Two books and a movie! My life is replete with entertainment!
First, the Shannon Hale follow up I've been looking forward to all winter, Midnight in Austenland. Her first adult novel, Austenland, was a romp, a modern-day romance carried out in a Regency setting. In Midnight, a new heroine goes to Austen's world, pays the big bucks to be immersed in Regency culture and to be wooed by suitors with cravats and riding crops. This heroine, Charlotte Kinder, is better realized and her story more poignant than in the original book. She is a divorced, damaged mother of two seeking to fill an unknown need. She accidentally uncovers a murder mystery--and a romance from an unexpected quarter. I was right in looking forward to this sequel--it was a rollicking good time.
Second, Janette Rallison's YA novel, My Double Life, is how I spent my spring break. As many people know, a family vacation is rarely a vacation for the mom. She has to do all her same work but without the convenience of home, plus living from a suitcase. Janette's book took my mind off my 37-hour car trip and put me in a fun world where a girl from West Virginia happens to be the doppelganger for a Hollywood rock star. The rock star's agent discovers the WV girl and plucks her from obscurity to serve as the star's secret double. However, the small town girl has her own agenda: she's out to meet her father, who she has never known, and who lives in Hollywood. This might be her big chance. My Double Life is a light, fluffy escape with good family relationships and was just what I needed to get me through the trip. I'd call it a beach read.
For date night, we saw the new release Wrath of the Titans. Since we see pretty much everything PG-13 or lower rated, we saw the movie for which this was the sequel, Clash of the Titans, a remake of the 1981 classic. I remember the '80s original. That Medusa head scared the bejeepers out of me--worried about it for years! The re-make? Not so much. Forgot it in minutes. The sequel, though? That was a fun movie! Pass the popcorn. Great special effects, a good plot, acutally good acting, a fun script and the actors (especially Bill Nighy, a favorite) were having a great time with it. The Minotaur made an appearance (and disappearance and reappearance, haha) in the coolest, coolest Labyrinth I've ever seen. That Labyrinth was worth the price of the ticket. Fun film. (Says the girl who just likes to go to the movies on Friday night and not be annoyed.) 3 1/2 stars.
Meanwhile, if you have been watching Downton Abbey and haven't seen the parody Downton Arby's, it's worth looking up. Good spoofy times.