Freedom Giveaway Hop

Woah! It hasn't even been a week and I'm doing another big giveaway :) It's because I love you guys! As always, thanks to I am a Reader not a Writer for hosting this lovely giveaway. Please visit her blog HERE for a complete list of all the giveaways hosts.

How to Enter:
1. Follow my blog via GFC
2. Comment with your name, e-mail, and choice of book

(+1) Every comment is an extra entry
(+2) Comment on any of my reviews
(+3) Follow me on Twitter (DystopianDssrts) 
(+4) Spread the word via FB, Twitter, etc. 

In honor of the Independence Day spirit, I'd particularly like to give away more dystopian titles. These stories prove just how important freedom is, whether it's the freedom to speak freely, the freedom to have a certain opinion, or even the freedom to love whomever we choose. I hope you love them as much as I do!

Top Row (Left to Right): Blood Red Road (Moira Young) || Divergent (Veronica Roth) || XVI (Julia Karr) || Across the Universe (Beth Revis)
Bottom Row (Left to Right): Enclave (Ann Aguirre) || Wither (Lauren DeStefano) || Bumped (Megan McCafferty) || Delirium (Lauren Oliver)


Across the Universe: PAPERBACK COVER

So what do you think? This cover has a great modern and technological edge that fits the story perfectly, but compared to the hardcover, the colors of the paperback version don't jump out as much. I wish it was a little more vivid to match the intensity of the story! Anyhow, I'm still excited to see this book hit the shelves in November!


Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Winner!

I can't thank everyone enough for entering! I always have a lot of fun hosting giveaways! And now for the winner, Congratulations to Judy! Please respond within 48 hours to claim your prize :) 

Delirium: The Makeover!

Click for Full Size
A picture truly is worth a thousand words. In celebration of Pandemonium's (Delirium #2) upcoming release, a special edition of Delirium will be in print next fall! Special features include exclusive Q&A with Lauren Oliver, and the first few chapters of Pandemonium. I absolutely can't wait!!

Be sure to visit Lauren Oliver's Website.


Jennifer Lawrence is on FIRE!

Jennifer Lawrence's career has blossomed into something spectacular! All my doubts about her portrayal of Katniss have completely vanished, and I'm more excited than ever for the movie's release! Check out this BEAUTIFUL manipulation by awalktothelastnotebook. Isn't it GORGEOUS? I thought it was the real thing when I first saw it! It's supposed to be Katniss's interview dress *_*!! LOVE IT!


Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop!

Many thanks to I am a Reader not a Writer for hosting another phenomenal giveaway hop! Visit all other participating blogs HERE.

How to Enter:
1. Follow my blog
2. Leave a comment with your name, e-mail, and indicate which prize pack you want

(+1) Every comment is an extra entry
(+2) Comment on any of my reviews (leave link)
(+2)  Follow me on Twitter (DystopianDssrts)
(+3) Spread the word via FB, Twitter, etc. (leave link)

Chillin' in Summer Prize Pack
Consists of: Shiver, Linger, and Forever by Maggie Steifvater

Blogger's Pick Prize Pack
Consists of: Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz and The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

Forbidden || Tabitha Suzuma

Book: Forbidden
Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Pages: 432
Publication Date: May 27th, 2010
Rating: 5/5

Brother. Sister. A love that is forbidden. 

I find this to be one of the most challenging books to review this year because I'm not sure if it's okay to love a story about incest. But from a professional point of view, the story, characters, and writing style were excellent! After reading the final page, I had a twisting feeling in my stomach that left me unsettled yet awestruck by the raw emotion evoked from the many passionate passages in the story. 

Summary: Lochan is a shy scholar at the top of his graduating class. Maya is sweet and beautiful girl loved by all her peers. Aside from their high school lives, Lochan and Maya are forced to raise three younger siblings left behind by a father and a mother who rarely comes home sober. Although switching between student and parent is an almost impossible task, both Lochan and Maya accept the responsibilities and struggle to keep their already severed family together. They are each other's best friend, and all the hardship they endure together leads to something more. They are more than brother and sister. More than friends. They are lovers. They are soulmates.

