It’s been happening for awhile. Trilogies are sweeping the nation. Whether it started with The Lord of the Rings or condensed comic book heroes made into movies: i.e. Batman, Spiderman, trilogies are taking over. Many of you have blogged about the summer hit film, The Avengers, and you know what I heard, they’re planning on making another one! Which is great, except that before they do, they have to make the third Iron Man, the second Captain America and the second Thor. Really? That’s a lot of action heroes! And yet, I know I’ll go to see them!
What is it about trilogies? Why are they so addicting? Sure there’s the need to know how the story ends, but that can’t be the only reason, can it?! Whatever the must see/must read component is, here are a few of my favorites.
Top 10 Guilty Pleasure Trilogies of All Time:
1. Indiana Jones
Let’s face it, the man has one of the coolest theme songs out there! I wish my life was cool enough to warrant its use. I also wish I got to travel as much, save so many lives, and use a whip to swing from crumbly decaying buildings once in awhile, but that point is moot. Indiana Jones is the smart woman’s action hero. He’s intelligent, physically pleasing with his strong muscly arms and crooked smile, and I bet he even smells good. What made his trilogy so successful? I think it’s the legends: We’ve got lost arks, jungles and temples of doom, and the search for the holy grail. Indiana’s quests are the quests of everyman: knowledge, adventure, and in most cases, women.
Even though they’ve created more Star Wars films, they’re still marketing them as a trilogy. But the best will always remain the original. It was cutting edge technology of its time and contained all the necessary components of a guilty pleasure film: coming of age tale, evil daddy issues, romantic interludes, wise mentor, space wars, light sabers, and wookies.
The Lord of the Rings
When this book series became a film trilogy, this story launched for the first time in awhile crowds of people waiting to get into the theater again. The films were so successful they released box set collections of extended cut films and people in my high school started wearing one rings around their necks! That’s a hard core trilogy.
The Twilight Series
Say what you will about the Twilight Series, you can’t deny it’s successful storm sweep of book sales and movie sales. To my knowledge this is where the “Team So and So” became part of pop culture. Girls and guys were wearing t-shirts with Team Edward or Team Jacob, but you never see t-shirts saying Team Han Solo or Team Luke Skywalker, and why is that?! On a purely unrelated note, my favorite t-shirt of all time might be the college TV show Felicity tee that simply says “I choose Noel.” Which, some could argue was the starting point of all this “Team _____” business. Just sayin’.
The Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy
If we’re recognizing Twilight, then you need it’s equally successful fan fiction spin off turned bestselling BDSM love story! Now that’s am impressive feat! Moms around the world, (including Marcia Richards’ mom – can you believe that?) are picking up Fifty Shades and falling in love with control freak Christian Grey and naïve little Ana Steele. Have you checked out this new risque series? Stay tuned for a co-review on the whole she-bang (pun intended) by Marcia Richards and I later this month.
Anne of Green Gables
Ok, things were getting steamy in here, and some of you I already know left me to go read Fifty Shades again, but we’re cooling things down a notch with the Anne of Green Gables trilogy, film versions consisting of Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, and Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story. If you’re going to make the third movie years after the other two, then this is how you do it, with the same actors, same character antics, and a happily ever after. Jonathan Crombie, I will always love you! And Anne, don’t ever stop writing!
The Hunger Games
Expect greatness from the newly released first movie, but the books are certainly taking over. Heck, they’ve become required reading in some schools! Can you believe that? Move over Lord of the Flies and Animal Farm, Teacher’s got a new toy! What’s your prediction on the number of Katniss Everdeen’s who trick or treat at your house this year?
While the X-Men films aren’t particularly my favorite, I was a routine watcher of the cartoon after school and therefore had to partake. Whatever lacked in the second film, was made up in the third, X-Men: Last Stand. And the special effects did let us get to glimpse all our favorite mutants! Except one, where was Gambit? Was I alone in missing my mischievous french/cajun with the gambling problem?
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy
I haven’t gotten to this trilogy yet myself, but it’s one more of the recent releases to have been adapted into film, and even Oscar nominated. It’s a regular title appearing on mens and women’s bookshelves and if you’ve read it, I’d love to hear your opinion!
Saving the best for last, a total guilty pleasure favorite of mine, I wholeheartedly and unabashedly LOVE the entire Jurassic Park trilogy! Something about dinosaurs makes me feel like a kid again, even when I’m watching them chase down and devour other people. *insert childlike chuckle* This trilogy was amazing for its special effects, bringing dinosaurs to life again and if Spielberg ever does make the fabled fourth film, I’m totally going to see it. P.S. My useless knowledge for Jurassic Park trilogy information won me a free shot at a game of trivia in South Korea! How random, you say? More like, how awesome!
