Round Up: The Secret Diary, Super Bowl, and The Hobbit

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Round Up! This is my very occasional feature where I share my favorite story and media related articles from the interwebs with you! 

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet

This is my excited face!!!

This is my excited face!!!

Guys, guys, GUYS!!!! The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is being transformed to literary format! You can add it on Goodreads! Remember how I basically wished for this?! And it’s coming this summer! YAY!!!!!!

Super Bowl Pregame Show

phillip-phillips

This is my artsy face.

I don’t talk about music much on here, but I mentioned once my love for Phillip Phillips (and several of his songs made it on my NaNoWriMo project playlist) and some of you agreed, so this might be of some interest. Apparently Phillip Phillips and The Band Perry are going to be performing for the Super Bowl pregame show! I’m definitely going to have to make a special point to watch it because (1) I love Phillip Phillips (duh) and he gives a great show and (2) my husband and I (OK, mostly my husband) know a guy in the band of The Band Perry! Not one of the Perrys themselves, but one of the guys behind them. We’ve seen him on TV before and it’s kind of fun to be able to say you know who that person. So if you have interest in either artist then be sure to check it out!

How The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Should Have Ended

hobbit

This is my, “Oh crap, I just woke up the dragon” face.

My review for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug should be coming up before too long, but if you want  to know what I thought before then, How It Should Have Ended did a pretty good job of summing it up for me. I will advise that you don’t watch the video unless you’ve seen the movie.

Also, if a Goodreads for movies sounds interesting to you, check out the website Letterboxd. I just joined (click here to see my profile) and I haven’t done a lot with it yet, but they let you rate with half stars! Yay!

Are you excited about the Lizzie Bennet book?! Are you thinking about ranking the Super Bowl ads this year like I am (former mass comm major/marketing minor nerd alert)? Did The Desolation of Smaug leave you shaking your fist at Peter Jackson? 

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Marketing a Book as a Movie

I have never read Vampire Academy, but I’ve seen three trailers for the movie. The first had a color scheme prominent of bright green and pink, highlighting all the fun, light-hearted moments these teen vampires share, a la your typical high school comedy film (it is sure to emphasize that the director of Vampire Academy also directed Mean Girls). All I could base my thoughts on Vampire Academy the book was its cover, and the book cover and the look of the movie I saw being advertised just didn’t seem to jive. (Of course, based off the cover, I would expect Angelina Jolie to be in the movie.)

vampire-academyI also heard some of you guys mention that the movie did not look like it was going to be true to the nature of the book. So I was not too entirely surprised when I saw the second trailer, which emphasized much more dramatic, serious moments in the movie. And I thought, Aha, they must have heard the outcry and changed the focus. The third trailer I saw was a blend of the two, highlighting both funny and serious.

And that lead me to think about how we want to see our favorite movies marketed to us when they come to life on the big screen. I know that when I saw the first Hunger Games teaser, which was just Katniss in the woods, I was really disappointed. But the first real trailer that came out after that was really good, and the trailers for Catching Fire were definitely amazing, truly capturing the heart of the story: the rise of the rebellion and the struggles that Katniss faces.

When the first Divergent trailer came out, there seemed to be some mixed reactions. I thought it did a good job of highlighting moments from the book, but we all look for different things. And then there’s always the fear that a certain actor or actress is not going to be able to fill the shoes of your beloved character, so even if the movie is marketed well, it may affect your perception of it for that reason.

And then there is The Fault in Our Stars, another book I have not read and is being turned into a movie. A trailer hasn’t come out for it yet, but the movie poster already has people talking with its tagline…

fault-our-stars-movie-poster

I’m still weirded out that this is Tris and Caleb in the Divergent movie…

One Sick Love Story. Catchy marketing slogan, or insensitive and classless? Again, it seems to depend on who you ask.

So what do you look for when you see a book you love marketed as a movie? Which book-turned-movie do you feel has/had the best marketing? Which do you feel has/had the worst? 

*EDIT* For those interested, here’s a tiny clip from the trailer for TFiOS.

Review: These Broken Stars

Overall, I liked These Broken Stars, but I’m afraid the hype monster got me on this one. I expected it to be truly epic, but… it fell a little short for me.

TBS-Cover

What I really enjoyed from this book…

– I loved the Icarus and I really wish we could have had more time there! It sounded so interesting, and I would have loved to learn more about the in’s and out’s of the ship, seen more parties and experienced the observation deck. It all sounded so neat! I liked what details we got of the ship.

– I also liked any details we got of this world, and the world itself is honestly what makes me most interested in reading the next book Spooner and Kaufman produce from this universe. I’m curious to know more about the war (which I think the next book is focusing on) and how we discovered all these other planets. (And are there aliens? It didn’t seem like there were.)

