Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter TBR pile

Over the past week or so, my TBR pile has gotten a little...out of control. Given that Easter tends to be a time of not-going-anywhere-because-everything-is-closed, I'm hoping that I can make some headway in the aforementioned pile. Especially as down here in the Antipodes, we have another long weekend next weekend courtesy of my birthday Anzac Day!

So what's in my TBR pile at the moment?

These are the physical copies. Technically, I'm like 80% of the way through The Odyssey, but I'd really like to get it finished so that I can give it back to Ness (I read like 225 pages in one afternoon of sitting in the hospital waiting for her to be discharged and have been averaging about 20 pages a day since then. Womp womp). And Fangirl is a reread, although I read it as an e-book last year, so I'm pretty psyched about reading it in physical form. Half Bad and Popular were freebies, courtesy of the Penguin Teen Australia live event on Monday night, and I'm pretty excited about reading both of them. And Two Graves is my last remaining library book.

Now for the e-books:

Stolen Songbird I've been excited about for a couple of months now. Stay Awhile is another reread, but I'm counting it as in my TBR pile anyway because I reeeeeeeeeally need to get through it before the final book in the series comes out. Which will be soon (right, Alysia?!?!?!). Pushing the Limits and The Enemy are recent additions following a bunch of "OMG YOU SHOULD READ THIS!" suggestions at PTA Live. The others have been languishing on my Kindle for months now (although I'm pretty sure that The Elite is going to be a #stupidbookisstupid hate read based on my feelings towards The Selection...).

So there you have it. Eleven books (not including the one I'm currently reading). I doubt I'll get through them all over Easter (and the Anzac Day long weekend), but hopefully I can at least whittle the list down to a more manageable level!

What are you planning on reading over the long weekend?

K xx

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Weird casting choice is weird

I've been watching Bitten over the past week or so, and to be honest, I'm a little amazed it took me this long because Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld books are one of my favourite series. They have great characters, awesome world-building, and fun stories filled with action and suspense and occasional squeeing. And yet, I was hesitant when it was announced that they were turning Bitten into a series.

Why? Because for starters, they only have the rights to the werewolf books, which basically means that they'll be forced to go non-canon pretty damned quickly. And secondly, because adaptations always come with a certain amount of "Oh. That's not how I pictured [person/place/event]" (see: the entirety of the 2005 Pride and Prejudice) or "Why didn't they include that scene?" (see: Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason) or "WHO DESTROYED THIS CHARACTER?????" (see: Ginny Weasley) or "Um. This is not how the plot goes at ALL." (see: anything titled The Lost World)

It's inevitable that this happens, and - based on some stuff I've seen floating around the internet - there were a lot of Women of the Otherworld fans who aren't happy with the way the show is going. I'm trying to keep an open mind - I still have two episodes left  - but there are a few things that I can't quite get over, and they mostly relate to characterisation.

1. Elena Michaels
Okay, so Elena is our protagonist. She grew up in the foster system, she fell in love with a guy, he turned her into the only female werewolf of ever. All of this applies to both the book and the series. But. Book!Elena is very jeans, t-shirt and sneakers low key. She ties her hair back with rubber bands, hates make up and perfume because it messes with her sense of smell, and she's a freelance journalist. What does the TV show give us?
A pretty pretty princess. Okay, Laura Vandervoort is pulling off Elena's character better than I thought she would in the pilot. And admittedly, Elena's a bridesmaid in this scene. But that doesn't change the fact that Elena's basically a fashion plate in every episode: multi-layered expensive clothes, heels/heeled boots in every scene, perfect hair. I have yet to see her in an outfit that looks easy to get out of in case of unexpected werewolf-ness. And for some bizarre reason, they've made her a photographer????? But they never show her with a camera or editing photos or even having camera gear lying around the house. It's a little odd.

2. Clayton Danvers
Okay, so both versions of Clay have a PhD in anthropology and teach at universities periodically. Both versions are jeans and t-shirts types. But Book!Clay is basically described as a Greek god, with blue eyes and close cropped curly blond hair and a Southern accent. (Part of me has always suspected that Kelley Armstrong had The Wedding Planner era Matthew McConaghey in her head when she wrote Clay...) Instead?
We get this guy. Who does not have a Southern accent. I'm learning to deal with him as Clay, but OH MY GOD, he looks like a total axe murderer in like half the scenes he's in. Which does kind of work for Clay's character, but DUDE. NO. Also, try washing your hair once in a while.

