As a continuation of my quest to read 50 books and watch 50 movies in 2012, I ventured out to see 21 Jump Street, and finished reading Under Wraps. That brings the movie count to 10 and the book count to 7. I’m obviously behind on reading, but no worries! It’s only March.

Book: Under Wraps by Hannah Jayne

It’s been a long time since I laughed out loud at a novel, but I did that several times reading Under Wraps. I enjoyed the hell out of this book. No pun intended. What a fantastic voice! It had so much humor woven into a fantastical mix of our world and the supernatural one that I found myself carrying the Kindle with me everywhere, just so I didn’t have to stop reading. Mixed in with the humor is an intriguing mystery and enough sexual tension to tease.

It’s not often where you read an urban fantasy in which half the characters have magic or are demons or what not, but the protagonist doesn’t. Her main feature is an immunity to magic. Nice twist! I hope the main character grows a bit in the next book, because she felt a bit childish at times to me, but overall an excellent romp.

First line: “This was why I didn’t do magic. Well, this and the fact that incidents like this wreaked havoc on my organic cotton-blend wardrobe.

An excellent first line, which leads to a fun first scene at the UDA (Underworld Detection Agency) and sets the tone for the entire story. At first, I was expecting something like a detective agency, but it turns out the UDA is a lot like the DMV. Demons line up to register just like we do, and Sophie is the clerk behind the counter.

I suspect the idea for this came from waiting in line at the DMV, because I’m pretty sure I’ve run into both demons and dragons while getting my license.

I would not call this chic lit, as some seem to be doing. This is urban fantasy. It’s not gritty or dark/noir, but that’s not a requirement. What’s required is an urban setting (check) mixed with magic or fantasy elements (check check). If you’re looking for a dark, vampire laden story—keep moving, this isn’t the story you’re looking for. If you’re looking for the lighter side of urban fantasy, then snatch this up.

I found this story a refreshing change of pace, and genuinely enjoyed the fun, light read.


Movie: 21 Jump Street ( Jonah HillChanning Tatum and Ice Cube)

My husband talked me into seeing this last weekend. I’ve never seen an episode of the tv show, so I had no real expectations other than I thought it would be silly. Was it? Yes, in a good way.

I was pleasantly surprised by how entertaining I found this movie, and by how many laugh-out-loud moments it inspired in the entire audience. I didn’t just giggle…I belly laughed in several places. The guy behind me actually spit popcorn, he laughed so hard.

The plot was comfortingly predictable. Two incompetent cops get sent in undercover at a high school to find the source of a new designer drug. While it might not have had a surprising ending, it was solid and well executed.

There weren’t any plot holes that I could see, nor did they throw in the kitchen sink just for laughs. It had all the things a good story should have, combined with some excellent acting.

It’s a spoof, but not an over-the-top spoof. My favorite line is near the beginning of the movie. I don’t remember it exactly, but it was something about how the guys in charge can’t come up with anything new so they are re-hashing old ideas from the 80s. I love a movie that can laugh at itself and Hollywood at the same time.

If you’re looking for a fun evening, give this a try. If you liked the original show, then this will be nostalgic for you. If you never saw the tv show, don’t worry. I bet you’ll find plenty of laughs, too.