Koalafications

I love reading like a Koala loves eating eucalyptus


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Books Becoming Movies

 

I am always a fan of reading a book before seeing it’s movie.  That is why I am going to give you guys a heads up about some books that will soon be hitting the big screen.

http://www.popsugar.com.au/Books-Being-Made-Movies-2012-2013-23532752

http://www.buzzsugar.com/Books-Being-Made-Movies-Summer-2012-23513039

http://www.zap2it.com/news/pictures/zap-beautiful-creatures-chaos-walking-ya-books-to-movies-pictures,0,6999149,showall.photogallery

Also found info about The Host by Stephenie Meyer and Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.  I’ve read both of these books.  I like The Host a lot more than I like the Twilight Saga.  Devil in the White City is a great piece of non-fiction in novel format.  It has a great story and does an amazing job of combing both what was going on at the world’s fair with the killing spree of HH Holmes.

 

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The Kill Order by James Dashner

 

The Kill Order is a prequel to the Maze Runner series.  The series follows Thomas as he goes through a series of trials meant to map his brain in an attempt to find a cure for a disease called the Flare.  The Kill Order  provides some insight into how the Flare came to be an issue and what led up to it.  This book follows a new set of characters; mainly Mark, Trina, Alec and Lana.  This group, along with a few others, was able to survive the solar flares that wiped out most of the world.  After holing up in an office building and living on vending machine food for weeks, they are able to leave New York City on a boat and head for make shift villages that there are rumors about.

They live pretty well in one of these villages until a berg (future flying craft) appears overhead and starts shooting at the people living there.  They aren’t shooting bullets though, instead darts are being shot and people are dropping like flies.  Mark and Alec learn that the darts contain an extremely deadly disease.  Those shot by the darts die quickly, but the disease is very contagious.  Those who took care of the original casualties catch the disease and die much more slowly.  This process continues on making the disease rampant.  The main characteristic of the disease is that it eats away at the brain and drives people crazy.  Some describe it as if there is something living in their brain, others just completely change in character and go crazy.  They start trying to kill people and attack others.  Lots of weird stuff happens because of the disease.  Mark and Alec get separated from Lana and Trina and their main goal becomes getting back to them especially after learning that a group of crazies has taken them.

Through Mark and Alec, the reader is able to learn that the disease is not acting as was planned by those who released it.  It was supposed to diminish its effects after the first victim rather than be able to continue its killing spree.  The original plans were to release the Flare to eliminate some of the surviving population because there are not enough resources available to sustain everyone.

Alec and Mark are not able to save Lana from the attacks of the crazies.  They are able to rescue Trina and Deedee (a very young girl who appears to be immune), although Trina is not able to remember them.  Eventually it becomes clear that Mark, Alec, and Trina are all suffering from symptoms of the disease.  They are able to send Deedee to the headquarters of the people who made this plan in hopes that they will be able to find a cure.

The prologue and epilogue of The Kill Order help to connect the book even more solidly to the rest of the series.  The prologue is a glimpse at what happened with Thomas and Teresa just prior to them entering the Glade.  The epilogue is when Thomas is taken from his family in order to be used for the Glade experiment.

I really enjoyed this book and got pretty into reading it.  The only thing that I think would make it better would be a stronger connection between the characters in this book and the rest of the series.  Thomas’ mother remains nameless so there is no way of knowing if she is connected to anyone else in the book.  While it answers a lot of questions about what led to the situation on earth, it almost creates more questions about how the kids were selected for the experiment.  I just wanted a little more about the characters from the rest of the series rather than just the situation in general.

 


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The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

 

So I have fallen behind a little bit with my posts.  Recently, I ran out of books from the library, so I decided to start rereading the Hunger Games Trilogy.  I also decided to do this so that when I watched the movie again, I would have a better base for comparison having read the books recently.  Anyways, I love The Hunger Games.  It is probably my favorite book currently.  Although I do not really hold the rest of the series in that regard.  I think as a whole series it really is a bit of a let down in the end.  Suzanne Collins sets a really high standard with the first book and the others seem to fall a little flat.

The Hunger Games is set in a dystopia where the people in the Capitol want for nothing while most of the people in the Districts are sick, starving, and struggling to get by.  The Capitol also acts in ways to continue to show their dominance over the Districts and to attempt to stem off rebellion like one that took place around 75 years earlier.  One main tool that they use in this regard is the Hunger Games.  This is an event that happens every year.  Each District is required to send two tributes, one male and one female, to the Capitol in order to battle against the other tributes in hopes of being the last person standing.  This person is then set for life and their District receives gifts until the next victor is crowned.

