It’s so hot right now and I am so tired from this day, I almost forgot to do the post! But, I didn’t, still going strong with my Trailer Sunday streak for a couple years now and shall not fail in 2020. Anyway, here’s the stuff I found.
It’s so hot right now and I am so tired from this day, I almost forgot to do the post! But, I didn’t, still going strong with my Trailer Sunday streak for a couple years now and shall not fail in 2020. Anyway, here’s the stuff I found.
I have not done this tag regularly, but a lot of my friends are apparently way more devoted to (book) blogging than me and are blessing my timeline with their takes on the Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag every single year, which is a look at our reading so far! So, I wasn’t technically tagged this time around either, but I saw so many people do it, that I just decided to join in on the fun (as I tend to do bi-annually). I have seen the questions vary a bit, but simply went with the ones I used in my 2018 version of this.
I didn’t give Normal People the highest rating, but it sure is the one book that just sticks with me. I’ll just go about my day and be reminded about it in some way and then find myself thinking about the characters for hours again. It sure has made an impact. (Read my review here)
Alright, let’s not pretend that I am not always perpetually late to the party when it comes new releases. I almost want to call myself the queen of backlisted reads, but that would also not be entirely correct. I just don’t keep track of when things release, but just trust that I will find the right stuff eventually?
Anyway, I want to read A Song Below Water! I mean, yes please, set it in one of my homes away from home (Portland, Oregon) and fill it with sirens. I am so here for that!
There are a couple, but not a huge amount, of auto-buy authors out there for me. Nina LaCour is someone I’d read anything from. Give me a shopping list and I’d gladly take it. However, we are getting lucky and will have another emotionally charged and character driven release of hers coming up this year – Watch Over Me! I seriously cannot wait!!
It wasn’t the worst thing on the planet, but I really expected more from Again Again by E. Lockhart. Having read several of her previous books, this was such a letdown in comparison. Something about it just didn’t connect. (Read my review here)
Describing why this was a surprise is a little difficult, but having neither watched or read Anna Karenina before and associating with an old-timey classic had me surprised how much I liked Anna K. But it was always obvious to be set in modern day and just be a fresh take in general, so I don’t know why I was a bit nervous? (Read my review here)
Ben Philippe totally charmed me with his Field Guide to the North American Teenager and had me fall in love with his easy-flowing style of writing. He has another book scheduled to release later this year (Charming as a Verb) and yet another one for early 2021 (Sure, I’ll Be Your Black Friend) and I am just here for all of it. I am so glad I picked up his book!
Sorry to have to double down on an answer, but I kind of fell hard for Connell from Normal People. He was quiet and kind, genuinely just wanting people to like him and being afraid of what others might think of his choices. Sure, he had his flaws, but that just made him more real. The fact that they cast him perfectly in the TV adaptation with newcomer Paul Mescal was just the cherry on top.
I don’t make character aesthetics (except for my own peeps) very often these days, but Darlington from Ninth House got one. That means A LOT in my book! I just like charming boys with the potential for darkness they don’t want.
There’s a lot of other characters I liked too, such as Serefin from Wicked Saints, Madison from The Field Guide to the North American Teenager, Pepper from Tweet Cute … I am bad at picking faves.
I don’t think I cried because of a book this year yet, but Tyler Johnson Was Here had me close to tears multiple times. The subject matter is bound to do that to you for sure. (Read my review here)
Tweet Cute made me so happy. I found it during my peak obsession with Bon Appetit videos, so, the food component, twitter feud and flirty banter was EVERYTHING to me. The characters were so funny and I just had a great time with that book. (Read my review here)
I watched Little Women this year and even if I haven’t read the book, it’s my favourite adaptation and film and overall story. I just love it with all my heart.
I loved doing a series of posts where I talked about which book, movies and TV shows I made you watch and read. It reminds me that what I am doing here isn’t just shouting into the void, but actually talking to people and sharing interests. It warms my heart every single time.
