Saturday, March 31, 2012

Book vs Movie: The Time Traveler's Wife

Minor spoilers.

I like discussing movie adaptations because I always find it interesting to see the story in a new light. Telling that story in another format sometimes can even improve on the original material.

When it comes to writing these reviews, I try to keep it spoiler free. Sometimes I might add minor spoilers, but that’s about it. I want to keep it simple so that people who haven’t read the book or watched the movie can still read it.

Today we’re looking at The Time Traveler’s Wife.

I was really looking forward to see The Time Traveler’s Wife movie especially after reading the book. I’ve been avoiding it since it came out back in 2009 because I wanted to read the book first. And I’m proud to say I’ve succeeded.

Although I really wanted to see this adaptation, I had no expectations going in. After I finished the book and saw the trailer, I immediately thought that the movie wouldn’t do the book justice. In some aspects, I was right.

First, I want to clarify that this is NOT a bad movie. In fact, it was much better than I expected. I was surprised by how faithful it was to the source material. The Time Traveler’s Wife is not an easy book to adapt. Turning a 500-page book into a 90 minutes movie requires talent. There is no way anyone can fit in everything in the book with that amount of time. I understand that  a huge amount  will cut out from the movie, however it has to be done well.

Here’s my first problem with the movie, it cut out too much. I said in my book review that I had problems with the pacing of the book. As for the movie, I had the opposite problem. Things moved too quickly. You don’t get enough time to spend with these characters and care about their relationship. We don’t spend merely enough time with Clare as a child as we do in the book.  It's more focused on of Henry’s side of the story.

I don't have a problem having Henry be the main main character, but it almost feel like some parts of the story is lost. I think what made the relationship so good in the book is that you get to see both sides of the story. I'm not saying that it's the script's fault. I thought the screenwriter did a great job adapting the story. I'm just saying that this movie should have been longer. If this movie was over 2 hours long, it would have been a much better adaptation that could stand on it's own against the book.

Speaking of standing on it's on, The Time Traveler’s Wife movie... it doesn't do that very well. Because I didn't get to see Clare's side of the story from when she was a child (in the movie), I didn't exactly get why she fell in love with Henry in the first place. I didn't feel how much of an impact he made in her life as a child and as a teenager.

You definitely have to read the book in order to appreciate this movie. There's nothing wrong with that. The filmmakers knew going in that the movie wouldn't be as good as the book, based on the behind the scenes interviews I saw. Those who haven't read the book will look at the movie as a pleasant yet forgettable romance. That also explains why the movie didn't gain the popularity it should have being based on a well-beloved, very popular novel.

In conclusion, the winner is obvious. The book is so much better. It's more complaining, complex and an unforgettable read. The movie is also very good. I advise you to see it if you are a fan of the book. It's a much simpler take on the story, but it's a very faithful adaptation with incredible performances from both leads.

Winner: Book

Friday, March 23, 2012

Book Review: The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Author: Audrey Niffenegger
Publisher: MacAdam/Cage
Release Date: September 9th 2003
Pages: 560
Reading Group: Adult
Buy the Book: Amazon
Source: Bought


When Henry meets Clare, he is twenty-eight and she is twenty. Henry has never met Clare before; Clare has known Henry since she was six. Impossible but true, because Henry finds himself periodically displaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. Henry and Clare's attempts to live normal lives are threatened by a force they can neither prevent nor control, making their passionate love story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable. The Time Traveler's Wife is a story of fate, hope and belief, and more than that, it's about the power of love to endure beyond the bounds of time.


This book has been haunting me for two years screaming for me to read it. Only back in January I felt this overwhelming desire to pick it up and read it. I know I’m late in joining the bandwagon, but it’s always a good thing because you get to open the book with an open mind.

I found some difficulties writing this review because I couldn't think of something that hasn't already been said about The Time Traveler's Wife. Everyone read this book and loves it. I'll try not repeat what anyone said, but forgive me if I ended up doing that.

The Time Traveler’s Wife is an engrossing love story that will make you believe in true love and the power of destiny.

This is a love story that chronicles the lives of Henry and Clare and how they deal with their abnormal situation. How does it feel to be the one left behind? how does it feel to be the one who always have to leave and powerless to control it? How does it feel to know things ahead of time but can't do anything about it? The book answers all these questions by showing us how can love survive against all odds.

