My 2 Cents… Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace

Movie Title: Leave No Trace
Director: Debra Granik
Screenplay Writer(s): Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini
Book Title: My Abandonment
Book By: Peter Rock
Stars: Thomasin McKenzie and Ben Foster

 

 

MY MOVIE RATING OVERVIEW
Writing: ★★★★★
Story: ★★★★★
Acting: ★★★★★
Overall: ★★★★★ (5)

Blurb:
A father and his thirteen year-old daughter are living an ideal existence in a vast urban park in Portland, Oregon, when a small mistake derails their lives forever.

Storyline:
Will (Ben Foster) and his teenage daughter, Tom (Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie), have lived off the grid for years in the forests of Portland, Oregon. When their idyllic life is shattered, both are put into social services. After clashing with their new surroundings, Will and Tom set off on a harrowing journey back to their wild homeland. The film is directed by Debra Granik from a script adapted by Granik and Anne Rosellini. Written by Bleecker Street.

Synopsis:
Will is a veteran with PTSD. Homeless by choice and withdrawn from society, his life is both comforted and complicated by the fact that he is raising his daughter as a single dad. When the curtain goes up we find them living in the woods near Portland, Oregon. His daughter, Tom, is about 14 and doesn’t remember her mom. They tend a small garden, cook mushrooms, and keep their canvas shelter patched against leaks. Once a month they trek into Portland to shop for necessaries with Will’s disability check. Will teaches her all the survival skills he knows, including how to bug out and hide so as not to get “burned” by the park rangers for squatting on public lands. Nevertheless Tom is seen one day and they soon get burned and turned over to Social Services. We cringe with Will as he sits down to take the intake exam, 435 questions to assess his psychological state. He tries but stops answering when the computer-voiced questions get too close. On the other hand Tom does well as the lady social worker soon discovers that she not only reads better than most kids her age but that Will has been a loving and responsible parent in spite of the circumstances. The social workers reunite them and place them in a vacant house where Will is expected to work at the local Christmas Tree farm. We smile as he is instructed on how to prune a young pine to a perfect point on top to meet the expectations of California customers. Meanwhile Tom meets an older boy who is framing his own tiny house. She takes a liking to his pet rabbit as he describes the floor plan of his trailer-sized home. He invites her to the local 4H club where she learns some rabbit handling skills. Whether Tom feels any attraction to this nice young man is totally left up to our imagination. (Happily there are no sexual encounters anywhere in this film apart from the concern of the various strangers they meet as to Will’s intentions toward Tom.) Tom likes it in their new home but Will is restless. He says that this is not really our house, our food, our furnishings, much less our life. You have to cooperate, he explains, like showing up at church, to keep on their good side. One day he tells Tom to pack only the stuff she needs and they make a break for it, eventually hitching a ride with a trucker who drops them off at a logging road up in Washington State. They spend a freezing night covered in branches and find a vacant cabin the next morning, where they break in and help themselves to some canned food. Will leaves Tom in the cabin while he heads downhill to find a store to get more groceries, but he never makes it. The next morning Tom finds him injured and unconscious by a stream. She gets help from a family that is camping nearby where a former Army medic nurses Will back to health. The family provides them with a trailer to live in for the time being in their little settlement of old, run down RVs. Tom likes this new found community of fellow misfits and refugees from civilization and learns some beekeeping skills from the wife of the medic who tended Will’s foot . Tom helps her fill a rucksack with supplies for someone who lives alone in the hills as a hermit. Periodically the woman hangs the rucksack from a tree and comes back later to retrieve the empty bag. Will is determined to leave this little community as soon as his foot heals. When the day finally comes and Tom finds him packing, she confronts him with the realization that whatever is wrong with him is not wrong with her and that she no longer wants to keep on picking up stakes and obediently following him to the next camp. Will realizes the truth of what she says, but knows that for himself things will never change. They part ways. We know that Tom will be all right but feel sorry that Will, a prisoner of his tortured memories, chooses a hermit’s existence. The curtain comes down as Tom hangs a rucksack from the tree one day, presumably for the hermit father she will always love.

