Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Video Corner: Literal Harry Potter Trailer Parody

Sorry for my lack of posts lately everyone! Good news: my summer course ends this week and I have a break until the end of August! Things have been busy with class and my BFF got engaged (pssst. I'm the maid of honor!)! I'll be back with reviews soon, no worries. I've also been inspired to write other posts (such as the one about writing a book and the other one about insta-love), so I've been doing more of those compared with reviews.

I got my tickets to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 at 9pm and then Part 2 at midnight on the 14th! I'm so excited. My friend Becky and I have some plans for a video for you guys. Be prepared.

For today's video corner, we have the "literal translation" of one of the original Deathly Hallows trailers. Have you guys seen these before? They're funny.

What parts of Part 2 are you most looking forward to?
I'm excited for:
The Forest Again
The Room of Requirement
The Chamber of Secrets

That may be cheating, but I don't care. Let me know what you're most looking forward to and if you have your tickets already. Are you seeing a double feature like I am? A single showing (IMAX, Real D 3D, 2D)? One of the 8 movie marathons (either over 2 or 4 days)?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

IMM (10)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and is awesome for sure.

Everlasting by Alyson Noel (June 7, 2011) from I Just Want to Sit Here and Read
Thirteen Days to Midnight by Patrick Carman (April 5, 2011) from The Bibliophilic Book Blog
Sharks & Boys by Kristen Tracy (June 28, 2011) from Epic Readathon
Withering Tights by Louise Rennison (July 1, 2011) from Epic Readathon
Disney Tote bag from Epic Readathon
For Review:
This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman (August 2, 2011) from Harper Collins
Long Gone by Alafair Burke (July 1, 2011) from Harper Collins
The Sixes by Kate White (August 2, 2011) from Harper Collins
Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry (August 30, 2011) from Simon & Schuster Galley Grab
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab (August 2, 2011) from NetGalley

What did you get in your mailbox this week? Let me know in the comments!

Friday, June 24, 2011

YA Book Trends I’m So Over: Insta-Love

Call me crazy, but I love a little bit of relationship building in the books I read. I like the characters to naturally develop. Insta-love usually equals insta-frustration for me. Why are these people in love? They barely know each other! Sometimes, this can be done well. I’m willing to accept even the tiniest of reasons for this insta-love. I would accept a main character falling in insta-love with a boy because: 1) he smells good, 2) he’s pretty and 3) he was nice to the waitress on their first date. I’m not asking for much here, but when the main character doesn’t even have a reason for this insta-love, how am I supposed to believe it?
These two fell in insta-love because they both 
realized that they enjoy sleeping in public. 
This is a reason for love, people! 
Common interests.
Now, I know that teenagers sometimes have super strong feelings, super fast, but most of these relationships do not last. Insta-love (or lust) in real life can quickly fade into a fizzle. If this was the trend happening in YA books, I would be all over it. It would be real. (I’m not saying every book has to be “real”--hellooooo vampires, witches, etc.). I’m just saying that, more often than not, where there is insta-love in a YA novel, the characters usually end up still being together at the end of the book/series.
Look! These people were in insta-love. 
She thought he had pretty hair. 
But, by the end of the book, she would have realized 
that she doesn't like how he goes shoeless in public.
He's always bringing all kinds of dirt into her house.
She doesn't appreciate it. 
Teenagers are completely entitled to make spontaneous, rash decisions. That’s one of the joys of being a teenager. So, I get where these insta-love situations are coming from. I just wish more of them were a little more justified. Bring on the being in love because the boy has a nice butt!
I know I have talked in circles here, but basically I just want my insta-love to have a little reasoning or, if not, fizzle out every once in awhile. What are your thoughts on the insta-love trend in YA books? Do you have a favorite book where the insta-love was handled very well? What's your least favorite insta-love scenario?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pottermore... So What is it?

I am writing this on no sleep and way too much coffee, but Pottermore is here! I loved following all of the #Pottermore tweets... it was highly entertaining. These are the days when I love social media (okay, I love it all of the time). 