– The sci-fi aspect that comes up on the planet was intriguing and felt like something that could be on an episode of Star Trek (pretty much always a good thing!).

garak-jazzhandsWhat I did not enjoy as much…

– I never felt a deep connection with Lilac and Tarver. I thought Lilac was annoying at first, but as she came to accept her situation, I grew to like to her more. But even so, I liked both Lilac and Tarver both just enough to care enough to keep reading. I never felt truly emotionally invested in them.

– While I believed in Lilac and Tarver’s attraction and affections for one another, I did not believe in the depth of their supposed epic love. They went from not standing one another (but being attracted to each other) to admitting feelings, which made sense, but they were willing to completely abandon their families to stay together forever on the God-forsaken planet. Of course, I guess hormones are to blame for that.

urban-bones-poetic– As they started their trek across the planet and Lilac was being whiny, I thought, Oh no, it’s Under the Never Sky all over again… 

bashir-sleepyBut I liked the characters slightly more so I decided to stick with it. But that being said, I don’t think I’m a huge fan of survivalist stories. All this walking around a barren or foreboding place with so little to do or say doesn’t really suit me unless I LOVE the characters.

What I wish we could have seen… 

(These are vague inclinations about the ending here… I don’t think it’s too spoilery, but none of this will really make sense if you haven’t read the book yet)

– I wish the book had ended with Lilac and Tarver going to Tarver’s parents’ house. The ending as it was was interesting, but I think this would have been a nice final scene. I’m also upset we didn’t get to learn more about the planet, but I understand why the mystery is left as it is at the end.

– I wish we could have gotten more insight into Lilac’s medical test results.

– I wish there had been an explanation as to why people avoided Lilac at the beginning of the book. Did I miss something? Was it JUST because of who her dad was? No one knew what had happened with Simon except her and her dad. And why does she need Anna as a bodyguard? I never felt like these things were fully explained.

Overall…

There were moments that I was engaged and interested, and moments where I was slightly annoyed. I liked Lilac and Tarver fine, enough to care for their well-being, but I don’t care too much about what happens to them beyond the story and I don’t care about their relationship too much. I wish there had been more of the science fiction elements and the ship, less of the boring trekking across the planet (though I understand the realistic nature of how long that could take), and that the relationship had developed more naturally.

3.5stars

Content Advisory: One off-screen sex scene and moderate language.

What were your thoughts on These Broken Stars? 

Top Ten Things On My Reading Wishlist

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is my Top Ten Things On My Reading Wishlist (if you could make authors write about these things you would. Could be a specific type of character, an issue tackled, a time period, a certain plot, etc.)

Seeing as I do write, while compiling this list I wondered: Why aren’t I writing these stories? And the answer is, I haven’t been so particularly inspired to yet. But who knows, maybe one day I will! But in the meantime, if someone else wants to write on of these stories, that’s be great because I would love to read them! This week’s list is in no particular order, and all these are YA story ideas unless otherwise specified.

1. WWII Historical Fiction Set in America

There’s been a fair share of WWII historical fiction lately, set in other countries: The Book Thief, Between Shades of Gray, Code Name Verity, etc. And I’m grateful for these, because for those of us who do live in America, sometimes we need to get outside of our USA bubble and see how the rest of the world sees things. But remember Molly from American Girl?

meet-mollyI’ve been interested in WWII history for a long time, so even as a girl I was fascinated by the story of a girl my age and how she coped with the war at home in America. I would absolutely love to see a YA story like this!

2. Story Set in Monaco

monte_carlo_casino_monacoOnce upon a time, I saw something about the country of Monaco on TV, and since then, I’ve been mildly curious about it. We see books set in France, Italy, Australia, etc., but what about Monaco? How’s life look like there? I actually wrote a short story about a teen American girl visiting Monaco when I was in high school, but I haven’t been able to find it and quite frankly, I knew very little about the country. I’d love to read the story from someone who knew what they were talking about.

3. A Little Women Retelling

little-women-retellIt’s no secret that I love Little Women. Because of this, I have attempted a couple different retellings, but neither of them have stuck for me yet, but we’ll see… maybe one day something will. (BTW, I will finish my Little Women movie dreamcast posts one day…). I love this story and want to see a truly justifiable retelling of it, either in a contemporary or futuristic setting. Also, bonus points if Jo and Laurie hook up this time. 🙂

4. Jane Austen Contemporary Retellings, a la Lizzie Bennet and Emma Approved

ja-retellingsBasically, I want to see stories very similar to The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and Emma Approved as novels, and obviously more suited for that than the video format. I suppose they would be more New Adult, but I would want them to not be too focused on sexytimes, but rather stay true to the nature of Jane Austen’s stories. And I know there are Jane Austen retellings out there, but I would love for the same author to write six books based on Jane Austen’s six books and that would be in the same universe, and be as awesome as these Pemberley Digital videos. I would DEVOUR these books, so someone give them to me!

5. Retelling of Alice in Wonderland that Involves Traveling to Other Worlds/Dimensions

I came up with this one very randomly. I have nothing else to add, but I think it sounds awesome.

