Mook Review: Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures – Novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl



As a huge fan of young adult fantasy, I was disappointed to find such a well-talked about novel to be so boring.  “Beautiful Creatures” was really nothing to write home about.  I found it quite erratic, the characters underdeveloped, and the plot line muddled.  When I first read the synopsis, I really felt this concept had potential but it was a story perched up on a fence, teetering one way and then the other.  Basically, I felt Beautiful Creatures was doomed to fail in general.

One issue I really had with this novel was the various story lines that all were supposed to “come together” in the end.  The problem was, they didn’t.  The way each plot line written seemed very processed and artificial; from the Civil War flashbacks, to Casters and Seers, and secret libraries, there was nothing truly concrete about it.  Each character was lacking depth and was so cookie cutter and stereotyped I just couldn’t get into it.  The character of Ridley in particular was most disappointing; when she first shows up in her sexy outfit, blonde and pink hair, and sucking on a lollipop I couldn’t stop my eyes from rolling.  It took a lot for me to even finish Beautiful Creatures and I was totally dissatisfied.

When it comes to Young Adult series, skip this one.  There are so many better series out there to read (Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, even Divergent and the Matched trilogy) and Beautiful Creatures will just leave you disappointed and feeling like you’ve wasted your time.

“Beautiful Creatures” – Directed by Richard LaGravenese 



My expectations for the “Beautiful Creatures” film were somewhat in the middle.  I felt that there was a standout cast here and sometimes a good script is all you need to amplify a story.  Specifically, I was looking forward to seeing Viola Davis, Emmy Rossum, and Jeremy Irons and their portrayals of Amma, Ridley, and Macon, but I was well aware that the movie could be a total bust.

Frankly, the movie could have been a lot worse.  I’ll start by saying Emmy Rossum totally put Ridley in a new light, rather than just the sexy Siren who is so stereotypical and far fetched in the book, she was attractive and sultry in a much more realistic way in the film.  I was shocked to find myself smitten with Alden Ehrenreich as Ethan Wate; he was incredibly charming and adorable – everything the character in the novel was lacking.  However, I couldn’t say the same about Alice Englert as Lena.  She was just so…. blah, for a character that was supposed to be so powerful.

Truthfully, there wasn’t much that could have been done to make the movie amazing given the story line, but I found they did a good job.  Taking away all the little sub-plots that seemed pointless (the “Sixteen Moons” son, Ethan’s Dad, etc) really helped focus on what was important with the story.  But even with all that the story was just ok.  In light of the recent franchise movie surge, I doubt “Beautiful Creatures” will really take off.  There is too much competition out there, and this story is just too contrived and artificial.

Mook Rating  ★

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Mook Review: Life of Pi

Life of Pi – Novel by Yann Martel



My first experience with praised author Yann Martel was not through reading Life of Pi but his third novel Beatrice and Virgil, a lesser known but still wildly interesting story about a novelist named Henry and a strange taxidermist fan of his.  While I wont go much into this story, I need to touch upon the captivating writing style Martel has mastered; the way he writes forces you to feel that the narrator is speaking directly to you in a way that I have not quite experienced in other reads.  This same connection is established throughout Life of Pi and is, in my opinion, the reason why Martel’s stories are ones you carry with you even after reading is done.

Life of Pi is a spiritual book and sets out to tell a miraculous story.  Pi Patel is an interesting person; as a young boy he is captivated by religion and engrosses himself deeply in not just the Hindu religion, but Christianity and Islam as well.  Pi’s family owns a zoo in Pondicherry, India, but shortly through the book his parents decide to leave Pondicherry to open a zoo in Canada.  They set out on a ship with some of the animals and head west – however, the family is shortly thrown off course when a storm rolls through the ocean, destroying the ship, and leaving Pi stranded on a life boat with a zebra, hyena, orangutang, and a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

Pi is such an interesting, and uplifting, character.  He is incredibly human and therefore we can relate to everything he experiences.  When he is first stranded he seems hopeful, then shortly becomes incredibly depressed.  It is only when himself and Richard Parker establish a relationship that Pi realizes he is not alone and, without Richard Parker, he would have died.

