The Perks of Being a Wallflower: Can I just say WOW! I loved this movie. It was everything I hoped it would be. Emma was amazing, Patrick was amazing, Percy Jackson was amazing. Not to mention there was Paul Rudd, and I’ve loved him ever since his days on Friends as Phoebe’s boyfriend. But I cried at the end. I cried when Charlie started breaking down and banging his head into the wall, and I felt so beside myself for him when he messed up with Mary Elizabeth and none of his friends would talk to him. But the ending was phenomenal in that subtle way when you realize that the director has come full-circle from a pivotal moment in the beginning and uses that last scene for some heavy symbolic resonance. The only reason why I’d still say the book is better than the movie is because you get a more personal account of Charlie’s story in the book through actually reading his letters (you can see why I love the epistolary format for this book so much here) and the book has more detail. Charlie’s character is able to come to fruition more than in the film. But Percy Jackson still did an amazing job.
Pitch Perfect: I saw Elizabeth Banks tweeting about this movie during its premier, and because I rather liked Definitely, Maybe, I thought it would be a good one to watch. It wasn’t until my two younger cousins began reciting lines from the film and reenacting Rebel Wilson’s mermaid dance that I thought, “I must see this movie in all its apparent glorified ridiculousness.” It pretty much had me laughing the whole time. I really don’t understand why they didn’t just cast Anna Kendrick as Bella for Twilight, though. As I was watching the movie, I thought, “She’s got this whole brooding, dry humor bit down. What was Catherine Hardwicke thinking?” Oh, yeah, that’s right. She wasn’t. Also, I didn’t know Anna Kendrick could sing, but that added factor just made me love her all the more.
The Hobbit: Here’s the thing about The Hobbit — I liked it, but only just. My biggest beef with it was the Brown Wizard. When the scene first changed to him, I thought, “Certainly they didn’t, but this can’t be, no…” But, yes. There was no Beorn, the skin-changer, there was the Brown Wizard. Yes, they kept the fact that he was really into animals and lived in the woods, but his character was such a derivation from the book, I felt, that it nearly ruined the movie for me. I didn’t want to feel like that, because aside from the Brown Wizard, I really enjoyed the movie, but I just couldn’t get in line with that blatant change from the book. I’m sorry, Peter Jackson. Those are just my feelings. I’m still looking forward to seeing part 2, though. I mean, I won’t just leave myself hanging with the dragon opening his eye and cut to black.
The Hunger Games: It took me a long time to finally watch this, because I had to wait for my cousin to get around to reading the book. We have this thing about watching certain movies together, and if one of us watches a film we both wanted to see without the other, then the other gets quite perturbed and grumpy about it. Anyway, this movie was amazing; leagues better than what I imagined it would be. They got the atmosphere and the structure of the setting so perfect, and nobody but Jennifer Lawrence could’ve pulled off Katniss Everdeen with such an accurate portrayal. I had my doubts about her in that role, but she definitely proved me wrong. They handled the violence from the book well with suggested gore rather than visual gore, which — I don’t know about you — can be even worse for me. That part at the end when you see the muttations chowing on Cato and all you see is Cato’s eyes and all you hear is him screaming in pain, disturbed me in such a successful way. I definitely need to read the last two, so I can get ready for Catching Fire later this year.
The Almost Moon: I was asked to read this book by Kristin, who said it was one of the strangest books she’d ever read. Having read Alice Sebold’s first two books, Lucky and The Lovely Bones, with this one sitting next to them on my bookshelf waiting to be read, I thought, why not? Holy crap, was this a weird book. Let’s just say it involves murder, scalping (more or less), having sex with one’s best friend’s son, aiding and abetting, nude posing, bathing a dead body, and the most passive surrender since Bartleby, the Scrivener. While the book possessed a few threads of beautiful prose, and while I wouldn’t say I hated it, the narrator wasn’t very likable. I don’t really have as big of an issue with this as most other readers would, because I think it’s interesting looking through the perspective of someone you can’t relate to. One thing I will say about this book is that it causes so much reaction from the reader that it does make a good book to discuss and debate in book clubs.
White Ghost Girls: About a year ago, I picked up this book in the library, but never finished it. I did that a lot while I was in college. I had this idea of being infinitely rich at libraries, so I would pile books over my head to check out and then only read maybe one or two. After returning the library’s copy of this book, however, I went out and bought my own copy, because I liked what I read of it. The story unfolds between two sisters — the older of whom is at best needy and at worst volatile in personality. Kate, the younger sister, is thrust under Frankie’s rampant shadow. With a distant mother and a father who cares more about shooting the Vietnam war, the girls are left under Ah-Bing’s care. She calls them gwai mui and houh hoi (“white ghost girls” and “little whores”). Her care for them is tense and protective. We see the story through Katie’s eyes, but she is narrating her sister’s dark, unfurling fate.
Gift from the Sea: My copy of this book barely has any white space left. I highlighted every other passage, at least — some two or three in a row. Anne Morrow Lindbergh is my new literary crush. I wouldn’t say I’ve latched onto her literary wisdom as I have Madeleine L’Engle’s, but I’m still hanging on pretty tight. This is one of those books I would just open up to read a random highlighted paragraph. She breaks the chapters up titled after different types of seashells, each shell representing a new layer in a woman’s life. She covers relationships and personal growth and creativity while spending time alone in her cottage by the beach. She will inspire you to get away from the Internet, grab a journal and pen, take a step outside, and unleash your mind.
Tweets I Would’ve Tweeted
Me: *scrolling through Twitter*
Brittany: I thought you weren’t doing that?
Me: I said I wasn’t tweeting; never said I wasn’t reading. *pauses* Haha! If I were tweeting, I would totally tweet that.
Brittany: But then your tweet would be null and void, because you’re not tweeting.
Me: *bites into accidentally burnt bagel*
Me: Ah! That was like biting into tree bark!
Me: But it’s Nutella flavored tree bark.
Me: *thinks* This is true… *eats more*
Something that always seems like a good idea, but never is:
I’m a leaf in the wind. Watch how I soar. —Serenity
You know what’s fun? Reading personals on Craigslist. Not to actually find someone to “hang out” with, but to see all the awkward things people write.
When someone is reading something you’ve written and all you can do is hug yourself, stare at them, and wait.
This is something that I think I’d like to start doing at the end of every month: recording on my blog the books I’ve read, the movies I’ve watched, and then also podcasts and YouTube videos, and maybe even new music, if I can manage to expose myself to all that. It’s something that Ashley Riordan does every month, and I think it’s a good way to keep up with what you’ve creatively ingested while also sharing with others.