Sunday, March 30, 2014

3/30/14: Fandom Update: Paper Towns and Solid Finales

What Happened this Week?

Paper Towns: The Movie
      Apparently, the success of The Fault in Our Stars movie is secured in, because they are already on for the next John Green book. The producers, screenwriters, and even actor Nat Wolff, Isaac in the upcoming movie, will be hired for the project. John Green will also be playing the top dog part of executive producer for the movie. I think we can have extremely high expectations for the movie if it will be produced by the author.
      Nat Wolff will be playing the main character Quentin in the movie. Fans have shown some speculation on the point, due to the fact that Wolff will also be Isaac, a major character in TFIOS.
      Are you excited? Because I know I am. This movie is expected to bust through the box office in 2015. For now, we will just have to wait for the greatly anticipated The Fault in Our Stars coming to your theater, June 6th.

A Season of Finales *TEEN WOLF SPOILERS*
      As summer rises in every students' veins, shows come to the close. Last Monday came
the stunning conclusion for season three of Teen wolf with the death of Aidan and the goodbye to the twins. Not only did we experience character death, but character rebirth. The absolutely surprising revival of a hated (but secretly loved) character Kate Argent as what many fans are speculating to be a were-jaguar. I have done a bit of research myself into the subject to find that were-jaguars were a large mythological point in Latin American lore. Will we get some Spanish Mythology next season? Hopefully so.
      Another large season finale tonight, is the end to season four of The Walking Dead. I actually write this article as I get ready to watch the episode myself. All we can expect is character death and reunion. Another large point will be setting up the plot for season five. Will Terminus be a safe haven? What will be in Washington D.C.? And will out characters ever get the frick frack out of Georgia? Whatever happens, all we can know for sure is that this finale will be a record breaker in viewings.

Fantastic Trilogies and Where to Find Them
      Over course Harry Potter fans were awoken from the depths of their souls when J. K. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and were over joyed and thankful. No one could've predicted that it would be a three-part series.
Rowling confirmed the production of
      Rowling says that she has already written the rough draft for the first film. Not much will be released about the film itself, except that it will be set in New York City around the 1930s.

Looking Forward to in the Next Week

  • New Episode of Marvels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: End of the Beginning @ 8pm Central
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier is out in theaters
  • New Episode of Hannibal: Futamono @ 9pm Central
For more events, look at the calendar tab of my blog. 

Have a great week everyone!

3/30/14: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Cover: This is an interesting cover. It does catch your attention, but it really has nothing to do with the book.
Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: Contemporary, Thriller, Mystery, Romance
Goodreads Blurb: Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

Published/ing: March 4, 2014 Harpercollins 
Rating: 5/5 

Panic was interesting read for me. I adore Lauren Oliver and the Delirium series, but I don't know. I think the idea of a contemporary book written by a dystopian author sounded appealing to me. 

Either way, I started it and got fifty pages in and just... stopped. 

But when I picked it up again I couldn't stop. Strange right?

The beginning was a bit boring to me and I thought the characters were whiny, but as I dived deeper into the book and the plot and conflicts began to unfold, I was completely taken by it. 

The idea of such an extreme game like Panic was absolutely frightening, but believable. And the way Lauren Oliver took to describing the each of the events was in such great detail. I felt like I was there, experiencing the anxiety and panic. 

The double point of view was confusing in the beginning, but got more understandable as you grew to know the characters more. Along with adoring the characters individually, I loved the relationships they formed. Bishop and Heather was such an interesting complex, especially how romantically and unromantically involved they were. 

The setting of the book was appropriate. Carp, a southern small town with a lot of teenagers and social classes. Completely appropriate place for an extreme and unhinged game like Panic. 

Overall, this book was really good. I don't know what happened me in the beginning there. I think I just got distracted. The characters and setting were great and Lauren Oliver's flawless writing made it even better. I hope to see Lauren Oliver write more in the future. 