BookBook Blurb:
NOW A MAJOR FILM, LEAVE NO TRACE, DIRECTED BY DEBRA GRANIK AND STARRING BEN FOSTER AND THOMASIN HARCOURT MCKENZIE

“Poignant . . . My Abandonment lingers in the mind, leaving you as haunted as its mesmerizing characters.”—New York Post

“This is probably the recent novel I recommend most… [a] short, disciplined, unsettling book.”—Hanya Yanagihara, author of A Little Life and The People in the Trees, for GQ

A thirteen-year-old girl and her father live in Forest Park, an enormous nature preserve in Portland, Oregon. They inhabit an elaborate cave shelter, wash in a nearby creek, store perishables at the water’s edge, use a makeshift septic system, tend a garden, even keep a library of sorts. Once a week they go to the city to buy groceries and otherwise merge with the civilized world. But one small mistake allows a backcountry jogger to discover them, which derails their entire existence, ultimately provoking a deeper flight.
Inspired by a true story and told through the startlingly sincere voice of its young narrator, Caroline, My Abandonment is a riveting journey into life at the margins and a mesmerizing tale of survival and hope.

“Original, unusual, and addictive.”—Oregonian

“[A] beautiful, strange novel . . . Fascinating and moving, it tells with great tenderness how human love goes wrong.”—Ursula K. Le Guin

By your copy of My Abandonment by Peter Rock HERE

My 2 Cents:
WOW… JUST WOW!

I haven’t read the book – YET, but I plan to. This movie popped up as a rental and looked interesting. I didn’t know it was based on a book, or did I know that the book was based loosely on actual events.

I can’t tell you enough that the writing was perfect, the story was heartbreaking, and the acting was beautiful. New comer Thomasin McKenzie is sure to be scooped up by every studio after this movie.

If you haven’t seen it yet, rent Leave No Trace. Just make sure you have tissues on hand because it is full of feels!!!

You can watch the official trailers here:
https://youtu.be/_07ktacEGo8

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Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent 1TITLE: Divergent
AUTHOR: Veronica Roth

RATING OVERVIEW
Writing: ★★★★
Story: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Appearance: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★★ (4.5)

AMAZON DESCRIPTION:
This first book in Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy is the novel the inspired the major motion picture starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, and Kate Winslet. This dystopian series set in a futuristic Chicago has captured the hearts of millions of teen and adult readers.

Perfect for fans of the Hunger Games and Maze Runner series, Divergent and its sequels, Insurgent and Allegiant, are the gripping story of a dystopian world transformed by courage, self-sacrifice, and love. Fans of the Divergent movie will find the book packed with just as much emotional depth and exhilarating action as the film, all told in beautiful, rich language.

One choice can transform you. Beatrice Prior’s society is divided into five factions—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Beatrice must choose between staying with her Abnegation family and transferring factions. Her choice will shock her community and herself. But the newly christened Tris also has a secret, one she’s determined to keep hidden, because in this world, what makes you different makes you dangerous.

Buy it HERE on Amazon!
THE CRITICAL POINTS

WRITING: Veronica Roth’s writing style reminds me of Suzanne Collins. She is a fast-paced story-teller who uses a lot of great descriptive language. She paints a picture in your mind without forcing the details down your throat over and over again.

STORY: Let me start by saying, I had never heard of the Divergent series when I first picked it up. I had seen a movie trailer for the first film in the series and quickly decided I needed to read the book before the movie hit the theatres. I’M GLAD I DID!

If you liked the Hunger Games or The Maze Runner, then you’ll love Divergent. Divergent is the first book in the series, and is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat page after page. This YA novel is full of characters every YA reader can either relate to fall in love with. Our heroine starts out as a young, quiet, innocent girl in the Abnegation faction but quickly claims her spot as a fearless Dauntless initiate.

Roth is an excellent character builder. The reader gets to know Beatrice, and the others, as if they are our friends and family. They struggle and you struggle along with them, they get excited and as a reader you get excited too. Roth brings these characters to life.

Have you seen the movie? Me too! I have to say; the first movie did a pretty good job keeping up with the book. However, they missed some key character-building moments and friendship building moments that were prominent in the book. The effects weren’t terrible in the first movie, but because of what was missed, the later movies suffered – In my opinion.

