a few people I’ve talked to who saw it (and didn’t read the novel) that enjoyed the movie.

imagesI have to admit that I was ultimately disappointed. But I want to clarify that I remain VERY open when it comes to movie adaptations. I understand that novels cannot be exactly transferred to the screen, just like any art. I like to remind myself of “Girl with a Pearl Earring” — first a painting, then a novel, then a movie. Every type of art brings a different viewpoint to the table. And I wasn’t annoyed with most of the things changed in The Host from book to movie. I was actually more disappointed with the overall acting and directing. It took me out of the film quite often. For instance, the boys often reminded me of a boy band (which I did not picture in the book at all) and it seemed visually ridiculous.

Nevertheless, I was entertained. It wasn’t necessarily a bad movie, but it was a bad adaptation. I consider the novel to be really well done (especially in the different worlds described), but the movie wasn’t very special.

I really hate to say things like this, (I normally don’t review the bad movies I see) but I wanted to be honest, especially since I recommended the novel. I still recommend the novel (as long as you’re a fan of young-adult lit), and, if you didn’t know, it’s been announced that it is a trilogy, but Meyer has yet to write the last two books.

I’ll be sure to look out for those, but I’m not sure I’d see the movies if they were ever adapted by the same actors and director.

Sigh.

I feel so sad to have such a depressing review. So I’m adding pictures of Bogart below. Happy Thursday!

~SAT

April 6: Publishing Tips: Introduce Extras.  

These pictures were actually taken on the same day. Little Bogart & fat Bogart. Who knew cats could have a flattering side?

These pictures were actually taken on the same day. Little Bogart & fat Bogart. Who knew cats could have a flattering side?

Movie Mention: On the Road

29 Mar

Website Update: 1:00 a.m.: My Facebook Author Page hit 150 likes today! Thank you for making my Friday that much better. 

Yes. This movie is based off of Jack Kerouac’s book, On the Road, and, before I continue, I have to clarify how much of a fan I am of Kerouac. I first studied him in 2010. I read The Dharma Burns, Big Sur, Desolation Angels, Visions of Cody, Maggie Cassidy, The Subterraneans, and Dr. Sax–all under Ken Irby’s poetic eye–and I’ve been in envy of Kerouac’s philosophic and honest writing ever since. (If you’re interested, here’s a list of how to write prose like Kerouac himself.)

The wonderful Jack Kerouac

The wonderful Jack Kerouac

But–back to the movie.

I’ve been trying to get my hands on this Brazilian-French drama ever since it premiered in competition for the Palme d’Or in May, 2012, but I couldn’t–for the life of me–find it anywhere. Maybe it was just my experience, but it never came to theaters here (Kansas main theaters), and stores seem to always have to order it from somewhere else. However, after watching it, I think I know why.

On the Road is very controversial. If you don’t understand The Beat Generation (writers in the 1950′s who experimented with drugs and sex) I could see why the movie would come across as a giant party, rather than something truly challenging and real. In fact, many don’t even realize that On the Road is based on a true story, something that happened to Kerouac and his friend, Neal Cassady. I think these facts are really essential to seeing (and feeling) what the movie is truly about. But, nevertheless, my friend (who hasn’t read the book, but did have me to explain some things) loved it, and I did too.

Movie Cover. And, yes, Kristen Stewart is in it, but it's no reason to ignore the movie. I, personally, think she suited the role of "Mary Lou" very well.

Movie Cover. And, yes, Kristen Stewart is in it, but it’s no reason to ignore the movie. I, personally, think she suited the role of “Mary Lou” very well.

It was a beautiful adaptation of a such a striking traveler’s (and coming of age) tale. In the novel, Kerouac’s ability to discuss self-discovery within culture is magnificent–and so is the movie’s. Walter Salles did a wonderful job directing this film.

I really recommend both the book and the movie. (Book first, preferably, but it’s up to you.) It’s a great way to start the weekend. And, if you’re looking for a trip to take this summer, consider traveling On the Road (his map is available below) with Kerouac’s writing to guide the way.

Watch the trailer for the On the Road movie here.

~SAT

March 31: Writing Tips: Different Perspectives 

His map

His map

Movie Mention: Beautiful Creatures

20 Feb

11 a.m. update: Yesterday evening, part of the KC Country Club Plaza exploded from a gas leak. I’ve received a few emails asking me if I’m okay, and I am.  However, I hope everyone involved in the fire is okay, and special thanks to firefighters, police, and first responders (or anyone else who is helping the injured.) Keep KC in your thoughts please. 