The twist at the end of the novel was definitely unexpected, but it forces you to love Pi for his incredible imagination and need to create a much better story than what had really happened.  I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, however I did find it a struggle to get through and wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to everyone. Life of Pi is long and there is hardly any dialogue, so some readers may find that to be missing.

“Life of Pi” – Directed by Ang Lee



The first thing I must say about this film before I go into the content is the wildly stunning use of CGI.  The visual effects were stunning and unbelievably realistic.  When “Life Of Pi” was nominated in the special effects category at the Oscars I was thrilled and I would hope this movie will take a win.  Richard Parker, as well as all of the other animals and settings, looked lifelike and I didn’t for a second believe it was not a real tiger.  Visually, this film was breathtaking.

In terms of mooks, this movie really did not go wrong.  Yann Martel’s novel left room for a great adaptation, however it could have been miscommunicated since so much of the novel’s content comes from Pi’s thoughts.  I felt that Suraj Sharma, the actor who played Pi, did an incredible job of acting considering the lack of dialogue and interaction with a completely animated acting partner.

There isn’t much that I disliked about this film at all.  I thought it was fantastic and uplifting, just like the book.  I strongly recommend this movie to anyone who is looking for a film about a adventure and I hope that we will see “Life of Pi” as a winner this awards season.

Mook Rating  ★★

The Nominees Are In! Mooks Take Over the 85th Academy Awards



The nominations for the 85th Annual Academy Awards were released this morning and (to no one’s surprise) an astounding 11 book adaptations were nominated for an Oscar this year.  Particularly impressive in the Best Picture division, 5 out of 9 nominees were book adaptations including “Argo,” “Les Miserables,” “The Silver Linings Playbook,” “Life of Pi,” and “Lincoln” which were also all nominated in a variety of other categories.  Predictably the biggest winners out of this bunch will be “Lincoln” and “The Silver Linings Playbook” which is the only mook of the bunch to receive The Big Five (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay.)

The Academy Awards will debut live on ABC Sunday, February 24th at 7PM EST hosted by Seth MacFarlane and Emma Stone.  You can read the full list of nominees here.  Who do you predict will be the big winners?

Happy 1st Birthday to Mookology!



It is with all of the brightness in my heart that I am able to wish this blog a very Happy 1st Birthday!  Each day, I am so thankful for all of the support that has came from Mookology’s fans, and if it weren’t for each and every follower this blog would not be where it is today.  One year is a milestone for any small blog, and I am so ecstatic that my book adaptation reviews have come so far.

With 2013 fast approaching, it only feels right to announce my New Years resolution for Mookology – to post more!  The past few months have been lackluster and indeed I do apologize, but slow and steady wins the race and Mookology will be back in action full force come 2013.  To all of my followers, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and a very Happy New Year!

Mook Review: The Silver Linings Playbook

The Silver Linings Playbook – Novel by Matthew Quick

The Silver Linings Playbook, Matthew Quick, Books, Movies, Pat Peoples


Matthew Quick’s debut novel, The Silver Linings Playbook, is genuine, fantastic, and one of my favorite books I’ve read this year.  The story is about the mentally at-risk Pat Peoples and his return home to live with his parents after losing his home, his wife, and his life as he knew it.  This was one of those books I just couldn’t put down and recommended to (literally) everyone.  In my experience, I find it hard to find a light hearted story about a depressing topic that is as true to life as can be while still entertaining the reader.  The Silver Linings Playbook did this, which is why I enjoyed it so much.

