Friday, July 6, 2012


 It seemed like the internet wouldn't shut up about this new BBC modern day Sherlock series written by Stephen Moffat. Everyone knows the story of Sherlock Holmes, but Stephen Moffat gives his own twist on it. It's set in modern day London where a Dr. John Watson now home from the army is trying to fit in with the real world again. He happens upon an old college friend who introduces him to Sherlock after John mentions that he's looking for a place to live. From there, Watson is swept into a life of solving crime while living with a painfully brilliant sociopath.

I can't express how much I love this series. Sherlock, played by the comically Britishly name Benedict Cumberbatch, is wonderfully done. This isn't the loveably eccentric Sherlock as portrayed by Robert Downey Jr. This is a character that has no idea how to deal with or act in social interactions. He's rude, offensive, thinks that everyone but him is an idiot, and that anything not related to a murder case is boring. John Watson, played by Martin Freeman, acts sorta as Sherlock's interpreter, trying to patch up rude comments from Sherlock. It's easy to say that Watson is the closest thing Sherlock has to a friend, despite all their rough patches. Their relationship makes this show addicting to watch, seeing them interact and be friends despite how different they are.

If you haven't watched this show yet, I highly suggest it. Sherlock is a great story that has been redone over and over, some have been good and some have been mediocre. This is just one more to add to the good list.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Computer Debacle

So my computer broke. That was a thing. I was in the middle of typing something to my friend when it just.. turned off. To say I was mad was an understatement. So I checked the battery, the cord, the memory, the hard drive and the CMOS battery, none of them were the problem - especially since it obviously wasn't a virus. That only left one dreaded solution: my motherboard was fried. So I had a funeral for my poor laptop, and made it through finals borrowing other peoples computers, generally just for checking email purposes.

A few days ago I finally got a new computer, and now that I've finally fine-tuned it to my preferences, I can start blogging again! I know, it's very exciting. I have some catching up to do, so expect a slew of posts soon.

Long story story: Computer broke, but it's okay. I'm back!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Einstein and Eddington

*Note: This review was for my Cinema Appreciation class. So the review is in a pompus college essay format.*

I should probably start off by saying I remember next to nothing about the science I learned in High School; however I've always been fond of a good historical movie. This movie is about Albert Einstein and Sir Arthur Eddington, a German theoretical physicist and a British astrophysicist, respectfully. More specifically it's about the evolution of Einsteins Theory of General Relativity during a time when Germany doesn't care to look into any science they can't use for the Great War and Britain doesn't want anything to do with the country they are going to war with. At this time everyone held everything Newton said was put on a pedestal – which stated that Gravity was what held the universe together, but gave no reason why or what it was. This left the idea that God was the reasoning for Gravity, the why behind the what. The only thing Einstein has done by this point was suggest that everyone was moving at it's own time, and that time was not a universal standard measure. With no way to prove or disprove his theory, the British scientist at Cambridge decided his theory was not relevant to the real world, especially with a war going on.

Sir Arthur Eddington wasn't so quick to brush off Albert Einstein. Instead he sent Einstein a letter posing a question: why was Newton correct about all the position and orbits of the planets except Mercury. What was different about Mercury that just eluded Newton's otherwise correct theory. With that question as a basis, Einstein created his Theory of General Relativity which stated that it was the Suns gravity that shaped space, twisting it out of it's original shape and changing how we view it. If his theory was correct it would completely change how the world was viewed, but first it had to be proven. That's where Eddington came in, to observe space to see if Einsteins theory was correct. These two scientists who have never met went against what each of their countries were telling them to try and understand the world around them a little bit better.

