Table Talk: Two Stories in One Season

Okay, so do you remember that blog post I wrote around two weeks ago. This one here >> Table Talk: A Beauty, A Year, and a Day Zero. It seriously was a fangirl week for me. So much good news in the entertainment industry. So much.

Well, the day after I wrote that post, I kid you not–the next day!, Kresley Cole announced that not only would Day Zero, an Arcana Chronicles novella, would be released on August 1st, but this fandom would be receiving the next installment in the series only fifteen days later! So not a month or two after the novella is released and hopefully can tie us over until fall, but fifteen days! I cannot tell you just how anxious I am.

See here (posted to her FB page):


You would not believe the cliffhanger book three, Dead of Winter, left us with! I mean, seriously. It was . . . I must have gone disbelief, anger, shock, disbelief again, a little bit of joy, and then back to anger. Disbelief because the book ended so abruptly. Anger that the book ended so abruptly. Shock because the ending hinted at a new Arcana getting some more screen time. Disbelief, again, that the story ended so abruptly. A little bit of joy because my favorite character came to the rescue. And back at anger because the book ended so abruptly and I would have to wait a whole year to find out

SPOILER!

And so I am super excited that we don’t have to wait long. I am nervous that this one will end on another whopper of a cliffhanger, but I will press on to the end because this series is that good.

So, let the countdown begin!

Movie 411: Scents and Sensibility

Director: Brian Brough
Screenplay: Jennifer Jan and Brittany Wiscombe
Story by Jane Austin
Rated: PG
Released: May 2011
The Hook: I needed to occupy my mind, I love Jane Austin, so I said “what the hey.”

What can I say? It was a lazy Sunday afternoon and I needed my mind to take a break for a little bit. Plus, I’m still processing X-Men: Apocolypse, the most recent movie I’ve seen in theaters, because … well, I’m still processing it.

Besides, Sense and Sensibility is one of the Austin novels I couldn’t finish. I’ve watched the BBC version and figured why not give this rendition a go ahead.

Summary:

Sisters Elinor and Marianne Dashwood lives are upended when their father gets arrested for investment fraud and is found guilty. As with any investment investigation, Mr. Dashwood’s assets are frozen leaving these sisters to figure out how to live their lives and figure out a way to support their younger sister, Margaret, and their mother. Margaret suffering from leukemia and help their mother who was blindsided by her husband’s crime and worried about her youngest daughter’s medical treatments.

Since their name has been tarnished by their father’s indiscretions, Elinor is having a really hard time finding a job in the career field she’s good at, investment manager (for obvious reasons of course, but still sucks since it was her father’s crime). She ends up a janitor at a spa while Marianne, seeing her sister being rejected and rejected because of the Dashwood name, decides to apply for a copy assistant position under a different name and gets hired.

Add to this circumstance that Marianne’s boyfriend, John Willoughby, is supposedly off in Switzerland (when he’s really not) and Elinor’s boss is being really mean to her because she knows she’s a Dashwood. Some silver linings appear when Elinor meets her boss’s brother–Edward, who charms her, Marianne meets a senior executive in the marketing company she’s working for who actually seems respectable–Brandon, and Marianne seems to have hit the right recipe with her hobby–making scented lotion. The lotion not only smells good, but it seems to relieve muscle aches, which becomes a big hit at Elinor’s spa when she gave some to a client to use.

I don’t know if you can see where this is going, but Elinor, lotion, spa, terrible boss? Yeah.

Verdict!

I like this modern-day rendition. I really do. I mean, I haven’t read the novel so I can’t compare book-to-movie-to-book, but the movie was enjoyable even if I did not know the story. And since I’ve seen the BBC version of it, I know the story. But, with this one, I like the fact that Mr. Dashwood is charged with investment fraud instead of dying. It puts a different spin on things. Not to mention, you see the big change in life styles. From rich and luxury living to changing the oil in their broken down truck on their own and budgeting their expenses. I also liked how Elinor ends up a janitor at a spa. It’s not because I like watching people suffer. I like that it makes their comeback story that much sweeter. I mean, their down in the dumps. The lowest low they have ever been. I’m sure to some of us, having to budget expenses and do our own repair work is an everyday occurrence and it’s a lesson learned, but these girls haven’t lived this life style. Ever. So, I liked to see them grow. It’s a good story. Some may argue it’s a bit bland and predictable, but I liked it. It was exactly what I was looking for–a feel-good movie to occupy a lazy Sunday.