Those are my top 10 guilty pleasure trilogies of all time. What’s on your list? Did I miss any crucial 3 parters? What’s your favorite one? And of that trilogy, do you have a favorite film/book in the series? AND, what trilogy character would you dress up as for Halloween if you weren’t responsible for making the costume yourself?
Suzanne Collins’ trilogy The Hunger Games has taken America by storm. There’s already entire tables at Barnes and Noble of additional fan fiction and literary reviews of her works. I’d say she’s achieved mass success. The first book even premieres in theaters this month! Excited? You should be! It’s going to be awesome!
But for those of us who’ve finished reading the series and lost sleep because we had to find out what became of Katniss, fear not! I’ve got a great suggestion for you. Pick up a copy of Bethany Wiggins’ new book, Shifting, released this past September and already a 4.1 rating on goodreads! (That’s really good, in case you didn’t know.)
Some of you may remember I interviewed Bethany back in September right before her book was released. I’ve recently finished reading it and you should know, it’s AMAZING!
Here’s the Goodreads blurb:
After bouncing from foster home to foster home, Magdalene Mae is transferred to what should be her last foster home in the tiny town of Silver City, New Mexico. Now that she’s eighteen and has only a year left in high school, she’s determined to stay out of trouble and just be normal.
Agreeing to go to the prom with Bridger O’Connell is a good first step. Fitting in has never been her strong suit, but it’s not for the reasons most people would expect-it all has to do with the deep secret that she is a shape shifter. But even in her new home danger lurks, waiting in the shadows to pounce. They are the Skinwalkers of Navajo legend, who have traded their souls to become the animal whose skin they wear-and Maggie is their next target.
Full of romance, mysticism, and intrigue, this dark take on Navajo legend will haunt readers to the final page.
Intrigued? It’s well worth the page turning. Wiggins’ writing is well paced and similar to Collins, you won’t be able to finish a chapter without wondering what happens next?! And it’s just my opinion, but I find her writing much better than that of Twilight’s Stephenie Meyer. And I loved that series too, but I think we all can agree it wasn’t exceptionally written, it was just that good of a story! For a first time author, Wiggins shows great promise and the only disappointment I have is that she’s not currently working on Maggie Mae’s sequel.
But paranormal YA books are so overdone, you say? To that I reply, can you tell me what a skinwalker is? Didn’t think so! Based on Navajo legend, a skinwalker is an evil spirit or witch that takes the form of the animal it kills. Their goal is power and they are exceedingly conniving. Think of your history books, most Native American tribes only wore animal headresses in ceremony, so that their powers would not overwhelm them. The stories of skinwalkers are difficult to find, as people believed talking about them brought their evil near. But Bethany, being totally consumed with research on this topic, shared with me some sites that gave examples of these witches, including actual court cases recorded! You can see these tales at the end of my interview post by clicking the above blue link.
Other things to love? Let’s start with our protagonist, Maggie Mae. She’s not the accident prone, yet hot new commodity at school like Bella Swan. She’s not a trained hunter or altruistic sister like Katniss Everdeen. She’s a foster child, tossed from home to home after a record breaking number of case files for indecent exposure. An unlikely heroine, to be sure. And yet, there’s a devout need to do good in Maggie Mae. She is kind and she is grateful, though life hasn’t exactly raised her that way.
And of course, there’s a boy. Sorry girls, no love triangle here, but Bridger O’Connell will keep you guessing anyway. Why is he always leaving Maggie when trouble arises? How does he know when to return? What’s the deal with his on and off again caring tactics? Gosh, boys are stupid!
If it’s adventure you’re looking for, go no further than Bethany Wiggins’ Shifting. It’s a fast, entertaining read with as much action as there are awkward teenage moments.
Last Guilty Pleasure Friday, you voted for your favorite vampire. Shocking results showed that True Blood’s Eric Northman was the leading supernatural man of choice by a whopping 45% majority vote. Now, I like Eric, but I must say I was in with the 2nd place crowd voting for The Vampire Diaries Damon Salvatore, who earned a respectable 35% of the vote. If you missed your chance to chime in, you can view the original post here and take the poll!
So today, we’ll be talking about another guilty pleasure of mine: werewolves! And it seems where there are vampires, there be wolves! Learn about our contestants and vote below; which mystery manimal would you most like a date with?
Bachelor #1: Jacob Black There’s something about the boy who started out all scrawny and awkward, but whose fans fought so hard to keep him in the Twilight series that makes me admire Jacob Black. Played by Taylor Lautner, Jacob is sensitive, mischievious, and 180° all the time, so he’ll be able to keep you warm on those chilly winter nights fast approaching. To bulk up for the physical transformation, Lautner kept extreme diet and strength training, doing drills and weights during set breaks and basically eating a lot of hamburgers. But don’t let his brute strength scare you ladies, he knows how to treat a woman. His favorite first dates include motorcycle rides, cliff diving, and holding hands at the movies.
