Maggie’s book club, part two.

So even though I’ve made sure to get my reading time in as a post-college grad (you know…reading things besides textbooks and a class syllabus), reviewing them on this blog hasn’t been my strongest asset. But because of that, I have not one, but TWO books to review today. Yippee!

Lately, I’ve found books to read on Pinterest, Amazon wish lists or simply wandering Barnes & Noble until I find something that looks interesting. The first book I’m going to talk about, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, is 1 – nothing like it sounds, and 2 – a book I saw on a reading list on Pinterest. I added it to an online wish list and got it for Christmas from my parents. When my mom saw the title, she was utterly confused. But again, it’s not what it sounds like. Remember, I’m in PR, I’m into writing and reading and grammar and that kind of stuff, so physics (or any realm of science for that matter) – not my thing in the slightest. Moving on…

Image from pagepulp.com

I read this so long ago, I actually am not sure why the title has to do with calamity physics. Oops. Regardless, I LOVED this book. It was long and it was written in a strange way, but it was mysterious and dark and creepy and I couldn’t put it down. It’s about a girl named Blue van Meer who moves to a new town and somehow gets in with this group of friends who are (again) very mysterious. They hang out with one of their teachers, Hannah Schneider, and have a sort of club amongst them. Blue doesn’t really get the obsession with Hannah, and even senses something off about her (as does the reader), and I will say the ending is not at all what I expected, but it was still very good. This is a book that starts out, “The day Hannah Schneider died…” or something to that effect. Then you get to know Hannah and this mysterious group of high school students and finally it all unfolds before you.

As for the writing style, Blue’s dad is a professor who reads a ton and has passed that onto Blue. Throughout the entire novel, she’s quoting literature that she’s read. In the reviews on Amazon, there were some who didn’t like that, but I found it fascinating. I am a total bookworm, and certain quotes from books can stick with me for years. Blue applied these quotes to what was happening to her, and I loved it. All in all, it’s a long and somewhat tough read, but I was enveloped in the story, characters, all of it.

Next up is one that probably everyone and their dog had read…besides me, of course. However, the movie is coming out this week and I hate watching movies first if I want to read the book because it ruins the ending and makes the book so much less enjoyable. Drum roll please…

Photo from wikipedia.org

I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times, but if you haven’t read The Fault in Our Stars yet – read it. It’s fabulous. I’m in my early 20s now, and I still skim the young adult/teen section at bookstores. The way I see it, we use these books and stories to teach young adults about the important things in life – the wins, the losses and everything in between. Just because I’m 23 now instead of 18 doesn’t mean I’ve already learned all that. I still love reading real, emotional stories, even if they are about children, like this one. As if you didn’t already know, this book is about a young girl, Hazel, who has cancer. She meets a boy named Augustus Waters in her support group and they fall in love. Although the main characters are so young, they’ve been forced to mature in a way that not everyone else does. They know they have limited time left together, and they take full advantage of it. This is a tragic but beautiful story that I’d recommend for readers of all ages. However, I don’t recommend reading it in your office on your lunch break like I did… you’ll be holding back tears all day.

I also love the quote that keeps being used in one of the movie trailers – “I fell in love with him like you fall asleep…slowly, and then all at once.” I think that is a perfect description of falling in love, and it just gets to me.

I just started Emily Giffin‘s new book (author of Something Borrowed, Something Blue and other wonderful fiction novels), The One and Only, so that will be my next review if I ever get around to it. So far, from what I’ve heard and the little bit I’ve read, it seems to be Friday Night Lights-esque. It takes place in a football town in Texas and that’s about all I know so far. I’ll keep you posted!

 

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Still shaking in my boots.

Yep, I went for it. Last night, my boyfriend and I went to see Paranormal Activity 3 in the rinky-dink $5 movie theater in Stillwater. It’s pretty small and crappy, but when was the last time you paid $5 for a student ticket? Anyway, I’m a big scardey cat and I’m very jumpy. I get freaked out by the suspense in Law & Order, so you can imagine that during this movie I was attached to my boyfriend’s side. Having said that, I love scary movies and I love being freaked out. The Paranormal Activity movies have definitely done a good job of that so far.

