Jul 19, 2011

Nightligh: A Parody

Title: Nightlight A Parody
Author: The Harvard Lampoon
Target Audience: young adult
Pages: 154
Chapters: 11
Genre: comedy / parody
Person: first
Tense: past
Opinion: 7/10

Blurb (quoted):About three things I was absolutely certain.
First, Edwart was most likely my soul mate, maybe.
Second, there was a vampire part of him – which I assumed was wildly out of his control – that wanted me dead.
And third, I unconditionally, irrevocably, impenetrably, heterogeneously, gynecologically, and disreputably wished that he had kissed me.

And thus Belle Goose falls in love with the mysterious and sparkly Edwart Mullen in the Harvard Lampoon’s hilarious send-up.
Pale and klutzy, Belle arrives in Switchblade, Oregon, looking for adventure, or at least an undead classmate. She soon discovers Edwart, a super-hot computer nerd with zero interest in girls. After witnessing a number of strange events – Edwart leaves his chips untouched at lunch! Edwart saves her from a flying snowball! – Belle has a dramatic revelation: Edwart is a vampire. But how can she convince Edwart to bite her and transform her into his eternal bride, especially when he seems to find girls so repulsive?
Complete with romance, danger, insufficient parental guardianship, creepy stalkerlike behaviour, and a vampire prom, Nightlight is the uproarious tale of a vampire-obsessed girl, looking for love in all the wrong places.”
Summary: Belle Goose is a highly-popular though extremely quirky teenager obsessed with vampires. Edwart Mullen is a super-nerd and the butt of every joke at school that’s never kissed a girl. A perfect match! After moving to Switchblade, Oregon, Belle witnesses a range of odd activity performed by Edwart, and soon comes to the conclusion that Edwart Mullen is a vampire. Edwart Mullen is anxious to please Belle, her being his first girlfriend and all, and goes along with all her delusions.
Then they meet true vampires, Joshua and Vicky, which is when the truth comes out and Belle ends up attending a vampire prom with Josh.
But in an explosion of revelations, Belle realises that even though he isn’t a vampire, she’s in love with Edwart.
Judgement: this was a fun, though short, read and I enjoyed every moment of it. Admittedly, it wasn’t quite as funny as I’d expected and there were limited occasions that actually made me laugh out loud, but it was definitely a highly amusing book – great for boosting your mood! It’ll at least keep you in giggles.
There isn’t really much else to say about this book… It was easy to read, except a little confusing in a few places, but still understandable. It’s right up my alley, considering (I regret to say I may lose a few readers here) I am not a fan of Twilight, and this book, though ridiculous, fleshes out and over exaggerates Twilight’s flaws.
Definitely an entertaining – however short – read.

Quotes from the book:
“I walked towards the seat, circling my hips and raising my eyebrows rhythmically like an attractive person.”
“First, I told Tom and Lucy that Edwart saved me from a snowball. They weren’t impressed. So I started saying Edwart saved me from a rock with snow around it, and, later, I started saying he saved me from an avalanche. One day, I said that Edwart ran with superhuman speed, stopping a car that was about to hit me with his superhuman strength.”

Jul 16, 2011

Sabriel, by Garth Nix

Title: Sabriel
Author: Garth Nix
Target Audience: Young Adult
Pages: 496
Opinion: 10/10
Genre: Fantasy
Type: Fiction
Number: First in the series
Series: 1-Sabriel, 2-Lirael, 3-Abhorsen
Person: Second
Tense: Past

