Saturday, August 1, 2015

INSURGENT Behind the Scenes Clip + Books Into Movies

INSURGENT the second movie in the Divergent series (based on the second novel in the trilogy) will be released this Tuesday!

Golden Globe® Nominee Shailene Woodley Delivers An Explosive Performance In The Electrifying Sequel Arriving On Digital HD July 21st

Available on 3D Blu-Ray™ Combo Pack, Blu-Ray, DVD And On Demand August 4

from the press release:

Shailene Woodley (The Fault in Our Stars, The Descendants) and Theo James (Underworld: Awakening) pack a powerful one-two punch in the blockbuster action-adventure, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, arriving on Digital HD July 21 and on 3-D Blu-ray™ Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD), Blu-ray (plus Digital HD), DVD (plus Digital) and On Demand August 4 from Lionsgate’s (NYSE: LGF) Summit Entertainment label.

Based on Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times best-selling novel Insurgent, The Divergent Series: Insurgent raises the stakes for Tris (Woodley) as she searches for answers and allies in this star-powered, action-packed second installment of the Divergent series. On the run and targeted by ruthless faction leader Jeanine (Kate Winslet), Tris fights to protect the people she loves, facing one impossible challenge after another as she and Four (James) race to unlock the truth about the past—and ultimately the future—of their world.

I loved Divergent (book and movie) and cannot wait to see Insurgent!

(video link)

To tide me over until Tuesday, here are some of my favorite book-to-movie adaptations:


the book:
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

the movie:
In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she's Divergent and won't fit in. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it's too late.

If I Stay


the book:
The critically acclaimed, bestselling novel from Gayle Forman, author of Where She Went, Just One Day, and Just One Year.
Soon to be a major motion picture, starring Chloe Moretz!

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family. Now a major motion picture starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time.

the movie:
Life changes in an instant for young Mia Hall after a car accident puts her in a coma. During an out-of-body experience, she must decide whether to wake up and live a life far different than she had imagined. The choice is hers if she can go on.

Where the Heart Is


the book:
Talk about unlucky sevens. An hour ago, seventeen-year-old, seven months pregnant Novalee Nation was heading for California with her boyfriend. Now she finds herself stranded at a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma, with just $7.77 in change. But Novalee is about to discover hidden treasures in this small Southwest town--a group of down-to-earth, deeply caring people willing to help a homeless, jobless girl living secretly in a Wal-Mart. From Bible-thumping blue-haired Sister Thelma Husband to eccentric librarian Forney Hull who loves Novalee more than she loves herself, they are about to take her--and you, too--on a moving, funny, and unforgettable journey to . . . Where the Heart Is.

the movie:
A pregnant 17-year-old rebuilds her life after being abandoned by her boyfriend at a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma.

**This is one where I don't actually like how it was adapted, but I love the book and I really like the movie (even if it involves pretending it's not based on the book)

Blood & Chocolate

Vivian Gandillon relishes the change, the sweet, fierce ache that carries her from girl to wolf. At sixteen, she is beautiful and strong, and all the young wolves are on her tail. But Vivian still grieves for her dead father; her pack remains leaderless and in disarray, and she feels lost in the suburbs of Maryland. She longs for a normal life. But what is normal for a werewolf?

Then Vivian falls in love with a human, a meat-boy. Aiden is kind and gentle, a welcome relief from the squabbling pack. He’s fascinated by magic, and Vivian longs to reveal herself to him. Surely he would understand her and delight in the wonder of her dual nature, not fear her as an ordinary human would.

Vivian’s divided loyalties are strained further when a brutal murder threatens to expose the pack. Moving between two worlds, she does not seem to belong in either. What is she really—human or beast? Which tastes sweeter—blood or chocolate?

the movie:
A young teenage werewolf (Bruckner) is torn between honoring her family's secret and her love for a man (Dancy).

A Time to Kill

the book:
Before The Firm and The Pelican Brief made him a superstar, John Grisham wrote this riveting story of retribution and justice -- at last it's available in a Doubleday hardcover edition. In this searing courtroom drama, best-selling author John Grisham probes the savage depths of racial he delivers a compelling tale of uncertain justice in a small southern town...Clanton, Mississippi.

The life of a ten-year-old girl is shattered by two drunken and remorseless young men. The mostly white town reacts with shock and horror at the inhuman crime. Until her black father acquires an assault rifle and takes matters into his hands.

For ten days, as burning crosses and the crack of sniper fire spread through the streets of Clanton, the nation sits spellbound as young defense attorney Jake Brigance struggles to save his client's life...and then his own.

the movie:
A young lawyer defends a black man accused of murdering two men who raped his 10-year-old daughter, sparking a rebirth of the K.K.K.

