White Pine Wednesdays: The Outside Circle

Howdy peeps XD


Today, I will completely disappoint Paul (nothing really funny here, sorry) and post a “boring” review. Whilst it may not be the most “rainbows and sunshine” of reviews, this book still shines a light – on some of Canada’s more shaded issues.
My sixth review will be over the very first graphic novel nominee this year (the very first and very only, actually).

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Which Wednesday: Fairy Tale Edition

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(WARNING- In this week’s Which Wednesday, you will find: plenty of casual intergalactic bickering between Sarah and Faith. If you are not a fan, I would steer clear from those parts. Get ready for a journey through space. Blog space. It’s going to get brutal. But I assure you, it’s all friendly things.)


Fairy-tale retellings are all the rage: from Cinderella to Beauty and the Beast, every reader has (literally) read them all. The original ‘clichés’, the only thing that save these retellings are the originality of the characters and the world-building. As easy as it sounds, it’s harder than you think… how do you keep a reader’s interest if they already know the plot? In this week’s duo edition of Which Wednesday, we’re going to be comparing Cinder by Marissa Meyer and Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis. When we first read about these two books, we couldn’t NOT compare them: they’re so similar, they’re almost twins… but not quite. Soon, you’ll find out why.

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White Pine Wednesday: The Story of Owen

Hello fellow bookies! Let’s take a moment to think about the fact that EXAMS ARE OVERRRRRR (good vibes to everyone who still hasn’t finished, though 😛 ). Exams are the reason that this is being published on a Friday.

Only 19 weeks of school left …

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So I read The Story of Owen yesterday. Right after my math exams. And oh boy, if I hated the cover when I first saw it, I LOATHE the cover now.


What I originally thought:

I’m sorry, but what a bad cover. When I look at this, I don’t want to read it. It’ll probably remain in the pile until I absolutely cannot find anything else to read. But the story itself sounds interesting…


What I now think:

The cover of this book should be burned. It scares readers away from this hilarious, smart and very Canadian book. This book has been the best book I’ve read so far. It made me laugh, fascinated me with its world building, and had a great overall message.

It was basically set in an alternate universe, where everything happened… but there were dragons. A direct result of consumerism (and a ‘manifestation’ of global warming), they are attracted to oil and gas (as well as things that use gas). As you can imagine, they are fatal, dangerous… and E.K. Johnston outdid herself with the backstory. In retrospect, it makes sense while you’re reading it, but it’s really hard to explain.

The dragon’s were always there… and in the olden days, every village had it’s own dragon slayer. But now only the big corporations (who pay very well) are able to hire them. So when a dragon slayer family moves back to Trondheim, the town rejoices.

Strangely enough, the narrator, Siobhan McQuaid (and really, more of the main character) doesn’t hero worship Owen, and their ‘relationship’ is really platonic and amusing. It was also very refreshing, and a great distraction from the angst filled books so common in YA.

The book is rather short, but densely packed, so you don’t really notice how much information you are absorbing until you are done. That being said, the plot sort of suffers from the condensation (it felt sort of slapdash, really) but it does manage to come through in the end.

I found it extremely funny, with great social and political commentary. There are beautifully funny lines that made this worth the read, as well as a very Canadian sense of humor. A mixture of self deprecating sarcasm and wise-cracks? What ever it is, I feel so much more Canadian reading this book.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable romp, and a very unlike fantasy. There are no overwhelming villains or quests, but rather, the typical (but at the same time atypical) lives of 2 teenagers. I loved the crowning touches ~ an addition of a Youtube channel (she’s a bard, get it?) as well as many others that gave it a little extra spice. Even though it was obviously set in a rural town, it was still relatable (I’m a city slicker 😛 ). It has strong social, political and environmental messages ~ it wasn’t afraid to go into subjects that ‘bore’ teens. It’s funny, creative and one of my favourite books this month!

Honestly,  it has dragons, and sword fighting, and great characters. Just go read it already!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!

 

 

 

SUBLIME FRIDAYS! ft Sherlock and John

If there is one thing I have learned in these past few weeks, it’s never ever start watching Sherlock before exams.

Because once you’re in, you can never escape.

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It’s Sarah here 😀

Basically, every Friday night, my family has a movie night, where we pick a movie, eat sunflower seeds instead of popcorn and watch!

Now, you’d think we’d look like this,

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All calm and cute, right?

but in reality, we basically fight to the death over which movie is to be played.

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Three way death brawl, people. I’m not even joking.

Unfortunately for all my siblings, we basically watched every movie worth watching during the Christmas break. So when I suggested Sherlock, my sister needed bribing, my brother rolled his eyes, and my mom didn’t care :P.

