Thursday Movie Picks – Period Dramas

It’s Thursday and I’m back with a new Thursday Movie Picks feature post. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

This week is about period dramas! According to online definitions, a period drama is any television or film production set during a particular historic period that is characterized by clearly recognizable costumes, set design and props. What you consider to be a specific historic period, is up for interpretation though, but I think I’d say a minimum of about 100 years? But that’s just my thoughts! Let’s dive into my examples!

Testament of Youth

Testament of Youth is a film based on the memoirs and diaries of Vera Brittain, a nurse, writer, feminist and pacifist, who made it her mission to fight for the lives lost during World War I and for them to not be forgotten. The movie was absolutely heartbreaking to watch and while I could not get through her entire memoir, I understand why it was chosen to be adapted.

Pride & Prejudice (2005)

The 2005 version of Pride & Prejudice was my first introduction to Jane Austen and I have loved watching and reading her material ever since. I think I’ve seen almost all the different adaptations of her work, except for the latest version of Emma, which I still plan to watch as soon as possible. Still, P&P has a special place in my heart.

The King

I know that The King is a Netflix movie, but I’m glad I got to see it in a theater. The visuals are really quite stunning, even if I did not love all aspects of the story and the characters. It will also forever be hilarious how Robert Pattinson butchered the French accent.

Summer in February

Summer in February is based on a real artist community from the UK. I honestly don’t know if I remember the movie or the book on this one, because I definitely read it first. It’s not the best movie out there, but I loved the cast and the deep dive into artists minds. That’s just something I always enjoy quite a lot.


What are some of your favorite period dramas? Let’s talk about that!

Underrated Books I Love (aka books with less than 5,000 ratings on GR)

I’ve recently seen this post over @Kristin Kraves Books, where she highlighted some books that had less than 5,000 ratings on Goodreads, but which she enjoyed a whole lot. I loved that idea so much and was surprised by how few ratings there were on some of my favorite reads from the past months, which is why I compiled my own list of seriously underrated books! I hope you enjoy it and maybe feel compelled to pick one of them up!

Any Place But Here – 28 ratings

Any Place But Here

To be fair, this book released less than two weeks ago, but I haven’t really heard of anyone who wanted to pick it up yet. Despite me finding some flaws in the story here and there, I really enjoyed it and want to give you a mini-insight on what to expect from this read:

  • photography nerds
  • strained family dynamic
  • changing relationships/friendships
  • exploration of sexuality
  • growing up and growing apart

Read my full review here!

The Summer of Broken Rules – 121 ratings

The Summer of Broken Rules

I have the absolute warmest memory of The Summer of Broken Rules and almost wish I could read it anew all over again. Like the previous pick, it’s also only been out in the world for about two weeks, so I expect the ratings to go up, but I still wanted to showcase it early on. I’m going to keep the bullet-point format going for what these books are about, so here are some short teasers:

  • big warm family vibes
  • feeling like you’re on a vacation
  • loss of a loved one
  • grief vs. joy
  • instant adorably hilarious love connection

Read my full review here!

Soulswift – 627 ratings

Soulswift

This book took my heart by storm and I cannot fathom how there aren’t more people out there who have read it. A lot of the time, due to Fantasy worlds being quite complex, stories like Soulswift tend to be part of a series, but it’s actually a wonderful standalone.

  • enemies to lovers
  • period talk in Fantasy world
  • exploration of faith
  • universe in balance
  • ending WILL make you cry
  • I’m still in pain

Read my full review here!

This Is Not A Ghost Story – 742 ratings

This Is Not a Ghost Story

As you all know, I went on a bit of ghost-centric reading binge last year, where almost all books I dealt with had some shape or form of ghosts in them for months. I still don’t think this was intentional, but here we are.

  • unique narrator
  • slightly creepy
  • controversial ending

Read my full review here!

Hana Khan Carries On – 904 ratings

Hana Khan Carries On

Hana Khan Carries On has been in the world for a month now and I just want to more people to enjoy it. I had such a great time while reading, because Hana is just a fantastic narrator, even when I disagreed on certain things the characters did.

