Tuesday, October 17, 2017

"36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You" Review

9:00:00 AM

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Book: 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You

Author: Vicki Grant

Publisher: Running Press

Release Date: October 17, 2017

Synopsis: Hildy and Paul each have their own reasons for joining the university psychology study that asks the simple question: Can love be engineered?

The study consists of 36 questions, ranging from "What is your most terrible memory?" to "When did you last sing to yourself?" By the time Hildy and Paul have made it to the end of the questionnaire, they've laughed and cried and lied and thrown things and run away and come back and driven each other almost crazy. They've also each discovered the painful secret the other was trying so hard to hide. But have they fallen in love?

Told in the language of modern romance—texting, Q&A, IM—and punctuated by Paul's sketches, this clever high-concept YA is full of humor and heart. As soon as you've finished reading, you'll be searching for your own stranger to ask the 36 questions. Maybe you'll even fall in love. 

Disclaimer: I was provided a free ARC for review from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

      When I read the synopsis, the book sounded like a really quick, light, contemporary read which is exactly what I figured I needed in my life in order to get me in the reading mood. It definitely got me in the reading mood, so I guess that's a plus.


      Just like many YA contemporary books as of the last few years, this book didn't really wow me. It was interesting to read due to the format and the story being structured around these questions the characters are answering, but it was still lacking. The main characters weren't that unique in my opinion and of course the plot was highlyyyy predictable, as if the case with most YA books. For once I would like to read a YA contemporary where I don't see the plot coming. Is that too much to ask for? It's like every book follows a recipe they think will lead to success, and I just want something different, you know?


      Overall, I thought the book was a solid, "alright". It did draw me in and keep my interest, but that might have more to do with the fact that I read the majority of the book in my linear algebra class instead of taking notes and not actually the book itself... If you want a quick contemporary, this is for you. If you're looking for something a little more... you might want to pass on this one.


Friday, October 13, 2017

"The Shannara Chronicles" S2E01 Spoiler-free Review

3:05:00 PM
TV Show: The Shannara Chronicles

Episode: S2E01: "Druid"

TV Network: Spike (previously MTV)

Director: Brad Turner

My Rating: ★★★★1/2

Synopsis: A year after the War of the Forbidding, a mysterious figure interrupts Wil's new life; Eretria reunites with someone from her past; Allanon uncovers a plot that could send the Four Lands into darkness.

      In the past I mentioned how one of my goal's with this blog is to switch things up so that I'm not strictly talking about books. As much as I love books, it is not my only passion. So, I've decided to start writing reviews/reactions to tv shows and movies because I love them just as much as I love books.


      One of my "new" favorite shows is "The Shannara Chronicles". It was originally on MTV but switched over to Spike. I was immediately drawn into this show because of the high fantasy vibes, its high intensity plot, and the amazing representation on the show, which I want to highlight really quickly because I think it is important to talk about it.



      I have never before encountered a show with so much diversity on it. There are people of all kinds of races and sexualities, and seeing all the different people on the show brings me so much joy. It is so hard to find such diversity in books and tv shows/movies, especially in high fantasy because for some reason the norm for fantasy is straight, white people. This show proves that having people from different backgrounds does not take away from the quality of the show.



      So getting into the plot, I was really excited for the season premiere, granted I forgot the majority of what happened last season. I was so grateful for that recap at the beginning of the episode because I needed it.


      I was really thrown off with the year time jump, but I can see why they did that. So much happened in that year, but you can tell that our characters needed that year to grow before we saw them on the screen again. Now that being said, I was a little loss for the first half of the episode as to what was going on with the whole hunting magical people thing and our new force of evil. But as the episode continued, I started picking up on things again.


      Our main characters of focus this episode were Will and Eretria, which is why I'm surprised they named the episode "Druid", though I guess Allanon was involved a decent amount. The two have been separated for a year, and as a result have their own stories going on. Will is a healer who is done fucking with magic and Eretria is living her best life with some people from her past, including a new love interest for her played by Vanessa Morgan whom I adore with every fiber of my being. (For those of you who don't know who Vanessa Morgan is, she was the babysitter in the Disney Channel movie/tv show "My Babysitter's a Vampire").


       Plot-wise, so much yet so little happened in the episode that it's really hard to talk about it all, but you can tell that this episode was mainly used to set up the rest of the season with a lot of focus on Will learning more about the Shannara and coming into some badass powers, this group of people trying to wipe out magical users, and the bad guys who I'm still not sure about.


      Overall I really enjoyed this episode and what it is setting up. I like the idea of our characters all having separate side plots that all key into the major plot and then all of our characters eventually joining up. I'm excited to see Will become a badass and more magical things happening. I'm also really excited to see more of Vanessa Morgan's character cause I love that woman to death.


      So what do you guys think? Did you watch the premiere? Are you a fan of "The Shannara Chronicles"? What do you think is going to happen this season? Tell me your thoughts down below.

