Friday, May 30, 2014

Bitter-Sweet Stories Designs Headband - Product Review!



Vampire Academy Headbands - Bow Style

Hello, everyone! I'm back, and today I'm reviewing two fandom related items. They come from two different fandoms, but they are technically the same item. If you follow me on twitter, which you can find at this link, you will know that I'm talking about the fandom headbands created by Bitter-Sweet Stories Designs. But enough about that. Let's get onto the review!

I bought two headbands from Bitter-Sweet Stories Designs on etsy. You can find their shop at this link. I bought the Divergent related headband that is designed with all of the faction symbols in their respective colors. I also bought the Vampire Academy related headband that has all of the dhampir marks as well as all of the elemental symbols for the Moroi including the spirit symbol. Each of them were eighteen dollars and came in the "bow" style.

I have to say that I really like these headbands for different reasons.  Let's start off with the Vampire Academy version. This one is thinner but a bit longer than the Divergent headband. I particularly like this one for when I have really curly hair. It keeps my hair in place, but still shows off my voluminous curls.

The Divergent headband is a bit bigger in the width of the headband but shorter length-wise than the Vampire Academy. Sine it is a bit longer width-wise, I tend to use it when I have my hair up in a pony tail or a bun. It helps keep my baby hair away from my face when I'm reading or using my tablet.

Both of the headbands are made of cotton, which basically means that there isn't much of a stretch in the material and does not fit super snugly on the head. That was okay with me because I tend to get a headache if the elastic makes the headband too tight. I did have a problem with it sliding at the nape of my neck from time to time. A bobby pin is a quick fix for that problem.

It's also described as having a bow, which I don't necessarily agree with. It looks more like a tab that connects the fabric. To be fair, I probably wouldn't like it with a bow, and I just put the tab at the nape of my neck anyway. Plus, I really want to show off all of the symbols of these series that I love. So I do tend to hid the little tab in an effort to project my fandom pride.

Both of these headbands are pretty cool. They are a bit pricey being eighteen dollars apiece, but I think that it's worth shelling out the dough for a handmade item that is clearly made with care. Check out the pictures down below of both of the headbands I've mentioned in this review

That's it for now! Comment down below on some of your favorite fan-made creations of fandom merchandise. Subscribe to the blog by adding your email address to the Subscribe Box down below. Add me to your circles by clicking the Google+ button off to the right of this page. Get up to date information about the blog and ridiculousness about my life by following me on twitter @KK_Donna_Blog. Lastly, you can follow the tumblr dedicated to this blog, and you can find it at this link. Read on, lovelies! I'll see y'all next post!

Both Headbands in Packaging

Vampire Academy Headband in Packaging

Divergent Headband in Packaging

Size Difference

Bow Detail

Divergent Headband

Vampire Academy Headband

Business Card for Bitter-Sweet Stories Designs

Both Headbands


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Thursday, May 29, 2014

How to Be a Heroine - A New Series!

Hello, everyone! I'm back, and today I have decided that I was going to start a new series on this blog called "How to Be a Heroine." It seems that lately there has been a rise of young adult literary heroines that have inspired our everyday lives. There are certain attributes that we can take from characters and apply them in everyday lives. I look to Katniss from The Hunger Games as an inspiration to take care and fight for my loved ones. I look to Tris from Divergent as inspiration to stand up for people who can't stand up for themselves. These are just a few examples as to how literary heroines inspire me.

However, this series isn't about my everyday life. I want to learn some of the skills that literary heroines have that I may not use in my day to day but will encourage me in bettering my health in a fun and interesting way. This can be any type of skill. It could be anything from archery from The Hunger Games to Bella's amazing cooking from Twilight.  Granted, cooking does not seem so extreme to every other person in the world, it is to a girl who used to set things on fire in the kitchen with every use.

I'm hoping to cover a lot of different books and a lot of different aspects of the heroines that we've come to love. Some will be more active like Katniss and Tris, and others will be a bit calmer like Bella or Clary from The Mortal Instruments. I've already started to get the equipment to do some of these things, and I hope that everything works out so that I can share it with everyone who happens to come across the blog.

