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Guest Post: Top 3 Kids’ Movies of 2014

Thursday, May 22, 2014
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Mr. Peabody and Sherman (March 7)

Meet Mr. Peabody, the smartest and undoubtedly most accomplished dog in the world, evident by the way he wears a bowtie and spectacles. This guy is a man of action – he can play dozens of musical instruments, speak every language spoken on this planet and is a Nobel laureate who has the distinction of advising heads of states on important matters. Enter Sherman, who is his legally adopted son. One fine day, Sherman decides to take their time machine (called WABAC) for a spin to impress his friend, Penny. As luck would have it, it leads to disastrous consequences – in the process, he rips a hole through the universe, managing to wreak havoc on some of the most important events of world history. Does Mr. Peabody come to the rescue? Watch it to find out!

Fast-paced and the wonderful use of 3D techniques make this a completely delightful movie to watch. As Mr. Peabody proudly announces, “There’s no doubt about it… every dog should have a boy.” And, if I may add, every boy and girl should go watch Mr. Peabody and Sherman.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 (June 13)

One of DreamWorks’ most widely-acclaimed computer-animated 3D action fantasy films, How To Train Your Dragon 2(HTTYD 2) is the sequel to the 2010 film based on the book series by author Cressida Cowell. Hiccup (the son of the Viking Chief) and Toothless (his friendly Night Fury dragon) make an indomitable pair, willing to risk their own lives to save the other. As they chart unmapped territories together while journeying through the skies, they chance upon a secret ice cave teeming with hundreds of new wild dragons. Danger is imminent – the villainous Drago has plotted a massive invasion. Will Hiccup, Toothless and the other dragon riders unite, to change the future of both men and dragons?

Touted to be the mother of all animated sequels, this movie is undoubtedly the most-awaited flick this summer. The Cannes film review sums it up this way: “Braver than ‘Brave’, more fun than ‘Frozen’ and more emotionally satisfying than so many of its live-action counterparts, ‘How To Train Your Dragon 2’ delivers.”

The Boxtrolls (September 26)

The Boxtrolls are a group of underground, cave-dwelling monsters who go about collecting all sorts of trash as a way of living. This community of quirky, naughty creatures has lovingly raised an orphaned boy called Eggs. Enter: Archibald Snatcher, the villain of the story (Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley’s voice), who hatches a plot to exterminate the entire community at one go. The time has come now for the hero of the story – Eggs – to venture above the ground and ‘into the light’, to see if he can come up with a plan to save his family. The movie is based on Alan Snow’s novel for children called ‘Here Be Monsters!’

“In a town probably not unlike your own… Deep below the homes and cobblestones… Down, down through sewer tunnels and manholes… Exists a family of squares called the Boxtrolls.” Enough said. This movie deserves to be waited for.

Sneak Preview: www.theboxtrolls.com

Author Bio:
Catherine Ross is a full-time stay-at-home-mum who believes learning should be enjoyable for young minds. An erstwhile elementary school teacher, Catherine loves coming up with creative ways through which kids can grasp the seemingly difficult concepts of learning easily. She believes that a ‘fun factor’ can go a long way in enhancing kids’ understanding and blogs at kidslearninggames.weebly.com

Review: Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Monday, May 05, 2014
“There’s nothing wrong with your daughter, Mrs. McIntosh. I said we’re not sleeping together. I didn’t say I didn’t want to.”

Synopsis:

          Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom...

          Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.


My Review: 
          Have you ever liked and equally disliked a book at the same time? That was the case for me with Of Poseidon. I really enjoyed reading about the Syrena mythology and basically the entire underwater world. It’s fascinating how the author described the Syrena universe, from the incredible underwater landscapes under the ocean to the Syrena laws, traditions and history.

          The beginning of the book was promising, dark, a perfect start for a female character that can become strong and a little more mature than most of the YA female characters, but unfortunately this wasn’t the case. Based on the tragedy that occurred in the first 3 chapters of the book I would have thought that Emma will be less of a typical teenager and more of a damaged heroine.

