On The Queue #10

On The Queue is a weekly meme highlighting films I recently watched on my Netflix queue.

The Sound of Music (1965)
Technically I saw this in the theater in honor of the films 50th anniversary.  A full review post would be a gush about Fabulous Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer and of course the songs.  It is a bit schmaltzy I will give it that but putting aside the Nazis this is a feel good movie to me.

Selma (2014)
Despite the time period in history, Selma was very slow and repetitive.  It was basically two hours of Martin Luther King sitting on a bridge.  Good in theory but didn't translate well on screen

The Theory of Everything (2014)
A good cast and captivating story although on a personal level didn't paint Stephen Hawking in a pretty light.

Book Review: My Sister's Grave

Author: Robert Dugoni
Publication Date: November 1, 2014
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
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Tracy Crosswhite has spent twenty years questioning the facts surrounding her sister Sarah’s disappearance and the murder trial that followed. She doesn’t believe that Edmund House — a convicted rapist and the man condemned for Sarah’s murder — is the guilty party. Motivated by the opportunity to obtain real justice, Tracy became a homicide detective with the Seattle PD and dedicated her life to tracking down killers.

When Sarah’s remains are finally discovered near their hometown in the northern Cascade mountains of Washington State, Tracy is determined to get the answers she’s been seeking. As she searches for the real killer, she unearths dark, long-kept secrets that will forever change her relationship to her past — and open the door to deadly danger.

Fond Of
  • Fantastic pacing, slow but steady laying out all the information at hand letting us form our own opinion as the plot and characters develop.

  • I truthfully thought I had it figured out within the first half of the book. It stared me in the face and seemed painfully obvious. But the author throws a boomerang and brings the reader an Tracy back to the start.
Not Fond Of
  • It had what I call "Goosebump Chapters" very short and ending on a cliff-hanger, having the reader rush to the next chapter only to find it was a cat behind the squeaky door.

Final Thoughts:
 Robert Dugoni created a stay-up-all-night thriller and looks to be the beginning of a great proposed series.

Thursday Movie Picks: Based on a Graphic Novel

Thursday Movie Picks is a weekly meme hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves.  Each week participants are given a theme and are asked to provided three movies that fit into said prompt.

The only reason I watch this genre is because of my boyfriend and they typically involve superheros.  As they are not my go-to movies I googled the topic and found there were a few graphic novels turned book that weren't sci-fi based.

It has been years since I saw American Splendor, based on a comic series of the same name.  I sadly have vague memories of it but was drawn towards the film because I am a fan of Paul Giamatti and remember liking the blur of fantasy and reality.
Ghost World (2001)
This movie made me sad, mainly because I felt so sorry for Steve Busecemi who was treated so horrendously by two teenagers (Scarlet Johansson and Thora Birch) who are both a little Dharmaesque, when he is really just a little offbeat.
Horns (2013)
Technically this is a sci-fi film but felt like I should add just one.  Daniel Radcliffe let me down with this one, growing horns no one can see and reading people's minds (yet only their demons) it was a little too strange and didn't work for me.

Mini Book Review: The Keeper of Lost Causes

Author:Jussi Adler-Olsen
Publication Date:August 23, 2011
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Carl Mørck used to be one of Copenhagen’s best homicide detectives. Then a hail of bullets destroyed the lives of two fellow cops, and Carl—who didn’t draw his weapon—blames himself. So a promotion is the last thing he expects. But Department Q is a department of one, and Carl’s got only a stack of Copenhagen’s coldest cases for company. His colleagues snicker, but Carl may have the last laugh, because one file keeps nagging at him: a liberal politician vanished five years earlier and is presumed dead. But she isn’t dead … yet.

The Keeper of Lost Causes is first and foremost a thriller that holds your attention.  Unfortunately, despite well developed characters and a suspenseful plot I found it predictable and thought the evil villain was a little boy with a grudge, and once that thought came upon me couldn't get it out of my head and therefore frustrated me.

Book Review: If I Stay

Author:Gayle Forman
Publication Date:April 2, 2009
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Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it's the only one that matters.

Fond Of
  • Despite knowing (or having an idea) of the plot I found myself holding my breath while I was awaiting the news of Mia's family. Forman drew me completely in and engulfed myself in the story.

Not Fond Of
  • The romance between Adam and her boyfriends was Nicholas Sparks cheesy and the "distraction" of Adam's music connection so he could see Mia in her hospital room was just stupid. To be honest I could have done without the boyfriend.

Final Thoughts
 While I will admit I don't read many young adult novels at first glance If I Stay seemed typical of that genre.  While I did find this to be true the novel was still captivating and could see myself reading the next in this series if only for a guilty pleasure.