Because you can't judge a book by its cover

Monthly Archives: July 2010

Hard to believe a month has already passed, it is that great time again, when we discuss the books-to-movie challenge for the month.  This month was Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Okay, I have to admit I am unable to choose a favorite between the two versions of the film, the 1995 BBC mini-series or the 2005 feature film version. I love them both for different reasons. The mini-series I love for its close following of the book and wonderful portrayal of the absurdities of all the characters; the film version for its sexual tension between Elizabeth and Darcy and the beautiful cinematography of the entire film. That being said, I love to discuss and compare the two versions, so let’s get started.

So the first thing to pay attention to, when reading and watching is the character Mr. Darcy, which actor/film has the better Darcy?

I have to admit that I am torn between the two Darcys. When ever someone mentions Mr.Darcy I immediately think of Colin Firth.  The first time I saw the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice I was in high school, my mother had seen one section of the mini-series on television and immediately ordered the complete collection on VHS (yes, I realize this is dating me). I got the great idea that I would watch one section of the series each night for a week, at four am the morning of the first night I finished the last episode and was finally able to go to bed.  I have found out that I am almost physically incapable of just watching one section of the series, if it is on TV I have to get my copy out to finish it before I can go to sleep.  For this reason, Colin Firth and the BBC version will always hold a special place in my heart.  That being said, I find Colin Firth’s Darcymuchmore autocratic and lordly than I find Matthew Macfadyen’s Darcy.  Matthew’s Darcy, in my opinion portrays the book’s Darcy better.  Distant and standoffish because of shyness and an inability to be comfortable in society Matthew portrays the Darcy of the book better. All right readers, let me know who you vote for, Colin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen?!

The next question, which couple do you like better, Jane and Mr. Bingley or Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy?

When I first read the book I immediately loved Elizabeth and Darcy as a couple, their witty comments, their loving each other against their will and their eventual coming together I relished and relived time and again.  Now, having watched and read the story so many times, I am coming to appreciate Jane and Bingley’s relationship more and more. Their quiet admiration for each other, their silent suffering because of other people’s actions and their final joy is the less obvious great love story to be found in Pride and Prejudice.  Which couple do you like better?

Finally, and in my opinion the most important question, favorite scenes from each versions?

This one is a toughie for me, there are so many great scenes in both films, like when Darcy flexes his hand after assisting Elizabeth into the carriage in the film version, or when Darcy proposes to Elizabeth in the mini-series. But after careful deliberation (because obviously this very important question had to be answered) I decided on my favorite scene from each version.

In the mini-series version my favorite scene is when Elizabeth and Darcy run into each other at Pemberly, after Darcy has proposed and been rejected by Elizabeth and she has read the letter he wrote to her explaining his actions.  The extreme awkwardness and embarrassment of both is so pivotal to breaking down the walls they have built between the two of them and leading to their eventual reconciliation.

In the film version my favorite scene is when Elizabeth and Darcy are dancing together, the scene begins with the room full of people with Elizabeth and Darcy speaking in the middle of the dance floor.  As the conversation progresses, all of a sudden it is only the two of them in the room, dancing alone and focused on each other.  It feels as if the world has fallen away and there is only the two of them, an incredible visual reflection of their relationship, how it doesn’t matter what is going on around them (Lydia running away with Whickham and Lady Catherine De Bourgh’s disapproval) they only have eyes for each other. Do you have a favorite scene?

I could go on and on about what I love about both films and the secondary characters (the two Mr. Collins and Judi Dench as Lady Catherine De Bourgh) but I think I will leave it here. Let me know what you think and if there is something I absolutely should have mentioned and failed to comment on.

Can love triumph over revenge when the revenge is sought because your vampire sire left you buried in a coffin for over two hundred years? Blood Fued by Alyxandra Harvey is the second book in The Drake Chronicles series and continues where Hearts at Stake left off.  With the death of the vampire queen, things at the vampire court are a bit tense as new alliances are being formed. Isabeau St. Croix has been sent to the court as the representative of the Hounds, a group of vampires viewed by most of the court as being wild and superstitious.  Isabeau, in addition to representing the Hounds, has her own agenda with a plan to seek revenge against Greyhaven, Montmarte’s top lieutenant.

Logan Drake, one of the sons of the new vampire queen, has been assigned as Isabeau’s guide at the court.  As Isabeau and Logan begin to get to know each other, the Court is attacked and they must help each other out against the common enemy.