The story is very well-crafted and cleverly put together. This is the kind of book you have to read over and over again in order to put the pieces together. I just finished the book and I already want to read it again. You can sense that the author spend so much time planning this book, and I admire her for that.

What makes the story so wonderful is its characters. The two main characters, Henry and Clare, are very well-developed and you get to see them grow throughout the story. We get to see the story from both sides and how each of them deal with the situation. It's easy to feel for these characters and what they're going through. As any couple, there are good times and bad times, but they stay together no matter what how awful things are sometimes.

Although this is the story of Henry and Clare, I'm glad that the side characters shine as well, which what I didn't expect. The side characters are great with each having a significance to the main plot. In fact, they are part of the puzzle pieces that put the story together. I have to say my favorite out of all of them was Kimy, Henry's caretaker.

The book made me appreciate how precious the time you spend with your loved ones because you don't know what might happen tomorrow. You don't know when they will disappear. Love is not easy. The only way to survive through the difficult times is your inner strength. Only a strong person would tolerate waiting for Henry and still love him.

Of course, this book does have its problems. For one, it has pacing issues. Although it's an easy read, it's a very long one. The author gives you even the little details about the lives of those characters that I felt could have been cut out. I consider this a minor complaint because I appreciated these little details when I finished the book. However, impatient readers might be turned off by the slow pacing.

Another issue I had with the book is the writing. It wasn't bad, but it was filled with grammatical errors. I don't usually notice these things so I don't think it's a good sign that I was able to spot these errors multiple times. Also there's the thing with the dialogue. Although it was very enjoyable to read, I found it unrealistic sometimes. As I was reading some parts, I thought; "No body talks like that!"

In the end, I think The Time Traveler’s Wife is deserving of all the hype that surrounds it. It has its problems, but the good parts do more that enough to keep the reader engaged. It's a clever story with a sweet touching romance and well-developed characters. If you love romance, you more than likely will devour this book. I personally think every couple, especially married couple should read it. It's a great representation on how love works and what it means to love another person. The Time Traveler’s Wife is a book that I'll never forget.

Final Grade

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish for those who love doing lists. 

This week's topic is naming you top ten books in your TBR spring list. It can been new releases or books that have been already out. 

Here's my list in order:
1. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury: I'm reading it for school. It's good so far.

2. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley: Also for school.

3. The Writer on Her Work by Janet Sternburg: I'm borrowing this one from the library. I feel that I should read more books about writing. I'm taking my time reading this book.

4. The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry: I can't wait to get more into the steampunk genre.

5. Dying to Know You by Aidan Chambers: I can't wait to read this one. I'm in for any stories about writers.

6. Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe by Shelley Coriell: This one looks like fun.

7. Facing the Hunchback of Notre Dame (The Enchanted Attic #1) by Lisa Samson, L.L. Samson

8. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine: I've been wanting to get to this book since forever!

9. Solitary (Solitary Tales #1) by Travis Thrasher

10. Out of It: A Novel by Selma Dabbagh: This one is really interesting. I already met the author and she seems really nice.

What are the books in you TBR list? Are you planning to read any of these?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Adaptation Releases: The Hunger Games, The Deep Blue Sea

In this feature, I highlight the book-to-movie adaptations that are being released each week.

The Hunger Games

Based On: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Directed by: Gary Ross (best known for directing Seabiscuit)
Screenplay Written by: Gary Ross and Suzanne Collins (also author of The Hunger Games)
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth
Rating: PG-13  
Release Date: March 23, 2012
Set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister's place for the latest match.
We all know it. We all have been waiting for it. I can't tell you how excited I am for this movie! I've been waiting for it since last year. So far, I like everything I saw. I heard some people say they wish they didn't see the clips because they spoil the surprise. I think that's true for those who haven't read the books. For me, I had no problems watching them because I already know what happens.

Every trailer and TV spot made me only excited and they couldn't have cast a better actress to play Katniss. Jennifer Lawrence embodies the character perfectly and I can't wait to see her in the movie. I'm rereading the first book right now, so I should have a review of it soon. I'm also gonna review the movie depends on when it's going to be released here. I'm guessing the beginning of April, but I hope it's sooner. I'll be looking forward to it.

And since I'm sure you all saw the trailer, I'll put the latest TV spot that has been released this week. You should check it out. It's awesome!


