Saturday, 31 March 2012

Supernatural: Party On, Garth


Tonight we welcomed back D.J. Qualls as the hunter, Garth! I loved him in his first Supernatural episode, and I'm glad to see him return!

Party On, Garth begins at a campsite. Some teens are telling ghost stories around a campfire when another teen shows up drunk.
He's apparently the brother of one of the guys already there, and the drunken boy suddenly seems to see something terrifying.
He runs off and we hear a scream. His brother comes across his mangled corpse lying on a path in the woods.
Interesting open!

Next we see Garth, who rides into town in his El Camino, blaring Bel Biv Devoe. Who didn't laugh at that?!
Garth, masquerading as a cop, speaks to two of the girls who were at the campsite. They tell him it was a local ghost who killed the boy, and Garth goes to the cemetery and burns the bones.

We then flash to the boy who found his brother dead in the woods. We see him drinking in his car, then walking through the forest with a shotgun.
Sadly, the gun doesn't help him as he's killed and hung in a tree by something unseen.

Garth is speaking on his phone as he hears that another person has been killed, even though he'd burned the bones of the local ghost.
He decides to call in the boys for help.

The Winchesters meet with 'Corporal James Brown' (LOL) at the morgue. They realize the dead boys are brothers.
Garth brings them up to speed while Sam figures out that the boys father owns the local brewery.

They head to the brewery where they talk to Randy Baxter, one of the co-owners. Randy is played by Canadian icon, Terry David Mulligan, which was such a great surprise!
My generation of Canadians will remember him from Much Music. He looks great, doesn't he?

Back at the home of the family in mourning, the youngest sister accidentally takes a drink of mommy's vodka and OJ. Whoops!
She spies a crazy-looking The Grudge reject...who promptly kills her mother. The problem? Daddy doesn't see the ghost at all.

Back at the motel, Garth Vader (how's that for a nod, DJ? ;) ) is fixing his broken EMF detector as they all have a beer. Garth downs his and gets a wee bit tipsy.
They hear on the scanner about the death of the mother and Dean and Garth head there.
With Mr. Fizzles' help, they speak to the youngest daughter who tells Mr. Fizzles that a monster killed her mommy, and she could see it because she'd accidentally had a drink of her mommy's grown-up drink.

Sam goes to speak with the widow of the third partner of the brewery, Dale, who'd recently committed suicide.
She explains why she's suing the company and tells Sam about the bottle of Saki he'd given his two former partners as a gift.

Back in the car, Dean and Garth figure out that the ghost is a spirit you can only see while you're drunk.
Dean takes a drink from his flask and Garth asks him about it. Dean explains that it was Bobby's flask and we see a quick flashback. Garth is remembering his fixed EMF detector going off while it's near the flask.
Aaaaand, I got teary. Of course. :P
Garth asks if Dean thinks Bobby might still be hanging around them and Dean refuses to talk about it.

The Winchesters meet at the brewery where they find that the Saki has been opened. They spy a security camera in the office. They get drunk and then watch the tape. They easily see the creepy Grudge ghost escaping the Saki bottle after one of the dead boys opens it.
Randy catches them while they're drinking in the office and Garth quickly tasers him.

The boys discover that the words on the Saki box speak of an alcohol spirit. And now they know what they're dealing with!
As Randy sleeps off his tasered-ness in the hot tub, the guys and Garth google alcohol spirits and find out that Dale probably sent the spirit after his two former partners.
They also learn that to kill it, they need to find a blessed samurai sword.

Garth again brings up Bobby when his EMF detector goes off, and Sam confesses that he's already tried to speak to Bobby...but got no reply.

After Randy wakes up, Garth figures out that he does indeed have a kid. He gathers up the mini-bar's mini-bottles and heads to the brewery to find Randy's illegitimate son.

Dean gets the Japanese chef to bless the sword he found at a pawn shop, and then, after a call from Garth, also heads to the brewery.
Dean then calls Sam, who's also drunk because he was at a bar keeping an eye on the McGann's oldest daughter, and Sam also heads to the brewery.
Now we have complete hilarity in the making!

Garth tries to protect the janitor/son-of-Randy, but the ghost easily tosses him through a window and knocks him out cold.
Luckily Sam comes in for the rescue...but is also easily thrown into a wall and knocked out.
It's now all up to Dean...who can't even SEE the ghost because, for once, he HASN'T been drinking! Oh, the irony!

The ghost knocks the sword out of Dean's hand and, in a wonderful scene that made me squeal so loudly that I had to rewind my PVR so I could go back and see what I missed, the sword mysteriously slide across the floor and back into Dean's waiting hand.
Oh. Em. GEE!!!!!!!!

Sam wakes just in time to tell Dean where the ghost is, and after a bit of slashing, Dean finally plants the sword into the ghosts gut. The ghost poofs into oblivion.

Sam and the janitor get Garth and Dean turns to look behind him, at the spot where the sword lay on the floor. Dean speaks to the room, asking Bobby if he's there. He pleads with Bobby to 'do something'.
He gets no reply, and we see Sam watching from around the corner.

The next morning, the boys say goodbye to Garth with hugs and he drives off, still blaring Bel Biv Devoe.

Sam tries to talk to Dean about what he overheard at the brewery. Dean explains about the empty beer, the book falling to the floor and the card popping out (all things I mentioned here when they happened, by the way!).
Sam brushes everything off as coincidence. Friggin' Sam!
Dean starts to believe that, saying that if anyone would be able to contact them as a ghost, it would be Bobby.

As the boys leave the hotel room....tears roll down my face.
Bobby is standing there, in the room.

Dean returns to the room because he's forgotten something, and Bobby smiles wide when Dean moves toward him.
Dean grabs the flask that's on the table next to Bobby, and Bobby's face drops as he realizes Dean still can't see him. In pure Bobby fashion, he exclaims, "I'm right here, ya idjit!"
Dean leaves the room and a pissed off Bobby says, "Balls!" as he poof out of sight.

So, wow. WOW. LOVED, LOVED this episode!
First, D.J. Qualls is amazing and I wish Garth would become a semi-regular on the show. He's a great comic relief and he brings out the best on the boys when they need it the most.

Second, BOBBY!!!! I KNEW IT! I KNEW HE WAS STILL THERE!!!
....ahem....Sorry about that. ;)

But seriously, how sad was that? Gah, he's trying so hard to be seen and the boys have just been looking right through him. :(


Highlights:
-D. J. Qualls performance. Love that guy!
-Bel Biv Devoe. Ha!
-Garth drunk!
-Sam trying to assist Dean fight the ghost he can't see.
-The sword sliding across the floor.
-BOBBY!!!

Best Lines:
-"You've been Garthed"-Garth, after burning the bones.
-"I Garthed her!"-Garth, after hearing another body was found.
-"Coffee for you, Tara Reid."-Dean to drunken Garth.
-"Garth, why don't we put the sock away."-Dean to Garth.
-"Mr. Fizzles' gonna go where the sun don't shine."-Dean to Garth's sock puppet.
-"Monster you gotta be drunk to see. Cool. Also, hard to fight."-Garth to Dean
-'Come with me if you want to live."-Garth to the janitor. AWESOME Terminator nod! Ha!

Questions we have now:
-Why can't anyone see Bobby??
-How will he make them realize he's still here?
-Will they get Death to bring him back?
-Will they get ANYONE to bring him back (Crowley??)?
-Will they make him cross over?
-Where are the Leviathans now?


And now we get ANOTHER hiatus for some reason. No new episodes for THREE weeks.

But the next one looks like a doozy! Here's the official promo for Of Grave Importance:


See you back here on April 20, Supernatural fans!





Thursday, 29 March 2012

YA Book Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

ebook
Release date: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Series: His Fair Assassin #1
Source: Net Galley Advance Copy


YA book cover
Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?
Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old.
Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny.
If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.


Ismae's most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?


Sometimes, when you're least expecting it, a book comes along that's so brilliant...so breathtaking...that it reminds you that YA books don't always have to be written as YA books.
Most teens are more than capable of reading at the same level (or higher!) as the older (I prefer the term 'mature')  generation YA book lovers.
Grave Mercy is such a book.

Set in the late-15th century in English-speaking Brittany--which was in North-West France-- Ismae (LOVE her name, by the way!) is born bearing the mark of Mortain--the God of Death--after her mother's attempt to terminate her pregnancy with poison fails.
Because she bears the mark, her childhood is...difficult, until the night she's spirited away to the convent of St. Mortain, where she learns to serve Death himself...by becoming Death's handmaiden. An assassin.

Ismae is a phenomenal character. I connected with her immediately. Although set in a time where women were seen as weak and compliant, Ismae is strong and intelligent and intimidating, when she needs to be.

The setting and background of the era almost become characters themselves, they're written and described so wonderfully. Ms. LaFevers brings them to life so vividly that I almost felt like I was living inside the book. I could see the cities and towns, the castles and gardens and roads and forests.

And the costumes? Absolutely beautiful. I can still close my eyes and see Ismae's simple habit. Anne's glorious dresses. Duval's dark attire. 

And speaking of Anne...Loved her.  And it doesn't hurt that she was a REAL person, Anne, Duchess of Brittney! The history surrounding Anne in the book is based on what's written in OUR history books, which I found VERY cool!

Of course, I can't forget Duval. Ah, Duval. I'm not ashamed to admit I fell completely head over heels for him. Mysterious, yet kind and sweet and gentle. Le sigh.

And there are all manner of minor characters that you'll also come to love, and to hate...and some will even make you cry.
Yes, yes...I sobbed like a baby during one specific, heartbreaking scene--A scene that I didn't expect would be as emotional as it was, which is yet another testament to Ms. LaFevers' wonderful writing.

Have I gushed enough, yet? ;)

Grave Mercy IS book 1 in the series, but it's also a stand-alone novel with a satisfying conclusion. Book 1 follows Ismae...but she's is only ONE of the handmaidens training at the convent. Book 2 follows another assassin, Sybella, who we do meet in this first book....but that's not to say their stories don't intertwine a wee bit. ;)

I highly, HIGHLY recommend this book to teens 15 and up, and to adults. If you like historical fiction, supernatural fiction and assassin nuns, you'll adore Grave Mercy.

It was a true pleasure to read such a brilliantly written YA novel.
I'm DEFINITELY looking forward to book 2, Dark Triumph!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

YA Book Review-- The Invitation



eBook
Source: Net Galley
Release date: March 27, 2012 (Originally released Aug. 1993)
Publisher:  Scholastic Children's
ISBN 0590550608 (ISBN13: 9780590550604)
series: Point Horror
Author: Diane Hoh


Five not-so-popular teens are invited to an annual party given by snooty Cass. Ushered into the mansion, they are soon part of a human scavenger hunt in which they are tied, bound, and hidden. Further victimization includes being heated in a sauna, cooled in a freezer, and nearly asphyxiated by a car's running motor.

I should start by telling you that this book wasn't my cup of tea. I love me a good horror...but this wasn't horror. This is more of a mystery.
That being said, this is a fun little book. It's very short, so it's perfect for younger or preteens, ages 12 and up.

It wasn't particularly scary and there's very little blood and gore...although if you're particularily sensitive to these types of things, or would rather keep your teen away from that stuff, this definitely isn't the book for you.

The characters are shallow, with almost zero depth to them at all, and the plot is shakey at best, but it will keep you turning the pages, just to see what will happen next.

You don't need to read the other books in the Point Horror series to understand this book. In that way it's kind of like the Goosebumps series.

If you have a teen who's not much of a reader, this would be a great starter book for him/her.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Once Upon A Time: Hat Trick


I feel like a broken record, but once again ANOTHER brilliant episode!
Sebastian Stan was the perfect Mad Hatter, wasn't he? LOVED!

So we begin where we left off last week, with Mary on the lam after escaping her cell.

Henry is at the jail, waiting for Emma, who walks in with Gold. They discover Mary gone and Emma takes off in her bug to find her.
While driving on the foggy road, Emma almost hits a fellow citizen of Storybrooke, who goes by the name Jefferson (and wasn't that a wicked-awesome nod to Jefferson Airplane, who's most famous song is 'White Rabbit'!). It seems he's twisted his ankle after diving into the ditch, and Emma offers him a ride home.
He invites her in for a nice cuppa...and then promptly drugs her and ties her up while she's unconscious.

Emma, always the thinker, easily escapes her bonds and discovers Mary Margaret tied and gagged in another room. Apparently Jefferson has kidnapped her, too!
Of course, they're discovered as they're trying to escape and Mary is once again tied to the chair.

Jefferson explains to Emma that he knows she's magic and that he also remembers being someone else, somewhere else.
In a nutshell, he KNOWS Henry's book is real and he wants to go back to Fairytale Land. He thinks she can make a magic hat that will send him home.

Emma realizes, after seeing the hats and the tea, that Jefferson thinks he is the Mad Hatter. They bicker about worlds--what's real and what's not. Emma gives up and makes the hat.

She fails at her first attempt and Jefferson explains to her that he needs to get home because his daughter, Grace, is now named Paige and lives with another family. She has no idea who he is or who she was.
Jefferson's curse is remembering everything he had in Fairytale Land.

Emma tricks him into thinking she's starting to believe...and then bashes him with his telescope, knocking him out.
She once again goes to free Mary, but Jefferson jumps her. Emma and Jefferson wrestle while Mary frees herself, and in the fight Emma spies a huge scar on his neck.

Mary bashes him with a croquet mallet (Ha! Again, a wonderful nod to the Disney movie!) and, in a VERY Snow White-like move, kicks him out the window!
But Jefferson is nowhere to be found when they look. Only his hat remains.

Emma gives Mary a chance to run. Mary refuses after Emma tells her how important she's become to her. (*sniffle*)

Regina walks into the Sheriff's office, and THAT'S when you realize it was HER who hid the key in Mary's cell!
Gold is there and sees Regina out, and THAT'S when you realize it was HIM who hid the key in Mary's cell and that Gold and Regina were working together!

Emma finds Henry and, after seeing 'Paige' in the schoolyard, asks to borrow his book. She flips through and sees a picture of the Mad Hatter...who has a nasty-looking scar on his neck. And then she asks to keep Henry's book for awhile.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In Fairytale Land, a man and his daughter are playing hide and seek in the woods.The man, who is the alter-ego of Storybrooke's Jefferson, apparently has the same name in both worlds.
When they get to their cottage, they discover the Evil Queen inside. The Queen tells Jefferson she needs his help. She needs his 'special skills' to get her somewhere he's been before, because someone's taken something from her and she wants it back.
He refuses, worried that his daughter will be left alone if he's lost like her mother was.

Some time later, Jefferson and his daughter, Grace, are at the market. Grace has her eye on a plush white rabbit (ha!), but her father can't afford to purchase it.
We soon learn that the old hag who refused to lower the price on the rabbit is none other than the Evil Queen. ...but I have NO idea what the point of that was, exactly.
Why did the Queen have to be the hag? Why couldn't it have been just any old hag? Was it just to prove how evil she is? I'm pretty sure we know that already! ;)

Back at their cottage, Jefferson tells his daughter that he has work to do and she'll have to stay with the neighbours.
Because he couldn't afford to buy his daughter what she wanted, he's changed his mind and has decided he'll help the Queen after all.

He brings his magic hat to the castle, and after some funky CGI effects, the Queen and Jefferson jump into the vortex the whirling hat creates.

It sends them to a circular room with many doors. Jefferson directs the Queen to a large mirror, they walk through, and now we have a THIRD world in our series--Wonderland.

And what a Wonderland it is! The CGI in these scenes is AMAZING. Beautiful and vivid and bright!
In a WONDERFUL touch, the first being we see is a very familiar hooka-smoking caterpillar (voiced by The Who's Roger Daltry, no less!), who speaks a very familiar phrase, "Whooooooo arrrrrrrrre yooooooooou?" I got goosebumps!

Jefferson and the Queen reach a maze, which belongs to the Queen of Hearts. More cool CGI shows us that it's not just any ordinary maze. The hedges in THIS maze will actually grab you if you get too close!
The Evil Queen being, well, evil, decides to just blast her way to the middle of the maze.

The Queen quickly finds what she came to get and the two retreat back to the looking glass after a fun little battle with the Queen of Hearts' guards.
There, the Evil Queen takes a piece of mushroom from the rather large plants that are nearby and places it into the box she took from the middle of the maze.
In a haze of purple smoke, out pops her father, Henry, and now we know what it was that the Queen of Hearts took from her.

Of course, because two arrived in the hat, only two can leave through it, which means that now, Jefferson will be left behind. Oddly, the Queen seems rather emotional when Jefferson brings up his daughter being left alone, doesn't she? Foretelling what she goes through in the next episode, perhaps? Hmmmm!

The Queen of Hearts' men find Jefferson at the Looking Glass and take him to her. The Queen of Hearts, who wears a thick veil so her face is never seen, also speaks through a tube to her knave who speaks for her...although we can clearly hear when she says, 'Off with his head."
Poor Jefferson! Er, but he's still alive and he tells her how he came to Wonderland--through his magic hat.

And so poor Jefferson, the Mad Hatter, is doomed to spend the rest of eternity in Wonderland making hat after hat after hat, because he's not magic and none made by his hand will ever get him home.


And so, what at first glance appeared to be a fun, light episode is, in fact, sad and heart-wrenching.
Oh, you fooled us good, OUAT writers!

Highlights:
-The CGI in Wonderland. AMAZING!
-Sebastian Stan's performance.
-Seeing the Evil Queen use magic.
-The nod to Jefferson Airplane.
-Mary's 'Snow' kick!
-The costumes--Jefferson's coat in Fairytale Land, the Evil Queen's dress.


Things we know after this episode:
-We now know that they've been trapped in Storybrooke for 28 years.
-Those who remember Fairytale Land use their real names (Regina, Jefferson), with the exception of Gold. Probably because Rumpelstiltskin is too obvious. :P


What questions do we have after this episode?
-Are Jefferson and Regina somehow related? There was much talk of 'not abandoning family' in a way the seemed a little too obvious, and Regina had also been to the door-room in the hat before. Half-siblings? Cousins?
-Why did the Queen of Hearts take Regina's father?
-Where did Jefferson get the magic hat?
-Who is Grace's mother?
-How did they 'lose' her?
-Does Regina know Jefferson remembers Fairytale Land?
-Why didn't Regina's father seem to care they were leaving Jefferson behind, stuck in Wonderland?
-Why does Regina seem so upset when Jefferson mentions Grace being alone if Regina leaves him in Wonderland?
-Where do all the other doors go in the hat?!
-Where did Jefferson go after being kicked out the window?
-Is Emma actually starting to believe Henry's book??
-What will happen to Mary Margaret now?


Next week we finally, FINALLY find out WHY Regina hates Snow White so much, and we get to see what made the Evil Queen so damn evil!
Here's the trailer for episode 18, The Stable Boy:




What did you think of Hat Trick? Comments are always welcome!

See you back here next week, Oncers!









Supernatural: The Born Again Identity


This week we finally, FINALLY welcome back Castiel. I missed him so!

Sam's gone completely bonkers because he hasn't slept in five days. He ends up in the psyche ward after being hit by a car.
Dean goes through his book and calls every hunter he comes across for help with Sam. None seem willing or able.
Suddenly, in a very odd coincidence (Hi, Bobby! I miss you!!!), an odd breeze knocks Dean's book to the floor and out pops the card of a hunter who knows just who might be able to help Sam.
A healer named, Emmanuel. (*wink wink*)

Meanwhile, Sam is making friends with another patient. Apparently Merrin also hears a voice. The voice of her brother who tells her he's lonely and tries to persuade her to kill herself.
Sam being Sam, he easily rids Merrin of the ghost of her brother.
So, er...what was the point of that side-plot, exactly? Made NO sense to me at all.

Anyway!
Dean finds Emmanuel's house, kills the demon he stumbles across there and saves Emmanuel's wife.
Then he discoveres that Emmanuel has no memory of who or what he was before.
Weren't those scenes in the car great? It was just like the sweet, naive, unintentionally funny Cas of old. I'd forgotten how much I adored that Cas.

Dean stops at a store and he's accosted by demons when, suddenly, Meg pops up.
Er, what? WHY is Meg there, exactly? How is she important to the plot? Argh, Sera Gamble (the writer of this episode), you're KILLIN' me here!

Okay, whatever...Meg goes with Dean and Emmanuel to find Sam. Emmanuel is hesitant but he agrees to try to get rid of the demons that are hanging out outside the hospital.
And FINALLY we get a GREAT scene. The score that plays, the flashbacks, the look on Cas's face...LOVED.
And now our beloved Cas is back, Dean gives him his trenchcoat, I cry, and after a bit of drama, Cas goes to save Sam from the horrible demon who's now giving him electric shock treatment.

Sadly, Cas discovers that Sam's wall has been ground to dust. There's nothing left to build with. And, in an act of complete love, complete selflessness and one that completely redeems him in the eyes of the brothers AND the viewers, Cas takes the broken piece of Sam's soul--and the visions of Lucifer with it-- into himself.
And I cried. Again.

And though it pains them to do so, the boys leave the now-catatonic Cas behind in the asylum...with Meg to watch over him, playing the part of a nurse.
I supposed she's better than nothing, right? Maybe?

So! A bit of a mixed episode for me!
Didn't like the Merrin plot or Meg's return at all. Neither made much sense to me. The rest? Two big thumbs up!

Highlights:
-Our first glimpse of Cas.
-Cas and Dean in the car, alone.
-The whole Cas remembering scene.
-Ghost Bobby helping Dean.

Best Lines:
"Quit being Dali-freakin'-Yoda about this."

"Narcissistic personality disorder. K, now this one I could have."

"So who named you Emmanual?"
"BouncingBabyNames.com."

What questions do we have after this episode?
-What's going to happen to Cas?
-When will we see Crowley?
-Where are the Leviathans?
-IS it Bobby that's been helping the boys?
-Why is Meg now working with the boys?


Next week DJ Qualls returns as Garth in the episode called, "Party On, Garth", and it sounds like it's going to be hilariously amazing!


What did YOU think of The Born Again Identity? I'd love to hear your comments!

See you back here next week, Supernatural fans!





Friday, 23 March 2012

Movie Review-- The Hunger Games


Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the evil Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. A twisted punishment for a past uprising and an ongoing government intimidation tactic, The Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which "Tributes" must fight with one another until one survivor remains. Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy. If she's ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

WARNING--IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE BOOK YOU PROBABLY DON'T WANT TO READ THIS REVIEW!

I first read The Hunger Games in early 2009. Remember whipping through it and loving it.
Then it became THE book. Popular and loved and recommended. 
Often when I read a book, I get through it so fast that, months later, I barely remember what it was about. This was the case with The Hunger Games, and so I read it again. And then I went out and bought the series.
I never forgot the plot again. ;)

The Hunger Games is easily one of my top ten favourite books, so I had high expectations for this movie.
I'm so unbelievably happy to say that I wasn't disappointed.
Jennifer Lawrence is the perfect Katniss. Lay any doubts you had aside right now (trust me, I had them, too!). She becomes the Katniss that's been living in my head for years. She's strong and smart and uncertain and withdrawn, just like 'our' Katniss. 
She's wonderful in the part.

Josh Hutcherson as Peeta also grew on me quickly. I was worried because the actor himself appears smaller than the Peeta in my head is, but he pulls off Peeta's strength well. By the time they reached the Capitol, he WAS Peeta to me.

I wish I could say more about the rest of the characters, but sadly, I can't. I understand that the movie can only delve into so much background, but, sadly, Gale, Effie, Haymitch, Prim, Cinna and pretty much everyone else mostly get pushed to the side.
I CAN say that every actor played their roles wonderfully.

Gale is barely seen, which may make things confusing for folks that haven't read the book. The whole history between Gale and Katniss isn't shown, so the love-triangle the movie tries to portray falls a bit flat.

Woody Harrelson is a great Haymitch, but again, because we don't go into who he is, viewers don't get the depth of what Haymitch does for his tributes. They show that he's an alcoholic, then they show him mentoring the kids and refusing a drink.
They don't go into what the kids mean to him, why he suddenly gets so invested in them, his love for them, etc. 
That was a bit frustrating.

And ditto with Cinna (played amazingly by Lenny Kravtiz). Cinna's introduction to Katniss is perfect, but they just can't get into how deep their relationship really becomes.

Amandla Stenberg is great as Rue. Again, we just don't get to see how deep the relationship between Katniss and Ruereally becomes, but that didn't make the death scene any less painful. Literally the WHOLE theater was sobbing right along with me, it was that well done.
But the scene in the book where District 11 sends Katniss the bread as a thank you for what she does for Rue?
NOT IN THE MOVIE AT ALL! That ticked me off.

The rest of the tributes? Well, we barely learn anything about them. 
Foxface runs in and out of scenes (much like she does in the book), but we know nothing about her.
Glimmer is barely there at all until the Tracker Jacker scene. 
Thresh from District 11 gets his one big scene and that's pretty much it.
Clove has a minor scene or two, and Cato gets his big moment at the Cornucopia, of course.

It's often a bit frustrating when watching movies made from books because, while YOU know what's going on in the characters head because you've read the book, it's not actually mentioned on the screen.
Like Peeta allying with the District 1 and 2 tributes. The movie makes it appear that he's actually on their side when those of us who've read the books clearly know he's not.

Speaking of Peeta, again, the book just does a much better job at describing his actual intelligence, strategies and cunning. Yes, they show that he's artsy--they do have the camouflage scene where he explains about the cake decorating--and they show he has a soft side, but they don't get into how hard he actually plays the game to survive. 
And they pretty much leave out completely the time he and Katniss spent together while Peeta was close to death. 

Katniss's scenes in the arena are also shortened, or missing completely. I suppose that makes sense, considering the games don't actually start until halfway through the movie. 
She is never near death like she is in the book. There's no dehydration, there's no battling the elements. She just seems to breeze through the games with almost no problems (well, except for the fire, of course).
And by the end, she still seems pretty non-committal toward Peeta...Like it was all an act for the cameras. But I suppose that's so they can get more into the love triangle in the second movie.

As for the non-character bits, the scenery is gorgeous. The forests of the games is amazing. The Capitol is just as I imagined it, and District 12 definitely has the right look.
However, we don't get to see much of it. The Hob is barely shown. We don't meet Peeta's father or Gale's family at all, and there's no Madge.
Katniss actually gets her pin from a shop woman and then tries to give it to Prim, who gives it back after Katniss volunteers in her place.

The costumes are incredible. The colours of the Capitol are vibrant and vivid and all kinds of weird. Exactly as described in the book.
The red 'Girl on Fire' dress is brilliant, and the entrance scene flaming clothes are really great.
There are a few added scene that aren't in the book between Seneca and President Snow, and Seneca's death is completely different in the movie, which I actually liked.

And now that I've made it sound like the most horrible movie ever (it's not! I promise!), lets get to the good stuff!

The games ARE amazing. I held my breath through almost every battle scene (even though I knew Katniss came through alive).

The shakiness of the hand-held camera--which seems to be the current filming trend--was distracting and a bit nauseating at first, but I can understand why Gary Ross decided to film the more gory and hardcore scenes that way. You can't see any actual killing when the camera is shaking all over the place which means the rating stays low and teens can see the film.

I loved the use of flashbacks to tell the story of Peeta giving Katniss the bread and to explain what happened to Katniss's father and the stupor her mother went into afterwards.

The use of Claudius and Caesar to explain things (like the tracker jackers) was definitely handy, and the two of them are amusing, if rarely seen.

A horrible-quality photo of my brother
and I just before the movie started.
Yes, he's forever the joker. ;)
I was lucky enough to see the film with my brother, who hasn't read the books yet.
When I asked him afterwards, he said he'd enjoyed it, but it was long. For someone going into it new, it would drag in the middle, definitely.
He DID understand everything and wasn't left with any questions, which leads me to believe that Ross succeeded in making this a movie both book-lovers and newbies will enjoy.

I'm not going to lie, here--The book is better. MUCH better. But they always are, aren't they?

Aside from the minor things I mentioned above, I did REALLY love this movie. It was very much like watching the scenes in my head come to life, which is what everyone is hoping for when seeing a movie made from a book they loved, right?
Definitely go see The Hunger Games...and then come back here immediately after and tell me what you thought!

Happy Hunger Games, and may the odds be ever in your favour!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

YA Book Review-- Tomorrow Land


ebook
Source: Net Galley
Release Date: March 8, 2012
Publisher: NLA Digital Liaison Platform LLC

Author: Mari Mancusi


Can true love survive the end of the world?

Imagine finding your first love, only to be ripped apart by the apocalypse. Peyton Anderson will never forget the day she was forced to make a choice--between her family--and Chris Parker, the boy she'd given her heart. And now, four years later, as she steps from the fallout shelter and into a dead and broken world, he's the only thing on her mind.

All Chris "Chase" Parker wanted was to take Peyton away and keep her safe from harm. But he waited for hours in the rain on judgment day and she never showed--breaking his heart without ever telling him why.

Now the two of them have been thrown together once again, reluctant chaperones of a group of orphan children in a post-apocalyptic world where the dead still walk...and feed. As they begin their pilgrimage to the last human outpost on Earth, can they find a way to let go of old hurts and find the love they lost--all the while attempting to save what's left of the human race?


I love a good YA dystopian novel. That seems to be there current 'theme' since The Hunger Games exploded onto the scene, like vampires were the theme when Twilight hooked millions of teens and twi-moms.
And I'm much more okay with dystopian than I was with sparkly vampires!
So when I see a cool cover like the one above, and read a cool blurb like this book has, I try to snag it as quickly as I can.

Unfortunately, this is NOT a good YA dystopian novel. I wanted to like it. I really, really did. And I tried so hard. But it just fell flat for me.

Peyton is an interesting character and she's supposed to be the 'strong female' type that's so popular now. But she's just not. I found her mopey and gloomy and depressing most of the time.

And Chris? Ugh. There are NO 19 year old boys like Chris. Nowhere. Not even after the world ends will there be boys as cheesy and love-struck and whipped as he is. I mean, come on. He calls Peyton his Goddess. Constantly. Even in his own head. Ugh.

The book has such potential. I loved the idea of what happens to some of the human race after the apocalypse, and some of the fight scenes are wicked-cool, but the rest is just.....cheesy and lame. And not a good, funny cheesy. Just a bad teenage-romance, on-again-off-again, 'I love you', 'Now I'm pushing you away', 'Now I love you again', 'Kiss me in the middle of the apocalypse', bad kind of cheesy.

Although I can see that this book has gotten some great reviews on both Goodreads and Amazon, sadly, mine can't be one of them.

It's possible that teens who don't read a ton might like this book, and it IS an inexpensive long-ish ebook if that entices you a bit...but if you're looking for a good, strong, engaging YA dystopian novel, skip this one and grab Starters.
You'll thank me for it.





Monday, 19 March 2012

Once Upon A Time: Heart of Darkness


I love this show. Have I mentioned that before? I FREAKIN' LOVE THIS SHOW!
Seriously, this show could not be any better. Perfect writers, perfect cast, perfect directors, perfect acting...If this show was a person, I would marry it!

Okay, lets begin!


In Storybrooke, poor Mary Margaret is sitting in jail.
Regina and Emma question her about the heart. It's revealed that the box the heart was in is Mary's jewelery box! That's not at all good.
In a very cryptic statement, Regina reveals to Mary that she knows what it's like to lose someone you love and be publicly humiliated. She says it 'put me in a very dark place. It changed me'. This is obviously a reference to whatever it was Snow did to her in Fairytale Land! She also says to Emma that having your heart broken can 'make you do unspeakable things.' This makes me believe we're getting closer to the reveal, folks! I'm thinking the next Regina/Evil Queen episode will explain all! (Which I believe is episode 18, but don't quote me on that)

Emma returns to Mary's apartment where she's looking for signs of a break-in. Henry shows up and they find a hunting knife hidden in a heating grate. Coincidentally, it was a hunting knife that carved the heart out of the chest of whoever it was in before it was put in the box.
This is DEFINITELY not looking good for Mary.

Henry runs into August at the diner. And in a big reveal, August tells Henry he believes the book is real! And after tonight, I'm ready to reveal something myself! Keep reading...My thoughts are posted below, as always!

David goes to see Regina, and in another bit of foreshadowing, Regina tells him, "Evil isn't born. It's made." Again the writers are throwing us little tidbits of Regina's episode to come! Exciting!

Back at the jail, Emma tells Mary that she believes her but she should think about hiring a lawyer.
Who walks in at that perfect moment? Why, Mr. Gold, of course!
Apparently he's a lawyer, too! How convenient!
Snow accepts his services but tells Gold she can't pay him. Gold explains that he'll defend her for free because, "I'm invested in your future."

David goes to see Archie (Yay! I missed Archie!) to see if he can help remember what happened during the blackouts.

Henry shows up at Mary's apartment and shows Emma a ring of keys he stole from Regina. Emma tries a key and it fits, opening the door. And now Emma agrees...Regina MUST be the one framing Mary!

Archie puts David under hypnosis and we actually SEE flashes of David remembering when he was Charming!! That was AMAZING!
Archie wakes him up quickly because he was too far under and David runs off.
He goes to see Mary at the jail and tells her what he remembered.
....Which wasn't a good thing. At all.
He remembers being in the woods with her and saying, "Don't kill her."...So of course, he thinks he was talking about Kathryn. David has lost faith in Mary and Mary is devastated.


Mary decides making her bed might be a good idea....even in jail she's neat and tidy...and while she's doing that she finds a key. The key just happens to open her cell door.
Emma walks in and Mary hides the key from her. Emma tells her that the results are back and the heart does indeed belong to Kathryn. Oh, no!
Emma tells Mary that she knows Regina is the one framing her but she has no proof. She tells Mary to have faith in her and she'll find a way to prove that Regina is behind everything.

Emma then goes to see Mr. Gold and tells him her thoughts about Regina. She asks him for help and he agrees, telling her, "Regina is powerful but something tells me...you're more powerful than you know."
AGAIN with the vague references! I love this show! ;)

And in the last scene we see Mary's cell door wide open...with Mary nowhere to be seen.
Dun dun DUN!


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Over in Fairytale Land, we start with Red and Charming taking on some of the Evil Queen's men. Red, in an awesome moment, tells Charming to find Snow and she gives him a head start...and give a quick glance to the full moon. GO RED!

Flash to Snow, who's actually humming one of Snow White's Disney songs! Nice touch!
Er...but this isn't the Snow we've come to know and love! Apparently old Rumpy's little potion has changed Snow into a not-so-nice person! Even Happy isn't at all happy with her!
The dwarfs decide to have an intervention... and call in dear Jiminy to help! Aw, I love Jiminy!
Of course, the intervention doesn't work and Snow decides she needs to kill the Evil Queen.

Grumpy follows Snow into the forest and convinces her to go to Rumple.
Rumple explains that Snow has changed because she has a hole in heart where love used to be....and there's no cure for her. There's no potion that can bring back true love. Love can't be bottled.
Snow then asks Rumple for help killing the Queen. He gives her a bow and a map of the route to the Queen's summer house.
Rumple giggles like a maniac...which will always make me giggle along with him. I've said it a billion times, and I'll say it a billion more...Robert Carlysle is AMAZING in this role!!! I just adore Rumple!

Snow asks Rumple what he wants for payment. Last time she took a strand of her hair. This time Rumple says he wants nothing because, "I'm invested in your future." Deja vu!

Charming tracks Snow to Rumple's, but arrives after she's left. Rumple tells him that true love's kiss will break the spell on Snow. Then, in exchange for Charming's cloak, Rumple tells him that Snow is on her way to the Queen's Highway and gives him the same map he gave Snow.
Rumple tells him to hurry because if Snow kills the Queen, she'll become as evil as the Queen herself. Charming says Snow could never become that evil and Rumple replies, 'Evil isn't born, dearie. It's made.'
Again with the deja vu!


Next we see Snow in the forest, preparing to kill the Queen. Charming comes up from behind and plants a kiss on her...but it doesn't break the spell. Snow bashes Charming in the head and knocks him out cold.
He comes to...tied to a tree. Charming tries to convince her that they're in love, but she leaves him there and goes to wait for the Queen to arrive, ripe for killing.

Jiminy finds Charming and gnaws him free. Jiminy tells him that Snow can't remember him because she can't remember HERSELF. I love Jiminy.

Snow spies the Queen and as she shoots, Charming jumps in the way and takes the arrow to the shoulder.
She realizes that he took the arrow to save her from a life of darkness. She kisses him and.......SHE REMEMBERS! AND I CRY! ;)
The Queen's soldiers find them and take Charming away in a cage. "I will find you! I will always find you..."
Man, they just can't get a break!

In an absolutely beautiful scene, Snow goes back to the cabin and apologizes to the dwarfs. Again, Lee Arenberg is at his best when Grumpy stands with a look of pure adoration on his face and simply says, "It's you." Yes, that got me bawling again.
The seven crowd around Snow and welcome her back, but she can't stay. She has to rescue Charming.
And in another frickin' AWESOME scene, Grumpy tells her she can't do it alone....and luckily she doesn't have to! "Let's show that king what Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs can REALLY do!" YEAH! I can't wait to see some dwarfs kick-butt!

And in the last scene, we see my darling Rumple searching David's cloak for the exact thing I KNEW he wanted it for.
One single hair.
He drops it into the beaker with Snow's hair and, voila! He's bottled love!
Whoa!

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Yet again, another BRILLIANT episode! Wonderfully strong performances by all, especially Team 7 and Robert Carlyle!
I loved the similarities...Rumple and Regina both saying, "Evil isn't born. It's made." and then both Rumple and Gold saying to Snow and Mary, "I'm invested in your future."
I also loved the opposites in the timelines. Charming having complete faith that Snow would never do anything evil, but David losing that same faith in Mary.

We also learn that very deep hypnosis can bring memories of Fairytale Land out. Very interesting!

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Now, as mentioned above, here's my reveal:
I believe August is Rumple's son, Baelfire, all grown up.

I don't know how he's grown or how he left Fairytale Land or how he found Storybrooke, but my money is on Baelfire, especially after the line, "As real as I am". That leads me to believe that he knows the stories are real because he was IN the stories.

Why Baelfire? Well, he kind of looks like the child we saw, for one.
Secondly, I think whoever he is has to be someone close to Rumple...perhaps with a little grudge against him, which his son would certainly have, but also would want to help him and make him 'normal' again.
Third, who would have grown up on that book? We've seen Gold's shop. Did the book originate there? If so, did Bael read it as a child? Did he even possibly have a hand in writing it? Who would know all those stories? Rumple. Would he tell them to his son as bedtime stories, perhaps?

Of course, I'm probably way off...but you asked! ;)



And now, what questions do we have after this episode?(So, so many!)
-Who is August?
-What does August have to do with Emma?
-How does August know Emma?
-How will August make Emma believe?
-How did August know Emma was in Storybrooke? (Assuming that's what brought him there)
-What did Regina do to Kathryn?
-Who put the key in Mary's cell?
-What does Gold/Rumple mean by, "I'm invested in your future"?
-What will Rumple do with the bottle of love?
-Where's Mary?
-How will Team 7 and Snow get Charming out of jail?

Highlights: 
-Red's scene at the very beginning. I LOVED that they tied the last episode with this one like that!
-Jiminy!
-David remembering Fairytale Land!
-Rumple. Every single scene with Rumple.
-The last scene with Snow and the dwarfs. That was so perfect!
-Grumpy's face when he realized Snow was herself again.

And now I'm going to do something a bit different!
Here's the promo for next week's episode, 'Hat Trick'!


Alice in Wonderland? The Mad Hatter?! Oh THIS is going to ROCK!

See you back here next week, Oncers!




Friday, 16 March 2012

Supernatural: Out With The Old


Supernatural is back and, because I've gotten a few requests for it, I've decided I'm going to start recapping it again! Hooray!


This episode begins in a ballet studio. In a hilariously gross scene, a ballerina is killed by her shoes!
Yep, you heard me right...Her shoes make her dance...well, she dances her feet off...literally!

Flash to Dean talking to Frank, who has no news about the Leviathans. Sam's (who, as we discover, hasn't been sleeping because of his Lucy visions) finds an interesting story in the newspaper, and the boys head to Portland to investigate the death of the ballerina.

They figure the shoes must be a cursed object and they track them to the police station, where they arrive just in time to get them off the feet of the young daughter of the cop in charge of evidence...although not without a mighty struggle. ;)

While in the car, Dean spies the shoes in the back seat...after they'd definitely put them in the trunk.
Then we find out that Dean is suddenly having a horrible urge to dance himself into oblivion because he touched the shoes. (...I'm now picturing Dean in tights. Ha!)
The boys head to the shop where they discover that the shoes are probably not the only cursed object from this store.

Flash to the next scene where we see a woman drinking boiling water from an antique tea kettle...that was actually pretty horrific and tough to watch!

Back at the shop, the boys get the addresses of the people who bought the cursed objects and show up at tea-kettle lady's house, discovering her dead on the floor.
Dean smartly uses gloves before picking the object up this time, and they call in the death anonymously before splitting up to find the remaining two objects, a gramophone and a vintage mens magazine.

In the next scene we see a boy listening to the gramophone. He can clearly hear what are only vague whispers to us coming from the machine.
He gets a knife and is about to stab his mother when, luckily, Sam walks in and stops him.

Dean finds the magazine and takes both objects back to the original shop and locks them up in the safe.
The shop owner tells Dean about his mother selling the shop, even though she hadn't really wanted to. Apparently she was being hounded by a real estate agent and had changed her mind and decided to sell...and then died in a car accident the next day.
Dean tells the guy to stop feeling guilty and gives him the schpeil about not touching the objects.

As he's walking along the street, he notices that most of the stores have 'for sale' signs on them, with the face of one particular Realtor.

And flash to the Realtor...who we find out is a Leviathan after she briefly takes the form of the man she'd just killed because he wasn't willing to sell his store. Dun dun DUN!

Dean tells Sam his suspicions about the Realtor and then calls Frank for help cracking the realtor's website.

Meanwhile, Sam is driving...and falling asleep at the wheel. He narrowly escapes being smooshed by a big truck.
As he's getting yet another coffee, the relator's assistant sees Sam at the coffee shop.
He calls his boss who tells him not to eat Sam and to get back to the office.

Frank calls Dean back and tells him that Dick Roman and the Leviathans are buying up all the mom and pop shops.
Dean tells Sam they're dealing with Leviathans, but Sam is obviously dead tired and unable to focus.
Sam tells Dean that Lucy is 'talking' to him constantly.

The shop owner calls Sam in a panic and lies about touching one of the objects to get the boys to the shop, where the Realtor and his assistant are waiting.
The boys walk into the trap but, in an interesting turn of events, the assistant tells Sam where the cleaning fluid is, and then tells him to use 'the sword'.
Sam breaks the sword out of its case and slices the head off the Realtor.

The assistant tells the boys that he's been dying to eat his boss because she's a HUGE b-word (I'm paraphrasing, of course)...and what better way to make sure she stays dead?
He then explains that the Leviathans are buying up the local shops because Dick Roman is going to build a research centre...That this is where they're going to cure cancer because, "We only want to help."
Um...wut??

The boys arrive later at Frank's...and discover the place trashed and blood splatter everywhere.
Nooooo! Not Frank!

So! An okay episode, but nothing to write home about. I found it mostly just...meh.

But what questions do we have after this one?
-Where's Frank?!
-Why are the Leviathans building research centres to cure diseases?
-What's the 'big picture'?
-What are they building at Bobby's coordinates?
-Will Lucy drive Sam insane?
-How will they get the hallucinations out of Sam's head?


Best lines (and there weren't many this time!):
-"You see a Winchester...you don't eat him. You tell me, and I eat him!"Leviathan Realtor
-"No, I'm calling with the Lakers/Celtics score..."-Frank
-"Call me if you don't die."- Frank
-"He's singing Stairway to heaven right now."- Sam, about Lucy.
-"Don't shoot, we're coming in!"-Dean to Frank


Next week we see the RETURN OF CAS!!!! SO EXCITED!!
See you back here then, Winchester fans!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Once Upon A Time: Red-Handed



WOW! What an episode! What a twist! Right? RIGHT?!
I did NOT see that coming AT ALL! WOW!

Okay, so lets start at the beginning, shall we?

In Storybooke, Ruby and Granny get into a tiff and Ruby quits the diner. 
As she's waiting for the bus that will take her out of town (it totally would have crashed!), Mary Margaret and Emma happen upon her.
We all know how fond Mary is of taking in strays, so she offers Ruby a place to stay. Ruby accepts.

Emma gives her a job working at the sheriffs office (Henry suggestion that Ruby might want a job taking things to people in baskets is priceless!), and all is right in Ruby's world...Until Emma needs help in the woods.

David is wandering aimlessly in the forest, and all he'll say is, "I'm looking..."
Mary attempts to speak to him, but he looks right through her.


Mary reports this to Emma, who, with Ruby, treks through the forest to find David. 
Luckily, Ruby 'hears' David and they find him lying on the ground. 
When he wakes, he has no memory of the last 24 hours or so.
Because of that, David is now the main suspect in Kathryn's disappearance.

While at the hospital with David, Emma calls Ruby and has her go to the T(r)oll Bridge to look for clues, since that was where David went the last time he'd lost his memory.
Using her uncanny gut feeling, Ruby starts digging...and finds a box. Did we all know what was in that box? I sure did! 

I'd also like to point out that in a previous episode (Episode 7, The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter), we saw someone VERY important in the woods with a shovel. Do we all remember who that was? Y'know, just sayin'... 


Ruby and Granny make up in a really heartwarming way, and Ruby gets her job back at the diner, where she belongs.

Emma, meanwhile, goes to see David and Mary over at the animal shelter. She tells them that a human heart was found in that mysterious box...And that they also found fingerprints on the lid.
David is ready to be arrested when...in another BIG twist, Emma says it was MARY'S fingerprints, and not David's!
WHOA!

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Over in Fairytale Land, we meet Red, who's boyfriend comes to her window for a visit. It seems that Granny doesn't approve of Red's boyfriend, Peter. (Okay, I LOVE that his name is Peter! Peter and the Wolf, get it? Brilliant!)

Red is called to the door and finds a hunting party there with Granny. It seems there's a wolf problem and they're looking for recruits.  Red wants to go--and she's wearing her red cloak that repells wolves, y'know--but Granny kiboshes that idea.
The two board up the cottage and Granny sets in to keep guard with her crossbow. Grannies with crossbows are awesome, by the way. ;)

The next day, Red finds Snow hiding out in the chicken coop (did she go from the hunstman to the chicken coop?). Snow uses an alias...Mary (after first giving the name Margaret. Ha!)...and the two quickly become friends.

As Snow and Red and getting water from the well, they stumble across the bodies of the hunting party from the night before.

Later on at a town meeting, Granny tells her story about the wolves. It seems that when she was a child, her older brothers and father had tried to kill one. 
They all died and Granny was bitten...but the wolf let her live.
She tells the townfolk to hide until the 'wolf's time' is over.

Back at the cottage, Ruby tells Snow about Peter and decides they need to kill the wolf so Granny will stop keeping Ruby from seeing Peter. 
Now THERE'S some good reasoning, Ruby! *facepalm* 

They track the wolf through the snow (wasn't that some absolutely stunning scenery?), and the tracks suddenly change into bootprints! Seems we have a werewolf problem now, folks!

The bootprints lead them....right back to the cottage. Right to Red's window, to be specific. Ooooooh!

Red goes to find Peter to tell him he's the wolf, and he makes her chain him to a tree to keep the town safe.
Granny discovers Red missing and Snow tries to explain that Peter is the wolf and Red is okay because she has him tied up. When Granny hears that Peter is tied, she exclaims, "Oh that poor boy!" and rushes off with Snow hot on her heels.

We cut to Peter chained to the tree and, in the biggest twist of the night, we see that RED is the wolf and NOT Peter! Seriously, BLEW MY MIND!!

Granny explains to Snow that the wolf that had bitten har as a child was Red's grandfather and that Granny herself had become a werewolf after being bitten, but apparently is fades after time.
Sadly, Granny and Snow arrive too late. Granny shoots the wolf with a silver-tipped arrow which stops it, and Snow quickly covers it with the red hood...which we find out is a magical red hood that keeps Red from changing at the full moon.

Red is heartbroken when she realizes what she is and what she's done to Peter. 

The hunters have stumbled across the scene and Granny makes Snow take Red away before they can see her...leaving Granny to face them alone.

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Yet another OUTSTANDING episode, written by Jane Espenson! I absolutely LOVED her take on the tale of Red Riding Hood. This couldn't have been done better!

Meghan Ory was brilliant as Red/Ruby and it was SO wonderful to finally hear her story.
Beverley Elliott kills it as the tough old Granny and I'm hoping we do get to see what happened to her, eventually!

So! What questions do we have this week? So, SO MANY!
-What is with Dr. Whale?! What was with him offering to carry Ruby's bag at the bus stop? He's VERY fishy!
-What happened to Granny after the hunters arrived?
-WAS it Gold who buried the box?
-Is it Kathryn's heart in the box? (I think not) 
-If not who's is it?
-And if not, where is Kathryn?
-What is with David's amnesia?
-What was he looking for in the woods? (I don't think he was looking for Kathryn!)
-Is it possible James is bleeding through into David? If so, would James recognize Mary as Snow?
-How did Mary's fingerprints get onto the box?

Looks like next week we get to see more of Snow, Charming and The Evil Queen's story! 
See you back here then, Oncers!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Books To Look Forward To

I was going through a list of upcoming books and I thought to myself, "Self, there are some REALLY great books here! You should write a post about it!"
Am I a genius or what?! ;)

So here's a list of books I'm looking forward to! They're in no particular order so they might look a bit disorganized--but that's how I roll!


First up is Jenny Lawson's Let's Pretend This Never Happened.
Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives—the ones we’d like to pretend never happened—are in fact the ones that define us. In Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor. Chapters include: “Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel”; “A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband”; “My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking”; “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane.” Pictures with captions (no one would believe these things without proof) accompany the text.
Release date: April 17, 2012.


Who is Jenny Lawson, you may be asking? Well, you might know her better as The Bloggess. If you don't know her, RUN...don't walk, RUN to her blog and start reading. You'll see that she's the most hilarious and the most REAL person that has ever written anything. Ever.



Next is Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris.
With her knack for being in trouble's way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte's, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. Sookie suspects otherwise, but her attention is divided when she realizes that her lover, Eric Northman, and his "child" Pam are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, Sookie is drawn into the plot-which is much more complicated than she knows...
Release date: March 27, 2012


Yes, the highly anticipated eleventh book of the Sookie Stackhouse series! Like billions of others, I'm SO addicted to this series. I like it much more than the HBO series (although I love that, too!), and I can't wait to get my hands on this book!


Then there's Stephen King's new Dark Tower novel, The Wind Through The Keyhole.

In The Wind Through the Keyhole, Stephen King returns to the rich landscape of Mid-World, the spectacular territory of the Dark Tower fantasy saga that stands as his most beguiling achievement.


Roland Deschain and his ka-tet—Jake, Susannah, Eddie, and Oy, the billy-bumbler—encounter a ferocious storm just after crossing the River Whye on their way to the Outer Baronies. As they shelter from the howling gale, Roland tells his friends not just one strange story but two . . . and in so doing, casts new light on his own troubled past.

In his early days as a gunslinger, in the guilt-ridden year following his mother’s death, Roland is sent by his father to investigate evidence of a murderous shape-shifter, a “skin-man” preying upon the population around Debaria. Roland takes charge of Bill Streeter, the brave but terrified boy who is the sole surviving witness to the beast’s most recent slaughter. Only a teenager himself, Roland calms the boy and prepares him for the following day’s trials by reciting a story from the Magic Tales of the Eld that his mother often read to him at bedtime. “A person’s never too old for stories,” Roland says to Bill. “Man and boy, girl and woman, never too old. We live for them.” And indeed, the tale that Roland unfolds, the legend of Tim Stoutheart, is a timeless treasure for all ages, a story that lives for us.
Release date: April 24, 2012

I LOVE this series. LOVE. I'll even go as far as saying that, after LOTR, this is my favourite series. And I'm so, so happy that Mr. King has decided to bless the world with another story of my favourite gunslinger. 
There are so many Roland stories to be told...and I hope this won't be the last one.


Next is City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare. 


Release date: May 8, 2012


This is book 5 of The Mortal Instruments series, and there's no blurb for it yet...so I have NO idea what it's about! 
But it'll be good, you can bet on that much! 
If you enjoyed supernatural YA books, you'll love this series. I highly recommend it!






Next we have Deadlocked, again by Charlaine Harris. 


Release Date: May 1, 2012

Book 12 of the Sookie Stackhouse series, and I have NO idea why two books are being released so close together, but I'm not going to complain!


Next is Insurgent by Victoria Roth. 

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.
Release date: May 1, 2012

Confession time...I haven't read book one of this series yet. But I plan to! And it looks SO GOOD that I know I'll love it, which means I'll be anticipating the release of the second book! So I decided to include it here. 


And lastly is Lissa Price's amazing book, Starters



 In the future, teens rent their bodies to seniors who want to be young again. One girl discovers her renter plans to do more than party--her body will commit murder, if her mind can't stop it. Sixteen-year-old Callie lost her parents when the genocide spore wiped out everyone except those who were vaccinated first--the very young and very old. With no grandparents to claim Callie and her little brother, they go on the run, living as squatters, and fighting off unclaimed renegades who would kill for a cookie. Hope comes via Prime Destinations, run by a mysterious figure known only as The Old Man. He hires teens to rent their bodies to seniors, known as enders, who get to be young again. Callie's neurochip malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her rich renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, even dating Blake, the grandson of a senator. It's a fairy-tale new life . . . until she uncovers the Body Bank's horrible plan. . . .
Release date: March 13, 2012


Yes, I know I've read this book. And I've reviewed this book. But the copy I have is an eBook, and I loved this novel so much that I WILL be buying a real paper copy for my bookshelf so I can love it and stroke it and show it off with pride! ;)

There you have it! The seven books being released in the near future that I'm looking forward to the most!

Are your anticipated releases on this list? I'd love to hear about them! Comments are always welcome!