Excuse me while I lust over the cover for Aphrodite Made Me Do It. Poetry collections often have the prettiest designs! Obviously, this book is also great on the inside, but I find the cover to be a real eye catcher.
As always, I continue to work on the physical copies I have at home. There’s books that might remain unread on my shelves forever, but some I REALLY want to get to this year are If We Were Villains and Dark Age. Let’s hope that Dark Age doesn’t actually take me the entire year …
I tag whoever wants to do this as well! YOU!!!
What did you think of my answers and the general mid-year reading recap? Let’s chat!
CW: explicit sex scenes
Lately, a lot of conversations have centered around black pain, but there are also many stories of black joy out there and we should talk about them as well! When I saw the cover of this book and read the blurb, I was immediately reminded of one of my all time favourite sports dramas on TV, Pitch (seriously, if you haven’t watched that show yet, it’s SO good! It’s now streaming on hulu and if it makes numbers we might get another season even after FOX cancelling it). Having a black woman make it in Baseball is just always something worth writing and talking about. There was no way I could pass up on this book based on that alone and I am glad I read it, because it was such a cute story.
As you could likely tell from the very short page count, this is a fast read. You accompany Geffri on a whirlwind of a summer where things just get progressively more awesome for her. It’s rare for me to read a book where the main character has to face so few struggles, but I am definitely not complaining. It’s refreshing to not be confronted with unnecessary drama and miscommunication, but just a wave of support and good things happening.
I loved how deep it went into Baseball sometimes. While I enjoy the idea of this particular sport, I don’t know heaps about it, but I never felt overwhelmed or confused by anything I was reading. Obviously, I cannot attest on how accurate any of it was, but I could sense a deep appreciation and fondness for the sport, which makes me think that the author knows what they are talking about.
Geffri had that really special talent and I liked when we went a bit into how she struggles with praise and pressure as well. She seemed so cool and collected most times that those moments grounded her. I think we’ve all felt like that sometimes and stood in our own way.
Being singled out for excellence always caused me to put undue pressure and stress on myself which ultimately led to me being … where I was currently – plagued by doubts of whether or not I could really pull this off.
Another thing that was really cute, were the various relationships. I feel like some things were teased only and could result in spin-off books, but maybe that’s just the vibe I was getting. Geffri had such a great group of friends and such a deep and loving relationship with her very supportive dad. I loved that for her!
Again, I am sorry for comparing it to Pitch, because I do realise it’s very much its own story, but it’s really just a huge compliment from my side. Geffri and Noah, with their competitive flirtation, definitely gave me Ginny and Mike vibes (if Mike hadn’t been a slightly older white dude). There was mutual respect and common ground that would have likely been a great base for a friendship, but those folks were just too darn attracted to one other to keep their hands off each other. The progression of Geffri and Noah’s relationship was pretty quick, but not in an uncomfortable or rushed way. Sometimes you just hit it off with a person and while it got steamy, they also just talked a lot and got to know each other, so I have no quarrels with that at all.
There really isn’t that much more to say. I liked reading this story and I think we can all need something that is just so effortlessly positive in our lives every now and then. While I do think that it could have gone into depth more in certain areas had it been longer, I have no regrets in picking it up.
Fazit: 3/5 stars! If you enjoy happy romance set in the world of sports, this is for you!
Do you think this book might be for you? Were you as obsessed with Pitch as I was back when it first aired? Let’s chat!
I told you that there was a lot to be watched, which is why this post has come so soon after the other one. The thing is, there’s even more ahead in the upcoming days and weeks. I’ve never felt this blessed with summer content as this year, even if I burn through shows in a matter of days. Here’s what I’ve been watching.
I liked Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and I liked the movie they made out of it. When they announced a spin off show, I thought it would be about Leah or any of the other people that Becky Albertalli had written books about, which are actually set in that universe. However, having now watched Love, Victor, I think they made the right choice to establish a storyline with a new cast.
