Book-to-Movie News: Unwind by Neal Shusterman

One of my all-time favorite books is Unwind by Neal Shusterman.  I read Unwind for the first time over four years ago.  I was pregnant, emotional, and stunned at the intensity of this book.  It was unlike anything I'd ever read before.  I remember lying in bed sobbing as I read, and crying again when I tried to explain the book to my bewildered husband. 
 
I was thrilled when Shusterman announced he was turning Unwind into a series.  What could be better?  Well...now that the Unwind Dystology is complete, it's coming to the big screen!  This is a movie that I'll break my movie-theater ban for. 
  
There is a website devoted to the film, called Unwind Movie.  Visit it hereSo far, there are no official trailers, only ones made by fans.  But those are still fun!  You can watch the fan-made trailers on the Unwind Movie site.  You can also visit Unwind's IMDB page here, and Neal Shusterman's website here.  
 
So far, Unwind is still in development.  There isn't any casting information or even a concrete release date.  All IMDB tells us is that it will be released in 2016.  I can't wait!  What are your thoughts on the book to film adaptation?  Who are your cast picks?

Here's our favorite fan-made trailer.  I think the creator did an awesome job capturing the feel of the book!
 





Book Review: The Parts That Followed (The Parts I Remember #2) by A.K. Mills


Starting 12/16 and ending 12/21, download the Kindle version of The Parts I Remember (book one) for free here.

Summary: 
Act first. Think never. Remember nothing.

If only things were still that easy for Kelly Rockport. Enveloped in guilt after surviving the crash that claimed the life of her best friend Meredith, Kelly returns to Haysville University refusing to forget. In her mind, letting go of the accident would be like killing Meredith all over again. With therapy proving futile and sex leaving her emptier than ever, Kelly's attempts at rebuilding her life continue to fail. But just as she begins to accept hopelessness as her destiny, Kelly catches a glimpse of happiness—or something close enough to it. The only question is if she can hold herself together and rebuild a new normal. Or, in true Kelly fashion, will she crumble under the pressure and prove that happily-ever-afters don't exist for people like her? These are the parts that followed.

Release Date: December 15, 2014
Age Group: New Adult
Source: Review copy from author
Reviewed By: Kelli

Review:
I enjoyed The Parts I Remember (read my review here) but I had a hard time connecting with Kelly.  Kelly is my complete polar opposite.  She's reckless, wild and impulsive.  I thought she was pretty selfish and her personal growth came too late in the story for my personal taste.  I liked The Parts I Remember but considered it almost a "what not to do in college" type of book. 

Because of my ennui about Kelly, I started The Parts That Followed not sure what to expect.  I really loved this book!  Kelly was so much more likable.  I thought she had a lot more depth and I really respected her, instead of shaking my head at her like I did in book one. 

The Parts That Followed starts with a prologue that is actually the end of the story, and the epilogue picks up where the prologue ended.  I usually don't like it when authors do that, but it really worked for this story.  Kelly's in the hospital again but for a completely different reason.  She has lost a lot of blood and succumbs to the darkness as doctors and nurses fight to save her life.  As she goes under, she goes back to the time right after the accident that killed her best friend, Meredith.  So, like The Parts I Remember, The Parts That Followed is told in flashbacks.  I like this style of storytelling and also appreciated the fact that it was consistent with the style of book one.

The Parts That Followed is an emotional story.   I found myself tearing up several times while reading, especially at the end.  Kelly changed so much throughout the book.  I was so happy to see her grow as a person and shift from her self-centered personality into thinking about others.  She really matured and that was awesome to read about. 

Mills had lots of surprises built into the plot. I was quite shocked a couple of times, and I love it when authors surprise me like that.  The pace was perfect: it was steadily exciting and it kept me reading every chance I got.  In fact, I finished The Parts That Followed in a day.  And it's been a while since I read a book that was so good, I couldn't put it down.

The epilogue was everything I wanted it to be and more.  There was the perfect amount of closure, and the conflict resolution was just right.  I was so pleased with how Mills ended Kelly's story---it was a surprise but a good surprise. 

The Parts I Remember is A.K. Mills' debut novel, and I highly recommend it and The Parts That Followed.  The books are so well-written and engaging.  I recommend reading the two books back to back if possible.  That's always the best way to get the most out of a series, and prevents the reader from forgetting details from book one.  Luckily, Mills provided enough flashbacks from The Parts I Remember that I easily remembered the storyline from book one.  

