The Lion King Review

All of us group mods and contributors have been talking about the Lion King remake, so it only seemed right to Share a review of the film - take it away Jade.

The Lion King Real Life Adaptation Review  

Hi everyone! Jade here, I recently saw the new Lion King Adaptation and really loved it! But, like all things, there were some parts I didn't like so here are my thoughts. 
I think it is safe to say that majority of people have seen the original animation of Disney’s the Lion King and if by some chance you haven’t, do yourself a favour and watch it and then watch all the original Disney animations. 
The newly released realistic adaptation has many people on the fence. Personally, I know of a few people who are refusing to watch it because they don’t want to ruin the original. I have always tried to keep an open mind, not only with movies (especially remakes) but books, music, candles literally anything. With this in mind after I watched the Lion King, I had a few opinions. 
My first thought was how amazing the visual aspects of it where. The animals looked realistic and there were times where I thought I was watching a documentary which is where I think the creators were going with this. As much as the emotions of the characters weren’t has prominent, I was able to connect to a ‘real’ lion fairly easily, especially when a young Simba and Nala reminded me so much of my cat that I couldn’t help but “aww” when they were playing together and cry when (SPOILER ALERT) Mufasa dies.  
I did, however, get really upset when my favourite song wasn’t heard (He Lives in You) and the song they played I felt didn’t connect to the story at all. I personally don’t think it matters who sings a song for the music in movies, as long as it has meaning to the storyline and makes sense when its being played. The song I am talking about, sung by Beyoncé, could have been played in the credits, it really didn’t need to be during the movie and the song from the original ‘He Lives in You’ I feel is really essential to the story. Yes we still understand the point of the scene with Rafiki, but I didn’t feel it had the same impact as it did in the original and it felt rushed. 
For the music overall, I am glad they kept ‘I Just Can’t Wait to Be King’ and ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ (which was my absolute favourite song from this version) and I didn’t mind the extremely shortened version of ‘Be Prepared’.  I can understand why the creators remove/change songs but, there were definitely songs that I wished they kept so that viewers could connect with the characters more. 
I was super happy and really excited that James Earl Jones would be reprising as the voice of Mufasa again because honestly, I don’t think anyone else is suited to play that role but him. I also think it helped viewers who had watched the original remember how they felt when watching it. The voice actor who played Scar, Chiwetel Ejiofor did such a great job at bringing the evilness of Scar to life without the animated emotions from the original, he really knew how to play this character to his fullest. 
Timone and Pumba were the best characters in this movie by far, the comedic connection between the two actors made it seem as though it wasn't scripted for the most part. The one we all want to talk about, Beyoncé. When I first heard about this, I really wasn’t sure how she would go but she actually did a really good job and her voice has a naturally soothing aspect that made me want to listen to Nala even more.
The only scene I was really disappointed in was the last few, when Simba returns home and fights Scar. It felt a little rushed but I think that was because it wasn't a theatrical as the original and showed more of the strength lions have when fighting. Most of the other scenes where either identical to the original or, I just honestly enjoyed the way it was done, maybe even preferred.
Overall, the movie was very enjoyable, and I think that everyone should go and see it. Even if you think it won’t be as good as the original. 
If you have seen it, let me know what you thought about it!
Jade ❤

Now, since you've never been properly introduced to Jade, and in the spirit of our Meet The Team post last week, I though she should introduce herself.

Hi everyone! My name is Jade, I go by she/her pronouns. I've been a book lover for most of my life but have only recently found the world of blogging and bookstagram, which I'm still getting the hang of.

I'm currently studying a double degree at uni in science/arts majoring in zoology and creative writing. I'm still unsure what I want to do as a career but I'm keeping my options open :)

I started a bookstagram account to be able to talk about all the books I read and connect with other readers. I'm still trying to get the hang of it all but I really love how inclusive the bookish community is 💕

I love all young adult genres, my favorites being fantasy and dystopian but you can also find me reading a good romance or middle grade book. Some of my favorite books/series would include, the Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson, All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, Tales of a New World by P.C Cast, ACOTAR series by Sarah J Maas and The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan.