Pat Peoples is the poster child of mentally at-risk adults – the ones who don’t fully recognize their disease.  Pat was troubled his whole life, which makes him relatable, as throughout this book he is trying to better himself and find his own silver lining.  His relationships with everyone throughout the novel are what truly move the story.  Tiffany, Dr. Patel, his Dad, his brother Jake, etc. all are pivotal forces in Pats life and help him grow and become who he needs to be.

The way in which his relationship with Tiffany played out was somewhat predictable and I wasn’t sure if I was fully satisfied with the ending.  I think it was clear that Pat developed deep and real feelings for Tiffany but I wanted him to come to that realization and let go of Nikki on his own, which he didn’t.  However, I don’t think this ruined the integrity of the book in any way; if anything it made it more realistic and without a silver lining.

“The Silver Linings Playbook”  Directed by David O. Russell



The one thing that I have truly learned throughout my experience with this blog is that once an author sells the rights to their work it no longer remains their story (unless, of course, the novelist is integrally involved in the writing of the screen play).  Although unfortunate, it seems that the brilliant minds that develop the characters and storylines we come to love on screen are sometimes thrown under the bus, and their artistic vision does not become the one that matters.  But, this is Hollywood.  Sometimes, you have to do what it takes to create a fantastic movie, one that viewers will love and understand.  And, lets face it, the average American wants to see their happy ending, the results they expect, and their own silver lining.  Unfortunately, I think Matthew Quick’s vision was not fully respected in this adaptation… However, David O. Russell created a fantastic movie, one that I truly loved and was able to accept regardless of it’s mis-telling of Quick’s storry.

Let me first state that the casting in this movie was spot-on.  It was perfect.  The actors embodied their characters so fluidly they almost seem like real people.  My hat goes off to Bradley Cooper who I truly felt was the break out here; up until this point, I had only seen him play the roles he had been stereotyped into but here he was vulnerable, heartfelt, and funny.  Another thing about this movie that was just spectacular… it was funny yet sad.  It was honest, it was real.  It is the kind of movie I will buy the moment it comes out on DVD/Blu Ray combo pack and fall asleep watching every night for at least 6 months.  It was so good.  I wanted to stay in the theater and watch it a second time – and I am not even sure why.

Like I mentioned above, this film was much different from the book it developed from but I just don’t care.  I don’t even want to mention it.  I guess the only thing that bothered me (and this usually does) is that they changed Pat’s last name from Peoples to Solitano.  I understand that Peoples is an unbelievable type of name, but at least replace it with something generic.  Solitano is a name that represents a specific nationality, which is something I just didn’t understand.  Change a book’s story all you want but whats the purpose in changing a name?

If you are looking for a movie to go see, see “The Silver Linings Playbook.”  I am not a romantic-comedy girl, I actually despise them, but this movie doesn’t even fall into one specific category.  It was awesome and I would hope that everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.

Mook Rating  ★★

The End is Near: Final Mooks of 2012

When I think back to one year ago, it is hard to believe the spark for Mookology was just beginning to ignite.  Nearly 2,500 followers later, Mookology’s one year anniversary is well on its way along with a number of incredible mooks I know you are all looking forward to.  Closing out the year are two of the most highly anticipated mooks of the decade: “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2,” which will blow up theaters across the nation on November 16th, followed by (and likely surpassed by) “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” on December 14th.  Both of these mooks are the heart of large fan bases who are, undoubtedly, eager to see these stories come to life.

Aside from these fantasy series adaptations which are bound to be record breaking releases, there are a few mooks I am very anxious to see.  The adaptation of David Mitchell’s “Cloud Atlas” debuts on October 26th, with a promising cast and lots of potential.  Toronto Film Festival favorite, “The Silver Lining’s Playbook” will be released in theaters on November 21st along with the adaptation for the award-winning “Life of Pi.”

Classic literature will also take the screen before the years end.  The 2012 adaptation for “Anna Karenina” will also make its way to the silver screen in November, but is likely to be ousted from the top spot by the Twilight franchise.  Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” adaptation is another mook that is sure to bring in viewers, starring actress of Twilight fame, Kristen Stewart.  Tom Hooper’s adaptation of “Les Miserables” will officially bring 2012 to its close with it’s Christmas debut.

