Thursday, July 28, 2011

EvilEva Reviews... Pretty Little Liars: Twisted

EvilEva reviews...... Pretty Little Liars: Twisted by Sara Shepard. 
Pretty Little Liars series.

Warning! Spoilers!

It's been a year since that ill-fated trip to the Poconos. A year since The Real Ali died in that fire. A year since the last of A's torturous texts were sent.
So Spencer, Aria, Hanna and Emily should be feeling relieved, happy and semi well-adjusted now.
But 10 months ago, something happened in Jamaica during spring break. Something the girls can Never Speak Of Again. Something so bad that it has fractured their friendship.
Now the girls aren't even talking. But A is. Oh yes, A is back from the dead, knows all and is ready to use their secrets against them.
Seems those Pretty Little Liars will never learn.

So, much like the girls, we thought this was all over but then A (and Sara Shepard) gives us another scandalous secret and pulls us back in (and will continue to do so for at least 3 more books!)
This time around the girls have done a VERY dirty deed, like waaaaay worse than The Jenna Thing. It's so bad that they can't even talk to each other anymore. They don't wanna be reminded of what went down. But, of course, the Little Liars secrets never stay buried for long. And, as I mentioned before, A is suddenly back with a vengeance.
But what of our Pretty Littles?
Here's a rundown of the naughtiness of each girl:

Aria is still dating Noel Kahn and things seem to be going well. Until a super hot foreign-exchange student named Klaudia moves into Kahn manor. Now Aria is totally jealous. And she has a right to be. Even though Klaudia is nice to Aria's face, she definitely has her eye on Noel and is ready to push Aria's ass completely out of the picture.

Emily has a juicy secret of her own. It's why she quit the swim team and is now scrambling for a scholarship. On the plus side, she's made a new friend. A girl named Chloe whose family just moved into the Cavanaugh's old place. Chloe is nice and her dad is a big donor for the University of North Carolina and he's more than willing to help Em get a scholarship. But he's also a pervert, making advances toward Emily and generally making her uncomfortable. She doesn't know if she should say something to Chloe and risk losing yet another friendship or if she should just toss this secret on top of her growing pile.

Hanna's dad is running for Senate. So things in her world are very red, white and blue right now. When a photographer favors her over stepsis Kate, Hanna thinks that she's on her way to becoming America's Next Top Model (completely bypassing Tyra and The Jays, no less.) But it turns out this guy might not be totally on the up and up. So Hanna gets in a little hot water and needs some serious cash to keep the photographer quiet and remain in daddy's good graces.

Spencer got off fairly unscathed in this book. Her mother has moved on from her lying, cheating, Ali-fathering ex, to a new man, the ridiculously named Mr. Pennythistle who plans on marrying Spencer's mom. Which would be totally fine if Spencer didn't have the hots for her soon-to-be stepbrother, Zach, who has a secret of his own. But the "What Happens Next..." portion promises that Spencer has been just as bad as the other girls and we'll find out her secrets soon enough.

And there's still the whole Jamaica Thing. We find out what happened on spring break in Twisted. And lets just say it wasn't ta-ta flashing for a couple of lousy beads either. But we don't get all the info. Duh! That's what books 10-12 are for!
And there's this new A. That could possibly be the old A. Maybe? Could it be? But she died in that fire! Didn't she? DIDN'T SHE?!?!
We'll have to stay tuned for book #10: Ruthless. (Coming to a bookshelf near you December 6th.)
If you liked the first 8 books and are a fan of the TV series then you'll probably like Twisted. There's a new mystery and a few new characters. But more importantly there are all new secrets and lies and a creepo stalker just waiting to let them out!

The Scale of Judgment says...... 4.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Peeta And Gale: Unveiled

So first they gave us a glimpse of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss and now Entertainment Weekly is giving the boys their turn. Here is a look at Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth as Peeta and Gale...  

And here is my reaction to this photo...
What the what?!?!
Why does Peeta look so pissed off? He's supposed to be the sweet bread maker! Instead he looks like he's about to bitch slap the photographer. And why does he look like a ginger? He's supposed to be blond!
And Gale looks like a pussy. He looks like a male model, not a hunter that wants to overthrow the Capitol and defend his family! And why the fudgesticks is his shirt tucked in?!?! It makes him look like some sorta sexy ranch hand on the cover of a cheesy romance novel! Like he would shovel shit and then grope your heaving bosom in the barn!

i wasn't really sure about these two as our Peeta and Gale to begin with and now i'm a little freaked because seeing them in their Hunger Games garb has done nothing to soothe my worried mind.
i just REALLY hope they don't fuck this movie up. i mean, think about it, this is all we have left to look forward to. There will be no Harry Potter salve to put on our hearts for bad book-into-movie end products.
Hopefully the odds will be ever in our favor on this one. *crosses fingers*

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The TBR Back Burner Challenge: Round 7 Reviews

So, we are right in the thick of summer now and being such I think it's time that I bust out the summer reads. So here are the reviews for two beachy, summery, road trippy books that have been sitting patiently in my TBR pile waiting for hotter weather to lure me to their summery goodness.

EvilEva reviews...... The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han.
Belly measures her life in summers. Every year she leaves town with her mother and older brother, Steven and travels to the sandy shores of Cousins Beach. There they meet up with her mother's best friend, Susannah and her two sons, Conrad and Jeremiah in the beach house they've owned for as long as Belly can remember.
This year Belly looks forward to sunning, swimming and swooning over Conrad. But Conrad is acting all aloof and soon Belly finds a new guy named Cam to help her forget about Con and his crumby attitude. But even though she likes Cam she can't stop thinking about Conrad.  And now Jeremiah seems like he might be interested in Belly as more than just a friend too.
It's all so teen-angsty confusing! Seems like "turning pretty" might not be all it's cracked up to be.

I really wanted to like this one because it was recommended to me be the fantabulous ladies over at YA Crush (it's a great book blog run by two hilarious Michael Moscovitz lovers! Check it out.) but I just couldn't get into it.
I didn't really care for Belly's voice. I found her to be whiny, selfish and a bit on the conceited side. Which I guess is kinda par for the teenage girl course but still. I felt like she never really redeemed herself for having such suckish qualities. There was a lot of talk about this being "the year she turned pretty," the year people (boys mostly) finally started noticing her, a time when she should start to grow up and mature slightly faster than her boobs have. But she doesn't. She remains semi-annoying Belly throughout the entire book (even after she learns something pretty devastating about Susannah.)
Something else I found a bit disappointing was the lack of swoon. With THREE boys to choose from, there should have been swoon aplenty. There should have been panty-melting, heart-a-twittering, knee-weakening, butterfly-inducing swoon. But I didn't feel it. Conrad was a douchebag. He ignored Belly most of the time and when he wasn't ignoring her he was being kinda assy to her. And yet Belly was tee totes in love with him forevs, even while dating Cam.
Cam seemed like a nice enough guy except he let Belly walk all over him and was kind of a pussy when it came to her. But maybe that's just because he knew she wasn't really that into him and he was trying his hardest, by giving in to her every whim, to get her to like him. 
Then there was Jeremiah. He was my fave of the three guys. To me though, their relationship gave off a "in the friend zone" vibe and it seemed like Jeremiah didn't really mind that until the end of the book when all of a sudden he too is in love with Belly. 
But really, Cam and Jeremiah didn't even matter cos Belly only had eyes for Conrad. For some reason. 
On the Rate-A-Date-O-Meter, if there is such a thing, I'd give Belly and Conrad a Carrie and Mr. Big. That's what I was reminded of the whole time I was reading this book. Because, much like Carrie with Big, Belly is obsessed with Conrad. She thinks about him even though she's with another guy (a nice guy who is completely moony over her and actually treats her well.) She'll drop everything and everyone just so she can spend one moment with him (even if he spends that moment ignoring her.) It's like he's her life force. Without Conrad there is no Belly. Which is pretty sad. 
So this just wasn't the book for me. It didn't have any particularly funny parts or any sexytimes. The chapters alternate between present Belly and past Belly. And, sadly enough, there's not much of a difference between the two.

The Scale of Judgment says...... 2 and a half.

EvilEva reviews...... Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson.
Amy is having a difficult summer. Her father unexpectedly died a few months ago, her twin brother Charlie is stuck in a rehab facility in North Carolina and after being all alone for weeks Amy now has to drive from the only home she's ever known to join her mother in a new house, in a new city, on the other side of the country. 
The problem? Amy doesn't drive.
So her mother has enlisted Roger, a friend's son, to get Amy and their car from California to Connecticut. 
What starts out as an awkward trip, perfectly, boringly mapped out by mom, quickly turns into a surprising, awesome epic detour!

I LOVED this story! I LOVED these characters! Roger is sheer awesome sauce! His name has now officially been added to my Book Boyfriend Hall Of Fame. And I would totes be BFFs with Amy any day! They both seemed very real to me. I liked the fact that, in the beginning, Amy was a little wary and uncomfortable traveling across the country with someone she barely knew and how the further they went she began to loosen up and unravel the story of why she doesn't drive, refuses to wear sunglasses and can't bear to listen to Elvis anymore.
Roger was the perfect road trip companion for her. He was sweet and funny and nice and was very compassionate towards her and everything she'd been through. 
I thought that Amy and Roger's somewhat lukewarm friendship slowly and steadily turning into something more was totally swoontastical! It's like 200+ pages of adorable foreplay!
I even loved the secondary characters. Walcott, Bronwyn and Lucien were all great in their own ways. And even though they only occupied about one to two chapters, they still made a distinct impression and had their specific roles to play to move the story along.
I also liked that Morgan Matson described the journey in such rich detail. It made me feel like I was in the backseat along for the ride. I thought the scrapbook element and the multitude of playlists was a cool bonus too. 
This book made me wanna take my own road trip immediately. It also spurred me to make my own Epic Detour Playlist (which I've included below.)
Amy and Roger's Epic Detour is a fantastic book about love, lose and the courage it takes to move on. I would HIGHLY recommend this book especially right now in July cos it would make the PERFECT beach read!

The Scale of Judgment says...... 5!

EvilEva's Epic Detour Playlist #1

"Taking Cues From Roger" aka "Because I Heart Music" aka "I Also Love Lists"

Song Title                                   Artist

"Right Now"                                SR71
"So Long, Astoria"                     The Ataris
"Back To California"                 Sugarcult
"Vegas"                                        New Found Glory
"Be My Escape"                         Relient K
"Our Time Now"                        Plain White Ts
"Good Life"                                One Republic
"Uncharted"                               Sara Bareilles
"Movin' On"                               Good Charlotte
"Crazy Ride"                               Michelle Branch
"It's Alright"                               MxPx
"Maps"                                        Yeah Yeah Yeah's
"Wish You Were"                      Kate Voegele

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Books Into Movies News Plus Spoilerrific Harry Potter Finale Goodness

One of my favorite YA book series, The Luxe by Anna Godbersen, will soon be getting a Hollywood movie makeover. Which has me kinda concerned as it's being described as "a young Moulin Rouge."
That worries me because, for one thing, this book is NOTHING like Moulin Rouge, and secondly, i HATED Moulin Rouge! So. Fingers crossed they won't fuck this one up.

Ally Carter's Heist Society (which is TBRing it on my shelves right now) will also be going from book to movie soon, with Drew Barrymore signed on as one of the producers. No word on who will star in it yet but i'll keep you posted.

Popular kid-lit, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, which will apparently be known simply as Hugo in Martin Scorsese's movie version, finally has a trailer out. Check it out:

Two words. Hit. Girl!!! i think Chloe Moretz is beyond awesome! Plus she's got a really good British accent! The movie looks pretty interesting. i still haven't read the book yet but i'm thinking it might need to be added to the ol' teetering TBR pile.

And now, finally, the Harry Potter finale goodness! So...

Depending on how far you've read/viewed:

So, other than breaking all kind of box office records, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is fucking AWESOME!!! OMG!!! So obvs i just got back from seeing it. i went with 2D but, honestly, i kinda wish i had sprung for that extra D.
The special effects were incredible. The whole movie is so super tense. When i left the theater my legs were stiff from being scrunched up so tight. i was worried bout my peeps, y'all.

Stand-out moments? Lets see...
Not to sound like a perv or anything but the Ron/Hermione kiss was swoontastic!
Molly Weasley kicking Bellatrix's ass. And calling her a bitch!
Neville champing it up all while rocking a Cosby/Mr. Rogers hybrid sweater like only Neville can.
Also Neville slicing Nagini is truly a cheerworthy moment.
Snape! Oh the Snapeyness!
Harry's badass wand fight against Voldemort.
Snape's emotional flashback. Alan Rickman did a phenom job of taking his character from monotone to vulnerable.
The dragon ride was so visually amazing.

Ok. For reals? i totally wanna go see this movie again!
However, my advice to you, dear friends, would be this:

When you go--- DON'T take a Muggle with you. They ask too many questions which then distracts you, a Hogwarts alum, from completely enjoying the movie. Seriously. At one point my mom turned to me, gasped and said "Oh my God! Is Snape Harry's daddy?!" Mom. Seriously? Calm it down with this ridiculousness. Now lets go get our 3D tickets for next weekend. :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Super Nostalgic Book Flashback Challenge: Round 6 Part 2 Reviews

It's time for even more Christopher Pike so-bad-it's-goodness! And for such an occasion (and because I've noticed a few consistencies in Mr. Pike's novels) I've decided to introduce to you The Christopher Pike Mini Drinking Game! Bottoms up, y'all!

The Christopher Pike Mini Drinking Game
Take a shot whenever one or more of the following occurs:
*a stupidly named character is introduced.
*the teen or teens that have done A Bad Thing don't get punished for said Bad Thing.
*someone mysteriously dies/disappears exactly one year ago.
*someone suddenly wants to solve the death/disappearance of exactly one year ago.
*there are way too many characters in the scene to keep up with.
Now get ready to get your drank on!

EvilEva reviews...... Scavenger Hunt by Christopher Pike. 

Circa: 1989.

Dissecting The Cover:
Because you can judge a book by its cover!
*Three tackily dressed teens are all "what the what?!" at footprints in a graveyard. Which is odd since there was no talk of footprints nor graveyards in this book.
*The tagline to this tale reads:
Pray they don't find what they're looking for...
Um, they're looking for clues so they can win a trip to Hawaii, they're not looking for One-Eyed Willy's rich stuff. Take it down a notch, book cover.

Lets Review:
It's the end of the school year, y'all. And you know what that means... time for a scavenger hunt apparently! Teacher/weirdo Mr. Partridge (who didn't tour the country making sweet, sweet music on a multi-colored bus with his family that also happens to be a band) placed clues all over the city. The first team to find all 10 clues will win a one week all expense paid vacay to Hawaii! Yay!
Carl is excited to join his BFF who may have been kicked in the head or something, Tom; his slutty stupidly-named crush, Cessy and Cessy's DoucheMcNugget brother, Davey.
But Tracie really wants Carl to join her team which consists of her BFF Paula and Paula's wheelchair-bound younger bro, Rick, cos Tracie has totes had a crush on Carl forevs.
But Carl lets his boner be his guide and chooses Cessy's team over Tracie's. Foreshadowing Alert- big mistake, Carl.
So the teams set out to scavenge it up. But they both get stuck on a clue. Perhaps frozen milk products will help jump start their brains. So Tracie goes to get everyone ice cream. But holy creepy fucking shit, Batman! Tracie spies Cessy totally making out with..... her own brother!?! So Tracie heads back to the group wondering how she started out in a Christopher Pike novel and has now somehow stumbled into a V.C. Andrews one.
Anyhoodles, Carl's team figures the clue out first and heads for the desert. And that is when shizz starts getting heavy, y'all. There's a weird purple house that reeks and a freaky lizard with black blood and Cessy and Davey start acting odd. Like odder than licking your brother's face odd.
They have lead Carl to the place where he and his former BFF Joe went for a hike A Year Ago. Well A Year Ago there was a terrible storm, they were stuck in a gully, Carl made it to higher ground, Joe didn't, he got washed away and Carl has felt guilty ever since. So it's pretty much the last place Carl wants to be.
Why exactly have these icky siblings brought Carl here? Well because this area also happens to be where the mine/cave/whatever where the lizard people make their sacrifices so they can live forever is located. Yeah. Lizard people. Cessy and Davey are lizard people. And Joe washed into their mine/cave/whatever and so they brought him back to life as Tom. Yeah. Tom is Joe! And they plan on sacrificing Carl so they can continue being incestuously creepy forever.
But then Tracie's team arrives to save the day! But oh noes! Cessy kills Rick! And now they're gonna kill Carl. But Carl hauls ass and ends up in a church. He confesses his sins to a priest. The lizard twins show up and kill the priest. And now it's time for a showdown in the church.
But Cessy has apparently been touched by Jesus cos suddenly she's communicating with the girls- telepathically- how to kill Davey McDoucheface. Tracie douses him with vodka (which I believe there is a great abundance of at every church), Paula goes to light his ass on fire but Davey is too quick and knocks the lighter from her hand.
Then he turns around to Cessy so he can gloat. Bad move, dickhead. Cos Carl straight-up stabs this mofo! Davey is done for. We forgive Cessy for killing Rick and making out with her douchey brother cos she kinda ended up saving everyone. Tom/Joe has to leave for reasons I don't quite understand. Paula has a sad over that. And Carl realizes that even though Tracie isn't as hot as Cessy at least she's not part lizard. And Tracie should feel super lucky for winning such a prize. *hits sarcasm button*

Say Whaaat!?!:
And the most ridiculous line in the entire book goes to...
Tracie for being so totally 80s:
Besides the finest selection of videos in town, it had tons of records, cassettes and CDs. Of course, very few people in Express could afford a CD player, so they wouldn't be selling too many of those.
Oh well, that doesn't matter. I'm almost positive this whole "compact disc" thing isn't going to catch on. No way! Everyone knows that 8 tracks are gonna be the wave of the future. Fuck musical devices that allow me to listen to any song I want at any time I want to listen to it! Who needs the option to fast forward or, crazier still, completely skip a song you don't like altogether?! 8 tracks, baby, 8 tracks!

EvilEva reviews...... Master of Murder by Christopher Pike.
Circa: 1992.

Dissecting The Cover:
*There's a guy hunched over a computer whom I'm guessing is supposed to be Marvin, our teenage YA author/millionaire/protagonist even though the guy appears to have a few gray hairs and the beginnings of a bald spot. Sexy on any teenage boy, no?
*The computer he's hunched over is very 90s. The keyboard is connected to the computer by one of those spiral-y phone cord-looking cables. Plus it's got a slot for floppy disks. Floppy disks!
*Oh and there's a dead chick in a hideous outfit dead on the floor.
*The tagline reads:
He wrote about his own murder...
WTF? How did he do that? Is he a zombie author?

Lets Review:
Marvin Summer is Mack Slate, YA horror writer extraordinaire! But shhh don't tell cos he doesn't want anyone to know. He's like the 90s Hannah Montana. Except instead of singing horrible pop songs and being related to the mullet-headed Billy Ray Cyrus, Marvin writes horrible books and is the son of an alcoholic and a doucheface. But don't cry for him Argentina cos Marvin is a best-seller! He's got serious bank and a motorcycle! Now if he could just get up the courage to ask hotsy-totsy Shelly out on a date and finish his highly anticipated final book which he hasn't even started yet.
Marvin decides to put the book-writing on the back burner cos really that's only paying his bills and all. Instead he's gonna fast-track asking Shelly out cos she's got like, a magical vagina or something. So he asks her out and she agrees even though she's still semi upset/fragile/grieving over what happened to her boyfriend Harry A Year Ago. See, everyone thinks Harry committed suicide cos he was found floating in the lake. But Shelly thinks that he was murdered. And for some reason she wants her new boyfriend to help her find the possible killer of her old boyfriend. Cos that's not weird at all.
Well Marvin wants to be all up in Shelly's vaghole so he'll agree to pretty much anything she asks of him. So Marvin starts doing research, reading police reports and autopsy reports which I'm so sure are readily available to the viewing public.
Marvin goes to see Shelly to discuss Harry's not-suicide and also to hopefully behold her magical vagina. But he finds her in the hot tub canoodling with the stupidly-named Triad, resident jock and former best friend of the very dead Harry.
Marvin is crushed. And now he wants to kill Triad. Plus he thinks he's figured out what happened to Harry A Year Ago:
Much like Ross and Rachel, Shelly and Harry Were On A BREAK!!!, so Shelly decided to slum it with Marvin. Marvin thinks that this probably infuriated Harry so he thinks that Harry decided to rig this elaborate rope and oil doohickey in order to trip Marvin right off his bike and kill him for stealing Shelly and her magical vagina. He apparently got this plan by consulting the Acme Guide To Good Ideas by Wile E. Coyote.
Anyhoo, Marvin thinks that something went terribly wrong. (No shit, Marvin, he died.) He thinks that the rope slipped and Harry accidentally hung himself then fell in the river and was washed to the lake.
So, since clearly this plan worked out so well for Harry, *hits sarcasm button* Marvin decides to sell his motorcycle to Triad and rig the EXACT SAME ROPE AND OIL SCENARIO for him! Only I'm assuming he's hoping for slightly better results.
So Triad's scooting along on Marvin's bike and Marvin is getting ready to kill him but then Marvin notices that Shelly and her magical vagina are also on the bike! Oh noes! The love of his life that cheated on him within the first 3 days they got together! And her magical vagina!
So Marvin drops the rope and screams her name. But the bike hits the oil and starts to slide. Having dropped the rope, Marvin slips and nearly falls off the bridge to his death just like Harry. Triad and Shelly are ok but now Triad wants to cut the rope and send Marvin crashing to the waters below. Shelly and her magical vagina try to stop him but Triad will not be stopped so, like a proper gentleman that doesn't want to have his date see him get violent, he knocks her out. Her vagina loses some of its power.
Triad and Marvin scuffle. Triad finally cuts the rope. But Marvin grabs onto a piece of wood underneath the bridge and fakes like he falls. When Triad goes to make sure that Marvin is done in for reals he gets Marvin's boot to his face.
Marvin manages to get back on the bridge. Shelly finally comes to. Triad grabs her and threatens to kill her. 
But Marvin has learned his lesson about magical vaginas. They're not all that they're cracked up to be. And sometimes they canoodle with other dudes business in hot tubs. So he's all "meh. go ahead and kill her." And he jumps on his hog and leaves town to finish his book.
He finally does and comes back and announces to his school and the world that he is Mack Slate cos he's tired of living a lie or whatever but really just wants to get the recognition and perhaps the chance to find some other magical vagina.
But he can't help wonder what happened to Shelly. And her magical vagina. And Triad.
He goes to the lake to think and who should he come across but none other than Shelly with her magical vag in tow. She killed Triad (and suffered NO consequences for doing so, mind you.) whom, it turns out, had killed Harry last year because the allure of Shelly's vagina is so strong that it can cause a guy to kill his own best friend, lie about it for a year, then totally try to date the aforementioned best friend's girlfriend after killing the aforementioned best friend. 
Instead of being completely horrified that his lady love is a straight-up murderess, Marvin makes out with her and dreams of some day writing a novel dedicated to Shelly's magical Georgia O'Keefe. 

Say Whaaat!?!:
And the most ridiculous line in the entire book goes to...
Triad, for trying out his own brand of justice:
"You tried to kill us. That's a capitol offense. You have to pay for it. You have to die."
Yeah. I know little to nothing about legalese but I'm pretty sure that's not how the death penalty works.

That's all the nostalgia I've got for you this month. 
Man. Reading Christopher Pike has me kind of exhausted, you guys. I think next month I'll go for something a little lighter. Perhaps I'll finally start the BSC: Little Sister series. 
Got comments? Dish any and all shizz below.