It book/1990 TV mini series review

Cover of book It by Stephen King

Review by shreythemockingjay36

Book/TV series: It is about a child killing spree, in Derry, Maine. It all starts with a kid named Georgie. His brother makes him a paper boat and he runs outside to float it with the flood water. It ends up going into the sewage drain and he is greeted by a clown. Georgie is only five and is killed by the “clown”. Similar things happen to other kids of Derry until Bill Denbrough, (Georgie’s brother) has had enough. He teams up with the so called “Losers” of Derry to get revenge for his brother. They soon find out that “It” is not just a clown but a leper, a werewolf, a mummy, and other nightmares all wrapped into one. Can the Loser’s Club beat the monster consuming children through the sewers? Find out in Stephen King’s masterpiece IT.

Setting: This takes place in a small town called Derry, Maine. It is actually a real place and was written there. But it is obviously a fictional story.

Book Rating: 9/10 This was a fantastic book and I highly suggest it. The thing that kept it from a 10/10 was the confusing ending. The book was 1100 or so pages so the character development was great and the characters were very loveable. This proved to be one of King’s best novel ever.

TV series rating: 6/10 The TV mini series was pretty goofy and didn’t have the intensity of the book. The Pennywise actor Tim Curry was a great fit for the role and was scary. The special effects were terrible but it was the 90s so I have to cut them some slack. Overall not bad but not great either.

For those who liked this I will be making an original It Vs the remake when it comes out.

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“Message in a Bottle” Book Summary and Review

Cover of book Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks

Review by dancingforever27

In 1999, Message in a Bottle was mass-produced in an abundance of book stores. World-renowned author, Nicholas Sparks, narrates a love story between two unsuspecting love interests. This is a fictional romance story that debates fate and forgiveness, yet remains original and an easy read. Like all other stories written by Sparks, this novel takes place in the South of America in real locations.

The female lead is Theresa Osborne, a hardworking and determined woman. She previously has been divorced to a man unworthy of companionship, David, as he had an affair while they had a son to take care of. She has had a history of bad romantic relationships and some serious trust issues after figuring out his secret. Her friend and her husband, Deanna and Brian, have been focused on getting her out of this slump.

Theresa believes that her work in the city as a part of the columns in the Boston Times is too valuable to her life to be focused on dating. Her son, Kevin, alternates with both parents over summer, and he has just left to stay with David and his new wife, Annette. Currently, Kevin is spending a few weeks with his dad, and she believes she should be spontaneous and go to the beach for a few days. Her main focus for the trip is to relax and renew from these stressful situations she finds herself in such as taking care of Kevin, finding informative parenting text to write about in her column, being a single mother, and getting popularized for her work in the columns and later be featured in The New York Times.

While she was staying on vacation, Theresa notices a washed up bottle along the shoreline. Inside the bottle is a message on a scroll, one describing a romantic yet tragic love story. It seems to be understood that a man named Garrett loved a woman named Catherine very much. In a way, she has left him, most likely through death. As she reads a brief description of his passion for the missing lover, she cries of a longing for that type of relationship and informs her friend Deanna. She thinks that Theresa should release this into her column to find out who this poetic and adoring man is. This leaves Theresa with many questions about him, and she also has a few decisions to make based on that:

Questions about Garrett

  1. Where does he live?
  2. How can she meet him?
  3. What exactly happened between him and his previous lover?

Decisions to Make

  1. Will she listen to Deanna and publish the letter? If so, will she make it as personal as it was in the original print?
  2. If she finds out more information, will she try to find out where he is and meet him?

                                                                                 Find out more by reading the novel.

            I would rate this book an 8 out of 10 for the following reasons:

On the positive side of things, this story is a great romance with multiple layers of overcoming a devastating loss for Garret. Both characters are quite idealized by having great character. Each lead character are quite opposites. Theresa is a big-city woman with large dreams of being famous and well-known. Garrett loves to sail, is a rhythmical and romantic type of man, and is a classic type of southerner. These qualities allow for a constant struggle of how to work together and make their relationship progress.This works well to keep the reader interested, as they should keep attempting to predict and wonder about their future together.

On the other hand, it was tad bit frustrating to see Garrett use Theresa to get over Catherine, as it seemed. I also did not really see the two ending up together, nor did I really want them to because in no way would either one be happy giving up their lifestyle. This made them go through a constant struggle which was saddening to see them this way. Lastly, the secrets held between each individual of them led to the inevitable anger and fighting because of lying too much.

