30 Day Book Challenge: Day 23

picsart_1375358545585Good evening fellow readers! So of course I found a new challenge to participate in the hopes of proving myself better than the last. I picked up this challenge from The Chronicles of Radiya and very much look forward to 30 consecutive (hopefully, gulp) days of blogging.

Day 23: A Book You Wanted to Read for a Long Time But Still Haven’t

Today’s challenge makes me so excited. I love talking about books I long for and all the possibilities it holds! While there are many books that I’ve been meaning to get to for a long time there is one that takes the cake. A book that already has two movie adaptations out, is a widely popular young adult novel and is based on one of my favorite things– Greek mythology.

That’s right! The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan.

The first I heard about this series was when the movie was just about to come out. Usually that would inflame me to go out and get the book right away but I was in the middle of senior year and had too many books ahead on the list. Then the movie came out and I watched it and thought it was okay.

Little did I know that there was a massive uproar from fans of the books in a rage. Apparently the movie (although it was cute) did not follow the story at all. I have to say I was a bit relieved when I heard this. I had heard so many great things about camp half-blood that I had begun to get so excited! But after seeing the movie my excitement kind of deflated as I could find nothing really special about it in the movie.

So when I heard that the movie got it wrong I was filled with eager anticipation. I had to get a hold of the book but for some reason it never happened. For holidays I got other books on my wish list and those on top of the books I already had and had not yet read did not give me a reason to justify buying another book.

It’s not just the hype that has me eagerly awaiting this book it’s also the fact that the novel is steeped in Greek mythology. This is something I have always been incredibly fascinated by and studied thoroughly. I enjoyed reading about the jealous gods trivialities and their giant consequences. They were basically worshipped human with powers which is an interesting concept. So the fact that there is a whole series based on the many stories in Greek mythology has me jumping up and down in excitement for this book.

Is there a novel out there that you’ve been meaning to get to but just haven’t yet? Share it below and happy reading!

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 22

picsart_1375358545585Good evening fellow readers! So of course I found a new challenge to participate in the hopes of proving myself better than the last. I picked up this challenge from The Chronicles of Radiya and very much look forward to 30 consecutive (hopefully, gulp) days of blogging.

Day 22: Favorite Villain From a Book

I want you all to know that there was no hesitation when I decided who to write about for today’s challenge. This villain was creepy, scary and intriguing. He is Count Olaf from the Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.

From the filthy suits, to the lack of socks and to the ankle eye tattoo that followed the Baudelaire children everywhere they went, Lemony Snicket created a superb villain. He built this persona that is not only creepy but down right scary.

Count Olaf can be violent but I found that I was more scared of him when he was calm. He was extremely clever and very manipulative so the reader knew to worry when Olaf was quiet because it meant he was formulating a plan. It was frightening how he always seem to find the Baudelaire children, no matter where they went he was a step ahead. I think the scariest part of Olaf was his charm. He was always able to talk himself out of every situation and nothing is more frightening to me than someone who is after you and not one soul believes you. I can’t imagine being completely alone with that horror and I’m glad that the Baudelaire children at least have each other.

Then there’s the intrigue. Count Olaf is surrounded by mystery so much so that your curiosity outweighs your terror. You can’t help but want to investigate this villain even if it means getting closer to him and possibly your death. How is he able to stay one step ahead of the children? To what extent is he involved the children’s parents death? And for goodness sakes, what is with all the eyes? I’d be willing to risk it all to get that last question answered as that ankle eye tattoo has haunted many childhood dreams.

Count Olaf will remain as my favorite fictional villain as he kept me terrified and wanting more at the same time.

Who was your favorite villain from a book? Share it below and happy reading!

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 21

picsart_1375358545585Good evening fellow readers! So of course I found a new challenge to participate in the hopes of proving myself better than the last. I picked up this challenge from The Chronicles of Radiya and very much look forward to 30 consecutive (hopefully, gulp) days of blogging.

Day 21: Favorite Book From Your Childhood

This one is very easy today. My swift reply is The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman and I’ll tell you why, it is the first book that I discovered by myself.

In 7th grade I had discovered the wonder of the school library. It wasn’t very big by any means but it was cozy and welcoming. I had read all the recommendations I had received and read everything that was popular at the time so I was in the need for a book. I was hesitant though as I browsed the shelves because I had never picked up a book purely based on my own judgment before. I was nervous about getting stuck in an awful book (because my Need to Finish was present even at that age) so I looked for anything that might seem familiar or easy. I didn’t want to take any risks.

That’s when I saw it. I remember it caught my eye because the spine was dark and it was sitting between two bright-colored books. The title made me pause and eventually pull the book off the shelf. I was nervous about the length and not because I didn’t like long books but because I was in an unknown waters. I read the synopsis which is this:

Here lives an orphaned ward named Lyra Belacqua, whose carefree life among the scholars at Oxford’s Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors.  First, her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects is part of an alternate universe.  He leaves Lyra in the care of  Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer who offers to give Lyra the attention her uncle has long refused her.  In this multilayered  narrative, however, nothing is as it seems. Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate, Roger, bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the compass of the title.  All around her children are disappearing—victims of so-called “Gobblers”—and being used as subjects in terrible experiments that separate humans from their daemons, creatures that reflect each person’s inner being.  And somehow, both Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter are involved.