Future News: 
Lauren Oliver will be releasing a new book called Rooms in the coming fall. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

3/24/14: Fandom Update: Divergent and Death

Hey guys! Sorry I've been a bit lazy lately, but I'm trying to get better at planning ahead. 

What Happened This Week?

Release of the Divergent Movie
     Sadly, I myself have not scene the movie, but I have definitely heard a lot about last weekend's release. First off, Divergent pulled off about $56 million in the opening weekend, which amazing compared to its competition of releases over the weekend, which included "Muppets Most Wanted" and "Peabody and Sherman." But sadly it did not pull in as much as blockbusters like "The Hunger Games" or "Twilight." BUT IT IS OKAY. This means that Divergent will continue in its franchise, Insurgent expected to come out in the next two years. As fans, I believe, that we were not expecting it to do as well. At least it shouldn't have. Divergent, along with movies like The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Beautiful Creatures, and Vampire Academy, are geared towards teen audiences. Twilight and The Hunger Games grew there viewing center into adults, which added more people to the audiences who would see the movie. The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, and other news sources always make a big deal of comparing each and every teen movie to the last, but really, we shouldn't be doing that. Divergent was geared towards young adults, and made a lot of money compared to the movies geared towards adults and teens. So celebrate, because Divergent made money!
     Due to a mixed response by both the media and the fans, I have no idea how people think it did as a whole. I am going to see it this coming Friday, so expect a review soon.


Mourning Character Deaths *SPOILERS* 
     As many of you probably saw last Monday night, Allison Argent from Teen Wolf is dead. Fans will miss the strong headed, badass heroine that was admired by all. Crystal Reed spoke with MailOnline saying that the response from fans was absolutely amazing. Many fans participated in getting arrow tattoos in honor of the beloved warrior, while others payed their respects on the Teen Wolf Memorial site. Allison will be greatly missed in these coming episodes. But isn't that the real question. How will the characters on Teen Wolf take Argent's death? What will Scott and Mr. Argent do? Can't wait to find out in this coming episode, the season finale, Monday night at 9pm Central.
Looking Forward to Next Week

  • Bones: The Carrot in the Kudzo @ 8pm Central Time
  • Teen Wolf: The Divine Move (season finale) @ 9pm Central Time

  • Supernatural:  Mother's Little Helper (directed by Misha Collins) @ 8pm Central Time

  • Hannibal: Mukozuke @ 9pm Central Time

  • The Walking Dead: A @ 8pm Central Time
For future episodes and events check out the calendar tab above.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

3/22/14: An Interview with Brian Joyce, author of THE B-SIDE DIARIES

Just yesterday I reviewed an exceptional book called The B-Side Diaries. You can read that review here. I got a chance to ask Brian Joyce a few questions about his writing and publishing of the book. Here is what he had to say: 

What was your inspiration for this story?

     The inspiration for this story has three particular reasons. First, I spent three years living in Nashville. I absolutely loved Nashville and the friends that I made there. Those three years were defining moments in my life. I look at Nashville with such a fondness. Most people think of Nashville as the country music capital, but it's called Music City for a reason. One inspiration in writing this book was to change people's opinions of Nashville to see that it's not just a country music town, there are many thriving scenes there--including the PUNK rock scene. Next, the theme of this book, and the mood of this book was written through the inspiration of losing some people very close to me in my life. I loved the fact that you called this book "inspirational," because that was exactly what I was aiming for. I wrote this book to help people who may be grieving a loved one. I wanted readers to feel that it is okay to move forward and still honor that person's life, through your remembrance of them. Also, I wanted to show that no matter how many years we have on this earth, we ALL affect change in the people's lives we touch--forever; and that's a good thing. Last, I wrote this book for my two sons, Milo and Noah. I wrote this book out of kind of morbid reasons for them, but with the best intentions. My father passed away very young, and as a result there were many teachings I missed from him. He taught me a lot in his 10 years with me, but I would have loved to have more words of wisdom, because he was a very wise man. When I became a father in 2007, I thought about my own mortality, and how that might affect my family. I felt compelled to write a story for my sons that they could return to and continuously get life lessons from, even if I could not be there to give them. So it was kind of written as a life lesson book for them. 