APPEARANCE: The cover is eye-catching. The blaze of fire in a ring of fire caught my attention right away when I passed it in the bookstore. I didn’t know anything about the story at the time, but the cover drew me in!

MY FAVORITE QUOTES:
“We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.”
“Becoming fearless isn’t the point. That’s impossible. It’s learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it.”

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

NOT YET RECORDED

Check out the official movie trailers here:

Movie Information:
divergent movie

In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she’s Divergent and won’t fit in. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it’s too late.

Director: Neil Burger
Writers: Evan Daugherty and Vanessa Taylor (screenplay), Veronica Roth (novel) 
Stars: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet

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Author Interview – Bearcina

Beth - HeadshotWhat name do you write under and is it a pen name?
I write under the name Bearcina, and yes, it is a pen name.

What or who inspired you to start writing?
I think what really inspired me to start writing was reading terrible fan-fiction on websites such as Wattpad and FanFiction.Net

How long have you been writing?
I want to say I’ve been writing for at least five or six years now.

What is the name of your most recent story and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say?
The name of my most recent story is Years in a Blink, and I’d say that if I had to sum it up, it would be, “A sci-fi horror book about the strangest creatures finding their own home.”

Is the above story part of a series or anthology?
No, I didn’t plan on it being part of a series, but it is part of the anthology a Door to Our Minds which includes four other stories by authors who are all close friends of mine.

ADoor-Final - FRONT COVERHow did you come up with the cover design idea/concept?
I think, the cover design was inspired mostly by the concept of Artemia’s desk, having little antiques, such as their equivalent of a polaroid picture of her laboratory. 

BearcinaDid you listen to any particular songs while writing your story?
While writing Years in a Blink, I listened to a lot of noir jazz and swing, and in particular I listened to Blues For You by Gabriel Pares, and Swing Doors by Allan Gray.

How did you come up with the title for your story?
Honestly, it’s all I could think of that made sense with the point of view from the antagonist.

As a reader, do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books?
I like reading paperback the most, but hardcover is just as nice. I don’t like e-books, and audio-book was just not appealing.

Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
I’ve read the Harry Potter series more often than I can count, and the Leviathan trilogy from Scott Westerfeld was always a good re-read. Other than those two series, I enjoy reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern every time I pick it up from the library.

Have you ever read a book just based on its cover?
Yes, I read ROOM by Emma Donoghue, and The Night Circus’ paperback cover.

What is your favorite film based on a book?
I think Coraline would have to be a favorite, since finding out there was a book along with the movie.

What is your favorite book genre at the moment?
Sci-Fi.

What books have made it onto your wish list recently? And why?
Coraline by Niel Gaiman, the movie was a strong favorite and I want to read it. Along with that, I want the new Vampire the Masquerade sourcebook, currently that’s the 5th edition, for my collection of Vampire the Masquerade books.

What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
As of writing this, I’m not reading anything, but I do have a few paperbacks I plan on reading.

If you could invite any four (4) authors (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why?
I would invite Scott Westerfeld, JK Rowling, Edgar Allan Poe, and possibly Shakespeare. It would be a mismatch of authors, but all of them are some of my favorite writers.

What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
Don’t edit as you write, just write everything in your mind, and then go back and look at it.

What authors inspire you?
I feel like I’ve been very inspired by Scott Westerfeld. His books have been very influential to my writing style and genre.

Where can your readers follow you?
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/88362351-beth
ArchiveOfOurOwn: https://archiveofourown.org/users/Bearcina
Tumblr: Bearcina.Tumblr.com
Instagram: @Bearcina

If you are interested in reading Years in a Blink and purchasing your own copy of a Door to Our Minds, fill out the information form below and I’ll be sure to email you more information as soon as the anthology is released.

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My 2 Cents… Confessions of a Shopaholic

shop

Movie/Book: Confessions of a Shopaholic
Director: P.J. Hogan
Screenplay Writer(s): Tracey Jackson, Tim Firth, and Kayla Alpert
Book By: Sophie Kinsella
Stars: Isla Fisher, Hugh Dancy, and Krysten Ritter

Blurb:
A college grad lands a job as a financial journalist in New York City to support where she nurtures her shopping addiction and falls for a wealthy entrepreneur.

