Feature and Follow Friday #18!

"Follow Friday" hosted by the lovely "Parajunkee" and "Alison Can Read.
This weeks FEATURED blog: Cassi at "My Thoughts, Literally."

This weeks question: "Tell us about a book that you didn't like and why we shouldn't read it. (As nicely and respectfully as possible) 

Honestly, the FIRST book that came to mind was "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck. It's supposed to be a "classic" and is often assigned to students for book reports, etc. I read it in high school for that exact reason and had to do a report on it. Let's just say, I did have plenty to say about it. A lot of people truly like this book. However, I was crawling in my skin the entire way through. It takes place in a different time so things like healthcare aren't advanced like they are now or didn't even exist, but I wanted to pick Lenny up and take him to a doctor. It was horrible. I just felt like throwing the book across the room. It broke my heart and not in a good way like a John Green book... but in a horrible way. I'm not saying DON'T READ IT because I know people who did enjoy it... but it's just not one I recommend.  


Veronica Mars Movie Review.

I watched Veronica Mars as a teenager, it was amazing to me how much I related to her and her relationships. Once Veronica Mars was taken off air I was crushed. It was genius and all I could think about was how much of a waste it was to not be shared. Rewind to months ago when a rumor went around about a movie. I thought it was too good to be true until Kristen Bell announced it herself and the KickStarter campaign began. I donated and was incredibly happy to do so. All of the supporters basically broke KickStarter and created their biggest campaign ever. I stayed caught up on the filming and production through Kickstarter emails prompted by Rob Thomas who is amazing at all he does. Veronica Mars really wouldn't be possible without him. 

I was amazed at how much the actors were into it and wanting the film as well. You see a lot of actors these days hit it big and not care whatsoever unless they're getting paid big bucks. 

Well, this was not the case. 

A huge THANK YOU to everyone involved in the movie because it was PHENOMENAL.

The movie was everything I ever could have hoped for and more. I'm not going to give away any spoilers whatsoever, so I can only say that as a long time Veronica Mars fan I was extremely impressed. The plot started at a very interesting time in Veronica's life where she's about to hit it big in New York. She's created a life for herself that's entirely different from the one she experienced in Neptune, California. She's suddenly pulled back to Neptune in a series of events. Once she's back in Neptune all of the original characters are brought back into the story in such a intricate way. I really loved how the writers and producers were able to create a plot that wasn't too far off base from the "old" Neptune. It was all held together so well. 

I wondered how the crime and mystery would end and begin. I also wondered how far off it would be in relation to our favorite characters. I must say, it was pretty perfect. If you've seen the television series than you'll notice so many little details here and there. The action and suspense was nothing short of amazing. There were parts in the movie where I didn't see anything coming and suddenly I was swept up into this huge action sequence. 
It'll keep you on your toes. 

All in all, I'm just thoroughly pleased. I didn't want it to end and I honestly want a sequel. I know they're coming out with novels that pick up right where the movie leaves off, but I'd still like to see another Veronica Mars film take place. I recommend watching it, re-watching it and telling all of your friends. Go buy the DVD's, go watch the movie and stay tuned for the novels. 
You will NOT regret it. 


The Cancellation of Ravenswood.


The Pretty Little Liars spin-off "Ravenswood" has been cancelled by ABC Family after only 10 episodes. I've read different articles but the reasons that keep popping up seem to be the lack of ratings and the lack of a fan base. I'm not entirely sure why they're listing the lack of a fan base as an issue because from what I saw on Twitter, Ravenswood had many fans. There's even been petitions created to bring the television show back. Reps haven't said all that much though, so I think they saw it coming...

Honestly, I did like Ravenswood but I didn't love it. I liked the premise of the show and I loved the actors, but there was something missing. There were gaps in the storyline here and there that created confusion. The first few episodes of the show were definitely the best and somewhere along the line the show got lost in translation. I'm sad to see it go because I would like to know the rest of the story. The mid-season finale left us hanging by a thread. However, as a dedicated Pretty Little Liars fan I'm hoping that they will bring Tyler Blackburn back on as Caleb.

