Tag Archives: Books to be filmed

Orphan Black: Helsinki, by Graeme Manson, John Fawcett, Heli Kennedy and Denton J. Tipton

18 Apr

29768051Format: e-ARC, 120 pages

Publisher: IDW Publishing

To Be Published: July 12, 2016

ISBN: 9781631405839

Genre: Comics & Graphic

Back cover blurb: Helsinki. Spoken in hushed tones, the word means almost certain death for the clones of Project Leda. Learn the dark secrets of this codename in this special event miniseries by co-creators John Fawcett and Graeme Manson.

My review: This left me very confused. I’m a big fan of Orphan Black but not usually a graphic novel reader, so maybe it’s just me. My ARC copy began abruptly with no cover or forward material, so I felt lost from the beginning, unsure if what I was reading was really the start of the story. It is set in 2001 when the clones are 17, so they don’t look all that much like Tatiana Maslany, or even like each other, in a lot of the frames. This added to my confusion, along with the fact these are all new clones not seen on the TV series to date.

I only felt comfortable about halfway through when some familiar names appeared – Rachel, Ferdinand, Dr Leekie and Katja – but there didn’t seem to be much of a plot and I certainly don’t feel like Helsinki was sufficiently explained. Contributing to that was the fact my ARC ended at 82 pages rather than 120 as GoodReads lists the book to be – the “Fiery Finale” section was missing so I cannot comment about whether anything was resolved. A graphic novel is a great idea for this series, but I’m sad to say I’m left a little cold by its execution.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 2/5

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The Bronze Horseman movie update #4: It might be happening at last!

6 Oct

HUGE news from Paullina Simons overnight! She posted on her blog that the movie of her book trilogy is finally going ahead!

“Hello to my patient and wonderful fans! I know you’ve been asking me for an update on the film adaptation for The Bronze Horseman, and I’ve wished I could give one to you. And now, I finally can! So happy to tell you we’ve signed with Getaway Pictures for the series.”

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If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know this has been an on-again, off-again project, but after the successful adaptation of Outlander to the small screen I have high hopes something as ambitious as The Bronze Horseman can finally be filmed.

So who do you think should be cast? I have a not-so-secret wish for Henry Cavill to play Shura. Even Ms. Simons has indicated she thinks he would make a great Alexander, in an interview here. Remember, whoever plays him has to live up to this quote: “He was more beautiful than that morning sun.” *sigh*

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I once suggested Mia Wasikowska for Tatiana – what do you think?

And so we must wait and hope. Keep track of developments with me on IMDB and on Paullina Simons’ website.

Everybody Rise, by Stephanie Clifford

11 Sep

24701578

Format: e-ARC, 384 pages

Publisher: St Martin’s Press

Published: August 18, 2015

ISBN: 9781250077172

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Back cover blurb: An instant New York Times bestseller!

Chosen as one of Summer’s Best Books by People Magazine
Featured in Time Magazine’s Summer Reading
Entertainment Weekly‘s Summer Must List
Good Housekeeping Beach Reads Feature

“A witty tale about a high-society wannabe…Little is more delicious than watching an ambitious but tragically flawed protagonist brought down – especially in a designer cocktail dress.” -The Washington Post

Everyone yearns to belong, to be part of the “in crowd,” but how far are you willing to go to be accepted? In the case of bright, funny and socially ambitious Evelyn Beegan, the answer is much too far…

At 26, Evelyn is determined to carve her own path in life and free herself from the influence of her social-climbing mother, who propelled her through prep school and onto New York’s glamorous Upper East Side. Evelyn has long felt like an outsider to her privileged peers, but when she gets a job at a social network aimed at the elite, she’s forced to embrace them.

Recruiting new members for the site, Evelyn steps into a promised land of Adirondack camps, Newport cottages and Southampton clubs thick with socialites and Wall Streeters. Despite herself, Evelyn finds the lure of belonging intoxicating, and starts trying to pass as old money herself. When her father, a crusading class-action lawyer, is indicted for bribery, Evelyn must contend with her own family’s downfall as she keeps up appearances in her new life, grasping with increasing desperation as the ground underneath her begins to give way.

