Friday, December 9, 2016

Follow Friday: Holiday Reads

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read, to help gain new followers and make new friends!
Please see here for rules and more details if you're interesting in joining in!

Show us your holiday reads! via Charlie

Now I know for many holiday reads could just be something you plan to read this month, theme'd holiday reads, or something you gravitate towards when the winter winds blow in.

As I'm not strictly a book blog, I have a mixed list. As well as a mixture of the above statement.

This time of the year makes me want to watch Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Both the 1966 TV special and the (questionable good/bad) 2002 live action version with Jim Carrey.

With that I want to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas. As much as I hate Oogie Boogie. *shudders*

Mostly I just think of all the Christmas/Holiday specials from TV shows. I know it's dorky and cheesy, but I love stuff like that.

For some reason the third season of Psych comes to mind. They did a themed intro and everything.

I've also added a few quick Christmas reads to my Kindle library.
A Snowy White Christmas by Josie Riviera
Blame the Mistletoe (Love in Montana Book 2) Dani Collins

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Movie Review: The Revenant

I apologize for all of my R rated movie reviews recently.
That said, this is the goriest, heaviest, adult movie to date on my blog with a review.
I make this note so that no one takes this R rating lightly in any way shape or form.

The Revenant (2015)

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Producer: Arnon Milchan, Steve Golin, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Mary Parent, Keith Redmon, James W. Skotchdopole
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: December 16, 2015 (TCL Chinese Theatre), December 25, 2015 (U.S. Limited Release), January 8, 2016 (Worldwide Release)
Running Time: 156 minutes
Country: United States
Language: Arikara, English, French, Pawnee
Rating: R


Inspired by true events, in an expedition of the uncharted American wilderness, legendary explorer Hugh Glass is brutally attacked by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. In a quest to survive, Glass endures unimaginable grief as well as the betrayal of his confidant John Fitzgerald. Guided by sheer will and the love of his family, Glass must navigate a vicious winter in a relentless pursuit to live and find redemption. (Source)

Movie Tags: Historical, Man vs Wild, Survival, Drama, Western, semi-biographical

Note: Please note rating.

This film may be, by far the goriest grittiest movie I've seen in years, but it was worth watching.

I'm going to be honest.. I saw this over two weeks ago and still have no idea how it makes me feel.
It's a story about real people's lives, it's history. It's gritty, unpleasant, cringe inducing, insightful, beautiful, ugly, raw...
I loved it but I also hated it... unsure of where that leaves me. Conflicted. Confused.

I feel the need to consider it given me a different view on my life, the value of how easy life and death came almost 200 years ago. The idea that I came from those that survived those conditions, ones I can't even imagine, always blows me away. Something I try not to think too hard about because it might blow my mind away too much. 

This movie dances around the entire reality that lives hanging in the balance. Struggling with the ideas of if you are able to change your life or if you are meant to let things be.
That partnerships, friendships, relationships, life and death, all come and go so easily and quickly. While some.. last longer than you'd ever expect, but let's dive in.

Hugh Glass was real. His story is true, this version however, not entirely. You may have no noticed the "semi-biographical" tag.
Hugh Glass was a mountain man and beaver fur trapper in the American West in the 1820s and 1830s.  On his first trip up the Missouri River in 1823 he was severely mauled by a grizzly bear, left for dead by his companions, survived, and struggled on his own for about six weeks and 200 miles back to Fort Kiowa. This feat was legendary among his peers almost immediately and the story has been retold (and elaborated on) ever since. (Source)

What I enjoyed the most, were the little details this movie touched on. Actual research into the lives, culture, and practices of indigenous tribes.

There's a scene where a Pawnee man dies and a piece of moss is placed in his mouth. This is something they actually did to respect their dead.
The person I watched the film with pointed it out to me, I noticed it, but hadn't really thought much of it. It's such a simple, but beautiful moment which only adds farther depth to the complexity of this film.

Along with that, there is a meeting of chance, which leads to Hugh being kept alive by someone solely for their consideration and kindness. The effort they put into building shelter is beyond amazing and authentic to the times.

