December Wrap-Up – 2018 in Rewind

It’s no secret that I haven’t been reading much these past months. I am glad to say that I managed to read at least 3 books (two of which were comics) in December. It’s more than I have read in a long time, so I am still quite content. If you’ve missed my mini-reviews, you can read them all here.

  • Heart of Gold (Act I) by Eli Baumgartner/Viv Tanner (5 stars)
  • Venustransit by Hamed Eshrat (3 stars)
  • Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter (4.5 stars)

Heart of Gold Act I  Venustransit  Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby, #3)

Just like in old times, click on the book cover to get re-directed to Goodreads!

And even though there really isn’t as much to show as there was in previous years, I still want to share my reading statistics from Goodreads with you! (If you have a Goodreads account of your own, you should be able to find these stats on the right hand side of your profile.)

It has been the lowest amount of books in YEARS for me. As a bookworm/bookdragon, I am not entirely happy with that number, but then again, it’s the most I could have done in 2018. It may not be as much as others have managed, but there are people out there who read 1-2 books a year and they’d surely think I was crazy for reading so much. There’s always two sides to each story.

In addition, I am not surprised my shortest book was THIS short. I have started to read more and more graphic novels and comics and a lot of the time they don’t have an enormous page count. But tomes like Obsidian are rare for me anyway. I whole-heartedly agree with my average page number, because around 300 pages is truly what I feel most comfortable with length-wise with a book.

Lastly, my average rating has also gotten lower in 2018. I was usually somewhere just about 4 and this is the first year that I have ended up below that average. It’s nothing bad per se, it’s still a really high rating overall, but it also means that I wasn’t as good at picking my reads this year. Here’s to hoping 2019 I will get back on track!

2018 once again was a year of very irregular blogging for me. Aside from the trailer posts, I have really struggled to find a work-life-balance that includes this little corner of the internet. No matter how much I tried, I was unable to do more than the bare minimum and engage with everyone (especially on their platforms) the way I wanted to. Still, you showed up anyway and kept this blog from plummeting into nothingness and I am so very grateful for that! 

Just like 2017, this year was also a strange one. Some really amazing stuff has happened, but in the end, 2018 leaves a bitter taste behind. The general atmosphere was filled with loads of anxiety, stress, frustration and sometimes helplessness. I genuinely hope that 2019 will have an overall better vibe, because we all deserve a break, but I don’t want to leave it on a bad note and rather celebrate some really amazing milestones instead.

  • The blog currently has 2,267 WordPress followers, a number that kept growing even when my posts dwindled. Add the 31 people who follow me via e-mail and we are SO close to 2,300. What a nice number!
  • This is post #999, so I will start the new year with a fantastic milestone!
  • I really, really want to give a shout-out to my top commenters, because they are such lovely people and always brighten my day. Thank you Marie, The Orang-utan Librarian, Caro, Savannah, Beth, Marta and Rami!

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF 2018

(click on the title of the post to read it!)

Midnight Sun by Trish Cook (Book Review + Movie Trailer): I am honestly a little bit surprised that my most visited post is a book review, especially for a book that was written FOR a movie and not the other way round. I can’t say this was a favourite read of mine, but I am glad people seem to be curious about it nonetheless.

Still Star-Crossed: Book vs. TV Show: This review was actually written in 2017, but I think it actually got more views this year than when I actually wrote it. I guess people miss a cool historical show with POC characters. Who can blame them?

The Netflix Book Tag: We all love Netflix. No surprise here!

How I See Myself as a Fictional Character: This post was actually one of the most fun to write for me this year, so I am very, very happy to see it resonated well. Eden Rhodes will forever be my alter ego!

Your WIP in Gifs Tag: It seriously warms my heart to know that people want to know more about Arcadia. I don’t know if the success of the post is due to the gifs or not, but I am elated either way. (In case you missed it, I also did my WIP in Gifs for the #witchyWIP, click here to check out that post!)

MY (DECEMBER) POSTS

Lastly, here is what I’ve written this past month:

WRITING RELATED

TV SHOW RELATED

TRAILER POSTS

I hope you had great holidays if you celebrated and even more so, I hope you have a great start into the new year! Do you have any resolutions for 2019? I am going to do best of lists for 2018 in the upcoming days, with a special focus on TV shows and books. I hope you’ll enjoy those posts as well!

