Thursday, June 25, 2015

Jurassic World - Movie Review

Jurassic World was one of the movies I was most excited to see this summer.  I loved the first movie Jurassic Park.  I remember being in 8th grade when it came out and going with my classmates and watching it at the theater.  As an adult... Jurassic Park was re-released in IMAX theaters so we went to go and see it there too.  Which was way so neat.  The next two Jurassic Park movies were only so-so to me.  What I liked about this film was the fact that it was going to be totally different then the other films.  The park was actually going to be open so we were going to get to see it functional. 

For those of you looking for a brand new movie... something you have never see before, well don't expect that.  You are going to see Dinosaurs again... a few fights of Dinosaurs (reminded me a little of Sharknado).  I think there is plenty of fun experiences in the movie that will bring a new generation of kids/young adults to the world of Jurassic Park. What I also loved was that there was a lot of scenes for long time fans to be able to reminiscence about the first movies. For example there is a character in the movie who has on a Jurassic Park tee-shirt which was cool to see (since now the park is called Jurassic World).

The main plot of the movie is about a new dinosaur called Indominus Rex who escapes in the park when it is jam packed with people (the website listed under the poster above is really neat and shows what's going on in the park). It's goofy to see Chris Pratt's character running around training raptors, such a fun actor.  It's the kind of movie that I was expecting.  We didn't bother seeing it in 3D but I think it would be good either way.  I did think I wasn't as connected with the characters as in the first film.. this one seemed more about the Dinosaurs fighting then character development.  

I recommend seeing this film if you love creature features and a good time.  It was nice to visit Jurassic World.   Rating: B

Monday, June 22, 2015

Comic Adventures Issue # 24

I read a lot of comics and rarely review them here on the blog. That's because I really don't have a lot to say for an entire post.  So I thought I would review several comics on one post.  I will still review graphic novels on their own now and then, but this is where I will talk about super-hero type comics (DC/Marvel) or sequels to some that I have already reviewed.

This week's issue I am going to chat about the new Batgirl Vol. 1 DC, Batgirl Vol. 5 Deadline, The Graveyard Book Vol. 2,  and Aquaman Vol. 5 Sea of Storms.

I love the New 52 Batgirl series prior to this one.   It has been one of my favorite of the DC comic story lines.  So I have NO IDEA why it needed to be revamped.  I am guessing that they are going for more of a young girl market to read this series now.  The cover itself would attract young girls. Batgirl is now more of a young adult... just starting college.  She is into selfies, online dating, college, and all that.  The bad guys in this comics are nuts!  One is like some sort of disco queen who wants to be just like Batgirl, one is a computer program, a couple are some cosplayers.  It is just kind of like nice bad guys... ones that children wouldn't be scared of.  That's the feeling I got from this comic.. not really written for adult readers.  I don't know.. maybe DC wanted to get a series out there that would attract a younger reading crowd into the comic world. DC said this wasn't a reboot... um.. yes it is.  It TOTALLY is.  3 out of 5
Thank you to Edelweiss and the publishers for a digital arc.

Next up... is a Batgirl from the new 52 series (before that new one above). This is the Batgirl I love.  The comic was a bunch of different stories mixed in. It was a little disjointed but I thought I was able to follow along. I think it was like this because Simone was trying to wrap things up for her run as the writer.  One of the stories I really liked was one about vampires and I would like to see other comics that might have that story in it. I think the Batwoman vol. 5 has the vampire stories in it too. The main story through all Batgirl comics has been a Knightfall storyline and it is wrapped up nicely.  I am really sad that this is the last Batgirl written by Simone.  The artwork is also something I have really loved in these comics.   I also miss the Birds of Prey comics which is Batgirl and her team.  They had a few scenes in this comic so I enjoyed that.  4 out of 5

I loved the novel of the Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, so when I found out it was going to be in graphic novel form I was super excited.  I checked out Volume 1 and thought it was great.  Such a good telling of the novel without really leaving out much.  There was one artist whom I just loved like last time.... but several artists are mixed in the book so I didn't get to enjoy their art for long.  I don't even know the name of the artist who I like the most since they are all mixed in and it confuses me.  I will say of course that you should read the novel first, which is amazing.  This was one of the better adaptations of a novel to a graphic novel that I have read.  I was so sick of all these books becoming graphic novels and they were just awful renditions. 3 out of 5