6. Set in Well-Known Cities That Aren’t LA/NYC/Chicago

I love big cities, but it seems the same ones get all the love. Why not more books in Seattle, Houston, Phoenix, Nashville (though I think this one is rising in popularity… I just wish we could see more Nashville stories NOT involving country music), etc.? I’ll admit I don’t think much about where the story is set when I seek out a book, probably largely because I’m usually reading things set in the future, but if a book was set in Houston or Nashville (the two areas where I have spent the vast majority of my life) my interest would be at least piqued.

 7. Teens Who Work in a Comic Book Store and Go on Geeky Adventures

geek-costumesI think this one is self-explanatory, and would be so fun!

8. Teen Science Geniuses a la Fitz-Simmons

fitz-simmons2Fitz and Simmons are the two scientists on the show Agents of SHIELD, and they’re also my favorite characters from the show. They totally play off each other with their science facts and geeky quips and I want a book with a duo like them! But since I fail at science, I will not be writing it.

9. Teen Olympian Athlete

Eiskunstlauf: Tara Lipinski zeigt ihr WM-Gold

Was anyone else totally into Tara Lipinski, 1998 Olympic gold medalist?

As someone who has never been particularly good at sports, I have long been fascinated by the ability of Olympian athletes, and would love to read a YA book about a teen playing in the games, particularly a gymnast, a swimmer, or an ice skater. I would love to read a realistic look of what it takes to train for, qualify for, and be in the Olympics as a teen athlete.

10. Teens/Young Adults Flying in Space, a la the Red Squad from Star Trek

Red_SquadIn the Star Trek franchise, there are references to an elite group of cadets from Starfleet Academy called Red Squad who receive special and advanced training flying in space. In an episode of Deep Space Nine called “Valiant,” the Red Squad cadets were aboard the U.S.S. Valiant with an adult crew, when all the adult crew were killed in enemy fire and the cadets were forced to step up and take charge of the ship. It was a very interesting look on how a spaceship run by young people would work, how they would respond to having to answer to one another as officers, etc. Basically, I would love to see some of the ideas from this episode expounded on and explored in a book (something other than a Star Trek book). And I would love to hear the perspective of the specially trained teens about flying in space and their hopes for their future in a space career.

So what’s on your reading wishlist?

Mini Movie Reviews: Despicable Me 2 and The Great Gatsby

At the shocking revelation that I only saw 10 2013 movie releases in 2013, I have stepped it up in 2014 by watching two more: Despicable Me 2 and The Great Gatsby. These are two extremely different movies that have the misfortune of being paired together for a post of mini-reviews, and oddly enough, receive the same rating from me.

despicable-gatsbyDespicable Me 2

Despicable Me 2, thankfully, did not fall into the trap of feeling like a forced sequel. It is just as fun as the first and features fresh, new jokes, while still featuring what was enjoyable about the first film, like the minions and Gru’s relationship with the girls. This story was more focused on Gru and Lucy, the latter who recruits Gru into the Anti-Villain League, rather than Gru and the girls. There’s a theme of the girls wanting a mom and other people thinking Gru needs to find a lady friend, so it’s clear from the start that things between him and Lucy will take a romantic turn. The Despicable Me franchise is not among my favorite animated films, but I find them enjoyable enough for a watch.

minions-laugh

The Great Gatsby

I kept insisting I would read the book first, but when a co-worker loaned me the movie and I knew I wasn’t reading the book anytime soon, I decided to just dive in. So my thoughts on this movie are from someone who is not familiar with the novel. This was also my first experience with a Baz Luhrmann film, though I was somewhat familiar with his style.

I thought this was a well-done movie, and certainly visually stunning. The pacing felt a little odd to me, but that could have had more to do with my unfamiliarity with the original material than anything. I am always impressed with Leonardo diCaprio, I thought Carey Mulligan did well, and Tobey Macguire did better than I was anticipating. After seeing the previews I really wanted to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the role, and there were times in the movie where I certainly could picture him in it, but Nick is supposed to be a little more on the outside of things, not as smooth of a socialite, so Tobey was a good pick in that aspect.

The story is pretty depressing, but it really speaks on the human condition, which I appreciate. And while I couldn’t connect with the rich debutante Daisy or the outlandish Gatsby, I felt I could connect with Nick somewhat, as someone on the outside looking in.

I thought the use of modern music (along with period-style music) actually blended in pretty well with the 1930s atmosphere, and certainly did fit the overall feel of the film. I was not wild about the editing style, but I prefer an extremely simplistic and clean editing style, and that is obviously not the style of this film. I also liked that the framework for the movie was Nick sharing the story with a psychiatrist and then writing the story.

gatsby

I give both movies a 3.5 stars. They were enjoyable and well-done, but I’m not in a big hurry to see them again.

3.5stars

Have you see Despicable Me 2 and/or The Great Gatsby? What are your thoughts? 

Do You Ever Want to Change Your Ratings?