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (Dec 24-30)

The end is nigh – the end of the year that is. I will write a proper yearly and monthly round up in the upcoming week. Maybe do a Top 18 books and TV shows of 2018 if you are interested? Let me know, but for now you’ll get your weekly trailers:

Movies

Teen Spirit

You can’t just name something Teen Spirit and then not have any connection at all with Nirvana … but I will be here for it because of Max Minghella.

I’m Not Here

This looks really good and no, I am not just saying that because of Sebastian Stan.

The Last Laugh

It’s a maybe from me.

Us

I usually don’t include horror movies, but after Get Out, I just couldn’t not share Jordan Peele’s new movie trailer.

Egg

Uhm … no.

TV Shows

Titans

Can’t wait for it to be on Netflix so I can finish watching the season (I saw the first couple of episodes and they were really good!)

Doom Patrol

They actually get introduced on Titans and it looked cool, so I while check it out.

Whiskey Cavalier

I don’t think this one is really for me.

Shadowhunters (Season 3B)

I honestly haven’t watched this for quite some time, so I have no idea what’s going on.

What are you going to watch? Did anything catch your eye? Let’s chat in the comments below!

What I’ve Been Binge-Watching! #2

I like this little feature, because it briefly lets me tell you what I’ve been obsessing over. And since I don’t think anyone really minded me doing this the last time, here we go again! (If you’ve missed the previous installment of this rather new feature, click here to check it out!)

You

You is based on a book, that is ready to be read on my Kindle, but I made the executive decision to watch the show before diving into the written format. Not gonna lie, I am glad I watched it while I was at my parent’s place in Vienna and not all alone by myself in Berlin. As someone who has had bad experiences with strangers following me or calling me and knowing my address, that show creeped the hell out of me.

Joe is like the perfect guy on paper. What he shows the world is seriously what I would consider a dream partner – interested in books, kind, supportive, etc. but … this show is literally his inner monologue and it’s just terrifying. I definitely would not wish a stalker like that on anyone. Yet, at the same time, it was really fascinating to watch.

There was definitely a lot that I would say was predictable, but the story also took some really nice turns and the ending was brilliant and, at least to me, unexpected!

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

Technically, Bandersnatch is an event movie, but it belongs to the Black Mirror series, so I am counting it in! Do you remember those “choose your own adventure”-books? I always used to love them as a kid and, well, Bandersnatch is a choose-your-own-adventure-film. It takes you down so many different roads, you almost feel like you are in inception. It gets super weird, which is very typical Black Mirror manner, and you don’t always get presented with options you even want to take, but the concept is still brilliant and makes something rather passive as watching a show super engaging.

I am far from having taken every possible option and I am not sure I ever will, but I seriously hope that Netflix will venture out to do more content like this. Not only does it protect them from piracy, but it’s also really, really fun.

Alexa & Katie (Season 2)

Alexa & Katie is one of those super light, yet with a touch of emotional seriousness shows that is perfect for binge-watching. You don’t need to pay super close attention, it’s fun but not the best thing ever. I have to say that I enjoyed Season 1 a little more than Season 2 and I was a little disappointed that the whole Katie-Lucas-thing was barely even addressed at all, but it was still nice.

Sometimes you just want a little bit of pure friendship on your screen and if you don’t mind the Disney/Nickelodeon type of storytelling, then this is probably for you!

Marvel’s Runaways (Season 2)

I am so, so, so happy they released the entire season at once and didn’t do it on a weekly basis again. Runaways is one of my absolute favourite Marvel shows and Season 2 has only strengthened that opinion. As I will be mostly talking about S2 today, you can check out my more detailed post on the show in general here.

As many of you know, Gert was my favourite character on the show so far and, again, I remain by that statement. I especially appreciated her mental health rep with a focus on anxiety this season. Her character is definitely not flawless and makes many a mistake, but somehow I just always connect with her the most and it was a pure joy watching her grow in these new episodes. Obviously, she wasn’t the only one going through some changes and I am just so elated that the show managed to give everyone new struggles, new challenges to face and just so much growth in general.

I think Runaways has the potential to really keep going for a lot of seasons and I hope people watch the show and make it happen! (as we all ignore how terrible Old Lace looks)

Have you watched any of these shows? Let’s chat!

Mini Reviews: Heart of Gold, Venustransit and Ghostly Echoes

Coming home for Christmas, I managed to not only catch up on my reading, but surpass my (adjusted) reading goal for 2018. I’ve definitely read a lot less this year than in the previous ones, but overall I am still not unhappy with the outcome. So, there’s that!