There's the hunting techniques, the Pawnee hunt with fire. There's a moment when you see fire rage up and take over a flat area and wolves running off. A Pawnee man is taking a kill from the wolves since they fear fire, as most animals instinctively do.

As I've already discussed, some of the facts have been altered an that effects my feelings and review of the film. Mainly because it's disappointing. While I understand there are issues of entertainment and different version of memoirs of the events. The heaviest point, some characters did not die, those that somewhat impacted the story line, as well as the driving force of the film doesn't hold against the facts of the journey. But I'm trying to avoid spoilers.

If you are interested... Farther reading... Fact checking...

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-me Authors 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Where we take part in sharing our top ten of the featured prompt that week. For the list of past topics and future schedule, click here.

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read For The First Time In 2016

Umm err... ugh. It's been a rather uneventful year. All I can think of are re-reads or books for authors I know and like. Aside from that, over half the year was spent working 10+ hours at the office, that only recently changed.

I'm not sure that I've had a top ten new-to-me authors I read for the first time this year, but I will try!

The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata, which I reviewed here.
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, technically my "next to read".
Fledgling (Afterlife Book 1) by Katrina Cope, which is what I'm currently reading.
The Accidental Hero (Jack Blank Adventure #1) by Matt Myklusch, which I ended up not finishing.
Temping Fate by Esther M. Friesner, a cute easy read.
And of course, Rainbow Rowell. I read both Eleanor & Park and Fangirl, then promptly fell in love.

I started using Spottoon this year (Android) and started reading a bunch of new comics/manhwa.

Here's a few of my favourites...
Imitation by Kyung-ran Park (Author & Illustrator)
My Beautiful World by Maru (Author & Illustrator)
Dating 101 by Tuna Can (Author & Illustrator)
Romanian Gynmastic Society by Ji-Sang Shin (Author), Ga-yan (Illustrator)

That's ten!

Any good reads this year? New authors that surprised you!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

FTW: Find This Week

This is my own version of a "Books/movies/things I've recently acquired" meme. It's not expected to be a regularly scheduled blog entry, only when it's relevant. Please enjoy my play on FTW, "For the win!"

Inspired by related weekly memes that revolve around sharing in your excitement of your newest titles!
Such as; Stacking The Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Mailbox Monday.

"Deals FTW!"

This week has been a little hectic. Every day a new project, decorating stocking, making wreathes, then having to juggle my dryer suddenly not working right in the middle of it. Ugh! This week as been poo!

Hopefully, it hasn't been that way for everyone.


Still managed to grab some free Kindle books. Sadly there's a few that are no longer free.
Don't forget there's a Top 100 List of Paid and Free Books to check out!

If The Shoe Fits (Once Upon A Romance Book 1) by Laurie LeClair
A Hidden Fire (Elemental Mysteries Book 1) by Elizabeth Hunter
Someone Else's Fairytale (Someone Else's Fairytale #1) by E.M. Tippetts
Dying for a Living  (Jesse Sullivan #1) by Kory M. Shrum
Kissed (The Thorn Chronicles Book 1) by Kimberly Loth
The Girl In Between (The Girl In Between Book 1) by
Laekan Zea Kemp
Fledgling (Afterlife Book 1) by Katrina Cope
A Love That Never Tires (Linley & Patrick Book 1) by Allyson Jeleyne

Getting Wilde (Immortal Vegas Book 1) by Jenn Stark

Find anything good this week? Read any of these before?
Don't forget to comment and share your two cents!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Follow Friday: Winter World

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read, to help gain new followers and make new friends!
Please see here for rules and more details if you're interesting in joining in!

What is your favorite book with a "winter" world? via Parajunkee

Hmm. To be honest, I'm not really sure.
There are quite 'worlds' fully decided to Winter that come to mind, other than Narnia, but even then it was proven not to be the way the world should be.

When I think of an interesting but also Winter place that I would not only want to visit.. I think of Hogsmeade. As boring and typical of an answer as that might seem.
But I'm also not a big fan of Winter or the cold in general as pretty as it might be. I get over the cold and wet things called "Snow" and his friend "Ice" real quick.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Game Review: Race to the Treasure!

