Thursday, August 28, 2014

Where She Went - Book Review (Spoiler Free)

Wow, I am just...speechless. I am such an emotional wreck right now and can feel my eyes swelling with tears. I honestly didn't want the story to end and would give anything for there to be a third book. 

When I first read If I Stay, to be completely honest, I was not impressed. In fact, I was quite the opposite: disappointed. I had heard of all the hype over the book but when I finally read it, it was not as great as I expected it to be. 

However, Where She Went is an entirely different story. I adored it from beginning to end and was so enthralled that I read it in just a day. 

This book is truly something else. I relate to both Adam and Mia so well it almost feels like they're real, normal human beings. It makes me sad that they don't actually exist..

This is easily one of my favorite novels now. With no doubt, I can guarantee that you will love it and that it will bring you to tears (or at least close to). 

A story with everything from desperation, confusion, anger, name it. Gayle Forman authentically portrayed the beauty of true love, and both the good and bad that comes with it.

My star rating: 

Monday, August 11, 2014

August TBR

The month of August is here! Which means two things: the hot summer weather is almost over (yay!) and school is almost here (sigh..).
So, this month, I have a total of five books that I will hopefully be able to read before school starts for me in the beginning of September: 

1. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

2. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

3. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

4. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams 

5. Doon by Carie Corp and Larie Langdon 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Gayle Forman and Director RJ Cutler discuss If I Stay

Gayle Forman and RJ Cutler at If I Stay discussion and signing at the Barnes & Noble in Glendale, CA.

On Friday, August 8th, I had the privilege of attending Gayle Forman and RJ Cutler's If I Stay signing in Glendale, CA! Before the signing there was a discussion about the movie. Gayle Forman took the time to ask RJ Cutler a few questions. I was able to jot down most of the questions and answers so read on to learn more about the making of If I Stay!

Why did you want to direct this movie?
Cutler said that just like us, he read the book. And when he read it, he wanted to direct it. He called it a "great, deep, profound, mythic story."

Did you pause because it was YA?
Cutler's answer: "I'm basically a teenage girl...No, I did not  pause. The fact that it's a young adult novel is awesome. The making of the movie was not impacted at all because of the category the book was in."

Cutler on his relationship with Chloe...
Cutler met Chloe through Skype. After skyping for a while, they met for lunch and talked about their love for the book (If I Stay). Because their feelings towards the book were  so similar, Cutler stated "I think I spent an hour talking to myself." He also went on to say that Chloe was great for Mia's role because she was so alike to her. Mia was a 17 year old girl who loved her family and started working on her passion at a young age. Chloe is also a 17 year old girl who absolutely loves her family and has dedicated herself to her passion (acting) since she was a kid.

Gayle Forman and Cutler on finding Adam...
Cutler: "We needed someone who could play music, sing, be charming, cool, act, act with Chloe Moretz...And then Jamie walked in. It was magical. It was fantastic." He then went on to say that Chloe and Jamie shared an instant great chemistry.
Gayle to Cutler: "When you did find Adam it was like you extracted the character from my brain and animated him."

Cutler on Adam's band...
Cutler shared a cool fact that Adam's band were actually not actors. The team had gone to Vancouver and held auditions for local bands in the area. The most unique audition Cutler saw was when a guitarist and bassist walked in, but didn't have a drummer. Cutler went on to find out from the boys that their drummer had gotten into a car accident and was in a coma for a while, and was currently recovering. Cutler found it fascinating that the drummer's story shared an eery similarity to Mia's from the book that he casted them immediately. 

Forman and Cutler on the music in the film...
"The music was real." - Cutler
"The way Mia plays the cello in the film tells a whole other story so pay attention to the cello music." -Forman

Cutler on Liana Liberato as Kim...
"You should see the audition that Liana liberato made in the audition for Kim.
Liana just crushed me in that audition.
She did not only understand Kim's character but also Mia."

Friday, August 8, 2014

If I Stay Prescreening! (No spoilers)

So this is just a little update...
On Wednesday night I was able to attend an If I Stay prescreening hosted by Refinery29 in LA! 
All I can say is wow...the movie was absolutely amazing. When I first watched the trailer for the movie a few months ago, I teared up, and that was only the trailer. If you're an emotional person, I can guarantee that you will leave the theater with puffy red eyes. 
The movie went FAR beyond my expectations, and I'm quite sure it was probably one of the best book to movie adaptations I've seen. (Yes, even better than TFiOS. *gasps*) I truly applaud Gayle Forman, RJ Cutler, and the actors for creating such an accurate adaption of the book. It makes me happy when filmmakers can beautifully bring words to life. 
The movie comes out on August 22nd and I would totally recommend for anyone to go watch it!