The synopsis made the book sound complicated. I was in 7th grade so I didn’t want a deep meaningful read I wanted something that would be fun and this synopsis made me doubtful I would find it in this novel. Then– fate struck. The bell rang signaling the end of lunch and the start of class.

I couldn’t let myself leave without a book so with a last weary glance at the novel I checked it out and hurried on through the rest of the day. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made. The Golden Compass is a gripping novel. Full of complex plot devices and fleshed out characters but told in a way that makes it easy for children to understand. Lyra became somewhat of a hero of mine, she was so brave and loyal and I was convinced that if I became involved with a golden compass I would mimic Lyra.

Phillip Pullman’s world creating is unique and at the same time a social critique on today’s society. It’s truly a fascinating read and I recommend it for all ages who enjoy fantasy.

It remains as my favorite childhood novel because I’m just so proud that I found that novel all on my own. I took a risk and it payed off and it’s because of that novel that I’m willing to try anything when it comes to reading.

What was your favorite childhood book? Share it below and happy reading!

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 20

picsart_1375358545585Good morning fellow readers! So of course I found a new challenge to participate in the hopes of proving myself better than the last. I picked up this challenge from The Chronicles of Radiya and very much look forward to 30 consecutive (hopefully, gulp) days of blogging.

Day 20: Favorite Romance Book

Romance tends to be formulated then again I guess that could be applied to every genre I just happen to be more aware of it in romance. While formulated is not necessarily a bad thing it can make it hard for books to stand out.

What I’ve come to ask of romance novels is this: is it realistic? Do they fall in love in three days because if they do then it’s not. Do the love interests find each other perfect because if they do then again, it’s not realistic. I don’t expect every book I read to be realistic in fact I read many romance books that are not and enjoy them but I have to say that I do lose a bit of respect for those that are not.

I want to believe the story and forgive me but I just don’t believe that he saw her passing by and knew instantly that she was the one. I just don’t buy it.

My favorite romances are not typical, they tend to break from the traditional sunset happily ever after that is very common in the romance genre. For instance The Time Traveler’s Wife and P.S. I Love You, both are fleshed out stories about flawed characters who are either in love or used to be. I’m drawn to those stories.

My favorite romance novel of all time would have to be Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. The setting of the novel is a traveling circus and a young man is its own veterinarian. As we get to know the characters we meet August and his wife Marlena. August is a charming man who befriends our protagonist Jacob, but is also suffering from mental issues causing him to be paranoid about his relationship with Marlena and on top of that he is a brutal man, pushing the circus animals far beyond their capacity. Marlena is part of the horse act and she and Jacob bond over the new circus elephant Rosie (who is bubbling with personality). Their bond develops into friendship and then further develops into love. They have an affair and needless to say things get bumpy and whole slew of events take place.

I guess what I love about this novel is the way Gruen portrays the fragility of Marlena’s and Jacob’s relationship; as if it were always on the edge of glass in danger of outside elements and the characters own flaws. That’s real. Love , when first bloomed, is not this ultimately strong force that can conquer the world. It is delicate and needs time to grow.

There’s also Rosie the elephant. Her part in the novel was fantastic and she ultimately influences Marlena and Jacobs relationship in the end.

I recommend this novel to all romance fans and even fans of historical fiction. It was fascinating to learn about the circus in such an early age and I found out many new things. Water for Elephants is a great novel and I urge everyone to pick it up.

What is your favorite romance novel? Share it below and happy reading!

30 Day Book Challenge Day 19

picsart_1375358545585Good evening fellow readers! So of course I found a new challenge to participate in the hopes of proving myself better than the last. I picked up this challenge from The Chronicles of Radiya and very much look forward to 30 consecutive (hopefully, gulp) days of blogging.

Day 19: Favorite Book Turned Into a Movie

This question was a bit difficult as I found that I had already talked about several options that comes to mind. Then I remembered a favorite movie of mine, soon to one of my favorite novels.

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

I saw the movie when I was six years old and my obsession for dinosaurs was born. I learned everything I could about them and watched anything dinosaur related to feed my need. (The Land Before Time series thenceforth became one of my favorites of all time). My secret desire was to see a dinosaur (not a raptor of course, as they were my biggest fear).

Thirteen years later it came to my knowledge that the movie Jurassic Park was actually based on a novel penned by Michael Crichton. If you love books like I do, which a good many of you do, you could just imagine the scene that took place when I discovered this amazing fact.

I hurriedly obtained a copy of this novel and read it within a day. I LOVED it. I loved the way Michael Crichton not only made the science believable but interesting as well. As somebody that doodled their way through biology I can honestly say Crichton does an excellent job of mixing scientific information into the novel. After reading it I watched the movie again ready to look at it with a different perspective and I am happy to say that my opinion of the movie did not change, I was still just as wide-eyed about dinosaurs as I was before the novel.

Steven Spielberg did a fantastic job of translating the story from paper to film and it will always remain as one of my favorite movie adaptations.

What is your favorite book turned into a movie? What is one that is your least favorite? Share it below and happy reading!