Top Ten Tuesday: 80s Movies

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is a movie freebie, so I decided to go with my favourite 80s movies, plus a few I still want to see. When I was in high school, I was obsessed with watching 80s movies, particularly John Hughes and the Brat Pack ones. Now, I just finished watching Stranger Things and, with all its homages and references to 80s movies, it reminded me again of why I liked watching them and why 80s movies are some of my favourites.

1. The Breakfast Club: I love books or movies or other media that take a quirky, diverse group of characters and throw them together in a situation. As they talk to and hang out with people they might never have associated with, tensions rise, secrets are revealed, and unexpected connections and friendships are forged. Bonus points if the characters are confined to a single room or location, because that really ramps up the conflict! The Breakfast Club is equal parts hilarious and touching, and I’ve loved it since the first time I watched it.

Favourite quote: “We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all.”

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2. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: This movie is such a fun ride, with so many memorable scenes and funny quotes. Who wouldn’t want to play hooky with Ferris and Cameron?

Favourite quote: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

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3. Stand By Me: Based on a Stephen King novella, four 12-year-old friends set out to find the body of a missing boy. I think it is one of the best coming-of-age movies of all time. It’s nostalgic and emotional, and it’s also hilarious and truthful in its portrayal of the kind of friends you have at twelve, the kind of friends that bicker with each other but also fiercely stand up for one another. I sometimes get a little teary watching it, and the ending is made even more sad knowing about the untimely death of River Phoenix.

Favourite quote: “I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?”

 

4. A Christmas Story: This is also one of my favourite Christmas movies. It’s about a boy who wants a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, but I like it because it’s more of a coming-of-age movie (can you tell I love coming-of-age stories?). It has so many funny and relatable scenes: Ralphie’s friend getting dared to touch a pole with his tongue and then getting stuck, Ralphie finally snapping and beating up the bully, the leg lamp, and Ralphie letting loose an F-bomb while helping his dad and then being terrified of the consequences.

5. Pretty in Pink: A classic Molly Ringwald/John Hughes/Brat Pack movie. I don’t think a list of 80s movies is complete without it.

Favourite quote: “It’s called a sense of humour. You should get one. They’re nice.”

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6. Sixteen Candles: Another classic Molly Ringwald/John Hughes movie filled with classic teen angst.

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Some 80s movies I still need to see:

7. The Goonies: This has been on my to-watch list for so long! There are similarities with Stand By Me, and now many are comparing it to Stranger Things as well. I just have to watch it.

8. When Harry Met Sally…: I can’t believe I haven’t actually watched this classic from beginning to end. I mean, I know about it, I’ve seen random clips, I know about the infamous diner scene. I’ve just never sat down and watched it.

9. St. Elmo’s Fire: As it says on imdb, “A group of friends, just out of college, struggle with adulthood.” I can certainly relate to this, and it has many of the Brat Pack actors and actresses.

 

Update

Wow, I have not posted in three months! Things kicked into high gear in August and have stayed pretty busy since. Lots of interesting and exciting things have been happening, so I haven’t been able to do as much reading and writing as I might have wanted.

I started a couple new jobs, one of which has some brutal 7am starts. It’s hard to feel creative and inspired to write when you’re sleep-deprived and going around like a zombie.

I have not read many books these last few months, which I’m kind of sad about. I did finish The Accident Season a while ago, though, so I’m going to post a review for that. I also have a few reviews pending for books I finished much earlier this year. Right now I’m re-reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Harry Potter books are often my go-to when I want to read something but am too distracted to start something new. When I finish this 6th one again, hopefully I will have a post on it for my re-reading Harry Potter blog series.

Coming up is the 7th annual Broke and Bookish Secret Santa. I’d never heard of it before, but I definitely want to participate this year! It sounds really cool and I’m excited.

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Happy reading!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Set During the Summer

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is “Books with X Setting.” I decided to go with a summertime setting. At first I was debating doing books set at summer camp or at a beach house or by the ocean, but what they all have in common is that they’re set during the summer.

What is it about books and summertime settings that seem to go so well together? There’s something about the freedom from studying and annoying teachers and locker drama and finding someone to sit with at lunch. The longer days, the sleeping-in, the late nights or all-nighters. You’re free to have new experiences, meet new people, travel, and figure out who you are. These books capture those summers where anything can and does happen, when you start to see things – or people – differently, when you go outside your comfort zone.

The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen: Sarah Dessen is the queen of summer YA novels. I could have chosen a number of her novels, but I decided on this one. It’s a summer of change and discovery for Macy, featuring romance, quirky workers and the chaos of catering jobs, and dealing with grief.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares: Another ultimate summer read. Four friends spend their summer apart – one in Greece, one in Baja California, one in South Carolina, and one at home – experiencing love and loss, staying connected through their magical pair of jeans.