Created by: Peaceable Kingdom
Players: 2-4
Ages: 4+
Additional: No Reading Required
Facebook | Peaceable Kingdom | Buy From Official Store

Race to Treasure is made by a company called Peaceable Kingdom. They are focused on creating co-operative games that are Eco-friendly. Their games are 100% green. Seriously check out their site for all their information.

Play with heart & soul!

We create games & gifts that inspire cooperation and cultivate kindness.
What we believe | Cooperative Play | Green Commitment

This game is easy. Play time isn't log, setup is quick, learning how to play is simple. No reading required!

Very kid friendly. I highly recommend it for children 8 and under. It was bought with the idea a 5 year old would be able to play it without any issues. After doing a trial run, it meets those expectation.

4 keys and 1 Goblin snack need to be placed on the board.
Roll dice until you've placed all keys and goblin snack on board.
Shuffle tiles and form draw pile.

Basic Rules:
Draw tile cards to build a road to keys, based on group decisions.
After collecting 3 keys build road to treasure chest.
If goblin card is drawn, goblin moves closer to treasure.
If you need to, build road towards goblin snack (if goblin is getting to close or might beat you). Once acquired can be used at any time during game, to knock goblin back one space.
Beat Goblin to treasure chest to win.

All in all it's not a bad game. Not sure how many times I can stress that this is the kid friendly co-op game that forces on "strategy, math grid concepts, shared decision making, cooperation" according to their website.

Anyone in their preteens is probably going to find this too easy but in our household it was bought to include a little one that most of our games go over her head. She's doomed where she only gets to roll dice, pass out cards, hold cards, or move pieces were we ask her to. No longer! With that in mind, this is perfect.

Working on bringing more gamers into the board game/tabletop world.

BoardGameGeek | Wiki

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Holiday Gift Guide

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Where we take part in sharing our top ten of the featured prompt that week. For the list of past topics and future schedule, click here.
Holiday Gift Guide (IE: Ten books for your dad, Ten books for your sister, etc.)
I'm going to twist this post a big and talk about great finds I made this Christmas season. AKA How to afford Christmas for three kids. Ages, 15, 12, and 5.

First things first, I'm basically a "demon organizer" or so my friends have call me. It's agree, I'm slightly OCD (about specific things!) and a bit of a control freak when it comes to planning things out. Like Christmas. Because it takes a decent amount of thought, effort, and general planning!
But.. this one in particular, this is the second Christmas with my partner, the first one we'd only been taking a couple of months and didn't make a big deal of it, but this time around it's different. Along with that, children are involved. We have visitation on Christmas this year, FIRST TIME EVER. BIG DEAL ALERT!

Each child has 2-3 major themes/fandom of gifts. With that in mind we made idea lists then searched around for related items of fandoms we picked. We shopped around, both physically and online.
Hit lots of different stores around mid October to mid November. Hit Big Lots, Target, Walmart, Book stores, nerd stores. If we saw something we liked, added it to our "idea list" and then compared prices.
As of about two - three weeks ago we finished with Christmas shopping.
Here's a brief breakdown of the best/biggest presents for everyone!

Please be warned, long winded post.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

FTW: Finds This Week

This is my own version of a "Books/movies/things I've recently acquired" meme. It's not expected to be a regularly scheduled blog entry, only when it's relevant. Please enjoy my play on FTW, "For the win!"

Inspired by related weekly memes that revolve around sharing in your excitement of your newest titles!
Such as; Stacking The Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Mailbox Monday.

"Deals FTW!"

Before I divulge into my personal tangents, I recently hopped back on the Free Kindle wagon again. Ugh. I get so backed up on my 'to read' list this way! But don't forget to constantly check out Kindle's Top 100 lists, especially their paid and free list for every genre.

Here's a few that I grabbed.
A Hidden Fire (Elemental Mysteries #1) by Elizabeth Hunte
Discern (Katon University #1) by Andrea Pearson
Fracture (The Machinists #1) by Craig Andrews
Wild-born (PSIONIC Pentalogy #1) by Adrian Howell

Just a little over a month late to talk about, but my birthday is in late October. Like a dope I've only bought a few things here and there for myself, but with that said, some of them are finally in.

