Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thoughts on Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me series

So the final book in the Shatter Me series came out at the beginning of this month, and I read it right away. There was no way I could wait a single second longer, I needed it. And I loved it! Leading up to it's release date I decided to re-read the first two books as well as the to novellas. So now I've read Shatter Me three times and Unravel Me, Destroy Me and Fracture Me twice. They have gotten better each time I read them. This last time for instance, I picked up on a lot of subtle conversation snippets that alluded to things that would happen in the future. Warner made a lot of remarks that stand out upon a re-read. I really enjoyed this aspect of it and well as Tahereh Mafi's beautiful writing (I feel like that's a given though). I still found Fracture Me to be a bit meh, just too much Adam. I do like how they printed a paperback with Destroy Me, Fracture Me and Juliette's Journal in it. It's nice to have all the books go together in print. But enough with the books I've already read and reviewed and on to IGNITE ME!

Ignite Me was so very good and things worked on in some surprising and some unsurprising ways. One of the great things I love about Mafi's writing is her ability to write characters. It was fantastic watching Juliette grow from a shell of a girl with no real personality (mostly just insanity) to this women who is ready and willing to take on the world. If you really weren't a fan of hers in the beginning I feel like in book three you will be all about Juliette. She becomes a completely new person because of everything that has happened.

I also adore Warner in this one. I imagine it has to be difficult to crack through to the core of a character like Warner while not changing him in an unrealistic way. Warner definitely grows as a person but it almost physically hurts him to open up and become a better person. He also doesn't have much desire to be better. He likes who he is, or so he says.

This novel was so intense when you're nearing the end there is no way to put it down. I had to change position while reading because it was too much for a casual reading position. My body was tense and my heart was beating. It was a fantastic ending. It's open for more but there does not need to be a single other word written. I can not talk enough about this series. It's so, so amazing. I will definitely be re-reading it when the paperback of Ignite Me comes out. If you haven't given this series a shot, I highly recommend it. Stick it out past Shatter Me too. And read Destroy Me. It's just really amazing.

First Line:
"I am an hourglass" 

Favorite Line:
"'Do you never get exhausted being so wholly unbearable? You have as much charisma as the rotting innards of unidentified roadkill.'"

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Review: Firecracker - David Iserson

Where I got it: Egalley from Netgalley
Rating: 4 stars  
Cover Rating: 4 stars (Bright. Not exactly how I pictured Astrid to dress though.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: May 16, 2013
Publisher: Razorbill
Page Count: 336 p.
Add it: Goodreads

Astrid was kicked out of her elite boarding school and she knows that she was set up. She's not too concerned until her parents announce that she has to go to public school. Astrid doesn't like public high school, she doesn't like the kids and she doesn't like the smell ["Just hearing the words "public school" out loud made my mouth taste like urine (which, not coincidentally, is exactly how the public school smells)."]. Astrid know that if she's going to get back at the person who betrayed her she's going to need to find people with skills that can help her. She might find that there is more to people than what they're good at though, regardless of how much she doesn't want to believe it.

Astrid was a terrible person. I mean really, she just used people to get what she wanted. That's what her grandfather taught her though. She loves her grandfather and wants to be just like him. Her grandfather is a lonely person though, because when you never make friends, you don't seem to have a lot of them.

It was really fascinating watching her interact with people. She was very amusing, though I'm sure she was not trying to be. There are a lot of ups and downs with Astrid as she tries to fight against her nature to be the person she thinks her grandfather wants her to be. Then she faints.

And then there's Noah. Noah is the boy whose desk Astrid fainted on. He takes her to the nurse and I think her heart started to melt a little. Seeing someone care for her in such a basic way changed her just a teeny tiny bit.

There were some surprises and a lot of moments that made me laugh. This book is 100% worth the read. It's funny and sad and just a really entertaining and interesting read.

First Line:
"My grandfather liked to say, 'The only time you are ever truly alone is when you are dead.'"

Favorite Lines:
"It's called history. Go to the library and read a book about it. People lived and they died."

"If someone wants to win me over, they should give me something useful, like juice boxes or a boat."

Friday, February 21, 2014

Books that could make fantastic movies (if put into the right hands)

So sometimes you hear about a book becoming a movie and it feels you with unmistakable glee because you know in your gut it's going to be amazing. Most of the time that feeling in your gut is apprehension, but I'm talking about the good feeling. The feeling that this book to movie translation is going to work. It probably won't be perfect, but you'll love it!

This is 100% the case for me when I heard about Tim Burton directing Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. For those of you who have not read this, firstly it's amazing, secondly, I doubt there is anyone else who could direct it. The story is dark and haunting and I think it will translate beautifully onto screen. Ransom Riggs seems to agree about how amazing it is bound to be "And by the way, a lot of people ask me if I am bothered by other people writing/directing the adaptation of my book, since I make movies and write scripts too. When it's Tim Burton and Jane Goldman who are doing the writing and directing, the answer is easy: Not. In. The. Slightest."

So, that being said, here are some other books I would love to see appear on the silver screen.

The Night Circus (Now this one is in development, but there is not a whole lot of information about it. I've seen that Moira Buffini is slated to write the script, but not much else appears to be known to the public. This book was very fantastical, and there is a lot of imagery I would love to see in a movie. I imagine the budget would have to be rather large for this production to really work.)

Shatter Me (I'm not positive about how well this would translate onto the screen, but I would love to see the characters come to life. Kenji?! The first book is mostly internal monologue, so there would definitely be some rearranging and rewriting involved to make it fit as a movie, but I think the write group could pull it off.)