I'm probably going to start with Katniss. I have the things that I need to start my archery training, but I should probably preface my experience with that, I'm pretty much not an expert about any of the things that I will do for this series. So if your looking for a "How to" guide for any of these experiences, you are probably not going to find it here. Take everything with a grain of salt. I'm sure I'll get somethings wrong, but that's how I'll grow. You can also comment about how I'm doing it wrong or how I could do something better. It will be a learning process for everyone!

That's it for now! Comment down below on some skills you think I should try my hand at. You can subscribe to the blog by adding your email address to the Subscribe Box down below. You can add me to your circles my clicking the Google+ button off to the right. You can get up to date information about the blog or ridiculousness about my life by following me on twitter @KK_Donna _Blog. Lastly, you can follow the tumblr dedicated to this blog, and you can find it at this link. Read on, lovelies! I'll see y'all next post!
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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Divergent: the Official Illustrated Movie Companion by Kate Egan: Book Review!



Hello, everyone! I'm back with another book review. This time, I'm reviewing Divergent: Official Movie Companion by Kate Egan. This, like other movie companions I've reviewed, is a book about the making of a movie. In this case, that movie is Divergent. But enough about that, let's get onto the review!

Divergent: Official Movie Companion takes a closer look into the making of the movie Divergent. The book starts at the very beginning, before author of Divergent Veronica Roth even had her book published. It goes through publication, getting film rights, getting the movie off the ground, and all of the processes that it took to make the movie. From scouting locations in Chicago to having costumes made in bulk in Europe, this book has an in-depth look at the entire film making process. Let's see how well this book covers that, shall we?

First off, I was incredibly impressed with the ease that I read this book. It really played out like a story. It told of the story's humble beginnings, in the mind of a recently graduated college student. Then how it grew into the fandom we know today. Then it told how the director, actors, and the crew adapted the book in specific detail. It finished with a small interview with Veronica Roth on set when she was shooting her cameo and a few pictures of fans visiting the set. It all flowed very nicely, and the set up of the book really made sense.

There was also a definite narrative to this book. In the Vampire Academy: the Official Movie Companion, most of the book was a selection of quotes, which is okay if they were arranged in a way which made them flow, but it wasn't. This companion definitely had quotes, but they were placed sparingly and appropriately to make the companion better as a whole.

Another aspect that I really enjoyed about this companion is that it actually informed me of some aspects of the movie that I did not know. I typically know a good deal about a book-to-movie adaptation before I even see the movie. I watch interviews, read articles on the Page to Premiere website, and I typically have a good idea of what goes on to make the movie. Even with all of that information under my belt, I was still able learn a few details about the making of the movie. For example, I learned a bit more about detailing the set and how they choose tiny pieces of wood to make up the floors of Abnegation homes to give it a recycled look. The whole companion just contained a good amount of really specific detail that I just crave when reading this type of book.

Pictures are a pretty big deal in an illustrated movie companion, and I have to admit that I was pretty impressed with the size and selection of this particular companion. Most of the pictures were of decent size that contained a good amount of detail. There were pictures that were specifically from the movie, and there were a few that were behind the scenes pictures, which is hard to find sometimes. What I liked the most, though, was the inclusion of concept sketches and artwork. They included concept sketches of outfits of all five factions and concept art for many of the scenes. You can see how they changed modern Chicago into the dystopian Chicago that appears in the film. It was just really cool to see.

Now I have a tiny critique of this particular movie companion. At some points, the book makes sure that there isn't any spoilers for the books or the movie. However, there are some major spoilers in book regardless of what it tried to establish before. I'm okay with spoilers as long as they are noted or that the book establishes that it will have something that spoils the book or the movie. This one makes you think that there won't be any, and then spoils a major part of the plot. I would rather they would have it one way or another.

With all of that in mind, I'm going to give this movie companion four and a half faction clothing sketches out of five.


