Scales: Mermaids Are Real

Cover of Scales: Mermaids are Real

Scales: Mermaids Are Real is a movie available on Netflix.  I can’t begin to express my confusion and hate for this entire movie. I watched it about 2 weeks ago with my sister and I am still utterly confused. My sister even agrees with me that this is one of the worst movies we’ve ever laid our eyes on. You can tell that this movie is probably low budget and none of the actors are very good. This whole movie seems very forced and none of the characters seem like they are actually living this.

            Scales also has many plot holes; random things will come in and are then never addressed again. Questions such as: who are those random mean girls that had maybe two lines in one scene? Who is Siren’s dad? Why can this girl heal people? Scales never answers any of the questions that it presents to you. Besides this, this movie presents a few negative stereotypes. The blonde woman is the stupid girl that is just having a good time and the only black character is the bad person.

            Besides all this, this movie is maybe a little too graphic for being PG. It includes lots of angry men attempting to murder the mermaids. There are also multiple kidnapping attempts and the very end of the movie is what has me so confused. The main character Siren has powers (which aren’t really explained) and apparently this gives her the ability to control water. So, she is able to um … rip people apart. The human body is made of 65% water apparently so this means that she can take people apart.

            The end of the movie is a bit violent as Siren rips the man apart using his molecules or something. Just his clothes remain and she just walks over them like this didn’t happen. The mermaids essentially party on his clothes.  I would not let any young children watch this movie. It is not a fun mermaid movie.  

            Overall, I would say this is just a really bad movie. It could have been good but the way the directors carried it out and the scripting of the entire movie was just horrendous. I would say don’t watch it unless you want to see for yourself how bad it really is.

            I’d rate this movie a 2.5/10.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Cover of The Hate U Give

This book was really good, it is now one of my favorites ever. It has some really good points about things that are still present in today’s society. The Hate U Give also discusses racism and how it can affect the people that it is directed to. I would definitely give this a look if I were you.

            The Hate U Give starts off with Starr.  She is an African-American girl going to a party with her sister. However, a fight starts and Starr and Khalil leave, a friend she hasn’t seen in a while. They are driving along the road when they are pulled over by a cop. Khalil asks why he was pulled over, and instead of answering, the cop pulls him out of the car and attempts to arrest Khalil. Starr gets out and Khalil asks if she is okay. When she is about to answer, Khalil gets shot 3 times by the cop. The whole story blossoms out from here. We learn about Starr and Khalil’s friendship, more about what happened to Khalil and more about Starr’s background.

            We see a lot of her friends and where she goes to school. It’s a fancy private school which is a cause of teasing and sometimes anger among some people. While reading the book, you witness protests and fights between Starr and her friends and people at large. Starr goes through a lot of things such as being interrogated and going to court. She meets new people that help her and old friends that don’t.

            As I stated previously, this is now one of my favorite books. It talks about things like racism and helps you get a better idea of how it impacts people. Such as part of the main idea of this book, cops are let off if they kill a black person just because they felt “threatened”. As you could see in this book, the cop wasn’t ever in danger, the supposed “gun” was just a hairbrush that Khalil was carrying in his car. You can feel for Starr and what is happening to her even if it has never happened to you. I would definitely recommend reading this book.

Paper Towns by John Green

Cover of book, Paper Towns

This book has been recommended to me numerous times by multiple people. Besides the Fault in our Stars, this is the only other John Green book that has been recommended to me (although I have read most of his books and would suggest all of them.) This is definitely one of his best books by far. I would classify it as a mystery book. One of the main characters goes missing, she has done this before, so the other characters expect that she has left them some kind of clue to find her.

            The ending is a plot twist because the characters do things differently than what most people think they were going to do. One of the good things about this John Green book is that nobody dies (I’m still getting over the Fault in Our Stars). Anyway, I think this was a really good book. It had a lot of character development.

            You will constantly swing between whether or not you like a certain character because John Green manages to capture the fact that people have good and bad sides. All of the characters are also very unique and all of them are pretty unforgettable. Paper Towns has a good plot and is a pretty easy read.  It doesn’t take much time and you will leave feeling happy and probably surprised too when you are done with it.

