Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Book Review: Batman Versus Bane

Since I was in such a good mood today, I decided to be generous and post up TWO reviews instead of only 1.  As a happy demeanor bonus, I present to you my review of the Graphic Novel, Batman Versus Bane.

What I'm Listening To:

  • Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me by U2
  • Kiss From A Rose by Seal
Yeah, I just listened to the best songs from the Batman Forever soundtrack...you caught me.

Batman Versus Bane 
by Chuck Dixon and Graham Nolan
Rating: 3/5
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Blurb:


THE MAN WHO BROKE THE BAT!
    Bane has faced the Batman and walked away victorious. Fueled by the strengthening serum known as Venom, he snapped the Bat's spine. Bane--and Bane alone--has taken down the Dark Knight. He proved that Batman could be defeated. That Batman could be broken. And with that, Bane cemented his place as one of Batman's all-time greatest adversaries.
     But prior to his triumph, the fearsome villain was just an orphaned boy, imprisoned by tyrants and used as a lab rat for high-risk experiments. Before he takes on the Batman once more in The Dark Knight Rises, read here the first appearance and origins of Bane, the man who broke the Bat!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I love comics, and Batman is my #2 favorite hero (which can be found under My Favorites Tab on The Hub page).  That being said, a really good friend of mine recently won this and passed it down to me since it was up my alley and not really hers. I was so excited!!
   My excitement remained until I reached the end and realized just how much of Bane's backstory doesn't even involve Batman. I saw Batman a grand total of about 5 times, 7 at most. The title is very misleading. True, the blurb says it is the origin of Bane, but then why name the book: Batman Versus Bane?? There really is no VERSUS part in it. It should have been something along the lines of: Bane-The Back Story   OR Bane Origins OR even The Origin Of Bane.....heck, I'd even go for Bane: The Man Who Broke The Bat.  You know, something that tells what is actually gonna be read about. The book was still good, I just wished they had left out the VERSUS part. Everything besides the misleading title was cool though.
   There was just enough blood spatterings, enough depth on each page and the proper amount of shadowing for each character and scene. There was also a pretty good amount of villain view time for Ra's Al Ghul (Or The Demon's Head). He's a pretty evil guy. Wouldn't wanna cross his path in a dark alley......believe me.

Until the next review,
    I hope you have a great time in Arkham Asylum!    =)

Book Review: Grave Descend

I am an avid reader of Michael Crichton's books.  A couple months ago, I found out that in past years he had written a few books under a couple of pseudonyms.  I found a book that he wrote, when he was working with Hard Case Crime under the name John Lange.  Imagine my delight and surprise! I was finally able to finish reading it, so now I bring my review to you. =)

What I'm Listening To:

  • Baba O'Riley by The Who
  • Won't Get Fooled Again by The Who
  • Who Are You? by The Who


Grave Descend 
by John Lange
Rating: 4/5

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Blurb:


Diver James McGregor is used to exploring sunken ships
    But there's something strange about the wreck of the luxury yacht GRAVE DESCEND.  No one who was aboard tells quite the same story about what happened.  And then there's the matter of the mysterious cargo they were carrying...
     In one of the most beautiful places on Earth, a sinister plot is about to unfold.  And if McGregor's not careful, he may find himself in over his head.
     A stunning thriller by the best-selling author of BINARY, ZERO COOL, ODDS ON, and THE VENOM BUSINESS. 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

  From the opening line, this book had me hooked. Taking place in Jamaica, this book was setup well from the start. While not completely original, it is quite entertaining all the way through. James McGregor was exactly the hero necessary for every event that occurred. He's a diver and is told that he needs to recover a yacht called the Grave Descend. (The name of which we find to be a rather relative clue to the strange goings-on) No prior knowledge of Samuel Johnson is needed, although he is plenty mentioned once things get set in motion (not to mention the 3 quotes beginning each of the 3 parts). Sharks are to water as Crocodiles are to a swamp, and both are featured as threats here. Night diving, tetralon (an underwater explosive), lots of guns, and plenty of thrown punches are the goodies that fill this delicious morsel. All of the fun is in the puzzle solving. I absolutely loved the fact that I couldn't solve the crime until near the very end because all of the pieces weren't present until then. I absolutely abhor when the answers to mysteries are too obvious. Where's the fun in that??
     I give this book a  4.
Here's my list why:

  1. Lots of action
  2. Plenty of adventure
  3. Diving in Jamaica----what's not to love about that?
  4. Sharks!!! *insert Jaws theme here*
  5. Crocodiles, because even the babies are vicious
  6. Tetralon ----Had never heard of it before, but it seems deadly enough for me to enjoy in this kind of book
  7. Two-faced people, because they make the best villains
  8. There are characters who seem trustworthy, but in all actuality need some reconsideration
  9. Ocelots....I forgot to mention the Ocelots
  10. Diamonds from Italy....nowhere better to get valuable diamonds from than Italy (not to mention all the history included!)
                       All in all, Grave Descend is a nice, short thriller that is good when you don't wanna wait forever for the good guy to catch the bad guy.   Justice is a dish sometimes best served quick. Savor the flavor, isn't always the best policy, although this book can be savored without being over-chewed. I would highly recommend that this book be picked up for those in need of a good adventure that won't last too long. 

 Until the next review,
In a while Crocodile!  =D

Sunday, May 20, 2012

JA Book Review #9 :Vampire Darcy's Desire

Today I have a wonderful surprise!  By some miracle, I was able to have the opportunity to interview Regina Jeffers, author of Vampire Darcy's Desire. So, after reading today's review, head over to the Interviews & Miscellaneous Things tab and check it out! =)

Vampire Darcy's Desire 
by Regina Jeffers
Rating: 4/5

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Blurb:


     Vampire Darcy's Desire presents Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice as a heart-pounding vampire romance filled with passion and danger.  Tormented by a 200-year-old curse and his fate as a half-human/half-vampire dhampir, Mr. Darcy vows to live forever alone rather than inflict the horrors of life as a vampire on an innocent wife. But when he comes to Netherfield Park, he meets the captivating Elizabeth Bennet.
      As a man, Darcy yearns for Elizabeth, but as a vampire, he is also driven to possess her. Uncontrollably drawn to each other, they are forced to confront a "pride and prejudice" never imagined--while wrestling with the seductive power of forbidden love. Meanwhile, dark forces are at work all around them. Most ominous is the threat from George Wickham, the purveyor of the curse, a demon who vows to destroy each generation of Darcys.
     Written in authentic Austen style and faithful to its Regency-era setting, Vampire Darcy's Desire retells the greatest love story of all time in a hauntingly imaginative fashion.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Let's see...where do I begin? The words I associate with this book are: dark, playful, and most of all PASSION.  Passion plays a big part in this book. That's what drove me through my reading. It was fresh and true and filled with passion. Elizabeth and Darcy's relationship took on so many challenges throughout this book, it was wonderful to see them hang on through it all!!
    Real quick, true story here:  I was in Dallas in a book store. I had been really into Austen and had completed Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense & Sensibility. Since I really liked each of them, I decided that maybe it'd be cool to try something different. I wondered just how those adaptations worked and if they would be any good. I had never read an adaptation, but curiosity got the best of me. The first one I saw was this one. First thought: "Oh no...you've got to be kidding me."    That's the first thing that ran through my head. I read the back and thought: "Hmm...maybe." I picked it up and carried it around for a while throughout the store while I looked at other items and got used to the feel of it in my hand. Then I looked at it again, and this time I thought: "Why the heck not?"  That's the story of how I picked up my copy of this book.
    Now, looking back, I realized that I made the right move when I bought it. I really enjoyed it! There were many sides of Austen's characters that I had never seen before. I felt a deeper connection to characters I already loved form my first reading of the original. I felt such a large sympathy for Mr. Darcy. The pain he faces and feels throughout the book is heart-wrenching! The vampire element was done well. You can tell that a lot of research has gone into making this book the wonderful story that it is.
      Before you start thinking: "I'm so tired of vampires!", don't! At least read this one before you do, because you will not regret it! The vampires that Jeffers portrays here are so much better than any other vampires I have EVER read about. This book kicked up my vampire interest, to tell the truth.
      The images painted are so vivid and the characters, I can't get enough about them! This book even goes farther than Pride and Prejudice did originally. It goes even farther into the relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy, and the battles they must face together, and shows that not only girls need saving! This is a masterpiece of epic proportions that needs to be read by fans of Pride and Prejudice, fans of the original vampires and those just in need of a good, passionate romance. Warm feelings just wrap themselves around me whenever I glance at this book on my bookshelf.