That's it for this one! Comment down below about your favorite part of the film making process. You can subscribe to the blog by adding your email to the Subscribe Box down below. You can add me to your circles by clicking the Google+ button off to the right. You can get up to date information about the blog and ridiculousness about my life by following my twitter @KK_Donna_Blog. Lastly, you can follow the tumblr dedicated to the blog, and yo can find it at this link. Read on, lovelies! I'll see y'all next post!
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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Vampire Academy: the Official Illustrated Movie Companion by Brandon T. Snider: Book Review!



Hello, everyone! I'm back with another book review! This time I'm reviewing Vampire Academy:The Official Illustrated Movie Companion by Brandon T. Snider. This is a full comprehensive look at the making of the Vampire Academy movie. But enough about that, let's get onto the review!

I would usually start this review with a decent summary about the book. There isn't a lot to say about this one considering it isn't really a story. This is a book about how the Vampire Academy movie was made. The books touches on the actors, setting, costumes, and the physical training that went into making the movie. It also features full-color, relatively good sized pictures of the movie and what went on behind the scenes. These particular books are interesting to those interested in film making or into cosplaying and hoping to get some decent reference pictures. They're also nice for the die-hard fans of the movies.

Let's start with the positive. I'm impressed with the full page pictures of the costumes that were featured in the movie. For a cosplayer, pictures like these are hard to come by, and they included front, back, and side views of a few of the costumes. It actually showed an in-depth look at some of the costumes that I would like to cosplay.

Another thing that I appreciated about the book was that it looked different than most official movie companions. You can tell immediately that this isn't Twilight or The Hunger Games by the style that the book had. It had a different layout, it focused on different aspects of making the movie, and had a different tone overall.

I also appreciated a few of the actors' interviews. I personally love the cast that was chosen for this movie, and having a few pages in their words was pretty awesome. One I particularly loved was Danila Kozlovsky who plays Dimitri Belikov. The interview comes off slightly humorous and completely heart warming. Of course, I read it with a Russian accent in my mind, so that may have something to do with my love for it.

It's time to get critical. First off, I assume that Snider was on set for a good deal of time and got a good sense of what the movie was about; however, he needs to double check the mythology of a story before stating it as fact. As a reader of the book and movie viewer, I caught the mistake right away. He claims that a dhampir is a half-human half-vampire that willingly donates their blood to the Moroi. That's not true whatsoever. It may be just a "me thing," but the fact that it was so wrong made me so mad.

I also had a problem with the way that the text was formatted. For the most part, the text was legible, but many of the quotes and the interviewer's questions were printed in a color that made it difficult to read. It just seemed like a silly choice or poor editing.

There was another reoccurring problem that I had with the book as a whole. The majority of the book contained interviews. There would be entire pages of just quotes, which would be fine if they were the only quotes in just a chapter. But the interviews took up the entirety of the book. That's like making a story made of just dialogue. That's not a story; that's a play. This isn't a movie companion; this is a book of set interviews, which is nice, but not what I paid for.

Lastly, the entire thing seemed to be a little repetitive. There was a lot of patting each other on the back, and that's fine for the first few pages. It just needs to move forward after that. I just felt like I was reading the same thing over and over again, which made the book harder to read and easier to put down.

With all of that in mind, I'm giving this companion three St. Vladamir's emblems out of five. As much as I appreciated a few qualities about the companion, this companion could have been done so much better.


That's it for now! Comment down below on books that left you feeling a bit disappointed. You can subscribe to the blog by adding your email to the Subscribe Box down below. You can add me to your circles by clicking the Google+ button off to the right. You can also get up to date information about the blog and ridiculousness about my life by following me on twitter @KK_Donna_Blog. Lastly, you can follow the tumblr dedicated to this blog, and you can find it at this link. Read on, lovelies! I'll see y'all next post!
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Monday, May 26, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: Book Review!




Hello, everyone! I'm back with another book review. This time I'm reviewing The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I'm a little bit late to the game as it seems to me that everyone who is into books have reviewed this book. However, I tend to read books that have more fantastic elements, which means that I have shied away from this book. But I'm glad I've finally given this book a chance. But enough about that, let's get on to the review!

