Sunday, March 31, 2013

Q&A with Cynthia Hand and YOU ask the questions!

I have another great Questions and Answers coming up with author Cynthia Hand!  She is the author of the Young Adult Book Club's April book club pick Unearthly.  She'll be stopping by the group here to answer your questions on April 14th. Remember, any time I have a Q&A YOU get to come by and join in so be sure to welcome her and get your questions in by then. 

Friday, March 29, 2013


Journey is an AMAZING game.  I kept hearing about this game and how beautiful the graphics are.  Journey is really unlike any games I have ever played.  There is no fighting, no talking to other people, no crazy music. In fact the music is BEAUTIFUL. People can't stop talking about it!   It is so visually stimulating that I am glad I played it on my home theater and could watch it unfold on a large screen. Here is some music from the game, with game shots included!

 The online player blew me away as well.  I had read about it where you could team up with someone and do the puzzles together.  Well next thing I know I am in the middle of playing and then someone pops up out of no where.  It was so fun to play with them even though we couldn't even speak to each other.  The game is very short which was the only downside to me.  I think I played about 2 hours.  And then the game was over.  I wanted MORE!  I can't say enough about the beauty in this game... here is a 55 second video:

It's unfortunate that this is PS3 exclusive game. I know that the PS3 has the best graphics, period. But it really makes it to where more people can't enjoy Journey.  I find that this game proves that video games can be for everyone.  A lot of people think of video games as these shooter up things that are awful and I wish they could just see this game!  I had played another one of this companies game's called Flower which was on display at the Art of Video Games exhibit at the Smithsonian in Washington DC.  Another wonderful game!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Rebel Heart by Moira Young-Review

This is the next book in the series Dust Lands by Moira Young.  I am trying to continue my goal of finishing book series that I have begun. I started this series with the Young Adult Book Club. Here is the goodreads description:

It seemed so simple: Defeat the Tonton, rescue her kidnapped brother, Lugh, and then order would be restored to Saba’s world. Simplicity, however, has proved to be elusive. Now, Saba and her family travel west, headed for a better life and a longed-for reunion with Jack. But the fight for Lugh’s freedom has unleashed a new power in the dust lands, and a formidable new enemy is on the rise. What is the truth about Jack? And how far will Saba go to get what she wants? In this much-anticipated follow-up to the riveting Blood Red Road, a fierce heroine finds herself at the crossroads of danger and destiny, betrayal and passion.

I really enjoyed Blood Red Road, the first book in the series. I thought the world really came alive.  I thought the author did this same in this book.  I could feel myself in the environment. This book takes place in a world that we have destroyed though no one knows how.  We are known as Wreckers and have somehow destroyed the earth and made it this desolate landscape.  Young does an amazing job of making the reader feel like they are in this universe.

The characters are still great.  This time around we get to know Lugh.. the Saba's brother. Who we really didn't get to know and see in book one.  He was a really controlling guy throughout the book.  And then of course we have Saba.. whom I felt was like a baby in this book.  Everything was about her.  And even after her crew of people cross a big desert to find her she tries to send them away.  Like they are really going to leave after that long journey.  That annoyed me a little.

Now for the spoilers.. yes spoilers do not read ahead if you don't want to know things.  So in this book Jake somehow is on the bad team.  Which we find out later is because he is trying to be some sort of spy.  And apparently there was no way to get the news to Saba.  So the he ends up capturing Emmi.  Well after he captures Emmi Saba runs off and then ends up with DeMalo and then sleeps with him.  I liked this twist at first (and I despise love triangles) but THEN Saba kept thinking she might be pregnant and that is huge.  Like what?  Is there going to be baby drama in the next book?  Oh wait.. and it's not just a love triangle... it's a love square because Tommo still loves her too.  Wow.

End spoilers... I do enjoy this series.  I really think it's edgy and the author takes chances.  I can't wait for the third book.  I wasn't approved for an ARC of this one.. so maybe the next one I will be.  I also love the new covers for the books.. especially Blood Red Road:

The crystal ball says:

Clouds are covering! A read that lets me down every now and then but peaks out of the clouds!

Here is my review of Blood Red Road by Moira Young, book 1. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia -Review

This book has a lot of hype behind it in the gaming world and for good reason.  I mean ... this book knocked Fifty Shades of Gray off the the number one spot on the Amazon booksellers list!   Yea for geeks! Here is the goodreads description:

Dark Horse Books and Nintendo team up to bring you The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia, containing an unparalleled collection of historical information on The Legend of Zelda franchise. This handsome hardcover contains never-before-seen concept art, the full history of Hyrule, the official chronology of the games, and much more! Starting with an insightful introduction by the legendary producer and video-game designer of Donkey Kong, Mario, and The Legend of Zelda, Shigeru Miyamoto, this book is crammed full of information about the storied history of Link's adventures from the creators themselves! As a bonus, The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia includes an exclusive comic by the foremost creator of The Legend of Zelda manga - Akira Himekawa!

This book is beautiful. It could be considered an art book to me. It is the history of Link, Zelda, the worlds and all the villains. Most of the information in the book is about Hyrule. Who rules it, who are it's people, and also looking at all the landscapes. It has a wonderful timeline of each game (the order they were released is not the order in the history of the world). The book is full of illustrations and graphics of the characters, maps, and game shots. After looking at all the pictures this book for sure made me want to go out and re-play all the games!

