Blog Posts

2 Year Bloggiversary!!

Things have incidentally come full circle for me in this past year on this blog! I made my very first post, a review of Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman, exactly two years ago today, and it gave me my first opportunity to work with a publisher for a blog tour this summer. I’ll be honest, that first review isn’t my best work (I’ve since edited it a bit because it was really bad) but I am happier every day that I have stuck with blogging and not given up. I know I don’t have the most successful blog out there number wise, most people I follow have exponentially more followers than me in a much shorter time than I’ve taken to just get my 70 lovely peeps out there. A huge thank you to those of you who follow me on WordPress, I don’t see stats from anywhere like Feedly and whatnot but I thank any of you too! I very much appreciate that you guys sometimes read my silly reviews. I have so much fun reading and watching movies/shows to review on here. I know it’s cheesy to say, but blogging is definitely not about the numbers for me. I make zero dollars off of this, but I love that I am recording my fictional and real life experiences here, and I hope I have gotten better over these last two years at compiling my thoughts into comprehensible reviews. Cheers to another year!

Lots of love,
Katie xxx

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Let’s Talk About… Hungry for Love by Lucy Beresford [ARC Review]

UK Release Date: 31 May 2016
US Release Date: 1 July 2017

Synopsis taken from Goodreads


Jax is about to cancel her wedding to Jonty. On the day. By text. A scrumptious celebration of survival for anyone who’s longed for love or felt unworthy of it, Hungry for Love will show you the importance of self-respect and that love can be found where you least expect it.


My Rating: 3 Stars
Goodreads Rating: 3.83 Stars

I received an electronic copy of this book through NetGalley, and I had requested this book because I’m definitely a fan of foodie fiction. I have read a couple of books in this genre in the last couple of years and I generally think they are fun and entertaining. This novel was similar in many ways to the other foodie fiction I have read but I really liked the idea of someone rediscovering themselves after cancelling a wedding.

This review does contain spoilers so only read on if you have already read Hungry for Love or don’t mind learning about the major plot points! Continue reading “Let’s Talk About… Hungry for Love by Lucy Beresford [ARC Review]”

Stories of the Month: September 2017

Movies

Victor Frankenstein (2015)

I’ll be honest, I only recorded this movie on my DVR because I knew that Daniel Radcliffe was in it. I always like to watch his films because he’s a very good actor who’s capable of being someone that’s not Harry Potter. That said, pretty much everything Daniel Radcliffe has been in since Harry Potter has gotten very bad reviews. I really like this cast individually. I like Daniel Radcliffe, Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey), and Andrew Scott (Sherlock) so I was enjoying them in each of their roles. I also really liked the back story of Igor being a medical genius that was stunted by his “deformity” and forced to live a life in the circus. I really liked the chase scene when Dr. Frankenstein was getting Igor out of the circus, it was well shot and fun to follow. Igor’s love interest with Lorelei was also nice because that’s unusual, I think, in a Frankenstein film. Typically the mutant is simply the mutant, but this film took Igor’s deformity away from him early in the story. This gave Igor a chance to become more than the crippled lackey that would typically be present in a film like this. That said, the plot went a bit stale for me. I liked the beginning but then got pretty bored by the main story line that had obviously turned into the common versions of Frankenstein that everyone already knows.

My Grade: C
Rotten Tomatoes: 24%

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016)

I had heard some buzz surrounding this film when it came out last year, but I only just recently recorded it on my DVR. I was looking forward to it because I am a fan of Andy Samberg from SNL/Lonely Island and Brooklyn Nine-Nine so I knew that if nothing else, this movie would be funny. There were plenty of laugh out loud moments. I watched this one while packing to go back to college, but I didn’t need to pay attention too closely so it was a nice chilled-out experience overall. I definitely recommend that SNL and Brooklyn Nine-Nine fans check this one out because there are tons of cameos from all kinds of celebrities, some I expected and others came out of nowhere and were fun to see! Last note is that this actually has a really high Rotten Tomatoes score which also took me by surprise.

My Grade: B+
Rotten Tomatoes: 78%

To the Bone (2017)

This is a film about the struggle to recover from severe eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa (there are others but those are the most well-known since they are usually covered in health classes). The unique aspect that this film holds over perhaps many other films involving eating disorders, is that both the director and main actress have struggled with eating disorders. There is a disclaimer at the start of the film that sensitive topics are involved, which is always a good idea. Moving on from the technicalities, I thought this film was very well done cinematically and emotionally. The message being spread is not a glorification of eating disorders but that help can only be accepted when help is wanted and that it takes a while for a person to accept that they need to get help. This film uses the aspect of family to show the effects an eating disorder has on loved ones as well as the sufferer. Lily Collins, who has opened up about previously having an eating disorder, really got into this role by actually losing weight (safely) to create the right image of her character for the film. Personally, I think that’s a very brave choice and one that she could only have made if she had fully recovered from her past eating disorder. Overall, I found this film inspiring and beautiful and I think it’s a great addition to the Netflix Orginal collection.

My Grade: A-
Rotten Tomatoes: 68%

 

Dead Poet’s Society (1989)

I’ve wanted to watch this film for SO LONG. Therefore, I finally watched this classic and I loved every second. I actually (probably surprisingly) had no clue how dark this film’s plot was. I was not expecting the suicide and that probably sounds so dumb because who doesn’t know this film, but I had never seen it or had anyone explain the plot to me before. The only reference I knew going in was that the phrase “Oh captain my captain” was popularized by this movie. I feel much better about myself knowing that I have watched this movie now. That is all.