 

Ages 14 + for intimate scenes

“The Notebook” Book Summary and Review

Cover of the book The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

Review by dancingforever27

During this past month, I read the literary classic, The Notebook. This romantic novel was written by Nicholas Sparks in 1996. It became popularized in 2004 when the movie containing Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as love interests was produced. The story takes place after World War II in South Carolina, yet little-to none of the historical aspects of that time were referenced.

The story first starts with an elderly man, in a nursing home, who is reading a passage from a notebook to fellow members of the nursing home. He partially serves as a preface to the story, stating it can be viewed as “romantic to the optimists” and “tragic to the pessimists.” The purpose of his role is to read the majority of the actual novel to the other members, which mainly consists of patients who suffer from dementia. He has an interest in this act due to the fact that his lover also suffers from the disease.

After this section, we explore the love story behind Noah Calhoun and Allison “Allie” Hamilton. They can be described as star-crossed lovers, as they come from two different parental backgrounds; his being completely ‘southern’ and free-spirited in the working fields, and the her’s being much stricter and conventional of higher class residents. The two first met when Allie’s family came visiting town fourteen years from present day. They eventually had a summer affair. It would be dubbed this because they fell in love over that time and Allie had another boyfriend who was unaware of them.

Their love was filled with passion, yet also quite short-lived as factors such as class and wealth divided them. After she left town, Noah had sent two-years worth of letters, yet was never met with a response. It was almost as if something, or someone, had been standing in the way of their love.

Many years later, Noah, 31, and Allie, 29, are reunited as she approaches him three weeks before her wedding when she sees an ad in the paper for Noah’s refurnished estate. They relive their previous magic for a few days and catch up on lost time. Allie is faced with three important decisions and questions to answer before she can move ahead in her life:

  1. Why did she feel compelled to visit Noah while she was in love with another man?
  2. Due to what occurred at his house, what does this mean for the future of her and her current lover?
  3. Will she choose her current fiancé, or will she return to the poetic, hard-working man of her past?

As she decides on what her future holds by answering these questions, the story is wrapped up with the return of the elderly man mentioned in the beginning. Some of the unfinished components are continued on in Spark’s sequel, The Wedding. I plan on writing a book review on the continuation in the near future to see how it compares to this novel.

My rating on this book would probably be a 9.5/10 for a great plot line.

Pros:

I personally loved the fact that this book had the necessary forms of closure that it required, along with an interview between Sparks and students to offer even more of it. These included who ended up with who after all of the drama unfolds. I also really did enjoy how Sparks was able to end the story properly by including the elderly man in the beginning of the story and in the end to come “full circle” with the notebook he read from. The romance itself was invaluably perfect as they had been previous lovers. This was especially because Noah was a romantic poet who hadn’t lost himself in the war while remaining vulnerable, and how Allie defied social standards by allowing herself to fall in love with a man of lower class.

My only personal issue was that this story made me cry as their relationship remained fanatical until their final days together approached.

Fair warning to any future readers out there, be prepared with tissues while finding out how the story unfolds.

Ages 14 + for intimate scenes

Harry Potter and the Protective Parents

Harry-Potter

The Harry Potter series is one of the biggest hits in our world today. It has been read the world over and kept bookstores in business for another ten years. J.K. Rowling, the author, has become extremely rich and need not ever pick up the pen again. This happy story has a seemingly sad lining. Many parents have seen the back of the book, seen the words “witchcraft and wizardry”, and deemed the fantastic series inappropriate for their children.

This is one of the saddest true stories in the history of books. I even have a friend going into high school who says her parents won’t allow her to read them. The reason this story is so sad isn’t just because they’re missing out on the wonderful, moral books about Hermione, Ron, and Harry. The saddest part is that these children have not been introduced to reading in the unique way that authors such as J.K. Rowling and Rick Riordan present it.

You see, when I was seven years old, my father read me the first book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I was so delighted with it that I promptly read the second book. And the third. In fact, by the time I finished fourth grade, I’d finished the whole series… multiple times.

The point of this anecdote? The Harry Potter series caused me to fall in love with reading for the first time. It made me want to be an author. Thanks to Harry Potter, I started writing fanfiction and short stories, and discovered what would become my passion and dream: writing children-to-young-adult-level novels… just like my heroes, Rick Riordan and J.K. Rowling.

Now, I am a Christian girl. My parents are very devout. But they read the whole series and knew that it wouldn’t cause me to become a real-life, demonic witch. They knew that it would foster in me a love of reading, and it did! It made me look upward and onward, going on to read books in elementary school that kids in middle school would hesitate to crack open. Harry Potter did this. I have J.K. Rowling to thank.