To Kill a Mockingbird

the book:
The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior—to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.

the movie:
Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his kids against prejudice.


the book:
"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."
So the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter remembered the chilling events that led her down the turning drive past the beeched, white and naked, to the isolated gray stone manse on the windswept Cornish coast. With a husband she barely knew, the young bride arrived at this immense estate, only to be inexorably drawn into the life of the first Mrs. de Winter, the beautiful Rebecca, dead but never forgotten... her suite of rooms never touched, her clothes ready to be worn, her servant - the sinister Mrs. Danvers - still loyal. And as an eerie presentiment of the evil tightened around her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter began her search for the real fate of Rebecca... for the secrets of Manderley.

the movie:
A self-conscious bride is tormented by the memory of her husband's dead first wife.

The Fault in Our Stars
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

the movie:
Two teens, both who have different cancer conditions, fall in love after meeting at a cancer support group.

**and this one isn't out yet, but I loved the book so I'm really excited for it . . .

The Martian

the book:
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—& even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—& a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

the movie:
During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

(movie descriptions from IMDb; book descriptions from Goodreads)

What are some of your favorites? Any I need to go read and watch immediately? Or any I should avoid completely?

Friday, July 31, 2015

Fuzzy Mud ~ Louis Sachar (earc) review [@randomhousekids]

Fuzzy Mud
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
August 4, 2015
192 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from TBD/or Amazon

From the author of the acclaimed bestseller "Holes, " winner of the Newbery Award and the National Book Award, comes a new middle-grade novel with universal appeal. Combining horror-movie suspense with the issues of friendship, bullying, and the possibility of ecological disaster, this novel will intrigue, surprise, and inspire readers and compel them to think twice about how they treat others as well as their environment.

"Be careful. Your next step may be your last."

Fifth grader Tamaya Dhilwaddi and seventh grader Marshall Walsh have been walking to and from Woodbridge Academy together since elementary school. But their routine is disrupted when bully Chad Wilson challenges Marshall to a fight. To avoid the conflict, Marshall takes a shortcut home through the off-limits woods. Tamaya reluctantly follows. They soon get lost, and they find trouble. Bigger trouble than anyone could ever have imagined.

In the days and weeks that follow, the authorities and the U.S. Senate become involved, and what they uncover might affect the future of the world.
Fuzzy Mud is such a fun read. It really does a great job dealing with the friendship and social issues unique to middle school. Tamaya is sweet and you like her quickly, but can also understand Marshall's (two years older, in seventh grade) conflict over walking with her.

I liked Marshall's character, too. He doesn't want to be ignored, but he also doesn't want attention like that which bully Chad is paying him. Even as he doesn't want the responsibility of walking Tamaya home, he isn't able to forget it, either.

This sin't only a novel of friendship, middle school social conflicts and bullies, though. Interspersed with their walk home through the woods are more science-y bits. As we discover more of that story line, we realize how much danger the kids may be in. Sachar does a great job with this information. Some parts take place months after Marshall and Tamaya venture into the woods and give just he right amount of foreshadowing, teasing at the danger they are in, but without revealing too much.

The way the story is told is great. It connects readers with the characters and lets them know (sooner than the characters) what they're up against, really building the suspense. In some ways, Fuzzy Mud made me think of Parasite, though for a younger audience.

It is an enjoyable tale with well done characters that will leave you with something to think about (and perhaps, even, worry/fear).

digital copy received for review, from publisher, via NetGalley

Book Blitz: Sun-Kissed Summer ~ Marta Brown [@martabrownbooks @XpressoTours]

Sun-Kissed Summer
by Marta Brown
July 7, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
add to Goodreads/buy from B&N/or Amazon

Summer can change everything.

For shy, bookish Katie Quinn, it just might after an accidental mix-up at the airport on the way to visit her grandparents for the summer leaves her stuck with the wrong suitcase. One full of short shorts, high heels, and absolutely nothing she would normally dare to wear. Until she realizes her newfound look has garnered the attention of Key West’s biggest hottie, Brad-freaking-Garrison, and might just give her the one thing she’s always dreamed of—an epic summer romance.

A romance her summertime best friend only wishes he could give her. But for Oliver, getting Katie to see him as more than just some dumb jock isn’t going to be easy after he agrees to compete against Brad in a kite-surfing competition. And if Brad has any say in it, the prize is Katie herself.

With more than just a contest on the line and a friendship at stake, will this be the summer Katie finds her footing, even if it is in someone else’s shoes? Will Oliver finally get the courage to tell Katie how he really feels and get out of the friend-zone for good? Or, like a kite in a hurricane, will everything they’ve ever hoped for be lost in the storm?

About the Author:
Marta Brown grew up in the Pacific Northwest and was a teenager when Doc Martens, Pearl Jam and flannel were the norm and Dylan loved Kelly forever. (Beverly Hills, 90210 shout out!)

She still lives just outside Seattle, now with her husband and cat, and loves the rain.

When she's not writing about cute boys, first kisses and the magic and wonder of being seventeen, she's watching The CW. And she sleeps in. Late.