            The title name is obscure enough that you are like “Huh, this sounds interesting.” And it is. However, John Green connects it well and you can see why the book was called Paper Towns. Depending on the book, the illustration for the cover is cool too because it also connects to both the title and the plot.

            All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It is one of my favorite John Green books and it was very well written. Besides the Fault in Our Stars, I would recommend this as the John Green book to read!

            I would give this a 9/10.

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

The cover of Gathering Blue features a young girl looking at a bouquet of white and blue flowers
Gathering Blue

Have any of you ever read The Giver? Well boy have I got some news for you! Lois Lowry actually made a series for the Giver! Yup, I found out from my teacher so now, I am attempting to finish this series.

            So, it starts off with a completely new character, never met her before, her name is Kira. Gathering Blue starts with her sitting in a field to watch her mother’s spirit leave her body. Her mother has just died of sickness, now leaving Kira an orphan (her father was attacked by beasts before Kira was born or so you think, read The Messenger to find out what happens there). She also has a leg that is crippled so she can’t work or really do anything to help the village. After having a fight, she is given a job. It doesn’t take much movement and it is very important. She has to mend the Singer’s robe. Every year, the Singer sings about the history of the village. They are the most important person. He wears a robe and also has a staff. Kira has to mend the Robe as it wears down every year.

            First, she has to learn about dying the yarn for the different string. She meets an old woman who teaches her about dying (and dies before she finishes). Anyways, Kira learns, and she fixes the Robe. Along the way, she meets Thomas who fixes the Staff. She also meets Jo, but you can learn more about her in the book.

            Her friend Matty, a scruffy boy who lives in a dirtier part of town, adventures with her sometimes. He becomes essential in the third book (The Messenger) but for now, he is just her friend. The title of this book becomes apparent at almost the end of the book when Matty, who has been gone for a while, comes back. He found a flower who will give Kira blue dye, something she hasn’t been able to create. While exploring, Matty found a village of people. This village is full of people who need help or are injured. They help each other carry out tasks for people who can’t. Matty wants Kira to come with him to this village where they could help her do more things even with her leg. Read the entire book to find out what happens!

            I really liked this book and have to give credit to my teacher for telling me that Lois Lowry continued Jonas’s adventure. Now, you may be wondering, where is Jonas? He doesn’t really appear in this book but is more prominent in The Messenger. This book is well written and is unique compared to what I usually read. I would definitely recommend reading this book and the rest of the series too!

                        I would give this book an 8.5/10

The Magician’s Nephew

The Magician’s Nephew

This is the first book of the Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. It starts off with a boy named Digory. He meets a girl named Polly and they become friends. Digory is staying at his uncle’s house while is father is fighting in a war and his mother is deathly ill. Digory and Polly have many adventures together including going up to the secret part of Polly’s attic.

            One day, they plan to go exploring and try to get into abandoned houses. However, the plan doesn’t work, and they end up in Digory’s uncle’s forbidden study. Polly touches a beautiful ring she likes and suddenly disappears. Digory then has to go save her. He takes a ring too and disappears. He takes two rings of a different color that will bring them back.

            They both appear in a forest. The forest just consists of trees and a variety of small pools. It is quite mysterious. Once knowing they can get back, they decide to explore more. They end up in a magical yet silent creepy land. They are in the courtyard of a castle and walk around. They eventually find a large room full of silent waxy figures. In the front of the room, there is a bell and a hammer. Digory goes against Polly’s warning and rings the bells.

            A beautiful yet fierce woman awakes. Her castle starts to fall apart, and she must escape with the children. Polly knows she is bad and Digory doesn’t care. Polly tries to escape with Digory and without the woman, but the woman holds on. They go back to Earth where the woman (who is actually a witch) wants to rule over the humans like she did in her original world. She goes with Digory’s uncle all over town, stealing things and trying to just cause chaos.

