Gatsby, Great? Depends on who you ask.

Last night I joined some friends at a viewing of The Great Gatsby starring Leo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Toby Maguire.
Within our group of 10-12 women, ranging in age from mid-20’s to late 50’s, there were various opinions on whether or not this was a good movie. One of my older friends was very disappointed. She thought the movie was too long, badly directed, complained that the music was all in the background and puh-lease do not get her started on the character development! Many of the older ladies kept comparing it to the original.

I myself have not seen the original so I can not compare the two. What I can do is tell you that I really enjoyed it. I will probably buy the DVD and watch it once a year. That being said I can not say that I LOVED this movie.

I knew it wasn’t a musical so I didn’t compare it to Moulin Rouge but I was expecting more from the music. The music was interesting and I noticed it in a way my friend didn’t but it wasn’t spectacular or fitting to the moments in the way that when I hear those songs I’ll think of that particular movie moment. Nor will I buy the soundtrack and be unable to stop myself from singing along it just wasn’t memorable enough or epic enough.

Unlike my friend I did not find the movie to be too long. For the first time in a long time I was not fidgety during a movie. If this had been an action flick I would have said I was on the edge of my seat. Maybe that’s because I didn’t know the full story going in having never read the book or seen the movie. Whatever the reason I was hooked.

I think the costumes were stunning, I love the old look to many of the scenes but I was disappointed in the green screen moments as I found them to very noticeable. I seems to me that with all the advancements made in Hi-Def they haven’t improved the green screen abilities and that’s why they stand out.

Because all I ask of a movie is to be entertained I find myself less judgmental about acting abilities then others I know but I did notice and was impressed by DiCaprio’s ability to convey different things just by facial expression alone.

One pet peeve I had was the numerous times I heard Old Sport. It was beyond annoying to the point where I wanted to smack someone, especially since I found so much of the language of the film to be so elegant.

Sadly I do not think that this version of The Great Gatsby is going to throw the women of the world into a 1920’s frenzy but it was fun to journey there for a few hours.

All in all I enjoyed the movie but more importantly I had a great evening out with some wonderful women. Dinner, a movie followed by coffee chat at Tim’s, sounds like a perfect evening to me.

Breatheless-ly Good!

Brigid Kemmerer’s Breathless takes us back into the Elementals series with Nick Merrick’s story. Nick is the level headed brother. The one that can be counted on in an emergency, the one who always knows what to do and the best thing to say but now Nick is the one who doesn’t know what do to.

Brigid Kemmerer takes a turn that I didn’t expect with Nick. Though Nick has a girlfriend it’s her dance partner Adam that is throwing Nick into a tailspin. Unsure of what to do with the feelings Adam stirs with in him and uncertain of how his brothers would react if they found out as well as dealing with his desire to go away to school has left Nick feeling at his wits end.

I don’t even know what to say about how wonderful this story is. Having read the other books in the Elementals series I had no inclination that this was the direction Nick’s character would go. Maybe I should have, but I didn’t and I have to say I don’t care. Apparently the author is getting flack for introducing a gay character and thereby influencing innocent teenagers in inappropriate ways.
It still surprises me that in this day and age people still believe that kind of hogwash. As a 40 something year old heterosexual woman who has been reading most of her life and romance novels since she was 12, I say good for you Brigid Kemmerer!
It’s about time those in the LGBTQ community have characters in mainstream literature to identify with. It’s about time that those of us who are not part of the community see it as it really is. A community not so different from ours, whose people are just looking for love, acceptance and their place n the world. People who want to work, play and live happily ever after. Is that so different than you?

I say again, Bravo Brigid Kemmerer for writing a beautiful breathtaking story about two people finding each other in this crazy mixed up world. Two people who have so much more to deal with than anybody should have to deal with just to find
love.

Phenomenal Read in Monument 14

One of my favourite things about working in a book store is when I come across a book while shelving and I think to myself ‘Well that sounds good. Maybe I’ll give this one a try.’, and then the book completely blows me away. This is what happened when I chose Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne. I chose it on a whim thinking it might  be good enough to recommend to the parents that come in looking for a book for their son to read. What I got was a phenomenal read for anyone that enjoys YA dystopian fiction. What I discovered was a book that rivals Hunger Games.

An unexpected tale of survival, similar to Lord of the Flies, Monument 14 is a terrifyingly beautiful look at how a group of kids survive earth shattering disasters and a chemical weapons spill. On the way to school one morning two buses are caught in a massive hailstorm causing one bus to overturn while the driver of the other one drives through a nearby super store to protect the kids on board. This courageous driver goes back to rescue the kids on the other bus and deliveries them to the safety of the store. The driver tells the six high school, two middle school and six elementary students to lock themselves in the store until she comes back and to let in no one but her.

The story takes place over 12 days as the older kids struggle with their own fears while trying to keep the young ones from freaking out. The struggle for power, the desperate need to bring some normality to a bizarre situation. The exposure to dangerous compounds that effect each person differently depending on their blood type. All of this and so much more show the amazing resilience of the human spirit, of how good and evil reside in all of us, and what it takes to really survive. It shows that no matter our differences physically, intelligence, language, or age we are all necessary to survival. We each bring our own strength and capabilities to the groups survival.

A glorious tale that will grip you from beginning to end, a phenomenal read that will you leave you wanting more, that you will devour in one sitting is what you’ll get when you pick up a copy of Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne. I suggest you pick it up at your earliest convenience. The only disappointment would be in the cliff hanger ending.  Luckily I only have to wait for the end of May for the sequel,  Monument 14: Sky on Fire.

Monument 14: Sky on Fire