Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Perfect Scoundrels by, Ally Carter


 Katarina Bishop and W.W. Hale the fifth were born to lead completely different lives: Kat comes from a long, proud line of loveable criminal masterminds, while Hale is the scion of one of the most seemingly perfect dynasties in the world. If their families have one thing in common, it's that they both know how to stay under the radar while getting--or stealing--whatever they want. No matter the risk, the Bishops can always be counted on, but in Hale's family, all bets are off when money is on the line. When Hale unexpectedly inherits his grandmother's billion dollar corporation, he quickly learns that there's no place for Kat and their old heists in his new role. But Kat won't let him go that easily, especially after she gets tipped off that his grandmother's will might have been altered in an elaborate con to steal the company's fortune. So instead of being the heir--this time, Hale might be the mark. Forced to keep a level head as she and her crew fight for one of their own, Kat comes up with an ambitious and far-reaching plan that only the Bishop family would dare attempt. To pull it off, Kat is prepared to do the impossible, but first, she has to decide if she's willing to save her boyfriend's company if it means losing the boy.

Casey's Review:

     Ally Carter has yet again made another amazing book! I swear she improves her writing every book she writes. There is never a dull moment in her books and she has very strong plot lines that she always carries through. 
       Lets start with the beginning of the book, I loved how we finally got the whole story on how Kat and Hale met, and that was what cared the whole story and plot line. With that, we got an insight of Hale's lifestyle and his relationship with his family, because in the other books it never really talks about his life or family. But us, the readers, get this idea of his parents not really caring what he did or where he was, because he has been heisting with Kat all over the world for the last two books. In the beginning, the flashback's Hale tells Kat that his parent would not miss him if he went with her, and his parents didn't. But, as the story goes on, Kat find out she dose not really know much about Hale's family or the other side of him that she thought she did. 
        I old team was united again! Well for the most part, since Nick was only there for robbing the Henley ,again, when Hale wasn't there. They all work great together even though they all have different backgrounds but, opposites do attract.
       Lets talk characters, we didn't only just get to be apart of Hale's family but also Kat's family. Uncle Felix, you are hysterical, I loved when they were at the "Institute" to sell that he had problems he ran around in circles without clothes! He is the best.  At the end when they saw Aunt Irina, Gabrielle's Mom, walk across the tarmac I instantly knew she was the one who got the prototype from Garrett and I started clapping because they were not going to lose the business. I did like how Gabrielle said that she would not like Hale anymore if he lost the private jet, so much like herself. Like Aunt Irina they had a couple other family members working "for" Garrett but that is just their cover. Uncle Roy who was playing one of Garrett bodyguards turned out to be Angus and Hamish's father which I have just always wanted to know who raised them because of how they act and of their personalities. One great thing was Angus and Hamish finally got permission from Kat to blow something up! All the readers know that they always want to blow up anything, but they finally had a legit reason to do so. Now, Garrett was not your average bad guy. He was really sneaky about it, considering his family had worked for the Hale's for generations, since their are so many Hale's. But his daughter, Natalie, she was pretty sneaky as well but she was easier to notice, I mean always being where Kat was, come on Ally Cater do you still take us as suckers. Anyway, it was funny when Natalie calls Hale, Scooter, I want to know why families, or almost basically family in this case, always call the guys, Scooter?  
        When I first got the book I went flipping to random pages and one of them I landed on was the page that said "The Day After Eddie Died" and I was flipping out! But then I thought, of all people Uncle Eddie will be "died" but not actually died if that makes any sense. I do really want to know though, if Kat and Hale knew Charlie and Eddie were going to fake the death because Kat seemed to be legitimately flipping out and Hale seemed stunned. Not saying that their not good actors or anything, because they are thieves and are really good at blending in and acting inconspicuously
          I loved how Uncle Eddie was acting like a dad around Kat when Hale would come over, and he was acting sometimes as if he had not known Hale for over the last two years. But he kept saying he knew his niece's friend, but not boyfriend, which always had me cracking up laughing. Kat's Dad was also acting kind of like that, about Hale owing him sheep for dating Kat. This is a little off topic but I wanted to tackel Hale so bad when he broke up with Kat in the middle of the book when she went to get Hazel's Will without him and did not tell him that the other was a fake. But it all working out in the end! 
       As usual Ally Carter has wrote another amazing book. I can not wait for the next Heist Society book, that should include way more of Kat and Hale's relationship! I am also looking forward to the final Gallagher Girl book, that I am hoping will be out this year. I would recommend any of Ally Carter's YA novels to anyone that is looking for a pretty quick, funny, action pact, and an interesting read.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Beauty Queens by, Libba Bray


  The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea, crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.