Coming out is always a unique experience and Victor doesn’t need long to realise that his won’t be anything like Simon’s story (I mean, I’d hope so. Getting outed against your will should never ever happen). His circumstances are different, he’s from a far more conservative latinx family, but we also see him questioning his sexual identity more than we did Simon’s. It was a great mix of nostalgia for the movie with cameos and definite callbacks to it (watch the gay character compliment Victor’s shoes in his first scene, just like Simon tried to compliment leaf blower dude’s boots) and entirely new elements.
Having this be formatted as a show, there was more room to explore the stories surrounding Victor rather than rushing through them like they sometimes had to in the movie. There really wasn’t any character that I didn’t like and I have a deep appreciation for the nuances to all of them. Mistakes are made, that’s just the way life goes. The episodes ended up only being 25 minutes and while I really enjoyed the final shot (it was brilliant!), I would have liked 13 or 15 episodes better than the 10 we got. I breezed through the entire thing in one afternoon and we will have to wait quite a while for more content (hoping there is more), so I just wanted that tiny bit more. I know, I am greedy.
For fans of: Love, Simon, coming out stories
Season 1 of the Order was a bit of a surprise to me. While I could see that the budget wasn’t always on par with what they were trying to accomplish, the show managed to completely reel me in. I had missed my wolves dearly, because let’s face it, the Knight of St. Christopher and Randall in particular were a prime reason for me to watch. Now I am done with the season and miss these idiots already again. You’d think I’d learn to pace myself, but no.
Anyway, the entire season was comprised of two-parters for episodes. That was strange, but worked pretty well, because it didn’t seem like it was too out of context but still with an overall arc that bound it together. I tend to get very angry at the choices the characters make, because a lot of them are inherently dumb, but I still like watching the show. Here are my main thoughts on this season:
For fans of: magic, werewolves, secret societies, demons, haywire shenanigans
The main reason I love this show is the impeccable cast. I’ve become more involved with politics as I got older, but it’s usually not a topic I seek out in particular, but The Politician is still something I enjoy very much. Maybe it’s because this show is so much more about ethics and morals (and their difference) rather than actual politics. There’s plenty of talking points the show goes through, touching on issues that concern us right now in real life, while mostly using them the way actual politicians do – as topics that could get you votes but that won’t necessarily be followed up on. Instead, the show keeps focusing on Payton and whether you need to be a good person to do good things for society.
While I do think that there’s a lot less bite to this season, there is something that just keeps me so very interested in what comes next. We’ve spanned about 7 years time in just two seasons and all I want to know is what Payton will do next. Will he be president one day? Will he actually do good things with the power he has?
Don’t expect anything realistic in this show, I hope that was obvious in the first season already. This is a satire and over the top! Messages are there, but they might not always be in your face, masked by louder topics instead. I firmly believe that you can take away a lot from this show, but most of all, it’s cast is just a joy to watch.
For fans of: satire, politics and scheming, the formidable cast, Ben Platt singing because Ben Platt
I am just trying to catch up on DC content, especially with the new season around the corner. I have sort of distanced myself from most of the CW content, not because I have anything against them in particular, but a lot of them just get worse as they go on. I’ve completely lost track of what’s happening, but also just found that I liked the darker aesthetic of the non-CW shows better.
Doom Patrol is incredibly random. I have no other way of describing it. More than once, you think that the episode couldn’t get more ridiculous, be it in visual effects or storyline, but it just seems laughable. Yet, at the same time, it deals with so many far more serious topics. I think they don’t always manage to keep the right balance, but they sure know how to keep it interesting. I’m excited for more.
The only thing I can’t stop thinking about is whether Matt Bomer and Brendan Fraser are always in their costumes or if they have stand-ins and do ADR (voice recording) later on. Don’t know why I can’t shake that thought.
For fans of: random chaos, antiheroes, misfits turned family
This is it! Did you watch any of those things? Could I persuade you to check them out? Let’s chat!
