Read, Watched, Loved: May 2017

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Hey everybody! This post is going up super late this month – I was happily scheduling away on here and didn’t notice that I still hadn’t put this guy up. So as usual, here’s my monthly rundown (but for May). Let me know what you’ve seen and haven’t seen, and just generally how you are 🙂

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Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 (2017) I don’t think anyone was able to hate this film. It was buckets of fun, and I really have such a soft spot for Baby Groot (who doesn’t?). It is similar to the first film but bigger and more of the formula that worked. The plot wasn’t as solid as the first, but I was able to have a fantastic time regardless of that.

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Pride and Prejudice (2005)I liked this movie so much that when I wanted to initially write a quick blurb for here I ended up writing out the review. It is a wonderful film. I am now convinced I need a Mr. Darcy. He’s difficult and worth it. The adaption is fantastic and the chemistry between the leads is amazing.

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Sweet home Alabama (2002) – I watched this as a young person – maybe at around 21 years or so, and really enjoyed it. I have such love for Reese Witherspoon, she truly is a beautiful and talented woman. Her character has the terrible task of choosing between Josh Lucas and Patrick Dempsey, and this movie has humor and heart to it.

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Jackie Brown (1997) I watched this for Tom and Mark’s Decades Blogathon.It is one of the few Tarantino films I hadn’t seen as yet, and found it a great pleasure to watch.

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The Host (2013) – I just had to watch this film again to compare source material to it. It is not as unforgivably bad as the internet make it out to be, and I had a rather enjoyable time watching it.

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Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice is a slow read, that is no lie, but I enjoyed it so much. It is a wonderful, wonderful book with many events and excellent character development. It also gave me yet another book hero to attach strongly to.

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Three Fates – Nora Roberts: I reviewed this before and seemed to have a good thing to say about it. Strange, because I don’t remember loving it so much. I am having a really good time rereading it again though, it is truly Nora Roberts and some good and light reading.

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The Host – Stephanie Meyer: I’m not sure whether the I was a masochist or just seeking enjoyment without thinking too much about it, but I decided to pick up The Host again. It is okay and certainly better than Meyer’s previous novels. It raises some moral questions and has interesting theories despite some slow parts.

What did you do this month?

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Movie Review: The Host (2013)

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Plot: When an unseen enemy threatens mankind by taking over their bodies and erasing their memories, Melanie will risk everything to protect the people she cares most about, proving that love can conquer all in a dangerous new world.

The Host is again one of the movies where the Internet and I do not see eye to eye. Based on the Sci-Fi/dystopian novel of the same name by Stephanie Meyer, The Host was released in the time where the Twilight craze was full blown. It’s not hard to see what the grand plan was here – the producers hoped the Twilight hype was enough to draw crowds for The Host. That didn’t happen – I don’t think the majority of the Twilight fan base would even appreciate Melanie Stryder – she’s way more independent than the ever whiney and spineless Bella Swan. The Host is also not strong enough to stand as a Science Fiction film, and any hardcore SciFi fan would be irritated by the predominantly romantic and schmaltzy moments between the lead characters. So while The Host failed rather in the eyes of the public, I enjoyed it.

Before I typically start only discussing characters again – let’s just talk about how dark the whole essence of The Host is. Humans being infected with aliens and their souls dying out while they are trapped in their bodies?Brutal man.

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Also, there were some great scenery – the barren landscapes are gorgeous, contrasted sharply with the world environment created by the alien species. The CGI was also neat. The being network thing was beautiful to behold. The cave that was transformed by Jeb is also amazing to behold, and the harvest nearly angelical in its’ existence.

