Tag Archives: city of bones

Through the Years in Books

I’ve been working on this post for about two weeks now. I wanted to give everyone a brief history of myself as a reader, and an even briefer look at me as a person. How I’ve grown and overcome some tricky points in my childhood. How I’ve become the person I am today!

Here goes nothing…

My dad made it a priority to get me reading from a very young age. By three I was reading aloud every night with him and not long after that I was reading to him whilst he fell asleep on the bed next to me. My whole family helped me with my reading – it was something we used to bond with each other. One of the first Mervyn Mousebooks I remember reading was Mervyn the Mouse. It’s a cute book with two stories inside, all told in rhyme, about a field mouse who has his tale chopped off by a combine harvester and then must learn to deal with the taunting that follows. I wrote a paper on it last year for my Children’s Literature class and got to re-live the memories of me sitting with my granddad in his chair and reading the two stories in this little tattered book.

The next big event in books I remember was Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It was first published when I was 7. My Primary 4 teacher, Mrs. Murray, sat us all down in a circle and began to read to us. I remember her holding the hardback version of the book and reading a chapter a day to us. After a few days I begged my parents to buy me my own copy so that I could read along with her, but I ended up finishing the book about a week later, well before Mrs. Murray had finished reading to the class. It changed my life. Every year from 1997 to 2000 I would await the next book hoping that it would not disappoint. And it never did. At this time in my life I was living in Scotland but had just found out that the next year my parents and I would be moving to Canada. In 2001, I went to see the first Harry PotterHP 1 movies in the cinema – it was the first time I’d ever seen a movie in IMAX and it was spectacular. The years that followed brought the last few years of the Harry Potter series and, of course, the movies that accompanied. Whilst I enjoyed the movies, I wish they had left them to the imagination of children. Now I can’t help but see Daniel Radcliffe in my head as HP.

During my HP years I read other things, of course, like the Josie Smith books (when I was between 6 and 10) and then I moved onto some of Jacqueline Smith’s books, which used humor and great friendships to battle tough subjects that teenagers may face (like abuse, friends turning on each other, sex, divorce, etc). I think because I was an only child, I had a lot more opportunities to read than some of my friends who had bigger families. I think of that as a blessing and a curse. Too much time on my hands meant that, yes, I did get to read a lot, but I also never learned how to interact with children my age and found myself not being able to relate to anything going on with my school friends.

When I turned 13 I was living in Labrador, and struggling in school. I had found the move to be quite photo(10)a shock, and had a hard time settling in and making friends. My grade seven teacher, Mr. John Hicks, believed in me. Being the English teacher, John and his wife, Kathleen, who was the music teacher, helped me see the potential in my writing and my singing – two of my favourite things in life. I was cast in the school musical two years in a row, and I began writing in a diary. I’ve had about seven of them since. All bound in black leather with different scribbles on the front, usually in nail polish – weird? Over the years I’ve lost track of them (how terrifying) but I have the first one and the most recent few. Sometimes I’ll re-read just to remember how far I’ve come.

A book that sticks out for me during that time is Go Ask Alice. Whether the diary is real or not, I remember reading it and thinking: ‘Wow, Sarah. Your life is pretty chill compared to this girl’s.’ I then read other “dark” books similar to this one like It Happened to Nancy, also by Beatrice Sparks. Looking back I feel like these books are a bit weird to read and I probably wouldn’t read them now.

During my first school year in Calgary I read Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt, which turned out to be HomecomingByCynthiaVoigtone of the best books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. We discussed it so much in class that I couldn’t possibly read it again and just simply enjoy the story, which is a shame, but still.. Its on my ‘favourites’ list. My grandma visited Calgary this year for the first time and she borrowed it from my shelf a few days before she went home. I didn’t realize until later that she had written a card, apologizing for taking my book hostage, and had left it where the book used to sit. She loved Dicey and her family’s tale so much that she read the next couple in The Tillerman Series and sent them to me from across the pond!

I went through a long phase of not reading and focused on singing and musical theatre. I spent hours laying in a dark room listening to soundtracks of Chicago, Wicked, Rent, Spring Awakening, Phantom of the Opera, Cats. I wanted to sing on Broadway. That was my dream. Although I didn’t make it I did perform here in Calgary. A lot. With a group called Stagestruck – it was a good time in my life. I was happy and I had a group of friends who were my age and who had similar interests. Everything took a downward spiral when the time to decide what I wanted out of high school came. I left Stagestruck and sort of lost my grip on who I was.