I have really loved the Aquaman comics.  Volume 5 has a new writer on board... which is kind of a bummer because I was loving the story so far.  Though.. most of that story was a Justice League crossover. In Volume 5 Sea of Storms we have a few story lines going at once like in the other volumes. Aquaman is still trying to be King of Atlantis trying to find respect from the residents of Atlantis. There is a high school reunion in the town Arthur Curry is from which is humorous. There is a crossover with Swamp Thing.  I never had an interest to read Swamp Thing but after reading about him in this comic I am actually interested in picking up his comic. Wonder Woman was brought into this issue so it adds a little Justice League to the mix.  All in all I enjoyed this comic and think Aquaman is still a strong DC title. 5 out of 5

This counts for 24 comics towards my 2015 Graphic Novels Challenge!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Shining by Stephen King- Review

Title:  The Shining
Author: Stephen King
Pages: 683 pages
Published: 1977
Source: owned paperback
Links: Stephen, goodreads fan group

Past horrors and evil lurk in Colorado's Overlook Hotel, threatening winter season caretakers Jack Torrance, his wife Wendy, and their young son, Danny. Gifted with the shining, a clairvoyant Danny must battle the darkest evil in the remote hotel in an attempt to save his family from its influence.

I love love Stephen King as many of you know.  This was my first Stephen King book way back in 2001.  My mom had always read King ... and so I finally gave his books a go and just fell in love. In 2013 I went to a Stephen King book signing and bought Doctor Sleep.  I have been so excited about Doctor Sleep but I just kept putting more and more books in front of reading it (which is why this year I am reading only books I own).  A friend of mine wanted to try out a King book last month so I told her I was in and would read the Shining with her!  Perfect timing.  Well.. my friend didn't make it through chapter 6 of the book.  She said it was too scary (and it wasn't even at the scary moments yet!!).  I kept reading.  I told my sister and my mom I was reading it so they decided to do a little readalong with me.  For my mom it was a reread and for my sister it's her first King book.  My sister is loving it!

Let's be clear for those of you who have not read the book and only seen the Shining's movie... not the same.  I know you hear this all the time but the suspense in the book is so much better then the movie.  Plus... King can't stand the Jack Nickleson movie.  So... let that tell you something.  Some of my readers may know that I run the Stephen King Fan Group on goodreads.  Pretty large group and there is a pretty large discussion on the Shining.  I love the idea of a haunted house... and The Shining is basically about a hotel (The Overlook) that haunts a caretaker and his family.  Sending them into madness!

One thing about this book is that it provokes a lot of thought.  Who exactly is haunting who.  Is Jack Torrance (the dad) just crazy? I can never decide if I like the character Jack.  He is a victim of the hotel, that's true.  But then again did he kind of allow it by being the type of character who is easily manipulated??  Danny, the star of the novel has what is called the Shining.  A kind of psychic ability where Danny can see the future, ghosts, things of the past, read thoughts, ext.  This is why I am excited to get started on the second book Doctor Sleep and see what happens to Danny as an adult.

I love that I live near the area where the hotel (The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park) is located.  Stephen King stayed here for a while and it inspired this book.  I have been to visit the Stanley many times and have even stayed there a few nights.  I wanted to stay in Stephen King's room but it is always booked up.   This year there is going to be a maze created outside the hotel (the maze is not in the book by the way).   I think it will be neat to go up there and visit it and go through it. Here are some pictures from the Stanley Hotel.

The 100 year old elevator

The Stanley is in the middle of a town

I just love this book... it is timeless.  The outdated technology makes it even more creepy (no cell phones/direct TV/ Internet/).  I recommend this being your first King book if you have never tried one before.

Doctor Sleep Review 

The crystal ball says:

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

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sunday Post

Let's chat about what's going on this week... on my blog.. on other blogs... on the internet... and just everywhere!    I link up my post to Sunday Post hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Reader.

Hello!!  Summer is finally here where I am.  We have been so cold and there is actual sunshine now.  My keyboard on my laptop broke... certain keys stop working.  Annoying.  So I finally took it in and had the keyboard replaced.  We'll see if that is what the problem was.  I am hoping so otherwise the money spent on the keyboard is a total waste. My garden is in.. I planted it early May and of course it snowed, and the temps got below freezing, then a friend's dog came over and dug it up.  So I had to plant it again.  With no sunshine and constant rain it hasn't really grown at all.  So we'll see how the garden goes this summer.