Edited to add links to pictures!
*Pottermore Gateway to Gryffindor
*Hogwarts Express
*The Chessboard Chamber
*Christmas at Hogwarts
*JK Rowling
*JK Rowling at Pottermore Office (PS. How amazing would it be to work there?)
Here are parts of the press release, which you can find all of here:
*"For this groundbreaking collaborative project, J.K. Rowling has written extensive new material about the characters, places and objects in the much-loved stories, which will inform, inspire and entertain readers as they journey through the storylines of the books. Pottermore will later incorporate an online shop where people can purchase exclusively the long-awaited Harry Potter eBooks, in partnership with J.K. Rowling’s publishers worldwide, and is ultimately intended to become an online reading experience, extending the relevance of Harry Potter to new generations of readers, while still appealing to existing fans."

*"On entering, you choose a magic username and begin your experience. As you move through the chapters, you can read and share exclusive writing from J.K. Rowling, and, just as Harry joins Hogwarts, so can you. You visit Diagon Alley, get sorted into a house, cast spells and mix potions to help your house compete for the House Cup."

*"J.K. Rowling’s announcement on YouTube and sony.com today revealed that Pottermore (along with the Pottermore Shop) will be open to all users in October 2011. From today, 23rd June, fans can submit their email addresses on Pottermore.com in order to be contacted by the site following the opening of registration on 31st July, Harry’s birthday. Also on that date, an online challenge will be launched, whereby the first million people to complete their registration will gain early entry into the website, and help put final touches to the experience."

So, we don't have too much information, but on July 31, you can find out how to gain early access into Pottermore. Then it is open to the general public in October. Original content, ebooks, audiobooks. My wallet is going to hate me. It's all still sort of mysterious, but exciting! Plus, this video sort of rocks. The things they did with that book are amazing. So, what are your thoughts? I'll come back and comment more once I am a little more coherent. <3

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Video Corner: True Blood In Under 5 minutes

If you're thinking about tuning into "True Blood" for the first time, I have just the video for you! Here we have "True Blood" in under 5 minutes. The first 3 seasons are summed up nice and neat for you. Watch this before you tune into the Season 4 premiere on Sunday. ;) (As always with "True Blood", adult content is present in the video).

Now that you're all caught up, what are you most looking forward to this season? I'm excited to see all of the developments with Eric.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Who Wants to Write a Book?

So, I was sitting here reading a book (The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Companion) and playing “Chess with Friends” with my mom when all of a sudden, an idea for a book popped into my head. I promptly stopped what I was doing and wrote said idea down. I have never taken a creative writing class nor did I major in English in college, yet I still have the grand delusion that I can someday publish a book. A book that, in fact, does not suck. Is this true for many book lovers and book bloggers? Do avid readers become the best writers? I’m not sure if either of these questions can actually be answered in the affirmative, but I tend to think so. 
My friend Becky and I even have an idea for a series of books that we would write together. We even went as far as creating Twitter accounts and Polyvore inspiration boards for the characters from these books. We talk about the days where we can head to one of my family’s vacation homes and have a writing retreat. Our lives will be consumed with the waves from the lake, writing non-stop, and the best cheese-sticks we have ever eaten. Seriously. They melt in your mouth.

The problem I seem to have is actually sitting down to write. I find that I have all of these ideas swirling in my head and it is actually hard to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). I have so many distractions (Twitter being a main one). There is also the fear of rejection and/or people actually reading my writing. There will always be people that don’t like what you write. That’s why there are so many genres and types of books. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t scary. I just think that we have to remember to not let fear hinder our potential. Like Babe Ruth said,
“Never let the fear of 
striking out get in your way.”
Or, like the adaptation of this quote from “A Cinderella Story,”
“Never let the fear of striking out
 keep you from playing the game.” 

So, I’m going to try to remember this. My semester ends soon and then I have a break until the end of August. Who is with me in giving this writing thing the old college try? Lets give each other some motivation!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

IMM (9)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and is awesome for sure.