Isabeau is originally from the French Court during the French Revolution, having survived the horrors of seeing her parents decapitated by the guillotine, she travels to London to be with her family where she is transformed into a vampire by a guest at a ball.  Isabeau was thought to be dead so her family buried her and her sire left her alone in her coffin, where she remained for over 200 years until the Hounds’ hounds scented her and dug her out.  Isabeau is a strong character, not only being trapped in the coffin, but having to quickly adjust to life in the 21st Century.  As the Court is attacked, Logan and Isabeau are a good balance for each other, Logan’s suave charm with Isabeau’s wild attitude as a member of a  tribal vampire group.  It was nice to be able to see Lucy and Solange from the first book for a little bit, and I enjoyed this continuation of the series and of the Drake brothers.

The first book in the series was part of the Pajama Chat Readers online book club and you can listen to me discuss the book with two other fabulous ladies here.

The Drake Chronicles Website covers all things Drake related.

The Drake Chronicles Reading Order:

Hearts at Stake

Blood Fued

Rating:

Title: Blood Feud

Author: Alyxandra Harvey

Format: Paperback

Page Nos.: 272

ISBN: 978-0-8027-2096-2

Publisher: Bloomsbury Teens

Release Date: July 2010

Available for purchase: Bookstores, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble

Reviewer: Jessica

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

Recently a friend was helping me put some books into a bin for storage (the dream lives that someday I will have a library for all my books and not a shed) and she made the comment that I must have a book set in every continent.  This got me thinking about where the books we were putting away took place and further contemplation led me to the conclusion that I think I do have a novel set on every continent except Antarctica.  Not only that, I think I have a novel set it just about every time period.

This thinking about where books take place and when they take place was the beginning of the themes for the month on Novel Reaction.  I decided to focus on a specific novel setting and/or time period for a month.  I have really enjoyed this because it has allowed me to revisit some old great favorite books but it has been hard at the same time because I now realize that I tend to read specific time periods and places more than others.

For me, there is nothing like a Historical/Regency period romance novels, something involving Lords and Ladies and the social whirl of London.  This is not to say that I don’t enjoy other novel settings but I find myself drawn to the historicals more than other novels.

The other thing I have realized with the theme months is that I tend to get into cycles where I like to read specific setting type books, one right after the other, until the cycle moves on to the next type of book.  This realization has been great for me but at the same time, because of the themes for each month, I find myself reading twice as much as I normally do (which is saying something because I read ALL the time). So, reading books that fall within the theme for the month and then the books just for my enjoyment.

Do you find yourself reading a specific time period or location more than others? Also, do you know of a novel set in Antarctica? I need to complete my collection. :)

What happens when the world as you know it ends, for the second time?! Do you have the courage to pick up the pieces and find happiness in a world that is not your own? Abby, known as Glowing Sun by the Native American tribe that took her in and raised her after her white family was killed by fever, has witnessed the massacre of her tribal family and now has no where to go except with Wade Sawyer.

Wade, a cowboy who found God after traveling down the path of drunkenness, finds himself having to return the absuive father who raised him and sent him down the path of drink.  But his father has been injured, his ranch is not being worked and Wade must come to terms with his past.

I love Abby’s strength and refusal to show weakness.  After witnessing the slaughter of her tribe Abby decides to travel with Wade, a cowboy who saved her before but only until she decides to go somewhere else.  She slowly accepts some of the habits of what she considers the crazy white people, even going so far as to wear a gingham dress but she refuses to give up her knife and pulls it on anyone she considers a threat.  Slowly, both her and Wade begin to realize that  true strength is found in quietly standing up for oneselves in the face of adversity and not in forcing your will on others. Several of the characters found in this third book of the trilogy were in the first two books.  Wildflower Bride was a great read with Abby beliveably struggling to find her place in the world, she doesn’t really belong with the tribe but she doesn’t fit in with the white either and I want to read the rest of the trilogy.

Mary Connealy

Montana Marriages Trilogy:

Montana Rose

The Husband Tree

Wildflower Bride

Rating:

Title: Wildflower Bride

Author: Mary Connealy

Format: Paperback, ebook

Page Nos.:  320

ISBN: 1602601445

Publisher: Barbour Books

Release Date: May 2010

Available for purchase: Amazon.com

Reviewer: Jessica

**I received a copy of this book from Net Galley but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

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Why Ratings?
It is true you can't judge a book by its cover, you also can't judge a book's graphic content by its cover. NovelReaction's goal is to provide readers with a graphic content so they can make an informed decision regarding the books they want to read. (Also, to have a great place for people to discuss books.) So sit back, pull up a beverage, and read on!
Graphic Ratings*

1 = kissing
2 = kissing, some fondling
3 = descriptive stripping but no sex
4 = sex scene but not descriptive in details
5 = full descriptive sex scene

*I am rating a specific book by an author, not the author's style. If I am aware an author writes a specific way, I will let you know.

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