musings of a bookaholic: I VOLUNTEERED AS TRIBUTE

…Okay, maybe not as a tribute, but I did see the much-anticipated Hunger Games film adaptation last week… and then I volunteered to watch it again this week, you know, just because. And, like many bookaholics out there who just adored the movie, I was pretty satisfied with the outcome.

1. The scenery was beautiful.
I don’t know about you, but I thought Gary Ross did a pretty outstanding job with the visuals of the movie – most notably the Capitol and the forest arena – I’m not even kidding, the forest was exactly how I envisioned it, right down to that exact tint of green. IT WAS LOVELY. I also loved the contrast between District 12 and the Capitol; where Katniss lived, all the colours seemed bland and grey and neutral, where as the Capitol looked and even felt lively andcolourful – it was easy to tell where most of the greedy bastards lived.
2. The acting was about as flawless as flawless can be.
To the few who have not seen it yet, I suggest you should because you are missing out on TALENT. Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss was pure talent – her performance was intense, raw and heartfelt, and you could tell that she was very passionate about her role as Katniss.
What I was most surprised about was Josh Hutcherson’s portrayal of Peeta. I’ll admit, I had my doubts about him (yes, I am ashamed) but he definitely proved me wrong. I found myself smiling throughout the movie everytime Peeta would appear on screen – Movie Peeta was just as adorable and charming as Book Peeta, and I applaud Mr Hutcherson for dying his hair blonde. Also: his crazy cake decorating skills were… I mean… like, what was THAT?? “HOW” was all I was thinking when he was shown “camouflaging” himself. Peeta should be on the Food Network
Amandla Stenberg as Rue was just beautiful – especially The Scene With Katniss – it was amazing how a young actress such as Stenberg was able to capture such a heart-breaking, emotional scene. As one of my favourite scenes of the movie, surprisingly, I didn`t cry, but I was definitely on the verge of tears.
Obviously the list of talent goes on, and as much as I want to fangirl about every single character and the actors that portrayed them, I think she pretty much sums up how satisfied I was with the cast:
3. The movie stayed loyal to the books.
Movies adapted from books are never going to be the exact same. Stories interpreted visually are obviously not going to be the same as it was interpreted in words, and personally, I’m okay with that – as long as they still include the main ideas. The reason why I was completely satisfied with the movie was because I felt that the characters and the story on screen stayed true to the characters and the story on paper. Yes, the ending was not entirely the same as the book, but I didn’t really mind. What I liked especially was how Movie Katniss was still able to show the Capitol that despite being part of the Hunger Games, she was never really part of their games at all. I loved it, and I love this movie, and I cannot WAIT to see how Catching Fire will turn out.
 Until next time,
-xo Jamie

Waiting on Wednesday (9): Glitch, by Heather Anastasiu

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights highly-anticipated upcoming releases.

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Release Date: August 7, 2012

Genre: Young Adult – Science Fiction / Dystopian

Type: Series (Glitch #1)

Pre-order: Amazon

In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network. When Zoe starts to malfunction (or “glitch”), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.
As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse. (Taken from Goodreads)

I. Want. This. So. Bad. From the incredibly frightening zombie apocalypse stories, to the countless alien world domination theories, I was always convinced that it would be the robots we’d be generously handing our world over to. The brief summary above completely captured my attention, and considering the increasing popularity of dystopian novels as of late, I just thought it was smart idea for the author’s part, as well as an original, unique premise that definitely stood out to me when I read the blurb.

What are you waiting on? Leave a comment below!

Soul Thief, by Jana Oliver

*For my review of The Demon Trapper’s Daughter (The Demon Trappers #1), click here!

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Release Date: August 30, 2011

Genre: Young Adult – Urban Fantasy

Type: Series (The Demon Trappers, #2)

Purchase: Amazon

Riley Blackthorne is beginning to learn that there are worse things than death by demon. And love is just one of them…
Riley has about had it up to here. After the devestating battle at the Tabernacle, trappers are dead and injured – her boyfriend, Simon, gravely so – and now her beloved late father’s been illegally poached from his grave by a very powerful necromancer. As if that’s not enough, there’s Ori, one sizzling-hot freelance demon hunter who’s made himself Riley’s unofficial bodyguard, and Beck, a super-overprotective “friend” who acts more like a grouchy granddad. With all the hassles, the seventeen-year-old is almost ready to leave Atlanta behind.
But as Atlanta’s demon count increases, the Vatican finally sends its own demon hunters to take care of the city’s “little” problem, and pandemonium breaks out. Only Riley knows that she might be the center of Hell’s attention: An extremely powerful Grade 5 demon is stalking her, and her luck can’t last forever…

First, let me say that I love books in a series. If I had to choose between a series and a stand-alone novel, I’d choose a series, no doubt (in most cases). The only thing I absolutely despise about book series, however, is the torturous wait. Thus, with The Demon Trappers series, I thought I’d be smart and not read Soul Thief until book three’s release was near. So after months of allowing this book to sit on my bookshelf unread and collecting dust, I decided to finally pick it up and read it. And though I’ve learned my lesson and realized that I was still waiting regardless, it was still very much worth the wait.

