Monday, March 12, 2012

The Debutante, John Carter, How to Hook a Hottie

In my "candy reading" phase I picked up The Debutante by Kathryn Williams. It was just a light, fish out of water story of a Connecticut teen who is plunked down in her father's hometown of Alabama for her senior year of high school and none too happy about the fact that her Southern Lady grandmother is insisting she make her "debut" in local society. While it's just light reading, there's a really nice character arc, and I liked reading about what might be required of a modern debutante, even if she'd rather be playing field hockey. The romance was light and believable. Even if there was way too much underage drinking for my preference, the story was a good escape.

For date night on Saturday, we hit the late show of John Carter. I'd seen the previews. Sigh. I was not impressed. But then on Saturday afternoon we were trying to decide what movie to see so I looked up the reviews, and what I read convinced me this would be a really cool movie. And it was! Keep in mind, I'm fairly easily entertained. There were CGI green creatures without noses (not my favorite element of any film.) But the screenplay was adapted from an Edgar Rice Burroughs story (yes, that Edgar Rice Burroughs, of Tarzan fame). A Civil War vet is accidentally transported to another planet, where he falls in love with a Princess of Mars (original title of the story.) On Mars (called Barsoom), the gravitational pull on his body is different, making him able to jump high and have super strength. He must decide whether to choose sides in a global conflict there, something he is highly reluctant to do. Some of the plot devices seem familiar in movies like Star Wars, but since George Lucas used this story as part of his source material, it's pretty cool to see the origin of much sci-fi. All in all, it was a great popcorn flick. I'm going to let my boys see it.

Rounding out my entertainment weekend, I finished reading another fun YA novel, this one (unfortunately) titled How to Hook a Hottie, by Tina Ferraro. The book was far better than the title would suggest. In it, Kate DelVecchio is a high school senior bent on making a million dollars before she's twenty--without going to college. She's bright, ambitious, and suddenly to her shock the object of amorous attention of the most popular guy in school, Brandon. Brandon is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and she keeps telling him to get lost. However, all the attention from Brandon suddenly makes her popular by association (despite her denials that they are a couple.) Suddenly, girls from all over school (and guys) are offering her money for her "secret formula" for how to get the popular guy/girl to fall for them. The story has good family relationships, a realistic building of a friendship into a romance, real heart when it comes to Kate's final decisions, and a sweetly satisfying ending. Despite the title that made me embarrassed to take it with me to the waiting room at the doctor's office.

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