Review: There's something adventurous and daring about "forbidden romances." Stories like Romeo and Juliet. But Forbidden is not your typical romance story. Brothers and sisters aren't supposed to fall in love. It's taboo. Throughout the story, I kept asking myself "Why?" I might have been over-analyzing Lochan and Maya's thought processes, but the concept was just so intriguing. What could have caused them to develop a "more than just siblings" relationship? Overall, I concluded that the pressure of premature parenthood was what pushed them together. Also, Lochan's extreme phobia of speaking in public causes him to be a misunderstood misfit in school. Maya is the only one with whom he can freely speak, and she is the only one who understands and shares the unreasonable burden thrust upon them. 

Once I overcame the initial disgust of siblings engaging in sexual contact, I found the story to be oddly beautiful. I've read many books about older siblings being forced to care for younger family members, but Forbidden takes teenage parenting to a whole new level. Something about it was so raw and sincere.  Everything about Maya and Lochan seemed wrong, yet at the same time, it seemed right. Despite everything, this broken family wanted nothing more than to stay together, even if it meant defending their incompetent mother and hiding a forbidden relationship. Everything Lochan and Maya endured, was for their family. Absolutely everything. It breaks my heart to read about the sacrifices and inner turmoil both teenagers suffered because of their ultimate love for their family, and for each other. It was darkly beautiful. 

This story will force you to question every rule society has conjured. Can a love so honest, be a love between siblings?


Entwined || Heather Dixon

Book: Entwined
Author: Heather Dixon
Pages 480
Rating 4/5

This story takes me back to my fairytale reading days! Every little girl, at one point, has envisioned herself living the luxurious life of a princess and attending glamorous dances alongside a perfect gentleman. Entwined encapsulated a beautiful vision alongside dark and misleading magics. The concept of the story was brilliant, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading a fresh new take on the 12 dancing princesses. It was more creative than I expected, but I felt that a few elements were lacking. For example, even after 400 pages, I couldn't find myself empathizing alongside heroine. She was definitely strong and determined, but after reading about so many characters similar to her, I didn't find anything special or different. The same goes with the other string of characters. For such a drawn-out book, I feel that the author could have added more depth to all of Azalea's sisters. They are as much involved in the plot as she is, but all their personalities felt one-dimensional. Additionally, I didn't feel satisfied with the romance! I'm no fan of cliche endings, but having a prince come and sweep the princess off her feet is a MUST in a fairytale. Azalea and Bradford seemed shy and cautious around each other, and I wished for them to have a more passionate romance than just the rare peck on the cheek. Also, I was a bit confused at first about the entire fact that they were all princesses, but living very frugally. It didn't make sense to me that other lower ranking characters would be more wealthy than the King...

Despite the somewhat confusing terminology and almost depth-less characters, I felt that Entwined was a creative and entertaining read! I love fairytale-type novels, and Entwined was a wonderful one! Not to mention, that the cover is absolutely stunning!


Spellbound || Cara Lynn Shultz

Book: Spellbound
Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Pages: 384
Expected Publication: June 28th, 2011
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 4/5

(Review Contains Mild Spoilers) 

What can I say other than, Spellbound left me...spellbound! 

Summary: Emma Conner has endured much heartbreak in her 16 years of life. A dead twin brother, a dead mother, and a stepfather who almost kills her in a drunken car accident. When her wealthy aunt Christine welcomes her into her upper class New York home and sends her to the most "exclusive" private school, Emma wants nothing more than to remain anonymous. But her attempts to blend in are abruptly halted when she catches the eye of the school's hottest boy, Brendan Salinger. As they grow fonder, Emma can no longer ignore the medieval curse that plagues their romance. An inevitable love is conjured by the same force that will result only in death. Together, they must fight the ancient heartbreak destined for them centuries ago, for they are soulmates. 