So, please, please, parents, if you’re reading this, give Harry Potter a chance. It’s a moral, wonderful book that’s totally clean even on Catholic standards (which isn’t always easy to reach, believe me!) that won’t teach your children to worship demons. Some lessons in this series include: Don’t focus on yourself. Be selfless. Think of others before yourself. Be a good friend. Don’t kill people (an obvious one). If you treat others the way they want to be treated, most likely they’ll treat you with respect. Justice is good, but mercy is important too, even if you don’t always get something from it.

Harry Potter made me turn to my parents eagerly, and ask, “What else can I read?” One of the best moments, I’m sure, in parenting, is fostering a love of something good and beautiful, such as reading. Do your children a favor and let them read Harry Potter.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter is set in New England during the 1600’s; a place with strong Christian beliefs and customs. The book starts off with the main character, Hester Prynne, being brought out of the prison and up on to the scaffold. A scaffold is a wooden platform that has been raised about 4 feet off the ground. It is used for public shaming and embarrassment. What led to these events was that while Hester’s husband, Roger Chillingworth, was in England she became pregnant and gave birth to a little girl named Pearl. Because of this, Hester was sentenced to stand on the platform for committing adultery. While on the scaffold, Hester sees her estranged husband standing in the crowd. Chillingworth does not reveal his and Hester’s relationship to the town and is instead known as a renowned physician. The main plot of this book is Chillingworth trying to figure out who the father of Hester’s baby really is.

I really enjoyed this book because of the intertwining relationships of seemingly unimportant characters and how it portrayed the morals in that time period. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who likes classic novels, drama, secrecy, and very strong female characters.

 

How to Train your Dragon (the book series!)

dragon

Now, I know some of you are wondering if I’ve gone off the deep end, because everyone knows How to Train your Dragon is a MOVIE. But there really is a book series, written by Cressida Cowell, and it was the “inspiration” for the movie. I say quote-inspiration-unquote because the book series is much, much better than the movie, not to say that the movie was actually bad...

In the books, the Vikings never, ever killed dragons unless they attacked first. They actually keep dragons in their homes, for hunting, fishing and generally doing all the things your average dog does, except that your average dog doesn’t breathe fire. And as a rite of passage for the young Viking boys, they have to go into the dragon nesting caves and steal their first dragon. And, when Hiccup goes into the cave to get a dragon, he ends up with the smallest, weakest dragon there is. Go figure. So, now Hiccup has to figure out how to train his sarcastic, stubborn dragon, avoid the jerks (I’m looking at you, Snotlout), and also save the town from not one, but two terrifying giant dragons.

And that’s just book 1 out of 12. In the other 11 books, there may or be not be the really smarmy Alvin the Treacherous, shark dragons, giant deserts of red sand, a pirate’s treasure, Skullions, and the Library of (Nearly) Certain Death.

This series is packed with great books to read. It has excellent character development and you are really rooting for the ever- so-slightly sarcastic Hiccup and his pals. I still think the books and the movies have equal validity as INCREDIBLE, though. (Just like the Hobbit!)

Mocking Jay Part 1

mockingjay_main                               

    Mocking Jay Part 1

Mocking Jay is the last movie in the series Hunger Games. Part one is the least violent movie in the series. It includes only three attacks that have bloodshed but a few others are included. The beginning to the movie is when Katniss Everdeen wakes up in district thirteen, yes it exists after the bombing. However, there was a horrible event that included the burning of her own district, 12. She is put in a hospital room in the underground district thirteen and is most of the time kept under surveillance. Although when she is not she often escapes from her room and hides, she will try to sort herself out. She will say facts about herself. This and sleep helps to keeps her from thinking of Peeta who was taken by the capital when the games unexpectedly ended. After she became heathier President Coin realized she needed to speak with Katniss about being the mocking jay. Originally she says no, but after coin agreed to certain arrangements, Katniss agreed to it. She would have videos of her in some districts which sided with 13 and Katniss put on the video for President Snow to see along with the other districts. Snow and his people put on videos of Peeta too, but he was told what to say as Katniss believed. Eventually Katniss got tired of waiting for Peeta to be rescued. They sent out a crew to get Peeta back and the mission was successful. However, when Peeta saw Katniss he acted as if she had been the capital. After reviewing that the citizens of 13 realized he had been hijacked by the capital making Katniss a nightmare. No one knew how to fix him.

– 6th grader Erin