I first read Beautiful Creatures when I was a freshman in college (December, 2009.) Immediately, I fell in love with the imagesbeautifully described settings and gothic–both rebellious and haunting–characters. This singular reasoning is why I was absolutely ecstatic when I found out it was being made into a movie. I even wrote Relax & Read: Beautiful Creatures on November 16th, hoping to share the movie news–and the tale–with you all.

Well–I finally saw it, and it was one of the most beautifully (and carefully) done movie adaptations I’ve ever seen. I was amazed by the visuals, the actors, the directors, and the overall storyline they created. (If you’ve read the novel, you know how detailed it is, and I was afraid they’d cut too much. Personally, I don’t think they did. I think they cut things that would’ve taken up too much time to explain on the big screen, and they did their best with the two hours they had…which is a lot. Seriously.) I would recommend reading the novel before seeing the movie, but it’s not necessary to understand the movie.

Check out the movie here.

I do have to admit that I never picked up the next book in the series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. My reasoning is simple: I returned to college, and, because it was my freshman year, I was adjusting, so I didn’t have as much free time (or I wasn’t very good at managing it.) HOWEVER–this movie adaptation reminded me just how wonderful this story is, and I cannot wait to pick up Beautiful Darkness before it is surely adapted as well.

My hope is that you all, whether you’re looking for a great YA novel or movie, consider this one.

Have a great day :]

~SAT

beautiful-creatures-character-poster

Movie Mention: Warm Bodies

14 Feb

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I love this particular movie poster, because I'm a HUGE fan of "Love Story" and the reference brings me a smile.

I love this particular movie poster, because I’m a HUGE fan of “Love Story” and the reference brings me a smile.

On Monday night, I went and saw Warm Bodies–the movie that takes our normally feared zombie creatures and turns them into potential dates.

When a young zombie man, R, saves Julie from becoming a zombie herself, the two trigger a heartbeat in the living dead, changing everything. Click here for more information and/or a trailer.

This movie is smart, cute, and full of fun (if you consider war between zombies and the unsatisfied Bonies fun…which it is. Seriously.) Nicholas Hoult does a great job, bringing an introspective zombie boy to life. (To life? Can I say that since he’s dead? I think so.) My only complaint (seriously…my ONLY) is that I wish the heroine was more capable. I felt like she was only there to spark the catalyst and then be saved…numerous times…even when she probably didn’t deserve it. However, my overall opinion of the movie was great!

Whether you’re with your special loved one or with no one at all today, this is a great movie to see.

Warm Bodies is also (and originally) a novel by Isaac Marion. Click here if you’d prefer reading this dark and lovely tale.

If you’re a zombie fan, and you’re looking for more undead entertainment, check out Carrie Ryan’s “The Forest of Hands and Teeth” book series here. The trilogy is probably my favorite zombie tale. World War Z is also fantastic (but it’s very much a political metaphor–nothing like the Brad Pitt movie that’s about to come out. However, I’m excited to see that as well.)

~SAT

P.S. I’m delighted to announce that I have a new page coming on February 16th. Be sure to check it out!

Movie Mention: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

29 Jan

It’s phenomenal. End of story. Seriously.hansel-gretel-witch-hunters-tops-weekend-box-office

I saw this Sunday night, and I couldn’t get over how fantastic every bit of it was. The characters are rounded–they’re, not only believable, but they complement one another tremendously. Jeremy Renner is a perfect sarcastic killer, while Gemma Arterton reclassifies the badass heroine every fantasy tale deserves. The movie, unlike many, isn’t full of cheesy CGI, but, instead, the characters are carefully constructed with beautifully (I should say “purposely ugly”) done makeup.

I would warn you, though, that the movie is much more gory than I expected it to be. (It is, however, rated R.) Gore doesn’t bother me, so I still enjoyed the flick a lot, but it’s definitely not for young children.

After being tortured by a witch in the woods, Hansel and Gretel devote their lives to hunting other witches, even if their lives are centered in the danger.

Watch the trailer here. (And, if you’re going to the movies, this one is worth considering.)

P.S I have exciting news about a reading/writing event coming soon!

~SAT

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