Review: To begin with, I was slightly skeptical at the prospect of this book. For the first quarter, I wasn't sure what "Spellbound" had to do with an emotionally scarred teenage girl. However, when the history of Emma's charm necklace surfaced, all the pieces clicked into place. I wished that the author incorporated a bit more of the magical side in the beginning of the book, because the curses and witches element took me by surprise (I didn't read the summary of the book before starting it). Additionally, I wished that more of a back story had been revealed regarding Emma's mother and her history with witchcraft. But eventually, I grew comfortable with the presence of magic/curses/witches in a normal (if bit dramatic) high school setting, and became ensnared by the heated and sincere romance between Emma and Brendan. 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Spellbound! It was romantic, fresh, and creative! The transition between normalcy and magic was a bit untimely, and some scenarios seemed just too convenient, but the characters all turned out to be endearing (except for Anthony and Kristin). There was a great balance in the story! Romance, adventure, and humor were all incorporated elegantly!

P.S. Brendan Salinger is my new literary crush!

The Day Before || Lisa Schroeder

Book: The Day Before
Author: Lisa Schroeder 
Pages: 320
Source: Simon & Schuster 
Publication Date: June 28th, 2011
Rating: 5/5 

Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. I've read Lisa Schroeder's previous work: I heart you, You haunt me, and I was captivated. The Day Before is even more stunning! Schroeder's unique writing style is like poetry for the teenage soul. 

A girl torn between two families. A boy enamored with the sea. It's the day before their lives change forever. 

I honestly can't find the words to describe the beauty Schroeder depicts in her writing. It was raw, emotional, and sincere. It's not a complicated story and it's not a complex romance. It's just the plain and simple story of two people scared of change. With the comfort of each other's understanding, they are able to conquer obstacles presented in life. 

There's something about reading a story like this at 2 in the morning. I was tucked in bed while everyone else in the house was asleep. A dim light was on, and there wasn't a single distraction. I was able to absorb every line of introspective reflection, and savored the creative moments. Sometimes, all you need is a little glitter.

I loved it!


DIVERGENT is gonna be a MOVIE!

"Summit Entertainment has set hot young scribe Evan Daugherty to adapt dystopian thriller Divergent, based on the young adult novel by 22-year-old author Veronica Roth.
FinePrint’s Pouya Shabazian is producing the project with Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher via their Red Wagon banner.
Daugherty’s writing credits include Universal’s high profile Snow White and the Huntsman, starring Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth, and Shrapnel, directed by John McTiernan.
Roth’s YA novel, published by HarperCollins imprint Katherine Tegen Books, hit the stands last month and quickly made the New York Times’ bestseller list, where it remains."
Source: Hollywood Reporter

HOW COOL IS THAT? As far as I know, there hasn't been much other information released such as casting etc. but that doesn't mean the fan buzz can't start! Divergent is a very strong novel in itself, and I think that it's gonna make a FANTASTIC movie! What do you think?


Exclusive Q&A With the Cover Artist of WITHER

Q&A With Lizzy Bromley: Cover Designer of Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Source: http://alismith.com/blog/ (CHECK THEM OUT! THEY'RE AMAZING!)

Tell us about the concept behind the cover design … what do you hope it conveys to readers?
When I read WITHER I fell in love with the poetic style of Lauren’s writing. The story is told in such lyrical and beautiful language. I wanted to give the cover that same kind of poetry, an image that was more atmospheric and intriguing than literal.
How did you conceive of the idea for the WITHER cover?
At the start I had a very different idea for the cover. I went through many rounds but was having trouble getting it to click. Then one day I was riding the elevator with a colleague from our sales force here at S&S, and I was telling her about my struggles with the current cover. She said, “Well, you have to show the girl, right?” and my heart skipped a beat.  My first concept did not have the girl and when she said that I realized that that was why I was having so much trouble getting the concept to work. Rhine needed to be shown.
What other ideas were tossed around?
I loved Rhine’s character so much that I was really hesitant to show her at first. I liked the idea of leaving her up to the reader to imagine. My initial concept focused on showing the surreal and too perfect garden at the Vaughn mansion.  I was going for something sparkly and pretty, but also dark and unsettling at the same time. It proved very difficult to convey those opposing ideas and the more I worked on it the more I realized I needed to step back and try something totally different.
We know work has already begun on the cover for book two … what can you tell us about that? How does it relate to the cover of book one? How is it different?
The cover for book 2 has already been photographed and I’m so excited about it. We were lucky enough to have the same team as we had on book 1: the photographer (Ali Smith), the hair stylist (JSterling), and our fabulous model (Kristina O’Connor)  It definitely echoes the style of WITHER but it has a life of its own. All I can say is that there is a to-die-for gold sequined dress.
(*Note from S&S: we will be unveiling the cover this summer, stay tuned!!)