My Grade
Rotten Tomatoes

Other:

L’auberge Espagnole (2002)

Lame. Do not recommend.

Rating: D

Television

I didn’t watch a ton of drama shows this month, that was a big thing this summer, but I just don’t have as much time to watch tv while at school so it will probably be this way for the next couple of months. Plus, most Fall shows don’t start until late September/mid-October, so this month has been a lull for new stuff. I’m going to fill this space by giving a quick opinion on the winners of my two favorite summer reality TV competition shows:

Big Brother Season 19

I have been watching this show for at least half of my life at this point, probably more than half, and I still love it. I am a big fan of Paul so I was disappointed that the jury votes came down to Cody’s final vindictive vote. I think Paul played very well this season and while he may have stabbed people in the back, I had hoped the jury would have seen that his masterminded game-play far surpassed anything Josh did all season. I won’t drone on any longer but Paul should have won and I am dreading Jody’s imminent trip around the world on the next season of Amazing Race *barf*

So You Think You Can Dance Season

I have been watching this show since season one when I was about 8 or 9 years old. It was, of course, my childhood dance dream to be on this show but alas I’m not pursuing a dance career so intense and just am not at that point. Tangents aside, I was rooting for Le all season, although Koine was a worthy runner up. They are both amazing dancers, but I am very happy with the way the finale ended. I can always count on America to be on the same page when voting for contestants on SYTYCD (unlike some other shows *cough cough AGT cough cough*)

Books

27272506The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court #1) by Richelle Mead

LOVED IT. I have had this book on my TBR list since I bought it but I finally got around to starting it at the end of the summer. Then I took my sweet time reading because I have a hard copy and rarely have time to read fun hard copies with all my school reading. I am so glad I spent last Friday night powering through the last 50 pages. I had been skeptical about the idea of reading a series that followed three characters but followed the same timeline for all three books. I thought that sounded stupid and boring, but the way Richelle has written holes into Tamsin and Mira’s plot lines has me kicking myself for ever doubting my favorite author’s skills! I can’t wait to get Midnight Jewel and read Mira’s story. Full review to come!

My Rating: 4.5 Stars
Goodreads Rating: 3.44 Stars

29343886Hungry For Love by Lucy Beresford

I read this book as an e-ARC kindly provided by Netgalley. I thought this novel was sweet and entertaining. It would have been a fun summer read if I had read it in the summer but I did not. I’ll have a full review up sometime soon!

UK release date:
US release date:

My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Goodreads Rating: 3.83 Stars

26135825 Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Just for the record, I won’t be putting up a full review for any class-assigned readings, and there will be a ton of those this year since I am studying English! I really enjoyed reading this story. We’ve really dissected a large amount of the allusions and details used in Bechdel’s graphic memoir, but it’s an overall great read. I was fascinated by Alison’s story and the way she weaved it together with the story pf her father. I had heard about this book previously only in reference to the Broadway hit musical that opened in 2013, but I didn’t know anything about the book itself. I highly recommend giving this a read, even if you aren’t being forced to by a professor.

My Rating: 5 Stars
Goodreads Rating: 4.12 Stars

Other titles read for class this month:
Titus Andronicus, “Venus and Adonis,” and “Lucrece” by William Shakespeare
The Iliad and The Odyssey (just parts of them) by Homer

Let’s Talk About… Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart *Spoiler Free ARC Review*

Last year, I read E. Lockhart’s last previous YA thriller, We Were Liars, and I really loved it. Lockhart’s writing isn’t for everyone, but I thought it was interesting and different from a lot of other YA contemporaries I had read before. After that experience, I was very much looking forward to Genuine Fraud when I heard it was coming out! I found the ARC hidden behind others at work and pretty much thought I had hit the jackpot.

The story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.


Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete.
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two.
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains.
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.


Release Date: 5 September, 2017

My Rating: 3.5 stars

High marks for: Pretty cover, Cool written-backwards concept, Constant sense of mystery

Low marks for: Unsatisfying ending to Jule’s story, confusing timeline at some points

The reason I like E. Lockhart’s writing is because she chooses unique approaches in forming her stories

The ending was lack-luster for me, the way most people felt at the end of We Were Liars. I was pretty satisfied with that ending, but Genuine Fraud just didn’t do it for me. I’ll let you guys be the judge for yourselves, but it just wasn’t as conclusive as I would have hoped for a standalone novel to be. Maybe that was the intention, and in that case, good on it. I personally think that the ending fell flat compared to the rest of the novel. Perhaps my disappointment came from comparing this novel to We Were Liars, assuming they should follow a similar formula, and that’s probably wrong of me to do. The first half of the book leads you to the twist in the middle, but when you finally get to chapter 1, things still don’t add up.

You also really have to pay close attention to understand how the timeline moves in each chapter. Sometimes there are flashbacks within the present and I even felt like sometimes there was a line that referenced the future… in the past? I’ll admit it could get confusing at times!

Overall, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Genuine Fraud, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good! I gave high marks for creativity and the feeling of mystery that carried through the whole novel, but took some away for not being completely satisfied with how the story panned out. I suggest checking this book out if you liked We Were Liars, then come back and tell me what you think of it!

Katie x

For my in-depth thoughts about We Were Liars, check out my review from last year!
~I will warn you though, that review does contain *spoilers*~