That said, I finally bought myself a copy of Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge (Which was featured back in my Bollywood post in 2013, here).

As well as purchasing a Blu ray streaming player.
With the Black Friday sales (online) I scored this normally $120 player for just $31 and some change. Listed for $49.99 (at BestBuy, Wal-mart, and Target) I used a $20 Target gift card I'd received as a gift, as well as my RED card for that extra 5% (which basically covered most of the tax), and free shipping!

I also splurged and bought myself a HotS heroes pack.
Since I already owned some of the heroes, this pack normally costs $4.99, not a huge difference, but it's something. With that purchase I got a Billie mount!

There's also a special "play with friends" event going on, you get rewards in both HotS and Overwatch!
You just have to play 15 games to unlock some rewards and then build up to 30 to unlock much more. (details)
It's going all the way until Jan 4th. Easily said, I've almost got both of them unlocked.
Already got the 15 game reward this week! SEE!

The last of the holiday presents ARE IN.
Package finally arrived for a DVD purchase of Howl's Moving Castle for an anime lover who knows nothing about Studio Ghibli and that's unacceptable!

She refereed to them as "Ha, Disney is trying to make anime!" *resists unleashing serious knowledge*

What are you, find anything this week? Any good deals worth sharing?!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Follow Friday: Thankful

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read, to help gain new followers and make new friends!
Please see here for rules and more details if you're interesting in joining in!

What are you most thankful for (in the blogging world)? via Parajunkee

How friendly and welcoming the community is. If I've learned anything about the blogging world it's this.. you communicate. Be nice and others will be nice in return.
Everyone is really just interesting in see what others are sharing and what they think.

We deal in a world were we depends on views, sharing, it's all networking.

You have to be genuine. Besides, why wouldn't you be huh? 

I'm also really proud of my friends that have actually made it AS a book blogger. Along with those that have self published and those that have had their books translated and published in other countries.
It makes me beyond proud.

I also wanted to add a section about what I'm thankful for.
Mushy personal thankful message below.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Happy Thanksgiving. Happy Indigenous Peoples.

My blog is a not a soapbox I expect to stand on and bring life views into discussion. It's just not the place, it not appropriate.
I never plan to bring religion, politics, or other heavily controversial issues to head here.

That said, not everyone celebrates today the same.

My hope is that everyone far and wide is able to put time aside for their family and friends, those they have in their lives and to take whatever time they can to enjoy it together. To be able to reflect and be thankful for what they have, what they value in life, and what they hope their future holds.

May you be able to have such a day. May you all have food in your bellies, shelter over your heads, clothes on your backs, and those you love with you. Not only today, but without your life.

My parents are over a thousand miles away, as well as my brother is about 500 miles, but my home is still open to those I have here. My partner, their relatives, and friends. Lured in by the promise of food and board games.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day, may you all find a way to be thankful and pass it on to others.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Thankful

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Where we take part in sharing our top ten of the featured prompt that week. For the list of past topics and future schedule, click here.
Thanksgiving; Share what you are thankful for!
There are many things I am thankful this year. From my parents, always being there and trying their best to support me. Even if they don't agree with me, they try to trust me to do what I think is best. Who want nothing more than their daughter to succeed in life and be happy.

To my partner, for always standing beside me. Thought all the good and the bullsh*t, still being there trying our hardest to wade through what life throws at us and usually come out stronger on the other end. Also for letting me not only into their life, but sharing it with me. It's a big change for me, feeling included and appreciated.

To all the friends that have been there for me, even if I don't always let them in, understand that I am trying my best and if times are rough, I am there.

Even down to my cats, for always clearly showing so much love and appreciation in their little lives. If you ever doubt a cat loving you, you're doing something wrong. My furballs adore me and there's no doubt in anyone's mind that they do.

I'm thankful for having a roof over my head, as much as I want to move, as much as I'm currently struggling to stay afloat. I have a fridge with food, a bed to crawl into at night, cats who can't wait for me to get up, and a sun to greet me the next morning. A car that runs, a heater that works, clothes to wear, a table to gather around, and appreciation to know what all that really means to me.