  • South East Asian Muslim MC
  • Toronto based
  • podcast and radio love
  • enemies to lovers
  • “You’ve Got Mail” vibes
  • finding your voice!!
  • importance of community

Read my full review here!

Lock & Mori – 2,746 ratings

Lock & Mori (Lock & Mori, #1)

Lock & Mori is the first book in a trilogy, which showcases a teen version of Sherlock Holmes and James Moriarty (a female incarnation in this version) and how they met and became “enemies”. All of it is told from Mori’s POV, which was what originally enticed me to pick it up.

  • AU Sherlock/Moriarty
  • meet the genius while he was still an awkward teen
  • nurture vs. nature
  • abusive homelife
  • could be a CW TV show

Read my full review here!

Charming as a Verb – 2,965 ratings

Charming as a Verb

I just love Ben Philippe’s books. And I want him to succeed so bad, because that means I get more books! It’s really simple math right here, but he became an auto-buy-author for me the second I first read one of his books.

  • Black Haitian own voices rep
  • realistic struggle with college applications and senior year
  • meet cute that starts with blackmail
  • great NYC setting and Montreal mention
  • funny banter

Read my full review here!

The Light Between Worlds – 3,140 ratings

The Light Between Worlds

When I first read The Light Between Worlds, it destroyed me! It’s not the first book dealing with children who go into a magical land and then have to deal with reality as grown ups, but it hit me really hard. I’m sure I cried through 100 pages straight.

  • mental health issues/suicidal ideation
  • leaving part of yourself in another place/world
  • bond between siblings
  • formidable love interests

Read my full review here!

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo – 3,220 ratings

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo (The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, #1)

Back in the day I saw everyone talk about The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, but the ratings now do not reflect that at all. I really thought it would have much more, but here we are with it deserving double, triple and whatnot in reality.

  • action, romance, comedy
  • HILARIOUS
  • Chinese folktales and mythology
  • balancing school and superpowers

Read my full review here!

Echo North – 3,539 ratings

Echo North (Echo North, #1)

Echo North is one of those quietly beautiful magical books. It won’t destroy you, but it will leave you whimsical for mirrors that can take you to other worlds and wolves to fall in love with. It borrowed quite a bit from existing fairy tales, but made it completely its own thing.

  • lush setting
  • fairy tale vibes
  • fated love
  • just-roll-with-it magic

Read my full review here!


Have you read any of the books I mentioned or do you plan to? What are some actually underrated books you love? Let’s talk about it!

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (May 3-9/2021)

I know the date varies in a lot of countries, but where I live, it’s Mother’s Day today. So, I’d like to start this post by sending out some love to all the amazing mothers, mother figures and guardians out there. You are all doing so much and we’re grateful!

But before it gets too sappy, let’s get started with out traditional Sunday trailer post! Here are the ones I found this time around:

Read More »

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #59

I watched some stuff and they thematically all felt like they were in a similar realm, so I thought it was time to share all of that. I tend to forget that I do these posts and then content piles up, but not today. Two shows and two movies, that’s a decent amount. Here we go!

*I noticed that I scratched the “for fans of” section in the last post and don’t know if anyone is missing that bit, but I’m leaving it out here too. If you want me to bring it back, let me know in the comments!*

Jupiter’s Legacy (Part 1)

TW: suicide, gore, violence, substance abuse

I’m a huge sucker for all superhero content. Where other people moan and whine about networks and studios releasing more and more of these kind of projects, I relish them and Jupiter’s Legacy was high up on my excitement list. I have not read the comics the show is based on, but because it’s a Mark Millar one, I was prepared for it to be violent. Compared to other shows out there (e.g. The Boys), it was actually alright on that front though, but let’s start at the beginning.