3. Jeremy Danvers
It's not immediately apparent in the first book, but it's revealed in a later book that Jeremy's mother was Japanese. He's described throughout the series as Eurasian-looking with black hair. This means that he turns into a black wolf (hair colour dictates fur colour). He has dark eyes and a lean build. And the show, in perhaps the most awkward casting choice of ever, gave us this dude:
*headdesk* Don't get me wrong, I think he's doing a pretty decent job of portraying the character. But it's a little bit like casting Bonnie Wright as Cho Chang, and you're just left wondering if they even bothered to read the books.

That said, I'm totally on board with the casting of Nick and Logan. And I really like the additional female characters that they've created!

Weirdly, I'm more accepting of the plot changes that have occurred than I am of the casting and costuming decisions. And the hair department decisions, for that matter. Most of the villains looks like they've been raiding a wig collection from a 1960s church camp, and it's BIZARRE...

Have you seen the show? What do you think?? Are you on Team OMG THAT WAS SO AWKWARD over the scene where Elena and Clay were flirty frolicking through the forest as wolves? Because that scene was terrible.

If you haven't seen it, have you had to live through the trauma of seeing your favourite characters mangled on screen? Any tips for coping with it?! Because I could really use them...

K xx

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

TTT - Non-Book Bookish Things I'd Like to Own

It's time to link up with the Broke and the Bookish again!

Today's topic is pretty self explanatory, so let's just get right to the shiny things, shall we?

I really love book posters (I bought my brother The Odyssey as a book poster for his birthday a few years ago, and it's AWESOME), but the Pride and Prejudice ones are always a bit schmaltzy for my taste. This one is much better. Plus, Persuasion is my favourite Austen book, so it works out nicely!

I have a weird obsession with maps, and this one (which is hideously low res, but if you click the link above, you'll see just how awesome it is!) is phenomenal. 

I was talking to Cait a few weeks ago about how I have illustrious dreams for some day having a nerdy mug collection. I have this rather odd tendency to buy mugs as souvenirs when I travel (which is annoying, because they're a bitch to get home without them breaking!). Last year's addition was a mug from the Library of Congress. And now that I've discovered this one, I need it in my life. 

I love me a good hoodie (at the moment, mine mostly come from universities that I didn't attend. What up, Harvard?!), and this one is pretty magical. Heh. MAGICAL. 

A candle that smells like old books? Uh, YES PLEASE. Although somehow I feel like Australia Post wouldn't be too keen on handling it, given that it's flammable and all...

For when I inevitably run out of space on my bookshelves and books start to pile up all over the place. Because OH MY GOD, SO ACCURATE. 

The Marauders' Map was always one of my favourite things about the Harry Potter series, whether in book or movie form. So I think I need this. Like, immediately.

8. A home library
Although I'm guessing mine would have rather more YA and quite a bit less leather-bound stuff on the shelves... 

We spent a class or two talking about banned books during my librarianship course, so this tote bag seems only appropriate to raise awareness of continuing book censorship! 

10. Card catalogue
Perhaps not one QUITE that big, but I do really want a card catalogue in which to put all sorts of random stuff. Creating a card catalogue for my home library would probably be overkill, wouldn't it............

What's on your list?

K xx

Monday, April 14, 2014

Movie Monday - Catching Fire

So last week I fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinally saw Catching Fire. I had every intention of seeing it at the movies when it came out last year, but I was in New Zealand when it was released and by the time I got home, I'd kind of forgotten about it. So I just ended up waiting until it came out on DVD instead. So now, like six months after the fact, let's talk about Catching Fire, shall we?