How did you come up with such interesting and diverse characters?

     I'm so glad you liked the characters. I will attempt to answer this question, but it is a tough one. I think when I started writing this book in 2007, I modeled certain characters off of traits of some of my most colorful friends and acquaintances. However, as the story went on, the characters spoke to me and that changed a little. The only characters that didn't change too much were Christopher and Dylan. Christopher was the embodiment of all the good things my father was. He was kind, honest, sympathetic, energetic, inspiring, and giving. Dylan was some parts of some friends back home in Nashville, my brother Tom (who passed away), and a little bit of Dally from the Outsiders to me. I'm not sure if that's what I set out for him to be, but that's what he became to me. Rory--Rory was a little bit me, a little bit Ponyboy from the outsiders, and a little bit of friends personalities that I truly love. He was meant to be honest, vulnerable, pure, and naive. The reason I made him naive, was so that if my sons were younger (or for that matter, any younger readers) and read my book, they could relate to his world view. I should lastly mention Kayliegh. Now, I cannot tell you how many friends I know that are girls/women have asked me if I was writing about them. I was not. In truth, she wrote herself, but I'm sure I used a lot of my observations of some of my closest friends in forming her identity. I loved Kayliegh's character. She was warm, and strong, but still not entirely confident, and that was more about her age than about her personality. She will be a much stronger character moving forward through the series as a result of growing up and coming into her own. I hope that doesn't give away some things. A lot of the other characters I made in contrast to Christopher, Rory and Dylan quite honestly. The story unfolded, and they kind of wrote themselves. I hope that answers your question.

I saw that you are self-published. What was that like for you? How did you go about publishing yourself?

     Well, when I originally wrote the book, I didn't intend on publishing it at all. It was a story for my sons only. Then my wife read it, and she convinced me to do something with it. She is an English teacher. At that time the book was very raw. I took her advice and sent query letters to agents, about 25 of them. I had 12 partial/full manuscript reads, but no agent after that process. My wife had said, it wasn't ready yet, but I didn't listen to that part. Haha! I heard, it's good, so I sent it. Silly me. Anyway, I spent the next couple years adding and rewriting, and lastly editing the work. At that time, I was learning all about KDP and self-publishing. I was following J.A. Konrath's blog, and other self-published author's blogs. It convinced me to do it indie. Growing up in the punk scene I truly value DIY, and i love that I am living in an age of publishing where that is possible. I am a very lucky man. So following the advice of a lot of other writers I found my way to self-publishing through KDP. I'm really happy with it, and I can't wait to add to the list of books I put out including the remaining two books in THE B-SIDE DIARIES series.

Many people would love to publish their own book, or at least finish writing one. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors, self-publishers, or writers?

     My advice would be: do it! You can do it. The information is out there to be successful, and there is no downside at all. Obviously you will have to work hard, but if you are passionate about writing, there is nothing to stop you, but you. I would definitely recommend becoming an avid reader of J.A. Konrath's blog, and others like it for advice and inspiration. I would also say, don't do it for money. Money is nice, but art should not be for money, it should be to give a piece of you to the world. That way you're being honest, and honesty, at least I believe, is what gains fans. Write for you, not trends. Honestly, I don't know anyone else that has put out a faux-memoir before, but that didn't stop me from putting that label on it, because that's what it is. It's not a hot trend, it's my trend, and I hope it catches on. I wanted to write a book that felt so real you felt like you were eavesdropping on someone's life and thoughts. Hopefully I accomplished that. I also wanted to write a main character in a story who is not alive, but feels alive through the thoughts of other characters in the story, because I haven't read anything like that either; a non-character main character is hard to explain to agents. They want trends. With indie publishing you have no rules except the ones you place on yourself. Let your true style and artistic view of life be the book you want to write, and only you can write. That will be its own reward. 