I also have an psychiatric assistant dog, Keeda, who is my best friend and I wouldn't be able to leave my house most days if it wasn't for her. If you've been to any book events recently and seen a German Shepherd with a yellow and blue coat (pictured) then that's her. She can be very goofy and always put a smile on my face!

I'm so excited to be a part of this team of amazing people who all share my love for books 😊❤️

You can find me here: Instagram | Twitter 

Meet the team

Hi #AusYABloggers and readers, Sarah here. Recently us old hand group moderators brought on some new blood to help up carry out our plans for world domination - oops I mean, carry out the awesome things we have planned for the future.

Brooklyn is now in charge of the @AusYABloggers Twitter account, much like the way Chiara is in charge of the @ausyabloggers Instagram account. Both having the creative freedom with the accounts. Brooklyn's only been chatting up a storm in the twitter account for a short while, but it is so lovely to see the increased engagement with you all. Chiara has single handedly built the group IG account up to the wondrous display that it is today and the rest of us couldn't be happier.

Kelly and I will still be co-organisers for the Book Tours and review opportunities, running of the Goodreads group, reading challenges, emails and general inquiries. 
Tash is stepping up as our blog manager along with helping out with the #AusYABuddyReads, group content creating and planning.
Jade, Star, Brooklynne and Kait are here to help with the #AusYABuddyReads, group content creating and as blog contributors.
And last but not least, Jeann will still be managing the #AusYABloggers Facebook group.

But enough from me, I'm going to let the newbies introduce themselves:

Hi, my name is Brooklyn (she/her are my pronouns!) and I'm thrilled to be a part of the amazing #AusYABloggers team! You can find our Twitter over at @AusYABloggers and I just enjoy interacting with fellow book lovers and chatting all things books!

In addition to the group Twitter, I also blog here: Brooklyn the Bookworm (where I review books and just chatter about them in general), and I also bookstagram at @bookish.brooklyn - in addition to blogging and bookstagramming, I am a Librarian by trade! I feel very fortunate that I'm able to be surrounded by books in my every day career- books and reading have always been my passion so it's a joy being able to share that with people!

When I'm not reading, (it's rare, but it does happen), you can find me fangirling over any of my favourite fandoms or books (there's a lot, but my latest obsession is Denna and Mare from Of Fire and Stars), or watching movies or TV series (Doctor Who, Friends, I love Disney, Harry Potter and Golden Hollywood to name a few!), listening to music, playing games or cozied up with my black cat Peppy and a large cup of coffee!

I'm so pleased to be a part of this team and can't wait to celebrate everything that there is in Australian and New Zealand Young Adult! You can also find me on Goodreads at brooklyn-tayla.

Hello, everyone, I'm Brooklynne (not to be confused with Brooklyn) an American born bisexual transwoman who use She/Her/Goddess pronouns 😉. Unsurprisingly, I am an Avid reader averaging around 3 books a week, mostly all Young Adult. I am Native American from the tribe of Pottawatomi but have lived in the beautiful Te Whanganui-a-Tara in Aotearoa (Wellington, New Zealand) for 12 years now. I'm very proud and honored to be on this blog and represent Aotearoa here and share some #loveNZYA.

I love reading all forms of fiction, as stated before mostly Young Adult, as I find the writing more creative, the problems more fun and the authors more forward-thinking. My favourite genre of all time is magical realism followed closely by dystopian or utopian fiction. That all being said I can also be found with my nose stuck in just about any queer YA book, along with fantasy, science fiction, contemporary, thriller or mystery. Really just about anything that isn't heavily historical fiction.

I love to rave about some of my favourite series (Septimus Heap by Angie Sage, Wayward Children by Seanan McGuire, and The Dreamhunter Duet by Elizabeth Knox) and can often be found speaking solely in gifs on my twitter account brookiegrrrl, ignoring my Instagram at brooklynne_michelle of frothing about books and bookish things at my blog Lost In Literature.

I can't wait to get to know you all and share some of the books I love and maybe even a few I loathe!

Hello fellow book lovers. My name is Star and it is a pleasure to meet you all.
I’m Australian, born and raised. I’m in my early 30s, and legend has it that I came out of the womb holding a book.

