Monday, September 29, 2008

From stage to screen

On Friday I was driving home from work grooving to tunes on my iPod. The wind was blowing through my hair, the sun glinting off my sunglasses. OK, I will admit it, I was sitting in stand still traffic listening to musical theater. Suddenly, "Past the Point of No Return" came throbbing through my speaker. (Yes, I actually typed that sentence. Get over it.) Anyhow, the angst of the Phantom and Christine triggered a yearning. At that moment I absolutely HAD TO WATCH the cheesy over-the-top movie version of the stage musical. After stopping at more stores that I want to admit, I had my very own copy. Oh, it is so very bad. I love it! The best part? Gerard Butler. Oh, baby!

Watching the movie got me to thinking: what other stage musical needs to be brought to the silver screen? Who would be cast as those classic characters?

Personally, I would love to see Les Miserables made into a movie. Gerard Butler and Helena Bonham Carter as the Thenardiers (the inn keepers). William Petersen as Jean Valjean. Hmmm... who else? I must think upon this.

So what do you think? What show should be given special movie treatment? Who should play your beloved characters?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Review: A Fist Full of Charms

I have two loves in reading: romance and urban fantasy. Romance is... romantic. I just love a book with a HEA. It makes me feel all warm and gooey inside. Urban Fantasy, on the other hand, feeds my love of the paranormal. It gives me a world where good and bad are not always clear cut, the heroes may not be heroic, and heroines can kick ass in a major way without losing their romantic allure. So you might not get a HEA. That’s fine because the book is usually part of a series. It might happen next time. Or the time after that. The possibility is there, without the promise of it that you get in romance. **Proceed carefully, spoilerish references made**

I have a few favorite UF authors. As you all know, I am crazy for Patricia Briggs. If I could, I would have babies with all of her heroes. Yes please and thank you. Adam, Charles, Bran... oh yeah. Heck, even Zee is fabulous. More recently I have been reading the Rachel Morgan series by Kim Harrison. I just finished A Fist Full of Charms. It was... interesting. Honestly, this may be where Ms. Harrison jumped the shark. I have to read the next book to see what happens, see if it gets back to a place that I can love. Don’t get me wrong, this was a good book. Not as good as the previous installments, but still a good book. I just did not enjoy the direction she took with some of the characters, namely Rachel and Ivy. Their friendship/relationship went down a path I was hoping it wouldn’t. Rachel’s choices regarding magic made me cringe. She wasn’t a heroine I could root for in this book. I felt like she wandered off the path. She needs to find her way back. The whole "needs danger to get off" thing kinda pissed me off. Made me not like Rachel at times.
The plot with the focus and the Weres was actually quite interesting. It shed some more light on the politics of Inderland society. I think this will give the series more depth in the long run. I will be interested to see if this trickles over into any future plots and how she deals with the issue of Brett.

I loved Jenks. Full sized Jenks? Break me off a piece of that! It was all of his snarky, fun personality in a 6'4" package of gorgeousness. He was big and beautiful and still fabulously in love with Matilina. Completely devoted, hunky man. Kisten was barely there. Sad. Nick. Ooh, baby. I did not particularly care for him as Rachel’s boyfriend. Am I glad! It was so easy to hate him in this book (as you were supposed to). I just could not believe what happened in the end with Nick and Jax. Poor Jenks.

Here is my one big gripe about the book: NO TRENT! What??!!?!?!!!? I think this is what made this book fall a bit flat for me. SO much of what I love about this series has to do with the interactions between Rachel and Trent. Without him there, the book felt a little dull. OK, dull is the wrong word, but you could tell something was missing.

Like I said, this was a decent book, just not up to the standards I expect from this author and series. Maybe it is unfair to hold her to a separate set of expectations, but that’s how it is. I would do the same to Ms. Briggs if I felt one of her books was of lesser quality than her previous releases. If I were still doing ratings or grades, I suppose I would give this book a 3.5/5, whereas the previous books in the series earned 4 or 4.5.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Givin' the blog some lovin'

::snuggles blog::

Don't worry, my love, I still adore you. It's just that things have been so busy lately, what with school starting and having a student teacher. What? No, no! I don't love her more than you. You will always be my favorite. Yes, I know I should be spending time with you in the evening. I would. I truly would if my Internet connection at home would just work. Please, baby, don't be sad. I love you long time. Promise.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Review: Body Language

I am a sucker for the unrequited love/best friends yearning for one another storyline. It gets me every time. Doesn't matter if the writing is mediocre, I will read it. There is just something about a story where two people have know one another for such a long time, have played major roles in each others lives, and never figured out they are the perfect match. Suddenly one day there is a spark. Perhaps they have each secretly longed for one another but have never admitted it. Maybe it involves a second chance at love. Whatever the case, I get suckered in every time. There have been good and not so good books along the way, but recently I read a fantastic little book about best friends who finally figure it out.