            In the end, there is a big crowd in front of Digory’s house. The witch is quite strong and starts to cause even more problems. Digory and Polly decide to try and teleport away with the Witch. They take a few other people (and animals) along too. They end up in the beginning of Narnia which is just pure darkness. A magical song starts, and Narnia begins to come to life. Aslan the Lion appears and begins to select animals to talk.

            There is a conference and they disband. Digory and Polly then go to meet the Lion. The Witch and Digory’s uncle have both run off. The children meet Aslan and learn more about Narnia. The first book ends with one of the people Digory and Polly took becoming King of Narnia. Eventually, the children and some of the other people go back to Narnia, leaving the Witch and King. They get back to their world where no time has passed. The book pretty much ends there and transitions onto the next book.

            I really enjoyed this book. It again has been recommended to me by a friend. Though I haven’t watched the movies in a while, I can say the books are much better. The movies also skip some of the books which doesn’t make sense. This book was made and is based around the 1950s, this means that some of the words and phrases may have different meanings or just aren’t used today. Some of my favorites are “you naughty little boy” and “I do say”. Overall, I think this book is very good and should definitely be on your reading list. My book set has all 7 books in one but the 7 books in the series are usually individual. Anyways, yes read it.

            I would give this book an 8.5/10

The Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Cover of The Perks of Being a Wallflower

This book starts off with a letter, just written to a friend. It is describing a time — someone that the narrator knew and was friends with had committed suicide. It talks about going to a chat group to talk it out and mourn and such. The letter is then ended with the signature of “Charlie”. Charlie is the main character. He is about to start high school.  He does and has little to no friends. His friends were either dead or were popular now, unlike him.        

            He goes to a football game, and he sees two older kids (both seniors). One named “Nobody” or Patrick and one he doesn’t know. He goes up to them and says hi. The girl introduces herself as Sam. Charlie finds Sam extremely beautiful and tells her so. However, he doesn’t get the reaction he wants. She is nice about it but told him that she was too old. He tries to move on but fails.

            Later in the book, he goes to a party with his two friends, and happens to get high. It is interesting to witness and funny too. At said party, he also meets some new friends, Alice and Mary-Elizabeth being among them.

            There is a dance at Charlie’s school. Sam is going with someone so he can’t ask her, so he asks one of the girls he met at the party, Mary Elizabeth. They dance and she has fun at least. Thisnwe find out from Sam and Charlie’s experience. Mary-Elizabeth likes to talk. She might be asked a simple question and can go on for hours about it. Charlie didn’t really have that much fun, but she asked him out again and he agreed. They continue going out until one day, Charlie can’t stand not talking anymore. It happens at a party. They are playing a game and Charlie has to pick the prettiest girl in the room to kiss. He kisses SAM instead of Mary-Elizabeth, which pretty much messes up everything. He stays away from people for a while to let them cool off a little.

            Once they eventually do, things pretty much go back to normal. Mary-Elizabeth finds a new boyfriend and Sam’s boyfriend breaks up with her, and yet Charlie isn’t happy. He wants other people to be happy and kind of forgets about himself. Everything is going on. Prom season started and people are trying to figure out where they want to go to college and such.

            Charlie descends into a state that is hard to explain. He thinks of things such as when his Aunt Helen died. She had been killed a few years ago. Near his birthday, she had been going to get his present and was killed in an accident. He thinks about it every year near his birthday. Anyways, eventually it gets so bad that he has to get medical help.

            The book ends with him apologizing for writing to this person, it was just an address he heard and if they had been annoyed by it, he was sorry, but the writing helped him.

            I really enjoyed reading this book. It was recommended to me by a friend. The book had many twists and turns within it.  I didn’t include as many details as I usually do as if you want to read it, I think you should have the joy of getting all the happiness and sadness I got. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone. It was really good, even if some parts were sad.

            I would give this book a 9/10 (like I do almost everything I do this about, except the Percy Jackson movie, that is just bad)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

I always enjoy this whole book series but this one ends everything off quite nicely (Not including The Cursed Child).