Books have always been a passion of mine. But when they failed to give me the LGBT+ representation that I deserved, I turned to fanfiction, where I spent the better part of 15 years reading everything that I could get my hands on, and writing the stories I couldn’t get my hands on. I’m still an avid lover of fanfiction and will defend it until my dying breath.

In 2014, I discovered Book Tube and rapidly fell back in love with books. I have a never ending TBR pile, and I’m okay with that. I like to read YA and MG books from all genres, but contemporary is my soft spot. Give me a soft book about two girls falling in love and I will literally never shut up about it.

Since I have joined the book community, I have made some really lovely friends, and I hope to make some more as a part of the Aus YA Bloggers team.

I hope to get as many book recommendations from this lovely group and hopefully share a few of my own, too.

You can find me on these socials if you so like: InstagramTwitterBlogGoodreads.

#LoveOzYA Throwback Thursday (#13)

Throwback Thursday  edition is our way of spreading the love of backlist Aussie books that you might have missed. We'll hopefully be posting a new book each week, and we'd love you to join us!

Tash's pick

Title: Stormdancer (The Lotus Wars #1)
Author: Jay Kristoff
Released: September 1st 2012 by Tor UK (first published August 21st 2012)
Publisher: Tor UK
Add it to Goodreads 

Arashitoras are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father Masaru are sent to capture one for the Shõgun, they fear that their lives are over – everyone knows what happens to those who fail the Lord of the Shima Isles. But the mission proves less impossible and more deadly than anyone expects. Soon Yukiko finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in her country's last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled arashitora for company. Although she can hear his thoughts, and saved his life, all she knows for certain is he'd rather see her dead than help her. Yet trapped together in the forest, Yukiko and the beast soon discover a bond that neither of them expected.

Meanwhile, the country around them verges on collapse. A toxic fuel is choking the land, the machine-powered Lotus Guild is publicly burning those they deem Impure, and the Shõgun cares for nothing but his own dominion. Authority has always made Yukiko, but her world changes when she meets Kin, a young man with secrets, and the rebel Kagé cabal. She learns the horrifying extent of the Shõgun's crimes, both against her country and her family.

Returning to the city, Yukiko is determined to make the Shõgun pay – but what can one girl and a flightless arashitora do against the might of an empire?

why i chose it

Kristoff is better known for his more recent stuff which I love as well. However I feel this series is more unrated then his recent works which made him a household name. I read this book the year it came out and this book started my love affair with Kristoff's books.  It's a Japanese inspired steampunk tale that inspired by the author own love affair for Japan. It's pretty different from his other works  but it has the same descriptive flair as his more recent works.

I highly recommend reading this series if you love his other works and want to see how far he has grown as an author. Yukiko deserves to be well known as Mia as she has her own flair for the dramatics and she is not afraid to kick butt. Her story is gripping and best of all there is no cliffhangers that Jay has become known for.

Follow Tash at Blog, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads

What's your pick for this week? Share on your blog, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, or in the comments below! Make sure you tag your posts with #AusYABloggers so we can share the love.

Conversations 001: Queer Book Chat

Over the month of June – Pride Month – Star pointed out to me how most books being promoted were M/M. Until she pointed this out, I hadn’t noticed. Once she pointed it out, it was all I noticed. I’d even been guilty of it! There are so many fantastic M/M books that I’ve read, but sadly not as many F/F. I didn’t think they were out there. But Star proved me wrong with reading recommendations, and I intend to read them all.

Hi. I’m Sarah, one of the AusYABloggers group moderators and today I’ve asked fellow queer Aussie book blogger, the above-mentioned Star, to chat to me on the group blog.
Star is an out and Proud Lesbian who I think the world of. I am a quiet bisexual who can no longer stand to be quiet.
Sarah: During Pride month we had a few discussions about how we were mainly seeing M/M books in people’s Pride month posts. I think we basically deduced that this is what mainstream media seems to push and thus it is a trickle-down effect – yuk.

