Trailers You Might Have Missed … (April 23-29)

I don’t even know where time is going at this point, because every week just seems to pass quicker and quicker. Anyway, here are your trailers!

Movies

Crazy Rich Asians

The trailer is here and it looks SO GOOD!!! (I still have to read the book, but I will do that before the movie)

Venom

I am super excited for this! I mean, Tom Hardy AND Riz Ahmed is just a treat.

Woman Walks Ahead

Look at A24 doing quality content once again.

Kin

Why is James Franco in the thumbnail? 1. He isn’t even a main character and 2. these days he’s more of a reason not to watch something than to watch and this actually looks like a cool SciFi flick.

Smallfoot

I like how they turned that one around.

Leave No Trace

This looks beautiful and sad.

The Tale

This apparently has amazing reviews from what I hear. It looks very intense to me.

Billy Boy

I just want to know if they filmed that before Melissa and Blake got divorced because I cannot see them working together right now.

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot

I am so distracted by everyone’s hair.

Zoo

Another sad animal movie …

Uncle Drew

Still no fan of those prosthetics.

TV Shows

UnREAL (Season 4)

I am SO confused how we will get to this season after the end of S3, cause everything and everyone just looks different.

The Bold Type (Season 2)

I know a lot of you have been waiting for this one!

Dear White People (Season 2)

Still super pumped for this!

Sweetbitter

I am currently reading this and really enjoying it, so definitely looking forward to the show. Do you want a show vs. book comparison once I am done?

YOU

Hmmm … Penn Badgley back on TV? In a creepy role? With Shay Mitchell? Yes?

Sharp Objects

The people involved in this know how to make some messed up content for sure.

Reverie

I really like the look of this but the more I see, the more it reminds me of Inception meets Falling Waters or something like that.

Luke Cage (Season 2)

Not my favourite Marvel show …

Succession

The concept has been done before but this is just without the element of comedy.

What are you watching? Which ones did seem interesting to you? Let’s chat!

#CurrentlyWatching: Rise

This week’s #CurrentlyWatching is another one I am just going to be cautiously optimistic about. As I have mentioned in previous posts, when I did this last year, a lot of the shows I actually wanted to save or draw attention to with my writing still got cancelled and I was devastated. So, I usually try to not do a whole post for it anymore before at least an entire season has aired, but I couldn’t hold off on Rise any longer.

The show airs on NBC and is a couple episodes away from its first season finale. While it may seem like a cross between Glee and Friday Night Lights, it is actually based on real life events that were chronicled in the non-fiction book Drama High by Michael Sokolove. I haven’t read it, but I checked out some reviews on Goodreads, where a couple of the former students definitively agreed to the excellence of that teacher (while the narrator’s voice and his depiction of the small town is apparently debatable). I know how valuable of an experience it is to have someone like that during your school years, so I always liked the idea for this show from the beginning.

Rise follows teacher Lou Mazzuchelli as he tries to revive the High School’s theater department and faces a lot of pushback from the community about his unconventional approach.

I remember watching the first episode of Rise and it hitting directly home where my heart is. Most of the time, I am not a huge fan of big ensemble casts, just because I like to focus on individuals which gets increasingly more difficult as the plot thickens. So, of course, there’s always episodes that focus on some characters more than on others to the point where there’s still people left to discover halfway through the season. It’s something you have to be prepared for, but I don’t think that it distracted from the overall most important story arcs.

As I mentioned above, many people have compared it to Glee, but the show strikes a much more mature tone. Due to it focusing on a musical production and not Glee club in general, there is also less singing and especially no random bursting into a song when they aren’t actually auditioning or rehearsing for the play. The problems the characters are facing seem very tailored to the characters they are playing in the chosen musical, “Spring Awakening”, so I wonder how that will go over the span of several seasons.

Overall, there’s a lot of different topics that are being treated. There’s a definite focus on the parent-child-relationships and I really loved seeing the various nuances of that so far. In addition to that, there’s conversations about transgender issues, teen pregnancy, underage drinking and alcoholism, exploring ones sexuality, the foster system and general societal pressure to fit into a certain mold. It does all that with a lot of compassion, showing the characters when they overstep or make something about themselves when it’s really not. I am not trying to say Rise does everything right, but it offers a platform for a lot of representation.

