Diary of a Teenage Superhero (Teenage Superheroes 1)

17 July 2013

DoaTSDiary of a Teenage Superhero (Teenage Superheroes 1) by Darrell Pitt



A teenager wakes up in a seedy hotel room. He has no memory of his name or his past. A man lies dying on the floor next to him. Someone starts pounding at the door.

He runs. He is chased.

While staying one step ahead of his pursuers, he begins to assemble the pieces of his life. His name is Axel. He is the victim of an amazing experiment – he has been given incredible powers – and he is not alone.

An organisation known only as The Agency has also modified other teenagers. Brodie is a master of the martial arts. Ebony can transmute one substance into another. Dan controls metals with his mind. Chad creates fire and ice from nothing.

They have been handed incredible powers to help the human race in times of crisis – and one of those times is now.

A terrorist organisation known as Typhoid has acquired Pegasus – a highly advanced missile, invisible to radar and conventional defence systems. They intend to fire it at an American city. Only this bunch of untried, untested teenage superheroes stands any chance of stopping the missile before it strikes its target.

Diary of a Teenage Superhero is a high octane thriller showing what happens when conventional teenagers with everyday problems are given powers beyond this world.

They have to learn to work together, but as Axel draws closer to his newfound friends, he remembers the words of the dying man in the hotel room.

Trust no-one.

He knows he can’t trust The Agency.

Can he even trust his newfound friends?



Diary of a Teenage Superhero (Teen Superheroes 1) reminds me of the UK television show Misfits. If you’ve never seen it check it out on by clicking the link, it’s on Hulu.

I like this story of teenage superheroes; they’re X-Men lite. Having them waking up with amnesia keeps from needing to dredge backstory for each character. That’s something, I find, that usually bogs down introductory novels.

For me it was an intense read because I was always expecting on of the lost heroes to betray the others which is the usual trope. Although the betrayer isn’t surprising, I’m not sure if the can really discount this character as defeated. Especially if he’s even half as bad as Dr. Ravana, this dude survived fire.

I also like how it setup the next novel but left everything noncommittal. As much as I didn’t like ‘The Agency’, they felt pervy, and I would have never trusted them. They did make them a team. That seems to on the step of becoming self-sustaining.

They transitioned from being X-Men into Avengers and I hope in the coming books they transition into the Justice League. That previous statement may only be understood by serious comic book fans but each group has subtle differences that make them distinct so I’m going to try and explain.

The X-Men are a ragtag group of teenagers that are trained and housed at a school they fight for justice and equality without government sanctions. The Avengers are a government sanction group of superheroes. The Justice League are superheroes with no affiliations, they fight for justice and stop evil at every turn.

I think it’s going to be interesting to see what Darrell Pitt does with this world. He setup stronger character with strength that haven’t quite figured out how to work together successfully. They barely managed to escape their boss battle. So they can only go up from here.


I give Diary of a Teenage Superhero (Teen Superheroes 1) 5 out 5 Gs.

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Hemlock Grove

30 June 2013

Hemlock GroveHemlock Grove by Brian McGreevy




An exhilarating reinvention of the gothic novel, inspired by the iconic characters of our greatest myths and nightmares.

The body of a young girl is found mangled and murdered in the woods of Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania, in the shadow of the abandoned Godfrey Steel mill. A manhunt ensues—though the authorities aren’t sure if it’s a man they should be looking for.

Some suspect an escapee from the White Tower, a foreboding biotech facility owned by the Godfrey family—their personal fortune and the local economy having moved on from Pittsburgh steel—where, if rumors are true, biological experiments of the most unethical kind take place. Others turn to Peter Rumancek, a Gypsy trailer-trash kid who has told impressionable high school classmates that he’s a werewolf. Or perhaps it’s Roman, the son of the late JR Godfrey, who rules the adolescent social scene with the casual arrogance of a cold-blooded aristocrat, his superior status unquestioned despite his decidedly freakish sister, Shelley, whose monstrous medical conditions belie a sweet intelligence, and his otherworldly control freak of a mother, Olivia.



This one I’m going to do a little different. I watched the series before I read the book. The series is an actual visual representation of the novel. It’s like they filmed the book. There are few difference but they are minor, and the series changes made the story more interesting, in my opinion.

Hemlock Grove is an example of where staying faithful actually worked in its favor. The series is definitely a nod to reader. Reading the novel makes you appreciate the series more. For those who asks: why read the novel, if the series is just the same? Because you get information in the novel, that don’t get in the series. Plus reading is fundamental.

Hemlock Grove is weird, twisted, and throws out normal conventions. You better understand the characters, in the series, if you read the book. That transformation scene was superbly written, but it was a visually a work of art. It’s the most gruesome and visceral werewolf transformation I have ever watched. It’s perfection on film, that one scene made it worth watching.



I give Hemlock Grove 5 out 5Gs.


Beautiful Disaster: A Novel (Beautiful 1)

16 June 2013

Beautiful DisasterBeautiful Disaster: A Novel by Jamie McGuire




The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.



First let start by saying Beautiful Disaster is such an honest portray of a volatile relationship. My best friend had one of these relationships. It would have gone the same way if he hadn’t caught her cheating with his own eyes. This relationship is so unhealthy it makes Edward and Bella the poster child of respectable.

But that’s what I think is the appeal of Beautiful Disaster . Their passion and dysfunction is intoxicating. They’re two trains on the same track and you just can’t look away. They’re fire and gunpowder, every time they get together there is an explosion, literally.

He has mommy issues, she has daddy issues and yet the things that make them incompatible make their relationship work. Only a girl from Abby’s damaged background could see Travis’s red flags and call him on it. Abby for as much as she runs from her past she seems no more capable of running clear of it.

I read it because it kept popping up in my recommendations. I couldn’t put it down finishing it in one night. But as much as I enjoyed this novel I’m in no hurry for the next one. These two characters are exhausting and compelling. They took me through the gambit of emotions. Days later I was still laugh at passage from characters.

If you’re in the mood for a deeply realistic, emotional draining read, Beautiful Disaster is your novel. In case you finish and want more Walking Disaster, Beautiful Disaster from Travis’ point of view is out now.


I give Beautiful Disaster 4 out 5Gs.


Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2

5 March 2013

breaking dawn 2Kristen Stewart  
Robert Pattison  
Taylor Lautner  
Peter Facinelli  
Elizabeth Reaser  
Ashley Greene  
Jackson Rathbone  
Kellan Lutz  
Nikki Reed  
Billy Burke  
Mackenzie Foy  
Michael Sheen  
Dakota Fanning  
Jamie Campbell Bower  
Christopher Heyerdahl  


PG13       115 min       2012


After the birth of Renesmee, the Cullens gather other vampire clans in order to protect the child from a false allegation that puts the family in front of the Volturi.


This movie took several awards at the Razzies this year namely Worst Picture of the Year. The Razzies love to give Twilight hate. It’s not a masterpiece but this movie is nowhere near the worst movie of 2012. Not by a longshot for one simple redeeming fact. It’s a little twenty-six minute action sequence that nearly made the entire series worth watching.

Taking into account all the acting digs, the questionable special effect executions, you still have to admit that final battle was amazing. You had to get to know the character to appreciate that final battle. Yes, I read the books and knew what was going to happen. It was still an amazingly drama action scene.

Whether you liked it or not Breaking Dawn Part 2 put to bed a series, which changed the movie landscape. Just like the Matrix redefined movie special effects, the Twilight change skewed the movie demographic from males to females. It’s also lead to Hollywood’s new tread: finding their blockbusters in the aisles of bookstore. If you want to find what Hollywood is going to be producing next you’ll find it there.


I give The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 4 out 5 Gs.


i2

29 December 2012
 I2i2 by James Bannon




James Bannon’s debut novel, i2, is a gripping psychological thriller built on a bold science-fiction premise. On the eve of creating a revolutionary procedure by which memories can be uploaded and stored, renowned bio-software engineer Edward Frame is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Secretly turning the procedure upon himself, Frame prepares to begin life again. But something goes terribly wrong. Instead of returning to the woman he loves, Edward is born into the family of his rival: a man who has stolen his company, his fortune, his widow and his children. His towering intellect and experience trapped in the form of a helpless child, Edward Frame embarks on an odyssey of life that is in turns exhilarating and terrifying, joyous and tragic.

As the plot races from one twist to the next, Bannon cleverly elevates his page-turning thriller into a profound exploration of the growth of the human soul and the true meaning of sacrifice and love.


i2 takes the philosophical hypothesis and turns it into a literary one. What would you do if you could relive your life with all of your adult knowledge? This premise is what drew me to this book. I sat and finished it in one sitting.

It took me through a range of emotions from amusement and raucous laughter to disgust and utter disdain. It poses a subtle psychological question to the reader. IT leaves you questioning your own moral compass by the actions of the protagonist. I personally found the character to be justified in all his action even when I was disgusted by it. Because no one can really say with certainty what they would or should do in that situation.

Even before I finished I knew it was one of my favorite reads of 2012. It’s making question my notion of ‘self’ based on the premise. Would I really want to relive my life with the accumulated knowledge of a previous life? Its left to the reader to make their own judgments on the subject. God help the person who eventually does, they could very well be creating a hell of their own design.

James Bannon does an amazing job of showing the two iterations of this man’s lives. He not only shows the benefits, which at hilarious at times, but also the pitfalls of living with the ghost of your former self. From the first line to the last line, I don’t think I’ve read a more drama change in a specific character. I will definitely be reading this one again in the coming year.



I give i2 5 out 5Gs.


The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret #1)

28 December 2012

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The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret #1) by  Jessica Sorensen

 

Ella and Micha have been best friends since they were kids. But one tragic night shatters their friendship and their lives forever.

 Ella used to be a rule-breaker with fiery attitude who wore her heart on her sleeve. But she left everything behind when she went to college and transformed into someone that follows the rules, keeps everything together, and hides all her problems. But now it’s summer break and she has nowhere else to go but home.

 Ella fears everything she worked so hard to bury might resurface, especially with Micha living right next door. If Micha tries to tempt the old her back, she knows that it will be hard to resist.

 Micha is sexy, smart, confident, and can get under Ella’s skin like no one else can. He knows everything about her, including her darkest secrets. And he’s determined to bring his best friend, and the girl he loves back, no matter what it takes.

Okay, the first thing that caught me about this story was the name, “The Secret of Ella and Micha.” It’s specifically the word ‘Secret’, the word is like a box of chocolates. It can be good, it can be bad, it can create or destroy. It’s just a kinetic word with so much potential.

The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret #1) got lost in the shuffle of new books and sat for a while before I got to it. I started this book after rereading and watching “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” (Definitely one of the best adapted movie of 2012) So if you’re familiar with the work you know where my mind was in terms of ‘the secret’. I’m more familiar with the author’s name than with her works and I plan to rectify this situation in the coming year.

I have to say that it was an amazing story. To me a graet story makes me visualize actors in the scenes of the story;  Jessica Sorensen does this perfectly. It doesn’t come off as overly melodrama. If adapted correctly could be modest box office hit.

It flips between the perspective of Ella and Micha. It’s the rekindling of a love that has been smoldering for several years. The conflict to their love is them and the things that people let get in the way of finding that love. The constant changing perspective does sometimes leave you confused to which perspective you’re reading from. Whether intentional or not I liked it. It made it seem that even through their problems they were of one soul.

The obstacles in the way of their love are organic in their nature; it doesn’t feel like a caricature of real life. As the story unfolds and more backstory is reveal you start to understand why these characters are apart. From their varying viewpoints you know that they love each other. The story is about the realization that they CAN be together.

This is the just the first in the story of Ella and Micha. Even if it wasn’t I was happy with the way the story concluded. It was realistic. The couple didn’t find that blissful happiness in the happily ever after castle. Their love is still a work in progress. It’s a satisfying ending that left me wanting to know.

 

I give The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret #1) 4 out 5Gs.


Pitch Perfect

21 December 2012

Pitch PerfectAnna Kendrick
Skylar Astin
Rebel Wilson
Adam Devine
Anna Camp
Britney Snow
Alexis Knapp
Ester Dean
Hannah Mae Lee
Ben Platt
Utkarsh Ambudkar
Michael Viruet
John Michael Higgins
Elizabeth Banks

PG13           112 min           2012

Beca, a freshman at Barden University, is cajoled into joining The Bellas, her school’s all-girls singing group. Injecting some much needed energy into their repertoire, The Bellas take on their male rivals in a campus competition.

From the opening commentary by John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks you know it’s going to be a wild ride. Disappointment is not in this movie’s vocabulary. Yes, it’s a clichéd romantic comedy that knows it’s a comedy before a romantic movie.

The cast deftly delivers dialog that made me laugh from beginning to end. If you can’t find anything to enjoy about this movie then you don’t have a heart. You might be a sociopath… check into that promptly. Although this is an Anna Kendrick, who by the way has transitioned nicely post Twilight, Rebel Wilson is the star of this movie. She has such amazing one-liners I can just imagine what hit the cutting room floor.

The real star of the movie though is the music. In the post-Glee world, Pitch Perfect is more entertaining than the first season of its inspiration. Weeks later I’m still humming the tunes from this movie. The mash ups are amazing… 500 Hundred Miles/Titanium mash up is my favorite wished more had been heard.

Whether you like musical or not you’re going to find something you like in Pitch Perfect. It’s that movie that when it comes on the screen you’ll want to watch it. Even if you think the final product is flawed, there are individual parts that you will find addictively watchable.

I give Pitch Perfect 5 out 5 Gs.


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