            This book starts off at Malfoy Manor where Voldemort and the Death Eaters are gathering and planning on how to capture Harry Potter. During the process, Snape reveals the Order of the Phoenix’s plans to move him. They had captured a Hogwarts teacher (Muggle Studies) and proceed to murder her. It then ends and we are taken back to Harry’s life. He is currently arguing/saying goodbye to the Dursleys as they are shortly being taken away for their protection.

            Once this is all over, some of the Order members, including Fred, George, Ron, and Hermione greet Harry, intending to depart with him. They have a plan that may work, people take Polyjuice Potion and turn into Harry, they then take things like broomsticks to a safehouse where they then Portkey to the Burrow. This goes good and well until they are into the air where chaos breaks loose. There are Death Eaters and Voldemort himself flying around, trying to find the real Harry. There are many fights, some ear damage and general bad things. Everybody gets to the Burrow and all is well until Bill and Fleur’s wedding.

            At the wedding, they get a message saying, “The Ministry has fallen, Scrimgeour is dead, they are coming”. The protective enchantments over the house are broken and Death Eaters invade the party. Harry, Ron and Hermione manage to escape, though somehow attract Death Eaters into the Muggle World.

            The trio then starts their search for Horcruxes. They know they must find something to destroy them and they also must figure out where the other Horcruxes are. They venture to the Ministry of Magic, where they encounter many problems but manage to find the actual locket. They have no way to destroy it though they try everything. Ron was Splinched and must wear a cast while they heal, they can’t apparate, so they are stuck in a forest. Days past and they have nothing, then something horrible happens. Ron, who was angry over the lack of progression, abandons the others and leaves. Harry and Hermione then travel to Godrics Hallow, hoping to find some clues, they instead get Voldemort. After escaping him, they spend many nights alone, not talking.

            Ron then magically appears back, after saving Harry from almost drowning. Harry had been trying to get the Sword of Gryffindor, which was hidden at the bottom of a pool. They get back and Ron and Hermione fight. After a while, they are fine and go to visit Luna Lovegood’s father. It is again a disaster, they are almost caught by Death Eaters and pretty much blow up his house. They travel for a few more days (they have destroyed the locket) before Harry accidentally says the word “Voldemort” which triggers a Taboo, Snatchers find them and capture them, bringing them to Malfoy Manor. All hope seemed lost but fear not, Dobby to the rescue. The next parts are intense and include some torture. They managed to save Griphook, a goblin that used to work at Gringotts, the wizarding bank. They break into Bellatrix Lestrange’s vault, stealing the cup of Hufflepuff. They lose the sword however. After many more small adventures, they are forced to go to Hogwarts. There is a final battle, which includes finding the diadem of Ravenclaw, fighting many Death Eaters, seeing the deaths of multiple people and just general chaos.

            In the end, something happens, I won’t tell because you have to read the book yourself, but it is good.

            I honestly love this book and I really have loved the whole series from about 1st or 2nd grade. This book is the 7th book in a 7-part series (not including the Cursed Child) it ends on a good note and has much drama and many twists and turns throughout, I would definitely recommend this book.

            I would rate it a 9 and ¾ (hehe).

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (book) by Rick Riordan

I previously wrote a blog post on the Lightning Thief movie, I still think that it is horrible. However, I am now doing the book, you can see how different it truly is from the movie.

            The book starts off with Percy Jackson, the main character, sitting on a school bus next to his best friend Grover. They are going on a field trip to a museum. After their tour they go outside for lunch. Percy somehow makes a fist of water come from the fountain grab a girl that was being mean. She claimed that he just pushed her. The other teacher, Mrs. Dodds, takes Percy inside to “talk with him”. She instead turns into a monster and tries to eat him. His disabled teacher comes in and throws him a sword. He kills the monster and then walks outside, the teacher and his friend act like nothing happened.