To everyone far and near, I hope you know someone out there cares about you and loves you. Even if you don't see it or don't expect it, you are cared for. Please don't forget that.

I hope everyone has a great holiday, that's basis may not be the best, but modern days now promote something different. Gathering of friends, family, and food to share in good and bad times.

And I hope no one is involved in anything too crazy on Black Friday. It's just stuff!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

FTW: Finds This Week

This is my own version of a "Books/movies/things I've recently acquired" meme. It's not expected to be a regularly scheduled blog entry, only when it's relevant. Please enjoy my play on FTW, "For the win!"

Inspired by related weekly memes that revolve around sharing in your excitement of your newest titles!
Such as; Stacking The Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Mailbox Monday.

"Deals FTW!"

This week more Christmas present finds with savings.

I got lucky and found a strictly DVD version (DVD only, no Bluray, no digital copy) of The Force Awakens on sale for $10. This is going in a very special little boys stocking. He asks to watch it every time he's over since we own a copy.

I'm also super excited I finally got my friend's daughter a copy of Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. For her birthday she got Fangirl, also, by Rainbow Rowell.
With the idea I'd slowly build her to some more adult issues in her teen years. (She currently writes fanfic.) Things like realizing you have more power and say in your life than you think, that love isn't always so controlling and restricting. It might hurt, but your life has to go on.
Basic ideals I'd like to help build and influence. (Putting aside the overly period romance novels that are too idealist and unrealistic for teenage girls.)

*clear throat* Sorry I adore Eleanor & Park. If you haven't read it, you need to.

As well as my future mother-in-law is getting both The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I ended up getting new copies off Amazon for about $6 each.

Haha sorry I've wrapped them already! Yes it's only the 3rd week of November but I'm basically finished Christmas shopping at this point.

I'm really excited because she hasn't seen either of them and I know she really wants to. Plus, I can vouch for the fact they're good movies! Very well written.

If you haven't seen them I recommend them and for once can honestly say I like the sequel more.

I'm still actively looking for small gifts, mostly stocking stuffers. So while I was browsing through Walmart's toy and misc clearance section section, I found Heroes of the Storm Starter Pack.

Official Blizzard Info About Pack | Warcraft and Three Epic Digital Loot Drops
It unlocks 5 heroes, Zagara, Sonya, Li Li, Jaina, Zeratul. I actually don't own any of those, which is the main reason this was purchased.
This bundle is usually about $20, it has been out for awhile but through most retailers it's still that price, as the base game is free I scored it for $10. Well actually my partner bought it for me when I pointed it out. So really I got it for free. *blush*

While semi unrelated to the reviews I right, I'm a big fan of MOBAs. Gamer wise I'm a very consistent player, not super great, not super bad; I'm okay. MOBAs are the only games I've ever journeyed into "good".
I played LoL since release up until about a year or so okay. I've also tried DOTA, HoN, almost every MOBA that came out. Considering HotS is F2P (Free to Play) there's two ways to get more characters to play or skins (make them look different). You either play games and earn in game credit or spend real money.

TL;DR I got characters I'd have to build credit or spend money for in a game for half price.

While we're still on the Blizzard fangirl topic, which I am only slightly, my partner recently purchased a copy of Warcraft (2016). There's a special copy going around that's got the base copy of World of Warcraft in it. We snagged it for about $18.

This means we got a movie and the game (which includes all expansions expect the newest, Legion) for $18. A copy of WoW is about $20.
You can look at it like this, paid for movie got a free game or paid for game and got a free movie. Either way, it was a great deal.
(Sorry I can't find a listing online, it's a special release that might not be offered anymore!)

Have any good finds this week? Don't forget to comment and share!
Hope you all find some great deals out there!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Follow Friday: Scary Stories

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read, to help gain new followers and make new friends!
Please see here for rules and more details if you're interesting in joining in!

What is your favourite scary story? via Brooke

This question is a little open ended.. ghost story, legend, urban myth, book, movie?
Maybe not my favourite but a few that have stuck with me.