One thing you will have to look past right from the get go are the terrible wigs and the make up etc. that is supposed to make the cast look aged. It’s just ridiculous and lacks authenticity, but I understand why they wanted the same actors through all the stages of the show. The pilot immediately drew me in and set up an interesting premise. Split into two distinct timelines, you have the main characters in the late 1920s on their journey to getting their powers as well as the struggles they now face in the present day. Personally, I thought that the balance between those storylines could have been handled better, because I had a hard time connecting (and liking) some of the new generation characters. In the beginning I was frustrated with how long it took us to accompany the characters in the past, but looking back, every bit of that was needed and I got chills when they finally go their powers.

These heroes live by a code! They don’t kill and they don’t govern, because they need to inspire humanity to do better and not rule them instead. Overall, I think that’s a beautiful sentiment and I was impressed to learn that the old guard had never killed anyone in the 90 years they were active. None of the Avengers or the Justice League could claim that … but it’s also not a practicable code in some situations that simply are life or death, which ultimately sets up one of the biggest conflicts of the season. As a viewer, I didn’t even know what side to take, because I want to believe that situations can be solved non-violently, but at the same time I’ve never been in a “it’s you or me” predicament.

Overall, this season won’t answer all your questions, but is a really good set up for the world and the problems ahead. I was left to wonder about so many characters and needed more info on quite a lot of them, but this is part 1 of a much larger story and I, for one, am excited to see more.

Invincible (Season 1)

TW: gore, violence

I don’t watch many animated shows, but so many people hyped it up and the voice cast is absolutely amazing, I just waited until all episodes were out and binged it in one go. Ultimately, I’d say Invincible definitely deserved the hype it got.

I always enjoy a bit of a different look on a show about superheroes and don’t mind it when they get a bit jaded. I find this show difficult to review without spoiling anything, but I loved the twists and corrupt morals. Mark still has a lot to learn, but they set up amazing storylines for him in the future. All throughout the season, the stakes just got higher and higher, but in all honesty, the people who are coming for Amber on social media can miss me with that bullsh*t. How anyone can claim that a teenage girl who was able to communicate her boundaries clearly was the true villain compared to the actual one who committed genocide and mass murder is beyond me.

Season 2 and 3 are already approved, so people can be sure to get more Invincible content!

The Mitchells vs. the Machines

I was surprised by just how much I loved this movie, but oh boy, I did.

To say that the animation was like nothing I had ever seen before might be a bit of an overstatement, but it felt fresh and unique and engaging. There’s a lot going on in terms of visuals and I would not recommend it to people who struggle with flashing images, but I had a grand time with it, although it really is borderline too much sometimes.

The story revolves around family and growing up and pursuing your dreams, but is set in a ridiculous scenario that just ups the fun tenfold. The generational divide was so well handled and made some really good points. I laughed so much watching the movie, but it also brought me to tears and I just can’t deny that Sony is really stepping up their game when it comes to animation movies these days. Definitely something for the whole family, even with older kids.

This movie *almost* made me want to adopt two broken robot boys, even if they might try to take over the world with the wrong software update.

Bliss

TW: homelessness, substance abuse, suicidal ideation, mentions of undefined mental illness

I was interested in this movie, because 1.) my former roommate’s husband was the cinematographer for it and 2.) the trailer looked really interesting, but I’m sad to say that I did not love it.

Owen Wilson and Salma Hayek are an odd choice for the leads here. While they are both capable of great performances on their own, I didn’t buy into them being soulmates at all. Their chemistry together was just off, which made scenes awkward and less credible. However, I will say that I love Nesta Cooper getting roles in big productions and I wish she had been in this movie even more than she was. She will always be a highlight for me.

Aside from that, I just really struggled with the story as a whole. I didn’t know if it was all part of a depressing metaphor for mental illness, or if it was supposed to be about an actual multiple-reality-story like so many great sci-fi movies and shows have done before. Even at the end, I was not sure and it bothered me? On the one hand, I liked the end, but on the other hand, I didn’t find it satisfying at all. Maybe I just really wasn’t the right viewer, because I did not understand it.


Have you watched any of these shows or movies? Do you plan to? Let’s talk about it!