Saoirse Ronan ( Melanie / Wanda) en 'THE HOST (La huésped)', basada en la obra de Stephenie Meyer

I’m a big Saoirse Ronan fan – the girl can act life into any character. She applies subtle changes to her impressions of Wanda and Melanie, and can appear slightly alien and very human alternately. There is naturally a bit of a love triangle – it wouldn’t be a Meyer book without it – and Max Irons and Jake Abel, who star as Jared Howe and Ian O’Shea, seem at times a bit bemused by how they ended up in this film, and also comes across as unconvinced and bored, but that doesn’t stop them from being smoldering and sexy love interests when they must. I did enjoy Diane Kruger as The Seeker – the character is such a big pain in the ass, and proves not all the beings are as benign as Wanderer claims. It took me some time to place Frances Fisher – she’s Rose’s mom in Titanic – and I think she could have been worked in more frequently into the film with her character serving as the voice of doubt. William Hurt as Jeb was also fun, with some good one-liners that I enjoyed. Kidlet Chandler Canterbury as Jamie Stryder was likely the weakest performance – he was unconvincing and wasn’t really capable of acting out the role, I’ve seen other kids do much better work with similar source material.

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The Host focuses mostly on the romance and very little on the actual story – which is quite interesting and thus a shame. However, I do enjoy the romance part as I have a marshmallow heart underneath it all. The movie could have been better planned and executed, but overall I can see myself watching it again. That is the most important part of entertainment, right?

Rating: 6.5/10

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Watched, Read, Loved: October 2016

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October was by far the slowest month in my year in entertainment. I’m really hopeful that this is the last semester where I will ever have to write a BSc Theoretical exam, so I’ve spent every moment that I wasn’t at work in front of a book. I really hope it will pay off – my heart won’t be able to handle the trauma of failing a subject. So it has been quiet on the entertainment front and even the blog front, but I’ve managed to include see and read some things here and there though, so here is a quick rundown J

Watched:

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Bourne Supremacy

I really hope I wrote a proper review on this, because I can barely recall the film now. I know it was fast paced and good and very Bourne, and I guess that is what counts.

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10 Cloverfield Lane

I LOVED this. The review should be up some time this week, and I am totally with the crowd on this one. It was a phenomenal performance from all three main characters, and they were able to create maddening suspense throughout.

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New Year’s Eve (2011)

I was quite obsessed with this film (to get to see it), and it was so meh. It was probably one of the last films Gary Marshall ever produced, and I hoped it would be something similar to Valentine’s Day. In all essence it was but lacked the heart.

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You Again (2010)

I enjoyed this on the most basic level. It had a pretty good message that bullying stays with you forever and it was nice to watch such a light movie where romance wasn’t the core of the plot.

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The Choice (2016)

I have this game with Nicholas Sparks movies where I HAVE to watch it despite knowing it will probably end up being super crap. But The Choice is one of the better ones, certainly better than the awful Best of Me, and I has a somewhat of a decent time with it.

Read:

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The Woman Who Stole My Life (Marian Keyes)

I finally finished TWWSTM. It was gigantic, and maybe 50 pages too long and then ended up with a rough ending, but this is the least bizarre book I’ve read from Keyes in a while.

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Definitely Dead / All Together Dead / From Dead to Worse

Exam brain wants me back on books where I need no brain power, and I’ve been reading some of the Southern Vampire Mysteries again. I’ve actually been having a really good time with this non-Pulitzer material.

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New Moon (Stephanie Meyer)

I’m slowly making my way through these books. Bella is a joy to behold in this particular novel, let me tell you. I always have fun with this – part enjoyment; part scoffing, and it has been the perfect read throughout exam time.

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I am Number Four (Pittacus Lore)

This book is SO good. It is obviously a book that was written at the beginning of the dystopic craze; because the ideas are original and GOOD, and things are named intelligently (the naming conventions in other dystopian novels are quite ridiculous). I need to finish this still, but it is going well.

On a Life front, those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that I got myself a new car. It really wasn’t an option as I was in a car accident that wrote my little Suzuki Alto off. To say I was upset was an understatement, and it was pretty stressful sorting it out. I have to say my insurers were absolutely fantastic, and I will (and have) recommended them to anybody. However, it was the first car I’d ever owned, and I was so heart sore about the entire process.