The Deep Blue Sea

Based On: The Deep Blue Sea by Terence Rattigan (play)

Directed by: Terence Davies (also directed The House of Mirth)

Screenplay Written by: Terence Davies
Stars: Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston and Ann Mitchell Hemsworth
Rating: R
Release Date: March 23, 2012
The wife of a British Judge is caught in a self-destructive love affair with a Royal Air Force pilot.
This movie was released back in 2011, but according to IMDb, it will open in NYC and LA this weekend. As a person interested in the process of plays moving to the big screen, I want to check this out. I like to see how something that's meant to be a stage play can work on screen. Maybe after I read the play first.

Are you as excited for The Hunger Games as I am? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

In My Mailbox (5)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Pop Culture Junkie.

I usually go crazy whenever I put myself to a book buying band. I guess it didn't last long. It doesn't help much that my local bookstore has been having huge sales for a while now.

For Review

Between Gears by Natalie Nourigat
Mumsi Meets a Lion by Kimberly Y. Stegall (Amazon Link)


Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier
I'm collecting all of her books.
Savvy by Ingrid Law
I'm been wanting to read this for a while since it was a Newbery honor. I was glad to find it cheap in the bookstore.
Middle School, the Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson, Chris Tebbetts and Laura Park

I'm not a really big fan of James Patterson, but Middle School sounds really funny. 

Dancing Jax (Dancing Jax #1) by Robin Jarvis
I've never heard of Dancing Jax. It has such a creepy cover and an intriguing premise. besides it was cheap, so I got it. 

The Piano Teacher by Janice Y.K. Lee

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell

Storyteller: The Life of Roald Dahl by Donald Sturrock
As a fan of Roald Dahl, I couldn't resist. It's an authorized biography so that's always a good think. I'm not a big fan of unauthorized bios.

61 Hours (Jack Reacher #14) by Lee Child
I've been meaning to check out this series. I got 2 so far: Die Trying (book 2) and Worth Dying  For (book 15). You don't have to start at book one with this series. You can started it from anywhere among the 15 titles that are currently released with the exception of books 14 & 15. According to my friend who's a fan of the series, those two books are direct sequels, so I had to get 61 Hours (book 14) so I could read Worth Dying For which I already own.
Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving
I really felt the need to try a book by John Irving, so I was glad I found this.

A Place Called Here by Cecelia Ahern
Sounds like a cute read. "Sometimes it takes losing everything to truly find yourself." when I read that line on the back of the book,  I had to have it. I'm also considering to collect Ahern's books.

What did you get this week?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (6)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted Jill at by Breaking the Spine.

by Marissa Burt

Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 416 pages
Release Date: April 3, 2012

More About the Author
Website / Twitter

In the land of Story, children go to school to learn to be characters: a perfect Hero, a trusty Sidekick, even the most dastardly Villain. They take classes on Outdoor Experiential Questing and Backstory, while adults search for full-time character work in stories written just for them. 
In our world, twelve-year-old Una Fairchild has always felt invisible. But all that changes when she stumbles upon a mysterious book buried deep in the basement of her school library, opens the cover, and suddenly finds herself transported to the magical land of Story. 
But Story is not a perfect fairy tale. Una’s new friend Peter warns her about the grave danger she could face if anyone discovers her true identity. The devious Tale Keeper watches her every move. And there are whispers of a deadly secret that seems to revolve around Una herself....  
With the timeless appeal of books like A Wrinkle in Time and the breathtaking action of Inkheart, Storybound has all the makings of a new classic. Brimming with fantastical creatures, magical adventure, and heart-stopping twists, Storybound will leave readers wishing they too could jump through the pages into this enchanting fairy-tale world.

I love middle grade fantasies. This one looks so charming! I can understand how this is compared to Inkheart. The way it uses storytelling elements is somewhat similar to that book. For me, I feel this book has some of the classical elements I love. I can't wait to read it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (5)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted Jill at by Breaking the Spine.

For Darkness Shows the Stars 
by Diana Peterfreund

Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 416 pages
Release Date: June 12, 2012

More About the Author
Website / Twitter

Generations ago, a genetic experiment gone wrong—the Reduction—decimated humanity, giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.
Eighteen-year-old Luddite Elliot North has always known her place in this caste system. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. But now the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress and threatening Luddite control; Elliot’s estate is floundering; and she’s forced to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth—an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliott wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she abandoned him.
But Elliot soon discovers her childhood friend carries a secret—-one that could change the society in which they live…or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she has lost him forever.
Inspired by Jane Austen’s PERSUASION, FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

For Darkness Shows the Stars is a dystopian novel that's inspired by Jane Austen's Persuasion. Any Jane Austen fan wouldn't resist. The novel seems like an ambitious project. I just hope this is not part of a series. I think this book's potential to be a fantastic novel would be higher if it was a stand-alone. Imagine the possibilities the author could do with such premise! I'm not crazy about the cover though. It's gorgeous, but this girl-in-a-dress cover trend is getting old. I certainly don't want my shelf to be filled with these covers in the future.