If you like contemporary fiction, you'll love this series.  I look forward to Mills' next book!  And even better, the Kindle version of book one, The Parts I Remember, is free from 12/16 to 12/21---get it here.

 

The CW Seed: Play it Again, Dick

Have you heard of the CW Seed? Me neither.

The CW's digital-only network. It's where we blur the line between television and the web and experiment with high-quality original series in smaller sizes. Basically, it's where we go digging for what's next. ~The CW

Everything is going digital. Sometimes I think it's not such a good idea (watch Revolution) but other times- like in a not so apocalyptic world, I am ecstatic! Why, you might ask? Because they have brought back my beloved Veronica Mars (in a spin-off setting)! Right now, I'm freaking out and thinking WHO CARES, I'll take it!  Dick Calabasas is hilarious and the perfect character for a spin-off. 

I am still holding out hope that there will be a Veronica Mars 2 movie but until then Mars Investigation is trying to make a come back, so do me a sold and start streaming! 




Thank you fellow Marshmallows,         






*image source: google.com

Book Spotlight: Heir to a Prophecy by Mercedes Rochelle

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02_Heir to a Prophecy Cover
Please join Mercedes Rochelle as she tours the blogosphere with HF Virtual book Tours for Heir to a Prophecy, December 8-30.

Publication Date: December 12, 2014
Top Hat Books Paperback; 418p
ISBN: 978-1-78279-754-8
Genre: Historical Fiction
   
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READ AN EXCERPT.


Shakespeare's Witches tell Banquo, "Thou Shalt 'Get Kings Though Thou Be None". Though Banquo is murdered, his son Fleance gets away. What happened to Fleance? What Kings? As Shakespeare's audience apparently knew, Banquo was the ancestor of the royal Stewart line. But the road to kingship had a most inauspicious beginning, and we follow Fleance into exile and death, bestowing the Witches' prophecy on his illegitimate son Walter. Born in Wales and raised in disgrace, Walter's efforts to understand Banquo's murder and honor his lineage take him on a long and treacherous journey through England and France before facing his destiny in Scotland.

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 About the Author

Born in St. Louis MO with a degree from University of Missouri, Mercedes Rochelle learned about living history as a re-enactor and has been enamored with historical fiction ever since. She lives in Sergeantsville, NJ with her husband in a log home they built themselves. For more information please visit Mercedes Rochelle's website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook and Goodreads.

Heir to a Prophecy Blog Tour

Monday, December 8
Interview & Giveaway at Mina's Bookshelf

Wednesday, December 10
Review at Back Porchervations
Guest Post at Boom Baby Reviews

Thursday, December 11
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Saturday, December 13
Spotlight at I'd So Rather Be Reading

Monday, December 15
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, December 16
Review at Book Nerd
Guest Post at Queen of All She Reads

Wednesday, December 17
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Friday, December 19
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

Saturday, December 20
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Monday, December 22
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection

Tuesday, December 23
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Friday, December 26
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, December 30
Review at Unshelfish
Review at The True Book Addict

Holiday Gifts for the Readers in Your Life

Here are my thoughts on the best book gifts for the readers in your life.  The book titles are linked to their respective reviews on I'd So Rather Be Reading.

For The Man in Your Life
  For Your Mom





For Your Best Girlfriend
 


For Fellow Mothers
~and~
~and~


For Your Pregnant Friends and Family Members
  
For Women of All Ages
(Especially Graduates and Brides-to-Be)




For Your Chick-Lit-Loving Friend



For Kids
~and~



For Anyone Who Loves YA
~and~
For Dystopian Fans
The Unwind Series by Neal Shusterman
~and~
  

For Fans of Contemporary Fiction

The 2B Trilogy by Ann Aguirre
The Shape of My Heart (Review to come soon)

For Fans of New Adult Fiction
Genna Rulon's For You series

For Anyone With a Chronic Illness



For Anyone Struggling with Depression



For Fans of Thrillers
~and~
~and~
For Fans of Christian Fiction
~and ~







What are your favorite bookish gifts, either given or received?
Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Book Review: Suspicion by Alexandra Monir

Summary:
Mysterious. Magnificent. Creepy. Welcome to Rockford Manor.

"There's something hidden in the Maze." Seventeen-year-old Imogen has never forgotten the last words her father said to her seven years ago, before the blazing fire that consumed him, her mother, and the gardens of her family's English country manor.

Haunted by her parents' deaths, Imogen moves to New York City with her new guardians. But when a letter arrives with the news of her cousin's untimely death, revealing that Imogen is now the only heir left to run the estate, she returns to England and warily accepts her role as duchess.

