Reading is Sexy!

Unfinished Books

I usually don't do this.  I actually don't think this has ever happened to me.
I have two unfinished books at home.

I tried, I really did try to continue reading Forest of Hand and Teeth, but I couldn't.  I couldn't get into the character anymore.  Once I took that small break, I was done.  I'll keep the book, for one it's autographed, but I do want to try to read it again.  I think the concept is interesting.  It has a good plot and I'm interested to find out what happens.   Okay, so it seems to be a little bit like The Village, but I'm open to it.  I just need to back off from the character.  This is a youth novel after all.

The next unfinished book is Pillars of the Earth.  Now this book, this is a great book.  I'm loving it.  I love the writing, I love the characters, and I love how it switches between characters and stories.  The only problem is the size.  Have you seen this book!  It's huge.  It's one of those that takes up a lot of time and you want to devote time to it.  I used to have it at work for the slow days, but took it home.  I need to bring it back.  I need to read that instead of playing on the internet and playing Solitaire.

I also have an unfinished bio of Simon Pegg.  I'm not really including that one in this discussion because it's a bio and not a story book.  It is one that I do need to finish, of course, and look forward to reading again.  I mean, I do want this man to be my bff in the future.  What? Is that werid?

I'm not too proud of myself for having unfinished books, but I also have to realize that not everyone finishes a book in one sitting, or a few back to back.  I still remembers what has happened in Pillars, so I'll be able to jump right into it when I start.   I just need to jump right in....


Dreadful Books

I love reading new books, and I rely a lot on my friend's and family's suggestions on what I should read out there.  This is how I became aware of HP, Hunger Games, and The Magicians (and yes, Twilight).  I've been really lucky that I've liked everything I've been recommended...Until now.

I've been reading this book called Forest of Hand and Teeth.  And I do like it, enough to finish it, but not enough to become investing in the series.  It has an interesting concept and I like the story, but I can't get behind the characters.  The lead is annoying and way too childish.  
*Side note: yes I know it's a YA book, but this is a little to much YA for me.
I don't like the brother, he's a dick and pisses me off.  The other characters don't seem developed, just there for dramatic effect.

I'll finish it.  Did I mention that I'm only half way through?  Oh, well, I'm half way through.  I know that sometimes you have to let a book develop and it'll grow on you.  One of my bffs had that happen with The Magicians.  It took her a long time before she was pulled into the story.  Maybe that will happen to me.  Maybe it won't.  I will finish it though.  Oh yes, I will finish it.

Is it just me, or is that upsetting.  I've been really excited about starting a new series, a new book really, and falling into this made up world and taking a break from mine for a few hours each day.   It's sad when you want this thing so bad, but then you're let down.  It's not like I don't have other books and people I can turn to, or classics I should catch up on.  I'll survive.  In the very least, I'll continue Simon Pegg's Nerd Do Well. 


Ella Enchanted, II

 I finished the book!  It was cute, and definitely a girl book.  Not one of the best I've read, but also better than some that I've read.  However, if I had to pick a book of Ella Enchanted I wanted to read, this actual book version or the movie version translated into a book, I'm going movie.

The movie was so much better.  There was an actual story, a story arch, and a obstacle that was huge and detramental to the characters and the story.
Not to say the book didn't have all those things either, well, maybe in the story department.  There was nothing that was moving the story along.  None of the things she searched for challenged her character or changed her in any way.  None of the characters changed, except for a minor character, and even then her changed didn't make an impact on the story.

I felt cheated after I finished the book.  I think this feeling would of been different if I hadn't seen the movie, but I felt it either way.  You want more out of a story.  The story arch and all those other elements of storytelling are there for a reason.  When you leave them out, you leave elements out of your story.  I know that one of the biggest storytelling quotes is, "Know the rules so you can break them," but you first have to be able to do the rules correctly and then have an interesting way of breaking them.

