Film Review: Snow White and the Huntsman

My husband and went to see Snow White and the Huntsman last night for our anniversary, which has been one of my husband’s most anticipated films this year, ever since he saw the extended trailer (which is at the bottom of this post, for your viewing pleasure). And although it has been receiving mixed reviews from critics and fans, for us, it delivered. (This review will contain minor spoilers, but only if you are also completely unfamiliar with the original Snow White tale).

What We Expected

I think a large portion of how much you enjoy a film depends on what you expected going in. For example, my brother and his wife saw Pan’s Labyrinth in Italy after just seeing the poster. They hadn’t seen any trailers and couldn’t read the poster, since it was in Italian, so they just went off the image. My sister-in-law was in the mood for a nice, sweet fairy tale for children.

If you have seen Pan’s Labyrinth, you know that while it could be considered a fairy tale, it is definitely not sweet and is most certainly not for children. So they were disappointed upon their first viewing experience. Now, after subsequent viewings, they would consider it a good film, but the first time was a let-down because of inaccurate expectations.

So here’s what we expected from Snow White and the Huntsman.

  • Stunning visuals.
  • A grittier and tougher interpretation of the fairy tale of Snow White.
  • Great action.
  • A scary villain.
  • A sympathetic look at the Huntsman
  • Maybe a touch of romance
  • Not too much from KStew.
  • To be entertained.

What We Did NOT Expect

  • Oscar-caliber writing or acting
  • An incredibly moving cinematic experience
  • A journey of self-discovery
  • Deep questions that made us question the nature of our existence
  • Blown minds
  • Deeply thoughtful and nuanced storytelling that explains everything
  • Lord of the Rings

What We Got

Stunning Visuals

CHECK. Seriously, this movie is gorgeous. Although if it bothers you that everyone except KStew is perpetually covered in filth, then prepare to be bothered. As we came out, G asked, “How is it possible that this movie was so pretty while everyone was so dirty?” And I don’t know. But it was.

Visual Effects and Art Direction are the two categories where I think this film could win an Oscar.

The only (extremely minor) visual complaint I have is that the CGI department could make extremely “realistic” looking fairies and trolls, but they couldn’t do a rabbit. The bunnies looked like they were animatronics at Disney World. What’s up with that?

A Grittier and Tougher Interpretation of the Fairy Tale of Snow White

CHECK. It definitely delivered on the grit (see above, re: dirt). And Snow White wields a sword (badly) and armor (awkwardly). Much cooler are the  Huntsman (who is never given a name) and the Prince (William – although in this, he’s actually a Duke’s son, not a prince) as far as the grit and toughness are concerned. No character in this film is above getting their hands dirty, and no character is completely one dimensional.

As far as the expanded backstory goes, the tale of how the Evil Queen (Ravenna) came to be Snow White’s stepmother and assume the throne is unique and interesting. There are some questions left unanswered (for example, the queen muses at one point that she should have killed Snow White as a child, but then never explains why she didn’t). If I wanted to poke holes in the plot, I could.

But I didn’t really care. The main points of the story were all there, some of the details were filled in, and if I used my imagination, I could fill in the rest.

Great Action

CHECK. The Huntsman and William both have some great fighting scenes. And while The Hemsworth — I mean Huntsman — is pretty awesome with his axe, I have always been a bit of a sucker for some great bow-and-arrow action, whether it’s Legolas in Lord of the Rings or Hawkeye in The Avengers or, in this case, William in Snow White and the Huntsman.

The downside of the action are the brief moments when Snow White has to fight, because she is supposed to have no idea what she’s doing, and therefore looks like she has no idea what she’s doing. So basically it serves the plot that her fighting is awkward, but not the part of me that wants all action scenes to be EPIC.

Also, now would be the time to point out that Kristin Stewart looks really weird attempting to ride a horse. I found it amusing that you could tell when her double was being used in long shots, because she wasn’t bouncing around like crazy on the horse.