Are you working on anything new at the moment? Will it be in the same genre as The B-Side Diaries?

     I am working on a book (on and off, I started a teaching job that requires a LOT of my time right now, but I'm looking forward to the summer) called THE MOTOR OF DREAMS. Here is a blurb: 

The Motor of Dreams

When Duncan’s family takes in a foreign exchange student from France by the name of Marcellus, he is unaware of the profound changes set to take place in his life. Duncan is shy and awkward at best, and is hopelessly in lust for his best friend, and neighbor, Emaline. Marcellus is a driven seventeen year old who is a natural at everything, including skateboarding, and charming the ladies. When he moves into Duncan’s home he is set to turn pro for skateboarding upon graduation. 

Duncan is eager to gain acceptance, and mostly meets with failure, that is until his new roommate becomes the most talked about kid in school. Through late night bedroom chats, Marcellus teaches Duncan all about living with passion and about how things are made easy, through what he calls, “The Motor of Dreams”. When Duncan accepts a bet to test Marcellus’ theory for 30 days to win the heart of Emaline, his life is changed forever. The next 30 days will come crashing against Duncan’s perspective on life, and his place in it, and he will be forced to answer the question: do people’s perspectives on life truly shape their world?

     It is my attempt at writing a YA fictional self-help book that is also a contemporary love story. I think it will take the best inspirational attributes of THE B-SIDE DIARIES to even greater levels. After THE MOTOR OF DREAMS I'll be working on the remaining books in THE B-SIDE DIARIES trilogy series. I hope to have THE MOTOR OF DREAMS published sometime next year. 


     I'd like to thank Brian for doing this interview with me. He had some great and detailed answers to my questions. I wish him luck in his future writings and in the future of The B-Side Diaries. 

     Below is a rafflecopter for a ebook copy of The B-Side Diaries. I definitely suggest you guys read it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 21, 2014

3/21/14: Almost by Anne Eliot

Cover: I love the simplicity of it overall. I like how it ties into the book also. 
Author: Anne Eliot
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Rape
Goodreads Blurb: At a freshman party she doesn't remember, Jess Jordan was almost raped.

...Almost. Very nearly. Not quite. Three years later, Jess has managed to make everyone believe she's better. Over it. Because she is.

...Almost. Very nearly. Not quite.

Unfortunately, until Jess proves she's back to normal activities, her parents won't discuss college. So, she lands a summer internship and strikes a deal with hockey jock, Gray Porter: He gets $8,000. She gets a fake boyfriend and a social life. 

Jess has no idea Gray signed on for reasons other than money. She also never expects to fall in love. But Gray’s amazingly hot, holds her hand all the time, and makes her forget that he’s simply doing his job. It’s like having a real boyfriend.

...Almost. Very nearly. Not quite.

Gray Porter is hiding secrets of his own. About Jess Jordan. About why he’s driven to protect her, why he won't cash her checks, or deny her anything she asks.
Published/ing: February 1, 2012 Butterfly Books
Rating: 5/5

This story touched my heart. It told an amazing story about a broken girl and a guilty boy in a terrifying world. It was funny and snarky and sweet. It was beautiful in every single way possible. 

 Guys I am not joking. This book made me unbelievably crazy with feels. I was crying and jumping up and down and smiling like an idiot.

I loved the ultimate character development between both characters. Jess learns more from herself. Jess digs deep and opens up. It all just touched me so much.

It was such a well written story and I will forever have no words for its perfection.  

Future News:
Anne Eliot is the author of Unmaking Hunter Kennedy and there is no news about future stories.

Sorry this is such a disappointingly small review. It lacks a lot of detail. I read this book a while ago and totally forgot to review it. Just know that it was extremely good.