Storyline:
Struggling with her debilitating obsession with shopping and the sudden collapse of her income source, Rebecca Bloomwood unintentionally lands a job writing for a financial magazine after a drunken letter-mailing mix-up. Ironically writing about the very consumer caution of which she herself has not abided, Rebecca’s innovative comparisons and unconventional metaphors for economics grants her critical acclaim, public success, and the admiration of her supportive boss Luke. But as she draws closer to her ultimate goal of writing for renowned fashion magazine Alette, she questions her true ambitions and must determine if overcoming her “shopaholic” condition will bring her real happiness.

Book Blurb:
Becky Bloomwood has a fabulous flat in London’s trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season’s must-haves. The only trouble is, she can’t actually afford it—not any of it. Her job writing at Successful Saving magazine not only bores her to tears, it doesn’t pay much at all. And lately Becky’s been chased by dismal letters from the bank—letters with large red sums she can’t bear to read. She tries cutting back. But none of her efforts succeeds. Her only consolation is to buy herself something. . . just a little something.

Finally a story arises that Becky actually cares about, and her front-page article catalyzes a chain of events that will transform her life—and the lives of those around her—forever.

By your copy of Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella HERE!

The Books:
• The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic (2000) also published as Confessions of a Shopaholic (2001)
• Shopaholic Abroad (2001) also published as Shopaholic Takes Manhattan (2002)
• Shopaholic Ties the Knot (2002)
• Shopaholic & Sister (2004)
• Shopaholic & Baby (2007)
• Mini Shopaholic (2010)
• Shopaholic to the Stars (2015)
• Shopaholic to the Rescue (2016)

MOVIE RATING OVERVIEW
Writing: ★★★
Story: ★★★
Acting: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★ (3.33)

My 2 Cents:
I read the book, Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella, years ago. I can’t really say I remember too much about it, but I do remember enjoying it. In fact, I enjoyed it enough to run out and by the next two books in the series as soon as I finished. I think that was where I stopped. The rest of the series hadn’t come out at the time.

The movie is based on the first two books in the series, Confessions of a Shopaholic and Shopaholic Abroad. Lucky for me, as I watched I slowly started to remember bits and pieces of the books. I absolutely love Isla Fisher, but would never have cast her in the role of Rebecca Bloomwood and although Hugh Dancy didn’t quiet look like the image I had of Luke Brandon in my head, they both delivered solid performances.

Let me first clarify… I love Isla Fisher. She is charming, funny, goofy, and very talented. I have enjoyed her in just about everything I have seen her in. However, she didn’t fit the image of the young girl living way beyond her means in London that Sophie Kinsella portrayed in her book. Maybe that is because the movie jumps right in with her living in New York city and skips the back story of London all together… I missed that aspect of the story and honesty, I think with it missing, the movie just didn’t meet my expectations.

This was another case where the book was way better than the movie. Sure, the performances were fun, the story was enjoyable, and the movie was watchable, but it still lands with an average 3.33 rating from me.

You can watch the official trailers here:
https://youtu.be/ZYYCSEV-i1Y

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Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

hopeless

TITLE: Hopeless
AUTHOR: Colleen Hoover

RATING OVERVIEW
Writing: ★★★★
Story: ★★★★
Characters: ★★★★
Appearance: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★★ (4.375)

AMAZON DESCRIPTION:
From #1 New York Times bestselling author of Finding Cinderella and Losing Hope, the beginning of Sky and Dean’s passionate love story—where well-kept secrets threaten to opens wounds of a dark past.

Would you rather know a truth that makes you feel hopeless, or keep believing the lies?

Beloved and bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with the spellbinding story of two young people with devastating pasts who embark on a passionate, intriguing journey to discover the lessons of life, love, trust—and above all, the healing power that only truth can bring.

Sky, a senior in high school, meets Dean Holder, a guy with a promiscuous reputation that rivals her own. From their very first encounter, he terrifies and captivates her. Something about him sparks memories of her deeply troubled past, a time she’s tried so hard to bury. Though Sky is determined to stay far away from him, his unwavering pursuit and enigmatic smile break down her defenses and the intensity of the bond between them grows. But the mysterious Holder has been keeping secrets of his own, and once they are revealed, Sky is changed forever and her ability to trust may be a casualty of the truth.