Obviously Katniss Everdeen ends up going to the Hunger Games after she volunteers in place of her sister.  Being from District 12 she is automatically a huge underdog.  However, her hunting prowess and the charisma of her fellow District 12 tribute, Peeta Mellark, results in them being the last two tributes standing.  Believing a rule change would save them both, Peeta and Katniss teamed up, but in the end it was two good to be true and the Capitol wants them to battle it out so there is only one victor.  Katniss pulls out poisonous nightlock berries that they intend to eat at the same time resulting in no victor.  Immediately they are stopped and both declared victors.  This is considered a small act of rebellion by some Capitol officials and Katniss needs to watch her step to protect both herself and Peeta from their wrath.

Catching Fire picks up when they are preparing for the victors tour where Katniss and Peeta will travel to each of the Districts for celebrations.  President Snow visits Katniss and informs her that she better convince everyone that she acted out of love with the nightlock berries and stem any uprisings that may be in the works.  He is mostly unsatisfied with her attempts and several uprisings begin in the Districts.

This year of the Hunger Games is the 75th which makes it a Quarter Quell which were determined when the games were established.  Quarter Quells happen every 25 years and have a special twist.  The first twist was that each District had to vote in their tributes rather than the typical reaping.  The second was that twice as many tributes would go.  This was the games that Haymitch Abernathy (Peeta and Katniss’ mentor in the games) competed in and won.  For the third Quarter Quell, the reaping uses only the pool of victors from each District.  This results in Katniss and Peeta going back into the arena.

In the end, there is a plot involving tributes, mentors, and game makers to begin a rebellion.  Ultimately, several of the tributes are able to break out of the arena.  Some are taken to safety by the rebels (Katniss and Finnick Odair) while others (Peeta and Johanna Mason) are captured by the Capitol.  This sets the scene for Mockingjay where the actual war takes place.

 


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Insurgent by Veronica Roth

 

Insurgent is the second book in the Divergent series.  I had heard that a lot of people didn’t like it, but I really enjoyed reading it.  I think it is a great follow up to the first book and really sets up a lot of options for the third book.

Once again we are following Tris as she tries to stay alive and help others stay alive.  At the end of Divergent, the Erudite use simulations to control the Dauntless and make them attack the Abnegation.  Tris works to figure out why the attack, that resulted in the death of both her parents, took place.  Tris and Tobias (aka Four) work together and sometimes against each other as they try to mend a world that has been torn apart.  Ultimately it comes down to part of Dauntless and the Erudites vs. the rest of Dauntless and the Factionless in a battle to gain control.

The Erudites are trying to weed out the Divergent because their brains are different from everyone else’s.  Divergent people are able to tell when they are in a simulation and break out of it.  This is a bad thing for the Erudite leaders who want to use simulations to control the population.  Tris is used by the Erudites to study and try to figure out the differences so that they can develop new simulations serums that will work on everyone.

Tris eventually teams up with Tobias’ father Marcus to try to acquire the data being stored by the Erudites.  Marcus knows what the information is and how important it is for the future of their world.  Tris goes with him even though she has to risk losing Tobias’ trust. They run into some troubles along the way and the Erudite leader is killed before they can threaten her into helping them.  Everything seems to being going wrong for Tris, especially when the Factionless acquire all of the weaponry and declare themselves the heads of the new government.  Right at the end though Tobias, Marcus, and Caleb (Tris’ brother) return to everyone else having just started a video clip with all the information the Erudites were trying to hide.  But we have to wait until the next book to know how things go.

Like I said earlier, I really enjoyed this book.  I liked how we got to see a little more depth to Tris with not just her Dauntless instincts, but also more of her Abnegation side plus how she is handling grief.  There is also more development of the Tris and Tobias relationship.  All and all it seems to provide a good bridge between the first book and what will potentially be the conclusion, although there’s really no way to tell until the third book comes out next year.

 


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Wicked Appetite By Janet Evanovich

 

I was finally able to go back and read the first of Janet Evanovich‘s Wicked books.  This is just a fun series.  Lizzy the cupcake baker meets Diesel in this novel.  He informs her that she in an Unmentionable which means she has enhanced abilities.  Lizzy is able to tell when an object has different power levels.  This comes in handy as Diesel needs to find the SALIGIA stones.  These stones represent each of the Seven Deadly Sins (gluttony, greed, sloth, lust, envy, wrath, and pride).

In this book, Diesel and Lizzy are trying to track down the gluttony stone.  This stone has been locked by four keys that need to be gathered before the stone can be retrieved.  The keys have there own enhanced powers and cause the possessor to be gluttonous for something (food, punishment, etc.).  When Lizzy is near these keys, she takes on that trait which results in some hilariousness for her and Diesel.

Lizzy and Diesel are not the only ones looking for the stones.  They are up against Diesel’s cousin Wulf and his minion, Hatchet.  Wulf is basically the evil version of Diesel.  He is able to burn people with just the touch of his hand, he has killed people, plus he is just kind of a creepy dude.  Hatchet, like Lizzy, is able to detect power in objects (something that only the two of them can do).  He also is obsessed with the middle ages and goes around speaking and dressing as if he is in that time period.