My review: Got off to a very slow start and I almost gave up, but once Evelyn had ingratiated herself into high society I couldn’t put it down just waiting for the train wreck to happen. At times this read like a period piece because it’s hard to imagine people living like Jay Gatsby these days. Evelyn is not a very sympathetic character, but very few in this book are. Her mother is an exceptional piece of work even to the end, and Camilla and her cronies could be straight out of the TV show Revenge. The scene where Evelyn takes part in a rowing race is almost laugh-out-loud funny, and I can just picture it in the forthcoming movie.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 4/5

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The Invasion of the Tearling, by Erika Johansen

6 Aug

24961232Format: e-ARC, 380 pages

Publisher: Transworld Publishers

Published: July 16, 2015

ISBN: 9780593073117

Genre: Science fiction & fantasy, Literature/Fiction (Adult)

Back cover blurb: With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighbouring kingdom of Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.
But as the Mort army draws ever closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing, and she finds herself relying on a strange and possibly dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. The fate of the Tearling – and that of Kelsea’s own soul – may rest with Lily and her story, but Kelsea may not have enough time to find out.
In this dazzling sequel to her bestselling debut The Queen of the Tearling, Erika Johansen brings back favourite characters, including the Mace and the Red Queen, and introduces unforgettable new players, adding exciting layers to her multidimensional tale of magic, mystery and a fierce young heroine.

My review: I think I enjoyed this sequel more than the first book. Things are changing alarmingly with Kelsea, but it is her visions of the life of Lily in the almost-present which had me gripped. As I said with the first book, this is not for younger readers, and the plotline with Lily involves rape and some pretty horrible acts of violence. Nevertheless, I loved her story and really felt for her and her comrades, especially William and Jonathan. That ending was just perfect, and reinforced the idea that this is more science fiction than perhaps the first book would suggest.

Back in Kelsea’s world, things are left up in the air, and I can’t wait to see what happens in the third installment. Hopefully we’ll see more of the Fetch in the next book! This is going to make an amazing film with Emma Watson.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 5/5

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All the Bright Places, by Jennifer Niven

15 Apr

bright places

Format: Audiobook, 11 hours 4 minutes, narrated by Ariadne Meyers and Kirby Heyborne

Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group

Published: January 6, 2015

ISBN: 9780553552225

Genre: YA fiction

Back cover blurb: The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning!

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.
Includes a PDF Help Line Resource Guide and a Note Read by the Author.

My review: There was a lump in my throat when I finished this. Sadly, I know too many people who have taken their own lives, or tried to, and this book made me remember them all with so many emotions. It was a little slow to grab me at first, but the ending is powerful and I hope the young people who read this get the message. Heart-breaking.

My rating: 4/5

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The Lincoln Lawyer, by Michael Connelly

19 Oct

 

Format: Paperback, 404 pages

Published: 2005

Publisher: Orion

Back cover blurb: Criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller’s father was a legendary lawyer whose clients included gangster Mickey Cohen. But Dad also passed on an important piece of advice that’s especially relevant when Mickey takes the case of a wealthy Los Angeles realtor accused of attempted murder: “The scariest client a lawyer will ever have is an innocent client. Because if you [screw] up and he goes to prison, it’ll scar you for life.”

Louis Roulet, Mickey’s “franchise client” (so-called becaue he’s able and willing to pay whatever his defense costs) seems to be the one his father warned him against, as well as being a few rungs higher on the socio-economic ladder than the drug dealers, homeboys, and motorcycle thugs who comprise Mickey’s regular case load. But as the holes in Roulet’s story tear Mickey’s theory of the case to shreds, his thoughts turn more to Jesus Menendez, a former client convicted of a similar crime who’s now languishing in San Quentin. Connelly tellingly delineates the code of legal ethics Mickey lives by: “It didn’t matter…whether the defendant ‘did it’ or not. What mattered was the evidence against him–the proof–and if and how it could be neutralized. My job was to bury the proof, to color the proof a shade of gray. Gray was the color of reasonable doubt.” But by the time his client goes to trial, Mickey’s feeling a few very reasonable doubts of his own.