Book Trailer:


With a quick look at the clock on my nightstand, I let out a groan at the ridiculous hour, toss off the covers, and slip out of bed. Thankful for the pair of sleep shorts I found last night that actually manage to cover both cheeks, I stomp down the hall to the top of the stairs.

“So, when you said last night you’d pick me up at six…” I trail off with crossed arms, despite Oliver’s cheery morning smile and what looks to be two cups of coffee.

“DP, baby.” He lifts the steaming cup in my direction, giving it a small shake back and forth, like a taunt.

“DP? As in, date practice?” I ask, arching a brow as I trudge down the stairs and snatch the hot coffee from his grip. “You know, six pm would probably be a more fitting time to practice for say, a date. Don’t you think?”

Oliver takes a long sip of his drink while holding back a laugh. “Under normal circumstances, I would say yes, but we have nearly seventeen years to make up for in just one day.”

My cheeks catch fire at the reminder of how inexperienced I am, leaving me to wonder how in the world some silly, fake date is going to help when I’m so
obviously beyond help at this point anyway.

“You know what? I change my mind. I’m going back to bed.” Turning, I manage to take a single step before Oliver’s large, muscular arms wrap around my waist and pull me back against his chest.

“Oh no, you don’t,” he says, humor lacing every word as he loosens his hold just enough so

I’m able to twist around and face him—the small cups of coffee providing the only space between our two bodies. “I have big plans for us today. But, first things first. We have dawn patrol.”

Oh. DP stands for dawn patrol. Wait. What the heck is that?

The look on my face must tip him off to the fact I have no idea what he’s talking about because before I can ask, he shakes his head and laughs. “Dawn patrol is what we call an early morning kite-surfing session. And if we want a chance at winning the contest next week, we need practice. And you know what they say, don’t you?” Oliver grins as he lets the arm that is wrapped around my waist fall to his side before taking a small step back.

“Uh…no. What do they say?” I ask, slightly out of breath and strangely disappointed by the sudden amount of space between us.

“Easy.” He winks. “Practice makes perfect.”

Biting my lip, I don’t know if he’s talking about dating, kite surfing, or both. But by the way my heart is beating double time, I’m starting to think Oliver might just be the perfect guy to practice with either way.

organized by Xpresso Book Tours

Thursday, July 30, 2015

How to Say I Love You Out Loud ~ Karole Cozzo (earc) review [@SwoonReads @KACozzo]

How to Say I Love You Out Loud
Swwon Reads
August 4, 2015
240 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

Words are strong. Love is stronger.

When Jordyn Michaelson’s autistic brother joins her at her elite school, she’s determined not to let anyone know they're related. Even if that means closing herself off to all her closest friends, including charming football stud Alex Colby. But despite her best intentions, she just can't shake the memory of kissing Alex last summer, and the desire to do it again.

Can Jordyn find the courage to tell Alex how she really feels—and the truth about her family—before he slips away forever?

I loved that Jordyn wasn't perfect. She understands that her autistic brother, Phillip, gets more of their parents time and energy and she understands why - he needs more of it than she does. That doesn't mean she likes it, though.

She is just beginning her second year at a new school, where no one knows about her brother and that's just how Jordyn wants it. Sure, it means not having anyone over, keeping much - if not most - of her life a secret even from her best friends, but it's what she wants.

When word comes that Phillip will be attending Jordyn's high school, it's the last thing she wants. Even as she does everything to keep anyone from making the connection that they're siblings, she knows it will happen, eventually.

I really liked Jordyn. No, how she feels about her brother - at least where others are concerned - isn't noble, but it's also not without some basis. Whether she's right or wrong to feel how she does, you can understand her reasoning. The more we see her at school, with Alex, at field hockey practice and with her friends, the better we're able to see who Jordyn is. She is caring and smart and trying to be a good friend.

The same thing that's keeping her from being a truly good friend is also what's causing her stress and difficulties: keeping her home life such a secret.

Phillip's character was nicely done and he felt very realistic. There is enough of his behavior, how he acts at home and how he is at school, for us to get a sense of both who he is and what Jordyn's relationship with him is like.

Jordyn's wish to keep her brother - and his autism - a secret isn't noble or great, but we can see how she came to that decision. In How to Say I Love You Out Loud, we get a great example of how much impact just one person can have. Especially considering the characters' ages, I thought it was very believeable.

I loved Alex and his role. We know he and Jordyn are friends - even if that doesn't seem to be all there is to how they see each other. As the novel progresses, we learn more of what transpired between them and wonder if they will be able to be more than friends. Or if they may even lose that friendship thanks to Jordyn's secrets and lies.

How to Say I Love You Out Loud is a book with something to say (though, shouldn't they all be?) and you'll thoroughly enjoy Jordyn, her relationships and her journey to, hopefully, accepting (and acknowledging) her brother . . . and maybe even finding love. Jordyn may not be perfect, but she's real and I loved her story.

digital copy received, for review, thanks to publisher, via NetGalley
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