But High School changed everything…

I followed the path of singing again and sang with the school choir and in the Performing Arts’ twilight1Chamber Choir, which I successfully auditioned for. Slowly I gained confidence and with that came a rekindled love affair with reading. I started reading Twilight – it was the first time since Harry Potter that I truly loved characters and cared about what happened to them. Edward became my biggest crush (other than Joel.. tall and dorky and musical, he was shocked when I told him, but it ended up being okay – we’re still friends!) and all I wanted was to continue reading all about Edward, Bella, and Jacob. Those books molded the way I looked at guys. I wanted someone strong, who was willing to love me against all odds and fight for me, if needed. A blend of Edward and Jacob, if you will.

In my mind I blur the time between The Twilight Saga and The Hunger Games. I always think they were one-right-after-the-other, but there was a substantial gap between the two. I didn’t read The Hunger Games until a friend of mine lent me her copy whilst we were lounging on a beach in Mexico. I have to say that after reading the first couple chapters I found it dull and boring. Eep! Oh no! The only reason I started it at all was because I had finished reading Sarah’s Key and The Help, and Elixir (which is actually a really good read) and I needed something to do so I wouldn’t just sleep away the sunny days. I put Hunger Games on a back burner until the summer of 2012. I was that person… The one that only reads the books because they heard the movie was coming out, and the trailer looked cool. After finishing it in a day, and after realizing that I had made a huge mistake, I continued to read the other two books and finished within a few days. Amaaaazzing! Obviously everyone has reviewed these books so I feel like I might as well not bother, but a quick word of advice to anyone who hasn’t read them yet. Please. Read them. After seeing the trailer yesterday when I went to see Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (movie review here), I can’t encourage you enough to read the books and love them before the movies taint your imagination.

Graduated and heading for University…1174628_10153155963175364_754860065_n

As strange as it is to admit, I haven’t come all that far since high school. I’m not really close to finishing University, although I’ve finally figured out what I’d like to study, but that’s okay. Some days I get extremely frustrated with myself and think about where I could be. But whats the point in that? I am where I am, and the only choices I have are ones regarding tomorrow and the next day. I’m excited to be writing and reading again. As you can see, with this blog I plan to read so much that I forget whether I’m a shadowhunter or a young girl learning her, or just a girl who loves to blog and who is going to university and planning her future. Whatever the future holds I’m looking forward and upward.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Sidenote: I just gave B the link to this blog.. I hope he still loves me after reading it all [insert nervous laughter here]

S

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City of Bones: Movie Review

Yesterday marked a solid milestone in my life. I went to the movies alone.

It was actually quite refreshing to go, buy my ticket and a small popcorn, and sit in the theater and enjoy the previews by myself. I thought I’d be nervous, or feel weird, and had already planned my exit route when I realized I was relaxed and happy to be there on my own. I have to review the movie because, of course, it differs from the book and I’m not sure I’m okay with that!

The Review

From start to finish, this movie felt like a rush. There was no in between moments or ‘down time’ between any of the best action. It made me sad that they didn’t just drag it out a bit more and make it a three-hour feature. Instead they crammed it all into two. Whilst being super exciting, I feel like too much information was given to the viewer and I’m not sure how they’re going to do a sequel that isn’t completely boring or predictable!

I’ve read a few other reviews and they all have the same kind of idea regarding choice of actors. Jamie Campbell Bower plays Jace flawlessly. He’s got that sexy, dangerous, killer vibe and a smile that takes your breath away. Also the hair… Oh the hair. Lily Collins sort of fades into the background as Clary. Her hair isn’t as red as it should be and she’s not as exciting as she could be (although thinking back Film Set: "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones"to the book, I was only ever interested in Clary when she was with Jace or Simon or Valentine – I find it hard to connect to women in books, and life, but that’s another story for another day). The costumes for the characters were awesome! I love the edgy goth look. The boots.. When I was younger I always wanted a pair of boots like this! Going back to great choices of actors – Kevin Zegers. From The Jane Austen Book Club to Gossip Girl, I have loved this Ontario-born actor since the first time I saw his beautifully chiseled face. Ugh. The smoulder.. just look at it. He did an amazing job playing Alec.