My review: My sister gave me this ages ago but I have no idea why I haven’t read it before now. It gets off to a slow start, but has plenty of twists and turns, and I was pleasantly surprised several times at the author’s ingenuity. The crooks are decidedly unpleasant and Mick walks a fine line between being dodgy and noble, but in the end you can’t help cheering for him. I loved the ex-wives, too, and was glad to see he had a nice relationship with his daughter. I can see why it was made into a movie, but it went straight to video here so I haven’t seen it. Might have to check out some more of Connelly’s work now.

My rating: 4/5

Headhunters, by Jo Nesbo

4 May

Format: Paperback, 376 pages
Published: March 29, 2012 (first published 2008)
Publisher: Vintage
Back cover blurb:
Roger Brown has it all: Norway’s most successful headhunter, he is married to a beautiful gallery owner and owns a magnificent house. But he’s also a highly accomplished art thief. At a gallery opening, his wife introduces him to Clas Greve. Not only is Greve the perfect candidate for a position that Brown is recruiting for; he is also in possession of ‘The Calydonian Boar Hunt’ by Rubens, one of the most sought-after paintings in modern art history. Roger starts planning his biggest theft ever. But soon, he runs into trouble – and it’s not financial problems that are threatening to knock him over this time…
My review:
My sister has been recommending Nesbo to me for a while, so when he came to New Zealand recently I decided it was time to see what all the fuss was about. Now I know, and have to agree with my sister: he is well worth recommending.

Headhunters is the story of thoroughly loathsome Roger Brown, who is both a top Norwegian recruitment agency big-wig and an art thief, and what happens when he falls foul of a former Dutch counterterrorism agent who wants to find a new job. The plot twists and turns with rapid pace, shocking us with horrific violence and acts of betrayal. We dislike Roger from beginning to end, but he is more sympathetic than sociopathic Clas Greve, who seems to turn up like The Terminator no matter what is thrown at him.

I can see how this book was turned into a movie – it almost reads like a screenplay and the images are vividly written – and I would quite like to see it now I have read the source material. The scene in the outhouse may be one I will never forget.

I enjoyed this far more than Stieg Larssen, and will definitely be reading Nesbo’s Harry Hole mysteries. My sister has even given me one to get me started 🙂

My rating: 4/5

One For The Money, by Janet Evanovich

9 Mar

Format: Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published: December 1, 2011 (first published January 1, 1994)
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Back cover blurb:
Welcome to Trenton, New Jersey, home to wiseguys, average Joes, and Stephanie Plum, who sports a big attitude and even bigger money problems (since losing her job as a lingerie buyer for a department store). Stephanie needs cash–fast–but times are tough, and soon she’s forced to turn to the last resort of the truly desperate: family.Stephanie lands a gig at her sleazy cousin Vinnie’s bail bonding company. She’s got no experience. But that doesn’t matter. Neither does the fact that the bail jumper in question is local vice cop Joe Morelli. From the time he first looked up her dress to the time he first got into her pants to the time Steph hit him with her father’s Buick, M-o-r-e-l-l-i has spelled t-r-o-u-b-l-e. And now the hot guy is in hot water–wanted for murder.

Abject poverty is a great motivator for learning new skills, but being trained in the school of hard knocks by people like psycho prizefighter Benito Ramirez isn’t. Still, if Stephanie can nab Morelli in a week, she’ll make a cool ten grand. All she has to do is become an expert bounty hunter overnight–and keep herself from getting killed before she gets her man.

My review:
Great one-liners – I laughed out loud on so many occasions, and not just because of Vinnie and the duck. Stephanie’s hilarious relationship with Morelli is really the key to the story. They have so much bad history and yet they come to work together so well and the UST is clearly present. I liked Ranger, too, and look forward to reading the rest of the series to see what happens to all these larger-than-life-but-very-Jersey characters.