A Scary Villain

CHECK. But not who you would expect. While Charlize Theron was definitely scary, she was also kind of caricatured, what with all the screaming she did (SPOILER: She screams a lot). But the villain that was über-creepy was Sam Spruell as her brother, Finn. Man. If I think too hard about him, I may have nightmares.

As a downside, the film attempted to give Ravenna and Finn some backstory, and it just didn’t work for me. They explained a tiny part of how they came to be their current creepy selves (and why Ravenna is so obsessed with being “fairest of them all”), but the limited explanation only made me ask a whole bunch of other questions that were not answered. I almost wish they had left the whole backstory a mystery.

A Sympathetic Look at the Huntsman

CHECK. Chris Hemsworth was roguishly endearing as a drunken town brawler mourning the loss of his wife. It was easy to understand why he made a deal with Ravenna, and then why he changed his mind. And I was definitely rooting for him as he slowly discovered a cause worth fighting for.

Maybe a Touch of Romance

It was there, but only in the tiniest doses. Actually, I would have liked there to be a bit more, and I think my emotions went against the intended trajectory. The title “Snow White and the Huntsman” leads me to believe I was supposed to be rooting for that pairing, but I’m a purist. I wanted her to be with William. So I wasn’t completely satisfied there. But only by the tiniest margin.

Not Too Much from KStew

Okay, I will say this for Kristen Stewart, and that is that this role is a vast improvement over Bella. I don’t know if it’s because of the writing or her acting, but I bought her as Snow White much more than I do as Bella Swan. Then again, most of her role in this movie was to look awed and innocent, or terrified. She did both pretty well. There’s one part where she has to give an impassioned speech, and I wasn’t sold, but G said he bought it. And I’ve already mentioned the awkward horse-riding and sword-wielding, but again, the character was supposed to have been locked in a tower alone for many years. It’s understandable that she wasn’t the best rider or fighter.

Entertainment

CHECK. I was never bored in this film. I got excited in some parts, I internally cheered in some parts, and I mentally fist-pumped several times. Of course, outwardly, I was calm and stoic.

Unlike the lady next to me, who was kind of FREAKING OUT for the entire movie, which also increased my entertainment value. She nearly fell out of her chair at one of the aforementioned bow-and-arrow sequences. It was pretty fun.

Other Stuff

The principal actors all delivered in their roles.

The only one I was slightly disappointed in that I haven’t mentioned yet was Bob Hoskins as the elderly blind prophetic dwarf. I understood that he was “seeing” and understanding the events with a sense of hope and wonder, but he kept delivering his lines like he was a little bit loopy. And considering I love Bob Hoskins (particularly his roles in Who Framed Roger Rabbit  and Hook), I think he could have done better. Maybe that was just a case of poor direction.

I loved the conflicted nature of The Huntsman and the devotion of William. I loved that the dwarfs were not cartoonish or silly. I loved the beautiful fantasy world they lived in, and I loved the deeper (but not too deep) look into the story of Snow White. Yes, there were some plot holes and some parts that just didn’t make much sense (where did that horse come from?), but it’s a fairy tale and I was okay with not everything being perfectly explained.

And as for the stuff we didn’t expect? It wasn’t there. But we didn’t expect it to be, so we weren’t disappointed that it wasn’t in there.

Overall, we both highly enjoyed this film for what it was: A beautiful, exciting, and entertaining new approach to a familiar tale.

Grade: B+

As a bonus, here’s some of the trailers that played in front of the movie. I’m only linking the ones for movies I actually want to see. (And no, sadly, they didn’t show the Breaking Dawn Part 2 trailer, teaser or otherwise. Sad.)

The Bourne Legacy. Okay, I think I’m just wired differently from the rest of humanity, because while I liked the other Bourne movies (and loved the first one), I was never all gaga over Matt Damon as an action hero. I know, I know, something is wrong with me.

