Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Review - The Fandom by Anna Day

Dressed up and ready for the excitement, Violet and her friends Katie and Alice and Violet's younger brother Nate are all ready for Comic-Con.

They're celebrating their favourite book, The Gallows Dance, where they're meeting actors from the movie and anticipating having fun.

Then things go a bit ... wrong.

There's an accident, and Violet and co wake up in the world of The Gallows Dance, right at the opening scene.

When they inadvertently kill off the main character, they are forced to go through the events of the book themselves in order to try and find a way home.

The Fandom is part Hunger Games, part ... modern-girl-in-fantasy-realm, part ... something else - lol. I have to admit, I did enjoy it, and I think 17YO me would have LOVED it, I spent a lot of time as a teen imagining myself in other worlds, and The Fandom definitely plays in to that. It's also a kind of love letter, almost, to large recent fandoms like Harry Potter, and there are references to that series and others that will definitely be recognised.

It's definitely a read in a single (or two) sitting book, but it doesn't suffer too much for that. The story is fun, the characters are engaging, and it's really, really readable.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Sunday Post 92, It's Monday, What are you reading? 77

The Sunday Post - a chance for bloggers to have a chat and a catch-up - is hosted by Kimba, here: https://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/ and It's Monday! What are you reading? Is hosted by Kathryn, here: https://bookdate.blogspot.co.nz/

Let's see ... last week went along pretty much the same as every other week lately, which is no bad thing. I've had some up and down days at work, but that happens. I've only been there for five months and I've never worked in a call centre, so I figure speed bumps are inevitable.

Anyway. Everything was normal, as I said, until 4.40am on Friday morning, when Spawn woke up with a fever, and aches and pains. Sigh. It feels like he only just got over his tummy bug, and BOOM! It was my turn to stay home with him, so that's what I did on Friday, giving myself an accidental long weekend. It was a good day to be inside - rainy and strong winds.

He's feeling much better now, thankfully - the fever broke overnight last night and he's back to his bright and bubbly self.

So back to normal tomorrow and *fingers crossed* that things stay normal - lol.

What else. I've started watching Nailed It on Netflix, which is hilarious. It's a kind of baking show where ordinary people come in and try to re-create incredibly elaborate cakes and it's just kind of awesome.

I'm still reading The City Stained Red and Wizards and Glass, and I also read The Fandom by Anna Day which was a very quick read. I'm also reading The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet at lunchtime at work.

We all sat down and watched Dr Strange today, which was ... okay. Review for that later in the week.

So how are you doing? What are you reading?

Friday, 16 March 2018

Review - Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

Beneath the Sugar Sky is the third book in Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children series. Like book one, this one starts at Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children.

It's set after the events of Every Heart a Doorway, and there's a new student - Cora, who has returned from a Drowned world and ended up at the school like so many of the children who had returned unintentionally from their own fantastic worlds.

Things kick off when a girl - Rini - falls out of the sky. Rini claims to be the daughter of Sumi, and to have come from Confection.

Now the trouble there isn't that Rini has come from a Nonsense world, but that she's claiming to be Sumi's daughter because 1) Sumi was a student at the school and 2) Sumi is dead.

However, Cora, Kade, Christopher and Rini set out to figure out how to bring Sumi back, and also to ensure that Rini - who is slowly vanishing - exists at all.

Wayward Children is one of my favourite series, and Down Among the Sticks and Bones was my favourite read last year.

The books are all short - about 180 pages each - but they all pack so much in, and Beneath the Sugar Sky is no exception. Revisiting the school was fun, and some of the characters from Every Heart a Doorway.

It's short, but it packs a real emotional punch.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Review - John Wick

Okay - fair warning for anyone who hasn't seen this - a puppy dies. That's not a spoiler, it happens fairly early on, but. A PUPPY DIES.

Okay, so - John Wick (Keanu Reeves, aka Dorian Grey because he DOES NOT AGE) is a former hitman. He's grieving as his wife has recently died, and he does not have his shit together.