I don’t know why I keep doing this to myself, because I am terrible at picking just one person to spotlight, especially when there is such a huge cast. Everyone brings something to the table, but I guess I am a little partial to Maashous’ storyline.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I would like to foster or adopt children in the future. From a young age on, I always had this idea of wanting to help those kids and teens once I was grown up (and able to care for someone else), but somehow I was also too chicken to pursue a career as a social worker. Anyway, before I get off track too much, Maashous is one of those kids in the foster system and I guess that’s why I was so invested in his story.

He is quiet, the kind of person you may not notice, but who is always around. He cares for his friends, seems very open-minded from what I saw so far and is willing to help whenever someone needs him. So, it broke my heart to know that he had troubles in his foster home and ended up sleeping at school. He deserves so much better! I don’t want to spoil what happens, but it gets better and I hope you might tune in to find out how exactly.

Have you watched Rise? Do you want to? Let’s talk!

Famous In Love: Book vs. TV Show

You all know that my love for books constantly has to compete with my love for TV shows, because in the end there are only so many hours in one day. That is why I love it all the more when I can combine those two passions and do a little comparison of a book and its (big or small) screen adaptation. I’ve previously done this for Still Star-Crossed and since I am still getting clicks for that, I am just going to assume you won’t mind more posts of the like! Today’s book vs. show post will feature Famous in Love!

General Plot

The story of Famous in Love follows Portland-raised Paige Townsen on her way to Hollywood fame. She soon finds out that being cast for the main role in a YA trilogy adaptation isn’t just glamorous when she struggles to unite her old and new life, succumbs to the pressure of being a new face in a harsh industry and ultimately finds herself amidst an intense love triangle.

TV Show

I am going to start with the show, because I actually watched it prior to reading the book. I usually try to read stuff before the show/movie comes out, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen and from there on it can go both ways. Anyway, Famous in Love is in its second season on Freeform. Not going to lie, Freeform and I have a strenuous relationship, because they often do very superficial adaptations and tacky content, while easily cancelling the things I actually do like (except for The Bold Type, they are doing great on that one!). I suppose that was part of the reason why I wanted to watch the show without having much knowledge about the book, since I knew they were going to change a lot. Not having any sort of allegiance the content beforehand can be really helpful in those kind of situations.

Freeform shows follow a very simple formula. Have a glossy appearance, get a mix of known and unknown actors and actresses in their early twenties and then just add drama, drama, drama at a varying degree of realism. For some formats that doesn’t work at all and for other things I quite enjoy their take. Famous in Love is definitely one of my guilty pleasures, but mostly because it takes place in the film industry and that is my soft spot.

As someone who has worked in that industry, I always like those supposed behind the scenes kind of shows. Mix it with a typical Cinderella and fish-out-of-water component and you basically have me hooked without question. I may not be the biggest Bella Thorne fan to begin with, but it’s easy to root for her character, Paige, the entire time. Who hasn’t secretly (or not so secretly) dreamed of becoming famous over night and having celebrities swoon over you?

I am a simple girl, I always favour episodes with character development and exploration of relationships over the superficial drama that comes with jealousy, affairs, fake press stories and out-of-the-blue-murder, but I guess it was to be expected with this kind of show. And even if it’s silly sometimes, in the end you just want to know what happened? So, while I do enjoy watching it as a whole, I still think that Famous in Love has a couple weaknesses. For one, the cast is quite big and keeps getting bigger, which often makes it hard to focus on anyone in particular for an extended amount of time without neglecting someone else. Also, I feel like some of the characters changed their personality quite a bit from Season 1 to Season 2 and I don’t get why exactly. None of that has stopped me from tuning in every week so far though.