Only by courageously facing the stark revelations can Sky and Holder hope to heal their emotional scars and find a way to live and love without boundaries. Hopeless is a novel that will leave you breathless, entranced, and remembering your own first love.

Buy it HERE on Amazon! 

THE CRITICAL POINTS

WRITING: I loved Hoover’s Never Never and Maybe Someday, so I was eager to read Hopeless. I can say this, she did not disappoint.

STORY: Hoover keeps her readers on the edge of their seat with the twists and turns she put into this shockingly realistic story. The love story, yes there is one, is amazing yet devastatingly heartbreaking. Sky and Dean have an unexplainable chemistry and sucks you in, wanting to know more about where their relationship will take them. The deeper you get in the book, the more you’re hoping things aren’t as bad as they seem. Although, if you’ve ever read a Hoover novel, you already know she doesn’t sugar coat her stories. In true Hoover fashion, she breaks your heart over and over again before the last page. This book is full of all the feels!!!

APPEARANCE: The cover is a beautiful depiction of how I imagine Sky to look.

MY FAVORITE QUOTE: “I want you to keep them open…because I need you to watch me give you the very last piece of my heart.”

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

NOT YET RECORDED

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Author Interview -Bethany Martin

Beth Anne Book

What name do you write under and is it a pen name?
Bethany Martin, which is not a pen name.

What is the name of your most recent story and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say?
My story is called “The Peculiar Case of Matthias Chase” (I know, it’s a mouthful). The simplest way I can sum it up is this – a wild mix of kidnappings, demons, and sassy characters.

Is the above story part of a series or anthology?
The Peculiar Case of Matthias Chase is not part of a series, but it is part of the anthology a Door to Our Minds, which is full of other short stories written by some amazing teen authors.ADoor-Final - FRONT COVERWhat or who inspired you to start writing?
Ever since fifth grade, I’ve really enjoyed writing, especially argumentative essays, however I really got into creative writing about 2 years ago, when I joined Wrecking Havoc on Paper. My friends in band, as well as author A.G. Porter, convinced me to join, and I’ve been hooked on creative writing since then.

How long have you been writing?
Like I said above, I’ve loved writing for a long time, but I suppose you could say I’ve actually been writing for just a little over two years.

Beth Anne Martin

How did you come up with the cover design idea/concept and who designed it?
Well, for one thing, I’m such a sucker for minimalist designs. A simple, yet intriguing cover will always interest me more than super detailed covers (not that detailed covers can’t catch my eye too). Second, because the ‘X’ seen on the cover, as well as the smoke, are such a big part of my story, I knew I needed to incorporate those. I’ve had other, different ideas, but I really think no matter what, I’ll be happiest with the cover I have now. The cover was actually designed by Amanda Orneck, the author of Sister of the Circuit. 

 

Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your story?
I can’t think of any one song specifically, but I tend to listen to the soundtrack for Over the Garden Wall while writing, so I’m sure I listened to that at least a few times while writing this story.

How did you come up with the title for your story?
I’ve had this title from day one. In all honesty, I hadn’t even been working on this story when I came up with it. I was sitting in my friend’s room and I just said the title, sort of as a joke. However, a plot came after that, and the name just stuck.

As a reader, do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers, or audio-books?
I definitely like hard-covers most, but I see nothing wrong with a paperback. I don’t dislike e-books or audiobooks, but they’re not what I prefer at all. I like feeling actual paper and smelling a new book.

Have you ever read a book more than once? If so, what was it?
I’ve totally read the Harry Potter series a couple of times (Goblet of Fire being the one I’ve read the most). There are many other books I’ve read multiple times as well. I have nothing against reading a good book over again.

Have you ever read a book just based on its cover?
Absolutely. I oftentimes only pick up books with an interesting or aesthetically pleasing cover. Usually I’ll read the back of the book, as well as the first page, but every once in a while there are good covers that have me invested in the book all on their own.

What is your favorite film based on a book?
This is definitely a hard one. Even though I haven’t read the book, I recently watched The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on Netflix, and it was fantastic. Of course, I also love Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets as a movie.