What's a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program - or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan - or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?

Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Your tour guide? None other than Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again.

Casey's Review:

     Let's start of with characters, for starters Tiara had me laughing the entire book, her character was so dumb and I wondered if it was just a front, it was not, but toward the end you see this smarter side of her come out. I loved her dumbness though, it make her character and it made me, as the reader, want to learn and know more about her. I was compatible with Adina because of her whole idea of not really believing in love, and being hard to be impressed by guys. Now like everyone else I was really curious what was so important in Petra's overnight bag, and it turns out it was her, or should I say his, hormones that make him look like a girl. A lot of readers or non-readers of the book could think that is wrong but I liked Petra, even though she was not a girl, which makes me like her more by everything she has gone through for this dream of hers. I was so happen when Sinjin excepted her for who she was and did not care what she used to be. It made me realize what it is truly like to fall in love with someone,  to love someone no matter who they are or what they once were.  So at first I hated Taylor, she was so annoying about the whole idea that everyone would get rescued right of the bat and made everyone practice for the pageant. But as the book went on I started to understand her character more and why she was the way she was, mostly because of her back story. When Agent Jones drugged her and made her act insane, that was hysterical. But in the end you find out that she actually was not really insane and everything she did that made her look like she really was going insane really helped out and saved everyone.
       So when the pirates showed up from the show Captains Bodacious IV: Badder and More Bodaciouser that somehow made everything more interesting, not that it was not already. Which leads us into the relationship of all the characters. At first I thought Duff and Adina would make a great couple and I was right, up until Adina finds the video recorder and sees why he acted all nice to her and what was on it, something that is rated R. At the end when he apologies to her and says he loved her I was skepticaly if he really meant it and was relieved when she told him that she would not give him a second chance, girl power! Now I rooted for Mary Lou and Tane's relationship the whole time, even when everyone doubted that he even existed. I did not doubt he was alive because they show the readers that he is not. Lastly I Loved Sinjin and Petra's relationship the most, since he excepted her for who she really was, not what she used to be.  Also they looked pretty cute together, can I say Christmas card?
        The ending was so funny, it was definetaly the best epilogue I have ever read in a book before. It reminded me more of a movie ending, since it paused on each girl and a blurb came up about what they ended up doing and how their lives turned out. The only thing I disliked about the entire book was that it never clearly said what happened to Taylor in the end, the last you see of her is when she was hunting in the forest after the explosion and all the other girls and pirates got off the island. I mean you can infer on what happened in the end, but your never quite exactly sure.
       I loved  that in the book they had what I would call a break, where they had a commerical of a very weird/crazy product the company that sponsored  the pageant sold. But they were so interesting and kept you reading. As well as the interviews with the girls of the pageant and the ones back on mainland with Ladybird Hope. The author, Libba Bray, had a way with her words and placement that I looked up to as a reader and future writer.
      The conversations the girls had around the campfire always had me cracking up laughing and wanting more. This book did make me change my idea of pageant girls because they all had different stories of why they had to do the pageant and some of them were very admirable. I definitly will not judge them as fast as I used to, because the book gives you a total different perspectine on them. With their struggles, pasts, and  them wanting to have a great future that they otherwise could not get without the prize money.
      Overall it was an amazing book with a great message, which always gets a vote from me. I would recomend this book for anyone to try, but at least in their teen years because some of the books content is not for younger audiences. I dare you guys to read this book! If you do take the challenge, post what you thought of the book and if your perspective changed on girls that participate in beauty pageants below in the comments. Even if you have already read the book, I really want to know what your thought of it were. So do not be afraid to take the challenge and I really hope some of you do read it!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Beautiful Creatures, Movie Review


 Ethan Wate longs to escape his small Southern town. He meets a mysterious new girl, Lena Duchannes. Together, they uncover dark secrets about their respective families, their history and their town.