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han: Belly spends her summers at a beach house with her family and family friends Susannah, Jeremiah, and Conrad. But this particular summer is different: she starts to see things differently – and maybe Jeremiah and Conrad start to see her differently too. A cute, sweet read.

The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler: Jude Hernandez is spending her summer helping her dad restore his motorcycle and trying to avoid the charming Vargas brothers. There’s a sweet romance, three-dimensional characters, and lots of emotional moments involving family, memory, and her dad’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson: A sad, realistic novel about a girl who is dealing with her dad’s diagnosis and grief, while also navigating relationships with her former best friend and former boyfriend, and learning how to be confident and not run away from everything.

Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson: Three totally different girls spend their summer working at a peach farm in Georgia. Full of friendship, vignettes about the girls’ family and history of the town, and a little bit of magic.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart: The synopsis states: “A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive. A revolution. An accident. A secret. Lies upon lies. True love. The truth.” And if you haven’t read it, that’s all you need to know, don’t read anything else about it, just read the book.

The Summer of Firsts and Lasts by Terra Elan McVoy: Three sisters encounter crushes, heartbreak, bullying, sneaking out, and other shenanigans at summer camp. Ultimately it’s about the bond between sisters.

 

Do you like books set during summer? What other settings do you like? Leave me a comment 🙂

Favourite Book to Movie Adaptations: Part 1

As a booklover, I sometimes have a love-hate relationship with movies based on books I’ve read. On the one hand, it can be awesome to see your favourite books brought to life on the big screen. On the other, it can be irritating or downright disappointing when certain details or subplots are left out, major events are changed, or the essence of a character is lost. Here are some of my favourite book to movie adaptations (more to come in Part 2).

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
(based on The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares)

The ultimate friendship movie – lots of falling in love, making mistakes, growing up, family drama and, of course, being there for your friends no matter what. I have watched this movie many times and I’ll probably watch it many more.

Sisterhood Traveling Pants movie pic

Room
(based on Room by Emma Donoghue)

This movie was amazing and really brought the book to life. It was one of those movies that you keep thinking about long after you’ve watched it. There were several intense scenes where I was on the edge of my seat, hoping everything would work out. I’m thinking particularly of the scenes of Jack in the truck and Jack talking to the police officer. The mother-child bond and chemistry between Ma (Brie Larson) and Jack (Jacob Tremblay) was so evident on the screen.

Room movie

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
(based on Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins)

This was my absolute favourite adaptation of the series; I could watch it over and over. There were so many intense and emotional scenes. It has all the best of the first Hunger Games: the reaping, the training, the interviews with Caesar Flickerman, and of course the actual Games. But added to that is the growing tension of unrest and rebellion in the districts, the twist of the Quarter Quell, and the additional twist at the end – the realization that there’s a bigger plan being orchestrated.

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The Spectacular Now
(based on The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp)

I haven’t read the book that the movie is based on, so I can’t speak to whether it’s a good or accurate adaptation. However, the movie itself was really good. It felt very realistic, with top-notch acting – it seemed as though the characters weren’t performing from a script at all but simply coming up with things to say as they went along, as you would in real life. They stumbled over words and talked over each other. They did things that made you want to shake them, scream at them, ask them what the hell they were doing. This movie is not a glossy, polished Hollywood blockbuster; it demonstrates the messy, imperfectness of life.

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
(based on – what else – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling)

Sometimes I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with these movies. It’s certainly awesome to see Hogwarts and the Harry Potter universe come to life on the big screen. On the other hand, some of the movies bug me, whether because they leave out so many details or even whole scenes that would’ve been amazing to watch or because they miss the boat in some way. I recently re-read the fourth and fifth Harry Potter books and then re-watched the fourth and fifth movies and I felt this way about those adaptations. But despite all this, I couldn’t NOT put Harry Potter on the list. I mean, come on. That’s why I chose the very first one. I quite like this one as an adaptation; it’s where everything begins and I think it captures the, well, magicalness of the magical world. We are introduced to that world along with Harry, and we’re just as much in awe as he is. Plus, who can resist baby-faced Dan, Rupert, and Emma?

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More coming in Part 2!

What are some of your favourite book to movie adaptations?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Set Outside the US

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is “Ten Books Set Outside The US.” Here are my picks!

Kephart One thing stolen

1. One Thing Stolen by Beth Kephart (Italy)

Set in Florence, Italy, this was a beautifully written book about a girl whose mental state and capacity for communication seem to be strangely diminishing. The book follows her as she travels around Florence, searching for an elusive Italian boy and gathering strange objects, and tries to figure out what’s happening to her.