The Golden Day (This is one I read recently and as I was reading it I thought about how much better it would have been as a movie. I feel like this story would really come to life on the screen.)

Beauty Queens (Oh boy would this be fab! I think it would probably come of as really cheesy as a movie, but maybe a little like the movie Jawbreaker. Cheesy but in a totally fantastic way.)

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Much like with Shatter Me, I feel like there is a lot of inside Mara's head moments, but I think this book would be a fascinating watch. Some of the moments are so creepy (some are a bit steamy) and I would love to see them on screen.)

So those are movies I would love to see, but it would all depend on it getting into the right hands. Here is a list of some others I would like to see. There are movies that have already come out that I was quite excited about, but they just didn't work at all. I'd love to know your thoughts about which movies you think could be fantastic on the big screen!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Review: The Clockwork Scarab - Colleen Gleason

Where I got it: Egalley from Edelweiss
Rating: 4 stars  
Cover Rating: 5 stars (Very pretty.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Page Count: 356 p.
Add it: Goodreads

Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes. Two highly intelligent and skilled girls brought together due to their family names. Both girls would rather work alone but this job calls for them to combine their strengths. Girls are going missing and turning up dead and the only clue connecting the girls is a small Scarab amulet near each of the victims. Mina and Evaline are thrust into secret societies and society life. They must blend in and blend together to make everything work.

What an exciting book. If you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes, you will love this book. It was a nice mystery with a hint of Egyptian mythology woven in and a dash of time travel to make things interesting.

Although I didn't fall in love with Mina as I have with Sherlock she was still a good character. Her age shows many times when she makes some rash decisions. Evaline does not play well with others so it was interesting watching her and Mina interact. Mina certainly did not make it easy to get along with her (as so happens when people think they are smarter than you).

I was not expecting the time traveling aspect in this novel and it was a welcome added mystery. I was also a very big fan of the Steampunk feel for the novel. It added an extra element to the atmosphere of the novel.

If you're looking for an exciting mystery I would highly recommended checking this one out. The only problem is that it's the first book in a series and book two doesn't come out until October 2014. You'll be dying to read book two, but won't regret having read this one!

First Line:
"Tonight, I ask, on behalf of Her Royal Highness, the Princess of Wales: will you do what no other young women are called to do, and place your lives and honor at the feet of your country?"

Favorite Line:
"They looked so very different than we women do, with their broad, square shoulders and bulging arms. And the muscular ripples on their torsos."

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Review: The Beginning of Everything - Robyn Schneider

Where I got it: ARC from AmazonVine
Rating: 5 stars  
Cover Rating: 4 stars (It's fitting, but so very yellow. I guess the color makes it Californian.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen
Page Count: 335 p.
Add it: Goodreads

Ezra is no longer on top of the school. Since his accident, he's fallen down the social ladder a few rungs, or so he thinks.With his new outlook at his popularity he begins hanging out with an old friend and a band of misfits (drama and debate kids). He's torn between two worlds though when his old friends seem unwilling to let him go. Ezra has to decided what would be his bigger tragedy, his accident or losing his new friends to return to his old ones.

If you start this book and don't instantly want to devour the rest of it...there's no hope converting you to this book. It was such a great read. Ezra wasn't my favorite character in the world, but he wasn't my least favorite. He was a quite self-conceited and wasn't great at looking at the bigger picture. He struggled a lot trying to overcome his tragedy, which while difficult, could have been worse.

Cassidy is a very broken girl, and I can see why Ezra would latch onto her. She's an entirely different breed of girl than Ezra is used to with his old group of friends. She was a very realistic character though. Sometimes we act a certain way and say stupid things, because we have momentary lapses in judgement. It has probably happened to everyone at some point. As a person we often don't know what is best for us, or if we do, don't want to except it.

I found it very believable that his old clique would still want him around. He was on top of the world, and while some people were probably glad to see him fall, it doesn't make them less in love with him. His friends were really his friends, in their own way. On the other side of this, I can see why his new friends are weary of him. He's a foreign intruder into their comfortable space and that is bound to make people defensive. I liked his new group of friends better and I think you're supposed to. They were an interesting bunch though.

I don't think I'm doing a great job at selling this book so I'll stop soon. Just try it. If you like realistic fiction I'm sure you'll adore this one. Be warned that there are some feels in this book though, so be prepared.

First Line:
"Sometimes I think that everyone has a tragedy waiting for them, that the people buying milk in their pajamas or picking their noses at stoplights could be only moments away from disaster."

Favorite Line:
"It was so adorable that I almost threw up all over my adorable pile of fries."

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday

This week's topic is:
Top Ten Books that will make you cry

Winger - Andrew Smith (my review)

Scars - Cheryl Rainfield (my review)

Invincible Summer - Hannah Moskowitz (my review)

Waiting - Carol Lynch Williams (my review)

Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins (my review)

The Broke and the Bookish is a group of college aged and twenty somethings that have an unhealthy obsession with reading and would spend every last penny on books even if it meant skipping a few meals. We are the people  who lurk in the library, buy handbags based on how many books can be stashed in them, and who refer to characters in books as if they are personal friends.
We sought after other bookish college students to share in our love for reading and were brought together by the College Students group on Goodreads that was created in September 2008. Our desire to share great books with each other in and our tendency to be opinionated and passionate about all things book related naturally led to the birth of The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.


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