It feels like a lot of things have happened the last month. I’ve had a dear friend in hospital, I’ve been in an accident, there was a break-in at my sister’s boyfriend’s house and another friend of mine got attacked and robbed at gunpoint.  So it’s been quite hectic. I’m in need of a Bilbo Baggins holiday to say the LEAST. Oh, I also went to a bachelorettes that was quite wild, and let me tell you, I was shocked at some of the actions there. I’ve been to a significant amount of wild parties in my young life, so when I am shocked, I am S.H.O.C.K.E.D. It feels like I need a peaceful December without any drama. I am on leave for two weeks at the end of December (hear me sobbing in gratitude), and I am so happy that I will get to a place where I don’t need to start functioning at 4:30 am. It will be great.

Anyway, what’s news on your side?

PS: Let’s not even talk about my Blindspot progress. It’s worse than the state of the American election right now.

PPS: I can’t wait until Hillary wins JUST so that Donald can shut TF up.

August 2016: Watched, Read, Loved

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Watched:

At home:

Bring it on Again. I was in a mood where I felt I could handle cheerleaders, and decided to go down the dark dark road and watch some Bring it On. It really wasn’t bad at all, and I thought this second one was actually way better than the one with Kristen Dunst in.

Bring it on: All or Nothing

Hayden Panateirre and Solange Knowles do the whole face off then friends routine in this Bring it On sequel. This one is the best of the lot, and there is a lot of sneaky humor in if you know where to look.

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Zodiac

I am still so impressed with this movie. It is a great cast and an excellent story, and I wish I’d thought to put it on my Blindspot list this year! (if only because I already had it available!)

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Blindspot: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. This is my Blindspot for JULY, mind you. I have decided that I can’t commit to this exercise next year – it is truly a great concept but I am rather undisciplined and it takes some time and effort sourcing these movies. My plan is to Blindspot you all for a couple of weeks to catch up and end this project properly at the end for the year. Zoe gave me a great idea to do, which I will develop, and tell you all about it when the time comes J As for the movie, I really really loved this film.

In cinemas:

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I haven’t been able to get to the movies as much as I’ve wanted to the past few months. I managed to watch Suicide Squad. I liked it, and it seems that a lot of people really hated it. There are some flaws, but it wasn’t as bad as everyone is making. I actually think I will get the DVD when this is released, just to give you an idea of how much I enjoyed it.

Series:

I finished the highly entertaining Vampire Diaries season 4. I’m not sure whether I can start with Season 5 before my exams, which is probably not the best idea for anyone’s marks at this point. You can read my reviews of Season 1 and Season 2 in the links. Season 4 felt a very slight dip in quality. I felt however that it actioned a lot of items on its’ plate, and that it followed a natural progression for all the characters. And OMFG the males in this show is so ridiculously attractive ❤

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Jessica Jones. WTF? This show went from okay at the beginning and just went downhill as the season went on. So many things went wrong, so many bad writing choices. I am really the Marvel fan, but this was a bad job and no one is convincing me otherwise.

Read:

I’m actually reading a lot of books again, and playing around with reviewing them again as I haven’t done them in ages and they were reviewed at the beginning of this blog. I reread Twilight (don’t ask) with the intention of reviewing all four books, but I am struggling with New Moon – it is definitely the most tiresome of the series. I ordered Marian Keys’ latest novel (The Woman Who Stole My Life). I am really excited about that. As usual I have about ten million reads to get through. I made a list here and haven’t really touched that list yet, so I should likely also focus on that. I think when I have my degree it won’t even be the success of completion that will satisfy me the most, it will be the freedom I have to do what the hell I want.

Favorite links:

Zoe sent me this Thor clip to watch. It is so funny! Mjolnir even has his own bed!

What’s been happening in your life?

July 2016: Watched, Read, Loved

Gosh I’m glad it’s August! I am over the cold in Johannesburg. For reals man. July was a pretty decent month. I got to see my bestie, and even though the circumstances weren’t that great, I am grateful that I at least got to spend some quality time with her.

Personally I think my eyes finally cleared with a few people in my life – there is a certain level of selfishness I can’t tolerate, and this person finally reached it. I should have cut ties ages ago, but when I bond to someone, you really have to nuke me out of it. Well, I’ve been nuked.

Hmm, what else? I’ve had a couple of hectic weekends and it reflected on my scarcity on my blog, which always happens and always frustrates me. I’m going to do my very best to post more often, as it makes me super happy.