Although there wasn’t as much action as the previous novel, it was the characters – old and new – that I’d grown to appreciate and enjoy. Of course, Riley Blackthorne was without a doubt my favourite. It seemed to me that Riley just couldn’t catch a break –if you thought Riley had it bad in the first book, trust me, it was no comparison to this one. Not only was she still trying to cope with her father’s death, but now she had to find her father’s dead corpse, who was brought back to life without her permission, and make sure he actually STAYED dead. Heartbreaking, yes? Not really, considering that was not even half of her over-barring problems.

As a reader, it was very emotional seeing how frustrated – one as strong-willed, tough, and determined as Riley – was, with all her troubles. If I had one word to describe how Riley felt in this book, it would be tired. Tired for always being blamed, tired for always getting hurt, and tired for always having to take the role of ‘Blackthorne’s Demon Trapper Daughter’, when she’d much rather be a normal teenager… well, a normal teenage demon trapper. Again, I felt Oliver portrayed seventeen-year-old Riley exquisitely and successfully – her actions, her emotions, and her behaviour felt genuine and relatable, as a teenager.

As a devoted member of Team Beck, I was surprisingly unhappy with Simon’s character. In the first book, I didn’t like him, nor did I hate him, but his character in Soul Thief really made me, I don’t know, want to knock his head out with a book. Sure, there may be valid explanations for his behaviour, but the way he treated Riley… just, UGH. I was as frustrated as her. As for Ori, though attractive as he was, he felt off to me from the beginning, and I was hopelessly wishing for him and Beck to have a face off in which Beck would totally crush his face. (What I’m really trying to say is that Riley and Beck are perfect for each other, and they are flawless – in a not so flawless way – if that makes sense.)

Oliver’s writing in this instalment was just as fast-paced, compelling, and enjoyable as her previous novel, as I was finding myself devouring the contents of Soul Thief, and now, impatiently waiting for what’s next for Riley and her ever-complicated world.


Bookaholic Verdict: is it Tuesday yet?

Quotaholic: “When she reached the door Riley paused and looked back at him. A single glistening tear rolled down his pale cheek. It was a match to her own.

Jamie’s totally-relevant reading playlist:
“Eyes Open” by Taylor Swift

Waiting on Wednesday (8): Grave Mercy, by Robin LaFevers

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights highly-anticipated upcoming releases.

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Release Date: April 3, 2012

Genre: Young Adult – Fantasy / Historical Fiction

Type: Series (His Fair Assassin #1)

Pre-order: Amazon

Update: Check out my review of Grave Mercy here!

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others. 
Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart? (Taken from Goodreads)

This one sounds incredible. I’ve been looking for a new and intriguing fantasy read (ever since finishing the Mistborn series, I haven’t been able to find a decent fantasy book that compares), and although it doesn’t sound anything like the beloved Mist world, this one sounds just as special. The protagonist in this novel also sounds like she’s going to be a strong, kickass heroine, which I absolutely love.

What are you waiting on? Leave a comment below!

Jessica Rules the Dark Side, by Beth Fantaskey

*Spoilers if you haven’t read book one, so read at your own risk!
*If you haven’t read the novella of Jessica and Lucius’s wedding (Jessica #1.5), click here!

Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books

Release Date: January 10, 2012

Genre: Young Adult – Paranormal

Type: Series (Jessica #2)

Purchase: Amazon

When Jessica Packwood found out she was a Romanian vampire princess, she had the shock of her teenage life. Turns out that was the easy part.
Now, married to Prince Lucius Vladescu, she has to claim her throne and convince a vampire nation she’s fit to be their queen. But Jess can’t even order a decent meal from her castle’s Romanian staff, let alone deal with devious undead subjects who would love to see her fail.
And when Lucius is accused of murdering a vampire Elder and imprisoned without the blood he needs, Jessica finds herself alone, fighting for both their survivals. 
Desperate to clear her husband’s name and win his release, Jess enlists the help of her best friend, Mindy Stankowicz, and Lucius’s mysterious Italian cousin, Raniero Lovatu. But both of them are keeping some dark secrets. Can Jess figure out who to trust – and how to rise to power – before she loses everything, including the vampire she loves?

