Movie Review for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Directors: Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg
Writers:  Jeff Nathanson
Starring:  Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scoldefario
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Official Socials: Site | Facebook Twitter | Instagram | IMDb
Hashtag: #PiratesLife
Captain Jack Sparrow searches for the trident of Poseidon.

When I was 6 years old, I went to Disney World for the very first time. I remember almost every detail about that trip, but one of the things I remember the most is going on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride over and over with my late father. I remember getting on it and telling him how cool I thought that ride was and how I wanted to do it many more times. And we did.

 Fast forward to the year 2003 when the very first Pirates of the Caribbean movie –based on the ride I so love –came out. I was ecstatic. To make it even more exciting, my favorite actor, Johnny Depp, plays one of the main characters –and now everyone’s favorite pirate. Throw in this mix Orlando Bloom as another main character and I was more than sold. What does that meme say? Shut up and take my money!

 So when I was asked to review the latest installment of this franchise, part 5 (yes, you read it right, part 5 and still going strong), I was more than happy to oblige. I will admit that I was a little nervous, though: it’s a part 5, how many more movies are they going to make? Are they going to ruin it? Will they be stretching it so far that it will finally break? And the answers are: who knows? Didn’t ruin it or break it. In fact, I think this one makes up for part 4, which I didn’t care much for –even though it was basically all about Jack. Let me explain a bit better…

 I’ve read other reviews and, as per usual, many critics give it a bad review. I’ve always said that most movie critics only give Oscar-worthy films anything close to a good review. If it’s fantasy, mythical, and/or silly, they will shred it to pieces. See, I disagree completely with that mentality. Not every single movie has to be an amazing dramatic one; there should be humor, and fantasy, imagination beyond drama. Which brings me to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which (at least all critics and I agree on this) is incredibly reminiscent to the one that started it all. From the way it begins, the way it all develops, you will be having flashbacks to it, but in a good way.

Henry Turner, Will and Elizabeth’s son, is one of the main characters and he has so much of his father in personality and physical, along with the stubbornness of his mother. Not to mention he is pretty easy on the eyes, just like his dad. He’s also a pretty good pirate and loyal to his word. He is the reason the entire plot of the movie even starts. Then we have Carina, the beautiful (and only) female lead in this movie. I love how independent, smart, and fierce she is, especially in a time when women weren’t allowed to be that way, or they’d be hung for “being a witch.” The chemistry of these two was pretty good and they add more fun to the movie.

 Then, of course, we have Captain Jack Sparrow returning for more adventure. In this movie, we have a flashback that explains how Jack becomes a Captain, of how he got his beloved possessions (his hat, the scarf he wears on his belt, and the compass, amongst other things), and why he is so hated by the brilliant Javier Bardem’s character, Captain Salazar, known as “The Butcher of the Sea”. Of course, there are a lot of one-liners and silliness brought to you by Jack, with his antics and crazy stunts that had me bent over laughing. Javier Bardem, as per usual, is brilliant (and he is amazing at being the bad guy), and quite terrifying in this movie. I loved his bad guy because he was almost unmatched. Only Jack Sparrow’s wit is what could outsmart him, and escape his deadly blows. 
 Geoffrey Rush also returns as Captain Hector Barbosa with his usual wit to be part of this wild goose chase that ensues; and we also find out a pretty big detail about his past that I cannot say anymore about as to not ruin the movie.

 All of that is all fine and dandy, but my most favorite part was the ending. This part I really can’t reveal anymore about because it’s a pretty big deal if you are a fan of the franchise, and have followed the storyline as I have. Just know that they give us a wonderful surprise that had me smiling and wanting to know more about that part of the story. I won’t lie, the post-credit scene (which is incredibly short) does hint at a part 6, but it seems to be more focused on other people for once. I say that no only because of the scene, but because what I’ve read online, it’s supposed to be Captain Jack’s “final adventure” (or something along the lines…but, to be honest, I don’t think that will be true because Johnny absolutely loves playing Jack and I don’t think he’s about to hang his pirate hat if there is another part to be filmed).

 As I said earlier, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie: I laughed a lot, had many moments in which I reminisced fondly over the first movie, and the ending had me smiling like a silly schoolgirl. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did –especially if you’re a big fan of the franchise, as I am.

Book Review: Black Souls by Nicole Castroman

Black Souls
Black Hearts #2
Author: Nicole Castroman
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Historical
Released: April 11 2017
Review Source: Simon Pulse

Nicole Castroman brings the dangerous pirate ports of the Caribbean to life in this vibrant sequel to Blackhearts—the reimagined origin story of history’s most infamous pirate, Blackbeard.
Edward “Teach” Drummond is setting sail to the Caribbean as first mate on the most celebrated merchant ship in the British fleet—until he rebels against his captain. Mutiny is a capital offense and Teach knows it could cost him his life, but he believes it worth the risk in order to save his crew from the attacking Spanish ships.
Sailing on the same blue waters, Anne barely avoids the Spanish attack, making it safely to Nassau. But lawless criminals, corrupt politics, and dangerous intentions fill the crowded streets of this Caribbean port. Soon, Anne discovers that the man entrusted to keep the peace is quite possibly the most treacherous of them all—and he just happens to hold Teach’s fate in his terrifying hands.
Life and death hang in the balance when Teach and Anne are given a dangerous mission. It’s a mission that will test their love, loyalty and devotion, forcing them down a path neither one could have ever imagined.

