Top Five Wednesday: Double Post

I missed the last T5W. (A sentence you have never heard me say before.) But it was one I didn’t miss on purpose, OKAY? So I’m combining them. Is your body ready? No? Too bad.


Discuss your preferred fancasts for some of your favorite characters. (Fancasts means actors you’d like to play your favorite characters or imagine your favorite characters as)

So…  This is a dilemma. Most of my favorite characters have already been cast into films and TV shows. Some of the castings I loved, and others I very much disagreed with. I’m not going to get into that right now because this post will never end, but JUST KNOW… I have opinions.

Red Queen by Veronica Aveyard

Mare Barrow – Lindsey Morgan (The 100) or Esmeraude Tobia (Shadowhunters)

Mare is described as being of Hispanic and Mediterranean descent, and I think both of these ladies fit the bill. Each of them play kick-ass characters on broadcast television, and I can easily see them filling Mare’s shoes. To be completely honest, I will be happy with the casting as long as they don’t cast a blonde, Caucasian actress to play her.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Tessa Gray – Jenna Louise Coleman (Victoria, Dr. Who)MV5BMTQ2NjAwMTI2N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODk3MjA3NjE@._V1_SY1000_SX1500_AL_

I already know that I’m going to get some backlash for this. The Clockwork Angel characters are so hard to cast because I really just want the perfect people to play them. When searching for fancasts of Tessa Gray, I noticed Sarah Bolger and Astrid Berges-Frisby were mentioned frequently as favorites. However, I don’t really like either one for the part. Jenna Coleman is fantastic in Victoria, and I think she could play the bookish Tessa fairly well. I also liked Alicia Vikander for this part, but I think I would be happy with anyone relatively unknown playing her. As long as they look the part.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder – Chloe Bennet (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) or Jessica Yu (Awkward)

I PROMISE THEY ARE BOTH ASIAN. Preferably they would get someone younger to play Cinder, but I don’t know about the unknowns. I’m not an agent, and this isn’t star search. (Do you SEE what I did there?)

Uglies by Scott Westerfield

Tally Youngblood – Willa Holland (Arrow)

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Finding an ugly actress in Hollywood is like trying to find a snowball on a beach. I’m not saying Willa Holland is ugly by any means, but I think she could really do Tally some justice. FYI: This film has been “in the works” since ‘nam, and it really doesn’t look like they’re ever going to do anything for it.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Don Tillman – Matthew Gray Gubler (Criminal Minds) or Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)

I imagined Don as Sheldon the entire time while reading this book. But I think Matthew Gray Gubler could do the character justice as well. It’s a toss up, really.


Discuss the books you’ve picked up because you’ve heard of them in the online book community or platform you use

History is all you left me by Adam Silvera

History is all you left me+ Adam Silvera

I can’t remember specifically which booktuber recommended this book, but I think it’s safe to assume that all of them did. I haven’t started it yet, but I just picked it up this week through Amazon Kindle for $1.99. (HINT HINT.)

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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This is another book that I recently picked up for $1.99, and don’t remember who I heard about it from. There is so much hype surrounding this book that I’m almost afraid to read it, but I’m sure it will live up to its reputation!

Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

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I stumbled upon this book through ReadbyZoe’s booktube channel. (I promise I came up with my own blog handle without realizing the resemblance.) I loved the cover, and I found the premise very interesting. Although Emma Watson (my QUEEN) is in talks to play Kelsea, I couldn’t see her as such while reading the book. I imagined Kelsea more curvy, like an America Ferrera type. Side note: how cool would it be to have a plus-sized leading actress in this movie?

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

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This book has been hammered into my brain by the likes of PolandBananasBOOKS, Abookutopia, Peruseproject, Jessethereader, Tashopolis, etc., etc. If you’ve been with me for a while, you’ll know that I just got around to reading this incredible series last year. Because I am the Queen of being late to the party.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

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Sasha Alsberg of Abookutopia recommended this book to her followers a while back, and proclaimed it her second favorite book. Sasha and I seem to generally have the same taste in books, so how could I say no? And I wasn’t disappointed.

The Shoes Come First by Janet Leigh

Title: The Shoes Come First25026404
Author: Janet Leigh
Pages: 286
Year: 2015
Publisher: Goodreads
Rating: 2/5

Goodreads Synopsis: In Sunnyside, Texas, Jennifer Cloud is an assistant purchasing manager for an upscale shoe store. But after her boss is arrested, she’s forced to find work elsewhere and ends up in her brother’s chiropractic office, where she discovers a hidden passion for helping others.

However, when she receives an unexpected birthday gift from her aunt that transports her back in time to 1568 Scotland, she meets a dashing Scottish outlaw who introduces her to a world of time-traveling keys. But on a return trip to the past, Jennifer’s key is stolen by a villainous band of time travelers who will stop at nothing to collect all of the keys for themselves. When Jennifer attempts to retrieve the key and sees her cousin kidnapped, she enlists a dysfunctional cast of characters—including a few interested suitors—to help her find the key and rescue her cousin.