Click on the covers to get redirected to Goodreads!

Heart of Gold: Act I by Eli Baumgartner/Viv Tanner

Heart of Gold Act II supported this graphic novel via Kickstarter and I am beyond happy I did. The final product is BEAUTIFUL with golden edges and a gorgeous sketch of one of the characters on one of the first pages for me. I adore it!

All the better that the content inside fits the great exterior. It’s such an interesting take on religion, damnation, love, faith and healing. It shows two entirely different approaches to those topics and keeps a mystery and tension going throughout the entire first act. The imagery is so beautiful and I honestly cannot wait to read more.

Heart of Gold is also available as a web comic here!

Fazit: 5/5 stars! I am 100% intrigued and here for it!

Venustransit by Hamed Eshrat

VenustransitVenustransit is a German comic about a guy who hasn’t quite figured out his life, gets dumped bis his girlfriend and is stuck in a job he hates. It’s set in Berlin and I can almost see the street I am living in on the cover (so close!). I like diving into things I know the setting of and can try and figure out if I walked the same streets. Stuff like that never gets tired to me (except when it’s only historical fiction … like so often with Vienna).

While I wasn’t as in love with the drawing style as I was with other comics I own, the story had a clear line and still took a lot of creative liberties. It was interesting and I am sure relatable to a lot of people out there.

Fazit: 3/5 stars! Gets plus points for the setting.

Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter

Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby, #3)Ghostly Echoes is the third book in the Jackaby series. I only did a mini review for the second book, Beastly Bones, as well, so I feel like I should stick to that format of reviewing for now.

This series legit just keeps getting better and better. The story is becoming more complex, with more dots to connect and still so, so much to discover about the characters. The writing style isn’t really anything over the top and it all seems like light fun in the beginning, but by now there’s a lot more serious stuff happening and you are so emotionally invested in the fate of the characters. And there is a lot to worry about! This book even included a little detour to the underworld!

If you are into Sherlock-esque mysteries with a supernatural twist, have at it with this series. I can only recommend it!

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! Here’s to hoping the last book will be equally as amazing, if not more so.

Have you read any of the books/comics I mentioned? Are you interested in some of them? Let’s talk!

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (Dec 17-23)

I think we can all understand that things have gotten a little quieter around the blogosphere with the holidays nearing quickly. I am currently back in Vienna, spending time with my family for the next two weeks. I don’t know how much I will be posting during that time – maybe more, maybe less – but I definitely got your trailers!

Movies

Men In Black International

I am so in love with Tessa and Chris, I just cannot wait for this movie!

Hellboy

This is looking good. I think Hopper will do a great job as Hellboy.

The Secret Life of Pets 2

Aaah, I love Snowball.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette

I guess I have to read another book before the movie comes out.

Then Came You

This is giving me vibes of a lot of movies I have watched before.

Mapplethorpe

I like the cast, I just don’t think I care for the topic.

Greta

This took such a creepy turn!

TV Shows

Miracle Workers

Is it just me or are they trying to channel the Good Place here?

Watership Down

I am not too into the animation for this one.

Fam

I … have a feeling this won’t last long.

Alexa & Katie (Season 2)

I just want Katie to date Alexa’s brother …

Gotham (Season 5 – final season)

Looks well made and like they really put in effort for the finale.

What are you watching? Are you all set for the holidays? Let’s chat!

What I’ve Been Binge-Watching! #1

I always used to love to talk about TV shows on the blog and nothing really has changed in that regard. However, I don’t have the time to do a full-fledged break-down of a series like I used to do with my #CurrentlyWatching posts in the past. Instead, I am going to keep it short and simple (à la Random Movie Recommendation). If you want to talk about any of the examples I am going to list below in detail though, just hit me up in the comments!

Plan Coeur/The Hook Up Plan

First off, I want to say that I KNOW that romantic love and sex isn’t everything in this world. People are darn well capable of leading a happy fulfilled life without it and this show is super over the top in that regard, but when I actually watched the whole thing in one sitting, it didn’t bother me as much. This show actually focuses on all sorts of relationships and especially on the one between the three women.

