This summer is full of promising movies. Here’s a roundup of five that you should check out that are based off of books and stories.
Ant-Man (July 17)
Paul Rudd stars as a criminal who is offered a shot at redemption. Aided by an inventor (Michael Douglas) and a new suit that can shrink him down to the size of a, you guessed it, ant. If you cannot get enough superheroes, look for this movie.
Pan (July 24)
A prequel type movie where Pan (Levi Miller) and pre-bad guy Captain Hook (Garrett Hedlund) team up to fight a new foe: Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman). If you love fairytales, this is the movie for you.
Fantastic Four (August 7)
A rebot of the franchise has new stars including Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell as the four who are transformed and gain superpowers. If you’re looking for a new take on classic superheroes, here’s your movie.
Paper Towns (July 24)
The big screen rendition of John Green’s teen novel stars Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne. If you’re looking for the ultimate teen roadtrip novel/movie, look no further.
Mockingjay: Part 2 (November 20)
One of the most anticipated movies of the year, the final The Hunger Games movie, is the conclusion to our list (despite its release being in the fall). Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, and Josh Hutcherson, along with the many other actors the starstudded cast boasts, will reprise their roles for the finale of the franchise. I don’t need to tell you who this is for, because all of The Hunger Games’ fans will be there.
“I have a high pain threshold. In fact, it’s more of a large and tastfully decorated foyer than a threshold. But I do get easily bored” -Cassandra Clare, City of Bones
A little while back I had the pleasure of going to the movies and seeing Theo James— I mean Insurgent. Many of you know that Insurgent is the second in the Divergent trilogy, which is set to be made into four movies.
I adored this movie.
As someone who is very into sewing and fashion, I can 100% vouch for the excellence that was the costume department for Insurgent. Caleb’s Amity clothes were just a little too big and perfectly exemplified how lost he was, while his Erudite suit was sharp and showed him a position with more power. Four’s jacket made me so envious and it definitely added to his bad-boy air.
This movie, in my opinion, was better than the original book. There was a lot of good character-building, and twists that even I didn’t see coming. It truly showed how mixed up all these characters are in each other. They handled the ending the best way they could, but in my opinion it was a mistake to have written Allegiant like that. I would have taken it in a different direction.
An excellent element of this movie was Tris. Shailene Woodley is a very talented actress, and she played the part excellently. I appreciate that Tris made her own decisions and stepped up to be a leader when she was needed. The powerful woman is too infrequently used in pop culture, where it is more common to see a man make decisions. In Insurgent, Four always steps aside for Tris, because he knows just how capable she is and that she is extremely competent.
The movie follows the storyline of the book pretty closely, I cannot think of too many deviations. We got to see the leader of the Factionless (no spoilers here!) and Octavia Spencer was a great addition, playing Amity’s leader. Perhaps it has been too long since I read these books, but I cannot remember her story. If it wasn’t given to us, that would be a shame because she is such an interesting character.
Overall, this movie certainly held up to the first, and I’m very excited to see where the third movie takes us.
“Books are easily destroyed. But words will live as long as people can remember them.” -Tahereh Mafi, Unravel Me
Yesterday marked the ebook release of Hidden Huntress (yay!), the sequel to Stolen Songbird (you can find that review here.)
Maybe you don’t agree with me here, but I find the first cover completely unattractive. It’s green, and the girl is wearing a frumpy dress. A mess, in my honest opinion. I begrudgingly read this book last week, and was floored by how good it was. The world was cool, the legends were as well, and the politics of the trolls were fascinating. The romance was sweet, and the characters were all multifaceted and interestingly complex. All in all, it was a great read. The second cover, on the other hand, looks great. Given, it’s my favorite color and has a fan on it, but I’d sooner pick up that book than the first one.
Kate White, the former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, writes in her book I Shouldn’t be Telling You This, about bits of knowledge she’s accrued over the years. In it she shares the tidbit of wisdom “never do a green cover”, and I never realized how true that was until now.
But that’s just it! I don’t have to like the cover to like the book, I just be to like the book itself. A pretty cover makes a book stand out from the thousands of others, but if you’ve toiled away writing your masterpiece, who has the right to tell you that you can’t make the cover green?
I’ve been thinking a lot about how many good books I could be missing because their covers are a little different, and that scares me. Let me know if you re read anything that’s pretty amazing, and has a pretty awful cover. I’m going to branch out. I might even read more books with green covers.
Reccomended for: fans of French culture, Tolkien-esque creatures, and political maneuvering
This was so good. Sooo good. I had been seeking a fairytale retelling when I found this, and it has been on my to read shelf forever. I finally got to it, because it was available right away, and I was surprisingly pleased with the story. Cécile is a surprisingly realistic narrator for such fantasy, and she defies most cliches. She definitely has major butt-kicking moments, like when Lessa is being beaten, but she’s not exactly your average, kick-butt heroine. She’s also by no means wimpy, but she has realistic moments when she throws tantrums. Like when Luc kidnaps her. It’s understandable that that would bother her. I found the troll politics fascinating, the way the full-bloods interacted with each other and how they were stuck in each other’s webs. There was never a dull moment in this book, whether it be parties, rebellions, politics, prophecies, eavesdropping, maniacal younger brothers, or the ominous Sluag (man-eating beasts that live in the labyrinth. There’s even a labyrinth! How cool is that?!) This book accurately portrayed the complexities of every decision you make, especially when the characters have to make decisions regarding the half-bloods, or breaking the curse. You’re never sure which decision is actually the wisest, and sometimes there isn’t a wise decision to make.
There was one major downside of this book, though
The love interest was named Tristan.
That’s one of my least favorite names used in YA.
Otherwise, this was a great read and I highly recommend it.
“The best books, they don’t talk about things you never thought about before. They talk about things you’d always thought about, but that you didn’t think anyone else had thought about. You read them, and suddenly you’re a little bit less alone in the world. You’re part of this cosmic community of people who’ve though about this thing, whatever it happens to be.”
-Tommy Wallach, We All Looked Up
“The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.” -J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
“Half of your attention is better than all of anyone else’s.” -Cassandra Clare, City of Bones