What books are you waiting for?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Covers

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish for those who love doing lists.
This week's topic is selecting your favorite covers.

There are many beautiful covers out there, especially right now. If I could remember them all, this list would be much longer. I'd name the ones I could think of right now. Those are in no particular order.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
It's so creative and enchanting. I love illustrated covers the best. It made me want to grab the book right away. Fortunately, my brother got it for me ;)

Wither by Lauren DeStefano:
I won't be surprised if this cover made it to everyone's list. Just look at this thing!

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith:
I love the creativity of this one. Honestly, it fits the book so well.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Of all the covers that have a person taking most of the space, this one is my favorite.

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
One of my favorite covers. There are two versions of this one. Each with different color, red and blue. If you ask me, I prefer the red.

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
I wish I could draw like that. The picture is stunning.

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Also one of my favorite covers. It is really its own thing. One of the best thing about a book cover is how it stands out. You don't find that a lot these days.

I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan
This cover is so lovely! I haven't read the book yet, but I really hope this scene is in the book.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
One of my new favorite cover! I had no interest in reading this book before this cover was revealed. I thought it would be similar to The Daughter of Smoke and Bone for some reason. I love how this cover sets it apart from that book. I really want to read it now (as well as to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone)

Eon by Alison Goodman
This cover has a personality! I love how Mulanish it looks, if you know what I mean ;)

Tell me about your favorite covers.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Adaptation Releases: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

We only have one movie to talk about this week.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Based On: Salmon Fishing In The Yemen by Paul Torday
Directed by: Lasse Hallström (Other movies include Chocolat and Dear John)
Screenplay Written by: Simon Beaufoy (Other works include 127 Hours and Slumdog Millionaire)
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt and Amr Waked
Release Date: March 9, 2012

A fisheries expert is approached by a consultant to help realize a sheik's vision of bringing the sport of fly-fishing to the desert and embarks on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the impossible possible.
This looks like a sweet novel, even though I'm still not sure about the way it portrays Arabs though. I'm judging from the trailer. I haven't see the movie yet. I do however love Emily Blunt so I'm checking this movie out sometime. Besides, it does look really good. The concept is interesting.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

2012 March TBR Pile

I'm positive I'm not going to get through all of these, but I'm definitely planning to get through as much as possible.

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (currently reading)
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (currently reading)
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Solitary by Travis Thrasher
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (currently reading)
Spontaneous by Joe Harris and Brett Weldele
Who is Jake Ellis? Vol.1 by Nathan Edmondson, Tonci Zonjic
Dotter of Her Father's Eyes by Mary M. Talbot and Bryan Talbot
Ratfist by Doug TenNapel and Katherine Garner
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Of course!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Pic Book Review: Michael Recycle and the Tree Top Cops by Alexandra Colombo

Title: Michael Recycle and the Tree Top Cops
Author(s): Ellie Patterson (writer), Alexandra Colombo (illustrator)
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Release Date: March 20, 2012
Reading Group: Children
Source: NetGalley


Even super-heroes need a vacation, so where better than one of the world's natural wonders, the great Redwood Forest! But disaster has struck and the forest is under threat...can Michael Recycle and his new friends, the Tree Top Cops, save the day?


If you have a child and you want to introduce him or her to superheroes, the Michael Recycle series is a good pick. Before you pick up Michael Recycle and the Tree Top Cops, I'd suggest picking up the previous titles first. This is my first time reviewing a picture book, so any feedback would be appreciated. 

I've loved picture books ever since I picked up Where the Wild Things Are. There is an innocence in them that bring you back to your childhood. This is the first Michael Recycle I read and I gotta say, it was entertaining. 

I love the idea of a recycling superhero. I think it's important to teach kids the idea of recycling at a young age, and what better example for them than a superhero? It's a brilliant idea! Who doesn't want to learn from their idols? So yeah, I like Michael Recycle's character. As for the dog, Tin Can Stan, I felt it was their to "cuteness" purposes, which I think it's fine, just not for me. The other characters, though none stood out, all added a colorful spin to the story. 