4 pack of Tru-Blood from HBO
Blink & Caution by Tim Wynne-Jones from Epic Readathon (I know I said ArmchairBEA, but I'm pretty sure it was the readathon. Sorry!)
SimonTeen pack from ArmchairBEA
*Captain Awesome to the Rescue by George O'Connor, Stan Kirby
*The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann
*Perfect by Ellen Hopkins
*Fury by Elizabeth Miles
For Review:
Wolf Storm by Dee Garretson from HarperCollins

Super exciting! What did you get in your mailbox this week? I would love to know!

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all of the dads out there! I hope everyone enjoys their day with their loved ones. :)
I'll be back with IMM either tomorrow or next week! I got some amazing things this week that I can't wait to share with you all. :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Video Corner: Deathly Hallows Part 2 FINAL TRAILER

Sorry for the 10,000 posts today, but this 1000000% deserves to be shared. I have no words. This is amazing. Watch and enjoy!

"Harry. Be safe, be strong." The suits of armor coming to fight. The dragon escape. The Chamber of Secrets. EPIC! Ron and Hermione. I'm dying. THE FOREST AGAIN. Molly! Oh dear. I'm sorry for the ramble, but COME ON. This is the last Harry Potter trailer and it is perfect.

Get Phone Calls from the Cast of True Blood!

HBO's marketing department rocks something fierce. They always have amazing promotions for their television shows (as does ABC Family). You can now sign up to receive phone calls from the cast members of "True Blood" (pre-recorded, no doubt, but still cool).
I know I'm excited to see who will be calling me next Sunday. :) You can sign up here! I hope Eric/Alex Skarsgard dials in first.

You can also let an application make a "True Blood" video of you and your friends. It's smart enough to grab some profile pictures and names and include them throughout the video--fun!
 Just a little photo from my trip to ComicCon in 2009 to get you excited!

Will you be signing up or making a video?

Pottermore? Yes, please.

I'm sure that you have heard of the announcement from JK Rowling that will be happening in 6 days, 12 hours, 20 minutes, 0 seconds (and counting). If not, check out the website
Image is a screencap of the website mentioned above
First, I love her handwriting. Second, how freaking cute is this website? The font? Amazing. The owls? My favorite.
You can also keep JK Rowling's YouTube channel countdown open at all times, like me!
Image is a screencap of the YouTube channel mentioned above
Does this woman know how to create hype, or what? The Harry Potter community is going crazy right now. So, if you know me, you know I love speculating and analyzing. Lets do this.

I have heard that it will NOT be a new book (sad face), but this doesn't rule out an encyclopedia (happy face). I have also heard speculation about an online role-playing game (I could be down with this). Another announcement that I would be jumping for joy about is that rumored documentary of the filming of all seven (well, 8) films. 

The possibilities are really endless and I have no clue what this will be. One thing I do know is that this could not have come at a better time. With the last movie approaching, Harry Potter fans are finding themselves in sort of a funk. Yes, we want "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" to grace the screens of our movie theaters, but it is also a bittersweet moment. What happens when the movie exits theaters? There are no more midnight releases to get excited for, no more book releases to speculate about. Nothing. Nothing but the memories of a wonderful journey and the knowledge that we will someday pass the wonderful world that is Harry Potter down to future generations. So, with this, I am super pumped about this JK Rowling announcement. WHAT WILL IT BE?

What do you think she will announce? Are you as excited as I am? Any thoughts on the Potter phenomenon coming to a close? Please discuss this with me in the comments. I NEED TO TALK ABOUT HARRY POTTER*!
*I'm not yelling, this is just a desperate plea. Kay, thanks.