Having said that, Elsa, the girl who gets set up with a hooker without her knowledge, is my absolute favourite character. She is beautiful and hilarious and super awkward and rarely gets the effect she has on people. The things she says, you want to cringe hard but at the same time it’s incredibly endearing. She’s one of those cases where you can clearly see what self-confidence can change in a person. I shipped her and Jules so hard!

The end of the show is a bit of a controversial topic. Some love it (like me) and others hate it. I think it was cruel perfection and the perfect set up if they decide to continue with the show!

Tidelands

I have previously described this show as H2O for adults and I still stand by that statement. I really, really, really enjoyed their take on sirens and the mythology it accompanied. It’s not a perfect show, but rarely any show is. People take off their shirts for no reason whatsoever way too often and it does give you a little bit of a CW vibe, but there’s nothing wrong with that per se. A lot of people like that kind of aesthetic or approach to the material (me included).

The build up and twists over the course of the episodes really kept a nice tension going and the last episode was packed full of surprises. They were very smart in never really showing the sirens entirely. In addition to that, I wanted a certain ship to happen, it did and that just always makes me happy.

I like a lot of Australian shows, so if this is Netflix’ gateway into more original series from there, I am in. After that ending, I’d definitely be up for a second seasons!

Travelers

I’ve actually talked about this show in detail in the post here, but it has moved from being a Showtimes-Netflix co-production to Netflix entirely for Season 3 and it was one of the best seasons yet. I hope you don’t expect an action packed SciFi series, because that’s not what Travelers is. Instead it is a character study with developments that span seasons. I honestly cried through almost the entire second half of Season 3 and the ending was something I did not expect at all. It’s one of those shows that keeps you guessing and I feel like not that many are able to do that for me nowadays, so I appreciate that element a lot.

I sincerely hope they will continue the show. I would love nothing more than to find out how they want to keep going after that finale.

Have you watched any of these shows? Do you plan to? Let’s chat!

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (Dec 10-16)

This week was really busy! I basically just went home to eat and sleep most days, so that’s why there were no new posts. But I would never skip on trailers, so here we are:

Movies

Downton Abbey

FINALLY

Godzilla: King of Monsters

It looks EPIC!

The Mustang

Serious horse movies are cool. That’s my take on this.

Triple Frontier

I love some of the cast members and very much dislike others … so now I don’t know how to feel.

King of Thieves

This movie already started in the UK months ago, but now it’s releasing in other countries. It’s alright if you like heist movies, but the women in this movie don’t speak (literally with one single exception).

Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon

Under the Eiffel Tower

I don’t know why, but I enjoy movies set at remote vineyards in France?

All These Small Moments

TV Shows

Timeless (Finale)

SO PUMPED! (Although I doubt I will get Garcy instead of Wucy or whatever they are called)

Roswell, New Mexico

Weirdly, I don’t mind that they upped the age. Although it was fun when they were all teenagers.

Vanity Fair

I’d watch it.

Kim Possible

I … am not convinced whatsoever.

Siempre Bruja: Always a Witch

I am here for all the witches!

Selena: The Series

I just still so remember the movie. I had no idea they were making a series for her.

A Series of Unfortunate Events (Series 3)

I feel sorry for everyone who believes this will have a satisfying ending.

Stranger Things (Season 3)

I never know what to do with the episode title reveals, but maybe some of you would like to analyze them?

What are you watching? I just binged Travelers and Tidelands this weekend and absolutely loved it!

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (Dec 3-9)

I don’t think it has fully registered in my brain that this is the last month of the year. The weeks just keep flying by and time is slipping through my fingers. But whatever, you are here for trailers, so you shall get them:

Movies

Avengers: Endgame

I feel like this is the trailer everyone has been waiting for. All of this is tough, but seeing Hawkeye is kind of the most heartbreaking one.

Captain Marvel

Brie is going to kill it in this role!

BrightBurn

This is like the dark twisted version of what would have happened if Superman was evil.

Breakthrough

Gotta admit that this isn’t really my thing.

All Is True

Not surprised Branagh took on this project.

TV Shows

The Umbrella Academy

I am so here for this!

Les Misérables

Did I need another adaptation so soon after the movie? Not necessarily. Will I still watch it? Very likely.

Roswell, New Mexico

Why am I excited for this? I ADORED the original Roswell show and this already looks 100% different except for the names. But still, here I am, wanting to watch it.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale

Interesting that they’d release the part 2 trailer before this?

Good Trouble

I don’t really have to add anything to that.