Title: Body Language
Author: Suzanne Brockmann
Genre: Contemporary Romance (category)

While there is not a SEAL, FBI agent, or Special Ops member in sight, Ms. Brockmann has done it again. Body Language is one of her earlier category releases focused on two friends, Clint McCade and Sandy Kirk. These two have been friends since grade school, the two misfit poor kids in the ritzy neighborhood. Constant companions and friends, Sandy has been in love with Clint forever. Clint, the roaming free spirit, has only recently realized that everything he wants in life can be found in his best pal. But how to tell her? He shows up on her doorstep in the middle of the night only to find that she has met the man of her dreams. Only problem? The guy barely knows she exists. Clint has the "brilliant", if unoriginal idea to offer to help Sandy by tutoring her on flirting, while he works his own angle. Oh baby, do the sparks fly. Soon Sandy has forgotten that she decided to put her feelings for Clint behind her and all she can think about is how much she wants him to kiss her and love her. At one point there is a misunderstanding (what romance is without one?) and tons of prototypical angst, but it works here. I just love this book. It has a permanent place on my bookshelf. This one will not be sold back, given away, or even lent away. It will remain safely in my keeping to be read over and over again. I can see this rising to the ranks of a comfort read.

This book gets big thumbs up, innumerable heart twinges, heartbreaking tears, and the hope that the situation in my life can turn out so good.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Midnight Breed question

I just finished reading Kiss of Crimson, which I loved 100 times more that Kiss of Midnight (not that KoM was bad, just not as good.)  The H&h were strong, complex characters.  Tess was a heroine that you could cheer for, that you actually liked (yeah, I'm giving you a baleful look, Marrisa!)  Then there was Dante.  Oh, Dante, you must come live in my hut!  I completely bought his change from die-hard-bachelor-warrior to die-for-his-woman-Alpha-lover.  Oh baby!  I am thoroughly enjoying the world building and writing that Ms. Adrian gives us readers.  The Rogues are a real and scary threat, and Adrian does not hesitate to sacrifice likable characters to ratchet up the intensity.  Sure there were a few WTF moments.  I mean, seriously, Tess must have been pretty damn flexible to be able to sit on the bathroom counter while giving Dante some oral lovin'.  I know he is tall, but not that tall.

Here is my question for those of you who have read past book 2:  Ms. Adrian develops these great heroines for our heros to fall in love with.  They are smart, sexy, independent and talented (at their jobs and psychically.)  Once they become a Breedmate and give up their lives for the men they love (because this is essentially what they have to do) what do these women do?  There is no mention of Savannah having a job.  Does Gabrielle still do her photography?  Does Tess continue to practice veterinary medicine?  Or do they all just hide away in the compound all day, too terrified to leave without their men?  Someone please tell me the Breedmates aren't completely stripped of their identities once they have bonded!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Kiss of Midnight: my failure at reading challenges

I took on the Ban On Buying Book Challenge. I made my list. I have been slowly whittling away at the TRB pile. I was doing good.Then I picked up Kiss of Crimson and realized it was book 2 in the series. WAIT! No! I can't read this! My series order OCD started throwing a temper tantrum. Big time. I just couldn't do it. So I was in a pickle. I had two choices: 1) I would have to complete the challenge without actually finishing my TBR list OR 2) I could break the rules of the challenge in order to fulfill the challenge. What do you think I did? Yup. No willpower. I went out and bought Kiss of Midnight. Since I was there and they happened to have one copy of Jade Lee's newest release, The Dragon Earl, I had to snag that one, too. Technically I had already started reading it since she gave me a sneak peek pamphlet at the signing last month. :) (Isn't it amazing how I can justify this?)

