Friday, October 10, 2014

Maze Runner Movie Review

I have known James Dashner for six years now.  He blurbed my first book "Alvor" and it has been a thrill to watch his career take off over the last several years.  In honor of his newest film based on his book "Maze Runner" I give you a special guest post.  Please welcome Spencer Blohm with his movie review.

It today's film industry, dystopian settings that pit a teenager against seemingly unconquerable odds are as commonplace as cozy New England towns and awkward 20 somethings in rom-coms. Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games trilogy (out of theaters, but still available on demand and streaming online) started a fire that still burns brightly, though no film since then has been able to generate as much buzz, or manage to be as interesting as Katniss and her struggles in the arena. Except The Maze Runner. James Dashner's New York Times bestseller movie adaption hit theaters this past September, and it’s tackled the familiar subject of survival in an impossible society with flair.

The Maze Runner follows the story of Thomas, a boy who awakens in an elevator shaft with absolutely no memories of his identity or life until that point. He finds himself in a community of boys, all of whom also have no memories, and soon discovers that they are all in a maze, and must team up together for a chance to escape.

Like every book to film adaptation, there are some differences that the plot undergoes in the transition from page to screen. Often times, events from the novel are omitted in order to create more fluid story that incorporates the full plot in the average hour and a half run time. The Maze Runner was no exception to this, with Thomas remembering events from his past much earlier on in the film than in the novel. This was clearly done for the purpose of saving time. When we're able to read the thoughts going through his mind and experience the journey of remembering with him, it’s interesting, but watching Dylan O'Brien and other characters ponder about on screen while bits and pieces of their past return to them, accompanied by attacks from the movie's baddies, called grievers, wouldn't be as entertaining. Some character dynamics were also changed in the film, with Thomas falling under the mentor of another boy, Alby, with whom he had a tense relationship in the novel. This change enabled Thomas to ask questions and learn things that expedited the progression of the plot, and also took away some of the original terror of The Glade.

Although fans oftentimes lash out at an author when a film adaptation doesn't turn out as they envisioned, the truth of the matter is that while author may be consulted by screenwriters and directors, as well as pay some visits to set and give interviews with cast members, the writer doesn't control the logistics of film making. They can, however, give their approval and James Dashner seems quite pleased with how first book of The Maze Runner series has translated to the screen. He did have a conference call at the beginning of the filming process with the producers, and made several visits to watch the movie be shot. Overall, he says he's happy with all the changes that were made as he feels they were pivotal to the plot, and he "agrees and supports everything about this film."

Fans and critics seem to agree as well. Since its US release on September 19th, The Maze Runner has raked in over $192 million worldwide, and received rave reviews. So far it's been praised for its strong acting, solid plot, and dark take on the dystopian universe.

Fans who are waiting with bated breath need not worry - the film rights to The Maze Runner trilogy have been obtained by Fox. and the sequel, The Scorch Trials hits theaters September, 2015.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Follow me and win some cool stuff

Alright, I know you probably haven't read my newest book and you're kind of curious...

Here's your chance to win a free book.  I need some more followers on my blog.  So get out there and drag some random people over here.  For every 30 new followers I get I will be giving away a copy of "Dancing with Black".  So, you might want to leave a note telling me you are a new follower or that you brought all your BFFs over here to follow me to enter for the prize.

I will be doing some book reviews in the very near future.  I have been reading some incredible books and I would love to share them with you.

If this is your first time here, welcome.  Sit back and enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

This is happening!

I feel like I have to jump into the book thing with both feet!  So, I updated my website, finally made an author page on facebook, and look.... I even posted.  Okay.  I need to get back to the old swing of things.  For the record, and just in case you were wondering, here's what I have been up to:

*I am smack dab in the middle of earning my Master's degree.  Which means I have been knee-deep in homework.  It will be worth it when it's done.

*I have a brand new book that is out on ebook and nearly out in paperback.  This book has been such a shift from the middle grade series that I hope you will be willing to take the ride with me.

*Yes, I am still finishing up that third book I keep promising.  It is the final installment of the Alvor series.

*I have written several other books that you don't know about yet.  Even though it might seem like I've been dormant for a while, I have been busy!

*I teach school full time.  I just got a job as a high school Biology and Ecology teacher and I am really excited about it.  Last year I taught Life Science and Physical Science.  I promised myself that this is my last summer teaching summer school- but I have another month of Physical Science class to teach this summer.

*I have five kids... I just thought I'd throw that one in there.  My oldest is going to be a senior and my youngest is going to be a 2nd grader.  I love being a mom.  And my rockin husband makes all of the above possible.

So, here is the big cover reveal!  I waited until now to show the world, but I am pretty excited about this book.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Dragons of Lore Book Blast

I'm back!  I couldn't stay away from writing forever.  So, new news... I have a book coming out this summer.  You're going to love it.  It's my dark chocolate dancing book (dark chocolate because that's my favorite) called Dancing with Black.  But before all that, there was Alvor, then Wings of Light, and let's not forget the long awaited final installment that I will be wrapping up this summer.  I so totally will.  It's almost there, I am so close.

Come meet my friends and their awesome books.  I love dragons.  You must like them at least sometimes.  These authors are genius at word crafting.  Take a big bite out of the amazing selection.