Black Souls picks up with Teach and Anne on two different ships and our hearts torn in two because of it. The two are wanting to be together, with only finding the other one safe on their mind. But among their travels things start to get put off course, with Teach in the middle of what seems to be a mutiny and Anne wanting to help save him their course only gets harder.

I love this story. Teach and Anne are some of my favorite characters that I have ever read. But for some reason this book didn't hold my interest quite like the first one. Maybe it's because the first one was all about Teach and Anne falling in love. The fact that it felt forbidden made it more fun and exciting. Whereas now they were together but more practical things were keeping them apart. It's hard to read a romance and yell at them for doing their duty. Whereas in the first one you could just yell at them to go find the other.

This sequel gets into the meat of Teach becoming Blackbeard. He becomes the pirate that we had expected to see. I still love that we now have this side of him - when we think pirates we either think bad guys or Johnny Depp... With this story we now have a story that makes them more dimensional as characters. We are able to then realize that they weren't always the thieving people history has made them out to be.

Exclusive Book Giveaway For Our Readers!

Hey guys! I have quite a few duplicate copies of books so I figured this would be a good opportunity to do some giveaways! The first one is The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia, Black Widow Red Vengeance by Margaret Stohl and Nothing More by Anna Todd.

We will be having a couple of giveaways so just make sure to check back for your chance to win. Good luck! 

Check Out Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner's UNEARTHED! exclusively revealed the cover and an excerpt fromUNEARTHED by New York Times bestselling authors Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner.

Click here to read the full feature!

Check out Amie and Meg’s social media to find out how to win a galley of #Unearthed, and see below for more information on this stellar read!

by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Hyperion | On Sale: 1/9/18 | Ages: 14 and Up
Hardcover ISBN: 9781484758052
$17.99 US | $18.99 CAN
Bold, thrilling, and treacherous, UNEARTHED is an action-packed, high-octane adventure with a swoon-worthy romance. As lies and flaws are exposed, readers will be captivated by the tough, whip-smart, and courageous characters as they fight for their own—and humanity’s—very survival. The first in a duology, the production company Cross Creek Pictures has optioned the film rights, with director Doug Liman attached.

When Earth intercepts a message from an extinct alien race, it appears that the Undying's advanced technology has the potential to save the ruined planet. The aliens’ message leads to the planet Gaia. For Jules Addison, the discovery of an ancient culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study, as long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don't loot everything first. Despite their opposing reasons for smuggling themselves onto the alien planet, they're both desperate to uncover the riches hidden in the Undying temples.

Beset by scavenger gangs, Jules and Mia form a fragile alliance... but both are keeping secrets that make trust nearly impossible. As they race to decode the ancient messages, Jules and Mia must navigate the traps and trials within the Undying temples while staying one step ahead of the scavvers. They came to Gaia to unravel the ancient beings’ mysteries. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more Jules and Mia start to feel like their presence in the temple is part of a grand design—one that could spell the end of the human race. As their loyalty to each other is tested, Jules and Mia must both decide the lengths to which they will go to survive, while the fate of humanity lies in the balance.

Book Review: Buns by Alice Clayton

Hudson Valley #3
Author: Alice Clayton
Reading Level: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Released: May 23, 2017
Review Source: Simon & Schuster

Clara Morgan is living the dream, if you can call rebranding hotels that are desperate for a new life and running any kind of marathon a dream. Which she does. But the career she loves and the endurance races that keep her adrenaline pumping have kept her too busy to put down any roots. Growing up in foster care, she’s never been able to establish traditions of her own, which may be why she’s fascinated by the rituals that generations-old family resorts are known for. She’s especially interested in the Bryant Mountain House, and not just for their secret recipe for the yummy, gooey, can’t-get-enough-of Hot Cross Buns….

Archie Bryant, the man with the Buns, is fifth generation and one-day-owner of the charming yet run-down Bryant Mountain House in Bailey Falls, New York. He’s determined to save his family’s legacy from the wrecking ball the old-fashioned way—by gritting his teeth and doing what needs to be done. There’s no way Archie will be influenced by the new hotel branding expert his father brought in to turn one hundred and fifty years of tradition on its head just to attract a faster, younger, slicker crowd. But when some of Clara’s ideas start bringing in new, paying customers, Archie can’t deny that she may have just given him a shot at keeping his resort open.

It’s sticky, it’s messy, it’s sweet, it’s Buns.