Of course, 2013 will not shy away from adaptations as there are many eagerly anticipated mooks to be released.  Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the novels’ namesake, is set for a release date of May 10th after being pushed back from its December 2012 release.  “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” is also lined up for release in November 2013, a mook with a very large fan base, however tween fantasy romance “Beautiful Creatures” might give The Hunger Games a run for its money debuting in February of 2013.   L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz gets a fresh take with Sam Raimi’s “Oz: The Great and Powerful”, while Stephen King’s psycho-thriller remake “Carrie” gets a fresh face with Chloe Moretz as the disturbed lead role, both set to release in March.

The year to come will have no shortage of mooks, that much is clear, and announcements for new adaptations are being made rapidly.  Two very popular young adult series’, Veronica Roth’s “Divergent” and Cassandra Clare’s “The Mortal Instruments,” are both slated for adaptations and are being both cast and filmed as of the moment.  What mooks are you most looking forward to seeing?  Which books would you love to see made into mooks?  Leave your comments below and keep on reading!

Mook Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Novel by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky, Coming of Age, Charlie and Sam, Charlie and Patrick


The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming of age novel and a staple piece of contemporary literature from my generation.  Stephen Chbosky presents us the character of Charlie who is writing anonymous, journal-esque letters to an unknown person.  Through his letters, we learn a lot about the troubled 15-year-old as this novel takes us through his first year in High School.

Charlie, like most of us once were, is an awkward teenager trying to fit in and make friends, however Charlie has a very difficult past that makes his awkwardness much harder to overcome.  When he finds friendship in Patrick and Sam, things begin to change for him and he explores what it means to be a teenager.

I loved The Perks of Being a Wallflower.  The characters are so well developed through Charlie’s thoughts and the story is gripping in the most raw and youthful way.  It truly is a coming of age story and Charlie is such a memorable person.  By the end of the book, you want to reach through the pages, give him a hug, and let him know that you will be there for him.

“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” Directed by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky, Movie, Summit Entertainment, Mook, Mookology


The adaptation for “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is unconventional and unique in the most awesome way possible; Stephen Chbosky, the novels author, is both the screenwriter and director.  This kind of thing rarely ever happens for mooks.  Needless to say, since Chbosky played a very important role in the making of this film I went into the viewing expecting flawlessness; I imagined this movie to be as close to a perfect adaptation as it can get with all aspects of the story perfectly weaved into film.

First, I need to commend Logan Lerman on his acting skills.  I was definitely skeptical of his performance at first considering the only two roles I’ve seen him in was Percy in “Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief” and an 8 year old version of the main character, Evan, in “The Butterfly Effect.”  Neither were spectacular performances BUT I found him to be so perfect as Charlie in the movie I couldn’t get over it.  Kudos to you, Mr. Lerman.

The casting for this film was definitely well done (although I couldn’t help but hear Emma Watson’s British accent no matter how hard I tried).  One thing I really loved in this film was the comedy.  Particular moments, like when Charlie is tripping on Acid and shoveling a circle of snow, are laugh-out-loud funny and perfectly fitting for the film.  The comedy doesn’t come across as well in the book, although there are some funny parts, and Ezra Miller’s performance as Patrick definitely stole the show in terms of one-liners.

Obviously there were things missing.  Candace’s role in the film was cut to almost nothing which I was disappointed about but it would have opened up an entirely new dynamic of Charlie’s world that the screen just doesn’t have time for.  The one criticism I had was the way in which Sam and Charlie’s “romantic” relationship developed at the end.  In the novel, it seems that Sam just wants to show Charlie what it means to be loved where as in the movie her affection towards him was very romanticized.  In general, I found this film profoundly moving and an awesome representation of the book.  When it comes to translating the story it really didn’t get much better than what Chbosky gave us, and rightly so.