All is not as it seems at Rockford, and Imogen quickly learns that dark secrets lurk behind the mansion's aristocratic exterior, hinting that the spate of deaths in her family were no accident. And at the center of the mystery is Imogen herself--and Sebastian, the childhood friend she has secretly loved for years. Just what has Imogen walked into?

Combining a fresh twist on the classic REBECCA with a spine-tingling mystery and powerful romance, SUSPICION is an action-packed thrill ride.
 
Release Date: December 9, 2014
Age Group: YA
Source: NetGalley
Reviewed By: Kelli
 
Review:
I love Alexandra Monir's writing (read my reviews of Timeless here and Timekeeper here) and I was so happy to receive a review copy of her latest novel, Suspicion.  I loved the Timeless series for Monir's sweet love story and intense, fast-paced plot.  I'm happy to say that I loved Suspicion for the same reasons.

Suspicion is a stand-alone novel, something that was a huge positive for me.  I love reading stand-alones because they provide so much closure.  I love series as well, but really only when I can read all of the books in a series close together.  There's nothing worse than having to wait years for a series to finish!

Monir writes with such beautiful imagery.  I felt like I was really there with Imogen, especially once she arrived at Rockford Manor.  There was definitely an eerie feel to this book: it wasn't scary in a horror-type of way, just high on the creepy ghost factor.  I'm no fan of ghost stories, and Suspicion definitely wasn't a ghost story, but it took me a little while to figure that out. Before I discovered the source of the malice in Suspicion, I was definitely spooked.  Because I'm such a ninny about ghosts, I didn't read this book at night (pathetic, I know!). 

I was surprised by the ending, and loved the conflict resolution. There was a magical realism element to Suspicion and it was unique and very well-done.  I was surprised by the depth in this story.  My only complaint is that Suspicion was slow to start.  Once the story took off, though, it was a great read.  Suspicion was an easy, fast read. It is definitely YA, and may even be appropriate for an older MG audience. 

If you're new to Alexandra Monir, I highly recommend her books!   

 

 

Book Review and Giveaway: Rite of Rejection by Sarah Negovetich


Summary:
"Before you stands the future."

Straight-laced, sixteen-year-old Rebecca can't wait for her Acceptance. A fancy ball, eligible bachelors, and her debut as an official member of society. Instead, the Machine rejects Rebecca. Labeled as a future criminal, she's shipped off to a life sentence in a lawless penal colony.

A life behind barbed-wire fences with the world's most dangerous people terrifies Rebecca. She reluctantly joins a band of misfit teens in a risky escape plan, complete with an accidental fiancé she's almost certain she can learn to love.

But freedom comes with a price. To escape a doomed future and prove her innocence, Rebecca must embrace the criminal within.
 
Release Date: December 4, 2014
Age Group: YA
Source: Review copy from author
Reviewed By: Kelli
 
Review:
I loved this book!  Rite of Rejection is Sarah Negovetich's debut novel, and she certainly starts her writing career on a high note with this book.  Rite of Rejection was so well-written, engaging and fast-paced.

I love the premise of Rite of Rejection.  The Acceptance ceremony has a unique feel to it.  On one hand, Acceptance reminded me of a 19th century debut ball.  On the other hand, it made me think of other dystopian novels, in that when teens come of age their place in society is determined.  But in this world, the determination comes from a machine.  The Machine, in fact, reads biomarkers from the teen's hands and flashes green for Acceptance, and red for Rejection.  People can be rejected on the basis that there is something inside of them that will make them future criminals or discontents.  That made me think of the precogs from Minority Report: how people are arrested for a crime before the crime even happens.  The premise in Rite of Rejection is that people are removed from society before they can hurt anyone.  It's a really neat concept and I loved that Negovetich focused the story on the Machine and how the Cardinal uses it to control the entire country.

Negovetich has an excellent writing style.  Sometimes authors can write action really well, but lack in emotional intensity.  Or their books are full of emotion but the pace is so slow and the plot lacks depth.  This is not the case for Rite of Rejection.  This book had it all: a great premise, perfect pace, a super-sweet (and clean!) love story, and a thrilling plot that left me on the proverbial edge of my seat.  The story had such a great flow to it.  There were no slow parts or sections where I felt like putting the book down for a break.  Every chapter was as good as or better than the last.

I love the way that Negovetich writes emotions.  Her characters' emotions just jumped off of the page, and into my heart.  I grew to love the characters and felt so invested in their stories.  This is not always the case, so when it happens, I really enjoy the feeling. 