Reasons why Catching Fire is awesome:
1. Jennifer Lawrence.
2. The speeches in District Eleven.
3. Josh Hutcherson.
4. The dress reveal. Amazing.
5. Woody Harrelson. So much sass.
6. Peeta volunteering for Haymitch. FEELS.
7. Elizabeth Banks. Effie showed so much character development from the first movie.
8. Katniss' face when the little girl says she wants to volunteer some day just like Katniss.
9. Sam Claflin as Finnick.
10. The elevator scene. HILARIOUS.
11. Lenny Kravitz as Cinna. Perfection.
12. Snow's glass getting blood in it when he drinks. A great little detail for fans of the books.
13. Jena Malone as Joanna. Total badass.
14. Katniss' Seneca Crane dummy.
15. Willow Shields as Prim. Her character gets so much depth here.
16. The tributes holding hands en masse.

Plus, the following quotes:
- "We wanted our love to be eternal. You know, Katniss and I were luckier than most. I wouldn't have any regrets at all, if it weren't... if..." "If it weren't... for what? What?" "If it weren't for the baby."
- "It must be a fragile system if it can be brought down by just a few berries."
- "My stylist is such an idiot. District 7, lumber. Trees. Ugh. I'd love to put an axe on her face."
- "So it's you and a syringe against the Capitol? See, this is why no one lets you make the plans."
- "Katniss." "Hello, Finnick." "Do you want a sugar cube? I mean it's supposed to be for the horses, but, I mean who cares about them right? They got years to eat sugar, whereas you and I, well if we see something sweet we better grab it." "No thanks, but I would love to borrow that outfit someday."
- "A wedding dress? Really?" "Snow made me wear it." "Make him pay for it."
- "What about you?" "Nobody needs me." "I do. I need you."
- "Nobody ever wins the games. Period. There are survivors. There's no winners."
- "See Katniss, the way the whole "friend" thing works is that you have to tell each other the deep stuff." "The deep stuff?" "Yeah." "Like what?" "Like... what's your favourite colour?" "Oh, now you've stepped over the line."
- "Any last advice?" "Stay alive."
- "We have seen a lot of tears here tonight. But I see no tears in Johanna's eyes. Johanna, you are angry. Tell me why." "Yeah, well, yes! I am angry. You know, I'm getting totally screwed over here. The deal was that if I won the Hunger Games, I get to live the rest of my life in peace. But now, you wanna kill me again. But you know what? Fuck that! I'll fuck everybody who had anything to do with it!" "All right, then. One woman's opinion."

What did you think?

K xx

Friday, April 11, 2014

Lists. Lists of things. Things and stuff.

It's no secret that I'm kind of obsessed with lists. If I can procrastinate actually doing things by making a list of the things I have to do, I will do it. And then redo it, with colour coding. I think part of the reason why the 101 in 1001 appealed to me so much was because it was a list. Ultimately, though, I wasn't so good at the timing thing. I have a tendency to do half a dozen things from any list I make, then become complacent over how much I've accomplished and promptly slack off for the next three hundred years six months.

With all of that in mind, I decided that rather than attempting (and inevitably failing) another 101 in 1001 project, I'm going to take a leaf out of Deidre's book and have a life list instead. Said list will no doubt change pretty regularly, with things being added and removed as I see fit, but for now? Here's where things are at:

I Can Show You the World (Travel stuff)
Visit somewhere new in Australia
Visit all seven continents
Visit Easter Island
See the Northern Lights
Roadtrip along the Pacific coast of the US
Go on safari
Fly first class

You Should Employ Your Little Grey Cells (Brain stuff)
Read 500 new books
Finish my Classics Club challenge
Finish the AFI Top 100
Learn a new language

Money Makes the World Go Around (Finance stuff)
Buy a house/apartment/unit/dwelling/thing.
Voluntarily pay off some of my student loans
Buy an original piece of art
Voluntarily contribute to my superannuation
Buy a leather jacket

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger (Health and fitness stuff)
Do the Couch to 5K
Try archery
Try Crossfit
Go iceskating

He Was A Punk, She Did Ballet (Cultural stuff)
Go to the opera
Go to the symphony
Go to the ballet
Visit 20 new museums

Singing Pork, Dancing Veal, What An Entertaining Meal (Food stuff)
Try 100 new recipes
Make pasta
Eat at a Michelin Star restaurant
Finish my cookbook challenge
Eat at 50 new restaurants
Learn to plate a dish properly

Open Your Eyes And Then Open Your Eyes Again (Creative stuff)
Complete VEDA again
Write a novel
Take a photography course
Sew a piece of clothing from scratch

I've Wrestled Crocodiles and Dingoes Simultaneously (Random stuff)
Have a herb garden
Give money to a street performer
Go to a convention (i.e. Comic-Con)
Go stargazing

Obviously, it's going to be a continual work in progress, but that's where things stand at the moment! What's on your bucket list? Anything you think I should add??

