"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Surprises in Reading and Movies and More

Octavian Nothing - Not at all what I expected. Seriously. There's something wonderful in reading a book you know nothing about, especially when it's so different than you would think.
Same goes for a movie. Remember The Crying Game? I had no idea she was really a he, until...well, until they started panning the camera downward. OMG! But if I'd gone into the movie knowing, it would have been a totally different experience.
Ditto on The Sixth Sense.
What movie/book do you remember being totally surprised on?

Did I love Octavian Nothing? It was good. Really well written. But I'm not rushing to get the next book. It can keep its place lower on the list. So I've moved on to Tithe by Holly Black. And yes, Tabitha, even 100 pages in I totally get what you said about it being kind of ruined because you'd read Wicked Lovely first. Still, it's great writing, love the cover and the story so far, and I want to know what happens.

Couple things of note here:

1) Thank you, Lenore, for the great review of The Emerald Tablet! Lenore's (some kind of relation), Eleanor, also reviewed The Emerald Tablet on the same blog a few months ago!

2) Devon Ellington has set up an incredible blog dealing with goals, dreams, resolutions, and all those other great things we need to do to survive! I highly encourage everyone to head over and check it out, copy the list, fill in the answers, and report back to Devon. I'm going to do it!

3) While in Oklahoma for Encyclomedia, I passed an ARC of The Emerald Tablet on to fellow Class of 2k8 member Stacy Nyikos's daughter. I'm thrilled to report it's been chosen as the read-aloud book for their classroom this month! It beat out Bridge to Terabithia, Ida B., Johnny Tremain, and one other one. Thanks, Stacy's daughter's class!

4) I've uploaded some classroom stuff for The Emerald Tablet to my website. There's a quiz, discussion guide, teaching guide, word search, coloring page, and a Lemurian Alphabet code breaking exercise. If you check it out and see a major typo, please let me know!

5) I've set my son up on GoodReads. Now he can track the books he's read and is totally psyched about it!

Hope the week is GREAT for everyone! Do something fun today!


beth said...

I was recently surprised in reading Joanne Harris's Gentlemen and Players. It alternates chapters between a school master and an old-school style boarding school and a murderer whose planning to take the school down. The murderer's name is unknown until nearly the end...I had it guessed, but it was a very cool twist that my friend didn't see coming!

PJ Hoover said...

Sounds great, Beth! Twists work the best. And you probably had it figured out since you're a writer!

Devon Ellington said...

Thanks for the link love!

I figured out the "big reveals" of both THE CRYING GAME and SIXTH SENSE while I watched them, so they weren't surprises.

Hmmm, last time I was really surprised, when I didn't feel maliciously manipulated by the creator? Can't remember. There have been a few TV experiences where it was a surprise reveal, but I didn't feel what led up to it paid off.

I like twists when they're earned, though, so I relate to what you said.

PJ Hoover said...

You're welcome, Devon! So you figured them both out? I was totally clueless. And I so get what you mean though about feeling manipulated. It especially irks me when I'm reading a book and this happens since it's an investment of time.

Amy said...

I love being surprised by stories. Absolutely LOVE it. Unless it feels like a cheat, and then I just feel, well, cheated.

PJ Hoover said...

Ditto, Amy! And cheats stick out big time!

Sheri said...

I can't remember the last book or movie I saw that I didn't already begin knowing something about it. I was just wondering about Twilight. Would I have a different experience if I had no idea what Edward was. I went into the book, of course, already knowing.

I guess I just read the last Harry Potter and was able to dodge every spoiler, so I really didn't know what would happen, but with it being a sequel, it's not really the same thing... I'd have to really search my memory bank for this one...

That's awesome about being this month's book aloud choice for Stacey's daughter's class. Congrats on that and the reviews.

I will check out your new pages on your website and... what is goodreads. The link didn't work, but sounds like something all teachers should be doing in their classrooms.

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks for the bad link info, Sheri! I fixed it! It lets you track what books you are reading, have read, and plan to read. It's fun!
Yeah, with the internet and hype and everything, it's hard to stay clean these days before reading something or watching something!
Take care!

Sheri said...

Thanks - it works now. I'm gonna go check it out -

Vivian said...

Congrats on the great reviews, P.J.!

BTW, my daughter has been talking up your book at school and wants to know when the Book 2 is coming out.

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Vivian! And please thank your daughter! Book 2 should come out in a year :) Which in this business is like no time at all!

Angela said...

I was suprised by the twist in Handcock. I usually end up watching movies well after they come out, so most people spoil the suprise by accident. This case, no one did! I love that when that happens!

Gottawrite Girl said...

I swear, there is no better movie-ending than a surprise ending. Did you see Vantage Point? I was all geared up, then gravely dissapointed. Ah well, it's an artistic something to strive for.

PJ Hoover said...

Angela, I haven't seen it yet and don't know much about it except that Will Smith is a super hero. Is it worth watching? I've also heard it's not for kids (at least young ones).

I didn't see Vantage Point, Susan. I haven't even heard of it. Worth watching?????

Thanks for visiting!

maureen said...

I was looking for your link when you posted a comment on my blog.Wow this internet thing is amazing...across hemispheres and time zones...and...
Anyway we in NZ are watching what you children's authors are doing in the brave new world...coz we know it's coming our way....
Best wishes for the book!

Beth Kephart said...

PJ, Your time has come. I loved reading Lenore's review, loved hearing that your book has been chosen by a classroom — I mean, that's huge.

And I have to say this: Several times I've picked up Octavian and put it back down. I feel as if I'd be improved by reading it. But with the life I lead, I also need to be moved.

Were you?

PJ Hoover said...

Hey Maureen, that has to be one of the coolest things ever! I got a google alert for "the emerald tablet" and hopped over to check it out. Imagine my surprise! Thanks so much!
And I thought NZ was the brave new world?

Beth, I was so happy about the classroom thing. It's a great thing to imagine kids actually reading my book. So cool. I know you know this!
And Octavian Nothing was moving. Beautifully written. Not quite as moving as I would have hoped. I felt true sorrow for Octavian in a couple spots but not throughout, and I never got a sense of a greater plot moving the book forward. But once again, let me say, it was beautifully written. The words flowed into almost a symphony, if that makes any sense at all.

Take care!

Lenore said...

Eleanor is my best friend's daughter :)

keri mikulski :) said...

I love it when I read a book and it's totally a surprise. Total escape.

Great news and reviews, PJ! :)

PJ Hoover said...

Hey Lenore! I thought it was either that or she was a niece, and I couldn't remember which.

It is a perfect escape, Keri! And thanks!

Tabitha said...

Glad you enjoyed Tithe. :) I wonder what would have happened if I'd read this first, then Wicked Lovely... :) If you read Valiant, I can't wait to hear your thoughts. :) I'm picking up Ironside from the library today, but I have no idea what to expect.

As far as books that surprised me, The Moves Make The Man by Bruce Brooks kind of surprised me in the end. I did not expect one of the characters to take the path he chose, and yet it still worked. Great book.

And congrats on so much wonderful book news!! I'm looking forward to its release!! :)

PJ Hoover said...

Hey Tabitha, I plan to pick up Valiant next time I'm at the bookstore. I liked Tithe certainly enough to read the next book.
I'll have to check out The Moves Make the Man.
And thanks!!!!