And here’s a rundown of what I’ve been watching and reading. Enjoy, and tell me below what you’ve been up to 🙂

Watched:

At home:

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The Proposal

I saw this film before I opened this blog, and I have always thought that it was an okay film. I actually really enjoyed this so much when I watched it again. Queen Sandra Bullock and a very young and adorable Ryan Reynolds certainly make an interesting couple onscreen, and I thought the dialogue and hysteria was spot on and funny in the film.

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The Wedding Planner

Oh, Maththew McConaughey has a few gems under his belt before he started being all badass in things like True Detective and that other horsey movie that everyone liked. This is a boogy, definitely, and it was silly enough that I got quite annoyed. There were a few pros, which I will mention when I review the film soon, but let it be noted that Jennifer Lopez is a fantastic singer (for her genre) but acting should never be part of her repertoire.

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Valentine’s Day

VD worked well, and it is surprising because the film is packed with actors and actresses, and that rarely works. Mostly it is just a situational feel good film, but there is nothing wrong with that!

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Runaway Bride

I’m on such a Gary Marshall/Julia Roberts run, it is not even funny. They do seem to be a dream team, because when they get together there always seems to be some romantic comedy as a result that is actually enjoyable to watch. Between this and Pretty Woman I enjoyed Pretty Woman much more, but I definitely liked this.

Skyfall

I already reviewed here, and if you haven’t read it yet, rest assured that I really liked this Bond film. It’s my second favorite after Casino Royale, and I must say, I am really surprised how much I’ve enjoyed all these films.

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The Ugly Truth

It’s really ugly, and it’s really bad. The awful dialogue results in awful acting, I’m not really blaming our leads here at all, it’s just a shit film with crap writing and is as believable as anything Donald Trump says.

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27 Dresses

JAMES MARSDEN. You have no idea the amount of hilarity this man causes in my family. I really like him, but his dress sense in this film was absolutely awful. Like, AWFUL. It is also a depressing movie – I will shoot myself before I’m a bridesmaid 27 times, it’s just not right or fair. I love our girl Katherine Heigl in here, and thought there were pretty good moments between the rapid romances and problems being solved easily.

In Cinema:

The Legend of Tarzan:

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I reviewed this one here. It’s man candy season in this film. I’m not gonna lie. However, it isn’t nearly as bad as the trolls want you to believe, and I am still calling it the most pleasant surprise of 2016.

Series:

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Vampire Diaries Season 4

I finally switched it back on! It was a time issue, not because I’m struggling to watch it. It is still quite a solid show, but there are a few dips, something that probably can’t be helped when you travel this far into a show. I’ll post all the reviews once I’m done watching, then I can do them consecutively across a couple of weeks : )

Books read:

The Obsession – LOVED this!

Honest Illusions – It was okay – review here

Currently reading:

I’m actually in the middle of way too many books! I am reading Twilight again (the shame, I know) and I am definitely enjoying it more than Blood Bound (Rachel Vincent). I can promise you, when I get through this book, the review will be up here in no time and it will be a bad one – this book is so stupid. It is taking me ages to get through it, a damn shame because it is supposed to be a quick read.

So there it is – I am way behind on everything in life at the moment, but at least I got to do see and read some great material! What have you been up to?

Book Review: The Host (Stephanie Meyer)

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Plot: Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, didn’t expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

As Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she’s never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love

Rating: 6.5/10

I for one did not think I would rate this book anything higher than a five. I went in with rather low expectations – because even though I certainly don’t despise Twilight like the rest of the world does (especially Zoë), it was at the time of its release the worst thing to happen to feminism since the sandwich (and is terribly written). Meyer wrote this one in between the Twilight saga, and I still cannot forgive her for inspiring Fifty Shades of Grey (I mean, she didn’t write it, BUT SHE STARTED IT, to sound like a two year old). This is much, much better than Twilight was, for a variety of reasons, but mostly because Melanie Stryder would kick Bella Swans ass without thinking twice about it.