Casey's Review:

       Going into the movie I was not quite sure what to expect. Not that I was not familiar with the plot line and story, I mean I have read the book on at least 5 different occasions. But like an other book to movie adaption you never quite know what to expect. Especially since no one has a different idea of how it should goes. 
        Let's start with the acting and characters, the acting was AMAZING and I believe everyone was great. Ethan Wate, man you were AMAZING as well, not just the acting for his character but his witty charm, his accent that I did not think he had, and personality made his character. Though some characters were not like they were in the book(s). Ridley was one of those characters, I know that she could be mean, selfish, and sometimes just down right rude but, there was always a side of her that was good and nice since she fought against her dark side to  be partly light. But in the movie she was not like that, she had no light in her. She was actually worse than her dark self in the book because even thought she was dark she was not dark enough to kill someone. No matter what she would not have killed anyone, some one could argue with me because in the book she makes Ethan's Dad almost commit suicide. But that was a distraction, I could never see her killing anyone, I could see her threatening to so she could get what she wants, but she never would do it. I thought that in the movie she dressed more like a siren would dress than the Ridley in the book. Her character in the movie dressed and looked more mature. Next we have good old Link, who I do not even get why he was included really in the film. Besides the purpose of killing "Ethan" in the end which I talk about later on. In the book(s) Link is a very important character and he was always there for Ethan and a big part of the caster world when in Beautiful Darkness and he gets turned into an Incubus, but he originally learns about the caster world toward the end of Beautiful Creatures. But he never finds out about the caster world in the movie, so how will he be an help in Beautiful Darkness and the other books? Finally lets discuss Macon, in the book he is an Incubus, that is why he is the town shut in, since he can not go out in daylight, but in the movie he is just a dark caster. I do not get why they kept him as the town shut in if he could actually go outside, like the book Macon could not. It was interesting that he turned light for Lena but they would not have Ridley fighting to stay somewhat light. Like what they did to Macon character, Sarafine was a natural in the book and in the movie I have no idea what she was. Also how did Lena defeat Sarafine, who the most powerful dark caster, I know she does in one of the upcoming books but still. I want them STOP taking things from one of the other books and putting it in a different book.
        Now even some characters that were important to the series where not even included. Like Ethan's Mom was not and I was almost positive she got casted in the movie process. In the movie it talked about her death and such, but one thing that got me was that Amma hinted at saying that Macon and Lila, Ethan's Mom, were in a relationship, which they were but that was not reveled in the series until Beautiful Darkness. But Amma never mentioned or hinted at that Lila was a keeper and she was saying that only seer's were able to be keepers, so I do not know if Lila will be credited as a keeper. I am hoping she will because, it just can not be pulled out of thin air that Ethan is a wayward with out any caster world relations. His Mom was also a huge character with the shadow songs, she would come up with and send them to Ethan and Lena to help them out, but those were not included in the movie. Macon totally took one of my favorite lines that Lila told Lena about how she had your claim herself. I also do not get why they mentioned Ethan's Dad, who was also a partly important character, if they never even showed him. In the beginning Ethan said about his Dad never coming out of his study anymore since his Mom's death but in the series his Dad would come out, rarely though. I was really pissed that the sisters were not included in the movie since in the movie Amma and Macon tell Ethan and Lena about the connections to the people in the visions. But I just loved the sisters because they were hysterical and sometimes made no sense which was sometimes the funny part. If they are going to turn Beautiful Darkness in a movie I have no clue how Ethan are going to get the caster tunnel maps because Liv and him get them from Aunt Prue. Also the whole combining Amma and Marian into one character turned out alright but I would have liked to see more of Amma's own personality and her more motherly side to Ethan.
        The Lunae Libri in the movie ran on a different schedule than the Lunae Libri in the book. In the book it only open on Mortal holidays but in the movie you could go anytime you wanted to. I pictured the Lunae Libri to be way bigger than the one in the movie because Ethan always said it looked like it went on forever. 
        I loved how bits and pieces of the prolog were in the beginning of the movie because the prolog was one of my favorite parts of the book because I could relate to wanted to get out of a small town you have lived in your whole life, and just wanting to get any for the small mindedness of the town. I also thought it was sweet they changed the part where he said his "My mama said there were only two kinds of people in Gatlin, South Carolina. The ones to stupid to leave and the ones to stuck to move.In the book it was his Dad had said that but I always thought is sounded like sometime his Mom would say instead.