Matt Damon as an actor, yes. I like him a lot. And he did a great job in the Bourne films. But he just never screamed ACTION SUPERSTAR to me, and therefore, I wasn’t at all upset when I heard they were continuing the Bourne franchise without him.

Of course, at the time, I didn’t really think of Jeremy Renner as an action superstar either (I had only seen him in The Town and that one episode of Angel), so when I saw his casting, I was like, “Oh, okay.”

But then I saw Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. And then I saw The Avengers. And now I am all, “YES, Jeremy Renner, I will watch you punch faces and shoot things (preferably arrows) all the live-long day.” So I am pretty pumped about this one.

Les Misérables. I have been waiting for them to adapt this musical into a movie for…hm, ever. I’ve loved the music since I was a little girl listening to the highlights soundtrack. I’ve seen the show live four or five times. And I cry every time I see this trailer, so I predict I will be crying for the majority of the movie. It looks stunning. I absolutely can’t wait.

Step Up Revolution. I haven’t seen any of the other Step Up movies, but I’m a So You Think You Can Dance addict, and Kathryn McCormick is my all-time favorite female alumnus. I’m not expecting this to be a “good movie,” but I’m expecting some awesome dancing. And seriously, does anyone really go to see a Step Up movie expecting to see groundbreaking cinema?

Brave. I’ll admit, I’m actually not blown away by this trailer. But before you tar and feather me, let me just say I haven’t been blown away by any Pixar trailer, ever (okay, maybe the Wall-E trailer is pretty awesome). I think trailer-making is the weak link in the Pixar arsenal. But the movies themselves are always amazingly good, and I’ve heard Brave is no exception.

Throwback Thursday (June 21): A Time to Kill

Welcome to Throwback Thursday, a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books!

It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.

You don’t have to be a book blogger to participate! You can put up a Throwback Thursday post on your non-bookish blog; or if you don’t have a blog at all, just use the comments to tell us about a book you remember fondly.

Here’s how it works:
1. Pick any book released more than 5 years ago. Adult, YA, Children’s; doesn’t matter. Any great book will do.
2. Write up a short summary of the book (include the title, author, and cover art) and an explanation of why you love it. Make sure to link back to The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books in your post.
3. Link up your post at The Housework Can Wait or Never Too Fond of Books.
4. Visit as many blogs as you can, reminisce about books you loved, and discover some “new” books for your TBR list!

Feel free to grab the Throwback Thursday button code from the sidebar to use in your posts.

Thanks for participating, and we look forward to seeing which books you choose to remember!

My Throwback this week is…

A Time to Kill by John Grisham.

As you may have figured out by now, my reading habits did not follow the normal pattern. I started with early readers and progressed to beginner chapter books, but then I skipped over the entire YA category and went straight to adult fiction. I read pretty much exclusively adult fiction from the time I was 10 until I was about to graduate college. And it was only then, when I was technically “too old” for YA, that I discovered it.

Therefore, most of the books I remember from my younger years are adult books. And one of the authors I absolutely adored while I was in high school was John Grisham.

As you’re probably aware, Grisham writes primarily legal thrillers, a genre I’ve always been strangely drawn to. I love the logic, the detail, and the methodology.

A Time to Kill is one of the least action-driven, but most poignant of Grisham’s novels (it was also Grisham’s debut novel). It follows Jake Brigance, a young lawyer in small town Mississippi. Jake takes on the case of Carl Lee Hailey, an African-American man who murdered the two KKK members that raped, beat, and attempted to murder his 10-year-old daughter.

The town splits as the black community advocates for the release of Carl Lee, and the KKK and white supremacists argue for his execution. And as a young white man, Jake finds himself with few allies, and pitted against the most powerful lawyer in the state, battling overwhelming odds as he fights for Carl Lee both in and out of the courtroom.