Bachelor # 2: Alcide Herveaux Newcomer character Alcide Herveaux, played by Joe Mangiello, has been making
advances appearances on the last season of True Blood. He’s recovering from a terrible break-up with a druggie werewolf chick, but if fixer-uppers are your thing, Alcide may be your dream come true. He’s part rugged outdoorsman, part softie who wears flannel. First dates with Alcide include snuggling on the couch, long romantic drives, and chasing after his ex-girlfriend.
Bachelor #3: Tyler Lockwood High School wouldn’t be High School without the football jock alter ego werewolf character. Tyler Lockwood, werewolf, is the result of the Moonstone Curse on The Vampire Diaries. Played by Michael Trevino, he originally came to casting for the role of Stefan Salvatore, but the producers immediately saw him as Tyler. With his athletic build, playful smirk and smile, and inner struggle to fight his werewolf desires, Tyler is an ambitious and strong man. First dates include reckless house parties and drinking too much, sneaking around and rummaging through other people’s belongings, and chaining oneself up in the old abandoned Lockwood estate. Please call ahead for a date with Tyler so he can check the full moon calendar, he’s new at this.
Bachelor # 4: Mason Lockwood Tyler’s uncle on the Vampire Diaries, Mason Lockwood, acts as mentor and guardian over Tyler for awhile, explaining how the Curse of the Moonstone works and actually documenting his werewolf transition process on video camera. Played by Taylor Kinney, Mason is a bit of lone wolf…pun intended. You can never be too sure which side he’s on, Ladies, and he’s likely to disappear without much notice. He’s been known to come back though, and usually with a grudge. Despite his actions, his heart is in the right place, protecting Tyler. First dates include a faraway getaway where no one knows your name, attending council meetings, and an unwarranted desire to be in and out of his nephew’s life.
And those are our contestants for today. Let the voting begin! Who’s your guilty pleasure wolfman of choice? Would you write in your own vote for a werewolf I missed? Who’s sexier: the vampire or the werewolf?
It’s Guilty Pleasure Friday again and since it’s almost Halloween, what better way to celebrate than to discuss the paranormal man of your choice! No creature is more prominent this season than the elusive and stunning vampire. Here are the nominees:
Bill Compton: Starring in the HBO series True Blood, Bill Compton is a southern gentlemen vampire returned to his family’s plantation in Bon Temps, Louisiana. He immediately takes a liking to Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress and supernatural creature herself – though it takes three seasons to answer the questions of what makes her this way. Bill and Sookie are drawn to each other after each saving the others’ life. Bill saves Sookie from a group of gangbanger hoodlums, and Sookie saves Bill from two drugged out vampire blood hunters. Because they have shared one another’s blood (necessary in the healing process for both) they are cosmically bound. Bill can now sense Sookie no matter where she is and rescue her if there is danger present. I don’t know how any woman wouldn’t swoon hearing Bill call out your name…”Sookie!”
Eric Northman: The Vampire Sheriff of Bon Temps, LA is Eric Northman, a Viking noble. Played by Alexander Skarsgard, Eric is the leader and frenemy of Bill. He lays low in his nightclub, Fangtasia, but believe-you-me he knows what goes on around him. He keeps you guessing which side he’s on, but he definitely wants Sookie with him. He saved her life during an explosion, but it could have been just to heal her with his blood. Now Sookie can’t help but be drawn to him, and this leads to some rather risqué subconscious dreaming. *Admit it, you’ve been thinking about me.*
Edward Cullen: The teenage vampire that made hearts swoon around the globe! Played by Robert Pattinson, Edward Cullen was rescued by his adopted father, Carlisle during the influenza epidemic in Spain. The Cullen family now moves from town to town, hiding out, and living a “vegetarian” lifestyle – meaning they only drink the blood of animals. Bella Swan is a total klutz who’s socially awkward to boot, but somehow, she fits in in Edward’s world. The problem here, is that Bella’s balancing problems merely foreshadow the breakable person that she is; she’s human! Bella wants Edward to turn her, but he can’t accept being the one to drain her of her soul. Add some honey-colored amber eyes, a few snarky grins at the rival wolf pack, and the ability to basically fly by running so fast, what’s not to love? Oh that’s right, Edward likes to protect Bella by lying to her and it usually blows up in his face. Boys!
Rumorville has it ever since the Twilight premiere, actors Pattinson and Kristen Stewart (Bella) have been an item. They remain very private about it, but lets face it, the vampire’s out of the bag, or however that saying goes. Should be some shrieking teenagers in theaters this November as the saucy teen couple prepares for a marriage and honeymoon in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn premiere.
