Monday, October 10, 2016


Holy cow! So I've found my way back here. It's been almost 3.. years?!

Can we talk about those pages views doe! IT'S OVER 9,000!
*cough* Now that that jokes out of out of the way.

Quick Personal Rundown:
I'm now on the edge of my 27th birthday. I've moved from Florida, which is where I was most of the time this blog was active, to Oklahoma. I am currently living in Oklahoma City and looking to move back to the Jacksonville area early 2017. (I miss Florida too much!)
I have a long term committed partner, after being single for almost 6 years. (YAY!)
I'm currently a homemaker.
Both of my lovely kitty cats are still doing well.

Mind you I have done some cleaning of le house, or should I say 'le blog", and removing some old outdated posts, mostly personal things that I now feel are cluttering up the place!

While I'm still on the same level of reading. AKA Not as often as I should be but at least one a month if I'm good.
I am still hoping to bring a decent mixture of movie, TV, and book reviews.

I've never been much of a 'current' reader, and that hasn't changed. I'm more of a "Hey look at this book I found, it sounded interesting!" while at a thrift store of browsing a clearance shelf.

Speaking of which, have you hear of Hasting? Well there's one near me and they're going out of business. This sale has been going on for at least two months, slowly working down how marked off everything is. I made my final trip to our local one and picked over everything one section at a time.

Official started on Christmas shopping for the kids! As well as a load of books for myself.

That said, I ended up with 8 books total and spent $4 on most of them, and two for $.70 and $.17!

I snatched up Wake by Amanada Hocking
The Last Apprentice/Wardstone Chronicles by Joseph Delaney, Book 3, Book 4, Book 6, and Book 8. I already have the first one and bought the second one used off Amazon ($4 book!)
The Golden Specifice by S.E. Grove
This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata, Julia Kuo  (Currently reading)

To the future and onward!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Eli's POV: Bollywood at a Glance

*Please note this post is largely based on personal opinions, interpretations, and views.*
I wanted to share my thoughts, be helpful, and recommend a few thing. Please don't chase me with a pitchfork or two.

I have these moments when I go on trends, I suppose you could say. I find a genre and mass consume it. Bollywood is one of those things. Although, it's difficult to find ones I thoroughly enjoy.
Chalk it up to culturally differences, age differences, or even language barriers. The movies style, life style, and everything about them is fairly different. Although things are changing, things are becoming more modern.

It's like picking something at random and diving in, not really sure what to expect, and sometimes not even sure what to think.

With this in mind, I picked my brain (and my Netflix history) for a list of titles and my feelings towards them. Mainly, searching for a list of things I approve of and those I don't. What I suggest watching and what I suggest staying away from.

Quick Discussion Time! Intermission, what is that and why is it there?

An "intermission" is when there's a break, splitting a film (play, etc) typically into two parts.
All Indian films have intermissions, expect to see them. (Fun Fact: This includes Western movies brought to India.) This is how their industry works.
I will try to explain this simply as I can. The first half of the movie is an introduction. It is light, care-free, lively, and dream-like. We meet everyone and they're story takes heart. *Intermission*
The second half is life. It comes barging in and crashing down without mercy. It's realization and basically reality. It's about how the characters deal with that and ultimately the conclusion. For a longer read..

With all that said, let's get this list rolling!

Recommend Bollywood movies:
If you are new or interested in Bollywood/Indian movies, I highly recommend any of these. You shouldn't have much of a problem enjoying or understanding them, culturally differences and all.
Do note most of these are fairly modern and a couple could, usually are, considered American movies (Bride & Prejudice and Outsourced). But it's the theme and introduction to the culture I was searching for here, with a bit of my personal preference thrown in.

Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge, why?
This is by far my favourite Bollywood movie. Granted it's very modern, the story revolves around Facebook, and it's super cheesy. However, I always recommend this to people, I've yet to hear a negative reaction.
The movie is light hearted and fun.

