Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast

This is not the kind of thing I usually post on my blog, but I just had to write a review after I saw this movie. The animated version of Beauty and the Beast was my favorite Disney movie of all time…until I saw the new version. 

The cast of this movie was exceptional. Emma Watson absolutely shines as Belle in this 2017 live action remake of the 1991 Disney classic. I don’t think they could have chosen a better actress to play the part. This isn’t really surprising to me considering how similar the characters of Belle and Hermione are. 

Dan Stevens is a fantastic Beast (and once he takes his human form, very sexy). The raw emotion in the way he plays the part made my little fangirl heart flutter, particularly when he sings Evermore. 

I could gush about every member of the cast, but that would make my review ten years long. Luke Evans was a superb Gaston, Josh Gad was perfection as LeFou, and every other member of the cast did an incredible job as well. 

Speaking of LeFou, he was one of my favorite parts of the movie. His obvious and intense crush on Gaston was so cute. He was hilarious and you couldn’t help but like him despite his loyalty to the hilariously despicable Gaston. 

I love the way the film stayed true to the original for the most part. The few differences that were in the film only enhanced the production in my opinion. The new songs were beautiful, the plot holes were fixed, and the story flowed beautifully. 

I dearly loved every minute of this film and I encourage all of you to see it if you haven’t yet. 

10/10 would HIGHLY recommend. 

Top Five Wednesday: Favorite Minor Characters

For this T5W the topic is favorite minor characters and I could not resist doing it. The Goodreads group for Top 5 Wednesday can be found here

Minor characters can completely change the way I see books. Sometimes I keep reading just for the minor characters and I don’t really care about the main characters. Here are my top five favorite minor characters of all time.

1. Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Anyone who doesn’t love Luna can fight me. She’s wonderful and also my fellow Ravenclaw. I connect on an emotional level with Luna and my only complaint is that she doesn’t​ end up with Neville. Her genuine kindess and unapologetically​ weird personality make her one of the best characters in the Harry Potter series. 

2. Kenji Kishimoto from Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Need I say more? If you haven’t read Shatter Me, go do it now. Even if it’s just for Kenji. You can thank me later. 

3. Hayden Fire-Dancer from The Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima

Fire-Dancer is wonderful. He’s complex and badass and almost as swoon worthy as the main male protagonist of the series. I love him so much. He succeeds despite the obstacles thrown in his way and is determined to do what he wants in life no matter what anyone says. I respect and admire him a lot.

4. LeFou from Beauty and the Beast (2017)

This one is cheating because it’s not a book character, but Josh Gad as LeFou gave me life. He was hilarious and his crush on Gaston made the movie so enjoyable. Definitely one of the best characters in the movie. 

5. Haymitch Abernathy

I don’t know if Haymitch counts as a minor character or not because he is pretty prominent in the books for the most part, but I love him dearly. He is gruff and rude, but underneath it all he is caring and protective and that kind of character just gets me every time. He’s amazing and definitely one of my faves. 

I hope you guys enjoyed this post. If you did, leave me a comment and let me know some of your favorite minor characters. I will talk to you guys in the next one! 

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection is a very popular YA novel that follows America Singer, a 17 year old girl living in a world driven by an eight tiered caste system in which ones are the royal family and eights are the homeless, poverty-stricken members of society. America is a five, the caste of artists and musicians. When the crown prince of her country comes of age, there is a competition held known as The Selection in which girls are chosen at random from the various castes for the chance to be chosen by the prince as his wife and future queen. Despite being opposed to the contest, America finds herself part of it and must navigate the confusing waters of palace life. 

The best part of the book is definitely the characters, specifically Prince Maxon. I love any book that gives me a new fictional boy to fangirl over and The Selection, definitely delivered with Maxon. He is sweet and caring and everything a girl would want her prince to be. America is a little different. While I don’t dislike her, some of the things she does and says don’t make much sense to me. She’s a bit annoying but seems to be a good person overall. 

If you like The Bachelor, you will like The Selection. The book is essentially the show set in a dystopian society. Although, when reading you don’t even really care about the society because you are too wrapped up in what is going to happen with the romance. 

I very much enjoyed this book. Fast paced and fun, it was one of those quick and easy guilty-pleasure read to which you get addicted and fly through. I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for something fast, fluffy, and entertaining. 

4/5 stars for entertainment. 

Review: Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined by Stephenie Meyer

I’m going to give you guys fair warning: I am a major Twilight fangirl. I read the books for the first time during my freshman year of high school and like thousands of teenage girls in 2008, I was completely obsessed with Stephenie Meyer’s debut series. Now, as an adult woman, I find myself sucked back in to the small town of Forks and the paranormal world that Meyer created. Life and Death is the same story with an intriguing new twist: almost all of the characters have been gender swapped. I went into this expecting to enjoy it purely for the nostalgic fun, but I didn’t expect to love it even more than I loved the original book. 

Stephenie Meyer said in an interview with Christine Riccio of PolandBananasBooks on YouTube, that people constantly comment that Bella is too much of a damsel in distress. When told this, she thought that no one would say that if Bella was a boy, and thus the idea for Life and Death was born.
I was totally entranced from the beginning to the exciting end. While the story is almost exactly the same, the subtle differences brought a fresh perspective to the story. I very much enjoy the male point of view and watching as Beau fell for Edythe. The vampire being a total badass female was something I greatly appreciated too.  