Sometimes, I feel sure about how I want to rate book right after I read it. It was amazing, 5 stars! I liked it but it wasn’t magical, 3 stars. Etc. But sometimes I struggle with the rating. Is this a 3, 3.5, or 4? I enjoyed it but it felt like a guilty pleasure because the writing was just so-so and some of it was annoying but it also gave me so many feels… And sometimes the more I think back to the book, I realize I may like it more or less than I initially thought I did. But at the same time, am I rating the book for its impact on me at that moment, or further down the line? Am I rating it based on the writing? Am I rating based on others‘ feelings about it? I try to consider all these things (except others’ opinions) when I rate.

Despite this though, sometimes after I talk to someone about the book, I wonder if I should go back (in time?!) and change the rating.

DeLorean_ArrivalBut in a strange way, it also feels set it stone. I put it out there on the Internet, not to be undone. Besides, I gave it the rating that felt right at the time. I think our opinions will change of stories, for better or for worse. It’s what happens as you go through different life experiences.

Sorry for the shortest discussion post ever, but I want to hear your thoughts! What do you think about when rating books? Are you ever tempted to go back and change your ratings? 

Review: Across a Star-Swept Sea

Where do I even begin?!

I LOVED AND ADORED Across a Star-Swept Sea, even more than For Darkness Shows the Stars! Basically, it had everything Amy looks for in a book. Adventure + genetic engineering + fascinating world building + strong heroine + smart hero + love story + pretty dresses + the sea + description that is so delicious I want to eat it like ice cream = perfect Amy book!

star-swept

Across a Star-Swept Sea is a companion novel to For Darkness Shows the Stars, taking place in the same universe. I have to admit, at first I was confused by this, because while there were similarities between the two books, there were also enough differences in terms that were being used and in the names of the places that were supposedly the only places left on the world, that I was wondering how it all fit together. Thankfully, when you keep reading it does eventually make sense. So while I was confused sometimes, it did not overshadow how I was instantly transported into and captivated by Persis’ secret life as a spy. In this retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel, we see that by day, Lady Persis Blake plays a silly aristo who cares about nothing but her appearance. But secretly she is playing the role of the famous spy, The Wild Poppy, trying to change the way of the revolution. As someone who was not familiar with The Scarlet Pimpernel, I had no problem getting into the story. In fact, I think it was easier for me to get into this book than FDSTS, as I was not trying to get caught up into the minutia of which character is representative of which character from the original story (which for FDSTS was Persuasion).

The secondary main character, Justen Helo, meets Persis early on and is forced to pose as her love interest when he seeks asylum from Princess Isla. I really loved Persis, who was brave and smart and cunning, and I loved Justen just as much! He was also extremely smart, very focused and ambitious. He holds on to regrets from his past and his family’s past and uses them as the driving force for his work. He slowly recognizes over time that Persis is much more than a pretty face, and the way these two thought about each other, interacted with each other, and misunderstood each other could be so frustrating, but it was in all the right ways. It was never a frustration that made me want to throw my book across the room, but I was definitely close to shouting at the characters: “Justen, Persis is the Wild Poppy! Persis! Just tell Justen who you are!”

quotes-starsweptseaThe plotting and pacing were perfect, except maybe at the very end, when things seemed to wrap up a little too quickly. I was always intrigued and loved so many of the characters (and hated some as well, as you’re supposed to!). And I absolutely loved hearing about the world of New Pacifica, which sounds completely gorgeous and heavenly (I want to vacation there now please!) and about Persis’ wardrobe, because I’m a sucker for pretty dresses. There were so many detailed elements that Diana Peterfreund included that just made everything feel so real.

I also felt the romance more this time than I had in FDSTS, and it was such a nice slow burn, which I’m also a big fan of.

We do get some cameo appearances from Elliot, Kai, and some of the others from FDSTS. It was sort of weird to see them through Persis and Justen’s eyes, because they viewed them differently than I did. But of course, to them they came from this strange land and they didn’t know anything of their back story. It was almost a little sad to see Elliot and Kai again but not get their perspective, but I was glad to see them, and Ro. But not Andromeda. Bleh.

All in all though, I pretty much loved everything about this book! If you love intriguing world building, have an interest in genetic engineering, and just love a good story, you have to check out these books! And does anyone know if another one is coming out? Because I need one now.

need-itContent Advisory: This one is really clean. Language, sexual content, and violence are all either mild or nonexistent in this book.  

5stars2Have you read Across a Star-Swept Sea? Did you love it as much as I did?!

Fringe Series Overview

After watching all five seasons Fringe starting last summer and going through December, I can say without a doubt I am a fan. I was evangelizing the show even when I was only in the first season, believing so much in the potential it showed. And it met most of that potential. I will have to say that despite how much I love this show overall, that other than the absolutely perfect emotional closure I got in the series finale, the show never quite gave me everything I wanted from it. But it did give me a lot. Since the show is so unique, I wanted to focus on some on the aspects of the show that really stood out, as well as favorite characters and episodes.