The art is beautiful. I love the coloring. Although sometime I felt there was too much green, it makes sense here. The only thing that annoyed me is a certain image of Tin Can Stan that keeps appearing again and again. I don't know if it was an artistic decision, but it didn't quite work for me. Although the illustrations was great, the writing wasn't. I think it's because of the rhymes. Sometimes, they were fun and other times they were off, I felt. The whole book felt like looking at a great painting, then realizng that something is not quite right.

The story was good overall. It's one of the main reasons I enjoyed this book. It's shows how it's like living a childhood dream. It's a good way of showing kids that they could do anything if they worked together, especially if it's for a noble cause. I like that message.

All in all, Michael Recycle and the Tree Top Cops was an enjoyable read. I think it's a very good pick if you want to introduce your child to superheros.

Final Rating

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Graphic Novel Review: Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks

Title: Friends with Boys
Author: Faith Erin Hicks
Publisher: First Second
Release Date: February 28, 2012

Pages: 224
Reading Group: Young Adult
Buy the Book: Amazon
Source: NetGalley


A coming-of-age tale with a spooky twist!

Maggie McKay hardly knows what to do with herself. After an idyllic childhood of homeschooling with her mother and rough-housing with her older brothers, it’s time for Maggie to face the outside world, all on her own. But that means facing high school first. And it also means solving the mystery of the melancholy ghost who has silently followed Maggie throughout her entire life. Maybe it even means making a new friend—one who isn’t one of her brothers.

Funny, surprising, and tender, Friends with Boys is a pitch perfect YA graphic novel full of spooky supernatural fun.


You may think it's weird, but I find it more difficult writing reviews for books I like. It's hard to point out the stuff you love in the book without gushing. It often comes out really messy and disjonted. Let's see how that goes. On with the review.

If want me to describe this book in one word, it's "Adorable."

Friends with Boys is a book that's charming, funny and tender all at the same time. I was enchanted from the very first pages.  

I always thought that sibling relationships are not portrayed enough in fiction. When I came across this book, I was pleasantly surprised that it were the main focus. This is a story about how life can make your relationships stronger or break them apart. Sometimes you'd like your life to stay the way that it is at the moment, but you can't help the fact that things will change. Sometimes these changes will prevent you from spending time with the people you love. That's what the main character is going through.

Maggie is a very easy character to love because you can't help but feel for her. She is facing a big change in her life.  After being home-schooled her whole life, she is going to high school, meeting new faces and facing new challenges. It's easy to empathize with her because when you live a life that you pretty much happy with, and there's a possibility of losing that, you feel scared and alone. I like how the illustrations added to that feeling of isolation. Maggie feels isolated even though she's in a place that's full of people. 

I may be making the story to be a bit dark, but really it's not. It's about teens and their challenges in high school. This book is kinda influenced by Japanese manga and you can tell if you've read manga before. It's not a bad thing, in fact, that's what made the story so charming. There is a sense of innocence in it that you feel when you read Japanese manga. What I mean is that these characters are not exactly realistic, and that's okay because they are so charming that you wish you were friends with them.

This is a really funny book. I found myself laughing several times. The dialogue in this book is great. The side characters are all incredible and they provide a huge chunk of the entertainment aspect of the book. They also each have their own unique personalities. There is the boy who love theater, the twin who tries to break apart from his brother, the friend with the wierd interests... I loved all of them. My personal favorite is Maggie's big brother. All the big brother figures are amazing. I wish I had big brothers like that.

When it comes to the art, I love it. The factual expressions are great and so is the character designs. I like how the transitions between the shoots flaw with the story. I wish I could dig deeper into the artistic aspect, but unfortunately I'm not an artist. I loved the writing.

If you can't tell by now, I loved this book. After I finished the last page, I was a little sad bacause I wanted more of these characters. I'd love it if Hicks considered writing a sequel.

I didn't feel the need to cover the paranormal aspect of the story because I fear that I may spoil things for you if I went into detail about it. You have to read the book to find out how it adds to the story.

All in all, Friends with Boys is a wonderful graphic novel. It had me laughing and "aww"-ing the whole way through. If you love coming-of-age stories or stories about sibling relationship in general, this book is for you.

You can read Friends with Boys here in the author's website till March 6. Don't miss the chance.

Final Grade: