After being dumped by the 19th Katherine that he’s dated, Colin Singleton decides that he needs to make a change. He heads off on a road trip with his best friend Hassan. They wind up stopping at a small town in Tennessee after seeing a sign advertising the burial place of an Austro-Hungarian archduke, someone Colin remembers reading about once. There they meet Lindsey, the cashier of the general store and tour guide of the archduke’s resting place. After meeting Lindsey’s mother and being offered a job, Colin and Hassan decide to stay in Tennessee for the duration of the summer.
While there, Colin dedicates most of his time trying to figure out why he has found himself being dumped 19 times. And every time by a girl named Katherine. But he may found out that there is no scientific answer to this problem. It is just life which is unpredictable.
Even as an infant, it was obvious that there was something different about January. She constantly required stimulation and it only got worse as she got older. She needed hours of activity before being able to sleep, would become aggressive if she couldn’t get her own way, and had difficulty interacting with other children her own age. January had multiple imaginary friend who she seemed to believe truly existed.
Throughout time her behavior becomes increasingly more aggressive and violent, often hitting her parents to the point of bleeding. Eventually her parents have no choice but to take her to see a psychiatrist, who seemed to be baffled by January’s behavior and cannot give a precise diagnosis. January’s parents believe that their child is suffering from a severe case of schizophrenia – a diagnosis which the doctors are reluctant to give out.
January First is written by January’s father Michael Schofield. It tells the story of his journey to try to save his daughter from her own mind.
Hazel Grace has been suffering from cancer for years. Despite undergoing a medical procedure that has bought her valuable years, she is still terminal. No longer attending school, she spends most of her days at home with her parents watching reality TV. Her only outlet is a weekly Cancer Kid Support Group she goes to even though she dreads going most of the time.
That is until one day she meets Augustus Waters at the Group. Augustus, who is in remission, shows Hazel that she is so much more than her illness.
What I Was Thinking Before I Started Reading: I keep hearing so much about this book, I need to finally read it.
What I Was Thinking in the Middle of Reading: OK, seriously this is not normal. I am hyperventilating over here from crying.
What I Was Thinking When I Finished Reading: You know when people say they want to crawl up inside a book and live there forever? This is what they are talking about.
When high schooler Hannah Baker committed suicide, most of her teachers and classmates had no idea what brought on this tragedy. One student particularly struggling with the ordeal was Clay Jensen. Clay admired Hannah mostly from afar, although they did interact at their job in the movie theater and at a party just a few days before Hannah killed herself.
While Hannah did not leave a suicide note, she left something even more valuable to explain why she did what she did. Once she had made up her mind, Hannah recorded a series of thirteen tapes. Each tape is addressed to a different student in the school, with one going to a teacher. When Clay receives the tapes, he goes through a series of emotions and discoveries, including who Hannah really was and the role he may have played in her suicide.
What I Was Thinking Before I Started Reading: This sounds like a pretty awesome premise for a book and will possibly make me cry. Also, I know people who have read it and they loved it. I’m excited for this.
What I Was Thinking in the Middle of Reading: I don’t understand what this author wants. Are we supposed to empathize with Hannah or is it OK that we dislike her?
What I Was Thinking When I Was Finished Reading: Well that had the potential to be SO much better.
Identical twins Kate and Violet were born with special a “sense” – they had psychic abilities that allowed them to see certain future events and see other people’s secrets. After being shunned in junior high school for revealing her powers to one of the popular girls, Kate decides that her powers are more a curse than a blessing. While her sister Violet embraces her psychic abilities, Kate does everything in her power to destroy them.
Years later, Kate is happily married with two kids. She thought she had completely moved on from her past, but everything is brought back to the surface when Violet makes a public prediction that an earthquake will hit their hometown of St. Louis sometime in the near future. Kate struggles with reconnecting with her abilities and her sister while also trying to protect her family from the backlash the prediction has resulted in.
Jacob’s grandfather was always eccentric. He was always telling his grandson tales of the extraordinary children he knew back when he was a young boy. He also suffered from paranoia, expressing fear of the “monsters” out to get him. No one believed the stories he would tell, not even Jacob. But when his grandfather is found dead in the woods and Jacob believes he sees the “monster” who committed the murder, Jacob starts to realize that his grandfathers stories may have been more than just fairy tales.
The family tragedy and discovery that his grandfather may have been right all along, sends Jacob to a remote Island off Wales so he can try to better understand who is grandfather was. While on the Island Jacob discovers a group of children who may be able to help Jacob not only better understand his grandfather but also help him figure out who he really is.
What I Was Thinking Before I Started Reading: OK, I know you aren’t supposed to judge a book by it’s cover but the cover of this book is so cool. And there are a ton of creepy black and white photos throughout the book.
What I Was Thinking in the Middle of Reading: I am pretty sure I’m reading about an alternate universe of the X-Men.
What I Was Thinking When I Was Finished Reading: I kind of liked this book. It was a little all over the place at times, but it was intriguing. I’ll definitely catch up with the second book in the series soon.
In my last post I was gushing over how amazing the film The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was. It truly was one of the best book to movie adaptations I have ever seen. Then it got me thinking, “What are some of the other great book to movie adaptations I’ve seen?”
I’m a big fan of seeing a movie based on a book I’ve already read. It’s always fun to check out what was done right and in a lot of cases, what was done horribly wrong. The general consensus seems to be that the “book is always better” and nine out of ten times this is true. Sometimes it isn’t even the fault of the director. It’s just inevitable that he will need to leave things out. It’s quite difficult to fit a 600 page book into a two-hour film.
But some directors manage to take all the best parts of a novel, everything that truly make it great, and turn it into an exceptional film. Below are the films that I feel managed to be just as good as the original source.