There are spoilers sprinkled throughout, SO what you will see is SPOILER the spoiler written in white that you can highlight if you’ve seen all of the show and then END SPOILER. Everything else is CLEAR to read!

Favorite Episodes by Season

Season One

While watching the series, my favorite episode of Season One hands-down was “Bad Dreams.” I just found the story fascinating, I loved meeting another Cortexiphan kid, and it would definitely still have to be my favorite case-of-the-week episode from the first season. But if I look back at the series as a whole, it would probably be one of the more mythological episodes, but I won’t know for sure until I re-watch. But here are some possibilities/runner-up favorites: “The Arrival,” “In Which We Meet Mr. Jones,” “The Equation,” “Ability,” “Inner Child,” and “There’s More than One of Everything.” Overall, even though I did not give season 1 one of my two 4.5 star rankings (I mostly gave it 4 stars because I didn’t think the John Scott storyline was handled well after the pilot), I think I would consider it my second favorite season.

fringe-baddreams

Season Two

When I looked back at all the episodes from Season Two, it was clear to me it was my favorite season of the series. I think season two was the closest to being exactly what I wanted Fringe to be. My absolute favorite is “White Tulip” for all its wonderful symbolism, but I have several other episodes I love a lot too: “Dream Logic,” “August,” “Jacksonville,” “Peter,” “Northwest Passage.” and “Over There (Part Two).” Also extremely noteworthy: “A New Day in the Old Town” and “Brown Betty.”

fringe-whitetulip

Season Three

Season Three is a strong season for the mythology of the show and for the character development, but it stressed me out and aggravated me SO FREAKING MUCH! Because of this, it was a little harder for me to determine a favorite episode, but I think I’ll go with the finale, “The Day We Died,” because it was so intriguing. Some other episodes I liked: “The Abducted,” “Entrada,” “Subject 13,” and “Bloodline.”

fringe-thedaywedied

Season  Four

This season was another frustrating one for me that I honestly think I could only bear because of my unbounding love for Lincoln Lee. Every other character was just acting so frustrating with the SPOILER timeline reset affecting them END SPOILER! Overall, it might be my least favorite season, despite Lincoln Lee. My favorite episode is probably either “Everything in its Right Place” or “Letters of Transit,” and a couple others I liked pretty well were “Wallflower” and “Back to Where You’ve Never Been” (the former mostly because of MILD SPOILER cute Olivia-Lincoln moments). END MILD SPOILER

fringe-wallflower

Season Five

Season Five was feeling pretty grim until the last five episodes, which I love all so much I just have to consider them a collective favorite: “Black Blotter,” “Anomaly XB-6783746,” “The Boy Must Live,” “Liberty,” and “An Enemy of Fate.” They finally delivered on what I had been waiting the entire season for!

fringe-finale

Favorite Characters by Season

Season One: Peter

Season Two: Peter

Season Three: Olivia

Season Four: Lincoln

Season Five: SPOILER September/Donald END SPOILER

I loved me some Peter in the first two seasons, but he got really frustrating in season three. In hindsight, I also have to give some love to Charlie in the first season. In season three, with so much crap hitting the fan, I found the one person I was most concerned about and rooting for was Olivia, and she completely won me over as a favorite. In season four, all bets were off when Lincoln Lee arrived in his good guy glory. At that point, I wanted to stop watching regular Fringe and watch a Lincoln Lee spin-off show instead! And then in season five, as mentioned before was not a favorite season of mine, and so when we finally get to what I consider “the good stuff” and finally figure out the mystery with SPOILER where September is and that he is actually this mysterious guy Donald they have been looking for and that he has humanified and is now even more awesome than ever before!!! I was just so excited!!! END SPOILER.

When I look at the series as a whole, I think Walter definitely has to be the most intriguing character with the strongest arc, and John Noble did a crazy amazing job playing like 50 versions of the character (OK, maybe not 50, but I did lose count!) with just little nuances to separate them.

Characters that were definitely underutilized: Astrid sadly never really got to rise to the occasion, which I hated so much because Jasicka did a great job and she deserved more screen time. But the relationship between her and Walter, I loved. Their scene together in the finale made me cry.

red-vines

I definitely would have liked more Charlie. And Gene the cow… duh. We always need more Gene.

gene-takeout

The Glyphs

You know those symbols that come up for each commercial break (and are also sprinkled throughout the show as Easter eggs)? They’re there for a reason! If you’re a die-hard fan you already know, but for the uninitiated, these glyphs are part of a code. Each one stands for a letter, depending on both the symbol and the placement of the the yellow orb around it, and when you put the glyphs together for each episode, they spell out a word pertaining to either the current episode or foreshadowing something for the next episode. Sometimes they’re vague, sometimes they’re obvious, but they’re fun! If you’re going through the series, you can download the Fringe glyph add for iPhone or Android to crack the code every episode. I think this was a really unique twist to the show that just adds another layer of intrigue to it.

fringe-glyphs

The Title Sequences

You know how most shows just have one basic title sequence that looks the same week after week, year after year? Not Fringe! They had several! Since everything after the initial blue sequence contains spoilers for plot points in the show, I made all of those white.