Okay, so I absolutely LOVED this sequel. Having read Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side several years back, I was a bit wary as to how I would respond to this next instalment – considering how much younger I was, and not being as obsessed with the whole paranormal genre as I had been two years ago.

However, despite all of that, this novel really surprised me. I felt that Jessica’s character truly matured and grown as I had, facing more responsibilities and problems a lot bigger than your typical high school drama. It was a privilege to read about Jessica coming to terms with her ‘vampire princess’ status, as well as the independence she had gained with Lucius being imprisoned for most of the novel.

Speaking of Lucius, I thought I wasn’t going to enjoy the story as much with him gone, because, well, he was the most charming, attractive, adorably-annoying character in the first book; but with that said, his voice was still very much part of the story – in the form of those quirky, hilarious letters that I’d grown fond of in the first novel. It was extremely hard not to smile at the scenes with him and Jessica. Reading their love for one another, it was as if they were married for years – their support and undeniable faith in each other were admirable, to say the least.

I think it’d be a crime not to mention Mindy and Raniero’s characters – especially their relationship. I mean, yes, it was kind of cheesy, but I couldn’t help but love them together. Raniero’s intentions towards Jessica’s best friend, Mindy, were so genuine and protective – it was a nice contrast to the seriousness of Jessica’s situation, trying so determinedly to clear her husband’s name.

While the plot was quite predictable for me, Fantaskey’s writing and pacing of the story was the reason for my reluctance to put the book down. Each chapter revealed a little bit more, intensifying the build up, despite my predictions.

To me, it was the characters of the novel – in both the first and second books – that made reading Jessica’s story quite enjoyable and memorable as a reader. It was definitely nice and refreshing delving into her crazy, drama-filled, vampire world again.


Bookaholic Verdict: still upset that i didn’t get an invitation to Jessica and Lucius’s wedding

Quotaholic: “I didn’t even waver – didn’t even blink, although a part of me screamed inside – when Lucius was escorted to that pale gray circle on the floor.

Jamie’s totally-relevant reading playlist:
“Never Stop” by SafetySuit

Delirium, by Lauren Oliver

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: February 1, 2011

Genre: Young Adult – Dystopian

Type: Series (Delirium #1)

Purchase: Amazon

Ninety-five days, and then I’ll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It’s hard to be patient. It’s hard not to be afraid while I’m still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn’t touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don’t.

With the dystopian genre increasing in popularity these past few months thanks to The Hunger Games, I decided that I should check out Delirium, one of the few novels in which I have heard nothing but praise. Although I did expect a bit more from this book, I found myself still in awe after reading the story (my gosh, that ENDING!!), and I was gladly not disappointed.

So in this dystopian world, love is considered a revoltingly terrifying, and ultimately fatal disease. Considering the amount of authors who try to create new and haunting dystopian worlds, I thought Oliver was extremely creative and unique crafting this society. I loved how strangely accurate the symptoms of amor deliria nervosa (aka, love) were. It actually felt like there was a bit of satire on Oliver’s part, with how the symptoms were described, and the “phases” of how love can infect you, and ultimately kill you.

Lena’s character as a protagonist, at first, was a bit dull for my taste; sure, she was definitely different from the rest of the characters, but she wasn’t interesting. I actually preferred her best friend, Hana’s character, because of how outspoken and full of life she was. However, I think the contrast between the two was the whole point. By the end of the novel, I felt that Lena’s character had really grown, and it was engrossing to see the strength she possessed in the end.

Lena’s romance with Alex – the love interest of the story – I thought was very sweet. The simplicity and desperation of their love – in a place where love equates to total damnation – was refreshing to read about and heartfelt as well. As Lena was suffocated by the indifference of her apathetic society, it seemed that Alex was the one who brought freedom, who gave her that push to fly (yeah, there was a ton of amazing bird imagery).

As always, Oliver’s writing was beautiful – it was incredibly descriptive and poetic, and it was as if you could feel the emotions just oozing out of the words. Okay, that description probably didn’t do any justice to her writing, but IT WAS AWESOME. That is all you need to know. I also enjoyed the little poems and quotes at the beginning of every chapter, as it made the story seem that much more real and terrifying, as a reader.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is that I loved this story so, so much. I loved Lena and Hana and Alex, and Lena AND Alex together, and I just need the next book in my hands right now.


Bookaholic Verdict: what is love without a little Delirium?

Quotaholic: “And now I know why they invented words for love, why they had to: It’s the only thing that can come close to describing what I feel in that moment, the baffling mixture of pain and pleasure and fear and joy, all running sharply through me at once.