This was a made for TV movie, co-produced by BBC and HBO Films. For being a made for TV movie, I was surprised by the cast for the film. Sir Arthur Eddington was played by David Tennant(Doctor Who, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Fright Night), Albert Einstein was played by Andy Serkis(Lord of the Rings, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Prestige) and Jim Broadbent(Moulin Rouge, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe) plays one of Eddington's colleague. All three are rather big names and all three were absolutely perfect in this movie. Andy Serkis's Einstein was half crazed from his intelligence that was being ignore, never going too overboard. He wanted more from the world than he was getting, wanted to prove that he had knowledge that was worth listening too. Jim Broadbents character played the main pro-England character wonderfully. He thought that there was no way that Newton could be proven wrong, especially by a German scientist. David Tennant's Eddington was probably my favorite. He went against what he's believed all his life – that God was behind everything – went against his faith for the possibility that some scientists he new met could be right. He played someone who was conflicted, hopeful for the possibility of helping to discover a new theory but worried about what this could mean for his Faith all while struggling with a possible repressed homosexuality that David Tennant hinted at perfectly.. 
My only real complaint for his movie was that they didn't really touch upon Albert Einsteins wife and kids very often. You saw them once while he still lived in Switzerland before he moved back to Berlin for his research, and once more when they came to visit him and his wife found out he was having [another?] affair. You never find out whether he and his wife split up or work it out, nor if Einstein worked things out with his kids. As far as the audience knows, they are out of his life forever and he doesn't seem to particularly care. However that pales next to how much I enjoyed this movie. It felt authentic and well thought out. All of their science talk was dumbed down a little so I didn't so I didn't get lost in all the gobbldy gook, yes still letting me learn something from it. This seemed like a movie just about anyone could enjoy if they gave it a chance. It has it's flaws, but the abilities of the actors manage to overshadow any and all of them. 

(Also: Wow I suddenly can't tab anything. that's super strange. I'll figure that problem out later.)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Fault In Why We Broke Up

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Yea, it's been a while. I have a lot of catching up to do. I don't really have a good reason except that I read a book that just left me so.. overwelmed? That might not be the right word for it. Anyways I couldn't stop thinking about it. I went to write about it a few separate times now and nothing I say seems to be able to describe this book properly. For those of you who don't know, John Greens new book The Fault In Our Stars came out January 10, 2012.

Hazel Grace Lancaster is a 16 year old girl with cancer. Some rare kind that has left her relying on an oxygen tank. For her life almost entirely consists of laying around the house watching bad reality shows, going to a cancer survivor support group and going to college classes. Not the most happening social life. Then she meets Augustus Waters and everything changes.

This book was equal parts funny, thoughtful, and devastatingly sad. I've read this book twice now since it's come out, and I still get swept up by it. In the book, Hazel has a book that means the world to her. To describe her book, she said: “Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are book which you can't tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal.” I love that and how unbelievably true that feels. For Hazel, her book seemed to speak directly to her – understanding her on a level no one else did with her cancer. I don't have cancer, but I do know what it feels like to be spoken to through a book.

I love everything about this book: from its pefrect description of books to its ability to portray a gradual relationship that left me breathless. Hazel and Augustus have a love that seems to come out of no where and sweep you off their feet while managing to feel real and true. It manages to remind you what it was like to fall in love, that maybe all the pain of just living is worth it just to have this person in your life. This is a book I feel like everyone should read. Maybe, just maybe, it'll become your special and rare book that you want to hide away from the world.

I also highly suggest watching this song that this person wrote about the book. It's hauntingly beautiful. Don't worry, there aren't any spoilers, just lots of quotes. I listened to this song while writing this review, it just sums up the book so perfectly.

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

A family friend gave me a bookstore gift certificate, so I wandered through the book store either looking for a book I might not usually buy with my own money or one I really really wanted. I found this in the new release section for the Young Adult books and it was a little more expensive then most YA books were – putting it in the not usually category. This book was surprisingly heavy for it's size because it had paper you could print pictures on, the really thick king that are in children books. I guess when you have a full book of that paper, it makes the book super heavy. I was intrigued.

This book is written in a letter format. Min Green and Ed Slaterton just broke up. Min was the kind of person who saves everything from relationships in a box, mementos to remind her of different stages of their relationship. She loved foreign films and wanted to be a film director, Ed played football. They were very different from each other with very different social circles. Now that they've broken up, she is giving the box to Ed, since some of the stuff in there was his. Accompanying the box is a letter that Min is writing to explain their relationship and ultimately why they broke up.

This book let you follow their relationship from the beginning with pictures of items in the box, each item being explained how it played some part in their relationship. You get to experience a relationship spark, bloom, then end right there with Min as she relives everything herself. This is the sorta book that you just can't read without being reminded about you own doomed high school relationship. You know the ones, where your relationship suddenly springs up out of no where so fast that you forgot how different the two of you are. When it's over you look back and wonder why it didn't end sooner. This book manages to make you look back at that relationship with a sort of fondness for what it was, not what it ended up as. It manages to an almost painful to remember subject matter, beautiful.