Hingston dilettantes

2. The Dilettantes by Michael Hingston (Canada)

This book is set at Simon Fraser University in BC, Canada, is written by an SFU graduate, and I was reading it while I was attending SFU myself, so that was pretty cool. Two editors of The Peak, SFU’s campus newspaper, are trying to save the paper amidst approaching graduation, a free daily paper coming to campus and stealing readers, a Hollywood star returning to finish his degree, film shoots on campus, and lots of absurdity. It was hilarious and full of smart and funny observations about college life, and some inside jokes about SFU campus life specifically.

Forman just one year

3. Just One Year by Gayle Forman (Amsterdam + Mexico, India)

This is the sequel/companion novel to Just One Day, and it’s told from the perspective of Willem as he returns to his home in Amsterdam, and then travels around to places like Mexico and India, all the while searching for a girl he knows only as Lulu and growing as a person. Lots of lovely descriptions and beautiful passages.

Marchetta looking for alibrandi

4. Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta (Australia)

Melina Marchetta is amazing and this is her classic coming-of-age novel about Josephine Alibrandi, an Italian-Australian teenager who learns about and navigates school, friendships and relationships, family, and her heritage. If you haven’t read any of Melina Marchetta’s novels, do it now!

Montgomery Anne of Green Gables

5. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery (Canada)

This is where my interest in Prince Edward Island began. One of these days I will get there and I will visit the real Green Gables!

Teller Nothing

6. Nothing by Janne Teller (Denmark)

In a small Danish town, a seventh-grade boy decides that nothing means anything, so he climbs a tree and refuses to come down. His classmates try to convince him that things do have meaning, and to do so they resort to increasingly shocking and extreme measures. To be honest, I don’t recall if I actually enjoyed this book, but I don’t necessarily think it’s the type of book you’re supposed to enjoy. I think it’s supposed to be unusual and thought-provoking and a little bit twisted, and if that was the goal, then it definitely succeeded.

Kephart Going Over

7. Going Over by Beth Kephart (Germany)

This book is set in 1980s Berlin. Two teenagers are in love, stuck on opposite sides of the Berlin Wall. Full of lovely, literary writing, it provides a glimpse into a historical time period.

Giordano solitude prime numbers

8. The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano (Italy)

A prime number can only be divided by one or itself; special primes are prime numbers like 13 and 15 that are close but still separate. The two main characters, Alice and Mattia, are called twin primes because they too are close yet still remain lonely and isolated. This book is certainly not a happy read; it was rather bleak and depressing at times, but not in a bad way, if that makes sense. It was an interesting concept and very well-written.

Nilsson heart's delight

9. Heart’s Delight by Per Nilsson (Sweden)

A book about first love and first heartbreak. Over the course of a night, a boy assembles a random assortment of objects, including a potted plant, a grammar book, condoms, and a movie ticket, and decides he must get rid of them. As he tosses each item out the window or into the garbage chute, we find out that each has some significance in his relationship with his heart’s delight and learn what happened in this relationship.

Van de Ruit Spud

10. Spud by John van de Ruit (South Africa)

I confess that I haven’t actually read this, but it’s on my list! It’s about a boy who starts at a boys-only boarding school in South Africa, and according to the blurb, it is apparently full of “illegal midnight swims, raging hormones, and catastrophic holidays that will leave the entire family in total hysterics and thirsty for more.” It sounds hilarious. Plus, I just found out there’s a movie adaptation, and Troye Sivan plays Spud!

 

Have you read any of these? What books set outside of the US have you read?

 

Re-Reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Rowling Harry Potter 5

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is not my favourite book in the series. This may be because I don’t feel it has as much of a compelling and overarching mystery that makes you want to keep reading, at least not to the same degree that some of the other books do. Like in The Chamber of Secrets, you’re wondering, “Who has opened the Chamber of Secrets? Who is the heir of Slytherin? Why do students keep getting petrified?” And in The Goblet of Fire, it’s all about “Who put Harry’s name into the Goblet of Fire and why? What will the next task be?” etc. In some ways, OotP seems like a book that is setting up for the rest of the series: the political environment, the climax, how neither Harry nor Voldemort “can live while the other survives” and the implications of that. That said, it’s not that I didn’t enjoy it, because I did. It started out slow but picked up somewhere around the middle and became more interesting, and I flew through the last 200 pages or so with much more enthusiasm. Continue reading “Re-Reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”

Teaser Tuesday: June 21, 2016

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here’s my teaser (I actually chose 3 sentences):

Grandmother wanted me to love the stories, to take them into my heart through my ears and let them become a part of me, connecting me to all the people who told them before. It feels disrespectful just to give them away on a sheet of notebook paper. It feels wrong not to be able to include or incorporate the way she said certain words, and where she paused, in her retellings.

Henry The love that split that world

This is from page 89 of The Love that Split the World by Emily Henry. It’s a YA novel described as Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife. I’ve still got lots of it left to read, but hopefully I will be able to review it soon!