Across the Universe || Cover Re-Creation

My Cover Re-Design
Original Cover

I made another cover for IceyBook's Cover Re-Creation contest! I had a lot of fun last time!! And now to explain my design- I tried to keep it as clean-cut and professional as possible :) I had the most trouble with the two hands. I couldn't figure out where to put them! Eventually, I just flipped the picture 180 degrees, and it looked as if the two hands were cradling the ship! Also, it somewhat represents the physical attraction between Eldest and Amy. <33 hope you like it!

Sometimes It Happens || Lauren Barnholdt

Book: Sometimes It Happens
Author: Lauren Barnholdt
Pages: 320
Expected Publication: July 12th, 2011
Source: Simon & Schuster

Summary: And just when you thought high school drama couldn't get any more complicated, it does. Sometimes It Happens revolves around 17-year-old Hannah Kaplan who starts out her first day of senior year in an emotional wreck. She's got no friends, she's in the bathroom crying, and the sophomore her ex-boyfriend cheated with is sitting next to her in history class. All the mistakes she made during the summer are finally catching up to her.

Review: Lauren Barnholdt did a fantastic job re-constructing the typical problems Senior year. I particularly enjoyed it because it was down to earth, and most of all, realistic! Most high school chick lit books involve someone super popular, super hot, and super bitchy. This story had none of that! It was just a couple of close friends who made a few mistakes and are desperately try to fix it. There's the usual love triangle and a whole lot of dishonesty, but in the end, "sometimes it happens."

Again, this was another book I thumbed through pretty quickly. It's not that there was anything spectacular to keep me on edge, but the emotions and reactions were just so real! There was nothing "fake" about it. Overall, Sometimes it Happens makes for an entertaining read on the beach. It's honest, real, and takes you on an emotional roller coaster. 

Rate & Recommend?  I'll grant this story a 3/5. If typical high school drama is your cup of tea, then go for it! Although there was nothing that "wowed" me about this story, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. Listening to the convincing dialogue and scenario had me feeling like I was wrapped up in the drama too!


The Girl in the Steel Corset || Kady Cross

I've recently discovered that the Steampunk genre is downright awesome. If you're not familiar with the genre, it's essentially a combination of artistic steam-powered mechanisms predominant in the British Victorian era. Just imagine girls in glamorous ballgowns and possibly robotic body parts. Intense, I know.

Summary: The story begins with Finley Jayne, the maid of a wealthy Lord, displaying her sheer physical strength. How's that for a punch? Automatically I loved the high-gear action and rapid pace! After being injured, she stumbles into Griffin, the wealthiest Duke in London who kindly allows her to take refuge in his home (more like a mansion.)However, the Duke and his acquaintances possess skills somewhat other-worldly. Griffin is able to communicate with the dead and grasp the delicate strings of the spirit world. Emily, a red-haired Irish teenager, is a brilliant mechanist who later acquires abilities to speak to with automatons and understand their mechanical needs. Sam is Griffin's best friend and is nothing shy of masculinity, despite hating himself for being half machine. Together, relationship dynamics simmer and bloom into a close-knit circle of friendship and mistrust. A conspirator dubbed The Machinist threatens to overthrow the British monarchy with the manipulation of "organites," a natural substance discovered by Griffin's grandfather to create flesh-wielding automatons.

Review: For a 477 page book, I wish that the author elaborated on the plot slightly more. I felt that the depth of the mystery was on a very basic and non-suspenseful level. Additionally, the story and characters didn't quite flow perfectly. The relationships and dialogue were somewhat choppy, and the personality of every character was very one-dimensional. Nonetheless, I loved the character of Finley Jayne. She was the epitome of strong and capable heroine who also wasn't afraid to embrace the Victorian culture mapped for women. The story was strong and colorfully detailed with intricate Steampunk styling, and glamorized the luxurious side of the Victorian Era. This was a book I flipped through quite quickly, and I wish it had left more of an impact on me! All in all, The Girl in the Steel Corset embodied a concept I thoroughly enjoyed. Kady Cross's steampunk world was colorful, vivid, and adventurous!


