The Book VS the Movie: Something Wicked This Way Comes

seth-grahame-smith-direct-something-wicked-this-way-comes

Book written by Ray Bradbury, 1962
Movie directed by Jack Clayton, 1983

Synopsis from Goodreads.com:

A carnival rolls in sometime after the midnight hour on a chill Midwestern October eve, ushering in Halloween a week before its time. A calliope’s shrill siren song beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery.

And two inquisitive boys standing precariously on the brink of adulthood will soon discover the secret of the satanic raree-show’s smoke, mazes, and mirrors, as they learn all too well the heavy cost of wishes – and the stuff of nightmare.

something-wicked1

 

VS

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Which I Viewed First: The book.

Which I Enjoyed Most: The book.

Out of 5 stars, the Book Gets: 4.5 stars.

Out of 5 stars, the Movie Gets: 3.5 stars.

Things the Book Did Better: Story itself was better, darker, things felt more dire & horrifying, characters were deeper, great scenes such as the dust witch on the roof & Will’s father shooting at her were not in the movie.

Things the Movie Did Better:  Seeing the mirror maze and carnival helped paint a better picture in my head, casting overall good, outcome of some of the characters was a little less depressing than in the novel.

Verdict?: Book.

Should the movie be re-made?: Yes–I’d love to see a darker version. This was dark for a Disney movie, but didn’t quite capture the mood as much as I’d hoped.

What do you think? Agree, disagree? Would love to hear your thoughts!

See more Book VS Movie posts HERE.

jnc

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Books in September 2016

For 2016, I have challenged myself to read 100 books. In September, I read eleven!

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My birthday is September and the birth stone is sapphire, which is my favorite gemstone and color so I thought it would be fun to do blue books for this month.

 


Favorite: Cress by Marissa Meyer
Classic: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Least Liked: I Know It’s Over by C.K. Kelly Martin

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I really enjoyed the 4th One Piece manga, both Animorphs books, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and Gilt Hollow. Into the Wild, The Raft, Don’t Stay Up Late, and I Know It’s Over were okay, but probably not books I’d ever read again.

 

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My favorite read for September 2016.

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My classic read for September 2016.

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Review book for September.

What did you read in September and what were your favorites?

 

jnc

Post #666 (Horror Recs & Evil in the Walls Preview)

Hey guys, can you believe I made it to post #666? While this blog has been up for a few years, I find that to be pretty amazing. Since I am a huge horror fan, I thought this post number would be a perfect opportunity to share some book recommendations and a peak at my YA horror novel I wrote during NaNoWriMo of last year, Evil in the Walls.

 

Since this is post 666, I’m going to give you 6 of my favorite horror reads, in no particular order:

 

  1. Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews.

    Flowers-in-the-Attic-cover-vc-andrews-20778428-202-330
    I have been a huge VCA fan since I was 13 or 14. Her books are more of a psychological, Gothic horror, but they are pretty shocking, especially during the time they were written. While the book may seem a bit dated today, I still think readers will be able to relate to and fear for the young characters and their situation.

    The book is told from the POV of Cathy Dollanganger, a young girl who finds her life completely changed after the sudden death of her father. When her family can no longer afford their home, Cathy’s mother takes them to her family home at Foxworth Hall. While Cathy’s grandparents are rich, the grandmother is cruel and the grandfather doesn’t know about her, her two brothers, or sister–and cannot until he dies.

    Since the grandfather can not know he has grandchildren, they are locked away in the attic to wait for his death. But the children soon learn that sometimes riches comes with a price.

    There are also two movies and book sequels.

  2.  Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

    mercedes
    I actually dig a lot of Stephen King’s work but I choose this one because it is somewhat recent and has a pretty twisted villain. The book is more of a crime-horror, but definitely one of my favorites. It is the first in a trilogy, in which the last book comes out in June. So it’s the perfect timing to get started on this one.

    Mr. Mercedes is about the battle between a retired detective named Bill Hodges and a twisted killer called The Mercedes Killer. As Bill begins to crack down on the killer’s identity, the killer will do anything possible to make his life a living hell.

    There is talk of a possible TV show adaptation, which would be pretty awesome. Bill Hodges makes for a good protagonist, the story is interesting, and the killer is one of the most twisted ones I’ve seen in a while.

  3. The Merciless by Danielle Vega

    the-merciless-3d2
    This one is a young adult horror in which a new girl befriends a group of other girls who want to perform an exorcism on her. Unfortunately their idea of exorcism is more like torture and there is no escape.

    I feel like I talk about this book a lot but it’s really the first YA Horror that I’ve found so far that has been this good. It would make an excellent adaptation if done well and there is an IMDB page for it so maybe it will happen. If you like stories about exorcisms or shows like American Horror Story, you’ll probably like this one!