I also think that a lot of Pretty Little Liars fan weren't pleased with the fact that Tyler Blackburn was moved to Ravenswood. There are some die hard Caleb fans that want him on the show and with Hanna, Ashley Benson's character. I will admit, I am one of those people... Excuse me, my fangirl is showing. I know a lot of people refused to watch Ravenswood because Caleb was on it, although it did follow directly behind Pretty Little Liars in the Tuesday night ABC Family line up. 
All in all, it's bittersweet but I'm sure there's better things to come..


How adorable are they? 


Vampire Academy Movie Review.

I went and saw "Vampire Academy" yesterday and was pleasantly surprised. I was super stoked to go see it but at the same time I had my reservations. I absolutely adore the book series and I didn't want ANYTHING or ANYONE to destroy that love. I heard a lot of mixed reviews but I try to never be affected by other people's opinions because a lot of movies that get hate are usually the movies I love. However, this is MY account on the film...
and I LOVED it. 

If you read the books you know that they are mostly narrated by Rose Hathaway, one of the main characters. I say "one" of the main characters because her and Lissa share that spotlight, but the majority of the story being told is from Rose's point of view. I absolutely loved the voice over narration that was done. A lot of people complain that in book to movie adaptions that there isn't enough information provided, well that was NOT the case in this movie.

Rose's narration was spot on and provided so much insight into the world of St. Vladimir's school, aka "
Vampire Academy." Rose broke down their entire lives and did it so well that she made even the most complex terms and situations understandable. A lot of details surround Vampire Academy and to those who haven't read the books all the details are suddenly provided in a way that is easy to digest. I took a friend with me that had not read the books and she absolutely fell in love as well. 

The actors and actresses were amazing. A lot of people tend to shy away from films that don't have the most well known casts but I think this cast was phenomenal. I was most impressed with Zoey Deutch. I had seen Zoey's work before and was thoroughly interested in seeing her in such a badass and complex role. She nailed it and brought Rose to life in every single way imaginable. In my opinion, Lucy Fry was perfect as Lissa. She was beautiful, talented and elegant. Zoey and Lucy's onscreen chemistry was on point but the chemistry I was most impressed with was Rose [Zoey] and Dimitri's. [Danila]

I heard a lot of nonsensical talk about how the guys weren't "hot" enough for their parts. Um, no. I will admit that by glancing at them they may not be the MOST appealing but when they are onscreen they light up. Everyone was insanely attractive and the roles they played made them that much more electrifying. 

Also, some people mentioned that the film had a "Mean Girls" vibe. Well, if you read the book you realize that they are surrounded by mean girls and horrible high school drama, even though they are who they are. All of it was expressed very well. There was drama because they are in HIGH SCHOOL and that's far more realistic to me than a kick ass vampire movie that takes place in a high school where everyone is warm and fuzzy. NO, people are out to get one another and it's survival of the fittest in more ways than one. [Also, the director of "Mean Girls" directed this as well] Everything is still the perfect amount of fierce and exciting.

I highly, highly recommend it! GO SEE IT!! 


Pretty Little Liars Winter Premiere Recap!

The Winter premiere of Pretty Little Liars was ironically titled "Who's In The Box?"

As we found out on the mid-season finale Alison is very much alive. When Ali turned around at the end of the episode I think there was a gasp heard round the world. We FINALLY knew after 4 and a half seasons that Alison is indeed alive but that left so many other questions unanswered, like who is Ali hiding from? Why can't Ali come back to Rosewood and where has she been the entire time? Is Ezra the monster the mid-season finale portrayed him to be and is he the one Alison is afraid of? Where's Jason and does Alison's family know that she's been alive this entire time? I could honestly go on and on. The producers and writers promised answers this season and I can't wait to find out more and more. In the meantime, I love to speculate so here we go... let's take a trip through this episode.