Read an Excerpt from Lauren DeStefano's FEVER- Chemical Garden Trilogy #2!

The Chemical Garden Trilogy, Book 2
An excerpt from FEVER
A breeze rolls up from the water, and I realize at once how numb the cold air and wet clothes have made me. We should find someplace to stay, but where? I sit up and take in our surroundings. There’s sand and rocks for several more yards, but beyond that I can see the shadows of buildings. A lone freight truck lumbers down  a faraway road, and I think soon it’ll be dark enough for Gatherer vans to start patrolling the area with their lights off. This would be the perfect place for them to hunt; there don’t appear to be any streetlights, and the alleyways between those buildings could be full of scarlet district girls.
Gabriel, of course, is more concerned about the blood. He’s trying to wrap my palm with a piece of seaweed, and the salt is burning the wound. I just need a minute to take this all in, and then I’ll worry about the cut. This time yesterday, I was a House Governor’s bride. I had sister wives. At the end of my life, my body would end up with the wives who died before me, on a rolling cart in my father-in-law’s basement, for him to do only he knows what.
But now there’s the smell of salt, sound of the ocean. There’s a hermit crab making its way up a sand dune. And something else, too. My brother, Rowan, is somewhere out here. And there’s nothing stopping me from getting home to him.

Source: http://thechemicalgardenbooks.com/wither/?page_id=102

On Sale February 2012
I absolutely CAN'T WAIT to read the next book in Lauren DeStefano's Chemical Garden Trilogy! The covers of her books are stunning, and the story is emotionally electrifying!



Gaze at the beautiful new British face of Jace Wayland.

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!?! JACE WAYLAND HAS BEEN CAST! WHAT A GLORIOUS DAY!! Except...it's not Alex Pettyfer. It's Jamie Campbell Bower. Not to mention, Jamie is the boyfriend of Bonnie Wright aka Ginny Weasley from Harry Potter! Cool right?

I think Jamie is slightly too old, but other than that, he looks great :) *sigh* it seems as if Alex will never submit to a role that bookish fangirls can swoon over!

Check out this interview with Cassie Clare!
source: http://hollywoodcrush.mtv.com/2011/06/01/cassie-clare-on-jamie-campbell-bower-mortal-instruments/

Imagine writing a bestselling novel adored by fans the world over. Imagine the film rights for said novel being bought, meaning your precious creation was headed to the big screen. Then imagine months and months of speculation regarding who would play the heartthrob leading male, with many of Hollywood's hottest vying for the role. You still with me? Now imagine you were tucked snugly into bed when the big casting news broke!
Such is the case for "Mortal Instruments" author Cassandra Clare, who, thanks to a trip to Australia (and its 14-hour time difference) was fast asleep when the Twitterverse went BANANAS over reports "Camelot" actor Jamie Campbell Bower had been cast as her Shadowhunter dreamboat Jace Wayland. What a wake-up call indeed!
Lucky for us, Cassie agreed to stay up until the wee hours of the morning in Australia to talk with Hollywood Crush about her reaction to Jamie's audition tape, his chemistry with co-star Lily Collins and why he'll make the perfect Jace. Keep reading after the jump for our in-depth chit-chat.

