Saturday, July 28, 2012

Setting the Bar: A Review on East Bay Grease by Eric Miles Williamson

T-Bird Murphy is just trying to survive. His mother chose the Hell's Angels over him and his father has recently gotten out of jail. Every day he spends time devising plans to avoid the local school bullies while proving to everyone that he's not only intelligent but he's also an exceptionally talented trumpet player. As T-Bird moves on in life he learns how to adapt, figures out where his strengths lie and finally begins to understand exactly who he is and where he belongs.

So obviously I have been posting a LOT of reviews on YA books out in stores right now and yeah, I know that the next great Pulitzer prize winners of fiction are not going to be discovered amongst the stacks of books I read which are found mainly in the YA and Science Fiction sections of any average bookstore.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Necessary Change in Direction

So quite a while back I was making posts about my thesis writing process and the work I was doing for the MFA program at my university, whose name shall remain unknown. I meant to write about continuing my career as a student in pursuit of the knowledge that would enable me to become the best capable writer I could ever become in life. Going forward with the MFA program at my university was meant to help me establish my career as a writer. Mind you, I did receive fair warning before applying that I would be wasting my time. If only I'd listened.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Out to Sea: A Book Review on Seven Tears into the Sea by Terri Farley

Seven years ago, 10-year-old Gwen Cook was found on the beach late one night babbling about a guy she saw come out of the water. Various stories circled around trying to explain the situation and eventually Gwennie and her family moved away. Now out of a sense of family obligation, Gwen's back in her hometown to help her Nana recover from a fall and help out at the Inn her family owns. Gwen also has a personal goal in mind for her summer stay: to find out exactly what happened that night on the beach 7 years ago.

The setup for this book was spot on. It begins with a segment simply titled, "Midnight: Mirage Beach," and proceeds into a beautiful prologue.. There's a sense of wonder and mystery established here as an unnamed girl and her Gypsy boy meet for the first time.

Monday, July 16, 2012


It occurred to me that I have no means of truly delineating between what I think is a good book and what I absolutely hate. So without further ado my means of rating my reviews.****

****I've come to the realization that while I may love a lot of the books that I read, that doesn't mean it's fair to give them ALL 5 Stars. As a result, I have reconfigured my ratings system to go across a 10-Star scale.

The Threads of Fate: A Book Review on Warped by Maurissa Guibord

I'm still waiting on a new book from the awesome Maurissa Guibord but while I wait I shall finally post a review on her first published novel, the wonderfully magical Warped. I've reread this book several times already. It has enough magic and mystery, with just a touch of romance to make this the kind of book to earn a spot on my favorites bookshelf, the most coveted space in my library. To begin, a little about Warped.

Tessa Brody has a strange feeling about the unicorn tapestry she just had to have once she'd seen it up for bid at an auction she attended with her dad. Once she has it in her possession the dreams start up, revealing visions of a way of life long since forgotten. But the dreams are the least of Tessa's worries when she ends up pulling a thread from the tapestry only to find a young nobleman tumbling onto her floor.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Turn a Blind Eye: An Analysis of the Detrimental Effects of Irresponsible Friendships in a Modern Film Adaptation of Othello

How many of you have actually watched "O", that film made back in the 90s which a lot of people made note of if only to comment that Julia Stiles was acting in yet another Shakespeare adaptation?  I'm thinking not many have watched this film.  Before taking a class on Shakespeare and Film this last spring I'd been quite content to avoid this film.  It never caught my attention and I just didn't feel the need to watch a movie about a guy who goes crazy with jealousy and then violence ensues until the end of the film where there was one last man standing.  Just not my cup of tea.  I'd never read the play before either and that's sad, considering how much a fan I am of Shakespeare's tragedies (but I confess, I rather loathe the history plays.)  I was assigned this play and I thought well, I had to read at some point, right?  So I finish reading this play and this is what I get out of it.  I call this "Othello in a nutshell."
Villain: "Hey. You're wife is cheating on you."
Othello: "That bitch! I'll kill her!"

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Family of Magic: A Review on The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff

Alysha Gale has the same problems that most early twenty-somethings have in life. She’s lost her job and had to move back home; she’s in love with her best friend, Michael, who happens to be gay; and she has way too many Aunties determined to tell her what to do. It doesn’t help that the Gales, or specifically the Aunties, have the power to make charms and control their surroundings with a kind of power they like to keep close in the family. So when she gets a letter from her estranged grandmother detailing her inheritance of a junk shop in Calgary, Alysha figures her best bet is to move forward and investigate the shop and the supposed death/disappearance of her not so beloved Gran. Once she arrives of course, things really start to take off and Alysha is left with the decision of either dealing with the new developments on her own or bringing in her Aunties to rain down the power of the family on their new opponents.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Poor Choice of Words: An Analysis of Kat Stratford’s Favorite Band and Their Lyrics from 10 Things I Hate About You

Sidenote: In a slight turn of events, I've decided to write and post several analyses of various film adaptations that I've had to study over the course of my university career. I kind of consider them to be reviews so in all fairness I feel they should be posted here for that sake if anything else. So without further ado, we shall begin with Shakespeare.
Gil Junger’s 1999 film adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, entitled 10 Things I Hate About You, has received mixed criticisms focusing on the themes that have received new life that were once seen in Shakespeare.  Many students in the audience believe that the film provides an equal opportunity for the play’s protagonists to assert their own beliefs and become their own independent characters, a change met readily by those that believe the play had instances that bordered on spousal abuse between Katherina and Petruchio.  However, the film does little to make the female characters any different from their play counterparts.  These women, Kat and Bianca, are still the playthings of the men in the film, being manipulated by the rules of a bet made on a whim to prove the power that the male leads have over them in a high school setting.