There were some great surprises as I read.  I found one part of the conflict resolution to be predictable, but overall, I was happy with the twists the plot took and how the book ended.  Speaking of the ending, Negovetich gives some closure but leaves plenty of room for a sequel.  And that's a sequel I will eagerly await! 

I've read so many dystopian novels---and I've loved so many of them---that books in this genre can start to feel predictable.  I really felt like Rite of Rejection stood out from others in the genre.  I highly recommend this novel, and cannot wait for book two!
 

 
 
Giveaway
Sarah Negovetich is generously offering this book-themed international giveaway to readers! 
 
 
Prize description:
Chapter 17 tissues (because that’s when you’ll need them), a jumbo sized chocolate bar (a hot commodity inside the PIT), an orange scented candle (courtesy of Rebecca’s fondest memory from home, a dandelion pen (as featured on the cover), handcrafted Molly bag (named after the character responsible for sewing them in the book, these are the bags used extensively by the main characters), and a $10 Amazon gift card. 
 

Book to Movie Review: Mockingjay Part I


When I found out that the Hunger Games Trilogy would be adapted for film, I had one goal: to watch the first two movies and then quit the series forever. I absolutely loathed Mockingjay as a novel. Kelli and I have a saying when something is an epic failure, three little words: Another Mockingjay Debacle which translates into Don't waste your freaking time. #epicdisappointment

With that said, I absolutely LOVED Catching Fire and it is still one of my favorite books to date. When we fell for this series we fell hard and obviously took the conclusion pretty hard. #understatement #obviously

Catching Fire was THE. BEST. MOVIE. ADAPTATION. EVER. (no surprise since the book was of epic proportions). From the casting to the screenplay to the superb costuming, this series has delivered. 

So naturally, I recanted my initial stand and decided I was going to watch Mockingjay with my fingers crossed, hoping (praying, doing a hail Mary, rain dance, you get the idea) that Suzanne Collins would change it up! I know that is completely backwards for any book lover, because typically we threaten Hollywood if they mess up the slightest detail of our beloved YA books. But this is my one exception to date, I wanted that crap changed! 

Mockingjay EXCEEDED my expectations!

Collins delivered! Here's how she's winning me back (I am now cautiously optimistic for Mockingjay Part II).
  1. She wrote in Effie! Mockingjay always needed Effie Trinkett and Elizabeth Banks is her reincarnated. The way that she is written into the storyline was spot on and needed for a little comic relief. Plus, who else could have made the jailhouse clothes of District 13 looks so good? They are better for their Effie Do-rag's.
  2. All the extras! There was dialogue that explained parts of the book better. I will spare spoiling it with detail but have to mention Finnick. When Finnick is filming with the camera crew and starts revealing all his and The Capital's secrets, it fleshed out the back story of President Snow and how he (Finnick) was abused directly by Snow. We needed that in the book. 
  3. Gale. Listen, I was the biggest Gale hater when we were reading this series but dddaaaannnnnggg. How can you not be tempted to become Team Gale when it's Liam Hemsworth. He gets all emotional and you can start to see the hate-fire in his eyes. #nuffsaid
  4. Visually this movie is so intense. I caught myself holding my breathe, getting all girly and emotional and straining my eyes hoping to not miss any detail.
  5. Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) was nice and snakeish and I can't wait to see Katniss put it all together in the end (and freaking arrow her). I have officially turned to the dark side with that comment. #sorrynotsorry #itsfictionpeople 
  6. And the winner-winner, chicken dinner --> hats off to PEETA! Holy Crap was the CGI and Josh Hutcherson spot on. I got all emotional and felt so bad for him every time he appeared even though I knew good and well that it was fake. The visual effects  combined with his performance was excellent and for that, alas, I remain Team Peeta! #youalmosthadmehemsworth
Here's what I hope for in Mockingjay Part II, EXTEND THE FLIPPING EPILOGUE and don't rush the conclusion. #thatisall

This is a Must-See! Period.










Image Sources: google.com
#mockingjay #effietrinket #district13 #katniss #trackerjacker #teampeeta #teamgale #movienews

Book Review: A Grave Inheritance (Goddess Born #2) by Kari Edgren


Summary:
Selah Kilbrid may descend from the goddess Brigid, but her heart beats—and breaks—the same as any human. Yet enduring the scorn of London's most noble lords and ladies is a small price to pay for a chance at true happiness. Selah would endure much more for love, and her betrothed, Lord Henry Fitzalan, is prepared to challenge anyone foolish enough to stand in their way—even another goddess born.