There was a lot of telling not showing in the book.  To some extend, it was nice and worked.  You got to know how the Prince really felt, got to see his secrets he saved for his journal (although, talk about a break in privacy!) and it did make you feel giddy.  Even then, I can't help but think back to P&P.  You don't get to see inside of Darcy's mind, and don't know exactly when he fell in love with Lizzie, but you see it in his expressions or demenor, and you fall in love with him falling in love with Lizzie.  Austen showed, not told, and you were along for the ride.

I guess it's unfair to compare writers to the greats.
This story was cute in the way it combined elements of Cinderella into the story.  Then again, the best Cinderella remake was "Ever After."  Man, for someone who hate love stories...  Well, I don't hate love stories.  I hate rom-comedies, not love stories.  There is a huge difference!

This book was not for a 30 year old bitter jaded lady.  This book was intended for youth, for an elementary student who is naive in the ways of heartbreak.  In that case, this book is good and cute and interesting and something that will be a pleasant read.  It kept my attention till the end, that's for sure.  I just can't tell if that was more for the fact that I wanted to see how different from the movie it would end up.


Ella Enchanted

I get to do one of my favorite English assignments for work, read a book.  This time it's Ella Enchanted.  If it wasn't for the movie staring Anne Hathaway, I would have no idea what this book was, but either way I'm excited to read it.

I'm just a fourth of the way through the book, so I'm just getting started, but already two things have comes to mind.
One, it's a cute book.  I like the characters and how they interact with each other.  It's a good YA book but has things an adult would like.  However, since I love the movie I think that's why I'm enjoying reading it.
Second, the  beginning is different from the movie and I think I like the movie version better.

rom-com fairy tale with horrible acting and hot guys.  Anyways, what is bothering me about this story is that Ella loses her mother (as most fairy tales maidens do) and her father is a dick.  I don't like that.  You know she's going to get the evil step-mom and sisters, so why does she also have to deal with the asshole father.  It's not fair.

However, you could argue that this change in story is a good thing.  It brings something new and fresh to the fairy tale stories.  Just like vamp stuff has switched between burning with the sun and being day walkers; or slow moving zombies to running ones.  As a culture we've been exposed to years of the same old story, it's nice to have something refreshing and new.

I get that, I totally do.  I live by that a lot of the times...
Except with this story.  It doesn't not sit well with me.

Maybe I'll change my opinion.  Maybe something will happen in the book or make his douchiness play a roll in the story, I have no idea.  I'm definitely going to still read it (besides the fact that I have to because of work).  It'll be interesting to also see how much else changes from the movie to the book.  It's a nice surprise when it does.

That's why I'm learning to except the changes between the book manuscript and the screenplay.  Yes, there are certain things in most adaptation that I have to see, want to see, and will be mad if they get cut out, but as a screenwriter you have to realize that that isn't always the case.  It's hard to translate a book directly to the screen.  So many have failed.  I've also realized that I like there to be that separation.  I love to read, and I'm glad I still have these books, this other world, that I can emerse myself in and can escape from my own reality.  I have two (if the movies are good) ways to enjoy the same stories.

Of course the best ever adaptation is Harry Potter.
Everything about that movie is amazing.  They did a good job keeping true to the book and also throwing history in there for the fans.  They were able to keep the story flowing with those inside jokes and still have normal non-readers understand the story and direction.  Let's not forget casting.  The casting of each character has been perfect and can't imagine anyone else is those roles.  Just brilliant.

Well, I could go on and on about Harry Potter, especially when there are only 3 months to the final movie.  So. Freaking. Excited.
I need to get back to Ella.


Jane Austen

What can I say about Jane Austen.  I love her.  That pretty much sums it up.  
Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book, of all time.  I love the story, I love the characters, I love how it makes me feel like I can do anything and that I am a powerful woman.

Along with Pride, I've read Northanger Abbey, and I started reading Sense and Sensibility a few weeks ago, but then decided to stop cause it wasn't gelling with my personal life at that particular moment.  Things have moved on, so I think I'll pick it back up again.  It's definitely a girly book, all her books are, but they are so much more.  They are empowerment to women.  At least in my mind they are.

