Saturday, September 22, 2012

Musings on: Anna Karenina Miniseries and New Adaptation

I guess I've been living under a rock because I had no idea until today that there is an adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, starring Keira Knightly as Anna set for a limited US release on November 16, 2012. To say I loved the two episode miniseries, would be a gross understatement. I've also been listening to the audio version of the book narrated by David Horovitch for the past month or so. If you've never seen this miniseries, have Netflix, and enjoy period pieces, then what are you waiting for? Anna Karenina is a scandalous story of passion, pain, love, betrayal, and following your heart, even to your own demise.

Check out the trailer for the 2012 release. I'm having serious palpitations over the beautiful costumes and scenery.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Musings on: Peril on the Screen; The Moth Diaries

RIP VII Challenge Peril on the Screen

We had the rare rainy day moment here this morning and I took it as an opportunity to see what Netflix had to offer on the spooky, gothic, atmospheric front. A quick "gothic" search turned up The Moth Diaries. With only a 3 1/2 star overall review, I knew not to expect too much, but the premise sounded interesting enough, and it was just shy of an hour and a half, so I went ahead and gave it a try.

The Moth Diaries opens with Rebecca's first entry in her diary, promising to write a page every day so that "I'll be able to read it later and know exactly what happened to me when I was sixteen." Returning to school after Summer break, Rebecca is hopeful and happy. She has made a place for herself at Brangwyn's all-girls school, and now has a best friend, Lucie, who she loves and credits for helping her get over her father's suicide. Rebecca feels this new school year holds much promise for her and things do start out that way but her happiness is soon tested with the arrival of a new student, Ernessa, who is quiet, mysterious and distant to everyone but Lucie.

When Lucie becomes increasingly removed from her group of old friends in favor of Ernessa, Rebecca begins to find Ernessa suspicious. It doesn't help that she's studying the Gothic Vampire story, Carmilla in her lit class, either, as Rebecca thinks that Ernessa may be a vampire. When strange occurrences start happening, Rebecca's desire to prove that Ernessa is supernatural becomes obsessive. No one around her believes that it could be true and not even Lucie's strange, unexplainable illness makes anyone suspect Ernessa may be playing a part in it. On her own, Rebecca sets out to discover who or what Ernessa really is and stop her before she loses Lucie or worse, herself.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

R.I.P. VII Challenge

Autumn is my favorite time of the year, and it is fast approaching (even though we don't experience the season here in Hawaii *sad eyes*) With it comes the awesome RIP Challenge being hosted for the 7th year by Carl V of Stainless Steel Droppings. I've participated in this Challenge before, years ago, and have decided to give it another whirl this year.

Per Carl V:

The purpose of R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril VII is to enjoy books and movies/television that could be classified (by you) as:
Dark Fantasy.
Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above.
Since I have a habit of being too ambitious in my challenge selections, I've chosen to imbibe in Peril of the Second which requires that I read two books that fall into the RIP category of moodily themed books. I may dabble in Peril on the Screen, too!

As of now, I plan to read at least two of these selections:

The Wednesday's by Julie Bourbeau
The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand
The Aviary by Kathleen O'Dell
Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier (in audio)

Lots of Middle Grade Readers in there and that's because they tend to be my favorite type of spooky story. I also absolutely love Daphne du Maurier and have been listening to the audio of Jamaica Inn off and on for a month. It seems like as good a time as any to buckle down and finish it up.

Musings On: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

I embarked on Sharp Objects after much twitter and goodreads chatter about Gillian Flynn's latest release, Gone Girl. I'm kind of a stickler for starting at the beginning of an Author's catalog and even though her books are not part of a series, I went with her debut release of Sharp Objects to see what all of the Gillian Flynn fuss was about. What I soon realized was that maybe I'm not made for Flynn's brand of crazy. I like my crazy with a helping of hopeful and Sharp Objects was anything but.

The story begins with the backdrop of two murders: Ann Nash and Natalie Keene, from really small town Wind Gap, Mo. The girls were murdered in such similar manner and close timespan that the cops are sure they are working with a serial killer. Camille, Chicago Journalist and former Wind Gappian is given the assignment of following the stories of the two murdered girls to report back to her newspaper, the Daily Post. With newspaper sales declining, her editor, Curry, is looking for a good story to help catapult the Daily Post into a more mainstream market. Camille, troubled by ghosts of Wind Gap past, doesn't look forward to the assignment and goes along with it grudgingly.

Camille arrives back in Wind Gap on the heels of the second girl, Natalie Keene's murder and she finds the town in the same state she left it in. Elitist and pitiful. The rich and powerful rule the town - right down to the young popular girls who preside over the lesser with their pretty faces, biting words, and in-your-face attitudes that demand respect or else, while the poor, less influential suffer them in silence. Camille's family is of the upper crust of Wind Gap but that doesn't mean that she had it good growing up. Her mother, Adora, makes Joan Crawford's depiction in Mother Dearest seem like child's play. She's emotionally manipulative and detached as a mother. Her lack of love for Camille led to Camille's need to self harm and is much of the reason why Camille has a dictionaries wealth of words cut into her skin. Her little sister, Amma, who Camille barely knows, is beautiful and popular like Camille once was. She has a cutting tongue and is prone to tantrums. Rounding out Camille's dysfunctional family is her step father Alan, who is oblivious and of little consequence.

Camille is in fresh hell back in Wind Gap. Her old friends are the same catty, mean spirited girls, only now a decade older. The town is virtually unmoved aside from a new retail store or two. The biggest excitement the town has seen in forever are the murders of Ann and Natalie.

With the help of lead detective Richard Willis and interviews with townspeople and the victims families, Camille starts piecing together the story that she's not sure is worthy of critical attention. As her story progresses, Camille regresses. She gets sucked into the Wind Gap vortex. It is a place she doesn't want to be but doesn't know where she'd rather be either. Her relationship with her mother is strained and deteriorating, and then there is Amma. Beautiful Amma, whom Camille wants badly to understand and to save before Wind Gap and Adora damage her sister the way they did her.

To describe this book in one word? Miserable.