What is your favorite book genre at the moment?
Hands-down mystery/thriller. I am fascinated by true crime, so anything of that nature is a must-read for me.

What books have made it on your wish list recently?
A book I would like to read is Columbine by Dave Cullen. I picked it up at Barnes and Noble recently, and what I read of it before leaving was very interesting. Another book I’m eager to get my hands on is the second book is Marissa Meyer’s Renegades duology, Arch-Enemies. It comes out early November, and I cannot wait. Renegades was fantastic, and Meyer never disappoints, so it’s been at the top of my wish list for a while now.

What books are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
I am currently reading “Unsub” by Meg Gardiner in hardback.

If you could invite any four (4) authors (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why?

  1. Lois Lowry– her book, The Giver, is what really got me into dystopian, and I think all of her books are absolute works of art (Gathering Blue is my personal favorite).
  2. William Pene du Bois– I read The Twenty-One Balloons when I was younger for a project, and it’s still one of my favorite books to this day. It’s such a dreamy and whimsical story, and I’m sure a conversation with du Bois would be fascinating.
  3. Gillian Flynn– Gone Girl is probably my favorite book of all time, and talking to the genius behind it would be a dream-come-true. I’d love to talk with her over dinner about true-crime and how to write the perfect mystery. And, she can sign copies of her books for me.
  4. J.K. Rowling– Overdone, yes, but who wouldn’t want to have a dinner party with her? Harry Potter plays a huge role in my reading journey, it would feel like a crime to not take advantage of an opportunity to chat with Rowling.

What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
The best advice I’ve been given thus far is probably not to edit as you are writing. Nina Soden told me this, and while it was definitely a struggle to adjust to, I’m glad she told me. Now, I’m not constantly being so critical to myself, therefore I can write freely and actually come up with some great ideas.

What authors inspire you?
I have loads of author inspirations, but the two biggest are A.G. Porter and Nina Soden. I’ve learned so much from working with them, and I them a lot of gratitude because of how much they have not only improved my writing, but motivated me to keep with any story I come up with.

Where can your readers follow you?
On Instagram @bethanymartinbooks and please give the Wrecking Havoc on Paper Instagram a follow, @whop.teens

If you are interested in reading The Peculiar Case of Matthias Chase and purchasing your own copy of a Door to Our Minds, fill out the information form below and I’ll be sure to email you more information as soon as the anthology is released. 

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My 2 Cents… The Break-Up

The Break-Up

Movie: The Break-Up
Director: Peyton Reed
Writer(s): Jeremy Garelick and Jay Lavender
Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Vince Vaughn, and Jon Favreau

Blurb:
In a bid to keep their luxurious condo from their significant other, a couple’s break-up proceeds to get uglier and nastier by the moment.

Storyline:
In Chicago, the art dealer Brooke Meyers feels not appreciated and neglected by her immature boyfriend Gary Grobowski, who is partner with his two brothers in a tourism business, and decides to break-up with him to make Gary miss her. Gary misunderstands her true intention, both follow the wrong advice of family members and friends, beginning a war of sexes with no winner.

RATING OVERVIEW
Writing: ★★★★
Story: ★★★★
Acting: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★★ (4)

My 2 Cents:
The Break-Up isn’t the romantic comedy I was expecting… It wasn’t all laughs. It wasn’t the funny side of breaking up. It was a relationship drama with all the ups and downs of a real-life (on-camera version) relationship.

Sure, there are some laughs in there, but even more there is frustration, desperation, anger, pain, and ultimately heartache. This movie brings to life the ugly side of relationships and the risks you take with your heart when you put your whole self into a relationship and the other person does not.

Vince Vaughn (who I will forever see as Trent Walker in Swingers and Jennifer Aniston (Rachel Green from Friends) deliver a very realistic and unexpectedly touching performance. If you haven’t watched it yet, I encourage you to take the time and watch it with an open mind.

Have you seen The Break-Up yet? If so, what did you think? Comment below and let me know.