Hollywood Crush: You were uncharacteristically quiet on Twitter when the news broke yesterday that Jamie had been cast as Jace. What was up?
Cassandra Clare: I was asleep! I woke up actually because my agent called and said, 'Before you get online and check your email and get on Twitter, I have to tell you this.' So I was prepared. And I got on and was like, 'Oh my god.' Because, you know, thousands of tweets came in. I did not read them all. I was like, 'It's like a nuclear bomb went off.' So the first thing I did was call the studio, because I'm used to there being a lot of rumors floating around, and I wanted to like a) confirm this, and b) what do I need to say?
Let's get down to the nitty-gritties. Why is Jamie so perfect for Jace?
I have seen his audition tape. They sent it to me because they were so impressed with it, and they wanted to get my feedback. People have been asking me what scene he filmed. The answer is a bunch of different scenes. He did scenes where he had to be funny. He did scenes where he had to be romantic. He did scenes where he had to be angry and badass and he pulled that all off amazingly.
He auditioned with Lily, and he and Lily had incredible chemistry that sort of blazed off the scene. I'm just sitting here watching this on my computer, and you know, he was not the only person they've ever sent me to look at. I've gotten lots of headshots and this and that, and I'm watching the audition and I literally started crying because that was my Jace and Clary on the screen. And it's an incredible feeling to see that even as an audition. This is amazing. He was snarky funny where he needed to be snarky funny, and he was badass where he needed to be badass. And he and Lily were incredible together.
Cassandra Clare
In fact, after all the auditions, because she's done auditions with a bunch of different actors, she wrote to the head of the studio, Clint Culpepper of Screen Gems, and she was like, 'It's Jamie. It's gotta be Jamie.' He told me that, this was before he had seen the audition, he told me that he wrote back and he was like, 'He's a rock star hipster kind of guy. Do you think he can be a badass warrior-dude, as well?' And she wrote back and said, 'That is Jace standing there. When you watch the audition you'll see what I see.'
I'm sure fans are dying to know if there was a kissing scene involved in the audition.
You can tell the fans that one of the scenes they rehearsed is the greenhouse scene.
I think people will like that.
I did. [Laughs]
What does it feel like to finally have Jace cast? It's been such a long process.
First, it's an incredible relief. There have been so many... There is all this stuff that goes on behind the scenes and fans are like, 'Nothing is happening.' And I'm like, 'Lots and lots of stuff is happening.' They're auditioning hundreds of guys and looking at all of these people, and nobody is quite right. It feels like the search for the Fountain of Youth—you're never going to find it. So you can't go forward with the project until Jace is signed off on.
I think another thing that people don't realize is how many people have to sign-off on something like that. There's like seven or eight producers on this movie. I don't even know who they all are. And they all have to sign-off on this. And then it has to go to Sony and the head of the studio, Amy Pascal, and she has to sign-off on Jace. So everyone has to agree that this is the right guy. Getting everyone to agree—imagine trying to get a group of eight randomly selected people to agree on something. I really was starting to think that they were never going to find a guy that everyone agrees on. Then Jamie comes along and does this blow-you-away audition. So they were like, 'Okay, this audition is amazing. We have to bring him back and test with Lily.'
Another thing that impressed me about him was that he asked—I got a message relayed to me through the studio, wanting to know what Jace would wear. He is the only actor who tested for this role who asked this.
Did he dress as Jace for his audition?
He wore exactly what I said: jeans, tight-fitting black T-shirt, boots, and he wears rings on his fingers.
I can definitely see Jamie having those pieces in his wardrobe already.
Yeah, I don't think it was too much of a problem for him. [Laughs] But honestly, you can wear whatever you want to an audition. This isn't a dress rehearsal. He could have worn a striped circus tent if he wanted to. But he wanted to get in character as much as possible.