The first of the (so-far) trilogy is still my favorite. The amount of money they made from such a low-budget movie because of marketing fascinates me (there’s the communications major in me, right?), and I’ll completely admit that they had me fooled. I also went to see that one with my boyfriend, and I don’t think he’ll ever let me live down the fact that I tried to convince him that yes, this was based on a true story! When in fact, they’re all pure fiction. But they’re still highly entertaining and frightening.

Although the first one is the best in my opinion, I liked this one. I liked that we got to see Katie and Kristi as kids and see what happened in their childhood that they often refer to in the first and second movies. And I don’t know what it is about long, black hair on a little girl, but The Ring and now Paranormal Activity 3 have proven that it can be pretty freaky.

Besides the realness factor of the movies, they also really freak me out because yes, I’m one of those people; I somewhat believe in ghosts and spirits and those kind of things. Call me silly or crazy, I don’t blame you. I’ve never seen a ghost (now I sound really crazy, huh?), but I’m just saying I definitely think it’s possible for such spirits to exist.

Okay, I’ll stop my crazy ranting and rambling now. Go see the movie! Let me know what you think. Or feel free to recommend some other horror movies to me. Like I said, I’m easily scared and very jumpy, but I love it. 🙂

I got Carried away…

First of all, let’s see my inspiration for the beauty you all are about to witness.

The one and only, Carrie Bradshaw.

See the beautiful shoes?  I was determined to find some like them; unfortunately, I don’t have the $600 to spend on Louboutins that Carrie Bradshaw has.  So after some digging, I found some similar heels for a wonderful $30 on clearance at Victoria’s Secret.  My boyfriend thinks they’re tacky and impractical; I think they’re fun, cute and can add some sparkle to any outfit.

B-E-A-Utiful!

Cinema Scoop

The last few days of my life have been consumed by creating a podcast.  It’s been stressful at times, but a fun ride overall.  If we worked it out right, my partner Greta and I spent about 10 hours total on this project, whether it be recording, interviewing, working in class or editing.  Late nights were spent in computer labs, but I’d say I’m pretty happy with the finished product.

We talk a bit about the Oscars, talk to some movie experts from Oklahoma State and give ideas for movies to watch if you happen to be stuck at home over Spring Break…much like Greta and I will be.

Follow the link to listen to our podcast!  Here it is, the

Cinema Scoop with Maggie and Greta!

“Did I adequately answer your condescending question?”

love love love love love.

I’m delighted to say I FINALLY bought The Social Network today at Target.  I’m also delighted that I’d actually heard of and seen this year’s Golden Globe winner for Best Picture.  Usually I’ve never heard of most of the movies nominated, but this year was different and made the show much more entertaining to watch.

Now it’s time to force my parents to watch it tonight.  They’re not big on going out and buying or renting movies themselves, but I know they’ll love it; they’d be crazy not to!

(Another plus to this movie…Justin Timberlake.  Once again, the young girl in me is forever in love with him!)

My not-so-guilty pleasure

I am 100% guilty of loving chick flicks.  And really, what girl isn’t?  You can say all you want that they’re cheesy and predictable and unrealistic, but…isn’t that the point?  Which brings me to what I did on this wonderful Saturday night…

(I would just like to point out that in Googling “No Strings Attached” for a picture of the poster, all that came up at first was pictures of the N’Sync album cover. Love it.)

When I first saw the preview for this movie, I honestly thought it looked completely silly and ridiculous and stupid.  But as the trailer began to play more and more during every TV show I seemed to watch, it started growing on me.  I would have eventually seen it anyway, as Ashton Kutcher is my childhood crush, therefore my crush forever.  I can’t not see his movies.  As far as Natalie Portman goes, I recently saw Black Swan (which was quite different from this one) and fell in love with her and her unfair beauty.  I’m a little late on that train, but oh well.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie.  It was everything I thought it would be, cheesy with a predictable fairy tale ending.  I saw it with my sister and my best friend, and it was a classic chick flick experience.  We knew how the movie would end the whole time, but it didn’t stop us from melting at Ashton saying, “If you come any closer, I’m never letting you go.” etc. etc.

I doubt she’ll nab a Golden Globe for this one, but Natalie Portman is still beautiful and talented… and lucky for getting to work with Ashton Kutcher. Ha! The movie was funny, cheesy and simple… but overall enjoyable and made for a good Saturday night!