Movie Review: Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook
Release Date: December 25th, 2012
Actors: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence
Director: David O. Russell
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Rating: R
Current Location:  Limited Theaters 

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After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.


To continue our holiday movie reviews, we have one of the best romantic comedies I've ever seen. Silver Linings Playbook is a great dramedy that combines bipolar craziness with sexy dancing. It very well may be Bradley Cooper's best roll. He's known for The Hangover, but in this movie it's clear he has some great drama skills.

I think the breakout was Jennifer Lawrence. We all know her as Katniss from The Hunger Games and it's clear she's a brilliant actress from Winter's Bone. But if she doesn't win an award for Silver Linings Playbook then she will be robbed! She completely transformed into a slutty, emotional girl. Her chemistry with Bradley Cooper is undeniable. Loved it all the way through!

Movie Review: The Hobbit

The Hobbit
Release Date: December 14th, 2012
Actors: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen
Director: Peter Jackson
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy
Rating: PG-13
Current Location: In Theaters 

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A younger and more reluctant Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, sets out on a "unexpected journey" to the Lonely Mountain with a spirited group of Dwarves to reclaim a their stolen mountain home from a dragon named Smaug.


Being a big fan of the Lord of the Rings films, I didn't know what I should expect out of The Hobbit. My favorite characters from the trilogy would be nowhere in sight and I knew I would have to fall in love with new characters all over again. I've read the The Hobbit but in 4th grade for school, so I remember only a few scenes.

What can I say about The Hobbit? It wasn't without its imperfections, but for the most part it was a great adventure and a classic film during the Holidays. Bilbo Baggins is the protagonist played by Martin Freeman (Sherlock). He was superb as the halfling hero! One of the major upsides to the movie was how much I was rooting for him.

Instead of the mixed bag of characters in Lord of the Rings, the prequel sticks to a core group of dwarves. I also loved them! You have the hot dwarves in Kili and Fili, the foolish dwarf, the old-wise dwarf, and then the leader--Thoren.

Movie Review: Les Miserables

Les Miserables
Release Date: December 25th, 2012
Actors: Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway
Director: Tom Hooper
Genre: Musical
Rating: PG-13
Current Location: In Theaters 

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In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after he breaks parole, agrees to care for factory worker Fantine's daughter, Cosette. The fateful decision changes their lives forever.


Krista and I didn't grow up with Les Misérables. While kids listened to the musical, saw the stage production, and re-watched the anniversary concerts, we were stuck in Neverland, re-reading Peter Pan and pretending we would never grow up. So before seeing the film, all I knew was that Les Misérables is a novel about French revolutionaries and happens to be the origin for "I Dreamed a Dream." After watching the musical, all I could think was -- where has this been all my life? Songs like "Empty Chairs At Empty Tables" and "Red and Black" hit powerfully, and perhaps it's because I had no idea they were coming. Perhaps it's because this was my first time experiencing something as powerful as Les Misérables.

After seeing the film, I quickly went to Youtube and consulted with the stage productions and the concerts, wanting to see how they differed from the movie. There's a huge contrast between the film and the play. The director Tom Hooper (The King's Speech) decided to have the actors sing live onset rather than in a studio pre-recording the songs ahead of time. This sounds like it'd make the film more like the stage since both sing live, but there's a large difference. The actors in the film didn't have a seven-piece orchestra to pump them up. Instead, they had a little piano in an earpiece. So in essence, they were singing this a cappella.

Don't look for large belting performances as you'd see on stage. Each actor sings with a rawness that allows for the songs' meaning to hit powerfully. Even without the vocals of Michael Ball, who played Marius on stage, the film comes across as more emotive and more personal than any others. [keep reading for notes on best and worst performances]

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you all have a great holiday this year with lots of awesome books in your stockings! We'll be at Les Miserables today and hopefully will have a movie review of that and some other new Holiday releases later this week. Have a wonderful day!!

Books into Movies: Divergent (Filming Location) and Unwind (Optioned for Film)

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Merry Christmas-Eve and welcome to another round of books into movies news :D

Last week had some huge movie news, but today we're reporting on two more! According to Deadline, the popular sci-fi Unwind by Neal Shusterman has finally been optioned for film by Constantin Films! And Divergent has scouted it's locations for filming. Continue reading for more details!

Stacking the Shelves [29]

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews featuring books added to my shelves and sharing my excitement for them.

Interview with Marion Croslydon, Author of Oxford Whispers

New Adult has become such a huge craze lately! I've heard about so many great contemporaries but it wasn't until I heard about Oxford Whispers did I learn about a New Adult paranormal. So I'm thrilled to have Marion Croslydon on Nawanda Files today to talk a little more about her book. Learn more about Oxford Whispers below and then continue to the interview!