Monday, October 9, 2017

"Archie (2015) Volumes 1-4 Review

9:30:00 AM

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Book: Archie (2015) Vol. 1-4

Author: Mark Waid ( & various illustrators)

My Rating: ★★★★★ (except Vol. 4 which I give ★★★1/2)

Synopsis (of Vol. 1): America’s Favorite Teenager, Archie Andrews, is reborn in the pages of this must-have graphic novel collecting the first six issues of the comic book series that everyone is talking about. Meet Riverdale High teen Archie, his oddball, food-loving best friend Jughead, girl-next-door Betty and well-to-do snob Veronica Lodge as they embark on a modern reimagining of the beloved Archie world. It’s all here: the love triangle, friendship, humor, charm and lots of fun – but with a decidedly modern twist.

      So for those of you who were unaware, I absolutely love the tv show "Riverdale". It is definitely one of my guilty pleasures. I was a little unsure of it in the beginning, but I became hooked. What can I say, I love murder and small town drama. This sparked me to read to read "Archie (2015)", the graphic novel series.


      Going into the series, I had no doubt that it was going to be quite different than the tv series, and it is, but in a way that works. Both worlds have their own take on the characters and the drama/storylines, and both takes are entertaining. It's interesting because some of the characters, like Jughead, are pretty much the same across both outlets (which I LOVVEEE because Jughead is my favorite), while other characters are completely different or certain aspects of one character can be seen in another character. For example, I absolutely hate Betty in the tv show "Riverdale". Just about everything about her pisses me off. But in the graphic novels, she is basically a completely different person, and I love it. She's a strong tomboy who is so smart and capable. Don't get me wrong, tv show Betty is pretty smart and capable too, but she's soooo annoying and her priorities are all out of wack. I just can relate to graphic novel Betty more.


      Plot-wise, I enjoy Riverdale wayyyy more than the graphic novel series, but that's because the tv show is darker and more dramatic, something the graphic definitely isn't, which is fine. These graphic novels are more along the lines of the carefree antics of the original comic series with a lot of the plot centered around the love triangle with Archie, Veronica, and Betty. I'm a little annoyed at how much of the plot focused around Veronica and Archie, mainly cause I also don't like Veronica, but it is what it is.


      One thing that kinda surprised me in this series is how involved Mr. Lodge was. He was quite a focal point in the story and was very involved, unlike Mr. Lodge in the tv series. I'm interested to see how Mr. Lodge is portrayed in the tv series because even though the graphic novel version is pretty big and somewhat intimidating, I have a feeling the tv version will be wayyy darker and quite the scary enemy.


     Overall I really enjoy this series and will continue to read it. I've also decided I'm going to read the companion "Jughead" series because Jughead is my son and Sabrina the Teenage Witch is in it and I love her sooooo much and I'm super excited to see the two of them together.


      So if you haven't read this series, I highly recommend it, especially if you're a "Riverdale" fan, which speaking of, the season 2 finale is this Wednesday! I'm so excited. I think I'm going to start writing reviews for the episodes on here as well as live-tweeting. I use to live-react on Tumblr to my favorite shows and it honestly gave me so much life, so I want to bring that back and incorporate it with my blog since tv really is a huge part of my life and what makes me happy.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Friday Reads: 10/6/2017

10:00:00 AM

FRIDAY READS: 10/6/2017

      I seem to be on a roll these past few weeks because I actually got a lot of reading done this week. Granted, the majority of what I read were graphic novels, but hey, that counts! I've been reading the "Archie (2015)" graphic novels, and I love them! They're quite different from the tv show, "Riverdale", but I still enjoy both mediums. The slight changes in story and character really works for me. Later I'll put up my review for Volume One. The one constant in both Archie universes is Jughead, and Jughead is my favorite. I feel like he really embodies me and my personality.


      Outside of "Archie (2015), I've been reading "Kiss Me in New York" by Catherine Rider in exchange for an honest review. 

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      Honestly... it's ok. Nothing great. At this point I'm just finishing it to finish it; there is nothing that captures my attention and makes me want to continue this story. Very very basic YA contemporary with average writing.


      So that's what I've been up to reading-wise and what I'm currently trying to finish this weekend. On a side note, this is my 4th blog post this week, and I'm really proud of how consistent I have been this week. If I could blog like this every week that would be fucking fantastic. I'll certainly try to keep this up, but as always, school comes first.


      What are you guys reading this week/weekend? What do you think about what I'm reading? Have you read the "Archie (2015)" graphic novels, if so, what are your thoughts? Tell me down in the comments down below!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Books with Witches

9:30:00 AM

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: TOP 5 BOOKS WITH WITCHES

       I'M SO FUCKING PUMPED FOR THIS TOPIC!!! For those of you who were unaware, I love witches. So much. With all of my heart. So much that I wish I was a witch. For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to be a witch. Harry Potter only heightened that shit times ten. I used to go around concentrating on items, willing them to move and making up spells in my head. To this very damn day, I still dream and pretend that I'm a witch cause I'm really hoping that shit will kick in soon. So without further ado, here are just a few of the books with witches that I enjoy. (Believe me this is just a tip of the iceberg type of deal. I've got soooo many fucking books with witches I could list.)