Band Baaja Baaraat, why?
I will admit the first time I saw this, I was... shocked. This movie displays themes and actions thought to be otherwise taboo in the Indian film industry (from my understanding). After my shock, I realized how interesting a capturing the story was. The ending is one of my favourite dance scenes (although the 'dancing' is so cheesy!)
Here watching: Ainvayi Ainvayi Same song but not the ending, I wouldn't want to ruin it! :)

I Hate Luv Storys, why?
Super cute movie. There is no other way to say it. In all honesty it might be a generic rom-com but it knows that and doesn't deny it. Instead it gives in and leaves a great impact. Along with some warm fuzzy feelings.

Pyaar Impossible, why?
This is personal taste at play. I know some people that don't enjoy this movie. The reason it ends up in the "Recommend" section is because it's not bad. Along with that, my feelings are iffy about it. It's a decent story, although ends up on the fence between 'average' and 'more'. I can admit that.
Still, it's a fairly simple straight-forward story.

Bride and Prejudice, why?
Is another 'not quite' Bollywood, but it is often considered to be. It's is a great play on Pride and Prejudice with a slightly Indian twist.
Easy and fun to watch.

Outsourced, why?
In all honesty this film isn't really Bollywood, but it started something for me. This is one of the first India films I saw, while Americanized it opened a new world and showed me insight into India, something that I never even thought about.

From this movie, was created a TV series. Although short-lived, which is upsetting. I loved that show. :'(

Possible Recommendations:
Let me describe my feelings of these movies, as 'lukewarm'.
Many of these films display a traits ("sins") I've come to loath through Indian films. Let it be; the overly done slap-stick comedy, crazy heroines but it's okay, stay 'true' to your one love because no other option is acceptable, bad can never change, etc.

This is something that's hard for me to wrap my head around in someways. Again, differences, they happen.

I have to say my biggest pet peeve is having a super crazy female leads that can do no wrong, either because they're a wonderful person (despite being slightly "uncontrollable", my phrasing) or because they are a women. This is also goes hand-in-hand with them being overly cutesy. (I've also seen this in Asian movies. Mostly Korean and Japanese. My Sassy Girl.. *shudders*) I don't know what it is about this combination..
Enough about that!

Dil Bole Hadippa!, why?
This movie displays everything I discussed in the above section. It's a gender-bender about a girl that wishes to professionally play cricket on an all male team. This movie isn't bad, it's just.. iffy.
While it also has another one of my favourite dance numbers, Discowale Khisko

Jab We Met, why?
Oh this movie. So flip-flippy. The beginning half isn't bad. This movie slips after the intermission, then spends a good amount of time trying to even it's self out. Forcing me to label it as "Average".
In my eyes, no bad but not great.

Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic, why?
Very cute movie. But at fault for all of the sins I've already discussed. This movie sets it's self apart from most of the Indian movies I've seen, people focused around older main characters, followed by younger.
Somewhat of a Mary Poppins theme.
(It's about a man suddenly becoming the guardian of four children. The twist, he coincidentally killed their parents in a car crash. They children are unhappy and pray to God, who sends down an Angel to help them.)
Sadly, while I enjoyed this movie, it's only slightly above average.

Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, why?
Dear lord. E-v-e-r-y crime in the book for me. I can't explain my love-hate relationship with the female lead. There are times I wanted someone like her in my life and others were I wanted to strangle her with my bare hands. Imran Khan () being in this helps it's standing. Firstly, I love him. Second, his character.. he just nails it and is the entire reason this movie holds together.
This one.. is a headache trying to find a place for,  forcing me to label my feelings "Luke Warm".

Saawariya, why?
This is a different kind of story. I wanted to love this movie, I did. But I could not bring myself to. What I think caught my attention was the side stories and details. There is much more than meets the eye, to the world created in this film.

Kal Ho Naa Ho, why?
This movie presents and interesting theme.. that I'll admit I don't enjoy. Mostly because of how it ends, but that's me.
Nonetheless, touching heart-felt story.