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Forest_Hands_Teeth_hb_cover
This is another YA Horror, but it focuses more on zombies and has two more books after this one. I felt it was a strong book, and the books seem to get even better as the story goes on. I can take or leave zombie stories in general, but I really enjoyed this one.

In the Forest of Hands and Teeth, Mary lives in a world full of protection from the evil things in the forest outside the fence. Once Mary begins to uncover the truth about the safe society she lives in and the fence is breached, she will have to make a difficult choice to survive.

The movie adaptation is supposedly in pre-production.

5. Lightning by Dean Koontz

lightning
It’s been a while since I’ve read this one but it was always my favorite out of his books. I got into them during high school, though I never liked them as much as I did Stephen King’s books. This book involves a woman named Laura who finds herself being protected by a time-traveling stranger.

6. The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin

stepford
I read this one last year and found it to be very disturbing. While it’s dated, it still has a creepy atmosphere and vibe to it. Despite its age, it still feels relevant even today. This book is about a couple who moves into a new, too perfect town. Soon they begin to discover why things are so perfect, especially the wives.

Have you read any of the above? If so, did you enjoy any of them? What would you recommend?

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Now, for a sneak peek at my NaNoWriMo novel, Evil in the Walls!

The tea cup was halfway to her lips when she heard the noise. Her hand paused, slightly shaking. No. Not again. Aya Hara pressed her lips together tightly and waited. One second. Two. Five. Twenty. Everything was quiet. Swallowing, she moved the cup all the way to her lips, opening them to take a sip of the hot tea she always liked to have right before bed.

There is was again. Low, but it resounded throughout the room. Something in between a groan and a howl. Her hand began to shake so badly that a stream of brown liquid began to dribble down the left side of the delicate china cup. Taking a deep breath, Aya tried to calm herself as she lowered the cup to its saucer on the table beside her chair.

Aya pressed her hands together. “That’s enough,” she said as loudly as she could. It wasn’t very loud. She was ninety-six years old, and her voice seemed to be getting quieter and quieter lately.  Taking another deep breath, Aya reached for the ornately bound notebook that she’d been scribbling in since the death of her husband. Ten years of musings and she only had one last page left. She hoped that it would explain everything when she was gone.

There was no other solution that she could see. The hotel had to be destroyed. Over fifty years of hard work had to be demolished. Sadness filled Aya, but she knew it had to happen. If she didn’t destroy the hotel, it would destroy her and all that she loved. She couldn’t let that happen. So she pressed the tip of her pen to the paper, thinking of how to word an explanation in case she didn’t make it. Though she planned on surviving, she knew she shouldn’t take any chances. She was too old to be sure, and even if she’d been younger, there was no way to know for sure if she’d be safe even then.

This was her insurance plan in case things didn’t pan out. No one else was here; all of the help had been asked to go home over the weekend. All of the guests had checked out, the vacancy sign outside was dark, and no one was able to check in. It was just her and the evil that dwelled inside the walls. Her heart felt heavy. She had worked so hard and for so long on this place that it was like she was killing a piece of herself. She had to, though. If she didn’t, she knew deep in her heart that it would go after her family. The Grand Kansai had to go.

Tears leaked from her eyes as she began to write. It took her ten minutes to finish. Once she did, she closed the notebook and laid it on the table. Hands still shaking, she picked up the tea. It was still warm. She took a long, grateful sip, feeling the warmth flow inside her. She would finish her tea, put the notebook somewhere safe, then get to work. The thought of her only daughter and her family, who lived hundreds of miles away in the city, helped her gulp the remainder of her tea down. There.

She set the cup aside and grabbed the arms on her chair. There was a lot to do. Slowly she stood. Her reflection in the mirror gazed back at her. She had gotten so thin. The evil was eating her alive. I have to do this, she thought to herself. She nodded and moved to take a step forward. A sharp pain ricocheted throughout her heart.

Grimacing, she slapped a withered hand to it and squeezed her eyes shut. What’s happening? No. NO. Not now. A heart attack? She could barely think over the roar of the pain. Clenching her teeth together, she willed her eyes open as her stomach began to convulse as well. No! Her hands moved there and she stared at her reflection in the mirror. Her reflection was smiling at her in a smug way. The evil. It was doing this to her.

“No!” she cried, gasping as another wave of pain gripped her. It hurt so much. Her stomach felt like it was eating itself with sharp, jagged teeth. What was going on? Her eyes met those in the mirror. Her reflection picked up the tea cup and lifted it, grinning. Aya watched, horrified, as her reflection turned the cup toward her so she could see the inside. The tea remains had left an image of a skull and crossbones. Aya’s eyes widened. Something had poisoned her! It had poisoned the tea she loved. Just as it had poisoned everything she loved.

Aya put a hand to her throat, tears gushing out of her eyes. Her mouth opened to speak, but nothing came out. So she glared at the reflection, at the evil there. Leave them alone! Stay away from my family! she thought at it as hard as she could. Her reflection began to laugh. The pain worsened and Aya sunk to the carpet. She wrapped her arms around her convulsing body. Fluids began to gush out of her mouth and she struggled not to gag on them.

Her letter. Her notebook. She had to get them. She tried to crawl to the chair. How long did it take for poison to kill someone? Maybe the evil wanted her to suffer. Her outstretched hands finally grabbed onto the softness of her chair. She tried to pull herself up, but she was far too weak. No. Karin! I’ve failed you. All of you. I’ve failed you all. Tears poured out of her eyes, snot ran out of her nose, and she began to puke. Blood was in whatever poison was coming out of her, but she knew it was too late.

Her hands flailed uselessly at the edge of the table where her empty tea cup and the notebook lay. Please! Then she crumpled to the floor, pulling her arms against herself. Her face turned up and she could see the edge of the notebook. Almost as if the evil were taunting her. And maybe it was. She tried to cry out, but the life was already leaving her. She stared up dully at the notebook, feeling the last seconds of life fleeing from her body. At least she could no longer feel the pain. Her thoughts were evaporating. Karin, I’m sorry, she thought before her head cleared and Aya Hara was gone.

 

jnc

Camp NaNoWriMo: Week 3

campnano16

 

Hey guys!
We’re on week 3 of Camp NaNoWriMo and I’m almost finished. I have a little over 5K left, though I will probably write somewhat more to finish up the book. 50K is just an initial word count goal.

I just added a new character death and have plans to change the ending. The last part of this book is as exciting to me as it was when I wrote it. I can see it playing out as a movie so well. I cannot wait to write the new ending!

 

Here’s my stats so far:

Total Word Count: 44,611.
Words Remaining: 5,389.
Days Left: 8.

 

I feel like I am just flying by with this edit. I’m currently looking for beta readers so if you are interested, please let me know.

 

Are you doing Camp NaNo? If so, what are you writing and what are your goals? How are you doing with them? Best of luck! One more week to go!

 

6 Series I am Considering for 2016

I hesitate to get into series because they are a commitment but these are 6 I am considering IF I like the first book. My new rule is going to be if I don’t like it a lot, then I’m not committing to it. Too many books, so little time. I probably won’t get to all of these but if I can get at least two read, I’ll be happy. Some of these are ones I’ve already started and would like to finish.

Source: harpercollins.com
Source: harpercollins.com

1. Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

I loved the first book but just can’t seem to get around to the others. This year I’d like to try, especially since the first one is still kinda fresh in my mind. Then I could see the other movies, too.

Source: cinderfaith.blogspot.com
Source: cinderfaith.blogspot.com

2. The Selection Series by Kiera Cass

I really liked The Selection, but need to read the others. I might buy the set for myself as a gift in a few months.

Source: bittenbythefantasybug.wordpress.com
Source: bittenbythefantasybug.wordpress.com

3. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

I liked Cinder but need to re-read it. I’d like to get into the other books as well. Since my husband and I got hooked on Once Upon A Time, this might be a really fun one to do.

Source: bookarrows.wordpress.com
Source: bookarrows.wordpress.com

4. The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

I couldn’t get into The Mortal Instruments because I didn’t care much for the first book in the series. But I listened to part of The Clockwork Angel on audio book and remember really liking it so far so I might give this series a chance instead.

Source: ebay
Source: ebay

5. Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay

I’ve read the first four and would like to wrap up the series. I’m halfway through. I don’t like these as well as the TV series, but I do enjoy reading them.

Source: www.liljas-library.com
Source: http://www.liljas-library.com

6. Bill Hodges Trilogy by Stephen King.

Definitely considering this one. Mr. Mercedes was fantastic. I also just finished the second book. Now I just need the third, whenever it comes out. I think it comes out this summer.

What book series are you considering reading in 2016?

 

 

 

jncname

Book Review–Valentine by Tom Savage

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This is the 12th book from my 115 in 2015 Reading Challenge.

 

Picture source: Goodreads,com
Picture source: Goodreads,com

Valentine by Tom Savage
Published February 1st, 1996 by Little Brown and Company

 

Jillian Talbot seems to have everything: a lovely home in Greenwich Village, a small circle of close friends, a handsome and passionate lover who has just proposed to her, and a glamorous career as a bestselling author of suspense novels. Her writing has captivated thousands of fans, but she has always been safe from the terrifying scenes she creates. Until now.

Somewhere in the shadows of New York City, someone is watching her. He knows her every move, her every fear, almost before she knows it herself. He is as devoted as a lover, courting her in his own mysterious way – leaving notes in her mailbox, gifts on her doorstep, messages on her answering machine. His motives are as cryptic as the name he goes by: Valentine. But his intentions are deadly clear. For Jill Talbot, the terror has just begun. Wherever she runs, he will find her. And soon she will meet him on his terrible day of judgment. His triumphant day. Her darkest day. Valentine’s Day.

 

 

————-

 I’ve seen the movie this book was apparently based on, though I remember very little about it. All I know is that the movie is hardly anything like the book.

Plot:

Although the plot has been done before in horror and suspense, it was nicely executed. I especially liked how the book was split up into the different parts, such as us not finding out more about what happened to the Elements until later on.

The plot reminded me a lot of a Mary Higgins Clark novel, but was less predictable than I expected.

Setting:

The book is mostly set in New York, though there are a few other locations. Although I’ve never been to New York, it felt very realistic and was easy to picture in my head.

Characters:

I have mixed feelings about the main character, Jill. On one hand, I liked her because she’s a kind of humbled successful author with a quiet life. On the other hand, she could be very bland and had a few obsessive qualities that got on my nerves at times. Overall she was a sympathetic character, though.

The antagonist was very interesting, especially because you’re not quite sure until the end who he is in the present. While I felt sympathy for his past, he is clearly very psychotic and sinister. There were some scenes where he was downright creepy.

I liked the love interest, Jill’s best friend, and the private detective who later helps Jill named Barney. And although the antagonist’s past victims are dead, the author manages to make them likable despite the awful prank that helped set the killer into motion.

Relationships:

The relationship between Nate and Jill was believable, but at the same time didn’t seem to hold much of a spark. I enjoyed Jill’s relationship with her best friend and even Barney better than I did with Nate, though perhaps that is to be expected.

Writing/Voice:

It was a little hard to get into the book at first, but once I did, it was difficult to put down. Especially during the scenes of the past victims as well as the final confrontation. The writing itself tends to be dry at times, and sometimes confusing as the author doesn’t always say right away (or at all) which character’s viewpoint we’re reading from, but he’s a great storyteller. The dialogue for the most part is realistic.

Ending:

I figured there would be a twist ending, similar to the movie, but it still caught me off guard. I had considered the correct identity of the killer near the beginning, but fell into the trap of thinking it was someone else. It made sense and was believable, so it was an enjoyable surprise.

Overall:

Overall this was a pretty good read and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys horror/suspense novels, especially fans of Mary Higgins Clark and such. I’d probably re-read this one again one day.

 

3halfstars

 

jncname

The Book vs the Movie: Valentine

bvm14

valentine

Book written by Tom Savage, 1997
Movie directed by Jamie Blanks, 2001

In this case, the book and movie are so different from one another that they have two different plots.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com:

 

Jillian Talbot seems to have everything: a lovely home in Greenwich Village, a small circle of close friends, a handsome and passionate lover who has just proposed to her, and a glamorous career as a bestselling author of suspense novels. Her writing has captivated thousands of fans, but she has always been safe from the terrifying scenes she creates. Until now.

Somewhere in the shadows of New York City, someone is watching her. He knows her every move, her every fear, almost before she knows it herself. He is as devoted as a lover, courting her in his own mysterious way – leaving notes in her mailbox, gifts on her doorstep, messages on her answering machine. His motives are as cryptic as the name he goes by: Valentine. But his intentions are deadly clear. For Jill Talbot, the terror has just begun. Wherever she runs, he will find her. And soon she will meet him on his terrible day of judgment. His triumphant day. Her darkest day. Valentine’s Day.

 

Synopsis from IMDB.com:

 

Five women are stalked by an unknown assailant while preparing for Valentine’s Day.

 

 

Picture source: Goodreads,com
Picture source: Goodreads,com

VS

Picture Source: imdb.com
Picture Source: imdb.com

Which I Viewed First: The movie.

Which I Enjoyed Most: Book.

Out of 5 stars, the Book Gets: 3.5 stars.

Out of 5 stars, the Movie Gets: 3 stars.

Things the Book Did Better: While the movie is very loosely based on the book, they are little alike. I enjoyed the book better because it was darker and the killer was even crazier than in the movie. The twist was also nice, though somewhat close to the movie. I liked the movie, but it would have been awesome to see a closer adaptation of the book brought to film.

Things the Movie Did Better: While I felt somewhat sorry for the killer’s past in the novel, I did not sympathize with him at all. Not so much the case for the killer in the movie. I liked the twist even better in this one, as well as the lead girl. The deaths were pretty creative, too. There’s also a romantic feel to the movie.

Verdict?: While it’s hard to compare the two because they are so different from one another, I’d go with the book.

Why?: Even though I like the movie, the book’s plot and some of the characters were better. It was also much darker.

Should the movie be re-made?: I’d like to see a closer adaptation of the book made.

What do you think? Agree, disagree? Would love to hear your thoughts!

 

jncname