One of my favourite parts about Famous in Love is the teen novel they are adapting called Locked. I want that book to be a real YA franchise so that I can dig in and read the story myself. OR I want that fake movie they are filming to be a real movie, so that I can watch the entire Locked film one day. *sigh* Those are the dreams of a TV obsessed bookworm …

Book

Now that the second season started up on Freeform, I thought it was finally time to check out the source material. Granted, I went into this with quite a few preconceived ideas of what the story would be according to the show, but I still wasn’t prepared for the amount of actual changes.

The general idea is still the same. Paige is a nobody, but gets the role in this huge franchise. But that’s about it. Whereas the show takes place in LA, the book is almost entirely set in Hawaii. Whereas Paige is in her early twenties on TV, she is only 17 and still living with her parents when the book starts. Whereas Paige’s friends are right there with her not just in life but also in the film industry in the adaptation, they have a huge fight and grow apart while also being in different locations entirely. Whereas the love triangle on the show is between Paige, her co-star Rainer and her roommate Jake, the book’s main romance catastrophe was between Paige, Rainer and ALSO her second co-star Jordan.

Look, I am all for love triangles IF they are done well. I like the idea that one’s heart is torn between two amazing love interests, but that just wasn’t the case here. While I may have understood the slow burn approach of the Paige and Rainer relationship, which was actually really cute and developed slowly, the Jordan part was completely beyond me. Paige was downright ready to sabotage him getting a job on set, just to fall head over heels into him without saying much more than “hi” to each other for weeks.

In addition to that, the version of Locked they were filming in this scenario also sounds less appealing somehow and I don’t even know why that would be different as well? Anyway, I think that I would usually allow for the possibility of me not enjoying the book as much because of having seen the show first, but I cannot imagine myself liking this book in any other situation either.

Fazit: 2.5/5 stars! (click on the cover to be redirected to Goodreads!)

Conclusion

So, in the end, I would say that the TV show is vastly superior to the book and I stand by that statement. Making the characters older and a tad more mature with that, as well as setting the scene right in the high life that is Los Angeles, was a smart move in my opinion. They also created a better love triangle (whether you like them or not) than they did in the book and I will happily continue watching the series even if I won’t read any more of the books.

Do you watch Famous in Love? Have you read it? What is your take on the subject? Let’s talk!

P.S.: Shout out to the unsung heroes of any kind of production – the PAs (Production Assistants)! Or in this particular case, Adam, a reoccurring character on the show who deserves more screen time.

The 20 Questions Book Tag

I am trying to not slack on posting as much as I have in the past two weeks, so here comes another tag your way! I was tagged by Sophie @Sophie’s Corner to do the 20 Questions Book Tag. It looks like a lot of fun, so here we go!

1. How many books is too many books in a series?

I am happiest with duologies and trilogies but the absolute maximum I will go to these days is 5. I will make exceptions for things like the Shadowhunter universe, but I really don’t have the time and energy to read 12 books or so nowadays.

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?

While I can see the value in a well done cliffhanger that will keep your mind occupied for days and weeks and might even be the one thing that elevates a book … I hate them. I am much happier knowing how things end.

3. Hardback or paperback?

It’s a tough choice, but if we overlook the money-factor here, I prefer hardcovers. I can put them in my backpack without worrying about bent covers and they are mostly beautifully done.

4. Favorite book?

JUST ONE!?!?!? How about I tell you the last book I gave 5 stars to? That seems fair, right?

So, that book was To Kill a Kingdom and I loved the ocean, sirens and ripping out of hearts with every fiber of my body.

5. Least favorite book?

I kind of just forget about bad books, so this isn’t any easier to answer than the previous questions. I gave the Chocolate Run only one star on GR, but I don’t even know what it was about at this point.

6. Love triangles, yes or no?

If done well, yes!

7. The most recent book you just couldn’t finish?

Uhm … me? Not finishing a book? What? Never! I merely post-pone reading things rather than DNF them completely. The latest being The Ship Beyond Time, not because I don’t like the book but I just wasn’t in the mood for it for now.

