My 13 reasons why you should avoid Netflix's 13 Reasons Why

If you subscribe to Netflix, you should know about the book to film adaptation of Jay Asher's novel, Thirteen Reasons Why. I remember reading the book years ago on a recommendation, and fell in love with the story. It took me through so many emotions as I read Hannah's story. You can see my thoughts on the novel here, because this post isn't about the novel per se.

This post is about what bothered me about Netflix's attempt at capturing this story. So here goes, my 13 reasons why I shouldn't have watched "Thirteen Reasons Why" on Netflix.

1. The language. My goodness, the language. I understand that teenagers curse worse than sailors in many situations, but if you aren't bothered by the ridiculous use of the f bomb as both an adjective, verb, and general space filler-- there is a problem. I stopped counting in one episode its use because I reached 20 before the half way point. Twenty! I don't think they even bothered to come up with other words. Many people feel it was realistic, but I disagree. I work with teenagers. They don't all speak like that. I felt making every character use that word so often really boxed them in and portrayed a stereotype. Instead of kids that curse when they are angry or overwhelmed, they became kids that dropped f bombs just because they could. It was completely overused in my opinion.

2. Why did so much have to be added? What's wrong with just telling the book's story? Why must every film attempt try to make its own story in the process? WHY?! Some parts I felt worked well enough, others did not.

3. Some scenes were so graphic. Ok, this is me being a bit sensitive, but those rape scenes. I just couldn't deal. It was too real. I know it's a huge part of the story, but why couldn't they just hint at it or something? Was there really a need to show all of Bryce's thrusting and such? It made me want to throw up. I also don't like they switched up Hannah's suicide method and made it (yet another) super graphic scene. Wasn't really necessary. She could have just taken the pills like the author intended.

4. Some of the modern updating made for serious plot holes. There were times that I wanted to scream, "Just use your phone, idiot!" but the character in question didn't have one. But 10 seconds later, they are playing on the new iphone. That does not work for me. If we're being honest, the people that say it was "so real" better be taking notes that it is unlikely a teenager goes anywhere without his/her phone attached to their hand. I have to yell at mine to put his down all the time.

5. The Bakers. That is all. Okay, not really. Why does Hannah's mom have such a large presence? She seems to drop hints along the way that the reader never got. The parents' role makes sense because you can see their pain. It felt real. But them being in the picture so much complicates the plot too much. Again, another time filler for the sake of trying to create 13 episodes to match 13 tapes.

6. Okay, not really. That whole lawsuit fell flat. I didn't mind adding that in, actually, until the end. The 13th episode felt rushed. It was a quick, last minute attempt to tie in all the extras. Personally, I don't think it worked too well. It left more questions and wonderings than it answered.

7. Who the heck is Sheri? Still don't understand the name change.

8. I kind of missed Clay's book references, especially when he filled out the dollar valentine as if he were a famous book character.

9. Who is Jeff? (I actually liked him.) Maybe Mr. Asher should have thought about making a Jeff. It worked for the show, but again, not true to form here. When Jeff dies, that's pretty upsetting.

10. Going back to the idea of extra backstory, I don't remember the other characters being after Clay. I really didn't like Marcus' and Justin's "get him" attitude. Seemed a bit stupid. Were they seriously considering killing Clay? Really? I also don't recall Clay being so bent on justice against the others. I know it's been a while, but I feel like I would have remembered that. Going against the others the way he did doesn't really seem to fit with his character that is being portrayed (both in the book and film).

11. This might be due to a bad memory, but was Tony gay in the book? I liked the character they made for the show, but I just don't recall him having a huge presence in the book. Again, this felt like a creation fueled by the need to fill 60 minute episodes.

12. Jessica and Justin's created story made me want to vomit from annoyance.

13. It would have been pretty badass if Clay got a confession from Bryce on tape, but.... Am I really supposed to believe he takes that kind of beat down and then sits and has a drink with the attacker? And am I supposed to believe that Bryce gives Clay "mad respect" for surviving such a beat down? C'mon!

Overall, I think there were elements of the film I thought helped the story along. But I am a book purist. If there is going to be a film, it needs to stick to the book. As far as book to film adaptions go, this one does a much better job of sticking to the original but there were still things added that I felt took away from what could have been an amazing experience. Do yourself a favor, read the book.


Review: Morning Star (Pierce Brown)

Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.

Finally, the time has come.

But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied—and too glorious to surrender.




The final installment in the Red Rising series delivered a satisfying finish to a beloved story line.  