This book is incredibly moving. The brutal attack on 10-year-old Tonya at the beginning of the book will chill you to the bone. And the rest of the book doesn’t shy away from difficult questions. How is a father supposed to react when his daughter’s attackers look like they will go free? When is revenge justified? How do our own perceptions of race sway our opinions of right and wrong? Nothing in this book is simple or easy, and Jake and Carl Lee both run the gamut of emotions and morality.

I’d recommend this book even if you don’t think legal thrillers are your thing. The characters it introduces and the questions it raises are worth the read.

(This book was also adapted into a film, which, in my opinion, is the best of the Grisham film adaptations.)

This is a blog hop! Link up your Throwback Thursday post below!

Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

I feel like I’ve been hearing about The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare nonstop since I started blogging. It comes up in every meme, every Top Ten list, every discussion post when people are discussing YA books or characters. And I’d never read it, because apparently I have been living in a hole all this time.

So finally, I decided to make some time for Book 1 in this series, City of Bones. I may not have time for the entire Mortal Instruments series (or the prequel series, The Infernal Devices) right now, but I could at least read the first book. I could meet the characters and become familiar with the world and the mythology. And maybe then I’d understand what all the hype is about.

The Plot

City of Bones follows Clary Fray, only child of single mom Jocelyn Fray. Clary and her best friend Simon go to a club in New York City one night, and all is well, until Clary witnesses a murder. But not just any murder. First, the victim grew claws and attacked viciously. Second, the victim disappeared before her eyes. Third, no one could see the three murderers but Clary.

Thus, Clary discovers the world of the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons and monsters. No human is supposed to be able to see them, which makes what Clary witnessed even more peculiar. And while Clary vows to steer clear of the Shadowhunters, they are forced to join forces when Clary’s mother disappears and Clary is attacked by a demon.

Soon, Clary has joined forces with Jace, Isabelle and Alec; three teenage Shadowhunters determined to solve the mystery of Jocelyn’s disappearance, while answering some questions of their own.

My Thoughts

I have this problem when it comes to highly hyped things. I tend to not like them. I get this vision in my head of MAGIC, and then when whatever it is fails to completely knock my socks off, I feel let down. It happens with movies, books, TV shows…you name it, I have been disappointed by the overhyping in it.

So I was a bit cautious heading into City of Bones. On the one hand, I like the premise a lot. Magic + city + all manner of beasties = GOOD.

On the other hand, everyone loves it, ergo I will hate it.

Hello, backwards logic. Fancy meeting you here.

Anyway.

I did not hate it. As a matter of fact, I rather liked it.

I enjoyed Clary. She was spunky and resourceful and loyal. She had her moments of head-scratching stupidity, but they were infrequent. Overall, she had great development, she was likable, and I could understand why I was supposed to be rooting for her.

Of course, as with many books that have a protagonist discovering all manner of interesting things about their own mysterious past, I found myself scratching my head sometimes and wondering, “How did she not figure this out already?” But the book actually explains why she’s remained in the dark for so long, and it makes sense. There was one non-magic related development involving Clary that I saw coming from miles away, that she was completely oblivious to. It was kind of frustrating. But only kind of.

As for the other characters, my favorite is Simon. I know, I know, it’s supposed to be Jace. Everyone’s favorite character is Jace. But mine is Simon. He’s hilarious, he’s smart, he’s incredibly loyal, and he keeps trying to do the right thing even when no one has tried to do the right thing by him. Simon, you rock. I know you’re the underdog and will probably get the short end of the stick in this series, but I’m rooting for you.

Alec, Isabelle and Jace are also well-developed characters. They each have their own distinct personalities, they each grow throughout the course of the book, and I came to feel like I knew, liked, and mostly understood each of them.

Although I have a little issue, and that is that if you name two of your characters Alec and Isabelle, I’m going to picture them like this, no matter how they’re described in the book, and regardless of the fact that they’re brother and sister:

So. That was an interesting little hurdle for me.

