Love, Rosie

No matter where you are, or what you’re doing or who you’re with. I will always honestly, truly, completely love you.

A realistic romance that will make you defecate yourself from excessive laughter. You can practically feel the raw emotion radiating through your TV screen. Will Rosie and Alex get together? Will life keep pulling them apart because they’re to pig headed to admit their love?

A person can only yell at the movie for so long before it gets weird.

You love him he loves you. What is there to consider? I suppose if the main characters had admitted their love outright there would be no story to tell. Well, what keeps the characters miserable is entertainment on our end. So the fans should consider themselves lucky the characters are a hot mess.

The film was adapted from the novel Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern published in 2004. Rosie Dunne, acted by Lily Collins, and Alex Stewart are best friends, meeting in their elementary school days. And may I say that Alex grows up to be a real looker, played by the attractive and brilliant English actor Sam Claflin. Also, I would like a round of applause for Lily’s fantastic English accent. I was so convinced it was real that I was flabbergasted to learn that she grew up in California. After this discovery I watched a few interviews to confirm. Alas, her English accent was false.

At the beginning of the film the two are getting ready to graduate high school. Both had plans to move on to bigger and better things in the ever-enticing Boston, Massachusetts. Where Rosie plans to study hotel management and Alex plans to become a doctor at Harvard. Prestigious, I know. Like most stereotypical gender opposite best friend duos they are in love. Only they aren’t honest with each other about their feelings. One misunderstanding leads to another and after graduation their lives lead down two unlike paths. After a very distasteful evening at their last school dance Rosie ends up pregnant. Congratulations it’s a girl!

PS it’s not by Alex.

Unknowing Alex moves away to Boston where he believes Rosie will follow him. Only she never will. The movie moves through about twelve years of their lives where you observe the highs and lows each of them face. One thing that you can take away is the notion that success and money cannot buy you happiness. Having people around that love you with all their heart and are willing to get on the crazy roller coaster that is your life can make a person far happier.

The story is beautiful to the very end. In some parts it’s a real sob fest but in others all you can do is laugh. The scenes are a bit more glamorous than real life but the story is quite realistic and relatable. A film you can watch over and over again without being judged to harshly by family, friends and roommates.

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The Best of Man, The Best of Beasts

Blood and Chocolate

This is my world and these are my people.”

Like countless novels before it Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause was used as “inspiration” for the identically named movie released in 2007. The similarities between the novel and cinematic creation are few and far between. Lucky for us some of the changes made weren’t all bad. As long as you keep in mind that the book and movie are nothing alike, viewing of them both as a separate entity that only share a title.

As a young loup-garou living in Romania Vivian lives out her life baking chocolates and running with her pack, though she never seems to be running in the same direction. Similar to that of the written character, Vivian is a symbol of beautiful defiance, disregarding tradition for love, freedom, and a peaceful way of life for her people.

Anything we are not is a thing we are taught to fear.”

Her pack has ruled Romania for five thousand years where their kind is revered as blessed not cursed like many legends state. The pack runs the city in a fashion similar to that of the mob. They like to tie up loose ends and make examples of humans who step out of line by organizing hunts. If the human escapes they will be granted their freedom. The only catch: no one ever escapes. Humans are seen as meat. They’re only viewed as enemies or entertainment but should always be kept at a distance because humans are considered to be corrupt beings.

Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black?

Also, rule number one. No one hunts outside the pack. Ever.

In the center of the hypocrisy stands Gabriel. He teaches the pack to fear others. He’s focused on tradition and rules. Every seven years he’s allowed to take a new mate and this time around he has his eyes on Vivian. He believes that she is the one that will lead them all into a new era of hope and glory. After Vivian’s parents were gunned down in the States by hunters Gabriel brought her home to her Aunt Astrid who then raised her. She remains indebted to him and is never allowed to forget that her parents were murdered due to her adolescent carelessness. She trapped in a life of constant guilt.

As the main antagonist of the story Gabriel can be seen from many different lights. Personally, I didn’t see him as evil only afraid and jaded. He, like the generations before him, was taught to fear mankind. Which is understandable when you imagine what kind of past circumstances the pack has faced and the horrific incident with Vivian’s parents. So he in turn instilled that fear in his own people so that they remain alert and cautious. An empire built entirely on instinct and tradition. The only solution they find reasonable to preserve their lives is to hunt down any loose ends. Literally. Could he have gone about protecting his pack in a less ignorant way? Probably. But we can only hope the younger generations can adapt.

“Would you be at a church at 2 in the morning if you had a boyfriend?”

One dreary night in an empty church she meets Aiden. He is an American who traveled to the city in order to gather information and inspiration for his next graphic novel. The topic is none other than the legend of the loup-garou. Who would have guessed! In the beginning she tries her best to keep him as far away as possible. Knowing that she can only cause trouble for him if he was pulled into her world. Only she can’t control her feelings and falls head first into the clutches of love. After a long time of seeing each other in “secret” Aiden and Vivian are practically writing their wedding vows.

Unlike the book, Aiden is far more equipped for survival against a pack of angry wolves, due to his harsh upbringing, then his novel counterpart. He does whatever it takes to survive while keeping his humanity and reason intact, for the most part.

Word spreads around the pack that Aiden is far to close to Vivian for their secret to be safe. And Gabriel grows jealous that Vivian’s affection is elsewhere. So her cousin, Rafe, is ordered to run him out of town or else he will meet a gruesome fate. The Aiden portrayed in the movie was far more interesting. Because, lets face it, the Aiden of the book was scared of his own shadows.

Lets just say that things go sour and the main characters find themselves scrounging for cover in a shit storm of their own creation. The city is filled to the brim with pack members over tearing through the city in an effort to find them. Their only choice is to fight their way out and earn their freedom to love on another. Only things are far more complicated now as they leave bodies in their wake. It’s a bit of a twisted love story.

“It’s fear.”

He holds out his bloody hand to her. “Of what you’ll do?”

“What you think of me.”

As for their wolfie transformation the director decided to use real life wolves in place of computer animation…probably for the best. The wolves were majestic and beautiful but they didn’t scream loup-garou like in the book. In the novel it describes the change as a slightly painful and a sweet release shifting of bones. In the cinema version the characters leap into the air and are surrounded by a colorful aura for a moment before touching down as a wolf. As you can imagine there are a ridiculous amount of cut scenes. This happened in almost every fight. Not to mention the original design for their second form was suppose to be far larger.

Some things you might love about the movie are the delightful Romanian accents, the suburb acting and the excessive amount of parkour (done by stunt doubles). If you get a kick out of a blossoming romance in the midst of chaos you might enjoy this movie.

 

Blood and Chocolate

While the movie released in 2007 fell short of decent, the 1997 book Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause is a must read for any romantic and werewolf obsessed teen girl. You follow the main character Vivian, daughter of the now deceased pack leader, as she maneuvers through teenage life. Her mother is a flirt, her only age mates are a bunch of punk ass imbeciles and her pack is attempting to piece together their lives while hiding in the suburbs. The year before their move the pack was happily at peace with the world. Until her beloved family home was attacked by some fearful/ignorant towns people who set their inn on fire, killing Vivian’s father and a good portion of pack members.

Vivian feels alone. Something most teenagers can already relate too. No one at school will give her the time of day, the boys to shy and the girls to jealous. Until the day she meets Aiden, a human boy in hippie clothes, with a kind heart, and a cute face. In comparison to her age mates he is gentle and refreshing. When she is with him it’s almost as if her life isn’t shattered.

The real kicker is that Aiden wishes more then anything to be something other then what he is. His love for the creatures that go bump in the night is more real than he originally thought. Vivian holds tight to her love as the pack begins to search for a new leader, young Gabriel is a good candidate. Strong, intelligent and fair, he could lead them all into a new age. Even though he’s slightly older, in his early twenties, he has eyes for Vivian. This love triangle is full of fangs and secrets.

When “animal attacks” in pack territory start becoming hot articles on the local news the pack becomes increasingly anxious. Who in the pack would murder a human? Vivian could think of a few. At the same Vivian’s behavior starts to spiral out of control and there is nothing she can do to stop herself. It’s up to her to choose whether or not she wants to live like a human or embrace being a loup-garou. She must choose between bitter blood and the sweet taste of chocolate.

If you enjoy surprise endings and twisted love affairs this story is definitely for you. It’s not to graphic but not to innocent. It’s proof that even when you feel alone you always have someone there to help you through the bad times, even when you feel as if no one would willingly lead you from the darkness.

Hexed

Hexed by Michelle Krys

The single refreshing part of this entire book is that the main character is not your average girl next door or even an outcast. Indigo Blackwood was the girl that many an adolescent teenage girl wanted to smack or trade bodies with in high school. She’s not that polite to classmates who she considers to have a lower social status, she proves multiple times how selfish she can be in the beginning of the book, vanity means a lot to her and last but not least: she’s a hot cheerleader. Her whole life revolves around cheer practice, her bitchy best friend and her shitty jock boyfriend. Indigo is literally a walking blond stereotype.

Sexy wizard Bishop crashes into Indigo’s life and everything goes to hell, unintentionally of course. Indigo is a witch with powers that with practice could be quite formidable against her foes. After her secret comes to light all she does is complain that she wants to be a “normal” girl. If only she knew how unique of an opportunity she was given.