Now, going in, I had high expectations. I mean, EVERYONE online, and my BFF was going insane. The hype was intense.

I’m pleased to announce that my expectations were absolutely shattered. Destroyed. Wrecked. Sherlock raised the roof, and then some 😀 It was too good not to review, so here we are!

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Literally, every time I see these opening credits, I die internally from joy.

 

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❤ The babes ❤

Title: BBC’s Sherlock

Country: Great Britain

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock, and Martin Freeman as John Watson.

Pilot: A Study in Pink

We start off with John Watson. He’s woken up out of a nightmare from a war zone, and looks extremely tired. He’s a soldier (army doctor), and an injured one at that. However, you get a sense of normalcy looking at him: his hair, sweaters and living quarters are extremely plain and ordinary. He is worried, though: living in London isn’t cheap, especially not in a bachelor pad. So when an old friend suggests a room mate, John agrees to check him out.

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Um, how did you know…?

Obviously, the potential roommate is Sherlock Holmes. He asks if John served in Afghanistan or Iraq… and the look on John’s face is life. We are then introduced to Sherlock’s genius… and his eccentricity. I won’t spoil anything else (although these were all facts given in the trailer 😉 )

The episode, being the first one ever aired, was everything a first episode should be. Intriguing, funny, witty and extremely entertaining.  My sister, who was all like NO WAY, asked immediately to watch the next one, and my brother, who thought it was going to be crappily made, was all like:

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God bless quality British TV, eh? 😉

Honestly, this episode was extremely well crafted. It gave the viewers insight into how Sherlock did his work, all the while giving us his extremely relatable foil (Dr. Watson).

Their interactions were PURE GOLD. Sherlock was the typical eccentric, weird and fascinating to watch. He also had horrible social skills, which makes him hilarious with no matter whom he’s interacting with. However, if Sherlock was awe-inspiring, then Watson was godly. You’d think that a teenage girl wouldn’t have anything in common with an old, discharged soldier, but Martin Freeman proved me wrong. His reactions to Sherlock are exactly how any normal person would react!

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All calm and cute, right?

Watson provided an amazing and sane contrast to Sherlock’s genius. He asked the questions all the viewers had, and he never really took Sherlock’s shit. And even though he didn’t get all the snazzy lines, his facial expressions were extremely telling. His sighs, frowns, laughter and denials rang true.

All the other characters added humor, and occasionally gravity to the situation. A special shout out goes to Anderson, who manages to lower the IQ of the whole street whenever he opens his mouth, as well as the drugs bust team.

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Volunteer drugs bust.

The plot (and ‘twist’) at the end was predictable to me, but other than that, the episode was perfection!

Rating: 5/5

And now for my favourite quotes!

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JW: No. SH:What? JW: You? SH: SHUT UP!

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SH: What? JW: Nothing… Welcome to London *snickers*

 

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I hope you enjoyed my fifth attempt at writing a coherent review! I’m not even joking ~ this post has had 25 revisions as of now 😛

  😀 Sarah 😀

Which Wednesdays: LGBTQ Characters

Hello, fellow bookworms and book bloggers! I have appeared, right before your eyes, to bring the second ever Which Wednesday! This week’s theme? Book’s about LGBTQ characters!

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The two books I’ve chosen this week are Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (AADDTSOFU for short) and Simon VS The Homo Sapiens Agenda (SVTHSA for short). Both books feature LGBTQ characters, something that has become extremely relevant.From the landmark US Supreme court ruling, to the hashtag  #lovewins, and Caitlyn Jenner’s coming out, many say that 2015 has been the year of LGBTQ rights. From more representation in movies, to acceptance in general, homophobia is generally becoming a thing of the past. More and more people are seeing past a default and opening their minds and hearts to people who would, 10 years ago, have been shunned. This trend (and to call it a trend is too simplistic) is not only in popular culture, as the We Need Diverse Books movement has contributed greatly to the variety of YA, LGBTQ-centric literature today. The two books I have chosen today are some of the most hyped and widely talked about stories. They deal with regular, average teenagers, and how they face their problems. Both of them have an average of 4+ ratings on Goodreads, so let’s see how they turn out! Continue reading

Movie Review: The Scorch Trials (Novel by James Dashner)

I love the posters for these movies… I can smell the adventure through them before even watching it! (Click the image for more info about the movie.)

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

Release Date: September 18, 2015 (USA)

Director: Wes Ball

Writers: T.S. Nowlin (screenplay), James Dashner (novel)

Movie Length: 2 hrs and 12 mins

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Genre: Action, suspense/thriller, sci-fi, dystopian, YA


The Trailer


A Spoiler Free Movie Review

(Written by a fangirl at midnight)

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