Then there’s the matter of the story and the mythology. I thought Cassandra Clare did a great job of weaving together basically every fairy tale/paranormal story we’ve ever heard. Vampires, werewolves, demons, angels, fairies, elves, witches, monsters – they all make an appearance here, but it doesn’t feel like you’re just being pummeled with bedtime stories. I loved the creativity in constructing the world, and how the fantasy world was integrated into our own.

And the story was great. A solid villain, a few mysteries to solve, some surprise discoveries, and a lot of action. I can see why so many people love this series so much, and I’m excited to see where it goes from here.

No, I’m not ready to add it to my list of “favorites” yet, but there’s still four books left in this series, plus two prequels. So who knows, maybe it’ll get there one day. Part of the problem is that unlike most readers, I wasn’t all that enamored with Jace, and he’s one of the cornerstone characters of the book. I understood why he was the way he was, and his snark was amusing, but he just kind of got on my nerves. Too guarded, too untrusting. Yes, he had good cause, but it didn’t make him a character I loved. At least not yet.

And I still have a lot of questions, which was definitely intentional on Cassandra Clare’s part. You’re not supposed to walk away from City of Bones with all the answers. It sets up a series, and it does it well. But as a result, I didn’t feel very satisfied when I finished this book. I prefer my “first” books — even when there are many sequels to come — to still leave me satisfied, with more answers than questions. And while I felt this book was highly enjoyable, I wasn’t satisfied.

I will definitely get to the rest of the books in the series — City of Ashes is next. It’s a great premise and a fascinating world with likable characters, and I thought City of Bones was a good start. And now I can officially (at least in part) understand what the hype is all about.

Content guide: Contains fantasy violence and tales of domestic violence, mild sexual situations

Why My Husband Would Be an Awesome YA Hero (a.k.a. Happy Anniversary to Us!)

Today is my 9th wedding anniversary. The hubs and I met in college, and got married when we were barely more than teenagers. We’ve been through re-locations, career changes, new pets, new kids, and just all sorts of the abundant craziness you’d imagine would take place when you’ve been married for nine years.

This was one of our engagement pictures. So young. So innocent.

But as I have a book blog, and a mostly YA book blog at that, I’m not going to get all sappy right now just because it’s my anniversary. I don’t run a sappy blog, people.

So instead, I’m going to take a different route.

You know the YA Crush Tourney going on right now? My Twitter is all abuzz with bloggers and readers nominating their favorite YA heroes and love interests to “compete” for prestige and virtual bragging rights, which they will never use because they are all fictional, but which are still fun.

Well, I got to thinking about it, and I thought to myself, “Dude, [because I call myself “Dude” in my head] my husband is totally YA Crush-worthy, if he was a fictional character. And still a teenager.”

Because seriously, my husband is nearly 30, and considering most YA heroines are in the 15-17 age bracket, that’s not going to work. Plus, he’s taken, ladies.

But when I met him, he was 18. We started dating when he was 19 (notice I’m not saying how old was, because I am older and I like to try to forget that little tidbit of information). And I think that if I was a fictional female protagonist, I would want my husband (whom I will henceforth refer to as “G”) to be the love of my life, the apple of my eye, the cream in my coffee. (Bonus points if you can name the movie that quote came from). So for the purposes of this post, let’s just assume I’m talking about the 19-year-old version of G.

Writers, feel free to be inspired in the writing of your male protagonists.

Why My Husband Would Make an Excellent YA Hero

1. He’s pretty darn cute. And as we all know, heroes must be easy on the eyes. Otherwise, the heroine’s heart can’t go all aflutter.

Okay, funny story. Once upon a time, I was chatting to G on the phone. He was using his Bluetooth earpiece, and happened to walk into a convenience store. And we paused our conversation so that he could pay for his purchases, and through the phone, I could hear the distinctive sounds of giggly teenage flirting.