Monday, June 23, 2014

City of Heavenly Fire - Review (Warning: Spoilers)

WARNING: This review may contain some spoilers, so please read at your own risk!

City. Of. Heavenly. Freaking. Fire. AH!

My mind is just: afasdfawbvsfdvbhu

I'm sure your mind was like that too after you finished reading it.

This book was the epitome of a perfect ending to a perfect series, making it beyond perfect all together. My feels are over the top, flooding with joy. I love Cassandra Clare so much. She is the Queen of Fantasy. The QUEEN.

I remember thinking before the book: Oh God, Cassie's going to kill off all my favorite characters. I just know it! I don't think I'll be able to handle it...
After having been quite traumatized by the unexpected ending in Allegiant, and having read all of John Green's emotional stories as well, I became sure that Cassie Clare was also probably going to finish off her series with some horrible losses.

But no. That was not the case at all.

First off, I'd like to say that there were deaths, just not any scarring ones. All the most important characters lived on and I remember feeling so completely, utterly relieved. Thank you, Cassie. Thank you. I feel like killing off meaningful characters, especially main characters, would have been quite disappointing and story-ruining (if that's even a word). I feel like there is a limit to how far you can go with death in a story (depending on the situation, of course) and I feel like Clare did really well with not crossing that line. I'm not trying to point fingers at any authors who have done so in their books (*cough cough* Roth, Green *cough cough*), by all means, it is their story, their work, and they can do whatever they please. But what I am trying to say is that Cassandra Clare probably wrote the best ending I have ever read. She perfectly tied the entire series together with a last book that had a little bit of everything. All the good stuff. And I honor her for that.

Second, I loved, just loved how much closer all the characters became in this last book. I feel like so much occurred in those 725 pages that I got to connect with the characters on such a higher level. It was amazing how Clare allowed us to see the weaker side of her characters. From Clary to Magnus. All of them. Personally, I feel like it truly made my bond with them stronger (which means there's a less chance that I'll ever forget about this book). When Clary, Jace, Simon, Isabelle, and Alec first arrived into the demon realm, they each were shown a dream of what they loved or desired the most. In some cases it was a person, in others it was a certain dream-life. These dreams were given to them by a demon on entering the demon realms. I remember reading their dreams and being on the verge of tears on seeing what could have been but couldn't, on seeing what they longed for so badly, but knew they could never have. For example, Clary having Sebastian as just her normal brother Jonathan. Or Isabelle, getting Max back. Or Alec, getting complete approval from his father. Of course, these dreams each had something slightly wrong with them since the demon could not efficiently transfer what they loved into a perfect dream. After reading it though, I just remember feeling like I had become one step closer to each of them. This goes for Magnus as well. When he was dying in the cell, just seeing him weak that way with no magic, shine or glamour—so vulnerable—I felt like I got to know him. Like we were not just acquaintances, but friends. (P.S. I love you Magnus! You're one of my favorites.)

Enough with the sad parts though, I need to spill about how I also laughed so damn much in this story, it's crazy. Can I just state that I absolutely ADORED Alec's sass? I've always had this special spot for Alec. I LOVE YOU. You made me laugh the most. (P.S. I really hope you and Magnus get married in TDA!!! #OTP) 

Speaking of OTP...Clace! Clary and Jace finally did it! Yay for Clace sexy time! I remember just sitting on my bed literally squealing the entire time during Clary and Jace's sex scene. I just couldn't believe it was actually happening. After 5 books of waiting, I was beginning to grow sort of impatient! So you cannot believe how happy I was when Clace made love. (Points for Cassie for also knowing how to write really good love scenes.)

Well guys, I think that's it. Well, not really. There's so much more I'd love to talk about (I mean, common, the book was HUGE!) but if I start talking about one thing it will then lead to another, and before you know it I'll have written a ten page essay titled "Why I loved Cassandra Clare's City of Heavenly Fire" and I don't think you guys want to read a ten page essay. 