But when a captivating young gentleman draws Selah into a world shadowed by secrets, she is forced to confront her darkest fears. What if some differences are too great to overcome and a future with Henry is doomed from the start?

With these doubts threatening her impending marriage and the very last of Brigid's fire draining from her soul, a violent attack on an innocent child pushes Selah to the very edge of her power. She must find a way to cross into the Otherworld and regain her strength—or forfeit the streets of London to death and disease.

Release Date: December 1, 2014
Age Group: YA
Source: Review copy from publisher
Reviewed By: Kelli
 
Review:
I loved Kari Edgren's first installment in the Goddess Born series, Goddess Born, and could not wait to read book two.  Read my review of Goddess Born here.  Edgren combines historical fiction, fantasy, paranormal elements, and romance in the Goddess Born series.  And she does it with aplomb.  These books are clean romance novels, which is such a nice change of pace for me.  I love it when I can share a book with my mom and not have to blush when we talk about it.

A Grave Inheritance begins about three months after Goddess Born ends.  Not to worry, though, Edgren provides a good recap of the events occurring in the gap between books.  This book starts off with a bang and the fast pace continued for the entire story.  There was much more action in A Grave Inheritance than in Goddess Born.  It made for an exciting read, one that was difficult to put down.

There was a really exciting and unexpected turn to the plot in this story.  Edgren really shocked me, and I love it when authors do that.  I thought that A Grave Inheritance had more depth and more intensity than its predecessor.  It made the book even more thrilling to read.  There was a focus on other Goddess born, which was so neat, because Selah finds out she's not alone, that there are other Goddess born out there.  I loved that, and that she found a sense of community among other Goddess born.  For an orphan who has to keep her true identity a secret from nearly everyone she knows, Selah deserved to be around people who truly knew and understood her.

My one complaint about A Grave Inheritance is that it ended on quite a cliffhanger.  I literally cannot wait until book three comes out.  I highly recommend the Goddess Born series!
 

Book Spotlight: Libby Morgan: Reunion by Leah Zieber

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03_Libby Morgan Reunion CoverPublication Date: September 7, 2014
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Pages: 283
ASIN: B00O35L1MO
Series: American Heritage Quilt Series
Genre: YA/Historical Fiction

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Coming from a long line of seamstresses, Libby has yet to sew anything more than the rudimentary button or hem, but on a visit to Connecticut she learns more than just how to sew patchwork. Set in 1855 New England and London, this tender story, Libby Morgan: Reunion, follows tenacious Elizabeth (Libby) Jane Morgan through her thirteenth summer of new adventures at home and abroad. She is given a birthday gift of sewing tools and fabric, as well as old family letters to use as templates for making her first quilt. Her decision to first read the letters results in questions that only her Grandmother Morgan’s stories can answer—stories of true love, horrible loss and family connections to London nobles. Her keen eye and inquisitive nature draws her family into a mysterious investigation that tests their faith, challenges their ability to forgive, and results in a resurrection and reunion of lost hearts.

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About the Author

02_Leah Zieber AuthorLeah A. Zieber is a quilt historian and quilt maker from Temecula, California, specializing in American quilt history and reproduction quilts from the nineteenth century. Her quilts have been exhibited across the country in quilt shows, museums and historical societies and were most recently published in Stars: A Study of 19th Century Star Quilts. Leah has worked closely with Southern California collectors, cataloging, managing, and independently researching their textile collections. Her own collection of antique quilts and related textile items spans one hundred and eighty five years, and she shares her knowledge of American quilt history using her collection in lectures and workshops. Libby Morgan: Reunion is her debut novel and the first in her American Heritage Quilt Series.

For more information please visit Leah Zieber's website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Libby Morgan: Reunion Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 1
Review at WV Stitcher

Tuesday, December 2
Spotlight at I'd Rather Be Reading

Thursday, December 4
Interview & Giveaway at Reading Lark

Friday, December 5
Review at Book Nerd

Saturday, December 6
Review at Mel's Shelves

Monday, December 8
Review at Forever Ashley

Tuesday, December 9
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Spotlight at Boom Baby Reviews

Wednesday, December 10
Review at Luxury Reading
Spotlight & Giveaway at Mina's Bookshelf

Friday, December 12
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Monday, December 15
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

Tuesday, December 16
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Wednesday, December 17
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Thursday, December 18
Guest Post at Historical Tapestry

Friday, December 19
Guest Post at Book Babe