Blurb (quoted): "Since childhood, Sabriel has lived outside the walls of the Old Kingdom, away from the power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead who refuse to stay dead. But now her father, the Abhorsen, is missing, and Sabriel must cross into that world to find him. With Mogget, whose feline form hides a powerful, perhaps malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage, Sabriel travels deep into the Old Kingdom. There she confronts an evil that threatens much more than her life and comes face to face with her own hidden destiny."
Summary: Sabriel is only a teenage girl, but her heritage and untimely events force the girl to travel ‘across the wall’ from Ancelstiere into The Old Kingdom, a world of magical creatures and ‘the charter’, which makes up all that is. Sabriel is the daughter of the Abhorsen, and upon her father’s disappearance must take his place. The abhosren is a necromancer (someone who may walk in death and return to life at will) who uses the charter (magic) to keep The Old Kingdom safe from evil creatures.
Sabriel finds her father’s house and his talking cat: Mogget, a forced-servant of all abhorsen’s, who helps her to try find her missing father. Along the way, Sabriel comes to learn how to use her new bandolier of bells (magic bells to control the dead) and the danger her life is now in, for The Old Kindom is basically run by the dead! She also happens upon and saves the last remaining descendant of the royal blood line (therefore, the heir to the throne): Touchstone.
She soon finds herself facing a great evil: one of the greater dead, Kerrigor, who happens to be the enemy of Touchstone.
Sabriel, Mogget and Touchstone are forced to face an army of dead – with the help of her dead-but-temporarily-brought-back-to-life father.
“Does the walker choose the path, or does the path choose the walker?”
Judgement:  Well-written and enticing, Sabriel is a great read for all fantasy lovers. Definitely one of my favourite books now, it kept me glued the whole way through and left me desperate for the next book in the series.
The only thing I can complain about is that it has so much detail and factors that it’s incredibly hard to sum up and I don’t like the summary I’ve written. Despite this, the book is incredibly easy to read, remember, and follow – except – for me at least – when it comes to the seven names and uses of ‘the bells’, which I found hard to remember. And I’m very grateful for the map in the front of the books; it is the first novel with a map where I’ve actually used it and found it interesting to follow the characters journey.
It’s a truly magical book that, despite the danger, makes any reader want to visit! The story seems almost real and the writing pulls you into the moment, and the real world around you just seems to fade away.
My favourite aspect would have to be how magic is restricted to The Old Kingdom, and ‘across the wall’, in Ancelstiere and further it is a normal, perfectly average world.
Some may think it’s quite a long book, but believe me, if it were any shorter then it just wouldn’t be as good; there is no way to shorten it and I wouldn’t want to! I wished it would go on and on.
Definitely a favourite book, and one I highly recommend!

Characters: deep, well developed characters are what make a story, and Sabriel sure has it! With a range of personalities, conflicts, dramas, and friendships, it’s a great story. There weren’t too many characters, there weren’t too many details; they were well described and definitely evolved through the story, though perhaps it could have used another character continuously present to antagonize?
Effect: If you want to be emotionless and not get attached, this isn’t for you. The characters seem to become your friends and the storyline lifts and crushes your heart with the ups and downs of the storyline – it’s impossible to remain indifferent.

NOTE: Sabriel MAY be coming soon in movie form!


Title: Beastly
Genre: Romance / Fantasy
Opinion: 9/10
Running Time: 83 minutes
Directed by: Daniel Barnz
Written by: Daniel Barnz (screenplay), Alex Flinn (novel)
Starring: Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens, Mary-Kate Olsen, Neil Patrick Harris, Lisa Gay Hamilton
Music by: Linda Cohen
Budget: $20 million
Blurb (quoted): “Once upon a time in a kingdom long ago and far away there was a fairytale called ‘Beauty and the Beast'.
BEASTLY is here and now.
Seventeen year old Kyle (Alex Pettyfer I Am Number Four) is the spoilt, shallow and incredibly popular prince of his high school kingdom. Entirely captivated by his own physical appearance, Kyle foolishly chooses Kendra (Mary Kate Olsen The Wackness), a Goth classmate rumoured to be a witch, as his latest target for humiliation. Unfazed by his cruel behaviour, Kendra decides to teach him a lesson… she transforms him into someone as unattractive on the outside as he is on the inside.
Now cursed, Kyle has one year to find someone who can see past the surface and love him, or he will remain ‘beastly’ forever. Will and an unassuming classmate he never noticed named Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens High School Musical) be his best chance to prove that love is never ugly?”
Quotes: “Witty, warm, well cast and often wickedly funny…” – Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel.