So far I am really enjoying this series even though I read the first two books backwards.  It is just really fun and light.  It is an easy read and so it doesn’t take long to read a book.  Diesel and Lizzy are a funny pair and have really cute interactions.  I’m looking forward to the third book, but I haven’t been able to figure out when it will be released.

 

 


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Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

The third book in the Beautiful Creatures series is just as secretive and out there as the first two.  In Beautiful Darkness, Lena breaks the order of things which results in mass chaos in both the mortal world and the caster world.  Gatlin, Ethan’s hometown, is being destroyed.  There are bugs covering every plant and surface in town, unbearable heat year round, Vexes (shadowy bad guys from the underworld) destroy main street and Ethan’s aunts’ house, and earthquakes are thrown in to help shake things up.  Basically everything is going wrong.  Link, Ethan’s best friend, is now part Incubus after being bitten by John Breed (a cross between Incubus and caster) at the end of the last book.  Ridley, Lena’s cousin, lost her Dark Caster Siren powers in Beautiful Darkness, but disappears for awhile in this book, ends up begging for forgiveness and gets them back.

Ethan and Lena and all their supernatural friends are trying to figure out a way to restore the order.  Amma makes a deal with a dark voo doo guy for help, which ends up not being helpful.  Macon and Liv do lots of research to learn about the past in hopes of finding a connection.  John Breed seems to be the key but ends up being mostly useless.  Marian is put on trial for treason against the Caster world.  The Demon Queen takes over Ethan’s teacher’s body and provides helpful information but not a lot of answers.

Ultimately, Ethan realizes that he is the key to fixing the order and jumps off a water tower.  I’m guessing he doesn’t die since there is another book (Beautiful Redemption) and he is pretty the main character and all the books are from his perspective.

Basically, Beautiful Chaos followed the same pattern as the others in the series by providing a lot of information but not a lot of answers.  There are also plenty of plot twists and cliff hangers and in general just a lot going on all the time.  I’ve learned it is almost impossible to summarize these books because there is just too much going on.  For the most part I enjoy the series.  I still think that the books could be shorter and still be as effective.  I also think there might be a few too many subplots going on that detract from the main story line and are often underdeveloped creating a lot of questions about why they are there and where they are going.


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Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

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I literally just finished reading Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.  This is the second book in the series.  I came across this series because of an article in a magazine.  It was discussing what series or book would be the next Hunger Gamesand this was one of the possibilities.  The first book in the series is Beautiful Creatures.  This book introduces the reader to the main characters, Ethan Wate and Lena Duchannes.  Ethan is the typical high school student and becomes enamored with new student Lena.  He feels an extremely strong connection to her.  Quickly, it is discovered that Lena is a Caster, a type of witch.  She belongs to a parallel world filled with Light and Dark Casters that are competing with each other to be dominant.  Lena is coming to an age where it will be determined whether she will be Light or Dark.  She ends up not having her fate determined for her like the rest of her family, but she is giving the choice between the two.  However, whichever side she chooses, all of her family members on the other side will die.  Then a bunch of stuff happens, and Lena ends up not having to choose either side until her next birthday.

This gets us into Beautiful Darkness.  This book begins with the funeral for Lena’s Uncle Macon, who died at the end of the first book because of a spell cast by Lena to save Ethan from dying (however, she did not know that Macon would take Ethan’s place).  Macon is the closest thing Lena has had to a father and he has provided tons of guidance during this particular time in her life.  This leads to her being completely devastated by his death.  She blames herself for killing him because of the spell she cast.  Lena begins to pull away from Ethan and starts turning more and more dark.  Ethan continuously tries to connect with Lena, but she always pushes him away.

Lots of other worldly stuff happens that helps Ethan understand what he has to do, but mostly it confuses him until near the very end.  Basically, lots of stuff that probably wasn’t expected early on happens to make it so that Ethan can save Lena from going Dark, but also makes it so Lena really doesn’t have to choose one side or the other (at least for now).  There is also a small skirmish that results in Ethan’s mortal best friend, Link, becoming a weird Incubus/mortal/maybe Caster hybrid.  The story continues with the third book of the series, Beautiful Chaos.

I wasn’t necessarily a huge fan of Beautiful Creatures, but I was intrigued enough to continue the series.  The second book did a much better job of keeping my interest with a lot more going on the whole time.  However, both books do seem to drag a bit with details that don’t seem to matter much getting too much attention and just being wordy overall.  Both books are pretty long (I don’t remember the length of the first one, but this one is around 500 pages), and there are points where I just wanted the authors to get on with it rather than describing every little thing.  Overall though, I am enjoying the series and am excited to get the third book from the library in the next couple days.