I think the girls were far more angry than they were excited that Alison was alive. Oops. After all Ali has put them through who can blame them? This whole time everyone has been mourning Ali when Ali is stalking around in a red coat and vanishing in the distance here and there.

Hanna was definitely on her game! I love when everyone underestimates Hanna because when she does something genius it's just that much more satisfying. It was her idea to look at the deaths and disappearances that also fit the dynamic of Alison's to see if maybe they could figure out who's in Ali's grave. Once Hanna found someone who fit the description she setup a "meeting" with her old friends. It was as if The Twilight Zone partnered with ABC Family and BOOM. I think it's definitely something you should witness for yourself. Their stories matched perfectly and I can only sum it up by saying it felt like a parallel universe. Their friend "Sara" was pictured on her memorial site but in Rosewood that doesn't mean anything. Sara is so much like Ali that I can't help but wonder AGAIN... is it Courtney? Someone please tell me if they're going to make Courtney a thing because it's been driving me nuts! They're twins, I tell you! 

This is getting far too long... so here's some bullet points. 

- Ezra has his class reading "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde..."
Let's just let that soak in for a second. Coincidence and irony just had a child.

- Mona confronts Ezra about the girls and Ezra buckles.
Mona knows everything, she ALWAYS knows.

- Aria and Ezra had some... affairs to attend to and there's something in Ezra's floorboard that he wants to keep hidden but I know it's going to come to light soon, it has to.

- My heart broke over Hanna and Caleb, like I just can't talk about it..
At the same time, I understand. Watch Ravenswood and we can all understand together.

- The episode ended with Hanna sharing Ali's journal with the rest of the girls.
She talked about how she was hesitant to share it because of what it said about them. 

Um, what could be worse than what Ali has already put them through?
Apparently we stay tuned.

I am very much excited for next week and I'd give this episode a 4 out of 5! 

Tweet me! I "live Tweet" during the episodes! :)


Melissa De La Cruz Interview Brought To You By YALLFest!

I'm working with YALLFest to bring exclusive author interviews to you all. I did not interview Melissa De La Cruz, though I hope to one day. However, please enjoy the post and check out Melissa as well as YALLFest.

What one thing do you need to have when you write? 
Fear. Sometimes rage. I find that to truly focus I need to feel panic, and then suddenly 
everything in my manuscript becomes clear. I work best under duress, which is something my editors have learned and they're quite good at instilling fear in me. J I appreciate that! I also work well with many distractions, I think it's because I had a day job for nine years and had to write my books in the middle of doing my real work.

Describe your book in 5 words: 
Post-apocalyptic. Zombie. Dragon. Pirate. Fantasy.

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?
The first, definitely.

Best writing tip you ever received? 
To introduce the love interest in the first 30 pages, not that specifically but learning that there 
was CRAFTING involved in writing a novel, not just voice.

What one young adult novel you wish you had when you were a teen? Why?
 Harry Potter. Because! I don't think I have to explain.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.

1. I was a child model.

2. My favorite One Direction guy was Harry, but now it is Louis.

3. I have a Maltese named Mimi. She is not named for Mimi Force, our kid named her.

4. I learned to drive at 34.

5. I like savory treats better than sweet.

Where's your favorite place to write?

In a cubicle, surrounded by softly ringing phones and people murmuring.
Sadly this is no longer 
possible for me.

What are you working on now?

My new series THE RING AND THE CROWN coming next spring from Disney-Hyperion.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?

YA Fantasy and Paranormal. My favorite genre to read is "literary" fiction, but I would have to say I really enjoy bestsellers just as much, I like popular fiction, no matter what genre, I like to read what a lot of people are reading and take the pulse of the culture. But for my own taste, I love smart angry women writers like Lionel Shriver and Kate Christensen. Also cookbook memoirs.

At what point in the development of an idea do you know that it will become a full-length novel?

When we've sold it!

Melissa De La Cruz's bestselling book "Witches of East End" has now been made into a television show which premieres this Sunday, October 6th on Lifetime. Tune in!!