Mook Rating  ★★1/2

The Versatile Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award

I have been nominated by not one but TWO fellow bloggers for the Versatile Blog Award.  A big thank you goes out to D. Bryant Simmons and Stephanie at The Anxiety of Authorship for honoring me with the Versatile Blogger Award.  I accept this award graciously :)  I have been lucky enough in the few months since Mookology has first launched to receive nominations for several blogger awards.  The recognition is much appreciated and I hope you all continue to read!

As always, there are a few rules I am obliged to follow.  First, thank & link back to the person who nominated you (see above). Next, I’m to share seven things about myself.  I had to do something similar when I received the Kreativ Blogger Award so here are seven totally different facts about me…

  1. I’m short.  Like 5’1″ kinda short.
  2. I paint my nails about two or three times a week. My hands feel naked without polish.
  3. I have two dogs and a beta fish.
  4. My favorite TV Show is True Blood (although season 5 isn’t too great)… some close runners up are Game of Thrones, Homeland, and Shameless.
  5. I have a HUGE crush on Hunter Parrish AKA Silas Botwin on Weeds.  Sooo dreamy.
  6. In the future I would love to learn more about professional photography.
  7. Rainbows make me smile :)

The third responsibility in accepting this award is to name 15 other bloggers deserving of this award.   While I intend to award a full 15 bloggers with this lovely recognition, for now I am going to post whoever comes to mind first and add the rest later.  I like reading blogs on all topics, but mostly ones about books, crafts, and music so definitely check out these blogs below:

Reflections of a Book Addict

Amanda Loves Movies

Glitter N Glue




The Unbearable Lightness of Being Me

Beat Rack


Mook Review: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen – Novel by Paul Torday

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen Book Cover Paul Torday


Salmon Fishing in the Yemen was a really interesting and well written novel that inspired belief of the impossible in the most realistic way.  While one can argue that it lacked build-up and was scattered and hard to understand at points, this definitely drew me in.  Since the novel was more difficult to get into, it pushed me even harder to read and appreciate the story.  Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is an epistolary (one of my favorite techniques, but often the most terribly done) which included emails, letters, interviews, news clippings, etc, all surrounding the introduction of salmon fishing into the Yemen.  The story circulates around two main characters, Alfred Jones and Harriet Chetwode-Talbot, along with several supporting characters such as the Sheik, Mary Jones, and Peter Maxwell, all of whose stories unfold amidst a very unusual project.

It is hard to give a proper review of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.  I could comment on the plot and climax, but it seems upon finishing the story that it wasn’t really the point.  In Torday’s novel we are introduced to very honest and likeable characters, although all are entirely different, and their journey throughout the story is the remarkable part.  I immediately fell in love with the Sheik and actually felt his faith and wisdom reaching me through the pages.  During scenes with the Sheik I almost felt like I was reading an inspirational, self-help guide rather than fiction.  Also, since the epistolary technique was so well done, it really made these characters and their situations come to life.

The love aspect of this novel was probably the most interesting in terms of character building,  the Salmon Yemen Project (as named in the novel) moves the story along, but in the end there isn’t much I can say.  What is meant to be the most climactic point in the novel (the Sheik’s first time fishing for salmon in the Yemen) is actually kind of uneventful and, to be frank, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is boringbut it is boring in the most remarkable way possible.  I understand that doesn’t make sense, but I really found myself attached to this story although it wasn’t traditionally of my interest.  I would suggest this novel to someone looking for a deep, stirring beach-type read that isn’t afraid of a story that lacks action.

“Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” – Directed by Lasse Hallström

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen Movie Ewan McGregor Emily Blunt


When I read that this movie was labeled a “romantic comedy” I was very taken aback, for I found this story to be neither very comedic nor romantic.  It was merely satirical and had a few elements of romance thrown in the mix but I would never consider its story to be a “romantic comedy.”  Obviously, this was a red flag.