So, these were some of the highlights from City of Heavenly Fire. I can't believe this amazing series is actually over, it hasn't really hit me yet. I cannot wait for The Dark Artifices, though. I know Cassandra Clare will definitely not fail at writing yet another epic and wonderful series. 

Thank you C. Clare, it has truly been an honor to have had the privilege of reading  TMI. 

Ave Atque Vale, The Mortal Instruments.

Star Rating: 5/5

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Night Before Our Stars (6/5/14) - My Experience

The TFiOS Movie was absolutely phenomenal. I can't believe that I actually watched the movie that I have been anticipating for the longest time. 

Two years ago, I was simply walking around Barnes & Noble, and I happened to come across The Fault In Our Stars, sitting there on one of the book shelves, and it just stood out to me. At that time, it was not one of the top YA novels, it was not very well known at all. It was just a simple new book that caught my attention. I picked it up, and gosh, it scares me to think how my life would be if I had not picked up that book. 

I remember finishing the book and thinking, how could one story be so heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time? 
I knew I had to share my feelings with someone about the book, but with who? That was when I turned to the internet, specifically Instagram, where I created a fan account on which I gutted out my feelings on the book. The book also triggered my love for blogging! Now here I am, two years later, having had the privilege to watch this story be transmitted onto the big screen. 

When I got to the theater an hour before the movie began, there was already a large line forming, which was crazy! Then at around five o'clock they let us all in the theater. Right before we stepped in, we were handed a copy of a signed movie poster and a beautiful charm bracelet along with it. 

When the movie began it was absolutely insane! John Green appeared on screen, thanked us for coming, and then introduced the movie. Every single person in the theater was squealing. 

I was afraid that when the movie began there would be a bunch of people in the theater whispering and what not, but surprisingly, the moment it started rolling, everyone hushed. 

The movie itself was absolutely beautiful. There are no exact words to describe how amazing it was. It was so exhilarating to these characters that I absolutely adore be brought to life. Just the thought of it right now makes me want to tear up. (Speaking of tearing up, make sure you bring a box of tissues and lots of food to munch out your feels if you haven't watched it yet...)

The thing I loved the most about being in the same theater with a bunch of other die-hard fans was that we were literally all like one big family, or should I say: fanmily. We all laughed in the quirky, funny parts, and cried our eyeballs out in the heart-wrenching, lamentable scenes. Whenever anyone would quote in the movie, you'd hear everyone in the crowd squeak with joy. By the end of the movie, I'm pretty sure 90% of the people in the theater were crying. In fact there were a few people here and there who were literally sobbing. I remember just sitting in my seat, not being able to fathom the fact that I had actually watched the best book to movie adaptation ever. Afterwards, there was twenty minutes of free time before the live show, which gave us time to recover ourselves from our emotional overload.

The live show, of course, was also grand. Birdy played two of her songs: Not About Angels from the TFiOS soundtrack, and Skinny Love from her album. Then, the cast came on (dun dun dun...). It was very thrilling to see the cast on screen, to know that they were actually live, not literally there, but still live on screen. It also was touching to see how close they were, especially when Nat and Ansel were comforting Shai when she was crying. The reason for her crying, she explained, was that she was very touched by Birdy's performance (weren't we all!).  After the live Q&A, Nat and his brother Alex sang two of their new songs which I really enjoyed. 

That was pretty much everything that occurred at the Night Before Our Stars. All I can say is that it was beautiful in its own very heartbreaking way. I loved it.

Monday, June 2, 2014

A Fresh Start

I'm pretty sure there isn't one soul who noticed that I wasn't blogging, so I guess this post really won't matter. But I still feel like I owe an explanation.
To begin this, I would like to say that I was blogging, just not on this blog.
For some reason, I began to find Blogger to be very frustrating, and so I decided to give Wordpress a try. From what I had heard, Wordpress was a lot easier to use. And yes, it was, but I never fully enjoyed it. I didn't like the layouts or basically anything about the appearance of my blog. It was easier to blog and stay organized and what not, but if my blog didn't even look good in the end, then I thought: What's the point?
So here I am now—more than half a year later—back on this website, giving this explanation to probably no one, but oh well.
I'll be blogging at least once a week (hopefully more) about anything book related, since clearly, I love books.

- Trish