In Honor of Release Day for Cursed, Attack the Stacks Presents…Mutant Mania!

In recognition of the release of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Cursed…a book which I looooved and in fact rated five stars on my review here…I wanted to put together something a little special. I thought and thought – and rejected and rejected – and finally decided that since Ember has a superhuman ability I’d put together a list of my favorite superhumans from  movies and television. I’d have plenty of book recommendations as well, but since this is a crazy muppet arms fangirling of one particular book I’m going to refrain from those. Hoo!

Obviously the first thing that comes to the minds of most people when you talk about superhumans is the X-Men. Who among us hasn’t wished for their very own superpowers? And while many people are under the mistaken impression that Wolverine is the coolest of the X-Men, the obviously correct answer is Mystique. Not only is she an awesome shade of blue, she can transform herself into anyone. So useful.

Then there is the tragic Ned the PieMaker from the defunct tv show Pushing Daisies. Ned has the ability to raise the dead with a touch of his hand, but there are strings attached. By raising one he kills another, and if he touches someone or something he’s raised for a second time it dies again. He puts this to use for profit – he teams up with a P.I. and raises murder victims long enough to find out who offed them and then kills them again – but problems arise (pun alert!) when he brings back the girl he’s loved since they were kids knowing that one single touch of his hand will kill her again, for good this time. I’m making it sound really convoluted but it’s a great show.

Then there’s the rather controversial Heroes, a show which started off with such promise and was basically murdered by the writers strike. Season two was shortened and kind of not great anyway and then by season three nobody really cared. Still, there were some excellent superhuman abilities on there. Of course, Claire’s spontaneous healing abilities would be super useful, but it’s hard to top Peter’s ability to basically “borrow” the powers of others. He can pretty much do it all.

You have to get into the wayback machine for this one, but in the mid-80s there was a show called Misfits of Science that featured a very young Courtney Cox and some guy with a truly impressive mullet. The show itself is really, really cheesy and  it’s also very, very 80s. I was really young when this aired so I remember little about it, but I definitely remember watching it.

This is a rather new one and it’s very new to me – I’ve only seen two episodes, though I’m currently working through it on Netflix – Alphas, which is an original series on SyFy. It’s got a lot in common with both X-Men and Heroes, minus the school from the former and the melodrama from the latter. It’s also got that nerdily cute British guy who was one of the interns on Bones for a while.

So what’s the point of all of this? Basically to say that if you’re anything like me, you’ve got a thing for stories about people who can do things above and beyond what is within the realm of normal human abilities. And that, my friends, is why you should read Cursed. It was my first foray into Jennifer L. Armentrout’s books but it won’t be my last – in fact, I’ve already bought several additional JLA books and I’m anxiously awaiting having the time to actually read them.

So if you could pick any superhuman ability, what would you choose?

In Which I Lose It Over The Hunger Games


So unless you’ve been hiding under a wi-fi blocking rock (or a fun-blocking firewall) for the entire day today, you’ve probably already seen the trailer I’ve posted above for The Hunger Games movie.




I will fully admit that I was already excited for this movie. But now? Now I have no idea how I’m going to get through until March 23rd. I may actually become the first person to die of anticipation, but that’s probably hyperbole. At worst I’ll likely just have a couple of anxiety attacks and camp out for tickets a few weeks in advance.

While I was definitely excited for the movie, I was also nervous. This is one of those books where it’s going to be really, really tough for the movie to live up to my expectations. The books are amazing, and they mean a great deal to me because they are responsible for re-introducing me to the YA genre. It showed me that you’re never too old to enjoy YA, and there’s no reason to feel like you’re reading “beneath” your level. The Hunger Games deals with a lot of very grown-up topics like loss, poverty, familial relationships, love, the few controlling the many, and death. I liked the Harry Potter series, but it didn’t really make me want to further explore the YA genre. The Hunger Games series did. And if I’m being honest, the first book in the series may very well be my favorite book of all time. It’s definitely up there near the top, and the other two aren’t far off either.

Any time someone asks me for a book recommendation, The Hunger Games is always the first one that pops into my head. This is especially true with people who don’t do a lot of reading, because I don’t understand how anyone could get more than a few chapters in and not be totally hooked and want more. I’m always jealous, though, because I’d love to read it again for the first time. I can’t think of any other book in recent memory where from start to finish I just sat there like Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel staring at the pages. As soon as I finished I downloaded the other two and tore through them. Right now I’m trying to talk the significant male into reading them, though I’m not sure if I want him to go in knowing what happens or let him be surprised so that I can live vicariously through him.

Some thoughts on the trailer:

  • I love that it ends with Rue’s whistle. I didn’t catch it the first time through and it’s just such a cool little touch.
  • The casting of Woody Harrelson is absolutely brilliant. BRILLIANT. He is totally Haymitch Abernathy. In fact, based on the trailer I think that all of the casting looks pretty true to the book. The only character who turned out nothing like I pictured him is Lenny Kravitz as Cinna. I always pictured Cinna as a skinny little white dude, but I’m totally willing to reserve judgment on that casting until I’ve seen the movie because A) based on everything else I’ve seen of the movie so far there’s no reason to believe he won’t fit the part; and B) he’s on my “forever boyfriend” list at #3 behind LL Cool J and John Cusack.
  • I’m really excited to see what Jennifer Lawrence does with the part of Katniss since she was so freaking good in Winter’s Bone. She completely got robbed at the Oscars.
  • Peeta is exactly how I imagined him. Like, scary how close I imagined him since I had no idea who Josh Hutcherson was before I saw that he had been cast in the role.
  • I love that they give the gist of the story but they don’t give too much away, and they give almost nothing away about what happens in the arena. As much as I can’t wait to see how they make some of the stuff happen, it’s going to make it even more cool to be surprised. So smart.
  • I have neverending love for the musical scores of Danny Elfman, and I may or may not have done a little dance when I heard that he was scoring this movie. I also may or may not have had my eyes pop out of my head when I heard the music in the trailer. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the score.
  • I might have teared up near the end, and I don’t cry easily. I once took a header down a flight of concrete stairs and skidded ten feet to a stop on my chin, and I didn’t so much as sniffle (it’s been suggested that I may have gone into shock). Peeta & Katniss talking on a rooftop? Rue’s whistle? Kleenex city.

Let the impatient waiting begin.