Not Recommend:  
These movies.. Basically ended up here because they send bad messages or waste time for no reason. Out of all the India movies I've seen, these stand out as the worst or at least the ones that left hugely negative impressions.
If you didn't noticed the two very large spoiler warnings, I am going to ruin these movies. Because, either they have no point (which spoils a plot right there) or they're negative and from my view point, you need to know, so you don't waste your time.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Book Review: Eating The Cheshire Cat by Helen Ellis


Eating The Cheshire Cat
by Helen Ellis

Release: February 13, 2001
Author Info: Website
Publisher: Scribner
Age Group: Young Adult/Adult
Source: Bought (Thrifted $.25)

"Eating the Cheshire Cat" lures us into a world of perfectly planned parties and steep social ladders, where traditional rites of passage take unpredictable and horrifying turns as three girls and their overbearing mothers collide. In Tuscaloosa, Alabama, beauty is as beauty does, with axes and knives and killer smiles. Sarina Summers and her mother will stop at nothing to have it all. Nicole Hicks harbors a fierce obsession with Sarina, which repeatedly undermines Mrs. Hicks's ambitious goals. Bitty Jack Carlson, a nice girl from the wrong side of the tracks, is caught in the crossfire but struggles to succeed outside the confines of this outrageous yet eerily familiar Southern community. It's survival of the fittest. Which girl will come out on top?

Covering everything from summer camp to the University of Alabama's Homecoming game, this fast-paced and unforgettable novel will keep readers guessing until the bitter end.

Warning: Mild Spoilers!

Apparently, the subject and style of this book is meant to be dark humour. Whereas I, didn't find it funny. At all.

I had almost no idea what I was walking into starting this book, if I had known, I wouldn't have ever picked it up. All I knew was the story was about three girls that unexpectedly cross paths throughout their lives, each time having more effect on them than the last.
There is so much more to it than that; webs of lies, deceit, trauma, mental illness, obsession, harassment, bullying.
I found this story in a simple phrase to sum up my opinion "Seriously messed up". This book was difficult for me to read, not the book it's self (under 300 pages, took me two sittings), but the issues and situations that were addressed and encountered; most of all, how they were dealt with.

This is a changing narrative book, between three characters; Sarina, Nicole, and Bitty Jack. Each section of the book, 3 total (Through the Looking Glass, Down the Rabbit Hole, and Off With Her Head), serve as a sort of time lapse and the level of seriousness as to what issues the girls have in their lives. (Starting with middle school, high school, and finally college which starts to look into their futures.) From kids, to teens, and finally "(young) adults".

Each time we meet the characters time has passed. Starting at 16 with Sarina, and flashing back to the age of 13, back to 16, from there ages start to blur and school is used as a sort of age gauge. 10 grade, first year of college, second year of college, occasionally playing catch-up to fill in some blanks. Finally the book ends around the 3rd year of college.

Sarina is always the #1 it girl. Miss Popular, Miss Cool, Miss Everyone-else-falls-in-line-behind-her.
Top of the food chain, perfect, perfect, perfect! Sadly only her image is perfect. (Of course) Her personal life is beyond messed up, always plotting, always scheming, always out to turn things into her favour. She will do what she has to, lie, cheat, and manipulate; for what she wants. She is pure evil, if you can even imagine.
But at the same time, I feel bad her, in a twisted way. Most of what she does and thinks, was taught. Thanks to her jaded mother and her failed marriage, and living her life for what she wants, regardless of who she hurts to get it, including herself
What she does, is all she knows. It's all about getting what she wants and living with the thrill of achieving the results, however short lived they might be.

Nicole is Sarina's #2, always. Nicole mother is beyond controlling, always pushing her to be the best, try harder, be better. To the point she completely smothers her daughter. To the point her daughter fails in most areas of her life just to prove her mother wrong. "Push me all you want, but I still control the outcome" even if it ultimately makes her more miserable.
Nicole is crazy about Sarina, while through most of the book it's unsure if she see Sarina as 'more than a friend' but over time the issue becomes addressed. Throughout most of the book, she just adore Sarina, to the point of obsession.
She wants nothing more than to be there for her. To be the one Sarina trusts with everything, to tell everything, to do everything with her. To have someone in her life that cares for her just the way she is, without trying to change or control her. That just wants her in their life.
Once again, in a twisted way, I feel bad for her as well.