The ABC Murders

Travelers (Season 3)

I’ve been waiting for this for so long! It’s going to be such an intense season.

The Blacklist (Season 6)

I haven’t watched this since Season 4?

Game of Thrones (Season 8)

Can I just finally get a trailer with actual scenes from the new season?

What are you watching? I am still not over the devastation that Dumplin’ wasn’t actually released worldwide. HOW DARE THEY!?

My WIP in Gifs Tag! (again)

I already did this tag a while ago for Arcadia (it was originally created by Michelle @The Writing Hufflepuff) and I had so much with it, that I now really want to dive into it for the #witchyWIP! I was always fascinated with witches, but being surrounded by such a witch comeback on TV, I just feel so motivated to work on it. I hope you’ll enjoy reading the post as much as I enjoyed working on it!

THE RULES

💛 Thank the person who tagged you
💛 Credit the creator of this tag (Michelle!) and link back to this post so she can find out aaaall about your WIPs!
💛 Try to limit the amount of gifs you use per question – I’d say maybe stick to five or less but I’m not the boss of you

THE QUESTIONS

Sum up your WIP in 4 gifs!

I hope this will make sense eventually but I am not even through planning the story at the moment.

Time to introduce your main characters!

August

That girl has the patience of a saint, but if anyone comes for Josh, she’s not going to hesitate for a second to get into a fight!

Josh

Josh has a heart of gold and can charm the pants off of pretty much anyone. It’s hard not to swoon for him (but that’s just my opinion)

Rosalie

Rosalie loves her children with the fierceness of a thousand suns … sometimes she goes to far though.

Mirabella

This is on point Mira ever since she laid eyes on August.

Matthew

None of you (not even the Google Doc people) have met Matthew yet, but this will make more sense once he shows up … in the future … at some point

How would your main character react in a crisis?

August is the Queen of Crisis! I am pretty sure she’d be calm and collected with a plan already forming in the back of her mind.

If you were to meet your main characters, how would you react?

Nothing can get me near those folks, but I’d be there watching from a distant, all giddy inside!

And if you were to meet your antagonist?

I’d be out of there so fast and I don’t even have a specific antagonist in mind right now.

Is there any romance in your WIP? How would you sum it up in gifs?

I don’t want to give anything away on this one. You can guess for yourself what this romance is and who it is about. I’d love to hear your theories and may even be willing to tell you if you are right!

How do other characters feel about this ship?

They are generally not too happy …

How do you want people to react to reading your WIP?

I TAG THEE

Since I already did this tag and nominated a couple of friends to do it, I just want everyone to have the opportunity to take part now! So, if you are a writer and want to tell us about your WIP, consider yourself tagged!!


What are your thoughts on the #witchyWIP? I shared some snippets of it during the Rising Author Tag if you want to know more. Tell me all about it in the comments!

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (Nov 26 – Dec 2)

Since I just gave you a little rundown on the month of November yesterday, you are all caught up on my life events, which means we can dive right into the world of new trailers and promos!

Movies

Artemis Fowl

Who has read the books? I haven’t, so I don’t know what to think. I kind of like the look of the trailer, although I have trouble understanding what age bracket this is meant for.

Vox Lux

It looks way better than the first trailer. For those who have no idea what’s going on, Natalie Portman’s character survived a school shooting, performed at the funeral of her classmates and it went viral (or the 90s equivalent of that) and she became famous.

State Like Sleep

I feel like this trailer is a bit all over the place, but I am intrigued and I love the cast.

If Beale Street Could Talk

This movie is going to be so beautifully sad.

Welcome to Marwen

It would be so much better without the cheesy narration. Why did they have to bring those back into trailers?

Happy Death Day 2 U

Smart title.

Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse (Clip)

I am LIVING for the animation and SPIDER-GWEN! She’s my fave.

TV Shows

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Part 2)

I like the throwback to the original Sabrina with the changing of clothes in the beginning. I was notably not the biggest fan of the the first part of Sabrina (purposely didn’t call it Season 2, because it is technically Season 1b), but I will still watch it. I love her new style, want to see more Nicholas and Prudence.

Marvel’s Runaways (Season 2)

I LOVE IT ALREADY! It looks so freaking good.

Fuller House (Season 4)

I hope this ends well since I heard it was cancelled.

Schooled

This actually looks funny, but not hilarious either.

What are you watching? Did anything catch your eye? Let me know in the comments below!