       In the movie Lena's Birthday is the 21th of December while in the book it is the 11th of February. As well as in the movie they made the war reenactment the same day as Lena's birthday. Anyway, when I saw that date on the locket it occurred to me that that is the day Ethan jumps off the water tower in Beautiful Chaos. But I do not get why they changed her birth date in the first place.
       I kind of liked how they combined all the visions of Genevieve and Ethan together in just two separate visions because in the book there is some unnecessary points but it gets right to the point in the movie, which was nice.
       One thing that annoyed me was the Lena kept telling Ethan that they could not be together, I mean the stakes were higher in the book because of the whole they shock when they touch and the whole issue that Ethan's heart stopped beating when they made out once. While in the movie none of that happened or anything that really could not have killed Ethan, only  to break the curse.
      Now lets skip to Lena's claiming, what I really want to know was were the heck the real Ethan was during all that. Since it was Macon disguised as Ethan the whole war reenactment. It was clever that Macon did that but if the real Ethan did not die at all I do not see how they plan on making the last two books, if they are. Mostly because the whole issue in those are that Ethan's soul is split in half from being brought back to life by the book of moons. When Link killed "Ethan" I was shocked as well as pissed off and I still can not see Ridley ever doing that to someone. In the book Lena's stakes for her claiming were way higher because if she chose dark all the light caters would die and vice versa but in the movie only one person she loved would die to break the curse, which is way less than all the people in the book that could have died. Also in the movie it was only the women who had to be claimed, sexist much.
      I really want to talk about like the last two minutes of the movie when it goes to 6 months after Lena's claiming. I hated that way of ending, as a reader of the books it did not make sense to me because 6 months later would have been in either Beautiful Darkness or Beautiful Chaos and how does Lena just suddenly have the power to erase memories without a spell, that we know of. First when the 6 months later thing came up and Ethan walked into the library and some girl, I did not know who it was because their back was facing the camera, I automatically thought it was Liv and it was kind of going to be a preview of the next movie, but no. Right at the end it shows us Lena's one yellow eye, I liked how it flashed yellow instead of being solid yellow the entire time, I disliked that the light casters eyes were not flash green thought. I am curious like some other people that have read the books if she really did claim herself during her claiming because she never covered the moon during her claiming and I know that in the she claimed herself in the middle so she possible already could have. As well as we would have know if she did or did not because the shadowing song right at the end of the book says about finding out on her Seventeenth Moon but those were not included in the movie so it is hard to say if she did or not. But I hated that Lena made Ethan forget what happened in the end but then he remembers, which I do not think made sense since she is the most powerful caster according to the movie and her spell or whatever she did should not have worn off. That ending though was kind of how I though Beautiful Redemption was going to end because I thought Ethan was going to rip out Ethan and Genvieve's page as well and it would end with him going back to the first day of school in Beautiful Creatures and he would say something like "This time I will make it right" but no, they decided to kill Amma off! If you think about it the ending of the movie and the book gave about he same amount of information so the movie watchers did not get an advantage over the book readers at the end, because in some movie they give more information out at the end than the books do.
       My favorite scenes would have to have been the classroom scene when the windows break, or the dining room scene where Lena's powers are unleashed. But was it just me or was the classroom scene more grander and looked better in the trailers?
        Something else about scenes are that some scene were cut from the movie, like the scene were all the students and some parents are outside the school rallying that Lena should not be able to go back to school in Gatlin, that was in the one of the movie trailers but not the film. Also, in different trailers as well, I saw part of Halloween day but that was not included either. One thing that pissed me off was Ethan says about going to the dance, so it got me excited to think they might do that scene, but in the end they do not go.
      Lastly, the book , the book has some romantic touched in the story, but since Ethan can die from touching  Lena for so long, Lena for so long it is not that much, but the movie has tons more because they do not have that issue, not that I mind.
      Overall I thought it was a great movie, it was not exactly like the book but it was an adaptation so not everything can be the same, but it captures the heart of the story. Now that Beautiful Creatures is over and I can not really fangirl about it anymore I will be starting the count down to The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie, only 187 days left!