YA (Young Adult) – A NORTHERN LIGHT – Jennifer Donnelly
I can’t gush enough about this book. If you love a good story, loved Dreiser’s classic, AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY and the movie, A PLACE IN THE SUN with Montgomery Clift, Liz Taylor and Shelley Winters, then you must pick up this book!
A NORTHERN LIGHT is about a murder mystery, poverty, longing, romance, the love of words, feminism, racism, obligations and finding one’s voice. The characters are so engaging that I want a sequel. I demand a sequel! There were times when I had to put the book down to walk the dog and I kept wondering if I could maybe harness the book to my dog during our evening walk.
Donnelly paints such a likeable heroine in Mattie, Mathilda---she’s strong and loyal and unsure and brave and funny--- and her crux is so taut at every turn, should she mention the letters or not? And the plot so riveting, whether she’s in the present or past, she gives clues that are hard won revelations. Donnelly gives us just enough information at each turn, to build a gorgeous web of gripping narrative. She places us suspiciously in the same quandry as the tragic Grace Brown, however----with Matt, you’re certain, at least I HOPED I was certain, that it would not come to the same end. What a great ride. Highly recommended. I. CAN’T. WAIT. TO READ. HER. AGAIN.
YA (Young Adult) - MAGIC UNDERGLASS by Jaclyn Dolamore.
I loved the premise of Dolamore’s book. A piano playing automaton who may be haunted! And a dancehall girl! Dolarmore delivers this fairy story in a unique way that sets her apart from other fairy books. Her gothic tale is told with rich language and imagery I was immediately absorbed into her world. With hints of Jane Eyre and a sprig of Harry Potter, I found this a page turning read. My only critique is I wanted MORE! It wrapped up a little too fast at the end. I could’ve spent at least another chapter with Nimira and the prince. Although it does seem that there’s room for a sequel so maybe I’m just further under Dolamore’s spell! It’s a sliver of a book so go pick it up!
NEXT UP: I think next up for me is Little Brother by Doctorow after I finish A GAME OF THRONES---soon to be HBO special FIRE AND ICE. Teaser looking good.
VAMPIRE DIARIES – I grew up reading the first three-four books of LJ Smith’s series and I must say I was skeptical at first on what they would do with the Vampire Diaries, given that I already love Twilight and I already watch TRUEBLOOD (love that Skaarsgard, he’s a different kind of Damon)---but KUDOS to amazing screenwriter Julie Plec (Dexter—duh, no wonder) fame. She constantly surprises me! I was so happy with the way she/they handled the Season Finale and ----spoilers ahead----Katherine’s return. I sat in shock at how perfect that was. And then to lose Malise Jow I shouted Nooooooo!
Can I hire her please when my Young Adult book comes out to star as my main character or her younger sister? Both Malise and Phil Collins’s daughter (BLIND SIDE) stand out. I want both of them for the film version of my young adult book! Just casting couch dreaming here folks. I also found a great male lead but I’m not giving it away here. Someone might snatch him up!
Damon (Ian Somholder) just gets more riveting. His humanity bubbling to the surface this week was heartbreaking. And as in the book, I’d choose Damon over Stefan any day. I don’t know why. Yes I do. Damon’s evil-good. I can’t wait to see what happens next in the overall storyline.
Having said that and having mentioned Twilight---I CAN’T WAIT FOR ECLIPSE!
COCO BEFORE CHANEL: Audrey Tatou, Alessandro Nivola
Wow. What a charming heartfelt movie. Tatou as always, does a terrific job. Have you seen her in PRICELESS? She’s like the Audrey Hepburn of our time. Alessandro Nivola was heart breaking and focused. The chemistry between the three lead characters was strong and almost turn your eyes away intense and Coco’s journey is admirable. I don’t want to say anymore. The camera shots too were gorgeous, like a postcard. It’s a biopic on the life of famed designer Coco Chanel. Go see it!
THE LIVES OF OTHERS - The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen) is a 2006 German Drama film. It’s multi-layered but ultimately it’s about one man holding the fate, the lives of others in his hands.
BURGERS: MOMOFUKU – New York. Try the pork bun and the fried chicken. Delicious. I could’ve just kept eating the porkbun. Intimate seating, but just enjoy!