Wednesday, September 17, 2014 00:58

Mel in Movieland #1. Into the storm.

MV5BMjMwODI2ODc3Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDQwNjkwMjE@._V1_SX214_AL_Here is it! The first movie review I've ever written. I was planning to talk about music too, but to be honest, I wasn't paying attention to that aspect.

Release Information.
Director: Steven Quale.
Writer: John Swetnam.

Storyline (IMDB):
In the span of a single day, the town of Silverton is ravaged by an unprecedented onslaught of tornadoes. The entire town is at the mercy of the erratic and deadly cyclones, even as storm trackers predict the worst is yet to come. Most people seek shelter, while others run towards the vortex, testing how far a storm chaser will go for that once-in-a-lifetime shot.

3 lemondeBased on the fact that I don’t feel the need to buy it on DVD or to watch it again any time soon. It’s a good movie and I recommend watching it if you enjoy disaster movies, but it’s not the most memorable movie I’ve ever seen.

The local high school in Silverton, Oklahoma, is preparing for graduation. High school’s vice-principal Gary has two sons and they are tasked with recording messages for a time capsule. When the ceremonies start the weather suddenly swifts. The tornado sirens sounds and everyone is instructed to stay low inside the school building. Gary finds out that his eldest son (Donnie) isn’t there. He sets out to rescue the boy.


At the same time we get to see the story of Pete, a storm chaser, who is set on filming the eye of a tornado with his heavily armoured vehicle Titus. A new funnel they’ve been following leads them to the high school. All hell is going to break loose when, in the skies above Silverton, a convergence of tornadoes happens, resulting in an EF5 tornado. This tornado will destroy everything that comes in it’s path.


I like how everything wraps up, even when it’s a little cliched.  I felt the story could use such an ending after all the disaster. I wished they provided some information how all these tornadoes were formed, but I guess that's not important for the overall story.

Very intense movie, but I don’t think it’s as impressive if you don’t watch it in the cinema. I like how there are some lighter parts in the movie to keep it from being too overwhelming. Richard is always a pleasant actor to look at (and listen to) and he did a great job in portraying a desperate father. I was impressed by the special effects and how realistic everything looked. Some of the shots were amazing and terrifying! I was frustrated by some of the other characters and they don't get much background or depth, but overall a solid movie if you like disaster stories. Just don't go in expecting great dialogues or a strong story; this is a movie you need to see for the crazy tornadoes.


Some natural disaster books.

-Susan Beth Pfeffer – Life as we knew it. “How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun?”
-Mike Mullin – Ashfall. “Then the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, plunging his hometown into a nightmare of darkness, ash, and violence.”
-Emmy Laybourne –Momentum 14. “While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.”
-Joshua David Bellin – Survival Colony nine. “Querry is a member of Survival Colony Nine, one of the small, roving groups of people who outlived the wars and environmental catastrophes that destroyed the old world.”
-Lara Zielin – The waiting sky. “One summer chasing tornadoes could finally change Jane's life for the better”
-Kat Falls – Dark life. “Set in an apocalyptic future where rising oceans have swallowed up entire regions and people live packed like sardines on the dry land left”
-Kristi Cook - Magnolia. "But when a violent storm ravages Magnolia Branch, it unearths Jemma’s and Ryder’s true feelings for each other as the two discover that the line between love and hate may be thin enough to risk crossing over"

Have you seen the movie or read any of these books? How do you feel about natural disaster movies?

Monday, September 15, 2014 09:52

7 Deadly sins tag.

the_seven_disney_sins_by_chill07-d36bb4lArtwork by Christopher.

I was tagged by Aylee - Recovering Harry Potter addict and Micheline - Lunar Rainbows to do this Deadly Sins Questionnaire Tag (created by BookishlyMalyza)

1. Greed - What is your most inexpensive book? What is your most expensive book?
1001004010441543If I don’t count free books, I would say 0.50 cents. I used to go to the second-hand bookstore all the time until it was shut down. I only buy new books now and my most expensive one has to be one of my school books. I would say Campbell – Biology with 84 euros. (I’m lucky enough that my parents paid for my books)

Other expensive ones; I think all the Dutch books I bought for 20 euros when I bought them in the store, before I knew TBD and switched to English YA.

2. Wrath - What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?
Lauren Oliver. I absolutely adored her Middle Grade books Liesl & Po and The spindles, but I hated Panic and the Delirium series. I’m very curious how I feel about her upcoming adult book.