8. A book you’re currently reading?

I have a real thing for Famous in Love despite it being produced by Freeform, so I decided to finally pick up the book. Which is nothing like the series whatsoever except for names …

9. Last book you recommended to someone?

I am pretty sure I screamed at all of you to read The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society even though it has a horrible title and might be outside of the genre you usually read. I am telling you, you’re going to fall for those characters if you just give it a try!

10. Oldest book you’ve read? (Publication date)

How would I even be able to check it?? We talked about and read parts of the Epic of Gilgamesh in school which was written 2100 BC? Does that count?

11. Newest book you’ve read? (Publication date)

Iron Gold was definitely released only this year. I am kind of behind on recent releases, but that was one I couldn’t stay away from.

12. Favorite author?

Pick one for yourself: Pierce Brown, Leigh Bardugo, V.E. Schwab, Nina LaCour, Morgan Matson, Tahereh Mafi, Jeff Zentner, …

13. Buying books or borrowing books?

As much as my wallet likes to complain, I have to buy books. I don’t even know that many people in my vicinity that I could borrow a book from and I would be terrified of getting a dent in it. Also, libraries aren’t really an option either, at least not for the stuff I usually read, so … there you go.

14. A book you dislike that everyone else seem to love?

I know that a lot of people really like the Maze Runner series, but I thought the books were boring and superficial and bland. Sorry, but I closed the door on that one a while ago …

15. Bookmarks or dog-ears?

BOOKMARKS! How dare anyone permanently hurt a book by dog-earing a page?

16. A book you can always reread?

I don’t reread … like at all.

17. Can you read while hearing music?

Definitely! I have certain songs that will immediately bring back memories of a certain book or scene because I tend to put things on loop while reading (or writing for that matter).

18. One POV or multiple POV’s?

I can enjoy both, but sometimes multiple POVs just really get too much so if I have to pick one, it would be single POV.

19. Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?

That just really depends on the book and isn’t really something I feel like I am able to generalise. Although, I probably need several days for the majority of my reads.

20. A book you’ve read because of the cover?

We Are Okay and no regrets!

I TAG THEE

Malanie | Kay Wisteria | Andie |WHOEVER WANTS TO DO THE TAG

*Sorry if you have already done this! Also, please don’t feel obliged to do the tag if you don’t want to!

What did you think of my answers? Would you agree or disagree on some of them? Let’s talk!

How I See Myself as a Fictional Character Tag

I’ve been a little absent so you get two posts on the same day! As someone who tends to make up fictional characters a lot as well as fictional identities that could fit into her favourite shows, I saw the How I See Myself as a Fiction Character Tag and immediately wanted to do it. That’s why I am all the more grateful that Melissa @Bookish Wanderer basically read my mind and tagged me for it.

It’s really rather easy, you just make up a fictional life you’d want to have and accompany it with loads of aesthetics for the categories that are mentioned. As Melissa mentioned in her post, it’s not about complaining about your own life, but having a bit of fun playing pretend. I am quite happy with the person I am and the things, events and people that have got me to where I am today, but I still think this will be really entertaining to make. Let’s do this!

NAME

Don’t make me explain this one, because I literally can’t. It just came up in one of my daydreams and stuck.

APPEARANCE

I don’t mind having brown eyes and brown hair, although I’d like to have the latter a tad shorter and more controlled wavy than my mess. Also, a tan would be nice? Because no matter what I do, I do not tan …

STYLE

I want to do both, wear something super whimsical but also casual and comfortable regularly.

PERSONALITY

I guess my personality would consist of pretty much the regular things that comprise me now as well? Sometimes moody, loving nerd culture and being a bit quirky.

LIKES

There will never be a version of me, fictional or not, that doesn’t like books, the ocean, taking a bath to relax and whimsy locations.

LIVES

Small and miraculously affordable apartment in Vancouver!

QUOTES TO LIVE BY

ADDED DESCRIPTION

This is NOT part of the original tag, but I felt like pictures can only say SO much and I wanted to give a little background here and there. In my mind, Eden is a little more jaded than me because she has been through more rough stuff, but still never lost her love for the whimsical and pretty things in life. She’s used to being by herself and cherishes that. I cannot imagine her being out and about going to the clubs at night and I don’t think I ever suggested that with my images (also, Vancouver doesn’t have the most outrageous nightlife scene to begin with). I can see her working in a non-chain coffeeshop where she gets to talk to customers and makes friends with the regulars. She knows her job isn’t the be all end all, but it gets her the cash she needs to spend the free time she has doing the things she loves. Eden is free and confident, living her best life.

I TAG THEE

Marie | Marta | Michelle | ANYONE WHO WANTS TO DO THE TAG!

What did you think of my fictional persona “Eden”? Have you ever made up someone in your mind? Let’s chat!

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (April 16-22)

It’s Sunday, so I hope you know what that means – a fresh batch of trailers! I know it’s been a little quiet on the blog lately and I am sorry for not visiting yours more often, but I hope to get some motivation and inspiration in the upcoming week again.

Movies

Crazy Rich Asians

I wish the full trailer was out already, but that’s tomorrow … it still looks fantastic!

Hotel Artemis

It looks amazing!

Deadpool 2

I remember that huge panda?

Candy Jar

I’d watch this!

Blindspotting

I just wanted to be like “LAFAYETTE” but this is some real serious and intense stuff!

Anon

People technically already hack humans because a lot of medical equipment can be hacked? But this is next level stuff …

A Prayer Before Dawn

It’s John Shelby! The sole reason I clicked on the trailer …

The Delinquent Season

Wait a minute! Thomas Shelby AND Moriarty? Count me in.

The Equalizer 2

I didn’t know there was a sequel?

Life of the Party

“Harrison Ford blew up the Death Star and freed the Galaxy. What have you done Dan?”

Social Animals

Could be a good indie flick.

Carter & June

I like weird heist movies.

Puzzle

It seems like such a simple premise, but I bet it’s one of those movies with a great message.

TV Shows

The Innocents

This is my kind of weird mystery show.

Dear White People (Season 2)

I know that opinions are divided on this one, but I really liked the first season. I can’t wait for what’s next.

Glow (Season 2)

YAS! They are back.

Reverie

NBC is terrible at keeping shows like this for the long run, even if I think they look fantastic.

Safe

It’s Dexter meets Taken??

How has your week been? What of the above things are you going to watch?

#CurrentlyWatching: Lost in Space

I am finally back with another installment of #CurrentlyWatching. I have discarded all sorts of themes (although I probably still would have had a couple up my sleeves I suppose) and will just do one post per week again. I wanted to give you all a little break to catch up on your watching, because today I am here to talk about Lost in Space.

Lost in Space is a new Netflix original, which is technically a remake of the 1960s science fiction and adventure show as well as a late 90s movie. I have seen … none of those? Which is not an issue whatsoever for me personally, as it is a total reboot and starts fresh again. There’s one season out so far and there are mixed reviews. Similar to the Anne with an E reboot, a lot of people were missing the happy and quirky, more humerus approach. I guess you just need to watch it as something completely different than the work it is based of? I understand that can be difficult to do if it is something you loved, but then I just feel like people should understand what Netflix does by now, cause that is how they tackle most of their narratives – make it more darker and troublesome.

Lost in Space follows a family, the Robinsons, after they crash-land on a unknown planet and have to survive to make their way to the human colony in space.

I know my reading list is mostly full of fantasy and contemporaries, but just like with my books, I love SciFi as well. I don’t crave it all the time, but when I hear or in this case see that something is done right, there is no hesitation from my side to check it out. With this one, it was most of all the cinematography and the top notch CGI that drew me in. If the story is solid, I might be able to overlook low budget effects, but I am always overjoyed when I don’t have to. Also, I took one look at the location and knew immediately that they filmed it near Vancouver, which made my heart rejoice. That may be a very biased way to judge a show, but if it gets me to watch the program, does it really matter?

