Saturday, July 23, 2011

Movie/Book Reviews

I've started reading for pleasure again and had some mini-book reviews for you (in addition to a movie review)!

Water for Elephants - I really enjoyed this book! It took me a bit to get into it, but it's a great story. The author does a good job of making you like the main character, Jacob Jankowski, and want him to succeed. The author also does a great job at villainizing certain characters, but all of them have human sides to them, albeit small human sides sometimes. The book is set in two different time periods and goes back and forth between the two time periods: one period is when Jacob has grown old and is in a nursing home and one when he is young. The parts of the book where Jacob is old really delves into the struggles we have as we age, losing physical and mental abilities that once came so easily to us, as well as losing significance to the people who once depended on us. The parts of the book where Jacob is young starts with him being in his final semester of a prestigious veterinary school and, much like any other young man, having a crush on a classmate of his. However, while sitting in class one day, the dean of the school comes in to deliver tragic news; news that would lead him to cast aside his boy-like wishes and fantasies and run off to crazy adventures and forbidden love, .... and forever change his life. I really want to see the movie now!

The Mysterious Benedict Society - This was a great book and a very easy read. It's more of a children's book, but was still a fun and interesting read. I got into it quickly and read it just as quickly. As the title indicates, there are riddles/mysteries throughout the book that make you try to guess and figure out what's going on before the author reveals it. The main character, Reyard Muldoon (or Reynie) is an unusually intelligent boy for his age and an orphan. One day, he and his tutor, Miss Perumal, come across a newspaper ad for children with special gifts. They decide that he should answer the ad; he is put through a series of tests along with a large number of other children. However, as each test passes, more and more children are weeded out until it is down to him and three other children. Each of these children possesses different mental and physical gifts and abilities; together, they form the Mysterious Benedict Society. They were brought together by Mr. Benedict, a smart and kind man who needs them for a critical and dangerous mission, a mission that will save the world. This book is the first in a series and I've already checked out the second book from my local library and started reading it. So far, so good!

Captain America: The First Avenger - Dustin and I both liked this movie a lot! It had action, adventure, funny moments, and a little (but not too much (otherwise, Dustin wouldn't have liked it)) romance. It had no nudity and no profanity (that we saw), but it was still a really entertaining and good movie! Take note, Hollywood, that stuff is NOT necessary for a good movie. I'm just sayin'... Oh, and it looks like there will be a sequel to come. Yay!

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