A good portion of Morning Star takes place in space (hello epic battle sequences), which didn't really appeal to me much. I'm not a fan of sci-fi books, and spaceships and/or aliens is a sure fire way to lose my interest. But I stayed with it! Even though I felt this book started to drag on a bit (it's 524 pages) and got way too technical in the battle scenes for my tastes. 

One thing I do love about this series is the characters. The third book, Morning Star, introduces more new characters. Yes, more characters that you will appreciate too. Of course, there is also more loss of previous characters that you will be sad over. The idea of honor even into death is powerful.
It's hard to capture how much growth these characters undergo throughout this series. It's spectacular. The Darrow and Cassius from Red Rising are not the same Darrow and Cassius you see in Morning Star.  But I think it's Sevro that steals the show in the end. He has really changed in spectacular ways. His crude nature is still there (and often brings humor to tense situations), but the little goblin develops a heart. I really enjoyed his story. 

Morning Star also takes a pretty strong political stance. There are lots of hints at themes dealing with honor and class systems. I should probably reread this one just to make note of those from beginning to end.   

Also, as to be expected, there are twists and turns galore. Sometimes it was hard to keep up! I usually can spot plot twists a good bit before they occur, but the jaw dropper of Morning Star caught be off guard. I didn't know what was happening until it was happening, and I swear it left me misty eyed. I don't think I've ever experienced a more satisfying ending for a character. Wow. Just wow.

I heard a rumor that there will be a spin off series, and I really hope that's true. As much as I liked the ending, I don't want it to be the end of these characters. 

 


Minute review: The Leaving (Tara Altebrando)


The Leaving
Six were taken. Eleven years later, five come back--with no idea of where they've been.

Eleven years ago, six kindergarteners went missing without a trace. After all that time, the people left behind moved on, or tried to.

Until today. Today five of those kids return. They're sixteen, and they are . . . fine. Scarlett comes home and finds a mom she barely recognizes, and doesn't really recognize the person she's supposed to be, either. But she thinks she remembers Lucas. Lucas remembers Scarlett, too, except they're entirely unable to recall where they've been or what happened to them. Neither of them remember the sixth victim, Max. He doesn't come back. Everyone wants answers. Most of all Max's sister Avery, who needs to find her brother--dead or alive--and isn't buying this whole memory-loss story.



This one starts off spookily enough. I was captivated by the idea that these kids returned with no memory of the previous 11 years. All kinds of theories are thrown out there and sorted through, but the one that remains was a bit surprising and disappointing. But, as disappointing as it was, it was also the ending that made the most sense. I think if anything else would have occurred, I would have rolled my eyes. 

The characters are just meh. Nothing earth shattering or really worth remembering long after the book is finished. I know that sounds harsh, but that's just how most books are. The Leaving isn't revolutionary, but it is a quick and mostly satisfying read. Overall, The Leaving wasn't as spenseful as I had hoped for, but it was a solid read.


Where I have been-- I have not disappeared!



Remember that show? If you do, I bet you just sang the theme song. :) You're welcome.

I'm not writing a witty post about awesome t.v. game shows from my childhood. I'm simply sending out a S.O.S. to let you all know I have not gone AWOL. I am simply in my final semester of graduate school, and it's turned out to be pretty demanding.

I'm here. I'm reading. My brain wants to write about all the awesome books I have found (and the ones that I really didn't care for), but it's a struggle to find time to eat most days. All those cliches are real, y'all. The struggle is real. I haven't forgotten about The Flashlight Reader; it will just be a bit sporadic until things wrap up in May. 

Minute Review: Beware That Girl (Teresa Toten)

Beware That Girl
The Haves. The Have-Not

Kate O’Brian appears to be a Have-Not. Her whole life has been a series of setbacks she’s had to snake her way out of—some more sinister than others. But she’s determined to change that. She’s book smart. She’s street-smart. Oh, and she’s also a masterful liar.

As the scholarship student at the Waverly School in NYC, Kate has her work cut out for her: her plan is to climb the social ladder and land a spot at Yale. She’s already found her “people” among the senior class “it” girls—specifically in the cosseted, mega-wealthy yet deeply damaged Olivia Sumner. As for Olivia, she considers Kate the best friend she’s always needed, the sister she never had.

When the handsome and whip-smart Mark Redkin joins the Waverly administration, he immediately charms his way into the faculty’s and students’ lives—becoming especially close to Olivia, a fact she’s intent on keeping to herself. It becomes increasingly obvious that Redkin poses a threat to Kate, too, in a way she can’t reveal—and can’t afford to ignore. How close can Kate and Olivia get to Mark without having to share their dark pasts?