K xx

PS. Bonus points if you can tell me what each of the section titles is from!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Better alone

Do you ever come across these amazing female characters, and you absolutely love them? And they have a love interest, and you think they and the love interest are really cute together and you spend forever squeeing over them? And then they get together, and you squee like a lunatic. But as the relationship goes on, you realise something: deep down, you liked the character better when she was alone.

This has been happening to me a lot recently, and it's kind of an interesting phenomenon, because it's not one that I've ever run into with male characters, as far as I can recall (well, maybe with Dawson Leery, but that's because he's an awful human being who *deserves* to be alone...).

Anyway, I want to talk about some of the characters that I kind of think are better off alone. Because reasons.

Buffy Summers
It's not secret that rewatching Buffy for Snark Squad completely changed the way I felt about certain characters. Rewatching Angel for Snark Squad has made everything worse, because in season 5, we spend an awful lot of time watching Spike and Angel fight over which one of them gets Buffy. AND SHE'S NOT EVEN THERE. Her relationships with both of them were pretty fucked up, and her relationship with Riley was basically a season and a half of rebound. Even Buffy agrees at the end of season 7 that she's better off alone.

Katniss Everdeen
Much was made of the love triangle in The Hunger Games, but every time I read the books, I'm struck by how reluctant Katniss is to be involved with either Peeta or Gale. At the end of Mockingjay, she basically tells us that it took Peeta the better part of a decade to convince her that having kids was a good idea. Being a part of the Games forced her into faking a relationship with Peeta, which in turn led to Gale being all jealous and "I LOVED YOU FIRST"-y. Katniss is a hesitant participant from start to finish, and it almost seems like she ends up with Peeta just so that there's someone there in the night when she wakes up screaming.

Veronica Mars
Don't get me wrong, I adore Veronica and Logan. Piz can go jump in a lake for all I care. But I read the new Veronica Mars novel yesterday, and I thought it was really interesting that Rob Thomas chose to really limit the communication between Veronica and Logan throughout the course of the story. Yes, it's partly because he's deployed in God knows where. But when they DO communicate? The conversation is stilted and a little awkward. You can't undo nine years of separation in two weeks, so of COURSE it would be awkward between them. All of that aside, I found myself liking Book!Veronica more than I liked Couple-y!Veronica...

Natasha Romanoff
I love the IDEA of Clintasha so much it's not even funny. I squeed like a lunatic when I saw her arrow necklace. But do I want the MCU to be filled with a weepy Natasha by an injured Clint's bedside? Do I want them being all public-displays-of-affection-y before heading off on missions? Do I want a Clintasha wedding officiated by Tony Stark (who got a licence on the internet) in the ruins of whatever threat to the world they've just defeated? NOPE (except maybe that last one because it sounds kind of awesome...). I want her to stay her sassy BAMF-tastic, arse-kicking self. (Although if they want to include some anvils about #secretsexytimes, that would be fine)

Dana Scully
Much like with Clintasha, The X-Files dropped some pretty big anvils about #secretsexytimes between Mulder and Scully over the years. That said, when we did eventually get a canon relationship in the second X-Files movie, it was TERRIBLE. Much better to have Scully on her own with frequently dropped anvils than in a relationship that didn't live up to expectations.

Rory Gilmore
Rory, Rory, Rory. So incredibly smart. Such terrible taste in men... Dean turned out to be a complete douchenozzle with a side of extra-marital affair. And Logan Huntzberger was just awful from start to finish. Jess is clearly the best fit for her, but - much like Logan Echolls - he needs time away from her to deal with his problems and grow up. Thank God the show ended with her on her own, going off to take over the journalistic world.

