Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Book:  Matched
Author:  Ally Condie
Like/Don't Like:  I had a hard time putting it down

I have once again found myself in a reading slump, where nothing holds my interest.  It's a horrible place to be.  So it was very refreshing to read a book that I didn't want to put down. 

This is a love triangle set in a dystopian society that is not the Hunger Games.  (It is also not as nuanced or action packed as the HG but still worthwhile).  Cassia is seventeen and lives in a world where every decision is made for her.  From the clothes she wears to the food she eats to the city she lives in to the job she will have for the rest of her life and the person she will marry.  She happily goes along with the system because it has always worked for her but on the day of her match, when she finds out whom she will marry, an error occurs that makes her question what the Society has been up to all along.  Drama ensues.

It is primarily a love story and if the world that they live in weren't so detailed and defined and the problem they're up against so interesting I would not have been able to tolerate it.  There were a lot of longing gazes followed by averted eyes, and at times I felt like it was holding the more intriguing part of the story back - that being the system that they have been living in.  But I loved how thought out the world she lived in was.  And I did not question how a character could live in such a society because Cassia was very believable.  She goes from trusting in the Society to slowing and methodically seeing it for what it really was.  It was not a sudden change in her and I liked that, because it wouldn't be for most people. 

It needs to be said though about the two love interests:  It was hard to not root for the one she will not end up with because he was so good.  I would have liked him to be a little bit less perfect for her.

Dystopian love stories seem to be the new teenage vampire love stories so I don't know how long this trend will be able to sustain itself.  But this was a good one.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Muppets

Movie:  The Muppets
Like/Don't Like:  Would you trust someone who didn't like this movie?  Me neither.

I think it's impossible to not love the Muppets.  Especially if you're my age and you grew up watching the Muppet Show and Sesame Street.  If you combine them with Mickey Mouse Disco, Thrify's ice cream cones, and a Big Wheel it would pretty much encapsulate all the glorious parts of my childhood. (When, WHEN, I ask you, will they create a grown-up sized Big Wheel? I want one more than I want a Slurpee machine.)

So this movie was a no-brainer.  It was bound to be great.  It was nostalgic (I got chills when they did the intro to the old Muppet Show and welled up when they sang Rainbow Connection) and still riffed on modern pop culture, as they have always excelled at doing.  And it was corny and funny and not a bit ironic or snarky.  Miss Piggy looked glamorous even as she karate chopped someone, Fozzie wore fart shoes, there were subtitles for the Swedish chef, celebrities made cameos, and Kermit played the banjo.  Basically it was everything you want from a Muppet movie.