Star: You’re absolutely right. While a huge part of me is so excited that LGBT+ are getting any representation at all (though it is seriously lacking in full diversity), it makes me a little sad that it’s only M/M and the majority of the time, the M/M books are written by cis straight white women. Give me M/M written by own voices M/M and I am all for it!

Sarah: Yes! #OwnVoices – While I want as varied array of diversity in my books as there is in the world (so Cis whites get on diversifying your characters please), It does feel so much more meaningful when a story is #ownvoices, regardless of what the voice is.

Star: I couldn’t agree more! I was thinking about this again and the more I thought about it, the more I saw that the only F/F book (not even plural) that people were recommending was Leah on the Offbeat and it makes me sad because that is as far from #OwnVoices as you can get.

Sarah: Clancy of the Undertow by Christopher Currie was the first book I read and thought “Oh shit, this girl is me”. This teenage girl is teenage me. Her snarky self-loathing. Her failed attempts at F/F romance. I wanted to hug her and tell her we’d figure it out together.

What was the first book you saw yourself in?

Star: This is hard because I didn’t actually see myself in any books as a kid, but it was fanfiction I first saw myself really represented. Since then, I have been feeding my inner teenager with every single queer book I can literally get my hands on for that representation I so desperately craved as a teenager. The first F/F book I read, however, was Empress of the World by Sara Ryan. It still holds a dear place in my heart because it was my first ever F/F book.

Sarah: I’m hearing ya. And I’m thankful you were able to find a home for yourself in the fantastic world of Fan Fiction. I didn’t find any F/F until a was an “adult” and already married to a man. I often wonder about if in my teens I’d had access to the wonderfully queer books had I have access to now, how different my life may have turned out. I think that’s probably what drives us both to actively search out and promote queer books now. We want today’s teens to have the reads we didn’t.

Star: Absolutely! People who have representation in every single media form rarely stop to think about those that don’t, and it makes me sad. Because everyone deserves representation and to see themselves in a book, movie, tv show, etc.

Sarah: The Dyke word. I can remember you telling me about a book where the POV referred to herself as a Dyke and It wasn’t a positive reading experience. I was horrified when you told me. I think we can agree that we are fed up with derogatory bulls*** and want more positive examples for our teens.

What was the last book you read where the POV lesbian’s status was treated as a positive thing?

Star: My latest and most favourite book – These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling. The MC identifies as lesbian and says on page “I’m a huge lesbian” and I’m like “YES, THIS IS ME!”. More often than not, books will use ‘gay’ and ‘queer’ and even the d-slur over actually using ‘lesbian’. Because apparently “lesbian” is a porn category for men, not a sexuality that actually, you know, pertains to women who love other women.

Sarah: The lesbian word. We’ve spoken before about how meaningful it is for you when a character calls themselves a lesbian and it’s a positive thing and I’m with ya!

Do you think the publishing industry is heading in the right direction, are we seeing more positive examples rather than negatives these days? Because there certainly was a time when all queer stories had sad endings (which we know is bulls*** in the real world, queers can and do live happy meaningful lives).

Star: The fact that more queer books are existing is a huge step in the right direction, I think. There’s always going to be sad stories, because that is how life works, but there needs to be a bit of a better balance. I’m sick of lesbians and F/F ending up dead, dying painfully, cheating on their boyfriends (to only go back to being with a guy because god forbid being bisexual actually exists, too!). There are so many ways that F/F can have happy endings, just like all the heterosexual books that are out there. Give me 500 years’ worth of cute contemporary F/F books (and LGBT+ books on the whole) like there has been for heterosexuals. No trope is too tired when it comes to it being re-imagined with an LGBT+ protagonist.

Sarah: Here Here. Agreed. Bring them all on. I think this is the perfect time to drop a list of YA F/F books for you to check out. It is by no means all the books that are out there. It’s a list of F/F I’ve either read or are planning to read. If you’ve got any favorites that I’ve somehow missed. Please let us know what they are below.

You can find Star @ Twitter | Instagram | Book Blog

And you can find me, Sarah @ Twitter | Instagram | Book Blog

Comment your thoughts below. Let us know If you want more rambling chit chat posts like this in the future.
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