Thank y'all for reading today's review. HUGE THANKS to Mrs. Jeffers for taking the time to do an interview! Head over to the Interviews & Miscellaneous Things tab to read the discussion I had with Ms. Jeffers. =D
Until the next time, 
           Farewell!!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Book Review: Smarten Up!

Today's will be a review on a book that I took forever to read since I was so busy. This is the first Non-Fiction book I will be reviewing! I typically don't read much non-fiction, but hopefully I can mix one or two into my current to-read list.

What I'm Listening To:  

  • Africa by Toto
  • Se Vuoi Andare by Vanilla Sky


Smarten Up! How To Increase Your Brain Power  
by Roger Yepsen
Rating:4/5

------------------------------------------------------------------
Blurb:

  • Why can the mashed potatoes you ate in the cafeteria at lunch make you too sleepy to ace a math test two hours later?
  • How can a good workout in gym make your brain tick more smoothly for the next few hours?
  • Is girls' thinking different from boys'? 

          We all want to think as clearly and effectively as possible, but many surprisingly common situations and conditions can keep us from doing so. In Smarten Up! Roger Yepsen discusses the impact on the brain of physical exercise, the body's natural clock, nutrition, and even the weather---and offers tips and explanations to help enhance or counteract their effects. And since no two brains are alike, several simple tests and experiments are included to help you determine how your own individual mind works.
           Smarten Up! tells you how to get maximum power from your brain---something everyone can use!
-------------------------------------------------------------------

This book was pretty useful. Taught me some nifty stuff for the future. 
For example, when it comes to studying it is best to listen to music that is either quiet or familiar. When you hear familiar music, you are less likely to pay any real attention to it.  

Here's a random Creativity exercise from Chapter 9. You get cool points if you actually do it! =)

"'Open House Experiment'
Put an open book on top of your head and pretend that it is the roof of a house. Open your eyes wide as if they were the upstairs windows. Open you mouth, the front door, so you can stick out your tongue and wave at friends going down the street."

Totally wacky!!

There were also artist & writer exercises that I'm going to be sure to use later on.  If you get the chance, you should check this book out, it is so informational and just all around great!  

Until the next fun tidbit, 
Arrivederci!!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Flag Solo!!

So for my final grade in flag class, we each had to come up with a 2 minute flag solo to any Disney song. I absolutely love instrumental tracks, and I just love to do things that I don't think anyone else would even consider, so I picked the song The Egg Travels from the Disney film Dinosaur. Fabulous movie!! Totally life-like creatures in that movie...dinosaurs are so cool!!