5. The Nightmare Affair series by Mindee Arnett

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I only read the first two books in this series, but the books I did read I enjoyed. I'm not 100% sure if there were "witches" in this books, but I know that there were people who could do magic so that counts in my book.

4. The Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Image result for the covenant series

Once again, not sure if there were actually witches, but I realllllyyyy fucking love the Covenant series. This was the first series that I physically bought all of the books. There was some magical type shit going on so I say there were witches.

3. Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins

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I have read the Hex Hall series many times because this is one of my favorite paranormal books. The main character is a witch (kinda, long story for those of you who don't know this series) and most of the other characters are witches and they are all great (well most of them are, there a few that are ehhhhh or I could kill them with my bare hands). I love how there are "good" and "bad" witches and how their magic is different from one another.

2. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

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It wouldn't be a list about witches if I didn't have Harry Potter on it. Harry isn't who made me want to be a witch though, that was all Hermione. I mean not just her. Everything about Harry Potter just made me want to be a part of that great magical world.

1. The Secrets of the Immortal Flamel by Michael Scott

Image result for the secrets of the immortal nicholas flamel

Technically they are sorcerers and magicians and enchantresses, not witches, but they're all magical folk who are basically witches, so I'm gonna call them witches. This series is very magic heavy. This was the first magic series I read after Harry Potter ended, so this has a special place in my heart.

So this was just a little taste of books with my love of witches. Witches are love. Witches are life. Still salty I'm not a witch.

Not book related, but Bonnie Bennett is my favorite witch ever, hands down. I don't like book Bonnie but I fucking love how Kat Graham portrays her. She is a fucking goddess.

What do you think of my choices? Do you have any books with witches I should check out? Seriously though, send me some reccommendations because I fucking love witches. Tell me down in the comments down below.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tuesday Tunes: Transformers: The Last Knight Soundtrack

9:30:00 AM

TUESDAY TUNES: TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT SOUNDTRACK

      I haven't done one of these in a hot second, but I really want to make it a habit of doing these since music is literally the one constant in my life. So without further ado let me tell you why you should listen to the soundtrack from Transformers: The Last Knight.


      For things first, let me be honest with you: I haven't actually watched the latest Transfomers movie. I actually enjoyed the first two movies, the third one was eh, and it should have died there. The forth one was one big eyeroll and I've decided that at the moment I'm not going to give this newest movie the time of day. However, I will give its soundtrack all of my time because if there is one thing I love a lot it's the Transformers' soundtracks. I personally think Steve Jabonskly is one of the greatest composers of our time. He deserves all of the Oscars for his excellent work. 


      I have loved these soundtracks since the first movie. I love the mixture of classical with techno style to make an epic soundtrack. I love the soundtracks so much that if you played a song from them randomly, I could tell you the name of the song and the point of the movie it originates from. The orchestra kid in me just loves how well the styles of music blend in these soundtracks, and this new one is no exception, although I will say it is quite a bit different than the others. There is more emphasis on the classical aspect, especially the strings, compared to the earlier soundtracks, which as a violinist, I am all for. 


      Without a doubt my favorite song on the soundtrack is the very first one, "Sacrifice". When I first heard this song, I was blown away. It starts off with a softer tone than any song from the previous soundtracks and I love how it goes from just the piano to bringing in the strings followed by the brass with choir and the drums. At its highest point, the crescendo from all of the instrument just really gives me goosebumps. This song makes me want to close my eyes and imagine I'm in the eye of a storm, a strong wind blowing all around me and through my hair, preparing for battle. 


      As much as I love the feel this soundtrack is going for, I will admit that a lot of it blends together and makes it less memorable than the other soundtracks. There are no songs that I can just point out and name at the drop of the hat like I can with other soundtracks. Maybe it's because I haven't seen the movie so I cannot connect the two or because I haven't listen to it on repeat enough. I don't know. We'll see if the same can be said after I've listen to it like a thousand times. I do appreciate however that I can hear bits and pieces of the original soundtracks brought in from the first movie that really define the Transformers' soundtracks for me. (Side note: the cello has always sounded great in the Transformers' soundtracks, but hot damn the cello solos on this soundtrack are on fucking point. Like it makes me slightly jealous that my twin brother plays the cello- but not really, violin for life.)


      If you like classical music, movie music, epic music, anything like that, I implore you to take the time and really listen to this soundtrack. It's such a powerful and moving suite that I think needs to be appreciated. So if you're studying, doing homework, doing chores, etc. you should give this a whirl.

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My Rating System

★★★★★ This book is a gift from the literary gods
★★★★ This book was pretty damn good
★★★ This book had potential but missed the bar
★★ I probably didn't finish this book or it was god awful
★ Why does this book exist?

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