I think all the actors chosen were amazing except for two. (uh-oh here comes some negative action). Magnus Bane and Valentine.

Dear Magnus Bane, I hope you grow on me – nothing against Godfrey Gao, as he is pretty fantastic acting wise, but compared to my imagination? The movie portrayal is way off. I do want to say that I find Gao extremely attractive and, like all the actors/actresses in this movie, he plays his part perfectly.

Valentine is a similar story. He looks nothing like he should. In the books, Valentine is described as a big, strong man with broad shoulders. Jonathan Rhys Meyers, although  extremely attractive, was a little too scrawny and a little too young to play the charming, evil shadowhunter-gone-rogue. He adds to the list of beautiful people in the movie and, while this is the negative part of the review, I’m okay with it.

Would I recommend? Yes, absolutely I would. I really like being able to see a book come to life. It makes me happy to know that people were passionate enough about the books to try and expand its audience by making a movie. I’m looking forward to the sequel and now that I’ve finished the third book (review to come soon), I’m looking forward to reading the last two books and finishing off the series.

My review of City of Bones.

What are your thoughts? Did you see the movie and hate it? Did I forget to mention something super important and you’re wondering if I noticed? Let me know!

S

Sidenote: I will be posting reviews for the other books, but, because I’m reading them so quickly, I’m trying to decide whether to combine the 2nd and 3rd book in one review or not. I’ll decide this weekend 🙂

Review: City of Bones – Cassandra Clare

I actually had no idea these books were being turned into movies.. I know, I live under a rock. But last Friday I made a quick stop at Chapters and bought a few random books – City of Bones was one of them. Once I had started reading I thought to myself, ‘shit… I’m going to have to go and buy the rest of this series!’ So that’s what I did yesterday. The lady behind the counter was so lovely as she exchanged my already 90% read copy of City of Bones for the box set* which included City of Ashes and City of Glass. I also picked up City of Fallen Angels… YES I’m addicted okay? Don’t judge me. This week is going to be a Mortal Instruments king of week (I might even go see the movie…!)

*Just an FYI – The box set at Chapters is 50% off right now.. it’s $22.00 for the first 3 books! So if you were planning on owning them – go get ’em!

I’m going to structure my reviews better now so they’re easier to understand and therefore easier for me to form intelligent(ish) sentences.

Summary: City of Bones begins by introducing Clary, a normal teenager living in NYC, to the world of shadowhunters. She meets Jace, a tall, beautiful, blonde guy covered in weird shiny tattoos. Immediately she is plunged into the world her mother has tried to keep her away from since she was born. And what of her mother? The woman who raised her vanishes at the hand of Valentine, who Clary learns is an shadow hunter turned evil. Clary teams up with Jace and the others at the Institute to find the hidden Mortal Cup before Valentine does. As Entertainment Weekly says on the cover, “Prepare to be hooked.”

Review: And hooked I was. As soon as I started reading about Clary (okay.. after I got used to all the weird names) I was so curious as to how this would all play out. So much happened in the first two chapters that there was no way I could put it down! While the storyline has similarities to Harry Potter, with its too-powerful, too-evil, overlord in the background and Twilight, with its love triangles, werewolves and vampires, Clare has managed to create a completely new and riveting fantasty/adventure series. I felt the same emotions as Clary all the way through the book. Confused and upset over the disappearance of her mother. Angry at Luke for abandoning her in her time of need. More and more, I fell in love with Jace as the pages went by. HOLY CRAP I was so disappointed when she finds out Jace is her brother.. wtf why! I don’t understand that at all. It ruined everything!!!!

Everything about this story is captivating. From the characters, their relationships with each other, the twists and turns of the plots, the vivid settings of each scene. Clare describes everything so clearly that you can’t help but visualize Hodge’s Greenhouse, or Magnus’ warehouse apartment, or the Hotel Dumort. I’m actually really looking forward to the movie to see how they portray it all and if my mind’s eye matches with the director’s.

Would I recommend? Heeeeelll yes. Its such a great read! I would recommend it to anyone above the age of 10.

Have you read this book too? Did you review it on your blog? Post a link so I can check it out! I want to know what you all thought!!

 

S