Friday, December 27, 2013

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin: Book Review (School Edition)!

Hello, everyone! I'm back, and I've got another review of one of my Children's Lit novels. I know that no one really thinks that I read these books for class, but it's true! It's one of the great things about class selection in college. I finished this one awhile ago, but I've gotten my notes out, dusted them off, and I'm ready to review! So let's get started!

This novel is about a young boy named Ged (or Sparrowhawk) who discovers that he's a wizard! He then goes through his life dealing with arch foes, mythical creatures such as dragons, and an evil dark foe as he grows into adulthood. Does this sound like anything we know? I'll give you a hint. It starts with "H" and ends with "Arry Potter." Which is funny to think about considering this book was published nearly forty years before The Harry Potter series was first published. From what I learned in class, this book was a major step and inspiration for fantasy books everywhere, and I believe it. I read it and could help but think how this aspect relates to Harry Potter or this one to Doctor Who. I love that aspect about this book.

I also enjoy how this book dealt with character growth. In the beginning, I didn't like Ged. He was arrogant and made all the wrong decisions. He was a bit of a tool. Then something big changes his life, and he grows into adulthood pretty quickly. Then I start to feel for the guy. I appreciate him and his journey more. I like how he grew as a person as he grew as a wizard. It made for a better read.

The one problem I had with this novel is that everything is kind of thrown out you. You are expected to know all of the different names of places, what everything means, and what significance is has for all of the characters. It's not like Harry Potter in that you're learning about the wizarding world as Harry does. Ged knows about this world, and you are just thrown into it. It gets a little disorienting, but you can get a little help from the Earthsea Wiki, which I do recommend you do as you are reading, not as an excuse to not read it. I think that there are too many interesting things in the book for you to not read it.

So overall I have to give this book a solid three and a half otaks out of five. Read this book carefully, and don't be afraid to get a little help from the internet. It's not a one-day read, but you'll enjoy it none the less if you love fantasy books.

So thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed this, and I promise there is more to come. I'm working on getting my review for the last book of the Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare, and I'm halfway through reading Divergent. Things are really heating up. Please let me know what you think about fantasy novels, if you like them or not down, in the comments below. If you want to keep up to date on the blog subscribe with your email down below or add me to your circles with the Google+ button to the right. If you want ridiculousness about my life or instant updates on the blog, follow me on twitter @KK_Donna_Blog. That's it for now! I love y'all, and I'll see y'all next post!
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Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire: Movie Review! (Spoiler-Free)

Hello, everyone! In case you've been hiding under a rock for the past few weeks, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie came out November 22, and I'm here to review it! So, it's been a few weeks since Catching Fire has been out. Of course, I went to the movie the night it premiered because I'm such a fan girl. I have seen it again since then. I wanted it to sink in before I did this review so I wouldn't be "Oh my goodness! It's perfect! I wouldn't change a thing!" Now that everything has settled a little bit, I think I can do this review fairly.

If you've read the books, then you know what this movie is about. But in case you haven't this movie picks up where the last movie leaves off. Katniss and Peeta have just won the Hunger Games. Because of this, they are forced to go on a victory tour to the other districts. They find out that the districts are rebelling and they are looking to Katniss as a symbol of the rebellion. President Snow decides that he must kill the symbol in order to kill the rebellion. He makes it so the 75th annual Hunger Games' tributes will be reaped from the existing victors, insuring that Katniss will go back into the arena.

The movie has a really cool mix of drama and action. The drama comes from the relationship between the characters and the action comes from the rebellion and the arena. So it has the mass market appeal that girls can drag their boyfriends to and boys can drag their girlfriends to. It works for everyone, and by "works" I mean "it's fun."

There were a few things I found off about the movie. Now, I know that this will probably be a me thing, but I found the pronunciation of Plutarch Heavensbee's name was weird. But then again, I read it differently in my head than they spoke it on screen, but that I can get over pretty easily. Another thing I couldn't quite get on board with was Finnick Odair as played by Sam Claflin. Now the man is easy to look at. I mean the man is a hunk of good looking with a side of arrogance. When I read the book, I thought of him to be more charming, and I didn't get that when I saw him portrayed on screen. Even when he supposedly speaking to his girl from District Four, it came off as contrived to me. Not to say that I didn't like him. He got loads better once he entered the arena and everything just starts to all happen at once.

But enough about that, let's talk about what I loved about the movie. I love Jennifer Lawrence, but that's beside the point. I love Jennifer Lawrence's acting in this movie. She's one of those actresses that are not afraid to make the "ugly sad face," and that particular face of hers wasn't even ugly. It was the fact that she went for it in whatever scene she was in. I was really impressed. I was also impressed with new girl Jena Malone who plays Johanna Mason from District Seven. She was awesome. She stole the show whenever she popped up on screen, and I think they've set her up to do some cool stuff with her character development on the next movie.

The last thing I want to talk about it just the cinematography of this movie. I am so amazed by how good the movie looks. The scenery was both beautiful and haunting. I couldn't tell the difference between what was CGI'ed and what wasn't. All of the details that readers notice in the book can be appreciated in the movie. It was such a beautiful movie to watch and experience. They way that they handled both introducing new characters and taking away a few of the old ones really hits home for both lovers of the books and those who simply came to enjoy a good movie.

So, if you haven't yet, go see this movie! You won't be disappointed. It is worth the eight bucks that you'll spend. Now I can't say anymore without giving the movie away. I will hopefully be doing a Catching Fire Soundtrack review soon. So keep your peepers out for that. Comment down below what you thought about the movie. Subscribe to the blog by adding your email down below. Add me to your circles with the Google+ button to the right. Follow me on twitter @KK_Donna_Blog for ridiculousness and more! I love y'all, and read on, book lovers (you can watch movies too)!

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Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden: Book Review (School Edition)!

Hello, everyone! I'm back and I'm reviewing Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden that I read for my Children's Lit class. Now, I know what you're thinking. It's mid December. There's no way I should be in school. You are correct. I'm on my winter break, but I was not able to continuously post book reviews that dealt with school. So, I've still got my books from school, and I thought I would pepper them in with all of the "fun" reviews. Those are coming up very soon. But, please read and enjoy this review of one of the books I read this past semester.

Annie on My Mind has been known to be a bit controversial, especially considering that it's a children's novel. That is because of the sexual exploration that the lead character Liza takes, ultimately realizing that she is gay. She meets Annie at a museum and the novel just sort of takes off from there. From that point, Liza deals with her sexuality silently until she is literally caught in the act. Then she has to deal with judgmental peers, overly righteous teachers, and parents who prefer to live in denial. She does eventually come to terms with her sexuality, but not without a cost.

I would definitely recommend for everyone to read this book. Not even for the fact that its easy to read and Googling this book would just do you a disservice, it's that this book reminded me why I love being an English major. Words are powerful. This book is powerful. I'm straight, and I'll probably never have to face this particular situation. But to be able to see the different reactions that these characters have to a girl that they've known for years will break your heart. There is every reaction from fear to anger, and even Liza is feeling all of these things about herself. I won't get on my soapbox, because this is a review. But I hope that more people give this book a shot. It may change your perspective. It may not, but it's important for you to experience this book as a whole rather than some inadequate summary on Wikipedia. I have to give this book a four and a half pieces of abstract art out of five.

Thanks for reading! If you want to stay up to date with new reviews, subscribe my putting your email in the box below. Add me to your circles using the Google+ button to the right. Add me on twitter for some ridiculous news about my life. Thanks again for reading, and please keep the conversation going by commenting down below. I love y'all, and read on, book lovers!
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