Not gonna lie, I almost forgot the trailers this week and that even though I had seen some really fun one this week. So, without further ado, here are the ones I found!
There’s a lot of content I’m excited about releasing this and next week, so I wanted to make sure I update you on the stuff I’ve watched lately before I dive into those new and shiny things. Let’s go!
Romance isn’t everything. I was in a really weird mood when I started this show and them telling me about the average number of relationships a person goes through and so on just knocked me down even more. I don’t have any relationship stats to share. I don’t have an epic (or even lame or otherwise) love story to tell and sometimes watching those shows that hyper-focus on the way to finding “your person” hit me in the feels especially hard.
Having said all that, it wasn’t a bad show after all. I really liked the ending, although I struggled with some episodes in the middle. I found Darby and her behaviour quite cringey from time to time and struggled with massive secondhand embarrassment from time to time. But you know what? I like that she wasn’t the perfect person. She had flaws, she needed to grow and sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them or planned them to. I can appreciate a show that doesn’t portray it all through rose-tinted glasses.
For fans of: introspective love stories, realistic portrayal of not everything being happy all the time, complicated family structures
I had meant to watch this for the longest time, but didn’t feel like reading and concentrating on subtitles. My Spanish is not good enough to go without them and I’d really recommend this show without dubbing (although it exists). Anyway, finally watched it!
I have to say, I didn’t enjoy this season as much as the first one. The villain was less defined and therefore made everything feel a bit all over the place. One of the biggest parts/problems of the season completely went over my head and I now feel stupid. It’s like everyone had to give up on something to help Carmen, just for them to get all of it anyway and yeah … did not get it.
However, I was here for the various romance storylines. Kobo and Alicia in particular are star-crossed over the centuries and I love that. And while I wasn’t to happy about Esteban being sidelined, Carmen’s new love interest has my attention.
For fans of: international Netflix content, witches, time travel
Katie is one of my favourite fictional characters and that’s just that. I wish for everyone to have a Katie in their lives and I want to be someone’s Katie. This show has given me so much joy and even though it seems super bubbly and bright and like something that would run on the Disney channel or Nickelodeon, but it has talked about some great and frankly deep topics over the seasons. I cannot speak to the realism of the cancer portrayal, but the way they handled panic attacks meant everything to me.
I loved the ending to the show! It was wholesome and sweet and heart-warming. Without wanting to spoil anything in particular, I just want to say that I am going to ship Aidan and Katie forever. That’s just a fact now (and he better find an art college to attend in NYC). If they decided to do a special on them in college or after college, I’d tune in to it, but I also get ending it where they did. I am really happy with it all.
For fans of: bestest of friends, looks like a superficial Disney show but has amazing in depth topics
It was Chris Evans birthday and for some reason I hadn’t watched Gifted yet, so I remedied that. I don’t actually have very much to say about it? It’s a good movie, because I enjoy complex family dynamics. I like when it’s not obvious what the right thing is for a child (although I felt it was fairly clear here) and the main party struggling to make all the right choices. Obviously, Chris Evans is always a joy to watch, so, go for it?
For fans of: Chris Evans, genius kiddos
Did you watch any of those things as well? Let’s chat!
TW: police brutality, murder, violence, racism
Tyler Johnson Was Here was on my TBR before it ever even got released. When I saw the cover and read the blurb, I knew this was yet another very important read. It’s not the first time I am tackling the issue of police brutality through fiction on my blog. The thing is, those reads are never easy (and they’re not supposed to be), but that’s not the reason I hadn’t gotten to Tyler Johnson Was Here earlier. I don’t know why it slipped through my fingers, but the murder of George Floyd and the protests that followed in the US and all over the world were a terrible reminder of how this is still very much the reality for Black people and people of color out there. So, I felt more compelled than ever to finally get to this book.