Dark Water (2002) the original Japanese movie.
The main reason this one sticks with me is because of the ending. Although the mother loves her daughter she realizes she won't be safe, they will forever be haunted and possibly endangering their lives, or more importantly her daughter, if she tries to run. Spoilers!
Instead she willingly give herself to the ghost to now be her mother. She knows she has the ability to do something to keep her daughter, the only thing she cares about safe, so she does it.

Next one is an unsolved case of the disappearance of Elisa Lam, which only happened almost 3 years ago!
Basically she's Canadian student visiting a hotel in LA who disappeared for 15 days before they found her body.
Where things get creepy? The last images of her were on video of her appearing to run into an elevator and hide, where she is then seen to appear speak to someone in-front of her, possibly arguing. Why is that creepy? Video footage shows her completely alone.
She was found in the water tower on the roof, after no search dogs even found a trace of her, video footage, or any physical evidence would lead to her being there or being able to get up there.
Simply because she would not have been able to have any access without forced entry, which there wasn't, or the strength alone to open the tank or close it.
That said, the case was ruled as a suicide.


Have you ever heard of H. H. Holmes? How about his murder house? (Please be advised this is gruesome.) He claims to have taken up to 200 lives..
That stuff is too heavy and dark for me to even comment on. Click on the link if you're interested, you've been warned, but I don't feel it deserve a spot there.

There's also the main villain through out a good portion of Medium (TV Show), Dr. Charles Walker. (Sorry I couldn't dig up any reference links or information as to who the actual character is based on.)
He gives me the hibbie jibbies!
It's the story of a man to grow to torture young women after his wife dies in childbirth. He resents that they saved the child's life over hers.
He is pure evil, to the point he's essentially escaped death by finding people that are weak to the calling of voices and easily influenced, slowly taking control or having them do his bidding. Typically goes after doctors who have access to the tools and skills to... well do horrible thing.
So evil to the point he occasionally manipulates Allison's visions/dreams to throw her off his trail. AKA stopping him from taking his next victim.

Those are a few that come to mind.
What scary stories, legends, what have you, come to mind?

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Movie Review: Brooklyn

Brooklyn (2015)

Directer: John Crowley
Producer: Amanda Posey, Finola Dwyer
Based on: Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures (United States), 20th Century Fox (International), Lionsgate (United Kingdom)
Release dates: 26 January 2015 (Sundance), 6 November 2015
Running time: 112 minutes
Country: Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom
Language: English
Rating: PG-13

An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a romance with a local. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within. (Source)
This is a story about a woman in a different time and traveling between two different worlds. Trying to not only find her way but decide who she is and who she wants to be, which are two very different things.

Eilis leaves Ireland looking towards America and New York City as not only an escape her for small little life, but as a new hope of everything she might dream or of accomplish.
Everything is in place for her, a home, a job, a new life to build, a new world to explore.

She leaves behind an older sister and her mother, her sister now expected to care for her mother as she ages. Something that does bring tension to their relationship but is never really forced on Eilis, in the sense that's it's expected of her instead.

Homesickness plagues Eilis for months on end as she experiences her first winter in America, which is most colder and more extreme than she's used to. Making the world seem much less welcoming.

The only comfort she has are the girls in her boarding house, who are only occasionally friendly. However, she must still form a relationship with them. She has to live with them and they have been there longer and know more. They aren't always nasty or rude, just usually.
They do provide insight to subjects she's has no knowledge of. Such as eating spaghetti (which you see in the trailer).

Tragedy strikes back home in Ireland. Eilis must go away to be there.
Once there, she struggles with the reality that she left behind not being what she might have imagined for herself. Things begin to fall in place and she's left to decided which life is for her. As well as what she values more, the person she is or who she wanted to be.

The pace of this movie is fairly slow, however being in the time frame of almost 65 years ago, there's a bit of build up to explaining and showing insight into the lives of women during that time. What is expected of them, what sort of behaviour and manners they are held to, because it's all very different.
There's a large struggle of being independent. Not only as a women during those times, but simply as someone trying to make a new life for themselves, somewhere where the culture is different. You have to rely on those around you to show you the way. To teach you how life is different.

That said, I became upset and resentful of the main character at times. She comes off as quiet and timid, while she is such a clever intelligent women. I think part of branching out on her own, made her more comfortable. Not only with who she is, but openly expressing it.
Something she struggles to do when she has to return to Ireland. She sort of reverts backwards, sidetracking herself as she deliberates decisions for her future.

I quiet liked the movie, not for reasons of enjoyment. But as food for thought. It's a story that makes you think about yourself. Establishing that you have more power than you think.
Embrace yourself.

Recommend: Strong independent female role,  History, Romance, Personal development

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Book Review: Watersong by Amanda Hocking


Author: Amanda Hocking
Published on: January 1st 2012
by: St. Martin's Press
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Gorgeous. Fearless. Dangerous. They're the kind of girls you envy; the kind of girls you want to hate. Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Lexi and Thea have caught everyone's attention—but it’s Gemma who’s attracted theirs. She’s the one they’ve chosen to be part of their group.

Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door. He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back. Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever. She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove. They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different.

Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price. And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets. (Source)

I apologize for the huge list of topics I want to hit for this review. They're not all negative, but they all effect my feelings and rating of this book. Let's dive in.

There's the length and split up of the book, while barely breaking 300 page long, yet there's a new chapter every 10 pages. At first I found it annoying, then I realized it's how the author choose to have the story move from scene to scene, from character to character. Without realizing it for about half the book, I was hearing two sides of this story.
While Gemma is the main character, most of the spotlight on her, as the story grows her sister Harper begins to have her own place of importance as well as development. (I felt silly that I can't really noticed the shift sooner.)

However, I feel that these characters are very sallow and immature. This is the story of 16 year old Gemma and 18 year old Harper. Their view points and arguments don't have much of a foundation.
Harper has that role of "I'm your stand-in parent", who is of course more control then her actual parent. Being hugely responsible for my own well being since I was a teenager, I really couldn't relate to Harper. She has a true complex about control, with a small town mind frame. Stating she wants to escape, going off to college, but I look at her going "Do you really? Because it doesn't seem like it." She completely content staying in a home and town where she knows everything and has total control over her life. (Or so she thinks)
While Gemma is struggling for/with her independence.. when it's all she's ever had? Her father doesn't cage her, quite frankly he lets her do more than Harper would approve it.

Personally I didn't feel much heart into who they were or why.

One of the biggest annoyances is the way they refer to, the Quartet, as "those girls".
"those girls" "those girls", "oddly pretty girls", "pretty girls"
We get it, they're weird. They give you this odd feel, they have this unsettling aura about them.
Please, find another way to refer to them. "Penn and her gang", "Penn and her followers", "Penn's girls" YOU KNOW THEIR NAMES. Use them please.
I understand, they are part of the story that has to be introduced. They have to be creepy, alluring, mysterious and yet always around especially when weird shanantics are about to go down.
(Personally if they bothered me so much I would have given their group a nickname. It's something me and my friends would do.)

A large plus is the short mythology lesson and most of the information being pretty accurate, given lots of versions of mythology in general.. But I won't say too much on that.
It's a large sort of spiderweb of possibilities to come in the series, that I'm unsure of. There's no point to start trying to figure out where it may go or what parts of old stories and mythology apply to these girls.

The largest negative factor... Is about how the image of the Quartet changes the more we get to know about them. After awhile they're seen as these vicious monsters. Giving no care to who they hurt or the damage they do. It makes little sense of them to sudden change that, in only one scene other than to have the story left open. Yes I am talking about a cliffhanger ending.
It does leave the story open on the ability of continuing the story from Harper's view-point, but speaking plot and character traits wise... it doesn't add up.

With all said and done, I also feel it should be taken into account that this book is part of a series. Given this, standing alone, didn't cover much of a time frame, I think it books may need to be looked at as a whole. The possibility they flow as a collection is there.
Which also plays into my rating. It's not a writing or story style I recommend, if you can't keep readers hooked for one book, you can't expected them to read the next one.

That is probably the heaviest weighing factor of my review.

It's a horrible blow to make, but I felt this story was juvenile. In the characters, their development, the story, and it's telling. It's kind of disappointing for me to admit.

Recommend: Light reading, light mythology, paranormal