The Fault in Our Stars is about a girl named Hazel. She has thyroid cancer that has spread to lungs which makes it difficult for her to breathe. Her mother, concerned that Hazel isn't living life to the fullest, makes her daughter go to a cancer support group where she meets Augustus. From there, Hazel starts on a journey of love, loss, happiness, and disappointment. This book will make you feel all of these things and more.

First off, let me just say that yes, despite the fact that this is a story about a girl with cancer, there are some happy moments, and really this isn't a "traditional cancer story." This isn't about a girl trying to overcome her cancer or find a cure or anything of that nature. This is about a girl dealing with death and life. Despite being about do die, she manages to live a full life. She's probably led a fuller life than I have.

One thing I really love about this novel is John Green's writing style. It's very different from what I'm used to, but it refreshing rather than jarring. He uses pictures and interesting dialogue techniques that make it different and shape his style. For example, he'll play out a scene between Hazel and her parent and right all of the dialogue as a scene from a play. It makes it seem more like diary entrees and that Hazel is actually writing the story.

I love the entire tone of the novel. It may be because I'm a young adult, and John Greene really delves into the young adult psyche when he writes. Hazel is sarcastic and tells it how it is. Her voice is very strong throughout the entire novel.  It makes story feel realistic and individualistic.

This book is also very quotable. It's like "Kids Say the Darnedest Things" but in book form with teenagers with cancer. Half the time I was wondering what in the world Gus or Hazel would say next. They just made me smile, which brings me to another point. Hazel and Gus have such a real relationship. They have their beautiful happy moments, and they also have their heartbreaking tragic moments. Their relationship was just really wonderful to read.

Now, I don't know if I consider it a bad thing or a good thing, but I managed to read the entire book in one sitting. For me, it was a quick and easy read that also managed to cause emotional trauma. I really wanted it to be a bit longer and have a few more things detailed. With all of that in mind, I have to give this novel four and a half oxygen tanks out of five.



That's it for this review! Comment down below if your as excited about this movie adaptation as I am. You can subscribe to the blog by adding your email to the Subscribe Box down below. You can add me to your circles by clicking the Google+ button to the right. You can also get up to date information about the blog and ridiculousness about my life by following me on twitter @KK_Donna_Blog. Lastly, you can follow the tumblr dedicated to the blog, and you can find it at this link. That's all for now! Read on, lovelies! I'll see y'all next post!
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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Dawn by Octavia Butler: Book Review (School Edition)!


Hello, everyone! I'm back with another book review. This time I'm reviewing Dawn by Octavia Butler. This book, as well as being one of my books for my Popular Genre Class, is the first of the Xenogenesis Series. It has been nominated for science fiction related rewards and has had much acclaim throughout the science fiction community. But enough about that, let's get on with the review!

Dawn tells the story of Lilith, a woman that has survived a world wide nuclear world thanks to the help of an alien race called the Oankali. Lilith is one of many people that the Oankali have taken in hopes that they could help repopulate the Earth. The Oankali have a request for the assistance. They wish to mix their genetic material with humans in order to create a better version of themselves and they want Lilith's help. Will Lilith help the Oankali with their mission? Or will she be forced to stay on the Oankali ship for the rest of her life? Only time will tell!

Actually, I can tell because I've read all of this book and halfway through the second book before my professor spoiled that book and the third one, but that's not what we do here. We don't spoil books. We review them. My short book review: despite my aversion to science fiction, this book was pretty awesome.

I love these characters. Lilith is such a warrior and tries to be strong in the worst situations. One of the reasons why the Oankali chose her was because of her will to live. I love seeing her conflict between having them help her live and her feeling like she's completely dependent on creatures that she doesn't completely understand or trust. There is a lot of stress and tension coming from her, and I really think that gives the novel a really cool dynamic.

I also liked Nikanj. He is one of the Oankali that is assigned to Lilith. We first see him as a child, and
he grows into adulthood by Lilith's side. Through him, Lilith sees that while these creatures are manipulative to their own goals, there are Oankali that really want to help human kind. They just don't know how to be polite about it.

I'm also really impressed with how Butler was able to depict a space ship that is completely different than what first come to mind, or at least, what comes first to my mind. It isn't a giant metal ship that is full of the most advance technology with scanners and consoles and things of that nature. Everything is alive, and the Oankali work with the ship as much as the ship works with them. It is a very interesting concept that makes sense for the entire novel.