Stefan Salvatore: Paul Wesley plays the good guy/bad guy vampire Stefan Salvatore on CW’s The Vampire Diaries, a show by the way if you haven’t been watching, has some of the best writers working on it out there. They know how to create suspense and ongoing plot dramas! Stefan, like Edward, lives off the blood of animals, or drinks from a supply of medical blood bags, but refuses to drink from humans. That is, until he falls off the wagon, and we mean REALLY falls off. The interesting thing about Stefan is that he once had an affair with Katerina Petrova, the vampire that created him and his brother (who we’ll get to in a moment). Katerina and new love interest, Elena Gilbert, look exactly like. Don’t you think that’s weird? I won’t tell you why, the first season is too much fun uncovering just that! Elena is the one thing holding Stefan to the real world, if he loses her, he’ll fall prey to the dark side forever.
Now, for all you ladies I’ve been twittering with about Damon, I’m going to remind you what Stefan and Elena looked like together. Please view before final vote tally. They’re actually totally adorable.
Stefan & Elena
Damon Salvatore: Oh Ian Somerhalder, how do I love thee? *Eh hem* Sorry, non-bias commentator here! The other Salvatore brother, Damon, is the swanky and flirtatious bad boy who just might be reigned in by Elena’s do-good vibe. He pined for Katerina, now he’s pining for Elena, and thousands of viewers want this guy to win and get the girl…at least for a little while, right? Because no matter how much Damon screws up (um, he killed Elena’s brother – watch the show to see how he survives!), he’ll stop at nothing and no one to protect Elena. Even if it means helping her bring Stefan back. He’s the typical guy that gets under a girl’s skin and you root for him knowing he’s bad news because his smile is just THAT disarming! So the big question is, can Damon change?
The social trend of the season is the fact that Ian and costar Nina Dobrev (Elena) are dating in real life. Can you blame them? I took the liberty of finding the
cheesiest most awesome video for you to watch.
Damon & Elena
So let’s tally up the results! Who is your favorite vampire? Did I miss any other must-have vamps? What do you think of all these couples becoming true life couples too? Chat with me in the comments and we can reminisce about Damon Salvatore daydreams!
*all images taken from Google images and videos from YouTube
Last night I was reading more of Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. Instead of picking up on the chapter I left off, I flipped to the back and started reading the acknowledgments Gruen wrote.
Psst. I also have a secret habit of reading the last sentence of a book before I get there. I know, I shouldn’t, but then when I really do get to the end and re-read that last sentence, it’s like coming home. I refuse to stop, don’t try to make me.
In Gruen’s acknowledgments, she first related how she came up with the idea for the story. She read an article in the newspaper about Edward J. Kelty, a photographer who traveled along with circuses in America during the 1920’s and 30’s. She became so transfixed with a photo in the paper, she immediately went out and bought two circus photography books. From there, the passion took over. She spent around 4-6 months researching everything circus, including visiting the Circus Museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin, which isn’t that far from where I live, so my honey and I are going to plan a weekend getaway to check it out! She spent a few weeks in Sarasota, Florida at the Ringling Museum and time at the Kansas City Zoo getting to study elephant body language and behavior. Want to start your own circus project? I kind of do. I’m fascinated with the book so far, and was intrigued that a whole story began after viewing one photograph in the newspaper.
I’m sure most of you heard the genesis about how Twilight series author, Stephanie Meyer began her books. She had a dream that was used in the meadow scene with Edward and Bella. She also spent time in Forks, Washington, the book’s setting, and now the community has more tourists than ever coming to see the houses and school Bella “went” to.
One of my all time favorite books is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. I’ll actually be re-reading it this month for a book club. Skloot spent 10 years doing research for this book and it all started with a science class. She remembers her teacher wrote the name Henrietta Lacks on the board, and after that day no one knew a thing about her. She spoke with ethics advisers, lab technicians, doctors, nurses, lawyers, and eventually family members to piece together a story so crucial to the medical industry and never told to the woman’s own family. Just a name on a blackboard launched an investigation into a multi-million dollar industry and one well-kept secret.
Her research went on to conduct interviews, review medical records, visit the hometown of Henrietta, and eventually make contact and earn trust of the Lacks family, thereby viewing journal entries of Henrietta’s daughter and family footage and photos. I am just floored by the amount of devotion Skloot put forward to make a difference in the lives of the Lacks family and to tell a story that helped shape every medical advancement you can think of. You really MUST read this book!
What I’m wondering is what was the moment that hooked you into your writing project? Did you read something in the paper, have a dream, see a name on the blackboard? Every writer is inspired differently, what inspired you? And what was the next step that took that captivating idea into a work in progress/published book?