Why Are There All These Blank Spaces?

You may notice that in some of my posts there are blank spaces in the reviews. These are spoilers that I've written so I can remember important details of the books when I want to read the sequel. I've made the text a beige color to blend in with the background so you won't accidentally see something you don't want to. If you want to read it, just highlight the section to make the text appear - although you should really just read the book yourself! :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


by Stephenie Meyer

A couple weekends ago I was pretty excited to go see the Twilight movie in the theater. For those who have been hiding under a rock, Twilight the movie is based on Twilight the book by Stephenie Meyer. It's the first entry in a wildly popular 4-book series. I read the series for the first time this summer - the first 3 in June (each in less than 24 hours), and the fourth on August 2nd (the day of it's release) after getting it at a midnight release party at around 1am and reading without stopping or sleeping for pretty much the entire day. So needless to say these books are engrossing! But this post is about Twilight - both the book and the movie, because after seeing the movie (twice) I felt compelled to re-read the book. This time I even allowed myself 2 days to finish it! I'm actually in the middle of another book, but I found that the movie of Twilight does have some familiar side effects - something Dani and I refer to as "Twilight stupor" - basically you find yourself walking about through your day not really focusing on real-life, but instead day-dreaming about vampires, werewolves, and soggy forests. It is most troublesome! Previously I have tried to cure myself of this disorder by shelving my Twilight books and not letting myself look at them again for at least a week. However, that just did not seem like fun at all, and since I have this entire week off from work for Thanksgiving, I decided to try to cure myself by simply allowing the stupor to spread and re-read all the books! And now I begin my blog:

Twilight remains on my list of all time favorite books. However, whenever I try to explain the plot and it's appeal to someone, it always comes out sounding really hokey. And I guess you could say it is, in a way. But there is something about the way that it's written that grabs your attention and won't let you go until the final page is turned (and by final page, I mean the final page of the 4th book!) We love Bella because she's caring, selfless, and just a little bit feisty. And we love Edward because he fights for the people he loves, he always knows what to say, and he struggles to do what's right. Edward's vampire family is diverse and interesting, and the romance that runs through the books is sweet and endearing.

Now we come to the movie. You can probably figure out that I liked the movie simply by the fact that I saw it twice on opening weekend. Is it as good as the book? No. I don't think that any movie can be as good as the book. The book is always better. Always. I can think of no exception. But I did think the movie was very, very good and that they stayed very true to the book. They didn't add anything completely out there, or take anything away that was essential to the book. That said, however, there were a few items from the book that were not in the movie that I missed. Maybe some will show up in deleted or extended scenes when the DVD comes out.

Let's see...first thing was Bella cooking for her dad - instead they ate at a diner. Not a terrible change, but I did missing seeing that nurturing aspect of Bella's character played out on screen.

Second, the blood typing scene. I suppose again, that this wasn't essential to the plot, but I missed seeing the interaction between a smitten Edward, a jealous Mike, and at whoozy Bella! (dare I hope for a deleted scene?!)

Third, no where in the movie did they mention Jasper's gift! I'm hoping for this in the sequels.

Fourth, the Cullen's weren't at prom! This was one of the bigger disappointments - I was so looking forward to seeing Alice's and Rosalie's outrageous dresses!

There were also a few other minor things I missed, such as Edward staying with Bella after the car accident, there was no mention of Edward "dazzling" people, and there was no racing heart monitor in the hospital.

However, there were some changes or additions found in the movie that I DID like. Such as, Bella talking to her mom more on the phone, Bella's friends having slightly more filled-out personalities, the fight scene in the end being all flashy and such, and that they had the prom at a pretty location instead of just in the high school gym.

Biggest gripe: Edward seeming so creepy weird when he had to save Bella at the ballet studio. In the book he seemed very calm and in control of himself, but in the movie he was a little crazed. Didn't like that much, but that was my biggest complaint. All in all, a pretty decent effort!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Seeing Redd

by Frank Beddor

This book took me a long time to finish! After getting to the end of The Hunger Games I started a whole bunch of projects and Seeing Redd progressed slowly. It also went slowly because it just wasn't as interesting as I'd hoped!

This is the second book in Frank Beddor's The Looking Glass Wars trilogy. I liked the first book - thought it was unique and interesting. I was looking forward to the second one and seeing what happened with Redd and the The Cat as well as the relationship between Dodge and Alyss. I was disappointed on both accounts.

First off, Redd and The Cat appear on Earth in a very odd way. I found myself more perplexed by it than interested. And the situation with Dodge and Alyss was just FRUSTRATING! Yes, I know, this isn't a romance book, but still, authors should not tease me so! Do not drop such heavy-handed hints in the first book for a romance between two characters and then not deliver! I was about half-way through the book before Dodge and Alyss so much as have a conversation. And then there's one chapter where I finally think the author's going to let us know that yes, they still like each other, and right when things are starting to get good a bunch of other characters barge into the room and interrupt!

I felt that the whole book was bogged down by too many plot lines running at once and narrative's constant hopping between them, as well as much too much detail on AD-52s, razor cards, glass eyes, chessmen, card soldiers and various other weapons and fighters. The novelty of these started to wear off and I found myself thinking, "Oh my gosh, I don't CARE about what kind of weapon he's using and who he's battling! Get to the point!" Then, things are finally starting to get going in one direction with the stories converging on each other and all that good stuff, and I turned the page - and that's the end!! The end?! I mean, I knew there would be one more book but it was just so abrupt!

That being said, I really didn't hate it as much as it sounds, I just didn't love it. And I will read the next book simply because I MUST find out what happens!

I think perhaps this book suffered in my opinion of it partially because it had to follow The Hunger Games. Poor thing.