I didn't have a lot of posts for a while there.  That is because I was totally addicted to playing a video game at night and wasn't making time for reading or blogging.  Right now I am reading Stephen King's The Shining with my mom and my sister.  It is a re-read for both my mom and I but my sister is reading it for the first time.  I can't wait to see what she thinks.  I'll just into Doctor Sleep as soon as I am done with the Shining!

I of course have a summer cold.  Can't wait for it to be over and done with. I didn't expect to get sick at all since I don't know anyone else who is sick. 

On the blog:

Around the Blogospere:
Stealing our bookish photos- by Word Revel.  Such a great post... I agree with it!
Chatting all about book covers- guiltless reading
Rating book is hard work... Paper Fury

Have you guys heard about Kung Fury?????  I am sure you have right??  If not.. watch this epicness now.  You can thank me later!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Twelve Extraordinary Women by John MacArthur Review

Title: Twelve Extraordinary Women
Author: John MacArthur
Pages: 206 pages
Published: November 1st 2005 by Nelson Books
Source: Library, purchased ebook
Links: goodreads,

Celebrated for their courage, vision, hospitality, and spiritual giftedness, it's no wonder women were so important to God's plan revealed in the Old and New Testaments. It wasn't their natural qualities that made these women extraordinary but the power of the one true God whom they worshipped and served. In "Twelve Extraordinary Women," you'll learn more than fascinating information about these women, you'll discover-perhaps for the first time-the unmistakable chronology of God's redemptive work in history through their lives. These women were not ancillary to His plan, they were at the very heart of it. Some of the women you'll come to know include: Ruth (Ruth 1-4) Anna (Luke 2:36-38) Martha and Mary, sisters of Lazarus (Luke 10:38-42) Mary Magdalene (Matthew 27:56-61) Sarah (Genesis 11-25) Hannah (1 Samuel 1-2) The Samaritan woman (John 4 Mary, the mother of Jesus (Luke 1-2) You will be challenged and motivated by this poignant and personal look into the lives of some of the Bible's most faithful women. Their struggles and temptations are the same trials faced by all believers in all ages. And the God to whom they were so committed is the same God who continues to mold and use ordinary people today.
Ok, let's be honest. I am not much into reading religious books unless it's the Bible. Then last year I was having a difficult time so I decided to join a Bible study with my in-laws.  We do the Bible study over Facetime, my father in law usually leads it.  I was quite excited to be studying the women of the Bible.  I am fascinated with some of them.  The Bible study is a Protestant community, and I am the only Catholic in the group.

Each week we studied a different woman. I enjoyed reading about women I didn't really know too much about and finding inspiration from them.   Though one thing I felt about this book was that a lot of it was his opinion instead of stating facts. I found reading it that he kept saying that motherhood was the most important thing a woman could do.  This I don't agree with since I don't want kids.  Does that mean my life is worthless??   The book was nice and was good for a Bible Study.

The problem I personally had with this book was the chapter on Mary the Mother of Jesus.  As a Catholic we believe strongly in Mary .. very different from other religions.  I won't go into detail here because well... it's complicated.  Basically Catholic's take their beliefs about Mary from sources other then the Bible. That is hard for religious people who are of a faith that only take from the bible.  I talked in depth with my father-in-law about this but he wasn't going to change my mind about Mary and I was going to (or trying to) change his. I almost skipped the night of Bible study when we studied Mary but I thought.. well why not.  The study that night was just fine.. though still awkward.  

For those of you looking for a nice read about the Women in the Bible then this is a good book.  I liked having a book to study along with Bible study rather then just reading passages of the Bible and trying to find meaning in it. Bible study for us takes a break over the summer and starts back up in the fall.  I am hoping they pick another book to study.  When the book got to the chapter with Mary I realized I wanted to connect a little more with other Catholics... but otherwise the rest of the book didn't make me feel so different from other religions.

Have you read any great books about religion that really helped you study it???

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday - The Bazaar of Bad Dreams Stephen King

I love Stephen King's short stories!!! They are just fabulous!!   Some of these I have read so it's nice to see them in a collection.

The next short story collection containing many of the previously published but hard-to-find short stories published since Just After Sunset.

