Lev Grossman’s “The Magicians” Coming to SyFy!

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It’s finally happening! Lev Grossman’s book, The Magicians, will hopefully be coming to the SyFy channel.  And they are already picking out their dream cast.  They did pretty darn well in my opinion. Particularly nailed Quentin, Josh and Julia. 

I think that this book will work really well as a television series – and though no word yet on when it may air, I am tingling with excitement at the chance to see one of my favorites come to the screen. If you haven’t yet read the books, I encourage you to do so now!  Some might say “Harry Potter for adults”, but that really minimizes the impact of these novels.  Grossman plays with fantasy tropes in a way that is clever and hard-edged, and his characters are gritty and authentic.  

I know I’ll be watching, will you?

 

Book Review: The Graveyard Book

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“IT TAKES A GRAVEYARD TO RAISE A CHILD.

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy – an ancient indigo man, a gateway to abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible fleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will be in danger from the man Jack – who has already killed Bod’s family ” (Goodreads)

 

This book definitely falls more into the middle-grade territory than into young adult – but even so, I was not as impressed with it as I hoped to be.  I found myself felling a resounding “meh” throughout the course of the novel.  Clearly a re-imagining of the classic The Jungle Book where we trade the jungle for a graveyard and the wolf pack for ghosts.  

I found the book to be quite simple – I didn’t think that Gaiman’s writing stuck out in any particular way, or that his word choices surprised or delighted me.  In fact, it was quite an ordinary children’s story. Certainly it’s one that I will read to my future children, and they will definitely enjoy it – but as far as any brilliance or meaning for adults – well, I’m just not seeing it. It didn’t leave me feeling the weight of it, like when I read the Givernor did it have the heart beating excitement of Harry Potter.  As perfectly lovely of a story as it was, it just was not anything special for me.

Perhaps I was a little to built up by everyone’s claims of brilliance, or my personal feelings about Gaiman and his relationship with Amanda Palmer had me predetermined to dislike it, but it’s safe to say that I was less than amazed.

If you really loved it, leave a comment and change my mind!

My Goodreads rating: 3/5 Stars
Average Goodreads rating: 4.09 Stars
Number of 1-star reviews: 2976

My Review on Bookdigits

Answers to Not-So-Burning Questions.

What are your top 3 book pet peeves?

1.) Dog-eared pages: This is just blasphemous to me!  Not only does it make the pages stick up funny, but if you leave them folded down too long the corners will tear off!  I tend to lose bookmarks and will often grab whatever is closet to me – a receipt, napkin, wrapper, etc – to mark my page. 

2.) When you have a brand new paperback that won’t. stay. open.  Often I read on my lunch breaks at work – and so my hands are busy consuming food rather than holding open my book.  And with brand new paperbacks especially – they do not want to stay open.  So you try balancing your cell phone across the middle to hold it, but of course books being quite thick at times – it’s weight is not enough and just as your getting to the good part… SLAM! 

3.) Dust Jackets: They are helfpul in being a built in bookmark – but they NEVER STAY ON THE BOOK.  And then the edges get torn or ruined from being shoved in and taken out of my purse and that’s just really frustrating, okay?

Describe your perfect reading spot.

In bed, on the couch, in the cafeteria at work, at the dinner table – pretty much anywhere except in a moving car because that makes me sick.


Tell us 3 Book Confessions

1.) I re-read the Harry Potter books every summer. They have yet to get old.

2.) I do not enjoy Dickens, Jane Austen or the Bronte Sisters.  Just not my cup o’ tea.

3.) I judge books by their covers.  Most of the time an awesome cover = an awesome book. Just sayin’.

When was the last time you cried during a book?

I recently re-read the Hunger Games Trilogy and Mockingjay got me yet again. Prim! Katniss and Peeta! Feels all around.

How many books are on your bedside table?

Well, I don’t have a bedside table but Harry Potter and the order of the Phoenix was in bed with me this morning.

What is your favorite snack to eat while reading?

Usually the only time I am eating and reading is at lunch so… salad?  Otherwise I try to keep my favorite snacks away from my books because they include things like chocolate and cool ranch Doritos.

Name 3 books you would recommend to everyone.

1.) The Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling.

2.) The Giver – Lois Lowry

3.) The Magicians – Lev Grossman

Show us a picture of your favorite shelf on your bookcase.

shelf

This is my “series” shelf.  You will see two, count ‘em, TWO sets of the Harry Potter books accompanied by my wand that I purchased at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Also pictured: Lauren Oliver’s Deliirium series, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s Beautiful Creatures series, Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series (which I have purchased the third installment not pictured here), Ann Brashares classic Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, Suzanne Collins Hunger Games Trilogyand finally Veronica Roth’s Divergent Trilogy. *Takes a breath* As you can see, I am quickly running out of room.  Need moar shelves. 

Write how much books mean to you in 3 words.

Three words is hardly enough but – an infallible escape.

What is your biggest reading secret?

I don’t know that I have many secrets as it comes to reading.  People know I am a huge book nerd.  It’s certainly not something I have been ashamed of or afraid to tell someone about.  I wear my nerd badge quite proudly!