I am very aware of the problematic elements in Twilight and some of those elements are still present in this version. However, I must admit that those elements did little to diminish my enjoyment of story. Reading is about having fun and I definitely had fun with Life and Death. 

Overall, I very much enjoyed this book and believe that it is a must read for all my fellow twi-hards out there. I believe fans of Bella and Edward will adore Beau and Edythe. It was lovely to revisit this story with a fresh twist. 

4.5/5 stars

Top 5 Wednesday: Authors I Need More From

I know this is late again, but motherhood is hectic y’all. The Goodreads group for T5W can be found here. The group is hosted by @thoughtsontomes and it is wonderful so come join us for fun weekly topics. 

Here are the top five authors I need more from:

1. J.K. Rowling

How can I not put the queen on my list? Please give me a series about the Mauraders and Lily. I need it deep down in my soul. Also we can totally pretend that Cursed Child doesn’t exist and get a bunch more next gen stories. I would be so happy. 

2. Suzanne Collins

I haven’t really heard anything about Suzanne Collins since The Hunger Games. All I do know is that I loved her famous trilogy so much and I need more of her wonderful story telling.

3. Cinda Williams Chima

Ok, so we just got a new book from her and have been getting them fairly regularly for awhile, but I am a glutton and I always want more. I love love love her books and I need everything she writes ever. 

4. Simone Elkeles

I adored both Perfect Chemistry and her Paradise duology. They were some of my very favorite books in high school and I would be delighted to read more of her writing. 

5. John Green

It’s been forever and a day since The Fault in Our Stars. I think it’s high time for a new John Green novel. Pretty please? 

I hope you guys enjoyed this post. If you did leave me a comment and a like. I will talk to you guys in the next one! 

Top 5 Wednesday: LGBT Books I Want To Read

For this T5W the topic is favorite LGBT reads. Unfortunately, I haven’t really read very many. One of my goals for this year (and the future in general) is to read more diversly. I am ashamed that my reading history is so devoid of diversity, but I plan to remedy that very soon. So, instead of my favorite LGBT reads, here are the ones that I am most eager to read. 

1. Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

This stand alone fantasy novel centers around a lesbian relationship and it intrigued me from the very first moment I heard about it. A princess goes to a neighboring kingdom with the intention of marrying the prince and ends up falling in love with the prince’s sister. I am very much looking forward to getting my hands on this book. 

2. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

This popular LGBT book has received a lot of hype since it’s publication. It involves a closeted gay teen who can only be himself online with an anonymous friend. The plot sounds incredible and adorable, so I’m honestly not sure why it’s taken me so long to pick it up. Hopefully it will happen soon. 

3. The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan

I know this one isn’t super heavily LGBT, however the LGBT character in this series is a very important one. Rick Riordan is excellent about including diverse sexualities, races, and religions in his books and I deeply respect him for that. I can’t wait to read this series because I adored the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. 

4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Shame. Shame. Shame.

This books is probably the one on the list that I feel the most ashamed about not having read it. I have also never seen the movie, but I know that one of the main three characters in this novel is unashamedly gay. I have heard nothing but amazing things about this book. It’s been on my TBR for far too long and I need to get to it soon. 

5. The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

This book has not yet been released. The publication date is set for May 16, 2017 and I NEED IT. From what I gather from the synopsis it is about two teenage boy spies who are to compete for the affection of a target girl, but end up developing feelings for each other. Just the description makes me want to squeal. You can bet I will be reading this ASAP after it’s released. 

Thank you guys for reading my Top 5 Wednesday post. If you have any other LGBT recommendations please please please leave me a comment. 

The Goodreads​ group for Top 5 Wednesday can be found here. Come join us for fun weekly topics about bookish things! 

I’ll talk to you guys in my next post!  

Reread Review: City of Bones

The first time I read this book, I was a freshman in high school. 2009 me loved every second of this book and I devoured it in one night. While I still very much enjoyed City of Bones, 2017 me is a little more critical of Cassandra Clare’s first book. 
As most of you probably know, City of Bones follows a fifteen year old girl, named Clary, who is suddenly thrust into a magical world of myths and monsters after a fateful encounter at a mysterious nightclub. With the help of an intriguing and infuriating boy, named Jace, and her best friend, Simon, Clary must navigate the treacherous waters of this new world to find and save her missing mother. 

Just like the first time I read this book, I adored Jace and Simon. Sarcastic and funny, they stole my heart yet again. Surprisingly, this read through of City of  Bones was somewhat tainted with a slight distaste for Clary. Her character was a little too stubborn for me and at the beginning of the novel, she treats the people she cares about quite badly. Now, I understand that she’s a teenager and in a very stressful and frightening situation, but she seemed unnecessarily rude and almost mean at times. I can say, however, that her character development was excellent and I was much happier with her in the second half of the book. 

To be honest, the second half of the book was just better overall. The beginning is a bit slow as Clary learns the ins and outs of her new world, but the story significantly picks up after the halfway point. 

While I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I did in 2009, I still really liked City of Bones. I am planning to continue the series, as I have only ever read the first three. 

3.75/5 stars.