Yes. The convenience store cashier was hitting on my husband. And he was being very polite and proper, but she wasn’t getting the hint.

Is she hitting on you?” I hissed into the phone. “Yes, sorry, he whispered back under his breath. Don’t be sorry, this is  hilarious,” I responded. And proceeded to eavesdrop on the rest of their really awkward conversation until G finished paying for whatever he was buying. Probably a hot dog and a Mountain Dew, because that’s what he buys at convenience stores.

Poor girl. She was coming on pretty strong too.

Waitresses have also been known to hit on him pretty regularly. When I’m sitting right there. It’s kind of baffling, yet strangely amusing. For me. G finds it embarrassing.

I wonder if it will happen while we’re out celebrating our anniversary.

2. He has martial arts training. You want your hero to have some sort of training for when you are attacked by the forces of darkness.

When he was 18 and 19, his skills were still pretty fresh. There was one time in college where a group of his friends thought he was joking when he said he could beat them all in a fight. And as we stood outside the music building, he told them, “Attack me.” And being college boys, they did.

I don’t remember how many of them there were. Three or four probably. I do remember that they ran at him, and in a matter of seconds, he had them in a heap on the ground. They all were panting and rather bewildered as he stood above them, barely out of breath. Granted, these were our friends and fellow music majors — hardly the forces of darkness — but it was still rather impressive.

Also, we have weapons in our bedroom. There’s some scary looking knife/sword things, and a set of tonfas. And once upon a time, he knew how to use them.

3. He is clear-headed in a crisis situation. This seems to be a staple with YA heroes. They always seem to know exactly what to do when the world is ending and the heroine is FREAKING OUT. Because not all heroines can be Katniss and Hermione. Some are like me and are completely useless in crisis situations.

On our first date, we went to a movie. When we came out of the theater, we discovered my car had been broken into. The window was gone and some valuables had been stolen. My gut reaction was to drive back to my dorm and crawl into bed and hope that when I woke up, somehow the robbery would magically be reversed. G was the one who called the police and filed the report, then drove home while I huddled in a miserable ball in the passenger side, because it was late October and I was freezing and the car had no window.

4. He has  a deep sense of honor. Which, let’s face it, is a must for a hero. They always seem to be made of stronger moral fiber than everyone else.

G won’t even let me smuggle a soda into the movie theater in my purse. We have to pay six bucks for the movie theater soda (which we share, because when a soda costs six bucks, you only buy one.)

5. He is easy to talk to. Now, I realize not all heroes are outgoing and personable, but lots of them are. Just look at Peeta!

G is like that. He’ll enter a roomful of strangers and just start chatting someone up. Many of our friends were made because G would just invite people over to our house, thus forcing me into contact with other humans. Otherwise, I’d never meet anyone or do anything, and I’d be miserable and lonely, but wouldn’t know what to do about it because I’m colossally introverted.

I knew G was different when we would talk for hours on the phone every night while we were “just friends.” I abhor phones. I will do everything in my power to avoid them. I won’t even call family members for things like birthdays unless G makes me. I hate phones THAT MUCH. But I would call and talk to G every night.

6. He is loyal and persistent. Sometimes the hero and heroine have to surmount some serious obstacles before they can be together (Again, look at Peeta). So you need the leading man to be committed to his cause, and his lady.

G asked me out every other week for months before I finally broke down and said yes. We were good friends, but I didn’t want to “spoil the relationship,” and it “wasn’t a good time for me.” But he persevered, and obviously that worked out well for both of us.

7. He’s witty and sarcastic. And let’s be honest, the best male protagonists are the sarcastic ones.

I don’t have a quote to give you as an example, because I don’t write down all of G’s memorable quotes the same way I do with my kids. Because who does that?

8. He understands technology and wiring and tools and stuff. Some of this knowledge and understanding will probably come in handy when we are faced with the apocalypse/alien invasion/demon realms and have to fight back/hide out/build a spaceship/seek refuge in the wilderness.