Cristina Yang
Oof. Poor Cristina's had a rough road. Admittedly, I haven't watched the last season and a half of Grey's Anatomy - I kind of gave up a little after the plane crash, because Lexi was one of my favourites. But Cristina keeps getting paired with these characters who don't understand her or who want completely different things to her and can't see that she won't change her mind about them. And then when she's all "Um, no. You knew that before this even started...", they get all butthurt about it, and she's left to pick up the pieces of her life. Again... BLURGH.

Ellie Linton
I adored the Tomorrow, When the War Began books as a teenager. But Ellie, the gutsy incredible narrator of the series, is SO MUCH BETTER not in a relationship. She goes back to Lee time and time again, even though she hates the things that he does and the way it effects him. She has this awesome sibling relationship with Homer, and then the end of The Ellie Chronicles has a friend being all "You know Homer's in love with you, right?". Um. WHAT?!

Winifred Burkle
Oh my God. SO MUCH of Fred's character was destroyed by the writers making her the plaything at the centre of a love triangle between Gunn and Wesley. She deserved so much better than to wind up in a crappy relationship with either one of them. I don't think I'll ever be over how she was treated in seasons 4 and 5...

This doesn't mean that ALL strong female characters are better off alone - just look at Zoe Alleyne Washburne, or Rose Tyler. Pepper Potts or Willow Rosenberg (minus the Kennedy thing, because NOPE). Olivia Dunham, Elizabeth Bennet, Alexia Tarabotti, Elena Michaels, Piper Halliwell, Kate Daniels, Hermione Granger, Sydney Bristow. The list goes on and on.

Furthermore, this doesn't mean that the characters I've discussed above should be alone forever. It definitely doesn't mean that. What it DOES mean is that the writers aren't doing the characters justice. They pair them with unsuitable characters, turn their whole storyline into a relationship story, or have them fall apart where they previously would have stood up and fought. And it's infuriating...

Who would you add to this list? Are there any that you'd remove??

K xx

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

She - H. Rider Haggard

Not the edition I read, sadly. Source.
I first read She in 2002, for a university subject titled "Archaeology in Film and Literature" (yes, the subject WAS the most awesome thing of ever, because I got to watch Indiana Jones and The Mummy for credit). It led me into a serious H. Rider Haggard jaunt, where I ploughed through all the Haggard books my university library had fairly quickly. I remembered enjoying this a lot and, given that it was basically the start of the "lost world" sub-genre, it seemed only appropriate that I add it to my Classics Club list.

Plot Summary:
Cambridge professor Horace Holly is surprised when a friend of his turns up, hands over a mysterious box and custody of his five year old son, Leo, and then promptly dies. Twenty years later, Leo - who's now smoking hot - opens the box to find that it contains an ancient piece of pottery and numerous documents, indicating that he's descended from an old Greek dude named Kallikrates, who was killed by a mysterious white queen in deepest Africa. On the pottery sherd, Kallikrates' wife, the Egyptian princess Amenartas, demands that her son and/or his descendants seek revenge.

So Holly and Leo set off for Africa with their trusty servant, Job. They get shipwrecked, contract malaria, and nearly get eaten by cannibals, but eventually they make it to the queen's home, near the ruined city of Kôr, which predates ancient Egypt by several thousand years. There, they meet Queen Ayesha, She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed, who claims to have the secret of immortality (she's over 2000 years old) and who promptly falls in love with Leo, who's apparently a dead ringer for Kallikrates. Shenanigans ensue.

Oy. This was kind of rough. The story took a long time to get going, partly due to the fact that the part where Leo's going through all the documents is filled with slabs of Greek and Latin and Medieval English. Much of the dialogue once they arrive in Africa is meant to take place in an antiquated form of Arabic, and is therefore written thusly: "blame me not if thou dost wear away thy little span with such a sick pain at the heart that thou wouldst fain have died before ever thy curious eyes were set upon me." (p. 144 in the crappy, independently published "YAY THIS IS OUT OF COPYRIGHT" edition that my library had)

So that made it quite difficult to get into the story because it was constantly flicking between nineteenth century English (for Holly's observations) and something resembling Shakespearean English for the dialogue. As a result, my brain struggled to keep up, and I found myself unable to read more than 25-30 pages at a time before my eyes started to glaze over.