I already liked him. I liked him from 'Camelot.' I've liked him since I saw 'Sweeney Todd.' [At the time I thought] Jamie seems like a really good option. I'm glad that you're looking at him. I hope it goes well. As he started to audition, I started getting responses from producers that were like, 'This is a blow-you-away audition—a knock-you-out-of-the-park audition.' So I asked if I could see it. And they sent it over to me, and like I said, I watched it and started to cry. And I sent a letter back to the studio saying, 'Wow.' And I think I said the real version of unfreakingbelievable.
Has Jamie read the books or was he going strictly off the script?
I know he's read at least the first book, and he's also read the script.
It sounds like he really did his homework for this role.
The audition [process] is not short. It's, do this scene, do it over, do it over, do it over. It's one of those things when you realize how tiring it is to be an actor. Every time he was told to do a tiny adjustment, he did it perfectly. He clearly had some thoughts about Jace that were really smart.
It was quite funny, in the greenhouse scene, there's a line where he says something to Clary about, 'You should have thought about that before you kissed me,' and she says, 'I kissed you?' Meaning I started it? And he says, 'Yeah, it wasn't that memorable for me either,' and walks off doing the Jace walk-off, which he did great. Then he'd say something off-screen to make Lily laugh! And she would try not to laugh, and it was unbelievably cute. Like, he'd walk off and say, [affecting a British accent], 'Yeah, you were rubbish anyway.' [Laughs]
How is his American accent?
Well, he did it in his British accent. And we've actually gone back and forth about whether to leave the accent or not have the accent. He did one scene in an American accent, which he does perfectly fine. Either one is fine with me. I think it's going to be up to the director because Jace is, in fact, not American, so if he decided to do it with his British accent it would be fine.
Have you talked with him yet?
I haven't yet had a chance to talk with him. I'm looking forward to it. That's sort of how I talk to Lily—getting messages relayed between us and the studio. I think once they actually start filming, and are in the process, I'm going to end up talking to them more to give them feedback.
One of the issues some fans seem to have is that Jamie is a bit...slight. What sort of makeover do you think he'll have to undergo to embody Jace?
One thing is that he is less slight now than he used to be just from watching the audition. He has certainly buffed up for 'Camelot.' I think he was slighter before he did that, and I know he had to do some months of boot camp, which is like, you work out and you ride horses and you lift heavy weights. I talked briefly to the producer today, and basically he said,' He has the right build for it. He's tall. He's got broad shoulders. We're going to put some more muscle onto him, so he's more built. And, you know, we're going to cut his hair and give him the golden eyes, and he's going to be perfect.' I'm not particularly worried because he's got a beautiful face. I mean, yeah, he'll probably have to drink protein shakes and lift weights for a while. [Laughs] I'm pretty sure he's down with it.
What's your take on the deluge of fan reactions?
I think it's a mix. People obviously have favorites before a movie is cast. And so there's the Alex Pettyfer for Jace camp, and there's the Max Irons for Jace camp, and there's the Ed Speleers for Jace camp, and they're all going to be disappointed because it wasn't the guy they wanted. But mostly I've gotten a lot of positive responses, especially after I mentioned I saw the audition and he was really great. I think they just wanted to be reassured.
I think this is sort of inevitable. This is what happened with 'The Hunger Games' casting. This is what happened with 'Twilight' casting. I'm old enough to remember this is what happened with the 'Harry Potter' casting. The reaction is always worried because people feel very passionately about the books, and they just don't want to see something that is going to mess it up for them. It's good because what you want is to know that people are passionate and excited about this project.
When they see him on the cover of a magazine, dressed up as Jace, with the runes, with the hair, with the build, they're going to be pleasantly shocked and surprised and happy.
Oddly enough, this will be his third big YA franchise after 'Twilight' and 'Harry Potter,' yet his first leading role.
That is one of the things I liked about him, actually. To me, he has really worked for this. He's been a working actor for years now. And he's been in a lot of good projects. He seem to be choosy about the projects he takes, but smart about the projects he takes. He'll take smaller parts in good movies to build his resume. And now he's ready to play a lead role. And I think this is a big one for him.