Author’s note
1. Mile 81 – Scribner e.
2. Premium Harmony – 2009 New Yorker
3. Batman and Robin Have an Altercation – Harpers 2012
4. The Dune – Granta 2011
5. Bad Little Kid – New; Serial
6. A Death
7. The Bone Church – poem
8. Morality – Esquire 2009
9. Afterlife – Tin House 2013
10. Ur – 2009 Amazon e.
11. Herman Wouk is Still Alive – The Atlantic 2011
12. Under the Weather – Mass Market FDNS
13. Blockade Billy – Scribner e.
14. Mister Yummy – New; Serial
15. Tommy – Playboy poetry
16. The Little Green God of Agony – A Book of Horrors 2011
17. That Bus is Another World - Esquire
18. Obits – New; Serial
19. Drunken Fireworks
20. Summer Thunder – Cemetery Dance 2013

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Mini Bloggiesta Summer 2015

 Summer Bloggiesta 2015

The idea behind Bloggiesta is to spend these next two days working on perfecting your blog and connecting with other bloggers who are doing the same thing. Spread the word and get all your friends to come and fiesta with us!  If you haven’t heard about Bloggiesta before, it’s a weekend (June 13-14) where we all sit down to work on our blogs, do those things we keep putting off, as well as network and meet new bloggers and participate in challenges and giveaways. Definitely check it out, it’s a lot of fun! 

I will update just this one post here so people don't keep seeing the same post over and over again.  So head here if you want to see my updates! I missed Spring Bloggiesta so I really need to do some catching up.   Here are my goals:

1.  I do this every time.  I moderate two book clubs on goodreads (Stephen King Fans and the Young Adult Book Club) and I need to moderate all the posts that happen on there.  I need to read through each and every thread/topic and use this weekend to do it since it takes so long and I have to stay caught up on it.
2.  Comment on blogs participating in Bloggiesta
3. Go through blogs I follow and stop following the ones that no longer blog, or that I don't stop by and visit.  Has anyone else noticed that every now and then Bloglovin throws in blogs for you to follow that you never followed before??? 
4. Back up Blog. 

I'll add more to my list as I read other people's list and they give me more ideas for things to do! 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Comic Adventures Issue # 23

I read a lot of comics and rarely review them here on the blog. That's because I really don't have a lot to say for an entire post.  So I thought I would review several comics on one post.  I will still review graphic novels on their own now and then, but this is where I will talk about super-hero type comics (DC/Marvel) or sequels to some that I have already reviewed.

This issue I talk about DC Universe VS Masters of the Universe, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol 3 Black Dossier, Wonder Woman Vol. 5 and Superman/Wonder Woman vol. 1.

First up DC Universe VS Masters of the Universe.  I really enjoyed this comic.  I love love all thing He-Man.  So when I saw this was out I couldn't wait to read it.  It has a villain (I won't spoil it for you but it's a He-Man character you wouldn't expect) who is working with Skeletor on Earth to capture it.  So He-Man heads to Earth to find Skeletor and of course runs into the Justice League.  The Justice League becomes controlled by Skeletor's magic so there is a big battle.  A lot of DC characters are in this comic, villains and heroes. Constantine is in this comic a lot and it really perked my interest in reading his comics. No She-Ra in this issue but I am guessing she will come back in He-Man vol. 3. 5 out of 5

Next up The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 3 Black Dossier. Why did I continue in this comic series?? WHY??  If you've kept up on my comic reviews you know I really loved vol. 1, vol 2 feel off but at least it still had the cool characters that Alan Moore had been using (literary characters/historical characters mixed up in the comic).  This one was just BLAH. We follow two of the characters from the first comics who apparently won't die and are getting younger???  The go to the old base and steal their Dossier.  Half the comic are like books that we have to read.  Entire sections that aren't the comic genre but long stories about who knows what.  They didn't seem relative to the story though I know probably if I had taken the time to read them I would've had more background.  The story was just them running around with this Dossier with really no purpose on where they were going.  Then at the very end of the comic they end up with this really WEIRD character and end up in a world I couldn't understand.  Then I started to think about it and the pictures and the coloring used made it look like it was supposed to be 3D. So I googled it and sure enough the whole end of the book was in 3D but I didn't have 3D glasses since I checked the book out from the library.  Disappointing. 1 out of 5.  

