Saturday, July 20, 2013

Review & Twitter Party Announcement: In Time by Alexandra Bracken

IN TIME is a The Darkest Minds e-novella featuring an older character (25 year old Gabe) who is a would-be skip tracer.  He happens upon Zu (one of my favorite characters from TDM) and sets out to turn her in to collect a reward.

I won't tell you much about the plot beyond that, only that Zu is amazing as usual (she'd save you a lot of money on gas), and Bracken knows how to rip out her readers' hearts. WHY, Bracken, WHY?!

IN TIME could theoretically be read as a stand-alone, but there are several points of intersection with TDM that make the experience all the richer.  I really liked how some of my worldbuilding questions from book 1 were answered here (especially regarding how parents would be willing to give up their children, especially the relatively harmless Greens).

I also wanted to let you know about an upcoming IN TIME event!


When: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 from 8:00-9:00 p.m. EST

How: Be sure to follow @AlexBracken, @HyperionTeens, and @TheBookCellarX and use #InTime during the 1-hour event to ask questions LIVE and win prizes.

· To join the party, just search #InTime on Twitter.

· Watch for questions from @TheBookCellarX and win awesome prizes including promo codes for In Time, autographed copies of The Darkest Minds, compass necklaces, and a $200 Visa card!

· Ask Alex questions, enter giveaways and chat with other partygoers—just use the tag #InTime in all of your party tweets!

Tweet your questions for @AlexBracken now using #InTime and participate on Wednesday, July 24th for her live responses!

Read my review of THE DARKEST MINDS.

Find out more about book 2 in the series, NEVER FADE (Releases: October 15, 2013)

FTC disclosure: Review copy provided by Big Honcho Media

See index of all dystopian reviews on Presenting Lenore

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Chick-O-Saurus Rex Updates!

Can you believe CHICK-O-SAURUS REX comes out next week already? (add to Goodreads)

We have some fun stuff in the works, including three upcoming bookstore events:

Saturday July 27, 2013, 11 a.m. at Watermark Books in Wichita, KS

Saturday August 3, 2013, 3:30 p.m. at Hooray for Books in Alexandria, VA (also appearing: Ann Bonwill & Erin Cabatingan)

Saturday August 10, 2013, 10 a.m. at Fundamentals Bookstore in Delaware, OH

Come out and see us and get a personalized illustration in your copy of the book!

CHICK has also gotten some awesome trade reviews:

“Fun for reading aloud, especially in group settings." (Booklist)

"Dinosaur-loving youngsters will warm to Little Chick." (School Library Journal)

"Provides a distinctive angle to a story about bullying." (Publisher's Weekly)

Also, if you want to see me with swamp hair, check out this CHICK promo video where Daniel and talk about our process and we share a hilarious dinosaur joke.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Return of Cat Tuesday (85)

How about some RAWRS?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Bookanista Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Caymen despises the rich, entitled customers that treat her badly at her mother's shop, so when wealthy hotel heir Xander comes by to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it's hate at first sight. But despite their class differences, Xander and Caymen start to get to know each other, and start to think they might be able to close the distance between them.

The more I think about this one, the more I like it. It's a light, romantic read with a appealingly snarky MC (who works and lives in a CREEPY DOLL SHOP) and a swoon-worthy boy - exactly what I needed as a respite from all my doom and gloom reading. The ending might be a bit too pat (and doesn't allow the couple to really work through their main conflict) but it put me in a good HEA mood, so I won't grumble.

Find out more about the book at the author's website.

FTC disclosure: Unsolicited review copy from publisher

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Book to Movie Adaptations

Before I was a blogger, one of my favorite ways to find good books to read was to peruse the pages of Entertainment Weekly and see what movies were coming out.  And of course I wanted to read the book before seeing the movie, because we all know most of the time, the book really is better.

Which brings us to this week's Top Ten Tuesday!

Here's a list of movies that I think were as good (or better) than the books or at least brought something new to the experience of the story, in no particular order:

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

If you can believe, I read A CLOCKWORK ORANGE at the beach (in Myanmar). I remember having to read the first page about 10 times because it was so strange. Stanley Kubrick was the perfect director to bring this to life.

The Hunger Games (2012)

Ok, so I wasn't on board with some of the casting choices (Peeta), but for the most part I enjoyed the adaptation. At least, every time I rewatch it, it sucks me right back in.

Holes (2003)

This is probably my favorite middle grade book of all time, and though the movie is a different experience than the book, it's still a great one mainly due to the perfect casting.

The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

I read this specifically because the movie was coming out and I loved the cat and mouse of the book.  The movie glosses over some of the plot, but Matt Damon and Jude Law were great in their roles.

Little Children (2006)

I also read this because of the movie, and I love Kate Winslet in the part of a bored housewife who has an affair.  The production hits all of the dark atmospheric notes perfectly.

The Great Gatsby (1974)

I refuse to see the 2013 version because no one but Robert Redford will ever be Gatsby to me.

The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

This probably makes me weird, but this book was my favorite as a kid. When the movie came out, I saw it 8 times in the theatre (a record that still stands, and likely always will).  I mean, those looks between Uncas and Alice. I totally believed in their wordless, unrequited romance.

Thank You For Smoking (2005)

The plot of the movie is less wacky than the plot of the book, but I so enjoyed both versions, because at the time, I had just finished working on a project for a potentially reduced exposure product from a major cigarette producer and everything rang so, so true to my experience. Brilliant.

Life of Pi (2012)

This was one of those books I was always pushing on people so I could discuss it with them, so when I heard Ang Lee was directing a film version, I was super excited. The visuals in this are STUNNING.

Les Miserables (2012)

I was obsessed with the Les Miserables musical in high school (saw a traveling production in Dayton for my 18th birthday), so when the 1998 movie came out, I kinda hated it because they didn't sing. The movie soundtrack won't replace my broadway version, but it works in the context of the movie (yes, even Russell Crowe). And I always cry at the end. Every time.

Additional thoughts

The Lord of the Rings. LOVED the movies but I've only read bits and pieces of the books, so I guess I can't count these.
Cloud Atlas. For this to work, you HAD to have read the book, so that is not such a successful adaptation in my mind. It was very ambitious though, so I'll give it an A for effort.
The Never Ending Story. Ok, so I loved both when I was a kid, but wow, is this movie ever cheesy when I watch it today.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Well, actually Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory (1971) because both book and movie are so wonderfully weird. HATE the remake.


The Time Traveler's Wife. All the pieces seemed to be there, but it just didn't work. Lack of chemistry?
Memoirs of a Geisha. I read this in one sitting until the wee hours of the night, but the movie was boring.
The Road.  One of my favorite books, and the movie didn't do it justice.
A Series of Unfortunate Events. I think Jim Carrey ruined this for me.

Loved the Book, Still need to see the movie
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Where the Wild Things Are

Loved the movie, Still need to read the book
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Children of Men
The Silver Linings Playbook
No Country for Old Men

Ok. Stopping now. For reals.

ETA: Not stopping apparently! Just reminded of The Help and Atonement. Both excellent on page and film.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Return of Cat Tuesday (84)

Tight spot + new place to explore when I take out my sock drawer to organize it: