Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Evil Eva Reviews... Pandemonium

EvilEva reviews ...... Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver.  

This is the SEQUEL to DELIRIUM!

Dissecting The Cover:

Um, I don't get this cover at all. I mean, I get that it matches the second Delirium cover (which also didn't make any sense.) (I'm also a little peeved because even though it does match the second cover, it totally does not match the first cover which is the copy that I own. So now my Delirium series won't look cohesive on my bookshelf. I'm being  punished for buying this book BEFORE it got out-of-control popular! I call shenanigans, Harper Collins!)
Anyway, I guess the foliage is supposed to represent the Wilds? Although there was never a point (nor would there ever be a point) when Lena would be frolicking among the flowers. It makes me wonder if whoever is responsible for these covers has even read the book between them.

Let's Review:

Lena made it over the fence and into the Wilds. Alex wasn't so lucky. Now Lena will have to learn to survive without him. Luckily she meets a girl named Raven who saves her from near-death and introduces her to a whole homestead of people like her and Alex.
People that don't believe love is a disease. People that believe you should have a choice. People against the Deliria-Free America organization. People with a plan to overthrow them.
After what happened to Alex, Lena is determined to join the fight.
With the help of her new found friends, Lena heads back to the city to put their plan into action.
But an incident with Julian Fineman, the son of the DFA's leader, could ruin it all. Or it could completely change everything.

Here's What I Think:

You may recall that I abso-fucking-lutely LOVED Delirium. Also that I've been stalking Lauren Oliver (in my mind only, of course) since reading Before I Fall. So obviously I was completely stoked when Pandemonium, the much anticipated sequel to Delirium, FINALLY came out.
And, of course, Lauren Oliver being the unbelievable author that she is, didn't disappoint this time around either.
Pandemonium starts off with Lena at some school in the present which is really the not-so-distant future because, if you'll remember correctly, last we left Lena she was headed for the Wilds NOT algebra class. The book ping-pongs from chapter to chapter, starting with this future "now," followed by "then" which chronicles Lena's time in the Wilds. It sounds confusing, I know, but give it a few chapters and I promise you'll sink into the story.
Even though this is the sequel to Delirium, it couldn't be more different. Where as the first book was more about falling in love, Pandemonium is more about survival. And while Lena was gutsy in Delirium, this time around she's downright badass. Cos, as it turns out, surviving in the Wilds is tough business, y'all. Especially when you've been sheltered your entire life.
So Lena has to harden herself and toughen up not only to make it through the day to day challenges of her new life but also so she can be ready to seek revenge against the people that took Alex away from her.
While we're on the subject of Alex--- and here's a bit of a SPOILER ALERT and also a mini rant for those that have read Delirium and thus feel my pain--- I CANNOT believe that Lauren Oliver would make us fall so completely butt-crazy in love with Alex only to let him be captured and possibly killed in the sequel! Yes, I know that's how Delirium ended, so I shouldn't be shocked that that's how Pandemonium starts, but I'm an optimist. All those many months anxiously awaiting the release of Pandemonium, my mind turned over the hundreds of thousands of scenarios in which Alex could have escaped, could still be alive, could have made it over the fence and reunited with Lena. But no. He's just gone. AWOL.
Lena thinks about him, sure, but then there's that Julian Fineman fella and that whole "trying to save their lives" thing that occupies her mind a little more. So it was kinda hard for me as an Alex fangirl and a Lena/Alex shipper, to suddenly be Alex-less and having this new guy thrust upon me that I'm supposed to be all swoony over now. But Alex is irreplaceable, y'all. I can't just jump on the Julian train simply because it's currently pulling into the station and my boy Alex is nowhere to be found. I'm completely loyal to my fictitious peeps that way. And crazy. I'm also crazy. ;)
Anyhoodle, other than the Alex withdrawal, Pandemonium is yet another fine feather in Lauren Oliver's awesome-writer cap.
And, my God!, with that ending!, it makes me even more excited for the final book! I can't even begin to imagine how it's all gonna end. But I can't wait to read it!

Swoony Times:

Since swoonypants Alex from Delirium is MIA in Pandemonium (is he dead!? is he imprisoned?! we don't know!) Lena needs a new guy to take her mind off her guilt/grief/sadness/Alex obsession.
Enter Julian Fineman, son of Thomas Fineman, the founder of the Deliria-Free-America organization. And while Julian does sound like a dreamboat being all blue-eyed and blond-haired, and while he does show amazing strength under pressure, and while he does seem to genuinely care about Lena, he's just not Alex. Lena may have been able to move on but I just can't. For me, it's as simple as that. Team Alex 4ever!

Bonus Shizz:

Dystopias are really hot right now. Sequels to dystopias? Even hotter.
And Pandemonium totally delivers. There's action, adventure, romance, drama. Everything you could possibly want in a futuristic world-gone-to-hell thriller!

Survival Of The Fittest!
The Wilds is a brutal place. You've got to know your shizz in order to survive. Lena's lucky enough to meet people right off the bat that are willing to show her the ropes.
Being a crafty MacGyver-type my damn self, I'm always interested to read about people finding inventive ways to do normal things they can no longer do normally. Plus there's the added bonus of totally preparedness for when that whole zombie apocalypse happens. Y'all come on over. I've got backup generators! :)
(P.S. sorry to tell anyone that hasn't read Lauren Oliver's series yet, but there are no zombies in it. Just an evil corporation that hates love.)

Some people don't care for cliffhangers but I love 'em. And Pandemonium has one hell of a cliffhanger. Obviously I can't (and won't) say more but let me just tell ya--- You. Will. Be. SHOCKED!

If You Liked That, Try This:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
Divergent by Veronica Roth.

The Scale Of Judgment Says:

...... 5!
This is Lauren Oliver. Blowing my mind. Yet again.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Evil Eva Reviews... The Fault In Our Stars

Evil Eva reviews ...... The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. 

Dissecting The Cover:

This cover is very simple which I think is great because the story is very complicated. I mean, it's about cancer, that's some serious biz, y'all. Yet the cover is completely void of anything screaming "Warning: This Is A Sad Cancer Book in Which Someone Will Invariably Die At The End."

Let's Review:

Hazel Grace Lancaster is a 16 year old girl living with cancer, relegated to attend a weekly Support Group with other sick kids lead by an peppy, testicular cancer survivor named Patrick in a church basement referred to as The Literal Heart of Jesus. It's all a little too depressing in Hazel's opinion.
She would much rather stay at home watching America's Next Top Model marathons or reading her favorite book, An Imperial Affliction, for the umpteenth time.
But then a chance encounter at the Support Group changes everything.
Because it's there that Hazel meets Augustus Waters. And Augustus Waters is amazing! He's sweet and funny and oh so charming. So, of course, Hazel finds herself falling in love with him. And Augustus is falling for her as well.
But Hazel is living on borrowed time and the last thing she wants to do is break Augustus's heart. In fact, she doesn't want to break anyone's heart. 
Hazel can't change her unfair fate, but maybe she can finally find something worth living for.

Here's What I Think:

Yeah, Hazel is 16 and has cancer and it's all so totally unfair. It's just a fact of her life. She's living to die. But she's not gonna make a big woe-is-me deal about it.
She's gonna go to her Cancer Kids Support Group meetings and roll her eyes along with her fellow cancer-having pal Isaac as they listen to the ridiculousness spewed by their overly optimistic group leader.
She's gonna sit around watching Tyra obliterate the dreams of young model hopefuls.
She's gonna obsess about the ending that wasn't really an ending of her favorite book.
This is how Hazel chooses to spend what little time she might have left.
Until she meets the devastatingly swoony Augustus Waters.
So Hazel puts her sad story on hold for awhile so she can begin her love story.
Like most teenagers, Hazel becomes consumed with her new crush. Augustus Waters is the air Hazel struggles to breath. and while I found this to be incredibly believable, there were times when I felt like Hazel was kinda rude to other people because her mind was so Augustus-centric. But then I remembered that she's only 16 and this is her first real love and she has this terrible disease and who knows how much time she might have left. So, in the grand scheme of things, a little boy obsession isn't that big of a deal.
And if you're gonna obsess over a certain boy, you could do a lot worse than the swoony-pants charm of Augustus Waters.
Augustus is basically a 17 year old George Clooney with a prosthetic leg.
He always feels "grand." He enjoys breaking cancer-caused tension by cracking jokes. And, HELLO!, he totally gave Hazel his one Cancer Kids Wish!
So, ok, it's pretty easy to see why Hazel went so completely gaga. But that doesn't mean she has to be so short with her mom, who may very well be The Best Mom EVER, and Isaac, who, with his wit and wisdom, completely won me over! In fact, special shout-out to Isaac! Cos while I liked Hazel and Augustus just fine, Isaac was by far my fave!
So yes, this is the story of a young girl with cancer. And yes, it's a story about death. But it's also about life. And love. And friendship. And family. Everything that is most important. All of the things that make life so worth living.

Swoony Times:

Augustus Waters is quite the charmer, y'all. He always knows the right things to say and do. It's no wonder Hazel falls for him.
He makes her laugh. He understands what she's going through. He doesn't get all Debbie Downer on her. He gives her his Cancer Kids Wish. He reads her favorite book so they have something to talk about. *book nerd sigh*
And, perhaps my favorite, Augustus always refers to Hazel by her first and middle name, i.e. Hazel Grace. I just thought that was really cute every time he said it! It doesn't take all that much to impress me. ;)

Bonus Shizz:

Book Lovers!
Hazel Grace is as fangirly about An Imperial Affliction as Augustus is fanboyish about The Price of Dawn. I love reading books about people that love reading books!  It gives me an immediate book nerd connection to them! ;)

Cool Parentals!
Both Hazel's and Augustus's parents are super cool. Given their rotten circumstances, (you know, that whole "their children will probably die before they do" thing) they remain positive and good-natured. And somehow they manage to keep their sense of humor too.  

If You Liked That, Try This:

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan.

The Scale Of Judgment Says:

...... 3.
Not just another weepy Cancer Book. Although -SPOILER ALERT- you probably will weep.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Who Will Direct Catching Fire And Other Books Into Movies Linky-Dinkage

*Yes we're all super sad that Gary Ross is stepping down from finishing off the directing duties of The Hunger Games franchise but lets mourn that shit and get over it because Catching Fire has a director! And it isssssssssss..... Francis Lawrence, the director of such movies as I Am Legend and Water For Elephants. So we'll just have to wait and see how he does. What i'll be even more interested in is when the casting decisions kick off. Who do you think should play Finnick and Johanna?

*There's been a new edition to the Beautiful Creatures cast. Kyle Gallner (aka Beaver, or, excuse me, Cassidy from Veronica Mars) will play the role of Larkin. Still not quite sure how i feel about this book as a movie. What do you guys think?

*The zombie love story, Warm Bodies written by Isaac Marion, will be headed to the big screen soon. i don't know too much about the casting choices yet but i do have two names. Nicholas Hoult will star as R and James Franco's little bro, Dave will also appear in the movie. Don't know who he'll be playing though.

*Disney has acquired the rights to tell the tale of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. As a movie, this might just be awesome. We'll have to wait and see. No news about who might star in the film yet.

The peeps over at Palomar Pictures scooped up the movie rights to Julie Kagawa's vampire dystopian novel, The Immortal Rules before the book was even officially released last month. i haven't read it yet but i do love me a good dystpoian and adding vampires to the mix seems like an interesting choice.

The creator of the saucy, sexy Sookie Stackhouse series (also known as True Blood by TV fans) Charlaine Harris might have another series heading to the small screen. The Harper Connelly mystery series may be coming to SyFy going by the name Grave Sight. i don't have any stars for you yet but this is some news i'll be sure to keep my eye on. (i'm a Truebie, duh!)  

Lionsgate has hired screenwriter Charlie Kaufman to adapt The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness into a movie. This could be pretty amazing. i wonder who will win the roles of Todd and Viola. Got any ideas? Tell me about it in the comments.

This summer Greg Heffley & Co. are back for a third time in Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3: Dog Days. Looks like more silly summer fun. Check out the trailer: 

Lastly, let's all get super hyped about new Pretty Little Liars!!! The amazingly soapy show will be back with its summer premiere starting June 5th. Now that A has been captured, what do you think is gonna go down? Can the girls possibly stay out of trouble this season? Yeah, i don't think so either. But i can't wait to see what kind of dramz our fave little liars get mixed up in next!

Aw. Pour one out for this crazy lil' nugget.
That's all the scoop i've got for you now. But be sure to check back soon cos i'm always finding new Books Into Movies (and TV) news to blog about!