Aug 13, 2011

Blue Bloods, by Melissa De La Cruz

Title: Blue Bloods
Author: Melissa De La Cruz
Target Audience: Young Adult
Pages: 302
Chapters: 44
Opinion: 6/10
Genre: Fantasy
Series: 1-Blue Bloods, 2-Masquerade, 3-Revelations, 4-The Van Alen Legacy, (Companion Book)-The Keys to the Repository, 5-Misguided Angel, (Novella)-Bloody Valentine, 6-Lost in Time. (Coming soon (Fall, 2012): Wolf Pact, a spin-off of ‘Misguided Angel’)
Person: second
Tense: past

Blurb (quoted): “Schuyler Van Alen has never fit in at Dushesne, her prestigious New York City private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes to the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates. But when she turns fifteen, Schuyler’s life changes dramatically. The death of a popular schoolmate haunts her in unexpected ways. And strangest of all, Jack Force, the most popular boy in school, is showing a sudden interest in her.
Once an outcast, Schuyler is thrust into Manhattan’s most exclusive social circle. It’s members are the powerful, the wealthy, and – as Schuyler soon discovers – the unhuman. They are Blue Bloods, an ancient group of vampires, and for centuries they’ve been invincible. Now, something is preying on this elite group, and Schuyler wants to find out the truth. But is she the most vulnerable of them all?
Summary: Everyone seems to fit into a group; somewhere, there is a place you belong. Except for the baggy-dressing Schuyler Van Alen, who is social outcast with Oliver and Dylan at Duchesne, a rich-kid private school in NYC.
Well, the world seems to start spinning in the opposite direction when Schuyler turns 15 and finds out that she’s not even human! Dropped in the deep end of the most popular social circles, Schuyler is one of the few ‘Blue Bloods’ asking questions about a mysterious death that shouldn’t even be possible.
Now it’s up to the newbie to save her race, but Schuyler has a long way to go before she gets any answers. The biggest question of all though, is who can be trusted? When a Blue-Blood-turned-bad could be anyone, Schuyler has limited options, limited time, and unlimited danger to face.
Judgement: Well to be honest, I was a little disappointed. After having the book suggested to me multiple times buy a dozen people, I finally picked up the book. And then put it back down. The entire first half, if not more, of the book is dull and uneventful, I ended up forcing myself to continue due to the promise that ‘it gets better’ from friends.
At least they were right. Somewhere near the middle there, the book has a complete turn around and I couldn’t put it down! Otherwise, my Opinion would be below 5.
Thankfully though, the storyline picks up and by the end of the novel I’m begging for more – and boy am I glad it’s a series!
There isn’t really much else to say on this series; I enjoyed it once I slugged through the slosh (er…?) and I recommend you read it if you’re looking for something different, something that isn’t completely focused on swooning, head-over-heels teenagers.

Aug 12, 2011

Die for Me, by Amy Plum

Title: Die For Me
Author: Amy Plum
Target Audience: Young Adult
Pages: 341
Chapters: 40
Judgement: 9/10
Genre: Romance / Fantasy
Person: first
Tense: past

Blurb (quoted):My life had always been blissfully, wonderfully normal. But it only took one moment to change everything.
Suddenly, my sister Georgia and I were orphans. We put our lives into storage and moved to Paris to live with our grandparents. And I knew my shattered heart, my shattered life, would never feel normal again. Then I met Vincent.
Mysterious, sexy and unnervingly charming, Vincent Delacroix appeared out of nowhere and swept me off my feet. Just like that, I was in danger of losing my heart all over again.
Of course, nothing is ever that easy. Because Vincent is no normal human. He has a terrifying destiny, one that puts his life at risk every day. He also has enemies… immortal, murderous enemies who are determined to destroy him and all his kind.
While I’m fighting to piece together the remnants of my life, can I risk putting my heart – as well as my life and my family’s – in jeopardy for a chance at love?”
Kate’s parents have just died in a car accident and now she’s struggling to live something that passes for ‘having a life’ in Paris with her sister Georgia and her grandparents. Everything is as you would expect: depressive, at least until a mysterious stranger steps into her life.
Vincent is not what he seems – in fact, he has a dark secret that no one is allowed to know. Of course, this doesn’t stop him from pursuing Kate as a romantic interest, and who can resist a dark, sexy, mystery man?
But when Kate finds that Vincent is in fact not human, it’s an internal emotional struggle on what to do – not to mention she’s still scared to love and lose. Add to the equation mortal danger – or rather, immortal danger, and this Kate’s life becomes a roller coaster.
Could love possibly beat the odds?
Judgement:  First of all, I have to say that I don’t think the blurb on the book portrays the book very well, because I was not expecting what I found printed on the pages. Never the less, that didn’t stop me loving this book! Yes, it’s another great read I’ve managed to find. Not a bad length either.
On the other hand, it was a bit cheesy and… unlikely? For example, Kate tends to go “Oh, Vincent!” a lot, and it sort of got on my nerves. But hey, if you’re into cheesy romance, this is for you! Also quite sappy, and not a book for anyone opposed to swooning teenagers.
It was well written and the ideas were well conveyed. The imagery is amazing, half the time after reading it I wondered if it was book or movie!
A range of personalities, from the stubborn party-girl Georgia, to the stern and strict ‘Jean-Baptiste’ (J.B.); the book is highly believable.
I recommend for swooning romantics!
Oh, and another note: I love the cover of this book! I didn’t even read the blurb after plucking it off the shelf, I was sold instantly just by the cover and I was not disappointed.