The one thing that I felt could be better was the ending. I don't want to give anything away because I would hate to spoil this book, but I will say that something happens that leaves Lilith devastated. I was under the impression that it was the end all of what she really wanted, but that is proven to be false in chapter one of the next book. It really threw me for a second, but really, it is a bit of a nit picky reaction to the story as a whole.

In conclusion, I found this book quite enjoyable. I would have probably finished the series, but my professor told my class how the second and the third book end. That definitely put a damper on my excitement. All in all, I would give this book four and a half Oankali's out of five.


That's it for this review! Write some comments down below about your experiences with people spoiling a promising book series or television show. You can subscribe to the blog by adding your email to the Subscribe Box down below. You can add me to your circles by clicking the Google+ button on the right. You can also get up to date information about the blog or ridiculousness about my life by following me on twitter @KK_Donna_Blog. Also, you can follow the tumblr dedicated to this blog, and you can find it at this link. That's it for now! Read on, lovelies! I'll see y'all next post!
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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons: Book Review (School Edition)!



I'm back with another book review! This time I'm reviewing Watchmen by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons. This happens to be one of my school books. This one in particular is from my Children's Lit class. Now we did talk about how this book isn't tended toward children, but was quite popular with high school students, and I can see why. But enough about that, let's get on with the review!

Watchmen is a graphic novel created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. It tells the story of of a group of masked avengers in a time when being a super hero ends up with humiliation at best and jailed at worst. However, these once masked superheros are being killed off. So Rorschach, Nite Owl, Silk Spectre, Ozymandias, and Doctor Manhattan have to try to stop the murder while delving into a conspiracy that is so much bigger than just five costume superheros.

Watchmen is interesting in that these aren't the regular superheros we've come to love. Besides Doctor Manhattan, they do not have any particular super powers, they are hated by society, and, for the most part, have given up on being superheros. They are flawed, which makes them so human and relatable. Unlike Superman or Spiderman, these are people who are not necessarily entirely good, and that is what makes this story so great.

Graphic novels are not so new to me. I've been reading them since I got an allowance and could make it to a Books-a-Million to spend my hard earned cash. However, I know that some of you may be new to the scene. So let me break it down. Graphic novels are depicted in pictures and panels rather than words and sentences. It has a different experience than reading a traditional novel, but I found that the difference was quite enjoyable.

There is great character development in this book. You get a back story for all of the main characters, and each one is different yet connected to each other. I really felt for these characters. I was happy, sad, surprised, and book by what each of these characters go through. I was able to see what shaped these characters into who they were. It just made the story that much more compelling.

Now, this novel is a bit episodic, which makes sense considering Watchmen was first a comic series that had twelve issues and then brought together to make the whole graphic novel. It makes it easy to extend the reading process, but I read it all in one sitting. Readers can easily do it either way.

All together, I have to give this book a solid four out of five inkblot tests. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in dipping there toe into the world of comics with an adult feel.



That's it for this review! If you want to subscribe to the blog just add your email to the Subscribe Box down below. You can add me to your circles by clicking the Google+ button off to the right. You can also get up to date information about the blog and randomness about my life by following me on twitter @KK_Donna_Blog. Lastly, you can follow the tumblr dedicated to the blog, and you can find it at this link. That's it for now! Read on, lovelies! I'll see y'all next post!
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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Divergent: Movie Review! Young Adult Movies Fight Back! (Spoilers Marked!)

Hello, everyone! I'm back, and I'm ready to review! Today, I am doing the long awaited Divergent movie review. I'll do my best to keep things spoiler-free, and I will not be spoiling the ending what-so-ever. Still, I may throw a detail in here and there about how the movie compares to the book, which may spoil the movie a bit. However, that's what we're here for. We read it together, and so comparing will be a big part of this review. My overall impression of the movie will be unbiased for those who haven't read the book. So there's something for everyone. With all that said, let's get onto the review!