I like the acting. Ashely Williams (Elinor Dashwood) and Marla Sokoloff (Marianne Dashwood) did so well as sisters. Their chemistry was the right touch for siblings and they played off each other well. Nothing seemed force. The men of the story, Brad Johnson (Edward Farris), Nick Zano (Brandon Hurst), and Jason Celaya (John Willoughby) played their respective parts well. Celaya pulled off the shady yet likable character of John pretty good. And the shared chemistry with Johnson/Willams and Sokoloff /Zano was fun to watch as well. JJ Neward (Fran Farris) and Jacklyn Hales (Lucy Steele) did a good job with the tension and conflict. I was getting so upset with Fran (Neward). She was so horrible to Elinor! That’s a good job. However, I didn’t like the ending Lucy got. Even though she’s the one who vouched for Elinor, I didn’t like how she handled her jealousy of Elinor. Ugh! But, again, when a character does a good job, you hate the villains and root for the heroes (except in those story lines where the villain is really the hero of the story).

I’d definitely watch this movie again. It’s cute. It’s fun. It’s simple. Nothing intense or complex. I don’t know if I’d spend money to own it though. I’m sure it’s not more than $10 if I chose to buy it, but I don’t know if I would. As I mentioned, it was exactly what I needed–fun, light, and a distraction. I don’t know if it could be more than that.

Photo credit: IMDb

Sneak Peek: 140 characters or less

*”Because no one will invite me to their cocktail parties.” << Missed that!

Biblio 411: The Boy Next Door

img_8698#SpoilerAlert – Proceed at your own risk

Author: Meg Cabot
Released: October 2005
Published by: Avon
Read: December 13, 2015
The Hook: It was a recommend on the epistolary novel list >> here

Meg Cabot has been a favorite of mine since I read the Princess Diaries a couple of years ago. Every book I’ve picked up from her hasn’t let me down. She’s my go-to author for light, fun, and funny. So when I saw this book on the epistolary novel list I just had to give it a shot. I mean, I really wanted to read something about letters and here is one of my go-to authors with a book on that list. Yep. Had to give it a shot.

Story Arc:

The story follows Melissa Fuller, Mel to her co-workers, who is a gossip columnist for the NY Journal. She’s late to work one morning because while on her way to work she notices her neighbors newspaper is still out in the hall and her dog is barking. Concerned, she knocks, finds the door unlocked, and finds her neighbor face first on the floor. It’s all okay though, her neighbor is still alive, just not conscious so she calls 911 and ends up talking to the police about what happens. Her work day is shot, but that doesn’t stop the office gossip in the round about of emails among her co-workers, best friend, and boss.

The fun really begins when Mrs. Friedlander, the unconscious neighbor, is in the hospital and her “nephew” shows up to housesit and take care of the dog (and yes, that is quotation marks around nephew. You’ll see why).

The Characters:

So you have Mel. Gosh, she’s hilarious. I don’t know how to explain her. She’s got this personality that you can’t help but snicker at. She’s bold, but not in a sassy way. She’s kind, in a completely sincere way. I want to say Mel is kind of ditzy, but I don’t think that’s right. I also want to say she’s a little scatter-brained, but I don’t think that’s right either. She’s sanguine. Yeah, that’s it. Sanguine.

You have Nadine, Mel’s best friend. Their banter through email is hilarious. I love it. Nadine is bold, with sass. She’s kind, in a no nonsense kind of way. She’s the sensible one.

Then you have Aaron Spender, Mel’s boyfriend, and senior columnist at the NY Journal. Oh gosh, I’m not going there with this one.

Let’s not forget all of Mel’s office. Seriously, and this is what I love, emails fly throughout the staff in this one and they all add to the story in their own perspectives and add a layer of humor that you just have to appreciate. From the tech department up to her boss. I mean, wow. I really enjoyed it.