            He was expelled from his school and went home to his apartment that he shared with him mom and horrible step-father. His mother surprises him and takes him to their favorite place, a cabin at Montauk beach. In the middle of the night, they are disrupted by his friend Grover knocking on the door saying, “it is coming”. They run to the car and drive towards a camp that Percy’s father wanted him to go to. He finally sees that they are being chased by The Minotaur, the half-bull half-man from Greek myths. They are fighting it and his mother is taken and squeezed, she then poofs into magical powder. Percy, using his anger, breaks the Minotaur’s horn and kills it. He then faints and wakes up a few days later, being fed a magical drink by a girl. He learns that he is half-god and half-human and he is at a training camp for people like him. He is taken around this new camp, called Camp Half-Blood. He spends a few days there, getting used to the Hermes cabin, where he stays until he is claimed by his father (who is a Greek god).

            They play Capture the Flag and he is injured by and Ares girl named Clarisse. He stands in the river and is somehow better. His father, Poseidon god of the sea, claims him. For the next few days, everyone skirts around him. He isn’t technically supposed to be alive. After World War 2, Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon had made a pact to have no more children, they were too powerful. Percy is then given a quest, he must retrieve Zeus’ lightning bolt, which was stolen.

            He decides to take Grover, who he discovered is half-goat (a satyr) and Annabeth, a child of Athena, who has always wanted to go on a quest. They start traveling west. They stop and have different adventures including, meeting Medusa, meeting Echidna and falling out of the Gateway Arch and getting trapped in the Lotus Casino. They also meet Ares, who gives a backpack full of things and a quest. They are then almost killed by mechanical spiders for said quest. They go to the Underworld, with the intention of retrieving Percy’s mom. The problem is that they need a soul for a soul, someone needs to stay down, or Hades’ Helm of Darkness is returned which was also stolen. They don’t have either, so they escape back to the overworld. They find out that Ares has the helm. Percy fights him. He then finds out that the Lightning Bolt was in the backpack and Ares was acting under orders of someone. They travel to Olympus and return it. Everything is better and Percy goes to camp. He is then betrayed by Luke who he thought had been his friend, he is stung by a scorpion and must stay at camp. When he is better, he goes home and stays with his mom, who got rid of the horrid step-father.

            I really enjoyed this book. It has many twists and turns and some ups and downs (quite literally).  Would definitely recommend reading this book, the series, and all the other books he has written.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling

This book starts off with the muggle Prime Minister. He has a meeting with Cornelius Fudge and meets Rufus Scrimgeour. It then goes to Narcissa Malfoy meeting Severus Snape to discuss something forbidden. It then switches back to Harry, who is waiting for Dumbledore to come and whisk him away to the Weasley’s house. He goes. While making a detour, Dumbledore tries to convince a retired teacher to come to teach at Hogwarts.

            We are at Hogwarts, after spending all summer at the Weasley’s house. Harry can continue his ambition to be an auror when he thought he couldn’t. He needs to borrow a potions book from the school storage until he can buy one. He happens to get one that has lots of odd scribblings and markings on it. It almost seems like someone revised the book. Harry tries one of the edits and miraculously, it works and gives him the reputation, that he doesn’t really deserve, as expert potioneer.

             We progress through the year; Professor Slughorn tries to “collect” Harry, as his crown jewel to his selection of people with famous contacts or have good potential to have a successful job. Harry is invited to his Christmas party, after avoiding Slughorn as much as possible. Halfway through, Draco Malfoy is dragged in, claiming he wanted gate crash. He is taken away by Snape. Harry follows them and his suspicions, which have been going on for a while, are confirmed. He tries, in vain, to convince Ron and Hermione that Malfoy is up to something. He however, has a hard time doing this as Hermione and Ron are having one of their biggest fights yet.

            Ron has been dating Lavender Brown, which Hermione dislikes, she tries to do things like make him jealous, to some degree of success. Ron however, is still in a passionate relationship with Lavender Brown. This whole fight was started because Hermione had kissed Victor Krum, two or more years ago. Hermione is hurt and doesn’t know why Ron is angry and Ron refuses to explain or apologize. Then something happens, that both heals their friendship and makes Harry even more obsessed about finding where Malfoy disappeared to and what he is doing.

