Saturday, August 23, 2014

If I Stay Movie Review

If I Stay: The Movie

After a long summer of waiting I finally got to see one of my absolute favorite books come to life on the big screen! I read If I Stay for the first time a couple years ago and it's stuck with me since. It's such a heartbreaking and beautiful story. After the great emotional adaptation that was The Fault In Our Stars, I went into this one with pretty high hopes.

All the casting and the trailers were really well done. I didn't have any problems with anyone. Heck, I even teared up watching the trailer. What can I say? I'm a sap.

So, it was........INCREDIBLE!

We've got the main character, Mia Hall, a shy dedicated cello player. She has her parents, her younger brother Teddy, and her best friend Kim.

Then enter Adam.

Lead singer/guitarist of the band Willamette Stone (which was Shooting Star in the book but whatev) and wonderfully charming. The two hit it off due to their mutual love of music and start one epic romance.

And they have some hiccups of course. You put a punk rock dude and a introverted girl together and they don't mesh perfectly at first. But it makes it so much more real.

Things get really rocky once Adam's band really starts getting some recognition and Mia applies to Juilliard. Neither wants to hold the other back.

Then on a snow day in Portland, Mia and her family decide to go out for the day. They all hop in the car and argue over music and everything is normal.'s not. It's never normal again. The ice on the road causes another car to swerve into them and BAM emotional whiplash.

Be aware that this is what you're signing up for. Don't go in blind. This movie is saaaaaad.

After the crash Mia wakes up to find she's standing next to her body. She calls for her family and searches. But the ambulance starts to take her real body away so she follows it. 

While in the hospital Mia asks everyone for answers but no one notices her. While in surgery a nurse whispers her the truth, whether she lives of dies, it's up to her. You think it's an easy choice. Who wouldn't want to live?

But not everybody makes it out of the crash.

With all the loss she'd be waking up to, it's not so easy.

The movie goes back and forth between flashbacks and the hospital. It gives you a chance to really see what the relationships and friendships were like and worked smoothly. I was a bit worried about how they were going to pull this off, but they did.

While debating Mia gets a few key visitors that nudge her in different directions. Her grandpa's speech made me sob out loud in the theater.

By a certain point I just cried the rest of the movie because even the happy parts hurt and non-crash related fights hurt and everything hurt okay.

Should have brought some tissues man.

Then we finally get down to the hour of truth where Adam makes the final plea for Mia to stay.

I don't want to give too much of this movie away because it's just so worthy of actually seeing. Who wants to go to a movie where they know exactly what happens??

So you want to know if she stays? Go see the movie. Bring a friend. Buy some popcorn. Or sneak in a tub of ice cream like I did. A few Kleenex should also be a must.

Overall: 5/5 Stars

This movie did the book so much justice. All my favorite parts were perfect and it was just great. It really captured the feel of the book. The acting was brilliant and so was the pacing. It doesn't drag at all. At the beginning it felt a tiny bit cheesy and iffy but quickly grew out of it.

There were some changes, but none that I wasn't okay with. Adam and Mia fought more and the grandpa was more involved (sobs over grandpa). I thought the changes actually made the movie better. As did the song at the end. Right in the feels.

Excited about all the great music you heard in the movie? You should be. The movie band recorded all the music and it's actually the guy playing Adam singing (#swoon). It's a great movie soundtrack purchase that I am enjoying listening to on repeat.

So if you're looking for a nice emotional movie or a good cry go buy a ticket. Of course I recommend reading the book first, but if you don't you really should go see it. It's a great movie on it's own.

Fingers crossed for a Where She Went movie!


"But the you who you are tonight is the same you I was in love with yesterday, the same you I'll be in love with tomorrow."

"Wanna bone? Come on, at least give me your bone number!"

"I'm not good about writing about things that make me happy."

"Life is a big fat gigantic stinking mess."

*pretty much everything Adam says*


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Top Ten Books I'd Give To Readers Who Have Never Read Contemporary YA

Top Ten Snoozeday. (Did you see what I did there? I'm hilarious.) Yes, late again...

As of now I've decided to do Top Ten Tuesday every two weeks. The decree has brought much joy to the queen. Once a week is pretty hard to do.

Top Ten Books I'd Give to Readers Who Have Never Read Contemporary YA

So you want to jump into the wonderful world of contemporary YA. Let me be your guide young Padawan. 

What is a contemporary novel you ask? It is a work of fiction set in the real world with no elements of fantasy or unrealistic things. Contemporary YA? Real world books for young adults!

10. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

A recent YA book that is unique for its twists and mystery. It's on the list because A) it's actually a pretty fantastic book, B) it's not mushy like a lot of contemporaries C) I've never read another book quite like it. It's a good place to start.

9. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

I'll be upfront with you right now. I don't like Nicholas Sparks books. I find them rather too similar to each other. Plus I don't connect well with books about adult romances at this point in my life. However The Last Song is the wonderful black sheep of the family. It's emotional and I loved it. Also has a pretty great movie with back in the day Miley.

8. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Pretend for a second like you've never heard of The Fault in Our Stars.

Okay, you can stop now. It's just worth the hype.

7. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

The best feel good teen romance out there in my opinion. Nobody is super angsty and it's in Paris for crying out loud.

6. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Sarah Dessen is without a doubt my favorite contemporary author. Nothing beats a good Sarah Dessen book. This one is one of the best ones. Auden is very serious and into her grades (hello self). Then she goes to her dad's for the summer and becomes a much cooler person, meets sweet friends, and falls in love. Super great.

5. The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

The Designated Ugly Fat Friend. One of those books most girls can just really connect to. Bianca is a snappy girl who doesn't pretend to like you or hold back. It's horribly refreshing. Plus Wesley Rush.

4. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Another from Ms. Dessen. This one deals with Annabel who after a fallout with a friend has been living a pretty passive life. Her sisters troubles are straining the whole family and she's basically alone. Enter Owen, a boy who never lies. This one is a bit darker and I loved it.

3. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Cath is a socially awkward freshmen in college alone for the first time. I read this book last fall. When I was a socially awkward freshmen in college. It was kind of the best thing that ever happened to me at the time. It's adorable and heartwarming. Cath is the character I've related to the most in a book.

2. If I Stay by Gayle Foreman

The book that wins the award for the hardest I've ever cried during a book. It just tears up your soul in a wonderful way. Plus there's gonna be a movie!

1. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

The best YA contemporary book out there. Macy has been trying to be perfect ever since her dad died. Then one day she spontaneously takes a catering job and everything changes. She discovers that pretending isn't coping with her new friends.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Vacation Wrap-Up

Vacation all I ever wanted! Vacation have to get awaaaaay!

I was lucky enough to spend a weak in the Outer Banks in North Carolina with my family. So you know what that means....


Vacation totals: 9 days. 10 books. One smashing good time.

Here we go now!

The Scorch Trials (The Maze Runner Series #2) by James Dashner

Four out of Five Stars: My personal favorite in the Maze Runner trilogy. Which is odd because I usually never like the second book that much. They suffer from second book syndrome. This beat the odds though. After the events of the first book Thomas and company are still suffering at the hands of WICKED. In order to escape they have to complete The Scorch Trials and reach the rescue point in two weeks. Cue action, horror, and betrayal. I liked Thomas a lot better in this one and the pacing just felt right.

Side Note: New Maze Runner Trailer!

The Death Cure (The Maze Runner Series #3) by James Dashner

Three and 3/4 out of Five Stars: This one made me mad. Like really mad. Like I raged on a plane for like half an hour mad. This is not how you end a series! THERE ARE NO ANSWERS. COP OUT. COP OUT. COP OUT. Maybe I'm supposed to read the prequel to figure out what the heck was going on. Anyway, so not satisfied. Like the book was good, but I needed closure. Still get a little angry when I think about it.

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

Four and a Half out of Five Stars: I loved Cinder! You think a retelling of cyborg Cinderella would be terrible. You would be very wrong. It's cute and quirky. The characters are so lovable and the story sucks you in. The Lunar Chronicles is an awesome series.

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

Four and a Half out of Five Stars: This was even better than Cinder! You've got all the great characters from the first one and new cool ones! Scarlet was a badass. I loved Wolf. This retelling of Little Red Riding Hood had great twists and I'm so excited for the rest of the series.

The Murder Complex (The Murder Complex #1) by Lindsay Cummings

Four out of Five Stars: This book was very violent. I mean it has the word Murder in the title so I probably should have expected that. The author followed me on Twitter like a really long time ago, so this book has always been on my radar. It was a decent dystopia read with a little too much instalove for me. Not a bad first book in the series though.

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Four out of Five Stars: The Grisha world is awesome and I love it. The characters and plot are harder for me to enjoy. I get tired of reluctant heroes with shallow problems. Alina has that in spades. I loved The Darkling and was disappointed when he turned out to be different than I thought. I didn't realize I was supposed to care about Mal. The Grisha academy was sweet and I wish we could have spent more time there.

Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Four out of Five Stars: This series just has those little nagging problems that keep me from enjoying it. The romance is so dramatic and whiny. Alina needs to just put on her big girl pants and get ready to kick ass. The shining star of this book is definitely Nikolai. He is all I need in a sassy pirate/prince. The book would have been better if he was in all scenes. I don't like how they just trash the Darkling's character to shreds either.

Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo

Four out of Five Stars: The conclusion was well...dull. The buildup was exciting but the actual climax scene lacked real grit. There was an almost death cop out and more Mal and Alina drama than I needed. Nikolai and the Darkling saved the book for me. Along with Genya and David. The side characters were always much more fascinating than the real characters for me in this series. I really expected to love this series, but I was rather let down.

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Three and a Half out of Five Stars: This book is so cliche it hurts. A bad guy from the rough side of town and the not so perfect rich girl. They take the snarky guy and turn him into a weenie. They couple have like no connection and already are in love. It's nice for a quick mindless contemporary. It has many issues in terms of sustenance. The best part was the girl's relationship with her sister in a wheelchair. It was heartwarming.

Aaaaand I read one more book that I'm throwing in:

Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Five out of Five Stars: One of the best books I've read in a long time. The main character Travis has terminal cancer and signs up for an experiment that could bring him back one day. They chop off his head and five years later attach it to a new body. That sounds freaking weird. However the characters realize it's freaking weird and are not okay with it. The story is sad and hopeful and beautiful. All of Travis' friends and family have had five years to change while he was out. It's pretty difficult having to adjust. I highly highly highly recommend it.

Side note: My sister Christina wants the credit for picking this book because she never picks good books.

And that's a wrap!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Double The Top Ten Tuesday, Double the Fun

So yes, yes I missed Top Ten Tuesday last week. I was on vacation. Breaking my goal after one week, that's a new low. But now you get DOUBLE TOP TEN TUESDAY!!


10. Cath (Fangirl): Because if I have to be stuck on an island for the rest of my life at least it'll be with someone cool I can bond with.

9. Gandalf (The Lord of the Rings): Maybe he can give his handy dandy eagles a call.

8. Isaac Lahey (Teen Wolf): I need a supernatural sidekick to make witty comments and threaten people with their claws. Isaac is the perfect fit.

Also he's pretty and has an accent soooo...

7. Captain Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean): The guy has been trapped on a deserted island twice. That kind of experience could come in handy.

6. Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games): I need protection. This girl can handle anything that comes at us.

5. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter): Somebody has to think of a way to get us off the island. Otherwise we could get killed!..

4. Captain Hook (Once Upon A Time): Because while Jack Sparrow is great, Captain Hook is my favorite swashbuckler. He also has escaped Neverland a couple times. And he's sarcastic. And easy on the eyes. We could share eyeliner too.

3. Liam Stewart (The Darkest Minds): Because if you get the chance to meet Liam Stewart, even on a deserted island, you take it.

2. Stiles (Teen Wolf): Stiles is my all time favorite character ever. Plus he's used to dealing with trying to be killed and destroyed all the time. The kid is a genius. He could help.

1. Percy Jackson: When trapped on an island the son of the sea god with the ability to control water and has a lot of experience with bad situations is obviously the number one choice. Plus his sarcasm would help indefinitely.

He's not all that bad to look at either.

as in real books in my possession: not past books or ebooks

10. J. R. R. Tolkien: 4 books

Nothing beats a little Tolkien. Of course I have The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. And the five movies too!

9. Veronica Roth: 4 books

The lovely Divergent Trilogy and the companion novel Four.

8. Stephanie Meyer: 5 books

The Twilight Saga. No judgement.

7. John Green: 6 books

Gotta have my John Green. Most of them should come with tissues, for crying and laughing.

6. Melissa De La Cruz: 7 books

The Blue Bloods series! Before writing about vampires made me sick, these were the best. The vamps were really dead angels and fought evil vampires. Also they didn't sparkle. The series did drag a bit though.

5. Ally Carter: 9 books

The Gallagher Girls and Heist Society books. Pretty darn good. Might have outgrown them a little by the end.

4. Sarah Dessen: 9 books

Except plot twist I don't have This Lullaby(because somebody STOLE IT) and I have The Moon and More and Someone Like You is missing. But gotta catch 'em all someday. They're the perfect contemporaries!

3. Rick Riordan: 9 books

Percy Jackson Series and the Heroes of Olympus Series. If you haven't read these, you're doing it wrong.

2. J.K. Rowling: 10 books

Harry Potter. Duh. And three extra books that are absolutely unnecessary and boring.

And rounding out the list we obviously have...
1. Cassandra Clare: 11 books

Be jealous because my movie copy one is signed by the cast. Not to mention I have all ten Bane Chronicles on my Nook but basically I like Cassandra Clare a whole lot. The highest of high recommendations.

Can't wait to get my hands on Lady Midnight.