His wife - knowing he would need something to focus on - posthumously sent him a puppy so John Wick would have something to love.

John runs into some idiots at a service station who offer to buy his car - it's some kind of fancy-schmancy ... Dodge? John says no, and heads home with his puppy.

Then the idiots break into his home, kill his puppy, and steal his car.

And John Wick - former hitman extraordinare - is NOT PLEASED.

The guy who stole his car and killed his puppy is the son of a Russian mobster and even he's scared of John Wick and basically goes OH SHIT YOU MORON when he finds out what his idiot son has done.

And then John Wick kills everyone. I'm not even kidding. The thing is though - it's actually a good movie? Like, the premise is really, really simple - man loses wife, then dog gets killed and car gets stolen so man kills everyone - but ... it works?

I don't even know HOW, but it does.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Review - Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

I've been wanting to read this one for a while, and when it came up on iBooks for less than $10.00 I figured it was fate and hit the "purchase" button.

And I'm really glad I did. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is great - super cute and lots of feelings to be had.

Simon is gay, but he's not out to anyone - not his family, not his friends. The only person he confides in is via email - another not-out person at his school.

But - when someone finds Simon's emails and tries to blackmail him - Simon finds himself facing some struggles that he wasn't expecting.

He finds himself at odds with his friends, and struggling to maintain normality while rehearsing for the school musical, and find out who his mysterious confidante is.

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is romantic, quirky and a really quick and very heartfelt read.

Definitely recommended.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Sunday Post 91, It's Monday, What are You Reading? 76

The Sunday Post - a chance for bloggers to have a chat and a catch-up - is hosted by Kimba, here: https://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/ and It's Monday! What are you reading? Is hosted by Kathryn, here: https://bookdate.blogspot.co.nz/

Last week, thankfully, was back to the quiet normal of work, school, work work work ... spawn is back to his normal lively self and J and I are  .... working - lol.

Other than that, I seem to be watching a lot of TV and playing games. But honestly, I don't mind that. Work is tiring, so it's nice to come home and just kind of blob out.

Mmmm .... blobbing.

I have finished a couple of books - I read Simon vs The Homo Sapien Agenda, which was great - super, super cute, and Beneath The Sugar Sky, the third book in the Wayward Children series, which was also pretty great.

I'm also trying to watch a movie every week, and so far so good. So today, while I painted my nails, I watched John Wick, which I hadn't seen.

So there'll be reviews of those later this week.

I did, finally, manage to have lunch on Thursday with my friend who is a newly-minted police officer. In her mid-40s she decided to revisit a long-held dream she had had since her early 20s. She applied for the police force then but was turned down. So she spent two years getting her fitness up to scratch and completed her training earlier this year.

As you might expect, with her also having four kids, lunch is a bit of a rare commodity for us, so it was really great to catch up. I'd say that was the highlight of my week. And we both ran into another mutual friend that day, so memorable all round.

I'm still working through Wizards and Glass, and also City Stained Red. I'm looking for something shorter as well that I can buzz through quickly as they're both pretty large novels.

How about you? What's your week like? What are you reading?

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Review - Get Out

Okay, so, this was hella creepy. In the good, thriller-with-excellent-music kind of way, and also in the social commentary kind of way.

I actually didn't know what the plot of the movie was before I started watching, and honestly, I think that's the best way to approach it. It meant that I felt a little off-balance for most of the movie, and that's really how the best thrillers should work.

Little shocks and tiny heart attacks here and there are also very important.

The social commentary is obvious - young African-American man goes to meet his wealthy white girlfriend's parents for the first time - and he feels unsettled and out of place right from the start. He also sees other African-American people working as servants and that adds to the unsettled feel of the whole movie.

Get Out is entirely centred around Daniel Kaluuya's performance as Chris, and he holds everything together with his performance, even when everything starts falling apart around him.

The central premise of the story is ... really really really disturbing. Like. Eeeesh.

I don't want to say too much because spoilers, but if you get a chance, you should definitely watch the movie.