It's really hard to read this type of book in the twenty first century without constant headdesking over the Victorian ideas about women and race. Here, the Amahagger people over whom Ayesha rules are billed as uneducated, cannibalistic savages who practice animal sacrifice. It's billed as a matriarchal society, but then we're told that every decade or so, the men rise up and kill off all the older women to put them back in their place again. Ayesha rules over them because she's white and educated, but even then, a lot of her ideas are billed as "the noble savage"-esque.

In Kôr, we're given a lost African civilisation, which YAY! But Ayesha shows Holly the catacombs of Kôr's citizens, and they're all white (Their perfectly preserved 4000 year old corpses also make excellent fire starters, apparently). Obviously, the idea of a lost civilisation that was highly educated AND populated by people of colour was too much for Victorian sensibilities to handle...

Ayesha's an interesting character. She's a woman in a position of power who's not afraid to use her beauty to convince men to do her bidding. Even Holly, who happily proclaims himself a misogynist, falls under her charms when he sees her face. But on the other hand, she's obsessed with the idea of her "lost love", despite the fact that Kallikrates chose his wife over Ayesha, and she killed him for it. It's her way or the highway - anyone who displeases her is rapidly put to death, and she considers all her subjects to effectively be primitive slaves. She uses her beauty as a weapon, and ultimately it betrays her.

Headdesking aside (because let's be honest - if we discounted books based on the attitudes of the times in which they were written, there would be an awful lot of classic books deemed not worth reading), the last 50-odd pages were pretty exciting stuff. Yes, it was still a little slow but FAR more thrilling than the book's early stages.

On the whole, it wasn't nearly as action packed as I remembered it being, and I can't help but feel like it would have been a lot more enjoyable if the dialogue hadn't been so formal and stilted a lot of the time...

Have you read it? What did you think?

K xx

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

TTT - Most Unique Books I've Read

It's time to link up with the Broke and the Bookish again!

Today's topic is about the most unique books we've read, which is pretty cool. There's a lot of stuff out there that starts to feel a bit deja vu-like after a while. You know the stuff - a love interest with a crooked smile, a chosen one who has to save the world, an evil government that can only be brought to its knees by a seventeen year old girl, blah blah blah. Let's talk about the OTHER stuff. The stuff that makes you go "Whoa, that's seriously cool." The stuff that stands out from the crowd. Yes? Yes.

(All images from Goodreads)

1. Wilfair (and Redwoodian. And Stay Awhile) - Alysia Gray Painter

I know I talk about this series a lot, but it's just so fabulously quirky. The characters are in no way cliched or cookie cutter-y or crooked smile having. The settings are utterly fabulous. The writing is to die for (once your brain gets past the initial "............what am I reading?!" stage). And the plots are like nothing I've ever seen before. GO. READ. NOW. 

2. Shadows Fall - Simon R. Green

This book is weird, to say the least. It's set in the place where gods and monsters go when no one believes in them any more, where old toys end up when they're no longer loved, where celebrities who died too soon can have a little more time, where the heroes from TV shows and cartoons go when everyone's forgotten who they are. Everything is nice and peaceful until murders start happening. It's a story of redemption and prophecies, and it's full of completely awesome characters. (And please - don't judge it by the android-y cover on the US edition, because it's HIDEOUS)

3. Love and Leftovers - Sarah Tregay

I picked this up at the library last year thinking that it would be a cute YA thing. It turned out to be written in verse, which I was NOT expecting. I nearly put it down immediately based solely on that, because I'm not a big poetry person. But I gave it a shot and ended up loving it. Despite being written in really short snippets, it does a brilliant job of conveying the characters and the story was so much deeper than the usual contemporary YA fluff. 

4. Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell

A book that not only brilliantly conveys what it's like to start out in a new place where you know no one, and how people aren't always what you think, but also a book that discusses fandom really REALLY well. Fandom and fanfic are huge parts of a lot of people's lives, and it's really rare that you find characters who are into fandom and fanfic but aren't stereotypical comic book nerd types who feel the need to hide their identity so that people will like them. 