Book Review: Beautiful Redemption

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I’m finding that it is really difficult to write a review about a book you didn’t particularly enjoy, so this one will be short and sweet.

I felt that the conclusion to the Beautiful Creatures (you can read my past reviews here, here, and here)series was pretty poorly executed.  Disjointed, rushed (which is an amazing feat for a nearly 500 page book), and not very exciting, this book left me very underwhelmed.  I’m quite surprised considering the series has such a good standing on Goodreads, and usually I’m in agreement with those majority statistics.

On the plus side, there wasn’t a 19th moon – which seemed to be the running theme through the first three books and I’m thankful for that, it was getting old as a plot device.  However, having Ethan and Lena completely separated by plans of existence for the majority of the novel was not very exciting.  It took so long for them to get to a resolution I felt like a whole lot of the book was wasted by useless rambling about how they were going to get there from either side. At the same time, I felt like the authors were trying really hard to wrap up a lot of loose ends and provide wish fulfillment for the readers. If there’s one think I really dislike in a book, it’s when I feel like the author is only writing what they think we as a reader want to hear.  I prefer a book that makes me go WTF! as opposed to rolling my eyes.

I think that this series works as a quick, entertaining beach read – something that you can read without becoming overly invested in the story or characters and leaves you satisfied with how it ended, even if the writing suffers from disjointed greenness. It’s a perfectly okay series and this was just an okay conclusion. *shrugs* On to the next one, my friends.

My Goodreads Rating: 2/5 Stars
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.98
Number of 1-Star Reviews: 163

My rating on Bookdigits

Good Things Abound!

I’ve been having a good week.  First I got an email from Fangirlish that I had been selected as the winner of their giveaway!  I won all 5 books in Charlie Higson’s The Enemy (click the link for my review of the first book) series, and a $25 gift card from Visa.  I’ll post pictures when they arrive!

Then Universal Studios Orlando has been doing lots of press for Diagon Alley, which opens July 8th.  In my excitement, this twitter exchange happened:

I mean, I tweet a lot of celebs and authors and rarely get a response, so to get one from Universal Studios during a very busy time is just awesome.  Totally made my day. THEN, Leg Grossman, author of one of my favorite series’ posted this:

Yep, I ordered that baby right then and there.

Hope y’all are having as awesome of a week as I am!

Defining Great Literature According to Me

Ruth Graham won’t shut up.

I’m not going to link to that Slate article you’ve probably already read, because I don’t want to give her any more page views that she deserves, but girl has stepped over the line.  Sorry sweetheart, but you are not the “literature expert” who gets to define what great literature is for ANYONE. And you want a defense of TFIOS and Eleanor & Park? Okay. Here you go.

I’m sure that once in your lifetime, Ms. Graham, you were a teenager.  I’m also sure that you had a first love, first heartbreak, first everything.  I’m certainly positive that like most people your life was not all sunshine and rainbows.  What TFIOS and E&P do that is great (to me), is that they resonate with that experience.  They are not tied with neat little bows and happy endings as you claim all YA must be.  In fact, the two books you chose to discuss do not have happy endings at all.  In TFIOS, Hazel Grace falls in love with Augustus and (SPOILERS) Augustus dies. In E&P, Eleanor has to escape her abusive asshole of a stepfather and Park helps her do so, but they do not end up together.  Neither of those are what I would call stereotypical happy endings.  However, they are much more realistic endings that I can relate to even as a 26 year old married woman.  You know why?  Because I had a first love once, and we didn’t end up together.  And it sucked.  It hurt pretty bad at my tender age of 16, but that experience also helped to shape my life.

What makes books like these great and wonderful and perfectly acceptable for adults and teenagers alike to read is that they remind us that teenagers are people. It is easy in today’s culture to think that all teenagers are snotty, materialistic, privileged little jerks – but TFIOS and E&P force us to realize that they can also be smart, witty, thoughtful and fragile.  Oh my god, they are human!  Ruth, did you know that teenagers are actually humans capable of complex thought?  Obviously not since you seem to think that all YA literature must certainly be dumbed-down to make sense in their tiny little immature brains.

Also, let’s not forget that beyond they thematic value of these books, they are also well-written.  They are no 50 Shades of Grey my dear Ruth, which may I remind you, is in the adult section next to the books you deem worthy of my eyes.  John Green and Rainbow Rowell are masters of their words.  They construct beautiful sentences.

“As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”  – TFIOS

“Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.”  – Eleanor & Park

I mean, if you can’t appreciate a beautiful sentence just because it comes from a YA book, then I feel sad for you.  I’m not asking you to like it or even enjoy it, but I am asking you to appreciate it’s value to others.  I mean, Ruth, it’s really not all about you as much as all the attention this article is getting you might be making you feel like it is.  If you want to have a conversation about the value of literature you are going have to turn off the shame-talk and open your mind to a difference of opinion.

Great literature makes you feel something.  TFIOS made me feel something. Eleanor & Park made me feel something.  The Great Gatsby made me feel something.  To Kill a Mockingbird made me feel something.  The Time Traveler’s Wife, Harry Potter, The Giver, Invisible Monsters, and so many more have made me feel something.  It’s not up to you or your poorly worded assumptions how I feel.  That’s up to me. What’s your definition, readers?