Oxford Whispers (The Oxford Trilogy, # 1)Oxford Whispers
by Marion Croslydon

Series: The Oxford Trilogy #1
Publisher: Carlux Publishing
Release Date: October 8, 2012

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Madison LeBon is dead set against the dead. 
Her fresh start at Oxford University is a brand new beginning. She finally has a chance to turn the page on her psychic powers and cumbersome voodoo heritage. Snakes, dolls, ghosts, and spirits: Farewell…
Not quite.

When the tragic lovers in a painting—the subject of her first history class—begin to haunt her, she must accept her gift before life imitates art. The lovers warn her against their own nemesis, a Puritan from the English Civil War. Unfortunately, said nemesis is now going all homicidal on Madison. 

College becomes more complicated when she falls hard for Rupert Vance, a troubled aristocrat and descendant of one of the characters in the painting. With the spirit of a murderer after her, Madison realizes that her own first love may also be doomed…


What inspired you to write Oxford Whispers?
Oxford Whispers is the story of Madison LeBon, an American student at Oxford University, with psychic powers she prefers to ignore. But when the tragic lovers in a painting begin to haunt her, she must learn to accept her gift. Otherwise, life will imitate art and Madison's own first love will be doomed.

I’ve drawn inspiration from my own time at Oxford and my passion as a teenager for a Pre-Raphaelite painting by William Shakespeare Burton, The Wounded Cavalier. It is set during the English Civil War.
Also, there’s a strong Voodoo component through Madison—who is kind of an “Ivy-League Sookie Stackhouse”—because I was born in West Africa where Voodoo originates, and spent a lot of time in New Orleans and Louisiana.

Giveaway: Mid-Winters Eve Blog Hop!

Thanks to I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Oasis for YA for hosting this awesome hop!

December is the month for giving! So I've decided to participate in some giveaway hops this month! There are so many fantastic books releasing in December and so many that are about to release in January. So I'm offering up a December 2012 or January 2013 release to the winner!

Some suggestions are below:

Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky, #2) The Archived (The Archived, #1) Altered (Altered, #1) Nobody But Us
      Level 2 (The Memory Chronicles, #1) Prophecy (The Dragon King Chronicles, #1) The Darkest Minds Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms, #1)      

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Books into Movies: Vampire Academy, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and many more!


So many books into movies updates! Two books get directors. Two get writers. And one has a new image still! Of the many books are: The Mortal Instruments, Monument 14, Reboot, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and Vampire Academy. Continue reading to find out more details on your favorite books!!

Blog Tour Stop: There Comes a Prophet by David Litwack (Interview + Giveaway)

Welcome to my stop on the There Comes a Prophet tour, hosted by the wonderful Candace at CBB Book Promotions! David Litwack has stopped by for an awesome interview about his new science-fiction novel! Learn more about There Comes a Prophet and then continue reading for the interview! 

There Comes a ProphetThere Comes a Prophet
by David Litwack
Publisher: Double Dragon Publishing
Release Date: July 9th, 2012

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Who among us will cast aside a comfortable existence and risk death to follow a dream?

A world kept peaceful for a thousand years by the magic of the ruling vicars. But a threat lurks from a violent past. Wizards from the darkness have hidden their sorcery in a place called the keep and left a trail of clues that have never been solved.

Nathaniel has grown up longing for more but unwilling to challenge the vicars. Until his friend Thomas is taken for a teaching, the mysterious coming-of-age ritual. Thomas returns but with his dreams ripped away. When Orah is taken next, Nathaniel tries to rescue her and ends up in the prisons of Temple City. There he meets the first keeper of the ancient clues. But when he seeks the keep, what he finds is not magic at all. If he reveals the truth, the words of the book of light might come to pass:

“If there comes among you a prophet saying ‘Let us return to the darkness,’ you shall stone him, because he has sought to thrust you away from the light.”


What inspired you to write There Comes a Prophet?
One day I was walking on one of my favorite beaches near my home on Cape Cod. To my right was Martha’s Vineyard rising up from the fog and to my left were inlets common to the Cape’s ragged coastline. The first and smallest was called Little Pond, with just a few homes around it. The next was the much bigger Great Pond. For some reason, I started imagining a young man, who’d grown up in the smaller village, feeling limited and wanting more from life.

At the same time, I was thinking about the trends of the day, about the rise of a fundamentalism that distrusts science and is adverse to modernism. Yet these same folks were quick to use cell phones and computers to organize, and the first to seek modern medicine when they became ill—all technologies that would never have come to be if their ideologies had prevailed.

The two concepts—a young man limited and the society that limited him-- came together, and the world of There Comes a Prophet was born.

Stacking the Shelves [28]

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews featuring books added to my shelves and sharing my excitement for them.