And you have Max and John. An odd pair of old college pals who end up in an arrangement that pretty much changes the course of their lives.

The Story:

I love the plot and I love the presentation. Telling this story through an exchange of emails really brings out the story. I guess it is this style of writing that I love. It’s like you see the story unfold through many different perspectives and at the same time you can piece together, on your own, what happens. You get the gist of things and can fill in the blanks how you see fit. It’s so much fun! Especially with Mel and her adventures with the boy next door.

It’s a little bit of “okay, I’ll do this, but that’s it. Consider favor throughly cashed in” and a little bit of “oh my gosh you’ll never believe what happened!” and more of “Seriously, you will never believe what happened!” and then “It’s seriously messed up but I love it and I’m happy so deal.”

I think I got it right.

But I did like reading through this story. I think I laughed about 90% of the book. It was a page turner. A part of it is because it’s written through emails, but I the story was engaging. I just couldn’t wait to see what  would happen between “Max” and Mel and then how Aaron felt about it and then I couldn’t wait to see what the office had to say about everything else. I know I’m being redundant, but one more time, it was super fun to read.

A side note:

It seems that this is book one in a series, but I think the books in the series can be read as stand-alones because a quick read through the summaries has me seeing different characters. I don’t know if Mel returns in any of them so I will probably not read those. As much as I love Meg Cabot’s stories, I just can’t dilute Mel and her world with another story about other journalists.

The Boy Next Door (Boy #1)

Boy Meets Girl (Boy #2)

Every Boy’s Got One (Boy #3)

The Boy is Back

The end:

It’s a good read, especially if you’re looking for light, fun, and funny. If you’re not into the whole email back and forth thing, I’d skip it. There is no narrative except for emails among the characters. It’s fun, but I know not everyone likes that kind of story. It’s also a contemporary romance so if you’re not really into the whole love story thing, skip it. If you don’t mind all that jazz, I think you’ll enjoy it. Meg Cabot knows how to make you laugh. Though, when I think of it, I don’t know if everyone would enjoy that kind of humor. The kind where you’re like “I can’t believe you just did that. Who does that? Ack! It’s so obvious!” For me, I think that’s the point, you know? But I know that irritates some.

This is a book I would definitely pick up again and thumb through time to time.

Bookgeek 411: Anna and the French Kiss

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another cute story.

So we know Anna is shipped off to boarding school because her father feels she should “broaden her horizons.” It’s all good and well, except it’s Anna’s senior year of high school so not only is she leaving her friends and just-blooming relationship with her crush, she has to learn a new language, in a different country, with no friends.

I think Perkins does a great job trying to capture Anna’s frustration, anger, confusion, and overall helplessness. You can relate to Anna.

And as Anna finds herself a good group a lot happens during her time overseas. We see her struggle with her relationship with her best friend, old flame, new best friends, possible new flame, and just life.

Perkins does a great job telling us the story of Anna’s journey, taking us through Anna’s ups and downs as she copes with her new life and tries to blend her two worlds.

I enjoyed the way it was told and the juggling dynamics. I’d definitely add this to my bookshelf.

View all my reviews

Around-the-Corner 411: “One Day”

This will be the first time I’m … forecasting?–let’s go with forecasting … a book. But when I picked up One Day the story really intrigued me.

I found it on NovelList. And then of course I went straight to GoodReads to see what my fellow book lovers had to say about it. I was hooked.

The narrative is most unique. I haven’t come across a story tild this way before. Snapshots of one day for 20 odd years, for our to main characters Emily and Dexter.

Love it! If I could tap on a day on my calendar and review what I did for that day going back twenty years, I’d imagine things would be both boring and interesting. And then to do this as a love story, capturing the day Emily and Dexter met and then visiting their friendship every year on that particular day. Awesome. I’m really excited for this story. I hope it doesn’t disappoint.

I’m just beginning “July 15, 1990” and I’m having a hard time putting it down. Sadly, I will have to put this story down for a bit because another library book arrived and it’s Hot Pick.

But stay tuned for a full review within a week or two.