3/21/14: The B-Side Diaries by Brian Joyce

The B-Side Diaries
Cover: I think the cover was absolutely appropriate for the story. It also really grabs the attention of the reader with its simplicity and uniqueness. 
Author: Brian Joyce
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational
Goodreads Blurb: Rory is only seventeen years old and six months removed from his friends in Nashville, Tennessee when he receives the news that his best friend Christopher has died—and worse yet, he has been hand selected to deliver Christopher’s eulogy. Over the course of one weekend Rory must confront his fears of public speaking, falling in love, growing up, and losing a sense of what he calls home. Wrought with emotion, and fueled by teenaged doubt, friendship, and punk rock music—The B-Side Diaries unravels the truths about not only what it means to lose a close friend, but also the truths about what it means to be a teenager. Told through diary-like confessions from Rory’s perspective, The B-Side Diaries is written in a faux-memoir style, that pulls the reader into the mind of a teenager sorting out his life, and coming to grips with his loss of innocence. 

Think “The Big Chill” for teenagers meets Fat Kid Rules the World. 
Published/ing: October 31, 2013 Brian Joyce (self-published)
Rating: 4/5


I loved this book from start to finish.

First of all, the setting was probably my favorite part of the whole story. I was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee and as Rory, the grieving main character, explained the many special places and details of Nashville, I related to him. He always called it home, even though he had moved to Florida, as I do now, even though I don't live in Nashville any more.

Another aspect of the setting I liked was the "punk scene." Rory talked about his love for the music and his deceased friend's love and appreciation for the punk genre. That aspect of the story really made it unique. How the author described the music's feel and movement completed the setting of the story.

Moving on, the characters in the story were very individual. Each of the friends had a different back story; a different way they had been affected by Christopher. I actually wouldn't have minded if this story had been told in multiple points of views, because the characters were so easy to tell apart.

I just adored learning about this one character from all the other character's experiences and relationship with him. It was different and new.

The only con I had with the book is that at some points it was a bit slower than I would've preferred, but that was completely minor in spite of the magnificent writing.

Overall, this story was well thought out. The story that was told was perfectly balanced between thought-provoking metaphors and witty colloquialism. The characters were detailed and well rounded. The words you read in this book make you feel like Christopher was your friend too. It makes you want to be there to mourn with Rory.

Future News: 
There should be a post on this blog containing an interview with the author in the next few days.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

3/4/14: Song of the Week: C'mon by Panic! At the Disco

The week's song-of-the-week is one that has been on my fandom playlist for a long time. I adore Panic! At the Disco, so I hope you enjoy this song!

C'mon by Panic! At the Disco

It's getting late and I
can't seem to find
my way home tonight.
Feels like I am falling down a rabbit hole,
falling for forever,
wonderfully wandering alone.

What would my head be like
if not for my shoulders?
Or without your smile?
May it follow you forever.
May it never leave you to sleep in the storm
May we stay lost on our way home.

Come on, come on
With everything falling down around me
I'd like to believe in all the possibilities.

If I should die tonight
May I first just say I'm sorry
for I never felt like anybody
I am a man who of many hats
although I never mastered anything.

When I am ten feet tall
I never felt smaller since the fall
Nobody seems to know my name 
So don't leave me to sleep all alone
May we stay lost on our way home

Come on, come on 
With everything falling down around me
I'd like to believe in all the possibilities.

Come on, come on
With everything falling down around me
I'd like to believe in all the possibilities.

Try not to mistake what you have with what you hate
It could leave, it could leave 
In the morning

Celebrate the night, it's the fall before the climb.
Shall we sing, shall we sing
til the morning

If I fall forward, you fall flat.

And if the sun should lift me up, would you come back?
Come on.

Come on, come on
With everything falling down around me
I'd like to believe in all the possibilities.

Come on, come on
With everything falling down around me
I'd like to believe in all the possibilities.

Come on, come on
With everything falling down around me
I'd like to believe in all the possibilities.

yeah yeah yeah!