In one word, Beware That Girl can be summed up as crazy. As you read, you can't decide if you like Kate or not. She's sneaky, two-faced, a bit selfish. But then she seems to change, right? Enter Olivia. Olivia is needy, damaged, and overly eager to have a friend. She spoils Kate, which again makes you not like Kate. Then you start to feel sorry for Olivia. Enter Mark. You know something is up with him pretty early on. Now you are pulling for both girls, hoping they don't get stuck in his web. But one of them does, and it has serious consequences for both girls. 

Now you're like OMGoodness, and you want them both to have a happy ending. Probably one more than the other because she finally seems to have made an emotional breakthrough. and then.... and then... the ending leaves you with bug eyes. Now you're left thinking wtfizzle just happened, and oh this poor child. She's screwed. For life. 

There you go. That's how nuts Beware That Girl is. The plot is pretty mellow and even paced. Nothing really psychological thriller about it until you reach the end. Then it jumps up into Single White Female/ Fatal Attraction territory. I'd say the twist in the end is what makes this one worth reading. You see the hints along the way, but just like with We Were Liars, you don't really understand how everything fits together until you're slapped in the face with it.   

Review: Morning Star (Red Rising #3) by Pierce Brown

Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.

Finally, the time has come.

But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied—and too glorious to surrender.




The final installment in the Red Rising series delivered a satisfying finish to a beloved story line.  

A good portion of Morning Star takes place in space (hello epic battle sequences), which didn't really appeal to me much. I'm not a fan of sci-fi books, and spaceships and/or aliens is a sure fire way to lose my interest. But I stayed with it! Even though I felt this book started to drag on a bit (it's 524 pages) and got way too technical in the battle scenes for my tastes. 

One thing I do love about this series is the characters. The third book, Morning Star, introduces more new characters. Yes, more characters that you will appreciate too. Of course, there is also more loss of previous characters that you will be sad over. The idea of honor even into death is powerful. It's hard to capture how much growth these characters undergo throughout this series. It's spectacular. The Darrow and Cassius from Red Rising are not the same Darrow and Cassius you see in Morning Star.  But I think it's Sevro that steals the show in the end. He has really changed in spectacular ways. His crude nature is still there (and often brings humor to tense situations), but the little goblin develops a heart. I really enjoyed his story. 

Morning Star also takes a pretty strong political stance. There are lots of hints at themes dealing with honor and class systems. I should probably reread this one just to make note of those from beginning to end.   

Also, as to be expected, there are twists and turns galore. Sometimes it was hard to keep up! I usually can spot plot twists a good bit before they occur, but the jaw dropper of Morning Star caught be off guard. I didn't know what was happening until it was happening, and I swear it left me misty eyed. I don't think I've ever experienced a more satisfying ending for a character. Wow. Just wow.

I heard a rumor that there will be a spin off series, and I really hope that's true. As much as I liked the ending, I don't want it to be the end of these characters. 

 

Review: Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown


Golden Son (Red Rising, #2)Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within.

A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown’s continuing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices.

It's a rare find to discover a sequel as good as-- if not better than-- its predecessor, but that's exactly what you get with Golden Son. 

Have I mentioned how much this series rocks?  I just cannot say enough about the writing. It's in a world of its own... kind of like our characters. Once again, the world building creates images that had me captivated. I really am not a fan of anything that takes place in space or has a hint of stereotypical sci-fi themes, but I ignored all that for this book. I didn't mind the spacecraft or the fact that these characters live on planets other than earth. It all worked beautifully. 

With Golden Son you get new characters and new heartache. And oh that heartache... I felt the loss as if it were my own. Every emotion bubbled up right along with Darrow's. But then one heck of a twist was delivered that left me reeling. I remember just sitting there thinking "oh snap." 

There is more nonstop action in the second installment of the Red Rising series that will keep you flipping through the  400+ pages at lightning speed. But be warned... along the way there is unbelievable heartache and so many twists and turns you will struggle to keep your head straight, right before the blow of a lifetime (and a wicked cliffhanger ending).  

Review: Red Rising (Pierce Brown)


Red Rising (Red Rising, #1)Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity's overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society's ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies... even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.


Get ready to have your world rocked.

I am afraid I probably waited too long to write this review because a lot of the finer details have started to blur together among the books. But I can still remember how AMAZING this book was. 

Seriously. 

As I read, I had to keep reminding myself that it's YA. It was so complex and the characters so intricately developed, that this series could easily slip into the adult field by simply changing the ages of the characters. In fact, I fully expect Red Rising to have serious cross over appeal.  