My Summary: A self-absorbed rich-boy, seventeen year old Kyle gets what he deserves when he is cursed after playing a nasty trick on a rumoured witch from his school. Given only a year to find someone who isn’t as shallow as him and can love him despite tattoos, scars, and metal in his face, Kyle finds himself falling for a girl he’d never before paid attention to: Lindy, a girl with a druggie father and on a scholarship. The problem is trying to make her fall for him – and what happens when she finds out that “Hunter” (a fake name) is actually the jerk from her school.

Opinion: a tragically beautiful film, Beastly is a lovely romance. Well scripted with good actors and actresses, it’s a touching story that draws you in. It plays your emotions, creates hate and pity and love for different characters. It’s not a story for ‘sap-haters’. Definitely enjoyable, and worth watching over again.
Review: as usual, let’s get the statement out of the way: I REALLY loved this movie. Being out-casted myself at school, I can sympathise with this story. My favourite character would have to be Kendra, the witch; she has morals and wits, is never fazed, always has a come-back, and doesn’t give a damn what people think about her. Unfortunately, she isn’t a main character in the movie; I would’ve liked to see more of her.
I especially loved the tattoo’s Kyle was ‘cursed’ with; I personally thought they were beautiful – which is why I call it ‘tragically beautiful’ I guess.
Furthermore, it’s a film about learning to care and ‘walking a mile in someone else’s shoes’. I’ve always believed it takes disaster to change who someone is – whether for better or worse.
Over all, I suggest you get off the internet and go see this movie – I’d make it a Must See.

Jul 14, 2011

A Bridge to Wiseman's Cove, by James Moloney

Title: A bridge to Wiseman's Cove
Author: James Moloney
Type: Fiction
Audience: Young Adult
Opinion: 7 / 10
Carl was afraid to breathe. The weight of the bird and it's predatory gaze was enough to freeze him here forever.
'Now Carl set it free.'

Carl Matt hasn't got much. There's just his younger brother Harley and the old red barge to Wiseman's Cove. And nothing's going to take those away from him.

He's an awkward, limp fifteen year old.
Not the Hero type. Yet Carl has become one of the most memorable characters in Australian literature.

Response: This is a really sad novel. I found it... well, enjoyable isn't the right word considering the morbid theme, but it is definitly a good book and a great read.
I normally wouldn't have read this book, because I prefer dark, mysterious, romance... But I'm glad I did - I can thank my english teacher for that (thanks Mrs Valentine!). It takes a lot for a book to keep me interested, but I was surprised to find that I struggled to put the book down.
The book has a sad theme all the way through, with emotion and everything to make you cry. I didn't like the ending, because it was probably the sadest part of all but it was a good ending.

Jul 11, 2011

The Uninvited

Name: The Uninvited
Genre: Horror
Rating: R13
Opinion: 5/10 (average)
Running Time: 84 mins
Blurb: “a nail-biting thriller, THE UNINVITED. Following the suspicious death of their mother, sisters Anna and Alex become entangled in a deadly battle of wills when their father becomes engaged to Rachel, their mother’s former caretaker. As the two sisters investigate Rachel’s questionable past, they are confronted with ghostly visions, terrifying nightmares and deadly consequences. All leading to an ending so shocking it ‘will send chills down your spine!’” – Pete Hammond.
Quotes: “a truly frightening movie experience with a shocker of an ending” – Pete Hammond. “A creepy and intense thriller” – Shawn Edwards
Producers of The Ring and Disturbia
Opinion: Intriguing, a great twist at the end, not worthy of Horror but more of a thriller, easy to follow, good movie, can watch from start to finish, good for a spooky night sleep over, not recommended for people who scare easy,
Review: Let’s just get straight off the block and say I really enjoyed this movie. Personally, I’m a fan of horror though they scare the hell out of me.
This movie is rated as a horror but my family agree with me that it should be under thriller. There were a few creepy moments, things that make you jump or sit on the edge of your seat. However, there wasn’t really anything worth a scream.
My favourite part of the movie would have to be the end, which unfortunately I can’t tell you anything about without giving the whole thing away.
The Uninvited isn’t something you can watch over and over with the same opinion, because the ending changes the whole movie – it’s one of those ones.
It was easy to follow and I recommend it for a spooky sleepover, but not someone who scares really easy or someone that wants a real scare.