It's getting late and I cannot seem
to find my way home tonight.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

3/2/14: Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Cover: The continuous use of the eye as the main feature on all the books is such a perfect medium. It isn't to flashy, but also not too simple. Also, the little details in the cover also get me. They tie in well with the story. In this case, definitely judge a book by it's cover. 
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy, Romance
Goodreads Blurb: Juliette now knows she may be the only one who can stop the Reestablishment. But to take them down, she'll need the help of the one person she never thought she could trust: Warner. And as they work together, Juliette will discover that everything she thought she knew - about Warner, her abilities, and even Adam - was wrong.
Published/ing: February 4th 2014 Harpercollins 
Rating: 4.5/5

So the night before this book came out, I was a bit anxious. Usually I'm beyond excited for last books in series when they come out, but this book made me feel anxious. I was scared that it wouldn't end right. 

So that fact actually caused me to wait to read this book a few weeks later. Thank god I read it. 

The beginning was a bit disorienting and boring in the beginning. I had not read anything from the series since the novellas came out back in October and forgot the story and what point they were at. 

The first four or so chapters I believe it is, is just Juliette and Warner. Due to the news that Warner delivers Juliette, Juliette is an emotional mess. I disliked how whiny she was. There was a freaking REBELLION going on right outside the window, and yet here was Juliette lying in bed crying about her dead boyfriend and her feelings about being in love with his fully living brother. 

But alas, she wakes up and becomes the badass that she was meant to be this whole story. My favorite moment in the whole book series is when she realizes that she wasn't in love, but in love with the idea of it.

“It’s not an accusation ,” I say. “One day Adam will realize that what he felt for me was just a crazy kind of desperation. We were two people who really needed someone to hold on to, and we had this past that made us seem so compatible. But it wasn’t enough. Because if it were, I wouldn’t have been able to walk away so easily.” I drop my eyes, my voice. “Warner didn’t seduce me, Kenji. He didn’t steal me away. I just . . . I reached a point where everything changed for me. “Everything I thought I knew about Warner was wrong. Everything I thought I believed about myself was wrong. And I knew I was changing,” I say to him. “I wanted to move forward. I wanted to be angry and I wanted to scream for the first time in my life and I couldn’t. I didn’t want people to be afraid of me, so I tried to shut up and disappear, hoping it would make them more comfortable. But I hate that I let myself be so passive my whole life, and I see now how differently things could’ve been if I’d had faith in myself when it mattered. I don’t want to go back to that,” I tell him. “I won’t. Not ever.”

I almost fell apart while watching Juliette develop as a character in this book. I loved it. I love it. It was amazing. 

Stepping aside from Juliette's character development, I want to talk about Kenji. 

The day I was reading Ignite Me was pretty sucky. I had a hard row with a teacher and was loaded with homework. Not to mention that Ignite Me was running pretty slow. 

But then low and behold, in steps Kenji and my day was fixed. I missed his sarcasm and relatively sexual comments. As I told my parents, who rolled their eyes at me, it was like I had an epiphany. 

I cannot stress how important his character was in the story. 

With the war and the romance and the confinement, his comedic relief shines through like the sun on a rainy day. And in this book, when Juliette is completely lost and broken after Adam's outbreak, Kenji is their to cheer her up and give her great advice. They have such a beautiful brother/sister complex. Their relationship is probably my favorite out of all the relationships developed in the trilogy. 

Overall, this book met my standards at no ends. It really took the revolution and characters and ran. Juliette rose to her full potential. Warner was revealed as a new person. Old characters were introduced, everyone fought brilliantly, and happiness was achieved in the end.  

It was an amazing end to an amazing set of dystopian novels. I hope that Tahereh continues to write brilliant stories and characters like she did with this trilogy. 

“You know,” he whispers, his lips at my ear, “the whole world will be coming for us now.” I lean back. Look into his eyes. “I can’t wait to watch them try.”

Future News:
This was the last installment in the trilogy. Fox Twentieth Century owns the rights to the movie, but no actual news has come up about production.