 I am enjoying the Wonder Woman comics soooo much!!  She is my favorite all time super hero and has been since I was a little girl. What I am enjoying the most is the mythological side of Wonder Woman is showing up in her comics.  The Justice League side of her is found in other comics... so this really is her own story.  There is still a battle for who is going to be lord of Olympus ... Apollo, the First Born??? Wonder Woman also takes her spot as God of War, or will she continue that???  I love the art in this series!!  I think eventually DC is going to cut in and add some other DC comic stories in.  For right now this series can be read as a stand alone without the readers having to have to read a bunch of other DC comics along with it. I read there is going to be a new writing team and a new artist so I am guessing that is going to happen after Vol. 6.  I hope they do as good of a job.  5 out of 5.

Superman/Wonder Woman was a comic I wasn't too sure about.  I have always been in the Batman/Wonder Woman camp... so that is a comic I would like to read.  Alas we have Superman and Wonder Woman.  I do enjoy it though because my husband's favorite superhero is Superman and mine is Wonder Woman so that does make it kind of cute.  The artwork in this comic is stunning.  I loved it.  The story was good too.  Basically we see these two try to balance love and saving the world. Wonder Woman doesn't mind if the world knows they are dating, and Superman of course wants to keep it all a secret. The Wonder Woman comics are mixed into this one with Apollo and Superman not getting along.  That is a neat fight to read about.  Honestly I am looking forward to see where this series goes.. started off great!  5 out of 5


This counts for 20 comics towards my 2015 Graphic Novels Challenge!!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Top Secret Twenty One by Janet Evanovich - Review

Title: Top Secret Twenty-One
Author: Janet Evanovich
Pages: 305
Published: June 17th 2014 by Bantam
Source: Library Ebook
Links: goodreads,
Trenton, New Jersey’s favorite used-car dealer, Jimmy Poletti, was caught selling a lot more than used cars out of his dealerships. Now he’s out on bail and has missed his date in court, and bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is looking to bring him in. Leads are quickly turning into dead ends, and all too frequently into dead bodies. Even Joe Morelli, the city’s hottest cop, is struggling to find a clue to the suspected killer’s whereabouts. These are desperate times, and they call for desperate measures. So Stephanie is going to have to do something she really doesn’t want to do: protect former hospital security guard and general pain in her behind Randy Briggs. Briggs was picking up quick cash as Poletti’s bookkeeper and knows all his boss’s dirty secrets. Now Briggs is next on Poletti’s list of people to put six feet under. To top things off, Ranger—resident security expert and Stephanie’s greatest temptation—has been the target of an assassination plot. He’s dodged the bullet this time, but if Ranger wants to survive the next attempt on his life, he’ll have to enlist Stephanie’s help and reveal a bit more of his mysterious past. Death threats, highly trained assassins, highly untrained assassins, and Stark Street being overrun by a pack of feral Chihuahuas are all in a day’s work for Stephanie Plum. The real challenge is dealing with her Grandma Mazur’s wild bucket list. A boob job and getting revenge on Joe Morelli’s Grandma Bella can barely hold a candle to what’s number one on the list—but that’s top secret.
I love this series about Stephanie Plum, the private investigator.  Honestly though.. the series kind of repeats itself with her love life/home life so really you can start reading here and still feel caught up with the series (if you read like books 1-5).  I read this book without even realizing that I had accidentally skipped the book before this one.  Oops.  I went to goodreads and that's where I realized I had missed it!  I will go back and read it for sure. For those who haven't read these books before they are really fast reads and kind of just fluff.  But every now and then I like to mix that into what I'm reading. If you look at my review for Notorious Nineteen I feel the same now as I did then... Stephanie should just grow up.  She needs to pick a man, find a job, get a house.. get some stability! But at the same time I keep going back to these stories. The only reason I can think that this series is still being written is because it is still selling.  Looking through other reviews we are all saying the same thing... the writing is just repeating itself.  But every time I say that I am going to quit the series I pick up the next book.

I read this as an ebook ... I am reading along seeing that I am at about 89% finished, I turn a page and BOOM the book is done. WHA??  Turns out that the other 11% is a preview of another one of Evanovich's book.  That was annoying and I felt this book ended abruptly.  Evanovich is writing several series now and it makes me wonder how she even has time to write Plum books.  Well the lack of new plot probably makes it easy for her.  As usual everyone complains about this book but keeps reading the series and I am totally in that club.  Guess I'll be reading the next book.

Ranger from the movie One For the Money

3 stars