Book Count: 11

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Blue Envelopes and Harry Dresden

The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

This is a sequel to 13 Little Blue Envelopes, which is an excellent book. I suggest it. This book takes place about 6 months after the first one. Someone has contacted Ginny saying that they found her last Blue Envelope and wants to meet up. Without really thinking twice, Ginny goes off to England to continue her Aunts adventure. While there she find new friends and that not everything can stay the same.

I really really enjoyed this movie. 13 Little Blue Envelopes is a book that I definitely though tneeded a sequel so I was pleased to actually get one. This book was everything I hoped it'd be. It took me to places I didn't expect and brought me to places I'd hoped it would. The ending felt perfectly final, giving me the closer I wanted while still letting me imagine what could happen. It was a great sequel. I suggest reading the first one if you haven't and I greatly suggest the sequel if you have.

Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Harry Dresden is Chicago's only professional Wizard. He runs a private investigation where more often then not he gets calls asking if he really is a Wizard than a job. He's getting pretty desperate when the police calls him in to look at a murder scene who's victims hearts where brutally ripped out. It reaks of Wizard. From there his life goes down hill as he searches for the Dark Wizard who is the cause of the murder before he is blamed for it. Along the way he runs into vampires, a drug that grants the users magical Sight, an underground mob boss and a few demon.

My friend lent me this book, insisting that I read it. There are 15 books in this series so far. I know! What do you even do with a 15 book long series? So of course I was a little apprehensive. Any book series that just shells out books tends to be a little.. low on substance. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Sure it wasn't some literary gold mine, but it was enjoyable. I liked reading it and I found it sucking me into it's plot. It's a good book to just zone out in and relax.

Fool Moon by Jim Butcher

Harry Dresden is back. After his adventure in the first book, he's not on the greatest terms with the Police. When they call him in because of another suspicious murder scene, it doesn't take him long to figure out Werewolves are the cause. Now while investigating he has to work carefully since the Police are constantly suspicious of him. Dresden quickly finds out that trying to dodge Police AND Werewolves is not conducive to solving this murder.

Just re-read my second paragraph from the first book, because it's basically the same thing. An enjoyable read.

Book Count: 9

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Grey

An oil drilling team's plane goes down on the way home from Alaska. Gathering together their senses and everyone still alive, they try to survive the harsh weather while trying to find civilization. And then the wolves come.

I was excited to see this movie: Liam Neeson fighting wolves. What more could you ask for? I gotta say, I actually got more than I asked for. The story was emotional and tense and I actually wanted all the characters to survive – even the dumb annoying ones. The movie definitely didn't pull any punches throughout the movie, especially at the end. Personally I loved the ending, it felt appropriate; however I know a lot of people who just didn't like it. Overall I liked the movie a lot more then I thought I would, it might even be going on my to be bought list.

Oh, also. Stay around after the credits.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Crazy Stupid Love

I only watched this movie because my roommate heavily suggested it, but I was still hesitant. Chick Flicks aren't really my thing, and despite how much I enjoy Emma Stone I didn't have high hopes for this movie.

When Cal's wife asks for a divorce, his life gets turned upside-down. In a fit of depression and uncertainty, Cal wandered into a bar which a professional ladies man decides to take him up under his wing, Jacob. Jacob takes pity on Cal, giving his life a much needed make-over with the desire to win back his wife.

At first I wasn't into this movie. It wasn't particularly funny nor was it very romantic for being a romantic comedy. None of the characters seemed very interesting or dimensional to me and it just seemed so not interesting. And then there was this point in the movie, maybe about halfway thought, when it just suddenly stepped up its game. The romance of the moment swept me away, giving me an 'Aw' moment that I rarely get from movies. Overall the movie wasn't bad. It was a fun watch which is usually all I require out of romantic comedies. However that one moment of romance made the movie worth watching more me. 

Also I'd like to note that I have no idea why everyone is obsessed with Ryan Gosling. Sure he's handsome in that classic Hollywood sorta way, but I wouldn't say he's significantly more handsome than any of the other actors. It just seems like the Gosling Fever came out of no where with no particularly good reason for it. If anyone can explain it to me, I'd appreciate it.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Like Crazy

Like Crazy is about Anna, a British college student studying abroad in America. While there she meets Jacob and they both fall hard for each other, quickly turning into a very serious relationship. In a moment of ill thought out stupidity, Anna decides to stay with Jacob over the summer instead of going home to satisfy her visa requirements and just goes home for a week instead. When she tries to return, they tell her she isn't allowed in the country and is forced back in Britain. The story follows both Jacob and Anna as they try to keep their relationship despite the giant ocean between them.