PS: Yes, that is the movie tie-in book I have, but in no way could I picture Katherine Heigl in my head when I read Stephanie. It doesn’t surprise me that it appears this movie is going straight to video here. Never judge a book by its movie.

My rating: 4/5

“Guernsey” to be made into a movie, Branagh and Winslet onboard

3 Feb

One of my favourite books of all time, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, is being made into a film directed by Kenneth Branagh!

I am soooo excited about this project, and became even more so when I read recently that Kate Winslet had signed on to play Juliet. Empireonline.com had this to say:

“Since deciding not to return for superhero sequel Thor 2, Kenneth Branagh has been mulling over at least two potential projects: novel adaptation The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society and romantic drama Italian Shoes. It looks like he’s pushing ahead first with Pie Society, grabbing Kate Winslet for the female lead.

Adapted by The Opposite Of Sex writer/director Don Roos from Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer’s book, the film will see Winslet play writer Juliet Ashton, who wrote magazine columns during World War II. In the aftermath of the conflict, she’s contacted by Channel Islander Dawsey Adams, who tells her the intriguing tale of the book society formed to help undercut the Nazi presence on Guernsey. Ashton decides to investigate, and romance blossoms…

It’ll be a reunion for the director and star, as Winslet played Ophelia in Branagh’s Hamlet, which he starred in and directed back in 1996. This time around, Branagh will most likely stick behind the camera. He’s in pre-production now and aims to kick off shooting in March.”

One of the most fabulous things about the book was that it was entirely made up of letters to and from Juliet. I’m hoping they keep them as a theme, but I guess the need for more visuals may push them into the background. I have confidence in Ken and Kate, though, to give us a beautiful film with amazing performances.

Who should be cast as Dawsey? I’ll be watching IMDB closely HERE for casting news.

The movie is due for release next year.

Fifty Shades Freed, by E.L. James

25 Jan

Format: ebook

Published: January 19, 2012

Publisher: The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House

Back cover blurb:

When unworldly student Ana Steele first encountered the driven, damaged young entrepreneur Christian Grey it sparked a sensual affair that changed both their lives irrevocably. Shocked, intrigued, and ultimately repelled by Christian’s singular sexual tastes, Ana demanded a deeper commitment; determined to keep her, Christian agreed.

Now, together, they have more – love, passion, intimacy, and a world of infinite possibilities. But Ana always knew that loving her Fifty Shades would not be easy, and being together poses challenges neither of them ever anticipated. Ana must somehow learn to share Christian’s opulent lifestyle without sacrificing her own integrity, identity or independence; Christian must somehow overcome his compulsion to control, and lay to rest the horrors that blighted his past and haunt his present.

Just when it seems that together their love can conquer any obstacle, misfortune, malice and fate combine to make Ana’s worst nightmares come true. Alone and desperate, she must face down the poisoned legacy of Christian’s past.

Seductive, shocking, sad and funny, Fifty Shades Freed is the compelling final volume in the Fifty Shades trilogy.

My review:

I’m really going to miss Fifty and Ana. Especially Fifty. *sigh*

The third book in the trilogy is a rollercoaster ride, from the highs of a wedding and honeymoon, to the lows of jealousy, mistrust and betrayal. There is some serious heartfail when Christian believes Ana has done the unthinkable, but I don’t want to spoil anything here. Suffice to say there is a happy ending, and it’s amazing to see how much Ana and Christian have grown by the end.

James also treats readers to some added extras in this edition: the beginning of the story, when Ana first came to interview Christian and his subsequent meeting with her at the sporting goods store, told from Fifty’s point of view. Being in his head for just a few pages is wonderful and gives us a great insight into that first fateful meeting. I loved it!

This trilogy is sexy, smart and very addictive, and the third installment rounds it off nicely. I have found myself blushing in the supermarket when the sound system has played “Nothing Sweet About Me”, and it’s all E.L. James’s fault. She is certainly an author to watch, and if the rumoured movie deal ever comes to fruition, I know who would make a perfect Fifty. Anyone else would be a hard limit 😉

My rating: 5/5

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

Writing for the Pop Culture Literate.

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