Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Cosmopolis by Don DeLillo

Movie Review:
WOW!!! They did not hold anything back with this movie.  It was a VERY accurate representation of the book.  Now...I realize I am extremely biased when it comes to anything involving Rob Pattinson, but this movie was VERY well done.  

First of all, they couldn't have selected a better person to play Eric Packer.  Rob had the look and executed the part to perfection.  He was smart, arrogant, disturbed, irrational...everything I envision when reading about Eric. 

The scenes were as outrageous as I had perceived them to be, but they were much easier to follow on the big screen.  Without the inner dialogue all of the confusion was eliminated.  While this wasn't one of my favorite books by any means, I would definitely recommend reading it prior to watching the movie.  My husband had a number of questions while watching the movie, which only someone who had read the book would have been able to answer.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and found it to be infinitely better than the book, which is rarely the case with a book to movie. 

Book Review:
The following is a copy of the review I posted on Book Nerds back in May of 2011:

Mary and Flo had DRASTICALLY different opinions of Cosmopolis, so I posted on Book Nerds Across America that I would cast the deciding vote.  Since this is a Robert Pattinson book to movie, I was sure I would love it and was sincerely hoping to tip the scale in its favor.

Unfortunately, I felt the book was simply okay.  I can't say that I liked it nor did I hate it.  Like Flo, I tried to envision Pattinson as Eric.  That is the only thing that enabled me to persevere. 

The first issue that I had was the lack of continuity.  The book seemed like a bunch of independent scenes in a movie that never really connected until the very end.  Second, I had a hard time determining who was speaking on a number of occasions.  The dialogue between characters was often mixed with paragraphs containing Eric's thoughts, which required careful deciphering to ensure I was following things accurately.  I anticipate these issues will be resolved in the movie, which will allow me to enjoy the movie more so than the book, which is rarely the case.

The final issue that I had involves the numerous indiscretions that take place throughout the story.  I simply could not relate to what was taking place.  How can this brilliant multi-billionaire make so many irrational decisions in one day?  I just didn't get it.  Rob is really going to have his work cut out for him with this one.  Will I go see the movie....ABSOLUTELY.  I would not miss the opportunity to see some of these outrageous acts brought to life.  I just wonder how closely the movie will be able to follow the book without losing its marketability.  

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sweet Oblivion Blog Tour

I have to thank my fellow Book Nerd Mary for hosting this blog tour and Bailey Ardisone for sending me a copy of the Sweet Oblivion ebook.  It really is a fascinating and entertaining story with lovable characters any YA fan will enjoy.

I must admit, I was VERY confused by the alternate story that is mixed into the main story.  Every other chapter there are a couple of pages about Namine, a young girl working for a King who is holding several prisoners she must serve meals to each day.  I couldn't figure out how this story had anything to do with Nari who is the protagonist in the main story.  This eventually comes full circle, but it took a LONG time for me to appreciate these chapters.

We learn early on that Nari was adopted and both she and her "father" Ray hold her responsible for the death of her "mother."  She was very close to her mother, but her relationship with Ray is AWFUL.  He is a drunk and is physically and mentally abusive.  She eventually finds a spot in the woods where a boy named Rydan is hanging out under a willow tree.  They become best friends and enjoy spending time together every day after school.

One day Nari meets a very handsome boy named Mycah, who has unusual abilities.  She doesn't know if she should give into her feelings for him or if she should fear him.  After he saves her life a couple of times, she decides she can trust him.  I'm not a fan of the name Mycah for a hot English boy, but I couldn't help but love his character.  He was very well spoken, charming, and did everything he could for Nari.  Of course, this didn't sit well with her longtime friend Ryden.

The story was action packed and contained a lot of sci-fi elements that I think will appeal to guys as well as the ladies.  Most of the books I read are definitely chick lit and I wouldn't dream of recommending them to my brother.  This one, however, is right up his alley.

The ending was a bit abrupt and left us hanging, so I immediately jumped on Amazon to confirm that this is not a stand alone book.  It is in fact a series!!  I'm not sure when the next book is scheduled to be released, but I can't wait to see what will happen next for Nari, Mycah, and Ryden.

About the Authors:

Bailey Ardisone is a collaboration between two sisters who were born and raised outside of Chicago, Illinois. They combined their creative forces to write the first book in their series, called Sweet Oblivion. Though the name Bailey Ardisone applies to both of them, for the sake of answering questions they will each take on one of the names to make things easier.


The younger sister of the two in Bailey Ardisone, has always held a strong love for anything art related. Whether it be drawing, music, or constantly day-dreaming, her mind never stops imagining wonderful stories and possibilities. She finally got to put some of those ideas to use with her new found love of writing novels. Some other things she is forever obsessed with are Japanese Anime and Manga, animals, traveling, her home city of Chicago and anything in miniature form. One thing she can never get enough of is sleeping/taking naps and sour skittles.