Starcrossed || Josephine Angelini

Book: Starcrossed
Author: Josephine Angelini
Pages: 496
Source: NetGalley 
Dessert: Rainbow Cake- A surprising and loveable flavor in every layer! A perfect balance!

(Review contains mild spoilers)

Summary: Helen has always known she was too fast and too strong to be human. When the mysterious and stunning Delos family moves onto the small island where she resides, her world is torn apart with rage. She can't understand why she feels a deep and passionate hatred towards them, and unfortunately, the feeling is mutual. Nightmares of the underworld plague her sleep, and the furies (evil and ancient spirits) force the members of the Delos family and her together in almost near-death confrontations. When an unlikely twist of fate causes Helen and Lucas, a son of the Delos family, to save each other's lives, the thousand-year rage in their blood melts away. They can look at each other for the first time, and feel emotions other than hatred. They inevitably fall in love. But love is never simple as they soon discover that the mysterious force that draws them together, is the same force that will tear them apart. Helen's family history is much more complicated than she knows, and it seems only she can save the feuding demigod houses from annihilating each other. But that's nearly impossible when she has the face that launched 1,000 ships. The same face as Helen of Troy. Will history repeat itself?

Review: You may think you're stumbling upon another cliche Greek Mythology romance, but that couldn't be more incorrect! Of course, the historical Greek aspect is still deeply embedded in the story, but Josephine Angelini has a great sense of style and humor that had me spellbound! I didn't see how the romance between Helen and Lucas was going to unfold at first, but it soon became clear that they were nothing shy of a perfect couple. Another thing I loved, was that romance was not entirely the main plot. Helen's mysterious lineage/powers and the ancient wars between demi-god families kept me on my toes throughout the whole book! I was surprised at how comfortable the author was with writing bloody action scenes! It added a powerful dimension to the story. I know that Starcrossed is the beginning of what's going to be a GREAT trilogy.

Every single page was vivid. I loved the story, the concept, and most of all, the characters! Very rarely do I read a book where I can laugh and empathize with each character.

Main Character Overviews:

Helen Hamilton:
Angelini played along a delicate balance with Helen's character. Helen was strong, but not too strong. She was naive, but not rash. She was in love, and yet it did not blind her better judgement. I could not have asked for more suitable combinations! She's thoughtful, courageous, and there wasn't an ounce of complaint uttered! Helen is exceptional!

Lucas Delos: Lucas is a slightly more stereotypical male character. He's overprotective of Helen and would do anything to keep her out of harm's way; not to mention he's downright gorgeous. He is a son of Apollo and therefore has the ability to fly, bend/defy gravity, and refract light. He cares deeply for every member of his family, but reveals a vulnerable side only to Helen. Although he may love her, he understands that his duty to his family and House must take priority over his own self-interest.

Hector Delos: He is the more physical cousin of Lucas Delos. Hector is the eldest child in the Delos family, and therefore harbors a little too much pride. Despite this, he truly wants this best for his large family and will do whatever it takes to protect them. Even if it means breaking the most sacred oath between the demigods.

Jason & Ariadne Delos: Twins gifted with the power of healing. At first, I was on edge about Ariadne's character. She started out seeming like the kind of girl who's popular and flaunts everything she's got. I was so wrong! Ariadne grew to become one of my favorite characters. She's sweet, caring, and thoughtful in a humerus and lighthearted way! Jason is slightly more reserved, and when I first came upon his character, I thought he would be the one to form a love-triangle between Lucas, Helen, and him. I was very wrong... again. Jason is extremely intelligent and always the peacemaker between Lucas and Hector. I can't wait to see his relationship with Claire blossom!

Cassandra Delos: The younger sister of Lucas, and an oracle. She is wise beyond her years, but trapped inside the youthful body of a 13 year-old girl. She can foresee glimpses of the future and tries her hardest to warn Helen about the dangers that await her.

Claire Aoki: Helen's 5'2" best friend. Her upbeat and persistent attitude makes her a great and dependable friend who Helen isn't afraid to confide in. After a particular Delos twin saves her life, they grow quite fond of each other.

Rate & Recommend: I would like to proudly present Starcrossed with a 4.5 out of 5! It is definitely one of the best books I've read in 2011 thus far! Of course, you can't compare the depth and magnitude of this story to that of Newberry Award winning novels, but it's definitely a story that kept me up late at night! Every aspect of Starcrossed is perfectly balanced: from the romance to the action and mystery. I HIGHLY recommend it for all YA lovers!

The Hunger Games Franchise May Be Expanded Into 4 Films

Lionsgate executives told Wall Street analysts this morning to expect big things from The Hunger Games, a series of four action films that the studio will release from the trilogy written by Suzanne Collins. COO Joe Drake said it was “the highest selling film we’ve ever had” at the Cannes Film Festival and that overseas exhibitors consider it “the movie that can change their company.”

Source: http://mockingjay.net/
Source: http://www.deadline.com/2011/06/hunger-games-will-provide-a-feast-for-lionsgate-execs-say/

GAHH!! Almost every every book series that's being made into a movie is being split up into too many parts! First Harry Potter, then Twilight, and now Hunger Games. I understand that the series generates mucho money, but now they're just stretching it. SIGH. I love the Hunger Games A LOT, but now I feel is being completely warped by Hollywood! I do expect the script to be amazing though, because it's is entirely being written by Suzanne Collins (the author) and Gary Ross (the director)! I'm glad that the author is so involved in the writing of the script! It very rarely happens that the author is so deeply included in the production of movie, so I have high expectations for the dialogue and overall essence of the story :)