While I could talk a lot about the book, I think I will focus on setting and characters as this book sets the stage for the remainder of the series. I am not a fan of sci-fi novels, which really made me hesitant to try this book. I didn't care how amazing I was told it was, I just couldn't muster the will power to read a book set in space. (Probably a good time to mention that I'm not really into Star Wars either, so you see what I mean about sci-fi reluctance.) I put my stereotyped judgements to the side, and decided to get the books from the library. Then I read the whole series within a week. I could not pull myself away. So does the setting work? Yep! It works so well, actually. I was completely engrossed. It was like nothing I have read before. I admit I got a bit glassy eyed a few times with the space craft descriptions, but other than that I was mesmerized. It was like a galactic Hunger Games-- with a mythology twist. Score!

But the characters are what really stole the show (and my allegiance). Man. Eo, Darrow, Mustang, and so many others. I don't even know where to start. Every single character has so many layers. SO. Many. Layers. You're torn between loving them and hating them (mostly loyal adoration). Darrow is so many wonderful things, and yet he keeps making colossal mistakes. He's both vulnerable and super-human. I think my favorite characters in this book were Darrow (of course) and Sevro. Oh, Sevro. So odd and animal-like, yet completely devoted and loyal to a fault. 

I could write for hours about each character in great depth and what they bring to the table, but I won't. My meager words do nothing to tell what it's like to experience these characters (and it is an experience). I laughed. I cried. At times, I closed the book in complete disbelief only to find myself quickly opening it back up to keep reading. I hear people talk about feeling so connected to characters that they feel like they are real. I never really got that until now. I could visualize every moment of this book in my head as I read. I could see Sevro delivering his hysterical one liners and running around with his wolf cloak. Darrow's Adonis looks burned behind my eyes when I slept. I was completely engrossed, and when the series ended I truly hated to say goodbye. 

If you have not read Red Rising, put it next in your queue. You will not be disappointed.       

Picture Book Saturday: The Skunk by Mac Barnett


The Skunk


When a skunk first appears in the tuxedoed man's doorway, it's a strange but possibly harmless occurrence. But then the man finds the skunk following him, and the unlikely pair embark on an increasingly frantic chase through the city, from the streets to the opera house to the fairground. What does the skunk want? It's not clear—but soon the man has bought a new house in a new neighborhood to escape the little creature's attention, only to find himself missing something...




The Skunk appears on the 2016-2017 Sunshine State Reader list for young readers this year. To prepare for book clubs, I decided to give it a try. To be honest, I am not entirely sure what gave this book so much appeal when I have read some amazing (and very deep) picture books. At first glance, this is a cute story with comic-like illustrations. The story is fun to read and will make kids giggle. There wasn't much to really make you think or spark a discussion, except for maybe the ending when the man in the tuxedo realizes he misses the skunk.

Anna Dewdney passes away

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_iGTwxhtEOmc/S93qfyYufiI/AAAAAAAAGlM/eQRIPEeoMfw/s1600/llama-llama-red-pajama.jpg 

My heart aches and my eyes keep leaking... 



The Llama Llama books were a staple in my house for years as my youngest son learned to read. They made bedtime extra special as he would snuggle under the covers while I read. When a new book in the series came out, he would get so excited about going to the book store to get a copy.

And when it came time to clean the book shelf in his room to make way for larger, more grade appropriate book, the Llama Llama books never moved. They have a permanent spot on his shelf, even at 9.

So when I woke up this morning to hear that one of our favorite authors has passed away from brain cancer, I was devastated. Maybe it's because I am still grieving the loss of my beloved grandmother, but this news felt like the wound was ripping open again. I am deeply and profoundly affected by the loss of Ms. Dewdney. I am sad I never had the chance to meet her, as she was scheduled for a school visit when she was diagnosed. For obvious reasons, that visit was canceled. But I did manage to get a signed copy of one of her books from a friend, who did meet her years ago. That book is on my bookshelf, safe and protected.

Publishers Weekly has a beautiful obituary for Ms. Dewdney, but I warn you. It will make your eyes leak. Ms. Dewdney was an advocate for literacy and reading to kids, but she also fought to teach life lessons through her stories. Llama Llama learned that it's okay to miss his mama, go to school, and how to deal with bullies-- and we learned right along with him in this house. Her characters captured my son's feelings and facial expressions perfectly. Maybe that's why I loved the books so much and feel such a great loss. When I read the Llama Llama books, it was like reading my son's story.

But as the obituary states, Ms. Dewdney wants us to continue reading to children. If you have not read her books, I encourage you to. Also, check out the website, ran by the publisher, for the Llama Llama books for additional resources and activities. It is charming, and I think captures the whimsy of these books and the author's spirit perfectly.






Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Grab my Button

Flashlight Reader

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge
Alanna (The Flashlight Reader) has read 5 books toward her goal of 100 books.
hide

Rating System

Rating System

Blog Roll

Pageviews