Anyway, let’s talk more about the story and the characters. I find myself gravitating more and more towards stories that focus on family and all that comes with it, which is the definition of this show. The Robinsons aren’t perfect, they fight, they have their problems in the past as well as the present, but they also would do anything for one another. They are a kind of patchwork family, which is just another way of modernizing the story, which I very much appreciate. Each family member has their role to play, with all their weaknesses and strengths.

For me, the emotional components balanced nicely with the more scientific stuff, that I mostly try to let sink in but don’t always get entirely. I have no problem suspending disbelief and just going with whatever I am told in that kind of setting. Do I think that there might be tiny plot holes every now and then? Yes, absolutely. But I was here for the characters and their relationships more than accurate depiction of space travel to begin with.

One thing that bothered me a little was how the villain was handled. Look, I am all for villains, but they have to have some sort of character development, motive and maybe a tinge of redeeming quality about them. With Dr. Smith there was none of that. She was manipulative, but to a point that didn’t even make sense. They were all fighting for survival and she was clearly not trained for the kind of situations they were faced with, so she needed the others.

On the other hand, I really enjoyed the alien robot storyline. I’ll admit that he looked like a tall person in a suit with a mask on sometimes … but his relationship with Will, his learning progress and the continued mystery about his origin was fascinating. I, of course, don’t know if there is another season, but that robot’s story is not done yet and I am very happy about that. (The robot made me cry, folks! The robot did that!)

This is the point where I usually have my character spotlight, but the thing is that I don’t know who to spotlight in the family? Maureen is a fierce and brilliant mother and engineer, showing that you can really do it all. John is a former soldier not letting anything come between him and his kids as he has lost too much time with them already. Judy, the eldest daughter, is only 18 but has received accelerated medical training and is now the doctor for the next wave of space colonists. Then there is Penny, who seems superficial at first, but who is brave and cunning when others need help. Or Will, the youngest with only 11 years, but one of the kindest, sensible and most thoughtful kids out there who managed to befriend an alien robot that might as well could have killed him? They are this perfectly imperfect family with so much heart, because they do make mistakes and sometimes really stupid ones considering their IQs, but they are still very lovable as a whole.

There is just one last thing I want to talk about before I conclude this little post. While watching this show, I felt certain … vibes between Judy and Don (a roguish technician) and I was wondering if I only imagined them. In former versions of this story, I believe they were a couple, but I am not sure how audiences would feel about it here. As I mentioned, Judy is only 18, but Don looks like he is in his 30s (the actor is 36) and while I don’t mean to say that age difference necessarily has to be a problem when it comes to love, they do make it a lot harder to root for them? I will withhold judgement on this (cause it worked pretty damn well in From Dusk Till Dawn despite the age thing), but I am just trying to say that it might stir up some controversy. Anyway, him giving her his pet chicken to look after was one of the best moments of the season.

Believe it or not, this was one of the most fun relationships on the show!

Did you watch Lost in Space already? Are you going to? Did you miss #CurrentlyWatching? Let’s talk!

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (April 9-15)

I’ve been a little absent this week for no particular reason, but I am back with the usual Sunday Trailer post! Let’s see what I’ve got for you!

Movies

Incredibles 2

I know, I know – we are all excited!!!

Ocean’s 8

Seriously cannot wait!!

Solo: A Star Wars Story

I am going to stay cautiously optimistic about this one.

Fahrenheit 451

Seeing books burned hurts me deep inside.

Hearts Beat Loud

This looks so cute!

Hot Summer Nights

Sweet Timmy looks hella shady in this movie, but I like the trailer?

Dude

Somehow I am not 100% into this ..

Alex & the List

The dude is so going to end up with Karen Gillan in the end. I am calling it now!

Another Kind of Wedding

I am down for watching this at home on a lazy Sunday?

A Kid Like Jake

This is a different side to Jim Parsons.

Anything

I am happy these kind of stories are getting made, but I also understand why people would prefer a trans actor in the role instead of Matt Bomer, no matter how awesome he is.

American Animals

I really like the cast on this one, a bit confused by the premise.

The Wife

A movie about writers is always going to catch my eye.

The Con is On

Con-artists are always fun.

Mary Shelley

I am not the biggest Elle Fanning fan, but the subject matter is interesting of course.