My first (of a relatively and surprisingly few) negative comment is that the book starts really slowly and takes ages to actually have events occurring. Melanie/Wanderer’s days before they run to the caves are terribly mundane. I think fifty pages would have been more than enough to establish that Wanderer was not like the other souls and gotten her to the caves.

Then there is the whole undeveloped Sci-Fi angle. I have never been a Sci-Fi girl. My dad adores it and my older sister got that from him but I find it really boring actually. The Host is a really mellow Sci-Fi work and I found myself wanting more information. The creatures are never explained (at all), they have no name and their origin planet has no title. The planets Wanderer visited are named “Mists Planet” and “See Weeds” and stuff like that. This could have actually been interesting but if something was even titled, it was vaguely done so.

Like with any melodramatic new dystopian author, Stephanie Meyer includes useless drama into this book. What was the point of Wes dying? OR the cancer guy’s death? It served no purpose. Maggie and her mother’s antagonism towards Wanda looked like it was aiming for a major showdown but frizzled out.

The violence on women is still pretty heavy. Yeah, I get that this is an alien in a woman’s body but sheesh, hitting her around? That is never justifiable, for any reason.

I hated that the Seeker’s Soul was sent off to another planet. Talk about anticlimactic.

What I did enjoy, and eventually made me have fun with this book, is Melanie’s character. Her need to survive was not only because she had such an undying love for Jared, but that she needed to see that her brother was safe too. It seems less needy than the thought that she just needed Jared in her life. The conversations between her and Wanderer are entertaining at times and become well written through the course of the book – the first interactions are really confusing. Wanderer and Melanie could not be more different; with the only similarities that they are good creatures and they both love Jamie and Jared.

Ian’s character: Jared was such a douche most of the time, and while he really suited Melanie – who was a diehard human, Ian was a better choice for Wanda – he was as soul-like as a human could be.

The point I think Meyer was trying to make – that kindness should not be limited only to the human race, and that love doesn’t fade.

The Host surprised me – it is miles better than Twilight and developed a good pace through the book.It isn’t only about romance, it is about hope and family and the survival of the human race as well. It ends with a strong open end for a sequel – so many unresolved emotions and the introduction of more human cells. I do hope that there might be one in the future, because I might just read it!

Movie Review: The Host (2013)

The host poster

PLOT: When an unseen enemy threatens mankind by taking over their bodies and erasing their memories, Melanie will risk everything to protect the people she cares most about, proving that love can conquer all in a dangerous new world

Rating: 7/10

The Host is certainly better than its Rotten Tomatoes (8%) would suggest. A closer but probably still unfair score is the one IMDb (5.9/10) gifted it with.

The Host is adapted from a Stephanie Meyer novel of the same name. If you could ever possibly forget who that it, let me remind you; oh cave dweller: Mrs. Meyer is the author who penned the Twilight saga, those books who startlingly get more derision directed towards it than Fifty Shades of Grey does.

Apparently Meyer wrote this book between all the Twilight books, probably just to shake off that vague feeling that she was corrupting the minds of young women. Although I can’t begin to claim that I am educated in the science fiction world I do think that the story is interesting enough and I find the thought of these odd creatures inhabiting humans vaguely interesting and somewhat disturbing.

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The Host was refreshingly devoid of a love triangle debacle and I liked that plenty. It has another issue that would have me screaming for a psychologist – Melanie is in love with her Jared but Wanda keeps falling for Jake. It’s more two souls in one body loving different people than the infuriating “I don’t know who to love” angle.

I had some major issues with Jake hitting Melanie while she was inhabited with Wanda – I don’t give a flying fuck if her body has been taken over by an alien that is still a girl sixty times smaller than you, douche bag. The violence on females was just a bit too pronounced and justified for me to fully enjoy.

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Saoirse Ronan really is the best thing about this movie. She moves through all her scenes with the grace the dialogue doesn’t always deserve. The story is a bit beneath a woman with her acting abilities, although to her credit she does not seem bored to be there. Max Irons is definitely someone I can watch in a movie, he is cute and doesn’t do a bad job being Jared Howe.

I would really have enjoyed getting more into the nitty and the gritty of these characters and their stories – it is mostly rushed through and only snippets are shown. Yeah, the time allocated is limited, but I’ve seen other movies do it before.