5. Beauty Queens - Libba Bray

Packed full of cultural satire, this book was pretty hilarious from start to finish. Given that it's about a plane full of beauty queens that crashes onto a deserted island, there's no one main character. Instead, we get girls from all walks of life, of all different ethnicities and sexual orientations and motivations who have to work together to stay alive. Sure, the plot verges on paper-thin here and there, but it's so much fun that I didn't really care.

6. Flowertown - S.G. Redling

A really interesting, semi-dystopian book. Ellie is a really awesome character. She's really complicated and a little messed up, but she just keeps on fighting, no matter what. Lots of great supporting characters and full of twists and turns. Plus, it leaves the reader with a bunch of "What if?" questions about how a situation like that would be handled in the real world. 

7. Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

Man, this book is polarising. People either love it or hate it, and a huge part of what makes that decision for people is what makes the book unique - THE MAIN CHARACTERS ARE AWFUL AND IMPOSSIBLE TO LIKE. It's a rare book that can have me hating pretty much every character I come across and still want to keep reading and find out what happens. 

8. Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor

This series is unlike anything I've read before. Wonderful settings, fabulous characters. The chimaera are fascinating, the angels aren't what you think, and it's filled with characters finding love in the most unlikely of places. 

9. Saving Francesca - Melina Marchetta

A contemporary YA book in which the romantic plot isn't central to the story? YES PLEASE. There's a lot going on in this book, including children struggling to deal with the fall out of a parent who's suddenly stopped doing all the things you expect a parent to do (including the basics, like getting out of bed). And, much like real life, there are moments that will make you laugh hysterically and moments that will make you ugly cry. Basically, it's really relateable, while also recognising that romance isn't everything.

10. A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness

Really short but such a completely incredible story. It's a story about fear and grief and pain and having no one understand you. The artwork is astonishing, and the story manages to be both heartbreaking and full of love. One that stays with you well after you've turned the final page. 

What are the most unique books you've read? 

K xx

Monday, April 7, 2014

Movie Monday - Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Come on, like you were expecting anything else today! #Marvelfangirl I took myself to see this at the movies on opening day, and OMG IT WAS AMAZING. Things are going to get non-specifically spoilery, so I'll put in a jump cut for those of you who haven't had a chance to see it yet. But I expect you to share your thoughts once you HAVE seen it!

File:Captain America The Winter Soldier.jpg

Friday, April 4, 2014

Who needs Oprah when we can do it ourselves?

It's been a while since I've had All The Thoughts, so let's talk about Charmed season 3, shall we?

Quite possibly the best/worst promo shot of EVER. Source.

  • Oh, Phoebe. What the hell did you do to your hair?! 
  • Ahaha, Cole. I totally forgot he was Assistant District Attorney.
  • Ridiculous fairy episode is ridiculous.
  • OH MY GOD. These Halloween costumes are INSANE.
  • Ahahaha, a terrible wig flashback! Cole, you look RIDICULOUS. 
  • Wait, so Prue's plan to keep them safe from the demon that's stalking them is SNEAKERS? And not even to wear, just to carry around with them?? Right, because you'd totally have time to change your shoes in the middle of a demon attack.
  • Um. Empathy and telepathy are not the same thing, show. 
  • That slice of Balthazar flesh looks a hell of a lot like beetroot.
  • Phoebe, honey. Faking your demon boyfriend's death is a terrible idea.
  • There is an evil ice cream truck. I cannot even begin to process this idea. Evil. Ice cream. Truck...
  • OMG Nigel from Crossing Jordan!!
  • Ahahahaha, their dad finding out that Leo's a whitelighter = I AM DEAD FROM LAUGHING.
  • Wow. That was the most awkward not!wedding ever. Way to ruin everything, Prue. 
  • Oh my God, Marshall from Alias as a punk-y demon dealing with the Seven Deadly Sins. AMAZING.
  • Um. Did Phoebe just do a degree in less than two years? Yo no comprendo...
  • I have precisely zero fucks to give about Cole. 
  • Phoebe, sometimes I really want to punch you for your stupidity.
  • Holy shit, someone killed Piper.
  • LOL, Prue just overpowered an entire SWAT team singlehandedly. 
  • Well. That was quite the cliffhanger ending... 
How did you feel about Cole back in the day (or, you know, now. Either way)??

K xx
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