9. He learns ridiculously fast. Surely adaptability and quick assimilation of new knowledge is an asset when saving the world.

As I’ve mentioned before, G is a web developer. What I didn’t mention was that he is completely self-taught, using books from the library and Internet research. After some hard-core self-education that spanned about a year, he was able to land a fabulous and legit web developer job at a fantastic company. He tends to downplay how awesome that is, but I won’t. It’s awesome. And he continues to learn, all the time. For fun. I don’t get it.

10. We were very nearly insta-love. It wasn’t true insta-love, as we were friends first (hence the aforementioned persistent whittling away at my defenses), but once we started dating, things moved really fast. We went from dating to engaged in four months. G was 19. Looking back on it, it’s a wonder our parents didn’t all have heart attacks. But as soon as we got involved, we knew. This was it.

And now, here we are. Nine years of marriage later. We made two small humans. We changed careers several times. We moved to Tennessee, then to the East Coast, then back to Tennessee. And we love each other more each day.

Then

Now

Happy Anniversary, honey! I love you oodles, and hope I didn’t embarrass you too much.

Top Ten Tuesday (June 19) – Summer TBR List

Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the awesome people over at The Broke and the Bookish! I don’t know about you, but making these lists is one of the highlights of my blogging week.

Should I admit that? It makes me sound a little OCD/nerdy.

Then again, if you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you already know I’m nerdy. And you’ve probably guessed I’m a little OCD. So…I guess it doesn’t hurt anything to admit it.

So the topic for today is wonderful, because for once, I’m not going to struggle with my answers! If anything, I have too many answers this week. But summer is only so long, and my money is only so plentiful (or…not), so truthfully, it may be a stretch to even get to these.

I will do my best!

Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR List

(For the purposes of this list, I’m not including books I received for review. Which are plentiful, and will also get read. But these are the ones that are just for me.)

These are in no particular order. I will read them as they become available and the fancy strikes. Because sadly, I don’t own all of these.

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund.

Guys. It’s JANE AUSTEN. Set as a DYSTOPIAN. In SPACE. Are you KIDDING ME?

Across the Universe by Beth Revis.

First, this book has been sitting on my shelf for what feels like ages. Second, it sounds like a freakishly awesome sci-fi story IN SPACE. Third…wait, I don’t need a third. “Freakishly awesome sci-fi story IN SPACE” was enough.

Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.

Because it’s getting to be ridiculous that I haven’t read this yet.

The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore.

Okay, I’ll admit this series is not “great literature,” but I really want to know how it ends.

The Kill Order by James Dashner.

WHY WERE THEY IN THE MAZE? I also need to read the two Maze Runner sequels sometime between now and the release of this book. So maybe I’ll know by the time it comes out why they were in the maze. But I’ll want to read it anyway.

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab.

I’ve heard lots of great things about this book, plus it’s a new fairy tale, and fairy tales = GOOD.

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows.

 This is another one I’ve heard great things about. Plus, I have so much cover love for this book. I’d get it for the cover alone. I could keep it on my shelf and never read it and it would still make me happy.

But I will read it, because I have heard great things.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

Because eventually the world is going to realize I haven’t read this yet, and they’re going to revoke my blogger credentials.

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness.

I’ve got to admit, this book kind of terrifies me. I wanted to throw the first one across the room. But I need to know what happens. I need to know.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson.

Another fantasy that I’ve heard is awesome that I haven’t read. Time to remedy that situation.

And obviously, I have oodles of potentially awesome review books to get through as well. Hopefully I’ll be able to fit everything in. But if I don’t, I just have to keep reminding myself that I am no longer in school. If I don’t finish my summer reading during summer, I will not get a bad grade. (I don’t even think my fifth grade teacher will notice.) So I’m going to try not to sweat it if summer reading turns into fall reading.

What books are you planning on reading this summer?