As with almost every intellectually stimulating book out there, filmmakers got their hands on it and turned it into a backwashed version of the book.  Separately, the novel and the movie standalone as totally different works.  For me, the novel Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is something that I would read of my own volition.  The film “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” is not something that I would typically go see or even enjoy.

There are some serious changes in the adaptation, particularly the ending.  I felt that what happened in this film completely depleted the integrity of the story.  The Sheik lives, the salmon strive in the water, Alfred and Harriet end up together.  Indeed, the underlying concept of the story is that the impossible IS theoretically possible, but it just seemed a little cheesy to me.  The performances by Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Kristin Scott Thomas (yet another change – Maxwell was a woman. Go figure.), and Amr Waked were great and if it weren’t for their stellar performances the movie would have (most likely) been terrible.

All of this being said, it was a good movie.  Rather long and not very funny for a “romantic comedy” but it was good.  Nothing to write home about.  I did not enjoy the changes made to the story and the Hollywood happy ending which strayed from the book, but if I had not read it I would have probably liked “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” much more.

Mook Rating  ★★ 1/2

The Hunger Games: “Catching Fire” Updates, Casting, and More!

Readers, I need to sincerely apologize for being M.I.A. these past few weeks!  A lot has been going on, giving me barely any time to read (let alone blog!) but do not fret; your good friend Mookology has some awesome news for you regarding no other topic than our beloved “The Hunger Games” trilogy.

The Hunger Games DVD Blu Ray Jennifer Lawrence Josh Hutcherson Lionsgate Katniss Everdeen Peeta Mellark Suzanne Collins


First off, if you didn’t already know, the official DVD/Blu-Ray release of “The Hunger Games” is just over a week away, August 18th.  You can pick it up at any digital entertainment store or you can pre-order it off Amazon and have it safely delivered to your doorstep upon release day.

The dual disc pack includes both a Blu-Ray and Ultra Violet digital copy of the film, as well as a second disc including tons of behind the scenes goodies.  Some bonus features include a “Making Of” video, interviews with Suzanne Collins and Gary Ross, as well as the Propaganda films used by the Capitol and played throughout Panem.  Personally, I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy and relive the awesomeness of this movie.

The “Catching Fire” movie is set to begin filming at the end of this month and the rumor mill has been running its course deeply and quickly.  Replacing Gary Ross as the role of director will be Francis Lawrence, famed director of Will Smith’s zombie apocalypse flick “I Am Legend.”  Shooting for the sequel will take place in Atlanta, GA, and Wilmington, NC, where several casting agencies are looking for extras, as well as on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.  If you’re in these areas, definitely keep your eyes peeled over the next few months for your favorite Hunger Games stars!

Several well-known actors have been confirmed for the coveted roles in the sequel: Jena Malone as Johanna Mason,  Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee, Amanda Plummer as Wiress, Meta Golding as Enobaria, and Lynn Cohen as Mags.  However, there are still some major unconfirmed additions to the Catching Fire team, particularly the roles of Finnick Odair and Beetee.  Although it has not been officially announced by Lionsgate, Sam Clafin has been named on as the actor filling Finnick’s role as well as Tony Shalhoub for Beetee.  Patrick St. Esprit is also rumored to be the aggressive Peacekeeper of District 12, Romulus Thread.

As of the moment, “Catching Fire” is set to be released November 22, 2013 but is, of course, subject to change.  Be sure to grab a copy of “The Hunger Games” when it hits stores next week.  I sure will be!


8/8: It has officially been announced that Bruno Gunn will be playing the role of Brutus, a District 2 tribute.

8/9: Alan Ritchson has been given the role of District 1 tribute, Gloss.

8/10:  The District 11 tribute Chaff will be played be E. Roger Mitchell!

8/17:  Congratulations to Liam Hemsworth’s “The Last Song” Co-star Stephanie Leigh Schlund on landing the role of Cashmere, a District 1 tribute and brother of Gloss.