This movie wasn't a chick flick, it was just a movie about a relationship which I appreciated that they didn't feel the need to fluff everything up. In fact I loved the entire movie right up to the ending that left me feeling a bit.. unsure. Everything in the movie felt so real and heartfelt, so maybe my problem with the ending was that it was a tad to realistic. I was very invested in the characters and I wanted a bit more of a concrete ending. It didn't need to be a happy ending, just a more set ending.

Overall I'd suggest this movie. It definitely has an Indie feel to it and I always appreciate a realistic feel to a movie. Also Anna's mom is played by River Song from Doctor Who, if you're into that kinda thing.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Road

So I just watched the movie adaptation of The Road. To be honest, it was exactly like the book. The dialog was exactly the same (seriously), and there were no different scenes. So.. it wasn't bad. It was the same amount of Okay as the book. In fact, I'm just going to put the link for my review from the book, because of how not different the two are.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Frostbitten Road

The Road by Cormac McCarthy 

Set after some unexplained apocalypse, a father and son walk down a road, trying to make it south before the winter get really bad. That's about all the summary you need.

This book was interesting. You never find out the father and sons, or any other characters, name the entire book. They are just addressed as Man and Boy. The world is now just an ashy gray landscape with it only changing between pitch black, kinda gray, and raining. A majority of the population has died and you don't want to cross paths with most of the people still alive. Finding food is just one of the many struggles they have to stay alive.

I keep flipping back on forth on this book. On one hand, I love how simple the book is. You never learns names, you never learn how the world got to this point, and you never learn what happens later. Instead you just follow the Man and the Boy as they wander through the currant world with its own currant problems. On the other hand, I felt like it was missing something. I don't really need to know what happened to the world – I enjoy guessing what happened – nor do I need to know if the world ever gets better. I'm not sure what it was, but I just wanted more from the book. I think I just wanted more of a relationship between the Man and the Boy. Usually their conversation was so impersonal and scattered that I would have thought they were just a Man and Boy who met up and decided to travel together instead of a Father and Son. Overall I didn't dislike the book. I just wanted more from it.

Frostbitten by Kelley Armstrong

The forth book in a series, Frostbitten follows the only female werewolf: Elena Michaels. Werewolves are a hidden society that are either born, or bitten. If born, they don't become werewolves until puberty, and then it's only the males who inherit the werewolf gene. If bitten, the person immediately goes through the genetic change – an extremely painful process that not everyone survives. Before Elena, no female had successfully survived the Change. After two decades of getting used to being a werewolf, Elena has finally gotten used to her new life and she's become an extremely useful part of the Pack. This mission around Elena and her husband Clayton go to Alaska to look into some human deaths with Mutt's (non-Pack werewolves) being the probably cause. Between the harsh cold weather, the startlingly silent wilderness, and the a pack of rouge Mutts, Elena and Clayton have possibly bitten off more than they can chew.

Book count: 6

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Suite Develish Academy

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

Scarlett Martin grew up in a hotel. As interesting as that sounds, it quickly loses its appeal when you have to clean and deal with guests for your entire life. This summer was suppose to be spent getting a summer job for pocket money, instead she was told to work at the hotel some more. Now she has to attend to Mrs. Amberson – an eccentric, C-List celebrity who is determined to change everyones life around her. Between Mrs. Amberson, her angsty little sister, her struggling actor brother and a possibly love interest, this could prove to be her most interesting summer yet.

This book was about letting loose so you can enjoy what's going on around you. Mrs. Amberson acted as a sort of once in a life person who manages to influence everyone around her, changing things that were previously thought to be unchangeable. Of could her desire is to change everyone, but it's not until she loosens up a bit before she starts making the big changes. I think Maureen Johnson does an excellent job of showing the different type of siblings. There is Scarletts' brother, Spencer, who is an amazing physical actor who doesn't want to get tied down to the hotel forever. He loves to dote on Scarlett and they can usually be found talking and hanging out more then not. Then there is Scarlett's youngest sister, Marlene who is coddles and is allowed to do essentially anything she wants by their parents. For whatever reason, Marlene has a problem with Scarlett and is generally not a fan of her. Lastly there is Lola, Scarlett's older sister who works outside of the hotel and is not often around. Lola and Scarlett are always nice and sisterly to each other, but Scarlett won't go to the movies with each other or anything like that.