The older sister of the two in Bailey Ardisone, has always loved getting lost in books, movies, music, and art. Fantasy is her favorite genre. She gets her love of words from their grandmother who together used to write poems, short stories and even greeting cards. Her biggest goal would be to travel and explore the world. She loves going to the beach, enjoys football sundays, and spending time with friends and family.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Farsighted by Emlyn Chand

I don't participate in many review tours because my to be read list is already out of control.  I just don't have time, but this book caught my attention.  I have worked in Ophthalmology (eye surgeons) for seven years and found the concept of a blind protagonist to be very appealing.  This isn't something you see every day, so I agreed to review the book.  I would like to thank Emlyn Chand for sending me a copy of the ebook and Damaris from Good Choice Reading for organizing the tour.

Alex is a high school student and has been blind since birth.  He is very independent and does a remarkable job or relying on his other senses to live a normal life.  His text books are in braille, but he attends a traditional public school.  He is even in an advanced chemistry class, which I thought was outstanding.

The other students, however, are not very nice to him and even bully him.  All of this begins to change when a psychic moves into the vacant store next to Alex's Mom's flower shop.  Alex meets Shapri, who is the daughter of the psychic, and Simmi who is also new to the area and is one of the psychic's customers.  The three of them become friends and Alex begins to have a romantic interest in Simmi.

Alex doesn't really believe in psychic powers until he begins to notice his own "gifts."  He has visions of the future and fears for Simmi's safety.  We soon discover that Alex isn't the only one with gifts, but none of the characters' gifts are the same.  They will need to work together if they are going to alter the future and keep Simmi safe.

I really enjoyed all of the characters and I felt like the story was very well written.  It was action packed and contained just enough relationship development between Alex and Simmi to keep the pages turning.  It was fascinating to see Alex, Simmi, and Shapri learn to develop and accept their gifts.  The ending was not at all what I expected and left me eagerly anticipating what is yet to come.  Fortunately for me, I don't have to wait the customary one year to find out what will happen next.  Open Heart is already available and I will be reviewing it as part of this tour on March 11th.

For those of you who missed my post about the tour, here is the link.  There is a giveaway for a kindle or nook as well as a link to the rest of the tour posts.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers

About a year ago a friend of mine suggested that I read this book.  I added it to my TBR list, but it was VERY far down the list because it isn't YA, a mystery, or even an author I was familiar with.  Well...Do you remember me telling you about how I made a friend read I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella while he was on vacation?  It was THAT friend who suggested Staggering Genius.  After a 49 year old male sat on the beach reading my HARD copy of Sophie's book (not even an ebook he could easily disguise), there was NO WAY I was getting out of reading this book.  He insisted it was an "Outstanding Book", so I decided it was time to read it.

I found a copy at my local library in the FICTION section.  I started reading and about 50 pages in I began to wonder why I still didn't know the narrator's name.  We know every other name, but not his.  When I reached page 100 it hit me....the narrator is Dave Eggers.  So...I spent some time researching this and discovered the book is a memoir based upon Dave's real life experiences, but there are fictional elements scattered throughout.  Here is where we could use a game of "Real or Not Real" because it isn't always obvious to me which is which.

Dave lost both of his parents to cancer at the age of 21 and became the primary caregiver for his 8 year old brother Toph.  All of this is outlined in the book in a manner that allows the reader to experience the emotions, but not get bogged down and depressed.  Shortly after his mother's death, Dave and Toph move from Chicago to Berkeley, CA to start over.  His sister is in law school out there and can help out with Toph, so the move makes complete sense. The majority of the book takes place in California as we experience Dave and Toph's daily existence.  How they manage school, work, Dave's dating, their inability to keep the house clean, etc. 

Dave starts up a magazine with a group of friends targeting "twenty somethings" like themselves.  There is eventually an opportunity to try out for the Real World, which is used as a marketing tool.  Anyone who has ever watched the show will find this section very entertaining. 

We learn about Dave's constant fear that something will happen to Toph whenever he leaves him with a sitter.  The over the top descriptions of events that play out in Dave's head are absolutely hilarious.  The same is true with all of the inner dialogue and comments Dave adds to conversations in order to give the reader added insight.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  It was nothing like any other dry and usually boring autobiography I have ever read.  Dave has an exceptional ability to grab the reader's attention and keep them engaged, and it all appears to be effortless.  I have to give Dave and Toph props for overcoming what some would have considered insurmountable odds.  I don't know if he has any other books that will appeal to me, but if you have read and enjoyed any of his other works...I would love to hear about them.