So I finished Kiss of Midnight before bed last night. It was a well written book with a great Big Bad. The heroine was complex and the hero perfectly angsty. Yet I finished this book and felt a little meh. Objectively, I know that this was a good book. Here's the problem: I read the BDB first. I think if I had read Lara Adrian's books first and then moved on to the BDB I would have loved KoM. Instead I was already a BDB crackhead. Ms. Adrian's vamps and world seemed to pale in comparison. Lucan was like the less attractive, slightly chubby-but-nice guy whose brother you lust after (the BDB). I felt kind of bad as I read the book that I did not love it/him the way I love the BDB/Zsadist. I know this is my issue, not a fault with the book. If you love the vamp story line you should definitely give it a shot, especially if you have yet to read any of Ms. Ward's crack-like novels.

That is not to say the book is inferior to the BDB. I actually like the Big Bad in the Midnight Breed series far more than I like the Lessening Society. The Omega? meh. The Rogue Master? Bad ass.

Now if only we could ditch Marrissa, allow Butch and V to fulfill their destiny together and send them after the Rogue Master, we would have one freakin' amazing book, my brother.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Because I am a dirty, dirty bird...

... I just couldn't pass up this quiz. I saw it over on Cubie's Confections and knew I needed to waste some time oggling the hot menz completeing this incredibly scientific test.

Your result for The What type of MAN turns you on Test...

Classic scorcher

You have picked my personal favorite type of man. Yes, man, not boy. The all-American and then some. You admire a buff body and manly features but someone who knows how to bathe himself and even though he's a scorcher, you could still bring him home to mom - as long as she keeps her hands off! Someone this hot would be......Victor Webster. But let's face it, the whole point of this was to look at a bunch of hot guys. If you liked what you saw, please rate my test!
Take The What type of MAN turns you on Test at HelloQuizzy

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Whittling away at the TBR

You know it is the beginning of the school year when I completely disappear from bloglandia. So many details to take care of: curriculum, seating charts, grade books, etc. Sadly, that means I don't get to read as much as I do during the summer. Not to fear, though, I have slowly but steadily been chipping away at the TBR pile, attempting to achieve the goal I set for the Ban On Spending Book Challenge. I have reread two books on that list and finished a couple more that were new to me. Right now I am in the middle of No Ordinary Man by Suzanne Brockmann. It was one of her earlier categories. Not a SEAL in sight :( It is still pretty good, I am just not sure what the deal is with the hero. I suppose that is the point, though.
One book I did want to mention and suggest to everyone is Open Season by Linda Howard. I really do love most of her books. This was classic Howard with a strong alpha hero, a quirky heroine, and steamy chemistry. Don't forget the mysterious bad guy lurking in the background causing trouble. The thing I love about this book is that it is an ugly duckling book. Better yet, the hero already found her attractive pre-transformation. For any of you who (like me) were late bloomers, this is a must read. I love that Daisy starts out as the stereotypical small town librarian and, despite a rather drastic transformation, still remains that geeky gal at heart. As you read and experience the changes she is making, you really want to cheer her on. Daisy finds herself in a rut and does what few people have the courage to do: she steps completely outside her comfort zone and makes solid changes. The external changes happen quickly, but the internal ones happen a bit slower and more naturally. I appreciated this. It made the character more real.

Jack is tough and strong and hot. I love that Daisy is at first adverse to him because he is so attractive. He has left behind a high stress job on a task force in Chicago to become the Chief of Police in a little Southern town. He is protective of the sweet awkward town librarian. When she suddenly breaks out of her shell he finds himself having to protect others from her (oh lord, the scene in the bar when the guy pulls her on him lap!) Jack's confident, charismatic personality strikes sparks off of Daisy's practical, small town sensibilities. Oooh boy, those sparks are hot. In typical Linda Howard fashion there are moments of intense passion and other moments that are painfully funny. If you have read this book then you know exactly what I mean when I say "party pack."

Seriously, go read this book. If you like Ms. Howard's style, but are not a fan of the serial killer plot (Nicola, I am looking at you!) this is a good one for you. There is crime, but not the "inside the crazy killer's head" passages. I give this some big thumbs up, lots of stars, a decadent chocolate truffle, or whatever rating system you all like. It's simply good reading.