I really enjoyed this book. I found all the characters interesting and intriguing – Mrs. Amberson and Spencer are at the top of that list. Scarlett felt like a realistic 15 year old that I could relate to on some level (despite not being 15). I'll probably buy the sequel when I see it in the store so I can continue my journey with Scarlett Martin and her family.

Devilish by Maureen Johnson

Jane is ridiculously smart. The sort of smart that is isolating. She breezes through all of her classes, even the college level one that are offered special just because of her. Jane dyes her hair and rebels against their school strict catholic rules because there is no real reason to try. Her only friend is Allison Concord and to be honest Jane is fine with that. Ally is sweet, lovable, a little clueless but still Jane's best friend. After a traumatically embarrassing event in front of the school (let me just say barfing on someone was involved), Ally comes into to school acting and looking different. Jane, being the smart gal she is, investigates the weirdness with quickly gets her involved into a game for her soul with the devil.

I didn't dislike this book. It was fun and definitely a new idea. However I wouldn't be too distraught if I misplaced the book and couldn't find it. It just fell a little flat for me. I found myself not actually caring about any of the characters nor the overall outcome.

Knightly Academy by Violet Haberdasher 

Knightly Academy is a prestigious school where kids from well-to-do families study to become knights. At least it used to only be for well-to-do families, until a loophole let Henry Grim, a serving boy, take the test and pass. Now Henry Grim gets to fulfill his dream of becoming a knight, if only he can survive the bullying from his much more socially important classmates. However things get a lot more serious when the harmless bullying turns into threats, stolen items, and legitimate attempts to get them hurt or even expelled. Henry needs to figure out who is behind this before it ruins his chances to become a knight forever.

Before I read this book, I was told rather accurately that it was like 'Harry Potter with Knights'. Henry Grim was an incredibly likeable main character, he was smart and just wanted to learn despite no one wanting him to be there. His two friends he does have balances him out nicely – Rohan and Adam. Rohan is the reason, the one who pipes up whenever they are about to do something not exactly allowed. Adam is the wit, getting Rohan and Henry to relax and just enjoy themselves whenever they get too stressed out.

Obviously there are a lot of similarities with Harry Potter, not that that's entirely a bad thing. Just an observation. I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick, fun read that drew me in. I have a thing for medieval stories, I'd never toss up the chance for to stories about knights and this book is no exception. 

Book Count: 4

Friday, January 6, 2012

The 100 Book Challange and Sisters Red

This year I'm going to read 100 books. I considered doing only 50, but go big or go home, right? This will consist mainly of new book I've never read, but I do have a few books I want to reread. They're a part of a series, so to make it even I'll probably just count the series as one book because they are short. It's been forever since I've read them, so that's really the only reason I'm allowing them. Also Graphic Novels are allowed (again, if they are a series I'll just count it as one book).

Of course I'll also be reviewing all the books on this site. It's probably the only way I'd be able to properly keep track of all the books.

So lets cover what I have read already.

Sisters Red  by Jackson Pearce

This is basically the story of Little Red Riding Hood, just revamped. Jackson Pearce has started a series where she revamps classic fairy tales - Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Little Mermaid. These aren't just like modernized stories. Instead she takes the classics we all know and love, and twists the story into her own creation.

When they were young, Scarlett and Rosie March were attacked by a Fenrir, or a werewolf, leaving Scarlett horribly disfigured and their grandmother dead. Now they've taken it upon themselves to hunt down and kill as many Fenrir's as possible to try and make the world a little bit safer. Well, more accurately Scarlett has taken it upon herself, Rosie follows along but shows much more interest in their childhood friend Silas. When they notice an influx of Fenrir in the area, they find out they are all looking for a new Potential Fenrir (a rare event) and decide to try and find the Potential before the Fenrirs do. It's a deadly race they're not entirely sure they can win.

I really enjoyed this book, but some parts felt obviously like a teen book. Scarlett gets a little angsty and Silas feels rather empty as the main love interest. But on the other hand, it also gets so much right. The Fenrir's are an interesting concept that Jackson Pearce doesn't feel obligated to explain every little thing about - which I love. It keeps some of the mystery alive. I loved Rosie's commitment to her sister, even if it was sometimes misplaced. Scarlett is very determined, not wanting to allow other girls to die when she has the ability to prevent it which I find very admirable. Despite the weird looks she gets because of her appearance, she still wants to help the world. I'm  excited to read the next book, Sweetly. Unfortunately I left that as school, so it'll just have to wait.