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I don’t think I’ve ever seen Diane Kruger in something, and it is nice to put something to her other than her dating Joshua Jackson. I won’t be weeping with heartfelt emotion about her performance anytime soon, but I did think she makes a good alien (erm, that is a compliment)

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If it sounds that I didn’t enjoy the movie, I did. I enjoyed it despite the corny dialogue and often dragging storyline. I think it is a good movie if you don’t expect too much and has decent popcorn entertainment. I liked that Melanie is so independent and that she took care of herself and her brother long before Jared entered the scene. I like that she was strong enough to fight back against alien invasion and that she wouldn’t just give up on Wanda’s existence so she could come back and kiss Jared. I loved the underground farm scenes and how they took efforts to show how humans were surviving in caves. I also liked that they tried to bring across that these alien life forms weren’t necessarily evil, just very different.

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The Host interested me enough that I will soon start reading the book, something I’ve avoided until now. It is a decent enough movie, and although the plot isn’t solid or breath-taking, it kept me sufficiently entertained for a while.

Plot query: How did the first Wanderer enter a human? I get how the rest of them entered their hosts, but the first one? Someone had to help It and I have no idea who would even think of doing that.

5 Things Friday: 5 Best book series

Happy Friday!

Harry Potter: JK Rowling

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Reading Harry Potter is not merely a simple pleasure anymore; I need to do it at least twice a year to ensure my eternal happiness. I have to start from the beginning, at The Philosopher’s Stone, and work through to the Deathly Hallows, or it feels like a fake book run.

A study recently found that children who read Harry Potter grew up to be more open-minded and liberal. I can really agree and that might even explain why I am a person who thinks everyone should be left alone to do whatever the hell they want, unless it actively harms other people.

Harry Potter has it all – the books are excellently written, the story unique and touching, the characters ridiculously funny. Rowling created magic with these books, and I am eternally grateful for it.

Bloodlines: Richelle Mead

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For a while there it did feel like VAMPIRES, VAMPIRES EVERYWHERE type of situation in the entertainment industry. The dawn of Twilight heralded the universe desperately seeking fanged romance, and eyes were rolled by people who are desperately against the mainstream.

Every aspiring writer tried to recreate a world similar to Twilight, with enough changes to prevent a law suit. Most books failed and spectacularly so, because you will generally fail if you copy other people’s work.

However, Richelle Mead firstly came along and wrote Vampire Academy. Although not the best series on the planet, it was fresh and interesting and original. Then she wrote Bloodlines and I became successfully addicted.

My attachment to this series stems from my admiration of its lead female lead. Sydney Sage is intelligent, a leader and a problem solver and she will take action if needs be. The love story is developed at a fantastic rate and worked out really well, and the unlikely couple’s journey to finding each other is really nice to read.

Walsh Family Series: Marian Keyes

The series has a book for each Welsh sister: Rachel stars in Rachel’s holiday, Clare’s story is told in Watermelon, Anna’s in Is Anybody Out There? Helen has the lead in The Mystery of Mercy Close and Margaret is the main protagonist in Angels.

The Walsh sisters are incredibly messed up. Their mother, although meaning well, had a recurring tendency to put her feet in her mouth as her daughters grew up, and managed to pass on her bad self-image to all her daughters. As they all stumble in their lives, catastrophes happen, and they all have an incredible journey to get through.

Marian Keyes is an excellent writer, producing hilarious books that are full of detail as well. My favourite of the series is most likely Rachel’s holiday, and as it was the first book of Keyes that I ever read, the one I have read the most.

The Hunger Games: Suzanne Collins

hunger games trilogy bookset

After the Vampire craze passed, Suzanne Collins created The Hunger Games, and dystopian fiction became all the rage. The world quickly changed its focus, and soon there were movies on the cards. The movies, including the books, are exceptional. Collins had a chilling idea and wrote to produce a truly scary story, and the world was fascinated by a post-apocalyptic place where people killed each other off in a televised “Games” broadcasted for all to see. While this book series is a great read and very compelling, it is also one of the few trilogies I have stumbled across where the movies are nearly as good as the books.