          Emma turned into a typical YA girl right after Glen showed up. She immediately falls in love with him and soon after she begins trusting him with everything he says. I wouldn’t have mind that too much if Glen wasn’t such a jackass. He was possessive, commanding and every time Emma was serious about some things he would mock her. I am sorry for Glen’s fans, but I cannot like a male character that has zero respect for a woman and thinks of her as his personal maid. I do get that that’s the way he was raised, but giving the fact that he was spending more time on the land than other Syrena, would make him understand the way humans work.

          One of the characters that I loved from the beginning was Rayna, Glen’s sister. I was rooting for her at every step because she was not going to follow the Syrena traditions and mate at the age of 18. She was a rebel, she had character and I loved her. Until a point of course, because after being angry on her mate for more than half a book (I think) she all of a sudden realized that she was in love with him and threw away everything she believed in.

          But the twist at the end of the book was pretty awesome although it was a little predictable. And I think I will read the rest of the volumes, in hope that it would get better and we get to see much more of the Syrena world.

“Some humans spend their whole lives making something that isn't real look like something that is.”

          I am sorry, the premise of the book was the one that drew me to this book, add the fact that it had mermaids and a beautiful cover, but it would have been much better it Emma, the main character would have been a little more independent.

Where to buy:  Bookdepository

Cover Reveal: Love Undone by Diana Nixon

Monday, May 05, 2014
Love Undone

By Diana Nixon

COMING OUT JUNE, 3rd 2014


Synopsis:

     What would you do if all your memories were gone?     One day Kassie wakes up and realizes that her life is nothing but an endless emptiness…     One tragic incident takes away everything that she has ever cherished and loved: family, friends and all the best moments that she ever lived through.      Now everything seems unknown, including a beautiful stranger, whose mere look makes her heart beat faster.      Who is that reckless and mysterious man? Is he just an old friend or an enemy? Sinking into the vortex of indescribable emotions, they will give in to the most irresistible temptation ever, just to fall in love with each other, again and again...
Full Cover
 Cover Design by PixelPR (Amina Black)

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Movie Review: Vampire Academy (2014)

Friday, May 02, 2014
          The Vampire Academy series is definitely one of my favorite vampire books and I wanted to see the movie since I’ve heard news about the adaptation. Even when the first trailer appeared I kept my enthusiasm because unlike others I decided to wait for the actual movie in order to judge it.

          So I finally saw the movie and I liked it, not loved it, but liked it. I think that there was room for improvement, but it was certainly better than what I’ve seen in the trailers. If you are a fan of the books don’t expect a very serious, dark movie. The producers decided to turn it into a comedy for teenagers. The Mean Girls vibe was there in the dialogue, in the school and in the plot. The central point of the plot seemed to be the students’ social problems and their love lives, which as far as I recall was noticeable in the books as well, but not as much.

The Cast

          First of all I loved the actors, I am a huge fan of Zoey Deutch and I think that she did a great job portraying the funny, sometimes sarcastic and also a badass Rose Hathaway. Lucy Fry also did a decent job in portraying Lissa Dragomir, although I would have imagined her a little bit different, but exact physical matching between the characters and actors were never a must for me. Although I was pretty pleased with most of the characters, one bugged me through the entire movie: Dimitri Belikov (played by Danila Kozlovsky).
          At first I thought it was cool that they chose to hire an actual Russian actor to play a Russian character, but for me it was weird. The actor looked older than he should have looked and ironical his Russian accent was barely noticeable. I am sure that Danila Kozlovsky is a very good actor, but maybe this part was not for him.

The Love Story
          This is the thing that annoys me every time a book to movie adaptation shows up: the love story. I may be different, but when I read a book, and that book is any other genre besides romance, I tend to focus on things that are not related to the love relationships. I have nothing against them, but in movies they are always rushed and awkward and Vampire Academy was no exception.

The Plot
          The entire plot felt chaotic. There were no indicators for the time passing so it looked like the entire action moved at the pace of a couple of days. Some things felt rushed while others felt like were moving too slow.
          Overall I enjoyed watching this movie, but much like in The Mortal Instruments case, this is a movie I am only going to enjoy once. I would have loved to see a slightly darker version with the witty, sarcastic characters. It worked for Buffy, it could have worked for Vampire Academy too.

Trailer:

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