Oh man… Where do I begin? I picked this book based solely on the fact that it was free via Kindle, and I am so glad of that fact. I really hate to say that I hated this book, but it was pretty bad… I’ve read better Twilight fan fiction… (*Cough* Fifty Shades of Grey *Cough*)

Ditzy (and virtually helpless) Jennifer Cloud’s obsession with shoes outweighs most other pressing matters in her life, until she accidentally stumbles upon a time traveling outhouse that takes her back in time to the 16th century. There, she meets a Scottish hunk, for whom she abandons all morals. (Context: At the time, she’s a 16 year old virgin who sleeps with a stranger she just met.) After a big time jump to the future, Jenn is yet again whisked away to the past via outhouse. Only this time, her redneck cousin Gertie goes along for the ride. From there, a series of shenanigans transpire, as well as Jenn being fought over by at least 3 different men. All of whom, I should mention, are massive fuckboys that Jennifer shouldn’t be wasting her time on anyway.

Positives:

  • There were a few funny moments that I couldn’t help snorting at.
  • Jennifer Cloud is written as a kindhearted, passionate person, who can’t help but inspire those around her to be better.
  • Time travel

Negatives:

  • Jennifer Cloud is written as a woman with no self control. She sleeps with a man she has just met, who abandons her in a foreign land/foreign time. She is indecisive, ditzy, and helpless. She has to rely on others to save her, and frequently wishes for the men in her life to save her from predicaments instead of looking for a solution herself. She’s described as gorgeous, but doesn’t buy that all these men are interested in her. In summary: Jennifer Cloud is a Disney Princess.
  • All of Jennifer’s love interests are serial daters, and are well known for sleeping around. None are immune to Jenn’s charms.

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    Me

  • Many, many, MANY plot cliches.
  • Cheesy villains

If you want a LIGHT, romantic, cheesy read, this is the book for you. Personally, I found it a little hard to get through, but someone else may enjoy it immensely. This book received a *chokes on coffee* 3.71 rating on Goodreads.

Top Five Wednesday: Classes Based on Books/Characters

It’s back to school season, so let’s discuss some classes you’d like to take either based on books or based on characters’ skills. I ENCOURAGE YOU TO NOT USE HARRY POTTER, because that is too easy. You are supposed to make up your own classes. For example, you could use How to Dismantle a Dystopian Regime for The Hunger Games or Archery 101 with Katniss. 

I have completely failed at the last, idk, 8 Top Five Wednesdays? No, that wasn’t a question. It’s a fact. This one was so fun that I couldn’t pass it up! Apologies for the late post, United States of Books will resume next Friday!

Flying by the Seat of Your Pants 101

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Professors: Will Herondale (The Infernal Devices), Katniss Everdean (The Hunger Games), Tris Pryor (Divergent), Harry Potter (Harry Potter.. oops)

Description: If you’ve ever watched someone more capable than you do something and said “I can do that, hold my beer,” this class is for you. If you’ve ever wanted to save the world without any real plan whatsoever, this class is for you. If trouble tends to seek you out… you get the idea.

Requirements: A desire to “save the day,” general confusion, an “I’ll just wing it” attitude, sass, No. 2 Pencils.

 

How to Get Away With Murder

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Professors: Jill Charron (With Malice), Amy Dunne (Gone Girl), Lizzie Borden (See What I Have Done)

Description: Have you ever wanted to murder someone, but were afraid of the consequences? This class will teach you, essentially, how to get away with murder, from cleaning up crime scenes and having an alibi, to planting evidence. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, it matters what people think you have done.

Prerequisites: 1001 Ways to Die, Bleach Uses, Seasons 1-8 of Criminal Minds

 

Interplanetary Survival

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Professor: Mark Watney (The Martian)

Description: This class will teach you how to survive on a foreign planet for a ridiculous amount of time without dying or losing your sense of humor. #Hodon’tdoit

Requirements: A tolerance of disco music

Prerequisites: Astronaut Program @ NASA

 

How to Fail at Your Career and Alienate Your Friends and Family

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Professors: Andy Sachs (The Devil Wears Prada)

Description: Do you have a job that “a million girls would die for?” Do you want to succeed in your career, but complain the entire way? This class will teach you how to be as ungrateful for your career path as possible, while nurturing your inability to multi-task. Please note that all assignments are mandatory, even if they are not on the syllabus or discussed in class. Not cooperating will result in your immediate termination from the university and the sabotage of your future career. That’s all.

Requirements: A predisposition toward complaining and general disinterest in the lives of those around you.

 

Occupations for the Undead

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Professors: Matthew Clairmont (A Discovery of Witches), Edward Cullen (Twilight), Vampire Bill (Trueblood), Stefan Salvatore (The Vampire Diaries)

Description: Ever wondered what you should do with all your free time, now that you’re immortal? This class will set you on a blood-free career path to success. Topics covered: Bunnies for Dummies, Love Triangles 101, and The Ultimate Guide to Other Immortals.