You can watch the official trailers here:

https://youtu.be/ljnEUL-fdt0

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The Body by Stephen King


The Body

TITLE: The Body
AUTHOR: Stephen King

RATING OVERVIEW
Writing: ★★★★★
Story: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Appearance: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★★ (5)

 

AMAZON DESCRIPTION:
Set in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine

#1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King’s timeless novella “The Body”—originally published in his 1982 short story collection Different Seasons, and adapted into the 1986 film classic Stand by Me—now available for the first time as a stand-alone publication.

It’s 1960 in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine. Ray Brower, a boy from a nearby town, has disappeared, and twelve-year-old Gordie Lachance and his three friends set out on a quest to find his body along the railroad tracks. During the course of their journey, Gordie, Chris Chambers, Teddy Duchamp, and Vern Tessio come to terms with death and the harsh truths of growing up in a small factory town that doesn’t offer much in the way of a future.

A timeless exploration of the loneliness and isolation of young adulthood, Stephen King’s The Body is an iconic, unforgettable, coming-of-age story.

Buy it HERE on Amazon! 

THE CRITICAL POINTS

WRITING: You already know how I feel about Stephen King’s writing style. He is the whole reason I feel in love with reading and this book is the reason. Actually, it was the movie, Stand by Me, that introduced me to Stephen King in the first place. I was eleven when Stand by Me was released and after seeing the movie, I immediately read the book and I was hooked from that point on.

STORY: If you’re like me, and you’ve read a lot of Stephen King, you’ll be surprised that this one is rather short. Instead of your typical 500+ pages, this short story comes in at just 179 pages. Don’t worry, he doesn’t skimp on the story. I feel like I’ve known Gordie Lachance, Chris Chambers, Teddy Duchamp, and Vern Tessio all my life. King has an amazing way of developing his characters without throwing everything in your face, but instead infusing them in your life.

APPEARANCE: The cover is perfectly illustrated with a depiction of the four boys running across the railroad track bridge. It’s a pivotal scene in the story, and was beautifully filmed in the movie.

MY FAVORITE QUOTE: “Vern’s head jerked bac over his shoulder. The surprise that distorted his face was almost comically exaggerated, written as large as the letters in a Dick and Jane primer. He saw me break into my clumsy, shambling run, dancing from one horribly high crosstie to the next, and knew I wasn’t joking. He began to run himself.”

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

Check out the official movie trailer here:
https://youtu.be/oYTfYsODWQo

Stand by Me

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Are you ready for NaNoWriMo 2018?

nanowrimo-508x300

Have you always wanted to write a novel, but you’re just not sure where to begin or you don’t have the motivation to get started? Well, NaNoWriMo just might be the kickstart you need. 

Once a year – throughout the month of November – ALL OVER THE WORLD, people are pounding the keys and putting their heart and soul into writing the first draft of their novel. It doesn’t matter if its your first novel or your 50th novel, everyone is welcome at NaNoWriMo. So, why not join in on the fun… or stress… What have you got to lose? 

What is NaNoWriMo?

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, laid back, approach to creative writing. The fun starts on November 1st and ends on November 30th. Participants spend the month working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel which must be completed (and submitted) by 11:59 PM on November 30.

How do I start? 

Go to nanowrimo.org the official website for NaNoWriMo and sign up. I did it, are you going to? You’ll need to create an account if you don’t already have one. Don’t worry, its painless.

The Step by Step, according to NaNoWriMo:

  1. Create your profile
  2. Give your novel a name – don’t worry, you can change it later
  3. Select your region
  4. Earn badges for participating and reaching milestones
  5. Use NaNoWriMo’s resources to help get inspired
  6. Start writing – ON NOVEMBER fist. You’ll want to update your word count daily.
  7. Claim your WIN (Find out more about how to WIN here)

NaNoWriMo is a non-profit organization, which means they survive on the generosity of the who care enough to donate. What to make a donation? You can do it HERE!

The NaNoWriMo mission statement: 

National Novel Writing Month believes in the transformational power of creativity. We provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds—on and off the page.

* * * * *

Now that you know how easy it is to get started, what are you going to write about? Comment below and let me know when you’ve registered. I’d love to know your progress, so come back throughout the month and update me here.

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Author Interview – Lilly Brown

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be introducing you to some amazing young adults who will be releasing a short story anthology in the next month or two.