Aug 8, 2011


Title: Sahara (Based on the novel by Clive Cussler)
Genre: Adventure
Rating: M
Opinion: 6/10
Running Time: 119 minutes
Directed by: Breck Eisner
Starring: Steve Zahn, Matthew McConaughey, Penelope Cruz

Blurb (quoted): “'There is a legend of a treasure that claims all who seek it…'
Scouring the ocean depths for treasure-laden shipwrecks is business as usual for a thrill-seeking underwater adventurer (Matthew McConaughey), and his wisecracking buddy (Steve Zahn). But when these two cross paths with a beautiful doctor (Penelope Cruz), they find themselves on the ultimate treasure hunt. Soon the three are in for the ride of their lives as they cross the blistering North African terrain, pitting their skills against ruthless enemies bent on world destruction.
In a race against time, this trio of unlikely heros must unravel the clues, solve the mystery and save the world in ‘… a delirious escape into adventure-serial heaven’ the whole family can enjoy.”
Quotes: Superb entertainment, thrilling!” – Daily Mirror. “Cracking adventure!” – Daily Star.

My Summary: Dirk Pitt’s everyday life is treasure hunting, so when he convinces the Admiral to let him borrow a yacht to go in search of the ultimate lost treasure in North Africa (a supposedly rare coin to be found on an ancient ship), he isn’t expecting a whole lot of guns, shooting, kidnapping, and law-breaking to happen – but that’s exactly what he and his mate Al get. Along the way, Dirk and Al meet the beautiful Eva Rojas, a doctor investigating a ‘plague’, and soon all three of them are in it together to stop a mad man from poisoning the entire ocean.

Opinion: An exciting film, worthy of its category, Sahara will keep your eyes glued to the screen.  Well filmed, though with some unbelievable stunts, it’s an almost-realistic movie that’s fun to sit and watch with the family.
Review: Well, I must first point out right here and now, that I had very little idea what exactly the film was about due to the altogether cruddy blurb on the case. It doesn’t really tell you anything at all about the movie, which really got on my nerves. Watching it anyway, I found myself drawn into the film – so much that I got in trouble for not realising someone was talking to me! There’s a mountain of drama, action, and adventure packed into this film, definitely one to watch if you‘ve seen and liked National Treasure or Fool’s Gold.
Despite a few confusing moments, I found the film highly enjoyable, worth watching again, and humorous at times. All in all, a good movie.

Make it Happen

Title: Make it Happen
Genre: Drama
Rating: PG 13
Opinion: 7/10
Running Time: 90 minutes
Directed by: Darren Grant
Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Tessa Thompson, Riley Smith
Blurb (quoted):Embarking on a journey to fulfil her dreams as a dancer, a young girl discovers a new style of dance that will prove to be the source of both conflict and self-discovery.”
“A bleak drama about a small-town girl who migrates to the Windy City, where she hopes to build a career as a respected dancer. Instead, her life spirals hopelessly downward and she ends up working at a burlesque club to pay the bills and support herself.”

My Summary: Lauryn Kirk has always dreamed of dance and studied for it her whole life despite the death of her parents and being a small town girl. She gets an audition at a dance school in Chicago, but after being told she wasn’t sensual enough and lying to her brother about getting in, Lauryn stumbles into a job behind the scenes at Rubies, a burlesque style club – but she doesn’t stay back-stage for long. Soon enough, she’s dancing on the stage with the other girls, and even manages to land a boyfriend.
But when her brother finds out the truth and gives her a guilt-trip, she moves back home to help him with his financial chrisis. Luckily, Lauryn finds the courage to go to a second audition and fights her way through this time, impressing the judges.

Opinion: Cute, sexy, and inspiring. Make it Happen is all about fulfilling dreams, dancing and life.
Review: I personally love this movie, but that’s a little biased I guess considering I love almost all dance movies. The storyline, admittedly, has been done a good few times: small town girl moves to the big city chasing dreams, but things go wrong, and you know the rest.
Even so, it’s still an enjoyable movie and I recommend it to anyone who loves dance. There’s bite, there’s romance, there’s drama, and it all adds up to one great movie.
If you liked Coyote Ugly, Burlesque, Honey, or even Step Up, then this is a movie for you!