Jay Coles does not shy away from making it very clear that police brutality is a constant companion in some people’s lives. I hate the thought that children who should be carefree and playing with friends have to be educated by their parents about how to behave when the police stops them. How they could have done not even the slightest thing wrong, but everything they say or do could be construed as dangerous at the whim of some stranger. While most of the novels I have read before focus on one specific event of police brutality, Coles shows several incidents, each one shaking you to the core alongside the characters. So, while the main turning point that is mentioned in the blurb “only” occurs at the half-way point, you get this build-up of this constant companion of fear.
The cop yells, “Everybody shut the fuck up.” He looks at the three of us. “You three better get out of here before you’re next.” And now I’m wondering: What does next mean? Next to be treated like a punching bag or an animal? Next to lose my life?
I found myself very quickly attached to Marvin, the main protagonist. He is gentle, kind and smart and has a voice I loved to read about. Tyler is different and similar to him, two sides of the same coin. They were on the verge of growing apart a little bit, but still had that unbreakable bond. Marvin’s sadness was palpable on every single page while reading and I was close to shedding tears more than once. I never doubted that he was stronger than he thought himself capable of (albeit sad he had to be), but he was so incredibly brave towards the end. It was great to see his development throughout the story and see him stand up for what he believes in.
Yes, I’m willing to die for this cause, but the fact that there’s even a chance that I’ll die, become a hashtag, be remembered briefly, and then be completely forgotten and marked as a statistic fucking terrifies me.
I only wish I would have learned as much or at least a bit more about his friends and love interest. I understand that his mind was very much occupied by a traumatic event and I could see how much he cared for and appreciated the people in his life. But still, they fell a bit flat for me in comparison to Marvin, who we got a great feel for! Nonetheless, I enjoyed the focus on community and how it can be a source of strength in such trying times.
Some days, when I do, I just stare at the blackness I see in the mirror hanging on my closet door. I tell myself that I love this skin, that I’ve always loved my blackness, that if the world doesn’t love me, I will love myself for the both of us. After reminding myself that I matter, that I’ve always mattered, that Tyler mattered and still does, I make a promise to myself. I promise to never be silent about things that matter.
I don’t think the story needed a stronger focus on the trial, because the outcome wasn’t what was most important to Marvin in the end. He found his meaning of freedom and what mattered most to him through other means and in honoring his brother in his own way. Still, I’d like to say something: Video evidence should not be necessary to get people heard or to get a conviction or even as much as an arrest. People should not have to be excellent in order to not get killed by the people who were supposed to protect them. It all makes me so very angry, but I’m not surprised anymore. If you are still surprised by any of this, you haven’t been paying attention, because this has been happening for a while now.
Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! Another very important read!
If you want to engage with this topic through fiction some more, here are a couple books I have read and can recommend (as I am sure there are many more that I have not yet read that are really great):
Having said all that, I also encourage you to check out some non-fiction books. I have to work harder on that myself, but I found Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (part memoir, part essay) very insightful. I have also heard great things abut Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad.
More resources: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/
Have you read Tyler Johnson Was Here? Do you plan on picking it up? Let’s chat!
I don’t think that I’ve ever, in all the years I’ve had this blog, talked about a game on here. And yet, I’ve been quite fascinated by this one and somehow felt compelled to share it with all of you!
*I have not been asked to talk about this game by the developers! I am sharing these views of my own accord.*
Duskwood is a free crime and detective game available for Android and iOS. It’s been developed by an indie company (Everbyte) from Germany and I’ve had so much fun with it so far. I’m playing it in German, but it’s also available in English, Portuguese and Russian.
Basically, it’s an interactive thriller, where you have to solve a mystery through chat-based conversation, online research and some good old-fashioned match-three-interludes to “hack” the missing person’s files.
It’s been 72 hours since Hannah disappeared without a trace. Out of nowhere, her friends suddenly receive a message from the missing person’s phone. The mysterious message only contains a number… your number!