Blue Sequence: This is the first title sequence we get, which lists a plethora of fringe sciences, many of which would be included in the show.

Retro Sequence: For the two episodes set in 1985, “Peter” and “Subject 13,” where we learn more about Walter discovering the alternate universe and the immediate consequences, a retro-looking version of the Fringe title sequence rolled out the fringe sciences of yesteryear, many of which are now a reality. 

Red Sequence: The red title sequence represents an episode that prominently takes place in the alternate universe, AKA the Redverse. In “Entrada,” we see a mix of the blue and red sequences as the two universes got more equal episode time. This sequence also includes what is considered fringe sciences in the Redverse. 

fringe-titlesequence

Gray Sequence: The gray sequence was for the season 3 finale episode “The Day We Died,” in which we see a possible future where the Redverse has been destroyed and the Blueverse is on the brink of going down the same path. This sequence includes what is considered fringe sciences in this possible future timeline. 

Amber Sequence: This was for season four, to indicate an altered timeline where Peter actually died as a boy. Most of the fringe sciences listed are not too unlike those from the initial sequence, though they are new words. 

Future Sequence: This is the sequence for “Letters of Transit” and all of season 5, set in the future where the Observers have taken over. It’s scary to think that things like “private thought” are considered fringe in this future. 

The Storylines & The Message

There were so many… where does one begin?! I will now get my biggest gripe about Fringe out there now, and that is that I think it had the tendency to bite off more than it could chew. Sometimes it tried to set something up, only for the “answer” to feel weak and incomplete (First People, Sam Weiss, Mr. X, John Scott, ZFT, etc.) or to not be followed through at all (Olivia’s stepfather, Big Eddie, Rachel and Ella, Etta on invasion day, etc.). And then there were things that they tried to build up as really epic (SPOILER Peter is completely erased from the timeline! END SPOILER) but then it turns out to not be nearly as big as we thought (SPOILER Well not so much erased but more like he died when he was a boy after all so you guys never knew him, but he’ll come back because love conquers all… END SPOILER). As much as I loved so many of the intriguing story arcs throughout the series, most of them honestly did not deliver as fully as I would have liked. In fact, entire seasons were dedicated to many of these plot points, and while they all ended on pretty high and mostly satisfactory notes, I was still left with more questions than answers.

But this series is very much about one thing, and it’s good to know this if you haven’t started watching yet: it’s about LOVE.

The love between a father and son. Between friends. Between lovers. Between a mother and  daughter. It’s about how far you would go to save someone you love, or to be with them.

And it’s about humanity. This is something you’ll especially see as you get to the end of season five, that the show is asking questions about what makes us human. And that’s why it’s good sci-fi, a good show, and worth investing your time in it.

The characters are wonderfully flawed and quirky and intelligent and caring. And when the show’s over, you honestly feel like you’ve become disconnected from an amazing group of friends.

But don’t just take my word for it. Take Walter’s word for it. Watch Fringe…

because-its-coolAnd I still feel like I have only scratched the surface here! What about Massive Dynamic and Nina and Broyles and William Bell and Brandon and the shapeshifters and LSD and the Observers and everything else?! There’s just so much!!!

May I also recommend The Fringe Podcast as a supplement to your watching? It’s wonderfully fun, informative, and insightful. My experience would not have been the same without it.

Also see: Fringe reviews for seasons 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

Are you a future Fringe fan or a current one? (There are no other options, BTW.) Tell me what you love about the show or what about it has piqued your interest! 

My Top 10 Movie Anticipations for 2014

Thanks to Yahoo’s list of most anticipated films of 2014, I was able to comb through and figure out what was coming out and what I am anticipating as well!

10. The Monuments Men

Expected Release: February 7, 2014

The premise seems interesting, and  of course the cast is star-studded. As long as this one isn’t full of vulgarity (it hasn’t been rated yet) I’ll be interested to see this one.

9. Divergent

Expected Release: March 21, 2014

The trend of adapting YA books to the big screen continues in 2014, and other than Mockingjay (duh), this is the one I’m most looking forward to seeing.

8. Unbroken

Expected Release: December 25, 2014

This has the potential to be amazing, and as you may remember I raved about this book as my favorite read of 2013. But also because of my deep love for this story, I really want to see it done justice. I am excited to see that Garrett Hedlund is in the movie, though I don’t even remember the person he is portraying. I am also a little wary because Angelina Jolie is directing it and I have no idea what her directing chops are like, and the Coen brothers wrote the screenplay (I saw True Grit and was quite unimpressed). So basically, this means it will probably win Oscars and I’ll hate it. I hope I’ll like it. I want to love it.