Prerequisites: Your own death

 

The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

Title: The Devil Wears Prada 228580
Author: Lauren Weisberger
Pages: 432
Year: 2003
Publisher: Doubleday
Rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads Synopsis: When Andrea first sets foot in the plush Manhattan offices of Runway, she knows nothing. She’s never heard of the world’s most fashionable magazine, or its feared and fawned-over editor, Miranda Priestly. But she’s going to be Miranda’s assistant, a job millions of girls would die for. A year later, she knows altogether too much: That it’s a sacking offence to wear anything lower than a three-inch heel to work. But that there’s always a fresh pair of Manolos for you in the accessories cupboard. That Miranda believes Hermes scarves are disposable, and you must keep a life-time supply on hand at all times. That eight stone is fat. That you can charge cars, manicures, anything at all to the Runway account, but you must never, ever, leave your desk, or let Miranda’s coffee get cold. And that at 3 a.m. on a Sunday, when your boyfriend’s dumping you because you’re always at work, and your best friend’s just been arrested, if Miranda phones, you jump. Most of all, Andrea knows that Miranda is a monster who makes Cruella de Vil look like a fluffy bunny. But also that this is her big break, and it’s going to be worth it in the end. Isn’t it?

The Devil Wears Prada (2006) is one of those films they play on TV all the time, and one I almost always watch when it is on. It’s really a fantastically entertaining film, and Anne Hathaway’s, Meryl Steep’s, Stanley Tucci’s, and Emily Blunt’s performances are top notch. So when I found the book on Amazon Kindle for $1.99, I couldn’t pass it up. Miranda Priestly would not approve of my bargain shopping, but I don’t work for her, so YOLO. Settle in for my review, it’s not like you have anything better to do at the moment.

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I think most of you will know the story by now – Andrea Sachs, a recent college grad who neither knows nor cares anything about fashion, is thrown into a world where anything bigger than a size zero is frowned upon, carbs are the devil, and if you thought that top went with those shoes, you are seriously disturbed. Her boss, Miranda Priestly, head of Runway Magazine and dragon lady extraordinaire, is the most demanding and unreasonable person on the planet. The only reason Andrea puts up with it all, is because working for a year as Miranda’s assistant will open up many doors for her in the future. Only, she’s turning into a “clacker” herself, and her personal life is crashing down around her. After reading the book, I can only say that if you’ve seen the film and think you know the book, you are sadly mistaken. I’ll take “creative liberties” for 500, please.

In the film, we are introduced to our clear protagonist, Andrea “Andy” Sachs (Anne Hathaway) when she interviews for her first publishing job out of school. As her demanding job occupies more and more of her time, we become frustrated alongside her, as her friends and family refuse to see things from her point of view. We become enamored with the cold, Miranda Priestly, and the Runway way of life. When Andy’s job demands her soul, she gives it all up (in a professional way) and takes what she has learned to her next opportunity.

In the book, Andy ends up at a job interview for a magazine she doesn’t read, nor has ever heard of. She doesn’t do any research about the company before the interview, and doesn’t look to see who the key players are. “A million girls would die for this job” is a phrase repeated countless times throughout the novel, but Andy doesn’t appreciate what she has. She constantly complains about her vapid and fashion obsessed co-workers, but while that may be so, they have a much better work ethic than she does. Instead of being grateful for the experience and the contacts she is gaining, she chooses to complain about having to earn her dues.

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While I felt for Andy when Miranda would come up with yet another vague task for her to complete, I couldn’t help but be annoyed with the way she acted. After almost a year of working, she chooses to blow up at Miranda and is fired on the spot. I felt this to be extremely unprofessional, and I couldn’t help but wonder how Andy’s job prospects would pan out after this. (This is fiction, so obviously she is just fine.) Miranda Priestly, while difficult, is an extremely influential person in the magazine industry. Did she really not think about what the consequences might be for her outburst?

From the moment Andy is hired at Runway, she begins to put her friends and family second behind her career. Her best friend and roommate is an alcoholic. When she begins failing her classes, sleeping with random guys, and losing time, Andy doesn’t talk to her about it or offer to help. When her boyfriend starts becoming increasingly distant, Andy doesn’t make more of an effort to keep him in her life. Instead, she seriously considers cheating on him. When Miranda suggests that Andy “reminds her of herself”, Andy takes it as a compliment and uses her words as an opportunity for career advancement. Even when the worst happens, Andy throws away the opportunity for redemption to preserve her career. Because this is fiction, she ends up rebuilding all the bridges she burned, but I couldn’t help wanting to shake her screaming “IT’S JUST A JOB!!!!”

One thing I wish the book had touched on was the double standard in modern culture for women in leadership positions having to act the same way as their male counterparts. While Miranda was (and is viewed as being) difficult, cold, condescending, etc; it’s important to realize how much she has accomplished. Her background is briefly touched on in the novel, but it is explained that she came from nothing and clawed her way to the top. She wouldn’t have gotten to where she is, garnered the respect she has, or proven her invaluable worth to the magazine and fashion world if she didn’t have talent or determination. This, while men are able to occupy leadership positions without the assumption that they are shrill, cold, or overly ambitious.

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3.5, because while it was definitely worth the read, I prefer the film. Or maybe I just prefer Meryl Streep. (That woman could play a plastic bag blowing in the wind and still win an Oscar, IMO.)