            Throughout the year, Dumbledore has been teaching Harry about Voldemort’s past, how he has made Horcruxes in his quest to become immortal. Dumbledore found a potential Horcrux and takes Harry with him to find it. In a secret cave that Voldemort visited as a child, they find Slytherin’s necklace. They are successful. However, when they are returning to Hogwarts, they come upon a horrible sight, Voldemort’s sign, the Dark Mark, is hovering above the school. They come and land on the Astronomy Tower, after riding brooms there. Harry is somehow frozen in place and must watch as a horrible scene unfolds before him. After said horrid scene happens, the perpetrators run away. Harry is freed from his bond and chases after them. There is a large fight and when Harry calls someone a traitor, he finds out who the “Half-Blood Prince” is, who he has been obsessing over almost as much as Malfoy. The Half-Blood Prince is the person who has been providing helpful tips and spells in his Potions book all year.

            Livid and yet very sad, he goes back up to the castle, after who he was chasing managed to escape. There is a funeral for a very special person who died, and everyone goes home for the summer.

            I really enjoyed this book, although the ending was both a surprise and was quite sad. I expect anybody who has been following the Harry Potter series, after reading this book, will understand. Sorry that I didn’t include who died and such, but I feel that would be a large spoiler. This book was very good. It follows lots with Harry’s obsession, which made me a little irritated. I expect that was supposed to be the effect though. Harry would think of nothing else, aggravating even his best friends. Overall, I would suggest this book.

                        I would rate this book a 8.5/10

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (Movie Review)

This movie was kind of utter trash. I would not recommend this movie if you want it to be like Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief book. If you just want a movie, sure it might be okay. It isn’t anything like the book and doesn’t even introduce some of the more important characters.

            It starts off underwater. Percy is sitting at the bottom of a pool and seeing how long he can hold his breath. The book starts with him on a fieldtrip, where he is attacked by Ms. Dodds. He then gets to Camp Half-Blood, completely skipping the beach and just going straight to the Minotaur. The mother then poofs into magical dust and he fights the Minotaur and wins the horn.

            He then wakes up, finds out his Latin teacher was a centaur and is then sent on a quest. He then must travel to find some magical shells, which will enable him to come back from the Underworld. This is where it goes completely off topic. There are multiple reasons.

  1. It doesn’t even introduce Clarisse at all in this movie, she comes in at the second movie (which is the end of the movie series)
  2. They receive the magical pearls from a goddess in the book (if I am not mistaken), not go around on a quest to find them.
  3. They don’t ever get a map of any type.

            They then start their travels, first going to Medusa’s lair, then to the Parthenon in Tennessee (I went there a few years ago and they have the pearl on display used in the movie) and lastly the Lotus Casino. If you have read the books, you would know this Casino is like an overlarge arcade that you get trapped in for all of eternity. To stay trapped, they eat some weird Lotus flower cookie type things. They eventually escape the Lotus Casino and manage to make it to the Underworld and Hades, who is waiting for them. Persephone makes an appearance and does punch Hades in the face to get them free from his firm clutches in the Underworld. They manage to get back to the surface, alive, intact, and with Percy’s mom.

            Yay for everybody. In my opinion, this movie was horrible. I am a great lover of all of Rick Riordan’s books, especially his Percy Jackson series, and frankly, this movie is just an insult to the books. If you haven’t read the books, it would be just dandy, but if you have read it, I wouldn’t recommend it at all.

            There are multiple parts where they completely stray from the book. Of course, every movie that comes from a book series does that, even Harry Potter. Whether they leave stuff out or create a scene or two, it is still okay. But this movie just misses too many things and adds what makes up 90% of the movie, none of which is in the book.

            A few things that really annoy me, which are sometimes big roles in the events of part of the story, are changed. Such as: Annabeth doesn’t have blonde hair or gray eyes, which is stated many times within the books, Clarisse and Nancy Bobofit are never mentioned once, let alone having a character. Also, the cabins are set up in a U shape on a central green, and Poseidon’s cabin in gray and sea-like. The movie shows it at the waters edge, with no other cabins evident. There is also just the fact that Chiron is showed with a dark brown coat in the movie, while in the book, is described as a palomino horse.

            Overall, this movie could be okay, but if you have the read the books, not.

I would rate this movie 2/5 stars