This was such a fun read, as are all Alice Clayton books.  We are back in New York where Clara is brought in to completely update a luxury resort.  She is very much looking forward to making the hotel really shine when her almost boss, Archie, is not happy about all the changes to come.  The two are definitely at odds with each other but have an undeniable attraction going on.  Perfect set up for an amazing story!

I loved this book!  It has been my favorite book so far in the Hudson Valley series.  Which is saying a lot because I really loved the other books also.  Seriously Alice Clayton can do no wrong, I always enjoy every single one of her books.

I love Clara and Archie!  Clara is an amazing woman.  She is strong, talented, smart, and beautiful!  The total package!  I want to be her when I grow up.  Archie is set in his ways and traditions.  He's so stubborn that he reminds me of my husband.  I laughed out loud many times reading this book and seeing the banter between the two characters.

I am rating this book 4.5 stars because it was such a fun, romantic, story.  It kept me entertained the entire time and that's hard to do with my ADD.  I highly recommend this book and all of Alice Clayton's books!

#Houston Grab Passes to Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie @ Edwards Houston Marq'E 5/27

Release Date: June 2, 2017
MPAA Rating: PG
Director: David Soren
Writer: Nicholas Stoller (Based on the Epic Novels by Dav Pilkey)
Producers: Mark Swift, Mireille Soria
Cast: Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, Thomas Middleditch, Jordan Peele, Kristen Schaal
Based on the worldwide sensation and bestselling book series, and boasting an A-list cast of comedy superstars headed by Kevin Hart and Ed Helms, DreamWorks Animation brings audiences the long-awaited global movie event, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. This raucously subversive comedy for the entire family tells the story of two overly imaginative pranksters named George and Harold, who hypnotize their principal into thinking he’s a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants.

Do you want to see CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE before it hits theaters? Well click the poster below for your chance to download an admit-four screening pass for an advance screening on Saturday, May 27th at 10:00AM in Houston! Seats in the theater are first-come, first-serve so PLEASE ARRIVE EARLY! CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE opens everywhere on June 2nd.

Book Review: Stand by A.L. Jackson

Bleeding Stars #6
Author: A.L. Jackson
Reading Level: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Released: May 22, 2017
Review Source: A.L. Jackson Books Inc.

A Bleeding Stars Standalone Novel

"PURE BEAUTY IN WORDS. Stand shatters and SINGS to the SOUL, making the heart both soar and bleed." ~Karen, Bookalicious Babes Blog

Zachary Kennedy has never been known as a fighter, but he’ll never regret fighting for her…

I’m Zee Kennedy.
Quiet. Reserved. Predictable.
When my brother died, everyone thought I was just the good guy who stepped up to take his place in the band.

No one knew what I was hiding. The one thing I’ve been fighting for.

For seven years, I’ve never lost focus.

Not until one chance encounter with Alexis Kensington.

Now she’s become my greatest temptation.
I knew better than to touch her, but now that I’ve had a taste, I can’t get enough.
Her kiss becomes my air. Her body my salvation.

She needed a savior and somehow she became mine.

Taking her was a betrayal. But keeping her means risking everything.
One look at Alexis Kensington, and I know she’s worth the fight.
Will my past continue to keep me down or will I finally find the strength to pull myself up and Stand…

Oh my heart.  This series is ABSOLUTELY everything.  I have been chomping at the bits to get my hands on Zee's book for so long!  To say I was FREAKING ECSTATIC to get it is an extreme understatement.  Zee has always pulled at my heart strings through the entire series.

These words are so incredible, the journey you are taken on with these characters is just, NO WORDS!!  No FREAKIN words.  This has been such an emotional journey and Stand in particular freaking wrecked me.  It was such an amazing story.  From the very start of this book I knew I was in for an experience unlike like any other.  A.L. Jackson gives you every. single. emotion while reading.  She never freaking disappoints.  I had to step away and collect my thoughts for this review and I still feel like all the words are a jumbled mess.  Let me just say that this will go down as one of my all time favorite series and Zee's book is my favorite book of them all.

We finally get to learn about Zee's story.  He has always been an such an enigma.  A quiet, mysterious, sexy man.  You could always tell when we heard his story, it was going to make an impact.  And Alexis, oh I love Alexis.  The two together are what dreams are made of.  There connection they share is so intense you can feel it in every page.  Reading this book made my heart stop, my me cry (and I am not a huge book crier), made me FEEEEEL.

I'm rating this book 5 stars, seriously I would rate it higher but 5 is the max.  I could not put this book down for one second.  I was ALL consumed from the beginning.  This series has meant so much to me.  PLEASE for the love of all that is holy go one click this entire series.  You will not regret it!


A.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.
Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, as well as the newest BLEEDING STARS novels. Watch for the next installment STAND, coming Spring 2017.
If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.

Be sure not to miss new releases and sales from A.L. Jackson - Sign up to receive her newsletter or text “aljackson” to 24587 to receive short but sweet updates on all the important news.

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Twitter: @aljacksonauthor
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