The Girl Who Was on Fire Review

Title: The Girl Who Was on Fire: Your Favorite Authors on Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games Trilogy
Author: Leah Wilson, Carrie Ryan, Ned Vizzini, Lili Wilkinson, Blythe Woolston, Sarah Darer Littman, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Mary Borsellino, Sarah Rees Brennan, Terri Clark, Bree Despain, Adrienne Kress, Cara Lockwood, Elizabeth M. Rees
Genre: Anthology
Page Count: 210 pages
Book Type: Library Paperback
Publisher: Smart Pop
ISBN: 97819356180401

Picture from Amazon

From Goodreads: Katniss Everdeen’s adventures may have come to an end, but her story continues to blaze in the hearts of millions worldwide.
In The Girl Who Was on Fire, thirteen YA authors take you back to Panem with moving, dark, and funny pieces on Katniss, the Games, Gale and Peeta, reality TV, survival, and more. From the trilogy's darker themes of violence and social control to fashion and weaponry, the collection's exploration of the Hunger Games reveals exactly how rich, and how perilous, protagonist Katniss’ world really is.
• How does the way the Games affect the brain explain Haymitch’s drinking, Annie’s distraction, and Wiress’ speech problems?
• What does the rebellion have in common with the War on Terror?
• Why isn’t the answer to “Peeta or Gale?” as interesting as the question itself?
• What should Panem have learned from the fates of other hedonistic societies throughout history&mdashand what can we?
The Girl Who Was On Fire covers all three books in the Hunger Games trilogy.

My Review: The cover for this book is perfect. I love the smoking arrow. It fits The Hunger Games trilogy completely.
This book is obviously for fans of the series. If you haven’t read the books, this one would be a major spoiler for pretty much everything in the series. In all honesty, this review may be a little spoilery as well, considering the subject matter. Just a warning for all of you non-Hunger Games readers out there (Rachel @ Fiktshun, I’m looking at you). Actually, upon further reflection, I think I kept the spoilers out of my review. 
About halfway through this book, I went and requested a couple more Smart Pop books from the library. I requested the Twilight one, the one about the Sookie Stackhouse books, a Harry Potter one, and finally one about the Gilmore Girls. These are seriously addicting. Anything that analyzes books is a-okay with me.
There were a lot of references to early Romans that I hadn’t noticed while reading. The authors also brought up some really good points about our current culture and how the games aren’t that far of a stretch from where we are. I really want to purchase this book to have on hand whenever I read the series again. I think it will be really enlightening. I was in love from the start because one of the first essays was about how the series is much, much more than Team Gale vs. Team Peeta. I cannot express how annoyed I get when this series is broken down into only a love triangle. I am cringing at all of the Team Peeta/Team Gale merchandise that will come out closer to the release of the movie. 
This book really just reaffirmed my love for The Hunger Games and I’m so glad I read it. It made me think about how I viewed the series and will no doubt have an impact on my future readings. This book is definitely for all of the book nerds out there like me (and probably you). If you have ever wanted to analyze The Hunger Games (and really, if you’ve read the series, I’m sure you want to), then I would suggest checking out The Girl Who Was on Fire!

My Reviews of the series:
Mockingjay Review
Have you read this one yet? Any other good anthologies like this that you can suggest to me? I’m obsessed now!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Video Corner: Snoop Dogg, Oh Sookie

Here is the Snoop Dogg, "Oh Sookie" music video I talked about in my last IMM. Always funny. Language and adultness warnings, of course.

What other show would have an extremely famous rapper make a music video about it? 12 days!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Season of Transformation Giveaway Winner

We have a winner for the ebook copy of A Season of Transformation by Jayne Fordham!
Using random.org, I put the numbers of the entrants in and the winner is....

Christine P. (email starting with christine.p)

Congrats! Your email address has been forwarded to the author. I hope you enjoy :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

IMM (8)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and is awesome for sure. I know in the video I said I would post this on Sunday, but I just feel like doing it now. So here you go!

For Review:
Pretty Little Liars Season 1 on DVD from Warner Brothers WB Word Division

From Readathon:
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
ARC of Abandon by Meg Cabot
Need by Carrie Jones
The Anti-Vampire Tale by Lewis Aleman from La Femme Readers

From the Library:
The Girl Who Was on Fire

True Blood Season 3 on Blu-Ray
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin
The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells
Camille by Tess Oliver
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles
The Space Between Trees by Katie Willams

Woo! What did you get in your mailbox this week? Let me know in the comments!