The Lord of the Rings: JRR Tolkien

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Say what you want about the length of the books or the tedious amount of details, the Lord of The Rings was the Harry Potter of its time. Tolkien is also the creator of magic and it cannot be forgotten that he is the reason those EPIC movies exist. I only read this when I have a month of vacation time or something, you cannot be tired at all and have a drifting mind when attempting this.

Honourable mentions:

Divergent: Veronica Roth

Twilight: Stephanie Meyer

Vampire Academy: Richelle Mead

Those I want to read but haven’t started yet

A Song of Fire and Ice: George R. Martin

Southern Vampires: Charlaine Harris (I am actually starting this soon!)

What is your favourite book series? Tell me!

Book Review: Breaking Dawn (Stephanie Meyer)

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Book: 91/100

Bella Swan is finally marrying Edward Cullen. They made a deal – she would marry him if he turned her into a vampire himself and that they would sleep together before he turned her so that she can experience it all before becoming undead. He reluctantly agrees, sure that she will die in the throes of passion.

On their wedding day, Jacob Black, her best friend, werewolf and third part of their love triangle, shows up to do his duties and be her best man. He is horrified when he realizes Edward and Bella’s plan to make love before she becomes immortal – even though he doesn’t want that to happen, he knows it is much safer with her being a vampire sleeping with a vampire instead of a frail human. They disagree and Jacob flees to the woods.

Edward and Bella goes to Isle Esme for their honeymoon, a place Bella’s new father in-law, Carlisle got for his wife Esme as a present. They sleep together, but Edward is horrified by the bruises he accidentally left on Bella. She is persistent in getting him to make love with her, and in the end she wins, and he does.

When Bella discovers that she, a human, is pregnant with Edward’s child, they both freak out. When she realizes that Edward plans to have Carlisle abort the baby, she calls Rosalie, and the Cullen that always liked her least stands by her.

When Jacob hears that Bella is back, he heads to the Cullen mansion to go check what is happening. He is sure that by now she is a vampire, which is a direct violation of the treaty the Cullens and the Quilettes made ages ago, but he is shocked when he finally realizes what is going on. The fetus is slowly killing Bella, but not only is she determined to carry it to term, she is determined to survive as well.

Jacob decides that he finally has had enough of Bella’s constant infliction of pain on his heart, and leaves. He turns to wolf form and Sam, his pack leader, hears what has happened. He decides that the baby is a danger to Forks and the entire Cullen clan must be killed. Jacob is horrified, splitting from the pack. He warns the Cullens and knows Sam won’t attack with the Cullens waiting for them. Soon after Seth and Leah joins his new pack and the three of them helps guard the Cullens.

Bella goes into labour, and it looks like she is dying. Rosalie takes the baby from them to keep it safe and Jacob follows, intending to kill it. He imprints on the baby, Renesmee, and is unable to do so. Meanwhile, Edward is refusing to let Bella die. He turns her into a vampire by injecting venom straight into her heart.

Three days later, Bella awakens to her new life. Everything is even better than promised, now that she has her beautiful daughter, a best friend who is no longer in love with her, and some super self-control other new borns don’t have that enables her to not kill humans.

Life continues until Irina, part of the Denali clan, shows up. She wishes to make amends for all the drama with Laurent, the vampire who nearly killed Bella and was ultimately taken down by the werewolves. She sees Renesmee and thinks that it is an immortal child, vampire children who had massacred entire villages years before. They are unable to show her the truth and Alice sees her delivering the news to the Volturi, the leaders of all vampires, who have been waiting for something to take out the successful Cullen pack.

With the Volturi heading for them, will Edward and Bella survive the attack? Will they be able to convince them that Renesmee is able to control herself?

Rating: 8/10

I have to say that I really thought that the last installment of the Twilight saga was really well done. It is incredibly well rounded, addressing all the issues from the previous books and not leaving anything unresolved.

Bella was a much more impressive vampire than she ever was a human, and I enjoyed how well she seemed to develop her spine during the book.