Jamie’s totally-relevant reading playlist:
“Ocean Wide” by The Afters

musings of a bookaholic: frodo and procrastination (and my new pet)

1. My name is Jamie, and I am a procrastinator.

I can’t help it!!! When I know there is something that I need to do, I look the other way, or I find something else (usually completely pointless and random) to do.


i’ve actually caught up with my reading challenge a little bit this week, but oh look, i’m still behind. and it’s not like i have other things to do well i technically do, but i’m procratinating THOSE things to read… but i guess i’m procrastinating that too.

2. My date with Frodo:

So, I’ve FINALLY finished The Lord of the Rings trilogy (movie versions) and I LOVED IT SO MUCH. I just thought I’d share some of my thoughts on the epic trilogy (spoilers if you haven’t watched all three):

- He had all the best quotes throughout the movie, basically – most notably his speech about how there is still goodness left in such a damned world in The Two Towers, and his beautiful speech about strawberries and such in The Return of the King. My favorite Sam quote had to be when he saves Frodo from one of the bad guys in the final film, and says, “Let him go, you filth.” CHILLS.
- He’s the reason why Frodo saves The Shire and the entire world – there’s a reason why Samwise the Brave is called Samwise the Brave. My gosh, Sam is probably the most selfless, courageous character I’ve ever encountered, like, ever. One of the most touching scenes for me is when he gives his last drop of water to Frodo in Return of the King. It’s the little things.
Frodo and his mesmerizing eyes.
- I don’t know if they’re contacts, or enhanced CGI or whatever, but Frodo’s eyes are incredibly blue and it was just extremely difficult not to stare.
- I also don’t know if there was a legit reason why Gandalf chose Frodo to destroy the ring, or if Frodo was “the chosen one”, but there definitely was something special about Frodo, which I really enjoyed watching. For me, it was… I think his innocence, and how genuine his character was, throughout the entire trilogy. He saw the good in others, like Smeagol, for example, and he was always willing to do the right thing – even if it meant risking his life.
- Also, that scene in Return of the King where he wakes up with the ring missing……. and his shirt.
Beautiful Blonde Elf Boy:
- Legolas and his dangerous archery skills reminded me so much of Katniss. They should have babies together.
- THE HAIR – Orlando Bloom must’ve shampooed and conditioned those locks a whole lot – it was so beautiful. I am SO relieved that his hair was unharmed for the entire trilogy. 
Aragon and his sword-wielding skills:
- Basically, he was badass and for all those times where I thought he was about to die, or that he was already dead, I was so glad he proved me wrong. All my mini-heart attacks during the movies were wasted on Aragon. (I actually thought that out of all the remaining people in the fellowship, he was going to die in the end. YAY for me being wrong… again)
Liv Tyler crying.
- It’s like, the complete opposite, compared to my ugly cries.
The Fellowship forever and always.
- Seeing how tight-knit and caring the group was made my heart ache. There aren’t many friendships like that in real life (maybe there is, who knows), and it was just refreshing to see how much they valued and trusted each other with their lives.
 Gandalf and his beard of wisdom.
- the old guy was such a mentor to Frodo and even Sam, and I liked how he was able to laugh and joke around, even at the most serious times.
 The scenery.
- I think the movies were shot in New Zealand, or something, and it makes me want to live there – even if it’s just in those small little caves.
- Merry and Pippin were probably the most dim-witted characters of the movie, BUT I LOVED THEM SO MUCH. I actually think they were the cause of most of Frodo and Sam’s problems, but there were such a comic relief to the story, it was easy to forget about that.
The fight scenes.
- they were epically choreographed and gory and heart-wrenching and AWESOME. Especially Legolas’ close range bow-and-arrow shots. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?
- Although I, myself, didn’t cry, the ending was beautiful and it made me feel all tingly and nice inside. Especially one of the last scenes where the remaining people in the fellowship are reunited — it made me smile.
Each movie was like, 3 hours long.
- Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed the movies, but I would’ve preferred it to be a bit shorter. At some parts, it kind of dragged on for me – but then again, Titanic was 5 hours long…
I have a new hatred for elephants.
- Those scary-looking creatures just trampled. everyone.
- Samwise the Brave is too good for anyone. She even has babies with him in the end! WHY.
 2. Last, but most certainly not least, my new pet (I want it so badly):
i don’t care if Smeagol/ Gollum was bipolar, or that he was trying to kill Frodo, or that he always called my fav character, Samwise, a ‘fat hobbit’, HE IS JUST THE CUTEST LITTLE THING. my favourite scene had to be when he was singing nonchalantly to himself in the Forbidden Pool, in The Return of the King.

Anyways, that’s about all I have on my mind right now. Thanks for reading :)

-xo Jamie