Anyway, here's the solo. Hope you enjoy!   =)


JA Book Review #8: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies [GN]

I recently posted my review for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, now I am going to be reviewing Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.....the Graphic Novel. Oh yeah!!! Cool kid status!!! =D

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies 

Graphic Novel 
By: Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
Adapted by: Tony Lee
Illustrated by: Cliff Richards
Rating:4/5

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Blurb:


It is known as “the strange plague,” and its unfortunate victims are referred to only as “unmentionables” or “dreadfuls.” All over England, the dead are rising again, and now even the daughters of Britain’s best families must devote their lives to mastering the deadly arts. Elizabeth Bennet is a fearsome warrior whose ability with a sword is matched only by her quick wit and even sharper tongue. But she faces her most formidable foe yet in the haughty, conceited, and somehow strangely attractive Mr. Darcy. As the two lovers meet in the ballroom and on the battlefield, they’ll soon learn that nothing—not even bands of ninjas, hordes of flesh-eating zombies, or disapproving aunts—can stop true love.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


This GN was gruesomely delightful. If there had been less zombie gore, I probably would have been really disappointed. I'm not a fan of gore and, to be totally honest, I'm not super into zombies....either way, this GN was totally cool. The action was well placed and the illustrations were masterfully done. Richards knew exactly what he was doing. The story was adapted well from the Jane Austen adaptation (an adaptation of an adaptation....hmm).  Elizabeth Bennet looked wicked as always and Mr. Darcy still managed to hold onto his gentlemanly charm. All in all, this is a book I would pick up again for a quick, action-packed, quirky, gory, zombie-filled read. 


Quick side note!!!   
       The ninjas were much cooler here than the original adaptation. 


Till my next review,
BEWARE OF THE ZOMBIES!!!!!! 
-----Special shout-out to my favorite pint-sized Zombie Killah....you know who you are =)

JA Book Review #7: The Man Who Loved Pride & Prejudice

So I recently bought this book and was excited to use it for my project. It looked very promising.
*Also, introducing something new, but very minor: What I'm Currently Listening To!! Just for the fun of it, maybe you'll discover a song you like!*

Currently Listening To: 
     Waterlily-The Cottars
     Byker Hill-The Cottars
     Atlantic Blue-The Cottars

The Man Who Loved Pride & Prejudice 
by Abigail Reynolds
Rating: 4/5

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Blurb:

A modern love story with a Jane Austen twist...
Marine biologist Cassie Boulton has no patience when a modern-day Mr. Darcy appears in her lab on Cape Cod. Proud, aloof Calder Westing III is the scion of a famous political family, while Cassie's success is hard-won in spite of a shameful family history.


     When their budding romance is brutally thwarted, both by his family and by hers, Calder tries to set things right by rewriting the two of them in the roles of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet from Pride & Prejudice...but will Cassie be willing to supply the happy ending?
------------------------------------------------------------------------

COVER!!!!:  
This book makes me think of the color purple. I don't know why, it just does (and no, its not because of her dress...although that looks kinda darkish blue to me). Speaking of which, pretty dress, rather simple but still pretty! I love the orange overtone that suggests a sunset. The water in the background gives a nice relaxed tone. And what exactly is my favorite part of the cover? The LIGHTHOUSE!!! (For those who don't know, me and my mom are really fond of lighthouses, especially the ones that we have been to in Maine!)

Enough shallow cover talk, let's move on to the nitty-gritty.
I can honestly say that this is one of the first real adult romances that I have ever read. It was a bit more vivid than the ones that I typically read (Love Inspired Series! ) It took a little getting used to, but I've got a pretty good handle of it now.

I liked the general story. Marine Biology meets Pride and Prejudice sounds like my exact cup of tea. Certain things just threw me off. Now don't get me wrong, I am a TOTAL romantic,...but after a while I just wasn't feeling it. At first I was cheering for Calder and Cassie, but eventually the spell broke and I was left wondering when I fell off the bandwagon. I still wanted them to be together, I just didn't feel how it ended up that way. Some things were really working for me, and now I'm trying to find out where in the heck I made a wrong turn and figure out where I need to be in order to get back onto the highway.

I loved reading Calder's rewriting of Pride and Prejudice!!! I can honestly say that I teared up at the same time Cassie was. How can you not absolutely love that?!?! My heart was melting into slop, right there. THAT is the reason this book gets a 4 (its not the only reason, but it IS one of the main ones).

I liked the characters overall. Cassie had so many different aspects to her and Calder was just one big surprise after another. It was a perfect onion! (peeling back the layers at a pace that is easy enough to enjoy the flavor, but not ever reaching the point of tearing up with stinging pain)
Erin changed a lot over the course of the book, which is very good. I am a fond believer that supporting characters should learn and develop just as much as the main characters do.

I really enjoyed reading the descriptions of Woods Hole. I enjoyed the beauty and simplicity of it all. Although it also had its many layers. I believe I can name that as the key technique in this novel: Layering. The layering was absolutely sublime.

Overall, this book was definitely entertaining. It was even rather insightful into the many layers each person has lying underneath the surface. They too are complex creatures just like the creatures in the salt marsh. I would definitely recommend this book to others. Particularly those who like a good romance, but don't want it to come way too easily. Take your time. As my Daddy always says: Its not about reaching the destination, all of the fun is in the journey. =)

Until my next post,
Ciao!!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

JA Book Review #6: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

This book has attained major popularity since being published in 2009. ~Contains the original story of Pride and Prejudice while tossing in Zombies and Ninjas when possible.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies      

by Seth Grahame-Smith
Rating: 3/5

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Blurb:


"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains."



So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton--and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she's soon distracted by  the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers--and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you'd actually want to read. 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

I really don't know where I stand when it comes to this book. I did enjoy it, because it made me laugh quite a bit. However, I am pretty squeamish. I am anti-gore. I can't watch it, and I can read it for the most part. This book almost pushed me to my gore limit. (Although this was not a real deciding factor for my overall enjoyment of it).

Also, I found many instances to be rather risque. Discussions about balls aren't exactly my cup of tea.

The book stays rather true to the original novel, but I still feel that at times this novel was WAY more concerned with the war against zombies and its overall Comedic Value versus keeping true to the original. I found Elizabeth Bennet to be excessively vulgar. I understand that the environment she's in has changed, but I would have thought it better if she could maintain a certain sense of propriety and modesty while still being able to battle unmentionables. Her level of attraction would have increased greatly. And did the first proposal scene from Darcy REALLY have to change that much? In the original novel, that was one of my favorite scenes, because of the relative eloquence used throughout the encounter. In this rendition, it has been altered to nothing more than a squabble between sexes. There are so many faults that I have found in this scene. First of all, Mr. Darcy would never 'fight back.'  Gentlemen do not physically quarrel with ladies, no matter how improper and vulgar she may be. I must say that Mr. Grahame-Smith failed to capture the essence of Elizabeth Bennet for me. Just before Darcy enters to inquire after her health, she was thinking of plans to kill Darcy AND his cousin! In that aspect, she comes across as slightly unstable mentally speaking. This is not at all how I would have EVER imagined Elizabeth Bennet to act. One of the reasons she has become one of my most beloved heroines in literature is because of her propriety as it blends with her personal strength.  Her greatest trait was her ability to remain mostly proper even in the most uncomfortable of situations. I always believed this to be one of the contributing factors to her attractiveness and part of why Mr. Darcy came to love her in the first place.

I've always considered courtship to be the driving factor when it comes to Pride and Prejudice. While courtship is still present in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I can't help but think of how much it is downplayed because of the zombies. Everyone seems much more occupied with learning deadly arts (understandable considering the circumstances) than getting married in order to procreate (which is still pretty important during a zombie apocalypse). I just feel that there is WAY too much going on in this novel for it to be really true to Miss Austen's original. I enjoyed the zombie aspect at first, but then after consideration realized that it is for mere commercial enjoyment. The ninjas were a bit too much though....I could have done without the ninjas.

Overall, this book is great for laughs and when you don't need anything really serious. However, it does not come at all close to the brilliance of Miss Austen's original masterpiece. Expect adventure and gore, not a true rendition of Pride and Prejudice. 


Enjoy your zombie-free life!

Until my next post,
goodbye!   =)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

JA Book Review #5: Darcy's Story

Welcome to Review #5 in my Jane Austen Series!  Today's book is a real treat!

Darcy's Story 
by Janet Aylmer
Rating: 5/5

---------------------------------------------------------------
Blurb:


When Elizabeth Bennet first met Mr. Darcy, she found him proud, distant, and rude--despite the other ladies' admiration of his estate in Derbyshire and ten thousand pounds a year. But what was Mr. Darcy thinking?


Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice has long stood among the most beloved novels of all time. The story of Elizabeth Bennet's blossoming romance with "haughty, reserved, and fastidious" Fitzwilliam Darcy has enchanted readers for nearly two centuries. Yet, Mr. Darcy has always remained an intriguing enigma--his thoughts, feelings, and motivations hidden behind a cold, impenetrable exterior...until now.
     With the utmost respect for Austen's original masterwork, author Janet Aylmer lovingly retells Pride and Prejudice from a bold new perspective: seeing events as they transpire through the eyes of Darcy himself. One of the world's great love stories takes on breathtaking new life, and one of fiction's greatest romantic heroes becomes even more sympathetic, compelling, attractive, and accessible, all through the imagination and artistry of a truly gifted storyteller.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

When I finished reading Pride & Prejudice, I had so many questions. Most of them pertaining to how Mr. Darcy was reacting to all the events that transpired. What was REALLY going on in his mind when his first proposal to Elizabeth ended in rejection? How did he know about his aunt going to see Elizabeth and how did he feel about her rude intrusion? With this book, my questions were finally answered. 

Darcy's Story tied up all the loose ends that just wouldn't come together in my mind. If I really wanted to, I could have sat down and inferenced all the answers from the original novel by Jane Austen, but given how busy school keeps me, I don't have the time. Thankfully, Miss Aylmer did it for me and even provided a beautiful cover to compliment her story. 

Everything about this book was right. It was absolutely perfect. All the characters seemed like they were pulled right off Ms. Austen's pages. They were consistent with the originals. Mr. Darcy is even more wonderful now that we can see the whole thing through his eyes. No more wondering how fast the news had to travel, or what he was doing when certain events happened or what was going through his mind when Elizabeth was sick. Darcy's Story is a wonderful book that I really enjoyed. It is a must for Pride & Prejudice fans. Next time I read Pride & Prejudice, I'll have to read this one right after. It really adds more depth to the original work. I am so glad I found this book and I know that once I get the opportunity, I'll be revisiting it quite often.  This is a perfect example of how a modern take on a classic, can still do justice to the original work. 




This book had absolutely everything a Pride & Prejudice based adaptation should. I want you to go and read this book if you've read the original classic, because this is the perfect companion novel to it.
Until the next time we meet,
      Farewell!

JA Book Review #4: Pride & Prejudice [GN]

Once more, I bring you a Jane Austen Series Review. (In case you didn't know, I am currently working on a project in which all these books are relevant).

Pride & Prejudice: 
A Marvel Graphic Novel 
     Inspired by the original novel by: Jane Austen
     Adapted by: Nancy Butler & Hugo Petrus

Rating: 4/5

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Blurb:

Tailored from the adored Jane Austen classic, Marvel Comics is proud to present an adaptation of the whimsical tale of Lizzy Bennet and her loveable-if-eccentric family, as they navigate through tricky British social circles. Will Lizzy's father manage to marry off his five daughters, despite his wife's incessant nagging? And will Lizzy's beautiful sister Jane marry the handsome, wealthy Mr. Bingley? Or will his brooding friend Mr. Darcy stand between their happiness?

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Walking through the Graphic Novel section of my local library, I spotted this. I almost yelled in surprise and excitedness....but then I remembered where I was, so I didn't. Marvel is the best and Pride & Prejudice is my favorite classic novel. So this piece of awesomeness combined 2 of my favorite things.

This graphic novel really brings everything to life. Austen was a fabulous wordsmith, but I adore graphic novels....its less work(I'm not super lay-z, I just really like pictures). The main story line is still present, and all the graphics are well done. The proportioning looks okay to me and every character looks just like I thought they would.

This is one of the best adaptations I've read thus far. Given, it is the original story, but sometimes adapters take a lot of liberties. Thankfully, Butler and Petrus didn't. They stayed true to the key theme I've been targeting: Courtship.  In Austen's time, courtship was extremely important. Courtship is the driving factor for the plot of Pride & Prejudice.

Overall, I am very happy with the way this novel was done. Everything was in order, as it should be.

Graphic novels aren't really super reviewable, so I'll cut this here. Until my next post,
Adieu!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

JA Book Review #3: Prom & Prejudice

Hi! Here is another book review in my Jane Austen-inspired series. I still have quite a few more to post, so hopefully I get them up in a timely manner and you enjoy them.

Prom & Prejudice 
by Elizabeth Eulberg
Rating: 5/5


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BLURB: 


It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single girl of high standing at Longbourn Academy must be in want of a prom date.


After winter break, the girls at the very prestigious Longbourn Academy become obsessed with the prom. Lizzie Bennet, who attends Lngbourn on a scholarship, isn't interested in designer dresses and expensive shoes, but her best friend, Jane, might be--especially now that Charles Bingley is back from a semester in London.
     Lizzie is happy about her friend's burgeoning romance, but less than impressed by Charles's friend Will Darcy, who's snobby and pretentious--and doesn't seem to like Lizzie either. Clearly, Darcy is a pompous jerk. So why does Lizzie find herself drawn to him anyway?
     Will Lizzie's pride and Will's prejudice keep them apart? Or are they a prom couple in the making? Whatever the result, Elizabeth Eulberg, author of The Lonely Hearts Club, has concocted a very funny, completely stylish delight for any season--prom or otherwise. 


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


It is a truth universally acknowledged, that if I am going to review this book, I must do it justice as I would any other. Thankfully, Eulberg has done such a fantastic job, I have nothing negative to say about it. I'm going to break this one down in a different format, just for fun.


Cover: 
Delightfully pink, with a blue dress and scissors placed over the right strap as if to cut it. Fancy title writing. Girly, Fancy & Fun all at the same time. Perfect example of YA cover


The Characters:
Every character served their purpose, while still bringing pure enjoyment and expected complications. Lizzie Bennet was every bit as delightful in Prom & Prejudice as in Pride & Prejudice, just with a couple more teenage quirks (the added commitment to the piano was a nice touch). Wick was a lot more convincing as a teenage character than he was in the original work. Will Darcy was a well-written character, who seemed a lot more fun in this book than in the original. [or maybe I just like them all to be teenage characters rather than relative grown-ups] It was kinda strange to see Jane & Elizabeth as close friends instead of sisters. I see how it was relevant to the story, but at the same time, their bond didn't seem as tight as it should have been. 


The Chemistry:
Lizzie and Will have such a great chemistry, that they are just as believable a couple as the original Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam, minus the whole propriety marriage idea presented in older times. I especially love the lines that Will uses on Lizzie at the end of the book, when everything magically fits together. 


Miscellaneous:
I really liked that Will Darcy had a mom in this book instead of just an aunt. I never really like the aunt in the original Pride & Prejudice, so it was nice that Miss Eulberg decided to change things up a bit. Also, I liked that Lydia was not related to Elizabeth and only to Jane. Jane and Lydia are polar opposites and it was nice to see them juxtaposed without tossing Lizzie into the mix. I especially love the fact that Lizzie was so committed to the piano {I know I already mentioned this, but I just loved it so much I have to toss it in one more time}. It added room for a couple more adjustments that really made this story wonderfully different at its core. 


All In All:
This book was delightfully entertaining. I loved how well the original novel has been adapted to become more relatable for teens. This story, while mostly true to the original, does take on a life of its own and is about much more than simply courtship. It is about making friends, finding out who you are, and discovering the true character/natures of the people who surround you. Do not judge based on money, when there is so much more to every person than meets the eye.     =) 




Until the next time we meet,
            Au Revoir!!!   

JA Book Review #2: First Impressions

~Lately, I've been working on a project for school involving Jane Austen's classic novel: Pride & Prejudice. This is the second post in my JA Book Review Series {JA being Jane Austen}. Please bear with me as I am working out the kinks in my reviewing style.~

First Impressions 
by Debra White Smith
Rating: 5/5

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Blurb:
                                                                                         
When Eddi Boswick is cast as Elizabeth, the female lead in a local production of Pride & Prejudice, she hesitates. Dave, the handsome young rancher cast as Darcy, seems arrogant and unpredictable. Accepting the challenge of playing opposite him, Eddi soon realizes that he is difficult to work with on and off the set.        
                                                                                                                                                                   
But when a tornado springs out of nowhere, Dave protects Eddi...much to her chagrin. And he is shocked to  discover an attraction for the feisty lawyer he can't deny. Sparks fly when Eddi misinterprets his interest and    discovers the truth he's trying to hide.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                                                 
Will Eddi's passionate faith, fierce independence, and quick wit keep Dave from discovering the secret to love...and the key to her heart?                                                                                                                  
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 I was so excited when I started this book, and my excitement stayed throughout the entire thing. For those who don't know, I am a Texas girl- born and raised in the Lone Star State. I can honestly say that there is no state I would rather live in.  One of the coolest things about this book is that it takes place in a small Texas town. The setting is London, Texas. In case you've never seen it, here is a picture of the post office. 
   


     Quick side-note: I am a HUGE fan of Jane Austen's original work and over the past 3 months or so, I have made myself a critique on the modern takes of Pride & Prejudice.  So when Mom gave this book to me, I naturally accepted the challenge of making sure it stayed true to the heart of  the novel. Luckily, by the end of the book I did not find myself wanting to toss it into the fire. I would much rather curl up with it in FRONT of a fire.

 Similarities between P&P and FI:

  1. Eddi--Elizabeth: Minor detail, but both names start with an 'E.' Not significantly important but neat nonetheless
  2. Eddi & Elizabeth act rather similar...if Elizabeth Bennet had been in modern times, I think she just might have been able to pull off the lawyer look. She's definitely smart enough for it
  3. Eddi & Elizabeth are both their father's favorite daughter and find their mothers rather silly
  4. Eddi & Elizabeth both have preconceived ideas of Dave Davidson/Fitzwilliam Darcy and Rick Wallace/George Wickham
  5. The storylines of P&P and FI are rather similar, just with a setting and time change occurring
Differences between P&P and FI:  "SPOILER ALERT!!!!!"  *only read if you're okay with a couple of spoilers*
  1. Texas Tornado...you would never see that in England in the 1800s. You can't have Texas Tornados anywhere but Texas.........hence the 'Texas' part of Texas Tornado
  2. Fitzwilliam Darcy didn't have giant black friends to reinforce his power against George Wickham
  3. Lydia was not pregnant...its amazing how much the times have changed
  4. There were 5 Bennet sisters and here there are only 3 Boswick sisters....although their mother is jsut as silly and their father is pretty much the same too
  5. The relationship between the parents is more developed in First Impressions than in Pride & Prejudice
  6. Fitzwilliam Darcy didn't have a hidden ministry 
  7. Faith is much more of a central idea in First Impressions

One of the things I liked most about this book, was that even though it was modern, it was still clean. It was a wonderful story, not original of course, but I still had lots of fun reading it. This story had so many great points that did separate it from Pride & Prejudice, one of which was the ending. I would hate to ruin it for anyone, so I'll just say that the closing scene of the play gave a lot more than I expected. 

Speaking honestly, this is one of my favorite takes on Pride & Prejudice and will most likely make my top list of books inspired by Jane Austen.  I would recommend this book to every fan of Pride & Prejudice who just might also love the Lone Star State.


Until my next post,
          Farewell!!!!!