 There is a lot of focus on Skyward Sword in this book. I am not sure if that is because it is the most recent game so they are going for sales? When I say there is a lot of pages about Skyward Sword I mean A LOT. I personally loved the game Ocarina of Time and wish there had been more pictures from that one. I have always played Zelda and to be honest it is the only reason I buy Nintendo anymore. I wish that Nintendo would just sell the Zelda franchise but of course that is their big money maker and they would never do that.  Recently some of my friends have gone retro and picked up some old Zelda games.  They are expensive.  You typically can not find an old Zelda game for less the $40.  For those of you who are not gamers that is expensive for a game that is 20 years old.

These pictures in the book show the evolution of the characters

In the back of the book is a Skyward Sword Manga.  Which might be confusing for those who don't know about Manga.  You read Manga starting on the last page and you read right to left.  This section of the book is wonderful.  I love the art and I love that this might introduce people to Manga.  I don't normally read this genre but every now and I then I enjoy checking it out.

Zelda games have been one of my favorite.  They really are what introduced me to RPG type video games.   I have so many fond memories of these games and this book is a fan's dream come true.  I can't wait to see what this series has store in the future.

The Crystal Ball says:

Sun is shinning!!!  Great day to go outside and read this book.

Monday, March 25, 2013

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I am trying to "claim my blog" for everyone who uses Bloglovin !  Now you know you can follow me there since Google Reader and GFC will eventually go away!  

Fairytale Retellings… What Makes Them so Popular?

Today I am apart of The Book Rat's  Fairytale Fortnight!  I love Fairytale retellings and thought I would do a fun post about them!  I love Fairytale Fortnight.. there is amazing stuff going on for 2 weeks so be sure to go over there and check it out!  You can go here to read my post or see below!

Hello! I’m Angie from Angela's Anxious Life and I would first like to thank Misty for allowing me to join in on the Fairy Tale Fortnight!  I am here to talk all about fairy tale retellings, which if you think about it, is practically all the fairy tales we know.  I am going to focus primarily on the more modern retellings we have had lately, from feature-length movies and TV shows to vast collection of books.  Some I have loved and some I haven't enjoyed at all.  It seems all of a sudden these retellings are becoming more and more popular, which is just fine with me.  I think everyone has been so used to the classic Disney fairytales that these new retellings are fun and exciting.  Everyone looks for different things in retellings.  Some people like them to be faithful to the original story, some like happy endings rather than the original, not-so-happy, endings (like the ones in Grimm's fairytales), and some like them to adhere to a certain time period.

I think in books we have seen a huge amount of retellings.  Books like Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries are more like the classic fairytales that we know and love.  While more controversial ones like Ash by Melinda Lo are about questions that have to do with a character's sexual orientation (BTW, I will be giving this book away along with this post). You might even go as far as saying books like Pride Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith have become fairytale retellings.  Comic books are also wonderful in retellings.  I am a big fan of Willingham's Fables series (which inspired me to write on this topic).  The stories in these comics have the characters go back to their origins correctly but throws these characters into our world where they have to try to live among us and stay out of trouble.  Also, there are even erotica books out there that are retellings – take Anne Rice's The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty.  Goodreads has a list of fairytale retellings which you can find here.


Fairytale retellings on the screen have never been more popular than now.  We of course have Once Upon a Time, a show about fairytale characters that are thrown into our world and we learn of their fairytale lives through series of flashbacks.  There have been plenty of movies based on retellings including quite a few recent ones: Jack the Giant Slayer, Oz the Great and Powerful, and Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters.  Most people also know about the Broadway show Wicked (which I loved and have seen twice already) based off the book Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire (which I did not enjoy).  Wicked is a retelling based off the point of view of the Wicked Witch of the West, which most of us have grown up knowing as the villain in the movie The Wizard of Oz.  Honestly, if you haven't see the show go and check it out!  Rounding out the list of cinematic retellings, we have probably the most well-known perpetuator – Disney.  The thing about Disney is that they have done such a good job of retelling that those who watch these Disney classics have almost forgotten the original telling and think of the Disney version as the real one.


I myself am a big video game player.  Though fairytales and their retellings are probably more predominant in the worlds of literature and screen, their mark on the video game industry cannot be denied.  Take for instance the series of Mario games – where Mario is always saving Princess Peach from the dreaded King Koopa.  A more direct link can be seen in Disney's Kingdom Hearts series which incorporates various Disney movie characters and elements. The nice thing about video games is you get to live through the eyes of the characters and really feel like you are in their world.  You also have American McGee’s Alice and Grimm. These two are of a much darker tone and are for mature audiences ONLY.


 I always have a lot of fun comparing the retellings to the original fairytales.  If you go back to the fairytales from Grimm you will find rape, murder, blood and gore.  For example, in Cinderella the stepsisters cut off their toes and heels to fit in the glass slipper.  Wow – can someone say desperate?  What I love about fairytales is that they reveal all the flaws and strengths in human nature.  I think by reading them we can see ourselves in them and relate to similar experiences in our own lives, even in the retellings which are more modern.  If you haven't tried out a retelling I implore you to take a chance on one. Retellings can take the exciting elements of the story from the original and give it a whole new meaning.  By retelling and retelling these stories, they will never die.

What are your favorite retellings?  Least favorites?

Thanks again for having me!


Angela’s Anxious Life