3. Gluttony - What book have you devoured over and over with no shame?
I would say Markus Zusak – The book thief, J.K Rowling – Harry Potter and Juliet Marillier – Wildwood Dancing, Heart’s blood and the first three books from her Sevenwaters series. These are a couple of my favorite books in the world and I often reread them. I also reread quite some books this year, like Grave Mercy, Dark Triumph, Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, The girl of fire and thorns, The crown of Ember so I could finish all the conclusions. I hope to reread Tiger Lily soon.

Saturday, September 13, 2014 11:00

Review 287. Kat Zhang – Echoes of us.

17352960Title: Echoes of us.
Author: Kat Zhang.
Pages: 638.
Expected publication: September 16th 2014 by HarperCollins.
Sort: (Conclusion) Hybrid Chronicles #3.
Review #1. What’s left of me.
Review #2. Once we were.
Source: ARC from HarperCollins international.
To change the world, I may lose everything
All Eva ever wanted was the chance to be herself. But in the Americas, to be hybrid—to share your body with a second soul—is not tolerated past childhood. Now Eva and Addie, her sister soul, are constantly on the move, hiding from the officials who seek to capture them. But the tide is changing. A revolution is brewing, and people are starting to question the hybrids' mistreatment. Then Marion, an ambitious reporter, offers Eva and Addie a daring proposal: If they go undercover and film the wretched conditions of a hybrid institution, she will not only rescue them, she'll find a way to free Jackson, the boy Addie loves. It's risky, and Eva will have to leave Ryan and her friends behind, but if she succeeds, it could also tip the scales forever and lead to hybrid freedom. As Eva and Addie walk into danger, they cling to each other and the hope of a better future. But the price they might pay is higher than they ever could have imagined.


A good conclusion to a solid Dystopian series. It’s not the most memorable story ever, but if you want an interesting story that delivers constant quality, you might want to give this series a shot. There are no hard spoilers for any of the books.

Thursday, September 11, 2014 06:00

Review 286. Maria Snyder – Fire study.

6114921Title: Fire Study.
Author: Maria V. Snyder.
Pages: 441.
Published: January 16th 2009 by MIRA Books.
Sort: Study #3.
Part 1. Poison study.
Part 2. Magic study.

Warning: spoilers in the blurb if you haven't read the other books.
The apprenticeship is over
Now the real test has begun

When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder — able to capture and release souls—spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena's unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena's fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before. Honor sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies, enemies, lovers and would-be assassins, each of questionable loyalty. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself—and save the land she holds dear.

I’m glad that this book returned to the old charm from Poison Study. I was a bit underwhelmed by Magic study, but in the end, I found this one so much more enjoyable. There is more Valek time, Yelena has settled down and I liked the tension of the rise against Ixia.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014 06:00

Top 10 Tuesday 37. Underrated books.

Top Ten Underrated Authors or Books in X genre.

I don’t think it will surprise you that the genre I picked is ‘Fairytales and Fantasy.’ There are definitely a lot of YA books popular in this genre, like Throne of glass & Shadow and bone, but I also have a feeling some other gems are overlooked. So today I want to spotlight 5 fairytales and 5 fantasy books I feel are underrated.

Sunday, September 07, 2014 11:38

Mel in Movieland: introduction.

Mel in Movieland
I talked about this in my discussion post ‘Other content’ and I took the decision to go for it. It was very important to me to find a way to combine movies with books. I’ve been trying to work this out and here is a little sneak peek for some posts: Disney project –> Snow White in combination with book retellings and other movies, Into the storm (movie) with disaster books and I have several ideas that include animation movies like my favorite movies with non-Disney princesses.

I thought it might be fun to show you the rating scale I will be using. They are not spectacular, but I’m satisfied with the result. The ‘exit’ button is for the movies with a 1 out of 5 rating or even a ‘DNF’ because yes, that happens. The ‘movie premier’ button is for the special movies; my favorites. The ones I want to re-watch right away.

HORRIBLE2 lemonde3 lemonde4 lemonde5 lemonadeFAVORITE
(illustrations are free vectors I found on Google)

I have never written a movie review before, but I’m trying to think of an easy way and I've come up with these aspects: casting, music, special effects, story and ending. It’s definitely a completely different approach then writing a book review. It’s fun, but it will takes some time before I’ve found a way that works for me. I hope you will keep this in mind!

For now I’ve planned to do one/two Mel in Movieland posts every month. It takes more time to write these posts and I don’t want to overwhelm my blog with other content. We will see if this new feature is a success or a failure, but I’ve had a lot of fun coming up with post ideas so far.

Do you have any suggestions or things you would like to see?
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