In Pride, Elizabeth Bennett, Lizzy, refuses to just settle down with someone because she needs to "be taken care of."  I love it.  I love how she goes against social norms and does what she wants to do for the right reasons.  Of course, she ends up with the amazing Mr. Darcy instead of Mr. Collins, so she totally won all the battles.  I find that when I read the book I gain a little pride and defiance for not settling.  I will end up with my Mr. Darcy!  Even if I just have to read the book everyday to do it.

Ah, Mr. Darcy.  The best male character ever!  I think he's the cause of my love for conflicted characters (Angel, Spike, Mitchell....granted those are all vampires, but if you know them you know what I mean). The first time you see him you think he's a huge douche.  And it he, he's that asshole hot guy that you can't help but lust after.  After a few hot moments of lust, you realize he's a douche and move on. 

The best part about this is that that first impression doesn't ever go away.  He admits he's a douche, but he's a douche with layers.  He guards himself, and underneath it all is the man of your dreams, the one you want to end up with.  He will challenge you in what you believe, making you explain your choices and have you really think about something instead of just going with the flow.  He's supportive and wants to take care of you, yet lets you have your space.  He cares deeply about his sister, and that's just sexy.  He's the perfect mix of MAN and man.

It's rumored, famously, that this story was actually based on Austen's real life.  That she met that man of her dreams, who was from a different social status, and they were going to run away together before a change of heart.  This was portrayed, beautiful in my opinion, by Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy in Becoming Jane.  No one knows for sure if this is the case, but they've pieced it together from letters between Jane and her sister.   That myth makes me love the story even more.  She was still able to get her fairy-tale ending, one that millions can enjoy over and over again.

Austen's stories have a more powerful meaning when you do a little research on her life, know where she came from and where she ended up.  Even through all her hardships and heartbreaks, she still was able to see the positive in things and write some of the most beautiful relationship stories ever.  In her own way she gives hope to many who really connect with her characters.

I've always said I want to name my daughter after Elizabeth Bennett.  I think she's a great role model for kids.  One who is strong, knows what she wants, and doesn't let others dictate what or who she will become.  She's a strong female.  Forget Juno, Lizzy was first!


The Hunger Games series

I just finished this series, and I absolutely love them!  Everything about them is fantastic.  The writing is amazing, beautiful words and descriptions and stories and characters, the situations are unbelievable yet you are right there with the characters.

There is a lot going on in this series, but you are entranced and are fully aware of what is around you in this world.  You identify with the characters and find bits of you in them, and use that in your daily life.  You find yourself just following along, not wanting to make any choices in the outcome cause you don't want to chose one over the other.  You want to be taken on this ride.

This series for me was read at a critical place in my life, and I think I identified with the lead, Katniss Everdeen, more than I would of if I would of read it at any other time.  It's interesting, I wonder if my outlook is going to be different at further readings.

They are going to make a movie, of course.  I'm glad to say that I got into it and read all of them before the movie/casting has begun.   Like I've done in the past, I have made a dream casting list.  I'm never remotely close to the real castings, but it's fun to do it.  Either way, with the author as screenwriter, I feel, yet still hope, that it'll be fantastic!

It's an amazing series.  I almost want to read it again right now....


One good thing about my day job, I get to read books I haven't read yet.  Some I haven't gotten around to, and some I hadn't really thought about.

The current reading assignment are a few books, 1-3 to be exact, of The Spiderwick Chronicles.  I'm halfway through the 3rd book, Lucinda's Secret.

It's a pretty good series.  I've seen the movie, and thought they've did a good job, after reading the books.

I do want to see the movie again, though.  That'll really be a good way to tell if the movie really is entertaining compared to the book.

I do try to separate the two, though.  I think it stems from The Order of the Phoenix.  I hated, hated the movie when it first came out.  I was so upset after seeing it that I was almost deterred from ever seeing it again.  I did, and after several viewings I ended up loving it.  I think I made the unconscience effort to separate the books from the movies so I don't ever feel that way again.  It could also be because I got back into screenwriting, full time so to speak, and understand the method of adaptation better now than before.

Anyways, I've enjoyed my new series of books.  As my button from Portland's Reading Frenzy, "Reading is Sexy."