Bishop must teach her how to harness and control her powers. An ability she would have never known was dormant inside of her if Bishop hadn’t spilled the beans. Her magic was practically nonexistent when she began her training.

Indigo’s mother is obsessed with pagan culture and owns an occult shop in LA. Her whole life is dedicated to everything witch. If only her mother knew that her beloved daughter would get the powers to make her magical. To bad the gene skipped over her mother. Poor thing.

A group of antiheroes called the Priory, sorcerers who are the sworn enemy of witch kind, are tearing through Indigo’s life in search of a book called The Witch Hunter’s Bible- fortuitous, I know. The Family, a group of witch politicians with shitty intentions and a lack of respect for the lives of others are running the show. Not to mention, who in their right mind actually chooses to call themselves The Family? Seems a bit lazy.

The three of them, Bishop’s shitty ex girlfriend included must fight the Priory in a battle for the book. In case you haven’t guessed yet: Bishop and Indigo start dating after coming to the random conclusion that they’re in love. I’m sure that bit of information caught you out of the blue. The first book of this series was a bit of a let down but there were a few spots where a creative light shown through. The story seemed generic in some chapters and imaginative in others. Lets see if the second book has anything to offer.

You’ll Be Bewitched: My Top Three Witch Novels

1. The Secret Circle Series by L.J. Smith

This series follows a teenage girl named Cassie who moves back to her mother’s hometown and learns the truth of her heritage from some fellow classmates. Boom! She’s a witch that can complete a circle of witches that has practiced alongside her family for countless generations. Once Cassie starts to come out of her dull, shy shell a series of unexplainable murders begin and she must pretend to not care for a love that isn’t rightfully hers.

The series is five books deep and if I’m being completely honest the first two in the series are the best with action and mystery in all the right places. The next three just seem strung out and overly complicated where one bad thing just piles on top of the next until it becomes a mess. It’s one of those series that you wish would stop while it’s ahead.

Also, the series was turned into a pretty decent tv show. Only there were little to no similarities to the actual book series which is probably the reason for its cancelation after just one season. I find if you watch it with an open mind it’s not so bad.

2. Wicked Witches of the Midwest Series By Amanda Lee

As a Midwest girl I thoroughly enjoyed these books, the description of winter was dead on. Especially getting your car stuck in a crazy ass snowstorm. Except usually there isn’t a wanted criminal or murder on the loose.

In this story of secrecy and magic are three immature cousins, three crazy mothers, and an insane/evil great aunt who just wont seem to keel over from old age. If you what you’re looking for in your life is a book with murder, romance, witchcraft, humor and ghosts that only converse with one character then you can stop searching because you’ve hit the trifecta.

 

3. Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong

Though this story ties into multiple stories from Kelley Armstrong’s The Otherworld Series I find this to be the most memorable. The only flaws that come to mind is that there were a lot of side characters to remember and that the book came to a pause before continuing in the next book Spell Bound. The sexual tension between the main character and her long time crush can practically be felt with the turn of every page. The main character, Savannah, is the spawn of an malevolent sorcerer and a half-demon so you know this girl is going to be the real deal when it comes to strength and wit.

She’s desperate to prove herself and thirsty for a chance to get out in the field on her own as a private investigator. Who solves cases you would never consider normal by any means. Mostly they cater to the needs of the supernatural community. She goes off to solve a murder case believed too be committed by another witch. Then shit hits the fan and Savannah is dodging danger and death around every corner, moral and immortal. The concept of a strong female character is something that I admire and I plan to reread this book in the future. Armstrong is a solid author with a lot of experience under her belt. I swear this lady is a computer with how quickly she publishes her high quality novels.

Who Doesn’t Love Killer Robots

The fictional tale begins in a spacious PI office in the city of Los Angeles. A robot that goes by the name Raymond Electromatic occupies the office with his boss/friend/supercomputer, Ada. Goal numero uno is to turn a quick profit. By day they run a legit PI buisness. But I will clue you in on a juicy secret, on the side they do anonymous contract kills. While Ada draws in the potential clients, Ray carries out the “work”.

A woman in a red dress walks into his office asking him to seek out an actor who she personally wants to never breath again. That’s when their job begins to get tricky. Keep in mind that this is not how Ray and Ada like to carry out their under the table business. But when the client has gold shining in their faces it’s impossible to turn her away. As you can imagine, the whole thing ends up getting a bit more convoluted then a simple assassination mission and Ray finds himself falling deeper into a darker conspiracy.

The theme of the book is a mix of L.A. Noir and science fiction. One interesting fact in the story: Ray is the last robot on earth. The human race had come to the conclusion that automatons were taking up all menial labor jobs and decided on a robot free society. Poor Ray is forced to work in a world that doesn’t truly care for his existence, yet he still manages to make it work for his benefit. When he walks the streets, people avert their eyes and try to make as little contact with him as possible, inadvertently making it easier for him to do his job. Like the intelligent bionic human that he is he manages to make being an outcast into a profitable occupation.

One of the things that truly drew me in, other then his humorous one-liners, was his effort to understand the way that people tick. He has a very logical way of thinking. Only he’s not blessed with the ability to lack emotion like your stereotypical robot. His curiosity with humanoids is similar to that of a human observing an animal in it’s natural habitat, trying to figure out their natural behavior. Ironically enough, I feel like I connected well with Ray as I read the story. It had a similar view point to that of someone with Asperger’s Syndrome, at least that was the depiction that I received. As a man with Asperger’s, it was actually kind of refreshing to be able to read from Ray’s perspective. He’s logical in his thinking while maintaining a certain sense of right and wrong.

I have to say that this book is definitely something to read for the outcasts of the world. If you’ve ever felt alienated, dissimilar to those around you, or if you flat out don’t belong anywhere, I urge you to read this book. It’ll make you realize that even if you live in a society that doesn’t appreciate your unique qualities, you can still find a way to make something of yourself regardless of how others perceive you.

Written by Dante

Breakdown of the Kanin Chronicles

Dedicated and loyal to her Kingdom Bryn Aven has never once strayed from her path to be a Hogdragen, a high-ranking guard to King Evert and Queen Mina of the Kanin troll community, Doldastam. Personally, I love Amanda Hocking’s refreshing take on trolls. Instead of the short, crazy haired mystical beings that we all imagine them to be. Instead they similar in looks to a human with an ability to withstand drastically cold winters and an insatiable lust for jewels and expensive things.

Also, some have the ability to use powers such as persuasion and the badass talent to camouflage ones self. Being half Kanin and half Skojare she is fair in comparison to her friends and comrades. She never quite fit in with her people but she is bound and determined to prove herself. She is one of the best trackers employed by the Kanin, retrieving young trolls born from the human world to gather profit for troll royalty. Hockings crafted an intricate race and hierarchy that as a book lover you can’t help but to applaud.

  1. Frostfire

From the first book the plot quickly thickens as they unravel secret upon secret about the kingdom they know and love. Bryn’s enemy and unsurprisingly enough her former crush, Konstantin Black, is hunting down Changlings with the help of others. Their lives are in danger and the Kanin people must protect their own from an unknown amount of enemies. Black has been on the run for years after a failed attempt to murder Bryn’s father and she is dead set on bringing him to justice. Only he seems to slip through her fingers every single time.

Then the romance factor comes into play in the form of Bryn’s own boss, Ridley. And let me just say that he is definitely not your stereotypical troll. That man is sexy! Bryn must decide whether or not it’s safe for her to love. But before she can come to a conclusion the two get sent on a mission to help another troll nation find their beloved lost queen. Lucky her! Only their trip hits a couple of snags.

  1. Ice Kissed

Dark secrets unravel around every corner that Bryn takes in the second novel Ice Kissed. She is unsure of whom to trust as the world she thought was half ass peaceful and steeped with tradition crumbles down around her.

The search for the Skojare Queen comes to an end but they are apprehensive to leave the young Queen with inadequate guard detail for fear that her life is in danger. Bryn must visit Skojare, a city built on a lake, once again with the help of her friend Kasper they must whip the Skojare guards into shape. In Doldastam the King has everyone preparing for war against a well known enemy that has lain dormant for fifteen years.

Soon enough Bryn finds herself on the top of the Kanin shit list. Her bravery and inability ignore the down trodden could be her downfall. During her travels as one of Kanin’s most wanted she runs into an unexpected friend/enemy who offers to join forces in order to keep them both alive.

  1. Crystal Kingdom

Not so shockingly Bryn joins forces with the one any only Konstantin Black while she is on the run. Even though her feelings for Ridley are strong Black breaks through the thick armor surrounding Bryn and even though they don’t necessarily acknowledge. Though only an idiot couldn’t see the chemistry between the two outlaws. It makes you wonder if Konstantin is as out for blood as they say. Honestly it was difficult to not root for him. What a heartthrob!

The Kanin are geared up for a war against their “enemies”. Even though the leading menace to troll society is hiding within the closely guarded walls of Doldastam. Trolls from every all over must join forces to take down the corruption. In the end they’re all left with scars of death and despair but also a hope for a brighter beginning.