Bitty Jack, the daughter from a low-income family in a small 'never heard of it' town. They live and work on a summer camp site where do to their work and living arrangements (able to live on site if they become care-takers of the place) Bitty Jack used to attend as a kid and eventually becomes a counselor during the summer season.
Out of all the girl Bitty Jack as the best grasp on reality and how to work for what you want, not cheat, lie, or steal to get it. Nothing has been handed to her. She understands you can only accomplish through hard work, and while life isn't always easy, it's better to go through it with a bright outlook and positive attitude.
However she sadly crosses paths with Sarina more than a few times, who continues to cause havoc on her life and threats to tear their lives apart. Over time there are negative changes and actions from Bitty Jack as a result of her not-so-easy life.

Each one of them is selfish to a fault. At the end of the day, out for themselves.
While this isn't true for Bitty Jack, life and situations sometimes force her into a corner, and she makes a few horrible decisions, more than once.

All in all this book is just... twisted. At the same time it's like a train-wreck, I couldn't stop reading it to see what would happen.

I can not recommend this book. I can't. I can't even tell you the level of "What the.." I have towards this book.
Which I apologize, is why the "review" is fairly short. (Although it's more like a detailed synopsis, I couldn't find much else to say or explain without entirely ruining the book.)

Recommend: Not recommended, unless you really enjoy what's apparently meant to be 'dark humour' and extreme teen social issues along with questionable mental state.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Summer Reading: What's on your list?

Hey everyone, I know I missed the official first week of summer, but that's okay! (The first day of summer being June 20th.) As summer is still here and not going anywhere, I think all is fine.

Like most people, come summer time I decided to make myself a few summer goals. One of those, being a summer reading list! sadly I only came up with a few things I really wanted to read. I'm hoping to get some more recommendations or find something I really want to read.

Summer Reading List (No order)

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

My list is actually very short, it's kind of embarrassing. Considering I've already read half of it.
That said, am looking for some recommendations!

Any books out there you think I should give a read?
I'm looking for 2-4 more, at least! I'm hoping to add some more YA to the list but not too many.

What are you guys planning to read? Do you have a reading list or just read what catches your eye/interest?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Extras: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

With my specific "Now a Major Motion Picture"copy of The Help by Kathryn Stockett (See image source link!) there are two extras in the back. Whereas I'm not entirely sure what other version these are included in.
I wanted to share my opinion of them and hopefully spark more thought on the story, maybe some dialogue between readers.

There is an essay by Kathryn Stockett and "Reading Group Guide".

The essay is titled "Too Little, Too Late Kathryn Stockett in her words".The essay tells of her personal life, but mostly of her relationship with her own maid, Demetrie.

Personally, I love little added tidbits of information about someone. Even more so, if it's about their private life, I feel it really fleshes them out as a human being, rather than the person we have set in our minds, that is mostly a name attached to what they've done.
Finding out something personal about them, makes you realize they're just as human as everyone else. Especially if they are willingly sharing it.

The funny thing is, most of what I said in my personal note on the actual review for The Help was said by Kathryn Stockett, herself.
She admitted to having the difficultly of trying to imagine what it much have been like to a black, female, domestic worker in the 60s.  How much she fought with herself about trying to be a voice for these women and their views. While also trying to show the complex relationships and lives of everyone involved.
How embarrassed and ashamed she was for being the topic up because she was taught not to discuss such things, but that they do exist. Trying to sweep them under the table just because you don't think it's appropriate, doesn't make the issue go away. Although some people don't believe or even realize there is an issue.

She talked about her life, her maid, and their relationship. Only to realize how important and special it was after it was gone. How her view of the world, and her life, changed as she grew up. How naive and immature she had been, although maybe based on the time and the South.
While the book is dedicated to her grandfather, she said Demetrie is the reason she wrote the book. For the conversations she never got to have, the things that were never said, and the relationship she wouldn't realize she'd miss. For never asking her about her life and how she felt.

It's only a few pages longs but worth the read.

Reading Group Guide

For those who have not read The Help by Kathryn Stockett.
What followers are discussion questions about the book. Meaning, they are filled with spoilers and an open discussion of the book, it's characters, and events.