Today, I am very excited to introduce you to Lilly Brown, who I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the last 7 months. She has been working hard to finish her short story, The Spark, which will be included in an anthology being publish within the next couple of months. I promise to keep you posted on the publication details as we have them.

So, without further ado, let me introduce you to Lilly Brown, author of The Spark.

Lilly BookWhat name do you write under and is it a pen name?
I write under the name Lilly Brown and no it is not a pen name.

What or who inspired you to start writing?
I don’t really have a specific inspiration as much as I’ve just always wanted to write a book. However, another author and my former writing coach, Amanda Porter, was the one who gave me the opportunity to write.

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing tiny little stories probably since I could write, but I’ve been seriously writing for about three and a half years.

What is the name of your most recent story and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say?
My latest story is call The Spark and I would describe it as a group of moody teens who don’t want to do what they’ve been told to do.

Is the above story part of a series or anthology?
It is in an anthology called a Door to Our Minds, which includes my story and four other stories. However, The Spark is also the first book in a series that I’m planning to continue with now that the anthology is getting ready to be published.
ADoor-Final - FRONT COVER

What or who inspired you to start writing?
I don’t really have a specific inspiration as much as I’ve just always wanted to write a book. However, another author and my former writing coach, Amanda Porter, was the one who gave me the opportunity to write.

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing tiny little stories probably since I could write, but I’ve been seriously writing for about three and a half years.
The Spark - Lilly Brown
How did you come up with the cover design idea/concept?
The basic idea came from one of my favorite scenes in the book but my cover artist, Amanda Orneck took it and made it so much better.

Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your story?
I listened to a lot of Broadway soundtracks. I listened to many video game scores and plenty of Star Wars as well.

How did you come up with the title for your story?
My main character is firey and I like to think of this book as the beginning of the story so I thought “The Spark” was fitting.

As a reader, do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audio books?
Hardcovers all the way. I kind of hoard them but they’re just so beautiful that I can’t help it.

Have you ever read and book more than once? And if so what is it?
Yes I have read a book more than once–seven times, I’m pretty sure and it the Warriors Super Edition, Crookedstar’s Promise.

Have you ever read a book based on its cover?
No. I don’t trust covers alone. There have been so many times where I see a cool cover and then I read the blurb and it sounds super boring so I always double-check books.

What is your favorite film based on a book?
The Phantom of the Opera is definitely my favorite film based on a book, as well as musical.

What is your favorite book genre at the moment?
Fantasy. It’s my favorite right now and I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t.

What books have made it onto your wish list recently? And why?
Bright Burns the Night by Sara B Larson is at the top right now. I found the first book in her series at a used bookstore and I loved everything about it, especially how she explained the lore of the fantasy world.

What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
I’m reading Part of Your World by Liz Braswell and it’s a hardcover.

If you could invite and four (4) authors (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why?
This may sound totally basic but the first would be J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter is one of my favorite book series and I have always admired Rowling for the way she wove every part of each book together. The second would be Erin Hunter. Even though Erin Hunter is a pen name for the group of authors behind the Warriors, Survivors, and Seekers series, I’m still going to use them as my second author. I’d love to find out how they are able to write and publish so many books and keep every character and timeline in order. The third person I would invite is, Liz Braswell. She’s is one of the two authors of Disney’s Twisted Tales series and I admire her ability to take classic stories and rewrite them. The fourth author I would invite is Leigh Bardugo, the author of the Grisha Trilogy and Six of Crows Duology. I love the way she connected these two series and I really admired her world-building skills.

What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
To not edit as I go. I would end up editing things out that I really liked but I would get rid of it because I thought I didn’t need it. I finally learned to let my editor edit.

What authors inspire you?
The list is very long but I’ll cut it down to just a few. Obviously, the four I would invite to a dinner party inspire me. Also on this list is: Kendare Blake, Ashley Chappell, Stephanie Garber, Marissa Meyer, Amanda Porter, Nina Soden and Tui T. Sutherland.

If you are interested in reading The Spark and purchasing your own copy of a Door to Our Minds, fill out the information form below and I’ll be sure to email you more information as soon as the anthology is released. 

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