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Movie Review: Amélie (2001)

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Source: Wikipedia

Plot Summary (Taken from IMDB): Amelie, an innocent and naive girl in Paris, with her own sense of justice, decides to help those around her and along the way, discovers love.

My Review: One of the best things about this movie is the main character. Amelie is a young who has been isolated from the world so much that she has retreated into her imagination. This causes her to communicate very little to others. When she does communicate, it is in elaborate schemes that feature things like practical jokes and posters. A touching thing about her unusual method of communication is that almost all her schemes aim to help others.

Besides Amelie, the secondary characters are wonderful. Some of them are just as eccentric as Amelie, but some also have interesting quirks. For instance, a painter named Dufayel has withdrawn from others, but he is also very caring and helpful toward Amelie and one other character.

In addition to the characters, the fantasy aspect of the film was great. Literally bringing Amelie’s imagination to life lets the viewer inside Amelie’s head and provides an interesting perspective. It also and adds humor and depth to Amelie’s character and the overall storyline.

The only flaw in the film was the romance between Amelie’s character and her love interest. While the way Amelie attempts to communicate with him is amusing, the romance when they finally get together felt rushed.

Overall, this was an entertaining French film.  I’d recommend it to older teens and adults who like romance and fantasy, but not to families because it is sexually explicit.


Written by Serena Zola

February 10, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Book Review: Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry

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Pushing The Limits, Katie McGarryPlot Summary (Taken from Amazon): No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth.

But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can PUSH THE LIMITS and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her HOW TO LOVE AGAIN.

My  Review: One of the best things about this book is how the author weaves in many different issues including foster homes, mental illness, repressed memories, abuse, and death. Without these issues, the main characters would have been cardboard cutouts and impossible to care for. In addition, all of these issues were realistically portrayed.

Another thing that was great about the book was its main characters and some of its supporting characters. Echo and Noah seem like clichés but they aren’t. Echo is very damaged emotionally and physically, but she is also talented and funny. Watching her grow into a resilient, assertive, and sympathetic person is poignant. Noah is also very damaged, but also caring and protective. When it came to Echo, he was also respectable.

Meanwhile, the best supporting character was Noah’s guy friend Isaiah. He was an honest and funny guy. The most surprising supporting characters were Echo’s parents, Noah’s family, and some of Echo’s friends. The surprises with these characters were shocking, sad, and touching.

Besides the issues and characters, the romance was very well done. It is very slow and realistic. When it finally does happen, it turns sexy, but also responsible, respectable, and poignant.

The only flaw in this book was the profanity, which was a bit too much at times.

Overall, this book was great. If you like The Sea of Tranquility or edgy contemporary romance, then read this book.

Written by Serena Zola

November 28, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Book Review: The Sea of Tranquility

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Nastya Kashnikov wants nothing more except to get revenge on the boy who took her former life away. Josh Bennett is so used to being alone that he wants it to stay that way. However, Nastya won’t let that happen, because she is drawn to him. Gradually, the two become friends. Nastya has revealed all but her darkest secret, but Josh thinks he’s got her figured out. When the friendship starts becoming more, Nastya’s past threatens to tear her and Josh apart.

One of the things that I enjoyed about this book were the main and supporting characters. Josh and Nastya, the main characters, were very realistic. Some traits were interesting, like Nastya collecting name meanings as a hobby. Others made Nastya and Josh equal to each other, like Josh being able to cook and Nastya being able to bake. Also, the way the characters’ traits and backstories are gradually revealed adds an element of mystery to the book that is enjoyable.

With the supporting characters, they were a surprise. At first, they seem like cardboard cutouts stuck in so the main characters interact with other people besides each other.  Yet, their true selves are gradually revealed throughout the novel. My personal favorite supporting character was Clay, who was like an artsy and more talkative version of Charlie from The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Last but not least, the romance. It is so sweet and creative, that even people who dislike romance books (i.e. me) will melt.   It is shown in thoughtful actions and lines like, “We’re like mysteries to one another. Maybe if I can solve and he can solve me, we can explain each other. Maybe that’s what I need. Someone to explain me.” Furthermore, the author shows some spunk by critiquing typical romance  through Nastya with lines like, “I do know that if a guy ever called me baby, I’d probably laugh in his face. Or choke him.”

Overall, this was a raw and amazing book. I recommend this to people who wonder if two people with dark issues can ever be together or anyone who wants a fresh take on romance.

Some  more favorite lines (besides the ones already mentioned):

“I wished my mother was here tonight, which is stupid, because it’s an impossible wish.” He shrugs and turns to me, drowning the smile that cracks me every time.”

“It’s not stupid to want to see her again.”

“It wasn’t so much that I wanted to see her again,” he says, looking at me with the depth of more than seventeen years and his eyes. “I wanted her to see you.”

Written by Serena Zola

April 1, 2013 at 10:53 AM

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