Divergent is based on the best selling novel with the same name by Veronica Roth. The movie tells the story of Beatrice "Tris" Prior who lives in a dystopian future society in Chicago. On her sixteenth birthday, she has to choose what faction she belongs with. When she takes the test that will tell her where she belongs, it tell her that she is Divergent, people who do not fit into the system. Now she has to hide the fact that she is Divergent and keep herself alive through the faction initiation process.

This movie has a lot of good things going for it. I mean, it has to be good being the number one movie in America opening night as well as a top seller on Fandango. It also stands to reason that with companies such as Summit Entertainment and Lions gave (producers and distributors for the Twilight Saga and the Hunger Games films respectively) backing a Young Adult movie, it has a real good chance of success, but I'm not here to talk about how well the movie did movie wise. Let's talk about the movie itself, shall we?

Like I said before, there are a lot of good things going on with this movie. The cast is superb despite my first misgivings. Having seen the horrid acting of The Secret Life of the American Teenager, I was concerned with having Shailene Woodley as our main girl Tris. I will be the first one to slap the back of my hand for such misgivings. She was fantastic! She was able to portray the silent strength of being in both Abnegation and Dauntless beautifully. I also have to give the girl mad props for all of the running she had to do in the movie. She must of had legs of steel by the time the movie was over.

I also want to give a shout out to Tony Goldwyn and Ashley Judd who play Tris's parents in the movie. I'm been a big fan of Goldwyn for awhile because of his role on Scandal, and Judd did such a good job as as Natalie. Both of them made my heart ache for all the right reasons. I also need to mention Theo James who plays Four in the movie. He also does a fantastic job, and I love his and Woodley's interactions throughout the film. Having good chemistry is important, and those two definitely have it.

One problem I did have acting-wise was Miles Teller who plays Peter. I think Teller is an amazing actor, but I didn't feel as much animosity towards Peter in the movie as I did in the book. He just was not a major part of the conflict in the whole movie. For the most part, he was a sarcastic jerk rather than being a murderous egotistical sociopath that he was in the first book. They probably didn't want to take the focus away from the fact that Divergents are in danger, but I think that he should have been a little bit more menacing.

I have to mention the greatness that is the score for this movie. I can't wait to get this particular score because of the sheer epic-ness that it processes. The Dauntless music in particular is pretty amazing. The music that they have while their running or training is really inspiring and really builds tension and suspense in the scenes. Junkie XL, the composer of the Divergent score, has probably given me a new running playlist. That probably means I should get back to running. Dang you, Junkie XL!

There were some major changes from the book to movie, but that it to be expected. You cannot adapt a movie straight from the book and have it be successful. There needs to be more actions, and emotions that are detailed in the book are seen through action in a movie. With that said, I was pretty happy with the changes made from the book to the movie. I will keep this as spoiler free as I can, but I will say that there were changes made to the capture the flag scene, Four's fear landscape scene, and the final climax scene. I was pretty happy with all of these changes, particularly Four's fear landscape scene and how that influences Tris and her fear landscape. It just made more sense to me than it did in the book.

I will spoil one aspect of the movie and how it deals with Veronica Roth. So if you don't wish to know please skip to the next paragraph. Now, Veronica Roth is in the movie. She is a member of Dauntless that goes to zip-line with Tris and other members of Dauntless and initiates. You can see her just as they open the doors to the roof. I just want to let you know because I thought it was pretty awesome. Back to the spoiler-free part of the review.

Overall, this movie was fantastic, and I would recommend it to both fans of the book and fans of movies. There's action for the boys, romance for the girls, and an excellent message of being different and fighting for what you believe. Don't be disconcerted with its Young Adult background, this is a movie that can be enjoyed by all.

Thanks for reading this review! If you want to know when more goodness like this will pop up, you can subscribe to the blog by adding your email address to the Subscribe Box down below. You can add me to your circles by clicking the Google+ button off to the right. You can also get updates about the blog and randomness about my life by following me on twitter @KK_Donna_Blog. Lastly you can follow the tumblr dedicated to the blog, and you can find it at this link. Thanks again for reading this review! Read on, lovelies! I'll see y'all next post!
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