It is a hefty read – well over 800 pages, and I questioned my sanity whether it was advisable reading it so close to the end of the challenge. I am glad I did though. It is always entertaining and actually quite well written.

Movie Review: Breaking Dawn Part One (2011)

Breaking_Dawn_Part_1_Poster

Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) is finally ready to marry Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), her vampire boyfriend. Her marriage to him will mean the final severance of her friendship to werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) who is in love with her and also a mortal enemy to vampires. Bella plans to become a vampire to be with Edward forever, but this means that a war could break out between the Cullens and the Quileute werewolf pack.

On the night of her marriage, Jacob unexpectedly shows up. She lets it slips that she plans to sleep with Edward while she is still human, and he is outraged. His pack restrains him before things get ugly, and he runs off into the woods.

Edward takes Bella to Isle Esme for their honeymoon. They have sex for the first time, and Edward is appalled how he hurt her. With some convincing she gets him to try again, and it goes much better the second time around. Their honeymoon is only marred by a native who suspects that Edward is something supernatural.

Bella wakes up one morning suddenly very sick, and realizes her period is late. She is stunned when she sees a slight bulge in her stomach. They realize that she is pregnant and Edward is furious with himself. They fly back immediately, and Edward promises to save her life – by aborting the unknown thing growing inside of her. She secretly calls Rosalie (Nikki Reed) for help – the vampire who had always secretly wanted a child more than anything. She and Bella are able to convince the rest of the clan to wait and see what happens.

When Jacob hears Bella is back, he races to see her. He is nauseated when he realises what happens, and turns into a werewolf and runs away. His pack makes sense of what is happening, and Sam Uley, the pack leader, decides they must annihilate the creature – and Bella too as it is growing in her. Jacob stands up against Sam, and claiming his heritage as the true leader of the tribe, breaks away. He alerts the Cullens of the wolves’ plan and with them on alert Sam doesn’t dare attack just yet. Jacob is soon joined by Leah (Julia Jones) and Seth Clearwater (Booboo Stewart), turning his pack into three members.

Bella becomes weaker and weaker because her body won’t sustain any food. Jacob is first to notice that the foetus is craving blood. After that, Bella’s health increases slightly. A few days later she goes into labour and gives birth to Renesmee. It seems that she is dead, but Edward refuses to give up. Jacob heads downstairs, fully intending to kill the new-born, but he imprints on her – a powerful love only a werewolf can feel to its true mate.

When the werewolves learn of Bella’s death, they head to the Cullen’s to kill the baby. They stop when they realise that Jacob imprinted – they would never kill his soul mate. While Bella lies on the table, “dead”, Carlisle (Peter Fascinelli) realises that her heart is beating rapidly. She starts to heal as the vampire venom spreads through her veins, and the Cullens clean her up. Bella’s heart finally seizes up, and she awakens as a vampire.

Rating: 7/10

The second last movie of the franchise Twilight was surprisingly good. I know Twilight has a lot of haters out there, but I suspect it has just as many secret fans too. This movie is decidedly gory at times. The birth of Renesmee is disgusting, and Bella’s deterioration during her pregnancy is excellently done. She looks BAD. Kristen Stewart’s acting has developed enough so that she can grimace in pain and look in love (which is not actually acting since she was dating Pattinson at the time. She still mostly looks vacant, but I have to say I spotted improvement.

The rest of the cast pretty much continues to act as the always have done. I don’t know why, but when Kellan Lutz smiles it looks like he is grimacing in pain. Maybe he just forgot his lines. Looks like the type. He should stick to Calvin Klein-ing around (as mentioned before). I think Elizabeth Reaser should have stayed golden haired for the entire series. Her dark hair isn’t true to the books and doesn’t suit. Can vampires even get dye to stick to their hair though?  I still like Nikki Reed as Rosalie. As the character, I am glad she found some happiness by being part at the end with the birth of Renesmee. Rose’s story is perhaps the saddest of all of them, because she just wanted a kid and a husband to grow old with.

The wedding was beautifully done. I loved the dress.  It was as extravagant as in the book, just like Alice planned.

The movie is definitely better than the first three, and it is a decent enough watch.