Dark Crimes

Not my kind of movie, but I guess this means Jim Carrey is back for real.

In Darkness

Natalie Dormer is already pretty badass, so I think this could be interesting and tense.

Future World

It looks cheap and outdated?

The Meg

I am not made for this. That shark is freaking terrifying.

The Escape

I imagine this to be hard to watch because it’s definitely going to be emotional.

The Last Witness

I remember when people thought Pettyfer was going to be the next big thing and then he managed to kill his own career.

Birthmarked

Collette and Goode are really great actors, but I don’t like the whole kids-as-experiments-aspect.

 

TV Shows

Younger (Season 5)

I can’t wait for my lovelies to return!!!

Animal Kingdom (Season 3)

I need to catch up on this desperately and just hope it will help me with my Peaky Blinders withdrawal.

Fabled

Have no idea what’s happening.

Picnic at Hanging Rock

Another thing with Natalie Dormer!

That’s it! What are you thinking? What will you be watching?

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer/Annie Barrows (Book Review + Movie Trailer)

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Page Count: 250

Okay, this must have been one of the longest titles to EVER exist on my blog. The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society is quite a mouthful, but don’t get intimidated by the title (which will from here on out just be Guernsey Lit or something for simplicity)! This was the second book that I chose as my giveaway prize from the one Ari @The Romance Corner Blog was amazing enough to host. So another shout out to her for making it possible for me to read that book!

Most of you who have followed my blog for a while now, know that I struggle with books set during or around the time of World War II (especially if you have read my review of Wolf by Wolf). Being from the country that I am from, we just seem to have a continued peculiar relationship with the topic and due to the way it was heavily treated at school, I was usually not very fond of spending even more thoughts on it in my free time. However, all of that doesn’t change that those books usually end up having quite the impact on me and it wasn’t much different this time either.

Guernsey Lit is completely told in letters between various parties. Some people may only appear once while others are visible main characters. It was easy to fall in love with them all, each having their own voice, wit and humour about them. I am not sure I could pick any favourites, however, I do love Dawsey Adams. He is the one who initiated contact with Juliet because he found a second-hand book that once belonged to her. It turns out he is quiet, kind and considerate but it is most of all that shared passion for literature that brought him and Juliet closer. Honestly, this must be the dream scenario for any bookworm looking for romance! I shipped it hard. But seriously, where is my Dawsey Adams??

I enjoyed reading how Juliet got closer and closer to the members of the society with time, yet through letters alone, because it reminded me so much of the 1940s version of our very own bookish online community. I have found so many dear friends that I wouldn’t want to miss from my life through blogging and reading, so whenever someone would suggest she didn’t even know these people for real, I felt offended on her behalf. Also, her meeting them for the first time was just brilliant as well and also reminded me of online friends meeting in real life!

As a whole, I wouldn’t describe Guernsey Lit as a heavy read at all, having marked several paragraphs that had me laughing out loud, but at the same time it does cover the topic of war and the feelings of grief, anger, loss, helplessness, frustration and fear that come with it. There was this one particular part told from someone who was sent to a concentration camp and it reminded me of my visit to one of those camps. They are usually done with school where I am from and by chance we met this elderly man while we were there and even though he only spoke French (me and some of my classmates translated for the rest of the class), he wanted to tell us his story. It was the first time he came to visit as some of his relatives had died in that very camp. It was heart-wrenching and sad, but to that man it was important to talk about what happened. He didn’t need us to reply, I am not sure we would have had the right words, he just needed someone to listen. I feel like that is very much the same thing with the people in that book and the story that they are all trying to tell, whether it was on purpose or not. WWII was one of the most atrocious times in human history and while I understand that some people rather wouldn’t be reminded of it, it is also necessary to acknowledge that it happened and to prevent it from ever happening again.

The last quarter of the book seemed to loose focus a little bit. I was a tad confused by the direction it took on and didn’t really see all of the storylines as necessary, because some of them were quite a bit whacky. However, that did not subtract from my enjoyment of the book as a whole.