Interview with Ciye Cho, Author of Luminaire

Today, I'm really excited to have Ciye Cho here on Nawanda Files for an awesome interview about his new book, Luminaire. It's the sequel to Florence, a fantastic YA paranormal book about mermaids! If you haven't heard about Florence do check out my review for the first book! Now onto the interview!

Luminaire (Florence Waverley, #2)
by Ciye Cho
Series: Florence Waverly #2
Release Date: December 1, 2012

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Being the only human in a world of merfolk... isn't easy. Florence Waverley chose to stay in Niemela, but things have gone awry. Secrets have risen and the prince she cares about has pulled away. All the while, dark dreams warn her of a tragedy that only she can stop. But in order to save the merman she loves, Florence will have to enter the Life Path tournament: a brutal test of fear and madness.

The tournament is a rite of passage--a maze where young mermaids and mermen battle to find their purpose. It is also a place where Florence will face grave danger: mermaids with evil magic, tunnels filled with sea fire, and guardians who wish to use her as a pawn in their secret plans. But will Florence be strong enough to survive the tournament... or will she perish inside it?

Everything hangs in the balance: her life, her world, and her love.


Luminaire is the second installment in the Florence Waverly series. Does the sequel pick up right where the first book left off?
Luminaire begins a few weeks after the events of “Florence.” Things have changed for Florence Waverley, and her new life below the waves isn’t going according to plan—but all of this pales in comparison to the challenges that await her.

What drew you to write about mermaids of all paranormal creatures?
I’ve always been obsessed with them. All at once, they’re both relatable and yet completely alien: part human… and part fable.

Books into TV: Juliet Immortal and Recovery Road (In Development at ABC Family)

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ABC Family is at it again with picking up YA books for adaptation. Last week they ordered I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga. This week they have set their sights on Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay and Recovery Road by Blake Nelson, according to Hollywood Reporter. Continue reading for more details!

Stacking the Shelves [27]

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews featuring books added to my shelves and sharing my excitement for them.

STS 27

YA Book Exchange Giveaway: Over 400 Books up for Trade!

It's that time again! YA Book Exchange has reached well over 400 books for trade! If you haven't checked it out, you can see all the amazing books up for trade HERE! There is also a Goodreads page as a place for questions and forum.

The Current Stats: 51 traders, 428 books up for trade, and well over 75 successful trades! You guys are amazing!

Bonus Entries: It's not a requirement to participate in the YA Book Exchange to enter, although current traders will receive bonus entries for their support. This giveaway wouldn't have been possible without them! And more participation means more giveaways in the future. Now every 200 books added to the directory will be another giveaway!

The Prize: All YA Book Exchange giveaways will have the same prize: A mystery book from the winner's wishlist. These giveaways will normally only last 7 days.

The Last Winners: Congrats to Ruth and Margie @ Bumble and Fairy-Tales for winning the last two YA Book Exchange giveaways! Ruth received Life is But a Dream by Brian James, and Margie received Crewel by Gennifer Albin from their respective wishlists.

Books into Movies: Hush, Hush (Optioned for Film)

hushhushThis was bound to happen, and I'm actually surprised it hasn't come sooner.

The Hush, Hush saga by Becca Fitzpatrick -- an international sensation about fallen angels -- has been optioned by LD Entertainment for the film rights. Greek creator Patrick Sean Smith will write the screenplay for the first film.

Continue reading to find out who Becca Fitzpatrick wanted to play Nora and Patch and what she thinks about the film.

Book Lover's Holiday Giveaway Hop!

Thanks to I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Chapter by Chapter for hosting this awesome hop!

December is the month for giving! So I've decided to participate in some giveaway hops this month, starting it off with the Book Lover's Holiday! There are so many fantastic books releasing in December and so many that have already released in November. So I'm offering up a November or Decemver 2012 release to the winner!

Some suggestions are below:

The Darkest Minds Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms, #1) Love and Other Perishable Items The Friday Society Black City (Black City, #1) Touched (Sense Thieves, #1) Renegade (The Elysium Chronicles, #1) Elemental

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November Robot Recommendation

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November had a some great new releases both debuts and sequels, but one was a notch above the rest! Continue reading for the November release that's Robot Certified & Recommended on Nawanda Files.

Books into TV: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga (In Development at ABC Family)

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Big news on the TV adaptation front! I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga is in development at ABC Family. This is the fourth TV show adaptation from a YA book that's been put in the works this year. ABC Family has had success with Pretty Little Liars so it seems like they're trying to reproduce that magic with Barry Lyga's novel. Continue reading for more details!

Stacking the Shelves [26]

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews featuring books added to my shelves and sharing my excitement for them.

STS 26 - 1    STS 26 - 2 STS 26 - 3