7. X-Men: Days of Future Past

Expected Release: May 23, 2014

The trailer for this one really amazed me. It looks incredible, but I am still slightly wary, which is why it’s only #7 on my list. Other than X-Men: First Class, which I am hoping this movie will be along the same vein of, I have remained largely unimpressed with the X-Men franchise. But I hope this one is as awesome as the trailer makes it seem.

6. The Hobbit: There and Back Again

Expected Release: December 17, 2014

It’s hard for me to be super pumped for this one since I actually haven’t seen the second installment of The Hobbit trilogy yet, but I’m hoping once I do that I’ll be more excited for this final chapter! (Or I assume, I mean, I guess we never know with Peter Jackson…)

5. Interstellar

Expected Release: November 7, 2014

I want to be way more excited for this, because Christopher Nolan is my absolute filmmaker AND storyteller. I just think he does incredible work. But the first trailer bored me, I don’t really like Matthew McConaughey, and I just saw that Topher Grace is in this movie?! What the crap?! (I REALLY can’t stand Topher Grace. At all.) I want to be super excited, but I’m actually very wary. The only reason this movie is even on this list, and especially at this point on this list, is because of my love for C. Nolan. So please prove me wrong about all my current feelings about this movie, Christopher Nolan. Please release a better trailer soon and remind me why I love your stories so much. Please prove me very, very wrong.

4. Transcendence

Expected Release: April 18, 2014

This sci-fi thriller looks like it has the potential to be AMAZING. But, I’m trying to keep my excitement in check after Oblivion burned me in 2013. The director has worked on a lot of Christopher Nolan’s movies, so that’s somewhat promising.

3. How to Train Your Dragon 2

Expected Release: June 13, 2014

I ADORED How to Train Your Dragon, and it is easily one of my favorite animated films. The sequel looks pretty good, and I’m hoping it delivers!

2. Captain America: Winter’s Soldier

Expected Release: April 4, 2014

Captain America is my favorite of the Avengers because Steve Rogers!!! He’s the perfect 1940’s gentleman, and I love his character. So naturally, I am excited about his second movie. And Hayley Atwell and Dominic Cooper are both credited to reprise their roles on IMDB so… that’s also interesting. Of course, it might just be flashbacks to torture me and remind me that Steve and Peggy are living decades apart now. *cries*

1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One

Expected Release: November 21, 2014

After the amazingness of Catching Fire this last year, how can this not be my number one anticipation?! OK, I think the pacing in Mockingjay the book is actually really crappy and it’s my least favorite book of the trilogy, but I have faith it’s going to be good, and I’m excited!

mockingjay-fanart

Some lovely fan art.

Others I might be interested in: The Giver adaptation (why did you cast Taylor Swift?!), Exodus (with Christian Bale!) and Noah are both Biblical adaptations that can be interesting or just weird, Edge of Tomorrow is a Tom Cruise sci-fi movie that could  have potential, and The Maze Runner adaptation (still mad about the whole series though).

maze_runner

The Amazing Spider-man 2 will be a renter.

And who knows what else may spring up on me! I hope I see a few more new movies this year than I did last year!

What movies are you anticipating in 2014?

My Top Ten Goals for 2014

Short intro for this list: Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is my Top Ten Goals/Resolutions for 2014 (bookish, not bookish, or a blend).

Long intro: When 2013 came to an end, I wasn’t super reflective. I do think I grew in some ways in 2013: as a writer, as a wife, and hopefully as a person, but I also struggled with things I’ve always struggled with, frustrated that I just could not move past them. 2013 wasn’t  a great year or a terrible year, but just like every other year of my life it was important, because just like every other year of my life it shaped me. But New Year’s has gotten to where it feels so blase to me, which is the biggest reason why I didn’t feel the need to reflect on New Year’s Eve and makes all kinds of resolutions for the new year.

But that being said, making goals for myself, regardless of the time of year is important to me. Last February I decided to start this blog and set some writing goals for myself. Well, I failed at the writing goals, or… maybe not. I did fail at meeting the specific goals, but as I look back on them now I realize they weren’t really the right goals for me. I did write more, increasingly more thanks to NaNoWriMo, a goal I had not set for myself in February of last year but I achieved and am so proud of myself for having accomplished it. This year, I have more writing goals (in addition to reading and blogging goals) for myself that may or may not get met, because they may or may not be the right goals for me. But the bottom line of these goals is to pursue them, the heart behind them, and take the steps I need to at this point in time for my life. I don’t want  to bite off more than I can chew, but I don’t want to hold myself back either. This year, I want to continue to strive for balance.

All that being said, here are my goals for 2014, related largely to writing, blogging, and reading.