And lastly, here is the trailer for the movie adaptation that will release mid to the end of April! I am in love with the cast, and not just because it is a sort of mini Downton Abbey reunion, but because I have followed the careers of most of those actors a while and loved their work. They obviously had to change quite a bit to get the characters together sooner though, since they couldn’t just rely on letters for the storytelling (I think that would not be very visually pleasing?). I am not too anxious, even though I can really see a lot of changes, but I am worried about one of my favourite storylines being cut – the adoption storyline! It’s another topic near and dear to my heart, but I  don’t want to say any more as to not spoil anything. It doesn’t look like that will be in the movie at all though, as well as another, in my opinion, important storyline. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, especially if you have read the book as well!

 

Fazit: 5/5 stars! Did not expect to fall in love with it the way I did.

Are you going to read the book? Have you already? Do you want to watch the movie? Let’s chat!

 

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo (Book Review)

Publisher: Hot Key Books
Page Count: 368

Before starting this review, I want to give a huge shout out to Ari @The Romance Corner Blog because To Kill a Kingdom was one of the books I won in her giveaway. I rarely win those, so when she messaged me I was over the moon (and looking at the two books that came my way and that I absolutely love, I still am over the moon now) and she deserves all the thanks for making this happen. And second, I also want to thank Marie @Drizzle and Hurricane Books for being my buddy reader for this adventure. Don’t forget to check out those lovely ladies’ blogs and to keep a lookout for Marie’s own review of the book.

Sooo, that was a lot of unrelated preface for my review. I am trying my best not to simply scream at you that I loved the book. However, from the get go, it had everything I liked in a story. Sirens, pirates and the cold ruthlessness and beauty of the ocean. I know that to Kill a Kingdom is a sort of retelling of the Little Mermaid, but I really didn’t have a hard time separating those two stories. First of all, Lira is a siren and there is a vast difference between sirens and mermaids in the book (SO appreciated that!! You know how fuzzy I get about those two getting mixed up together). And then I feel like the story just had a completely different vibe.

The descriptions were whimsical and dark. There was so much murder and ripping out of hearts in the beginning, I reveled in it and knowing what was about to come. We tried to pace ourselves, but at some point I just couldn’t stop reading anymore. I needed to know how long Lira could keep up her ruse, who’s hearts would be broken and who would survive the wrath of the evil Sea Queen. I wouldn’t claim that the book was entirely unpredictable, but it still kept you on your toes, with some cruel chapter-cliffhangers but an amazing conclusion in the end.

While I loved reading both Lira and Elian’s POVs, I think I can consider Lira being one of my new idols now. Her change was gradual and comprehensible, I loved how she discovered humanity and grappled to come to terms with siren-hood at the same time. Her hate-to-love-story with Elian never really seemed forced or suddenly uncharacteristically mushy, but rather involved daggers, fights and bickering that seemed true to their nature and was a lot of fun to read. The only thing I quarrel with a bit is the fact that Elian calls himself a pirate. He is a prince, a diplomat wherever he goes, and I don’t think he has ever plundered a ship? How can he be a pirate? I guess he may have taken the bounty of other pirate ships, but that’s just like him executing the law? To me he was a sailor and not so much a pirate …

I didn’t just love the main characters, but I also really fell for some of the side characters (mainly people from the crew, but not only). There was something about the style of writing that just made it really easy to picture everyone and every place. I would want nothing more than to travel through those kingdoms during a time of peace, as it sounds absolutely beautiful.

I hope that some of my rambles actually made sense, but most of all that my excitement and love for this story swept over to you. At some point during our buddy read, I was reminded of a picture of an actress I really adore and it just screamed Lira at me. I know that everyone pictures characters differently, but I couldn’t end this post without sharing it with you!

Doesn’t she just look like someone who could rip out your heart? And she definitely has pirate vibes too!

Fazit: 5/5 stars! Whenever anyone will ask me for a Fantasy recommendation in the near future, this will inevitably come up!

Did you read To Kill a Kingdom? Do you want to? Let’s talk about it!