Duskwood is a small, sleepy village surrounded by dense forest. Rarely do strangers get lost in this remote area and when they do, they have always described the area as strange or even scary. The inhabitants of Duskwood have never been worried by this. But since 72 hours, many things have changed and even among them there are more and more concerns… Join a clique from Duskwood and help them find their friend Hannah. The old frightening legends of the forest seem to come alive – will you be able to find Hannah before its too late?
(all game blurbs taken from the official website)
This is probably a ridiculous comparison, but to me, Duskwood is like the Dark (Netflix show) of games. It’s dark and creepy and complex and entertaining (although no time travel or parallel worlds … yet). I know some people don’t love the mini-games, but I don’t really mind them. The wait in between episodes is really the hardest part, but other than that I can’t think of anything to complain about. In fact, I am SUPER pumped for episode 5 (click here to track the developer’s progress for the new episode).
If you end up playing this game, definitely let me know! I need more friends to talk about the characters and story with!!
I have done this before (check out the old post here) and everyone always really seemed to like me sharing some of my at times strange and at times super mainstream music selection. Just to summarize what this post is, I will be sharing songs that I think either make for a great story based on the lyrics or the music video and then describe what I’d expect the book to be like in a couple sentences. I hope you all enjoy and feel inspired to maybe do the same!
This makes for the perfect base for a toxic relationship novel. I’d imagine this to be more in the adult genre than YA, but it could be on the cusp between the two. Either way, I think it shows the struggles of loving someone deeply, putting them before yourself and losing bits of yourself through that, because nothing ever changes and resentment grows. The challenge and ultimate goal would be to break free from being stuck and accepting heartbreak (the hard place) rather than a love that does you wrong.
When I first saw this music video, which is basically a short film in itself, I was so mesmerized. I wouldn’t want it to be the exact same glum thing as the video (which is based on Tarkovsky’s The Sacrifice along with the music), but here’s what I imagine: A small, close-knit community has been prophesied a life altering extinction-level event (the meteor), but they manage to save one child. The story follows that kid as it grows up in an unfamiliar environment and as to reclaim its roots.
I just think there aren’t nearly enough books about friend-break-ups, which can honestly be just as heartbreaking and earth-shattering as romantic break-ups. I don’t know what specifics I would give for this book, I’d just like people to talk about this more, because not everyone has the same best friend from High School to old age?
In my head, this is not a contemporary novel, but something with Fantasy or Science Fiction elements instead. The main character would go through a hard time (“cause lately it’s been hard”) and maybe they’re not human (let’s take the lines “They’re sellin’ me for parts, And I don’t wanna be modern art” literally). An old model of an android, forgotten by humanity and used for parts, yearning for a place in this world, until they meet the person that fits them (does not need to be romantic).
Again, this is very much inspired by the video. Let’s make him a real magician, constantly putting the life of his true love and assistant at risk, because he wants more global recognition. His mania and drives him to desperation, making it impossible for her to stay. I’d imagine this to be the kind of cruel book with an open end where you don’t find out if she survived the last trick or not.
This is a comedy about a person who’s living in “Devil Town” and all their friends are vampires as well as themselves, but due to some curse, they keep forgetting it and always have to rediscover it again. Underlying messages about consumerism and the darker side of human nature are an option, but it would generally be on the light-hearted side.
Honestly, lesbian ghost love story and have it set at a deserted amusement park. Enough said.
I just want this to be a love story spanning over decades, where one tiny decision in the grand scheme of things tore them apart while they are still pinning for each other. (Or, considering it’s connection with Charmed just more Hacy fan fiction. I’d be down either way)
A firefighter with secrets they can’t share with anyone else. They live on the edge, “playing with fire”, but are at a breaking point when they become too reckless and endanger their entire team. Will they be able to overcome their need for adrenaline?
Gosh, I hope I articulated myself alright with some of these, but I’m pretty sure everything sounded better in my head? What did you think of my selection and book wishes? Let’s talk!