Reading Goals

1. Read Les Miserables

I know this is a crazy goal. This book is over 1000 pages long. But my sweet husband got this book for me after I mentioned it on the blog, and the good thing about him doing that is that it was the push I needed to actually motivate myself to read this chunkster. So here’s the goal: to take as much time reading this book as I need, chapter by chapter, this year. Instead of sitting down with this book and reading it straight through, I will read a few chapters here and there, at my leisure, and my only goal for finishing is to have it done by the end of the year. And if I have to carry it over to next year, as long as I’m still reading it, I don’t think that should be marked as a failure. The resolution is to just keep moving forward. The goal is completion by December 31, 2014.

les-miserables-book2. Only Read What I Want to Read

This may sound a little silly, but this year I found it easy to get so caught up in what other people hyped that I would start reading books I didn’t have much interest in. This did pay off sometimes (The Book Thief, Cinder), but sometimes it backfired (Under the Never Sky). I read about a fifth of what most of my fellow book bloggers read last year, so I have to be selective. So that means I am going to try this year to more carefully choose what exactly I read, based on multiple reviews and dissecting what people are saying in those reviews. I may still end up disappointed (for instance, I wanted to read and love The Testing desperately and it had nothing to do with hype), but that’s OK, but you can still learn from reading something you don’t love.

3. Continue to Expand My Reading Horizons by Reading the Following…

Here are a few more reading goals rolled into one…

1 more Jane Austen book: I read Pride and Prejudice in college, then in 2012 and 2013 I made the effort to read another one of her works in each of those years (Northanger Abbey in 2012 and Persuasion in 2013). I love her stories but not her writing style, so it is a little bit of a challenge for me. This year I am thinking I’ll probably read Emma.

1 classic science fiction book: This will probably either be Ender’s Shadow or Do Androids Sleep of Electric Sheep?. I really want to read more in the science fiction genre as my appreciation for science fiction in TV and movies has grown.

1 writing book: In 2012 I read a writing book as well as in 2013, and I think both helped me some. I believe that as a writer, it’s important I continue the practice of reading books about writing. There are some books about plotting I might like into, or Stephen King’s writing memoir On Writing.

1 non-fiction book: In addition to the writing book, I want to read another non-fiction book. The one I feel is the most likely candidate right now is 1776, but it’s possible I may choose to read an autobiography, a psychology book, or even a science book (if I can find one my unscientific brain can comprehend). Of course, I think reading more than one would be ideal, but I’m aiming for at least one. (I read two last year.)

2014-reading-goalsBlogging Goals

4. Blog When I Want to Blog

I have been pretty much doing this for the past few months, but I want to try even harder to not feel too much pressure from inconsistent blogging this year. I do think consistent blogging is great, but I have other things in my life I need to manage, and more passions to pursue. But I certainly have no intention of leaving you all hanging completely. I have met some wonderful people in the blogsphere and I’m not leaving you now! 🙂 If it wasn’t for you, I know I wouldn’t have kept the blog going this long.

5. Blog Only Meaningful Content

I think this goes hand-in-hand with my previous goal. I want to blog not only when I want to, but also what I want to.

Writing Goals

6. Focus on One Writing Project at a Time

This is going to be crazy hard, because I have bad writing ADD. I have literally started over a dozen novels, but how many have been completed? Four. Two of those four belong to a much larger story arc of a series that I still have not completely worked out yet, and one I just wrote this last year for NaNo. (The other is my long labor of love that I have been working on since high school, but I am giving it more room to breathe right now) This year, I want to focus on my story from NaNo. Start revising and rewriting, get beta readers, rewrite and edit again, get more beta readers, rewrite and write again, and then hopefully, if all goes well…

7. Start Querying Agents

Last year, I set a goal to start this process in March 2014. That was unrealistic because up until November, I was still suffering from Writing ADD. If I am fortunate enough to feel that my project is ready for querying this year, it will be later in the year. Right now, I am thinking I would love to start this process in September, but if I start at any point this year I would love that.  And if I don’t, hopefully 2015 will become that year for me. Again, as long as I am actually working on writing and not getting distracted and doing the very best I can, I will be satisfied with that progress.

writing-snoopy8. Make Writing a Top Priority

I let writing fall by the wayside most of the year for blogging and reading. I don’t really regret it because blogging helped me write, helped me read, and helped me better understand the publishing process and industry. And of course I can’t regret reading because it helped me write, and of course it’s just rewarding in of itself. Really, writing and reading will probably be more a joint top priority, as I will probably read during lunch at work and write when I get home. But blogging will definitely suffer a little because of this schedule, and I hate that, but…

Life Goals

9. Pursue my Passions More Seriously

This is vague, but I have specific things in mind when I say this, some of which I mentioned here. Writing, creativity, stories are all my passion, and I want to more seriously pursue ways to incorporate these things in my life. Blogging helped me with that some this year, but I do feel I want to pursue other routes with these passions this year.

10. Prepare for 30

As much as I have a hard time acknowledging this, I’m in my late twenties now, and I’m not getting any younger. With 30 not too far down the road for me, I want to try harder over the next few years to make a more conscientious effort to prepare for the third decade of life physically especially, by eating better, becoming more active, buying better skincare products, etc. I am sure there are other ways I need to prepare for 30, so I will be trying to recognize those and do them as I go.

What are your goals for 2014?