Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Books to Movies

I just watched the trailer for the upcoming Cirque Du Freak movie and I've gotta say it....I'm concerned. Not for the reasons I thought, either. Darren as an American didn't bother me. The actor who plays him has a nice Darren essence. Nope, what bothered me was the dude playing Mr. Crepsley. He is totally miscast! As I see it, Mr. Crepsley is truly sinister and elegant, exuding power and danger. Actor John C. Reilly, best known for Stepbrothers and Walkhard, comes across as goofy and nonthreatening. He plays Crepsley for laughs. Bah! It's dosen't really matther, though. I'll be in line for tickets when it comes out October 23rd. See the trailer for yourself here.

Another book coming to film soon looks much better. The Lightning Thief , out this February 12th, has a high budget for special effects and a fabulous cast. Uma Thurman plays Medusa, Pierce Brosnan is Chiron, and Sean Bean (Boromir from Lord of the Rings) is Zeus! The kid playing Percy doesn't say anything in the trailer, so it's hard to have an opinion about him. He looks like a Percy, though :) Check out the trailer here.

Friday, September 25, 2009

MHS is crazy for Shusterman's Unwind

I thought 8 copies of Unwind would be enough to keep everybody happy but I was wrong. Everyone is loving this story or a future world gone wrong. I'm up to sixteen copies and they are all checked out!

In this crazy-but-believable future, doctors and scientists have perfected organ transplant technology. Anything that goes wrong with your body is easily solved by plugging in a new part. Losing your eyesight? No biggie! Plug in new eyeballs. Injure your hand? Just get a new one grafted on. Freaky, huh?

This means that full-size, low-mileage parts are at a premium. Can you guess where they come from? Teenagers. Bad teens whose parents have had enough. Orphaned teens who society decides have no special talent. "Special" teens who have been conceived for the express purpose of having their organs tithed. To be "unwound" is to have your parts harvested for reuse by others.

Bad boy Connor, orphaned Risa, and tithed Lev are all scheduled to be unwound. If they can survive until they turn 18, they will no longer be eligible for the process. Their story is disturbing and incredibly suspenseful. The characters are complex and Shusterman's premise will really make you think.

The climactic scene with Sometimes a piece of fiction sticks in your heart and brain long after you put the book down. That scene wrecked me when I read it and it's still (still!) with me now.

It's not all that often a book is thrillingly suspenseful and intellectually challenging at the same time but Unwind certainly is.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sequel to the Hunger Games is On Fire

When Catching Fire hit the book stores a few weeks ago, I was first in line to snap it up. I'd waited more than a year to get my hands on Suzanne Collins' eagerly anticipated sequel to The Hunger Games. It did not disappoint! Picking up pretty much where THG left off, the book catapulted me back into Katniss and Peeta’s dystopian future world. Things are getting even more grim….the government is not pleased with Katniss’ stunt that ended the games.
Peeta is back, still sweet and thoroughly nice. When is Katniss ever gonna get a clue about him? We get to know Gale a little bit better this time around. I started to feel sorry for the guy. He must have been devastated to see Katniss and Peeta’s romance play out on national TV. Collins doesn’t wait long to ramp up the action. Katniss needs that bow and arrow of hers pretty quickly! Since this is the middle book of a planned trilogy, you won’t find a resolution at the end…it leaves you hanging once more. Gah! Another year-long wait to find out what happens!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Peak by Roland Smith

I finally finished Peak this weekend. Why did it take me so long? You all have kept it checked out constantly so I could never get my hands on it!

After finishing, I totally understand why. The main character is in a life and death situation for much of the book so the reader is constantly wondering if he's going to make it or not.

Peak Marcello is the son of a famous mountain climbing dad and mom. Unfortunately, Dad is off in the Himalayas and Mom's remarried, leaving Peak and his younger sisters living in NY city with step dad. Peak loves to climb, but is busted by the police when he's caught scaling a skyscraper. To avoid jail, he's sent to live with his dad who promptly whisks him off to Mount Everest! The story centers around Peak's attempt to become the youngest person to ever climb it.

I was fascinated by how hard it is to climb Everest and how much is involved in getting acclimated to that elevation. The story also weaves in the current troubles between Tibet and China. This is central to how the story ends up but I'm not telling any more about it!

You will love Peak, the character. He's tough, vulnerable, and big-hearted. I think you'll like Peak, the book. too. It's got a kicker ending I'd love to discuss with you. Come talk to me when you're done.