Saturday, July 30, 2016

LIGHTS OUT: A Film Review

30 July 1 Comments

     Everyone has been afraid of the dark at least once in their life. If it wasn't growing up, it was after watching a horror movie, or when you thought you saw something in the shape of a horrifying creature once you got into bed to get some shut eye. This movie capitalized on those fears. And they capitalized on it very well. A fear of the dark makes sense. Not knowing what is around us until our eyes adjust is terrifying. When the lights are on, you're able to see danger before it comes at you and you can get prepared for it.
     The movie is about a family where mental illness and tragedy has been all they know. The mother, Sophie, is harboring a horrible secret from her children. This secret drove away Sophie's daughter Rebecca, and is now becoming a horrifying reality to Sophie's son Martin.
     One of the things I really enjoyed about this movie was the fact that it didn't seem like it was trying very hard to scare me, but it ended up doing so in a flawless manner. The suspense is another satisfying aspect of this movie. It gets your anxiety levels up and then manages to deliver the scares at perfect timing. The only downfalls to this movie, and every other horror film that I've watched is the fact that the actors make seemingly ridiculous decisions and cliches like going back into the house after getting the chance of getting out, and thinking all of the back-ups you placed around the house will somehow fend off the supernatural darkness. Watch the movie and you'll see what I mean!
     This is not the first film I've watched by James Wan, but it is definitely one of my favorite top three movies either produced or written by him. He is a horror movie master and he did not disappoint me too terribly. ;)

I attended this movie with my friend on a weekday and only four other people were in the theater. At one of the scariest parts of the movie, the light right next to be dimmed a considerable amount from how dim it already was. I nearly came out of my seat and took a huge NOPE. Definitely terrifying and I'll be adding it to my DVD collection ASAP. Have you watched Lights Out?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Book Review || The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

12 July 2 Comments

Title: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1)
Author+Maggie Stiefvater
Pages: 409
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them--until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can't entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn't believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.

A couple years ago, I had fallen in love with Stiefvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls series, so I have zero idea why it took me forever to finally pick up the first book in this series, but I am so happy I finally did. Writing like Stiefvater delivers has been missing from my life for far too long.

One of the reasons why I thoroughly enjoyed this book was because it kept me guessing. I had absolutely no idea where the book was going and the suspense that came along with that was perfect. Stories where I can't predict what's going to happen within the first few chapters are the kind of stories I live for. Before this book, I didn't enjoy mythology at all, let alone Welsh mythology. It was a very new and exciting breath of fresh air for me considering the fact that this is the first book that centers around a topic I haven't read about before.

The second reason I loved this book was because the characters are so lovable. Yes, even Ronan. I even had to roll my eyes a few times at Gansey, and shook my head a few times at Blue. My heart got ripped right out of my chest for Noah. I've never loved a set of characters as I do the characters in this book. Adam has to be my favorite, with Noah a close second.

In this book, there are twists and turns galore, making for the most perfect sense of whiplash in a book I've ever endured. I enjoyed it quite a bit and can't wait until I can start of the second one later on tonight. Stiefvater delivers her stories so well it's hard to pick a favorite author besides her.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Book Review || And Again by Jessica Chiarella

04 July 9 Comments
Title: And Again
Author+Jessica Chiarella
Pages: 320
Buy the book: Amazon

Imagine if you were terminally ill, but given a second chance through human cloning. This gives you the same exact body of your own, except brand new. Baby skin. No tattoos, no scars, nothing. Your skin is unmarred and there are no ravaging diseases inside your body. You're clean and free. Would you do it? Or would your morals stop you? This story follows Hannah, David, Connie and Linda and how their lives change after following through with the operation.

This is a very character-driven story with a hint of sci-fi to it, but it's not overbearing. I got to know these characters and felt exactly what they were feeling. I knew why they made the choices they were making, and I understand why they were confused and felt the way they did after the operation. It was an incredibly fast read, so it made me want to slow down and savor the characters and their situations.
I love the fact that Chiarella perfectly managed to convey a sense of uneasiness and awkwardness through the characters about their new bodies. It shows how uncomfortable they are in the new ones, and how they're missing their old ones no matter how bad the old ones were used up. Definitely a recommended read for anyone who is interested about human cloning, or someone who really likes a quick and easy read that will stay with you for months after.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are of my own.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Book Review || Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews

01 July 3 Comments
Title: Flowers in the Attic
Author: V.C. Andrews
Pages: 416
Rating: 5/5
Buy the book: Amazon

Synopsis from Goodreads:

I began reading this book due to my best friend recommending it to me. I had seen it in passing while I browsed my local library's stacks but skimmed over it because it didn't seem like a book I would enjoy. Boy, was I wrong.
I don't necessarily want to say that I like books where people suffer, but it does make for good reading material. As long as it's not based off of a real person's suffering. This book screwed with me in more ways than one. It made me sick in some spots, and threw me for multiple loops at the end. I just could not get a break while reading it. It was non-stop horror after horror and I felt so bad for not only Cathy and Chris, but the little babies Cory and Carrie as well. I wanted to reach into that horrible attic and take them out and care for them myself.
The whole time I hated the grandmother for what she was doing, but as it turns out something far more sinister was happening and I had no idea how horrible it actually was. I'm going to jump right into reading the second one because I have to find out how things ended up for this perfect little family and if they really did end up getting the lives they deserve.

Book Review || Pearl by Deirdre Riordan Hall

01 July 2 Comments
Title: Pearl
Author: Deirdre Riordan Hall
Buy the book: Amazon

Summary from Amazon:
Run fast and run far, unless you're fearless. Unless you're courageous. I'm not, but I'd like to be.
Pearl Jaeger is 17 and homeless after drugs, poverty, and addiction unraveled the life she shared with JJ, her formerly glamorous rock star mother.
This moment of happiness is fleeting; someone will take it from me.
When tragedy brings a chance to start over at an elite boarding school, she doesn't hesitate. Yet the only salvation comes from an art teacher as troubled as Pearl, and she faces the stark reality that what she thought she wanted isn't straightforward.
I trace the outline of my reflection in a window. I am no more than a replica of my mother. This is not the self-portrait I want to paint.
Through the friendships she forms at school - especially with Grant, a boy who shows Pearl what it means to trust and forgive - she begins to see a path not defined by her past. But when confronted with the decision to be courageous or to take the easy way forged by her mother's failures, which direction will Pearl choose?

I have never rooted for the main character of a book to come out on top more than I did with Pearl. Within the first few pages, I knew I was going to like this book, but I knew I would love the main character more. I felt so bad for her, but I also understood why she did the things she did and why she made the decisions she was making. I felt everything that Pearl felt, and my heart ached with every let down she encountered and every single ounce of pain she felt.
 I knew immediately that my highlighter would never leave my hands throughout the book either. I highlighted so many quotes and made so many notes I don't even think anyone else could read the book without getting sidetracked now. I just felt like so many parts of the book were so good that I absolutely had to highlight them out of fear for not remembering.
The writing was amazing. It flowed smoothly and the prose was beautiful. My favorite quote out of the whole book was: "The only enemy you have is yourself. Stay there, with her, until you're not enemies anymore."

This would probably be the only book I've ever read that I will read over and over again. It was that good.