TMP – Oscar Winner Edition: Best Director

It’s Thursday and I’m back with a new Thursday Movie Picks feature post. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

This week is once again part of the Oscar Winner Edition, which will continue to be a reoccurring theme during each month. We already talked about Best Picture, Best Actor/Actress as well as Supporting Actor/Actress, but today is all about Directors. As I like to do so often, I’m going to feature my favorite winners, but also include a little section with nominees I think also deserved the award.

Bong Joon-ho with Parasite

Bong Joon-ho made history with Parasite for a reason. Despite this movie not really being in a genre I love, I could not not feature it on the list. I really thought it would open up future award shows for more representation and diversity in the films and people they select, but they still have miles to go.

Danny Boyle with Slumdog Millionaire

I know this movie isn’t flawless, but I had a great time watching it. Many people know Dev Patel from Skins, but this movie is actually how I got introduced to him as an actor and I have loved his journey and following his career ever since.

Kathryn Bigelow with The Hurt Locker

Can you believe that the first woman director who won an Oscar was Kathryn Bigelow in 2010? Looking at the nominees of the past decades was a sobering experience. I’m glad that Chloé Zhao has won now too, although I haven’t seen Nomadland yet.

Nominees Who Would Have (Also) Deserved the Win

As mentioned above, it’s not that I want to take the award away from the actual winners of any particular year, but sometimes I just liked other nominees as well. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Jordan Peele (Get Out)
  • Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)
  • Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot)
  • Peter Weir (The Truman Show)
  • Steven Spielberg (E.T.)

What are some of your favorite directors? Not even necessarily just some that have won the Academy Award. Let’s talk!

First Lines from Books Currently on My TBR

I’ve seen a lot of people share the first lines to books they had just read/were reading/wanted to read and I thought I should finally join in on the fun! I think it’s so interesting to reflect on just that first sentence and whether it pulls you in or not. For today, I want to focus on books that I already have at home and plan to read in the near future aka stories that are already on my TBR!

IF WE WERE VILLAINS by M.L. Rio

I sit with my wrists cuffed to the table and I think, But that I am forbid / To tell the secrets of my prison-house, / I could a tale unfold whose lightest word / Would harrow up my soul.

If We Were Villains

That is what I call an intriguing start! Throw in some poetry, people already being cuffed and my interest is definitely being held. I try not to know too much about books before going in, because I like discovering those twists myself, but I do know that a lot of my friends loved this story, so, I’m excited to get to it. There’s definite promise here.

REBECCA by Daphne Du Maurier

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.

Rebecca

Okay, Rebecca is my effort of reading at least one classic novel every other year or so. If I hadn’t already seen the movies and enjoyed the Netflix adaptation, I doubt that one sentence would have caught my attention.

THE NATURE OF WITCHES by Rachel Griffin

Everything is burning, so many flames it looks as if we set the sky on fire.

The Nature of Witches

From what I’m understanding this is a novel about witches and climate change, so the first line seems very much on par with it. There was technically a quote preceding it, but I didn’t know if that counted, so I went with this phrase instead. It’s not the most revealing line yet.

THE ATLAS SIX by Olivie Blake

Perhaps it was a tired thing, all the references the world had already made to the Ptolemaic Royal Library of Alexandria.

The Atlas Six (The Atlas Series Book 1)

This is gonna be so packed with references and history. I just know it and that can always go one of two ways, with me 1.) loving the heck out of it or 2.) being completely overwhelmed with factual information that I then tend to ceremoniously skip through.

LEGENDBORN by Tracy Deonn

The police officer’s body goes blurry, then sharpens again.

Legendborn (Legendborn, #1)

Knowing that Legendborn is Fantasy and this is the first line – I am listening! 100%!

THE TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY by Alix E. Harrow

When I was seven, I found a door.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January

Going by the title, I’m gonna assume we are not in fact talking about a regular door here?

THE FEVER KING by Victoria Lee

Calix,
As I write this, they’re packing up the fighter jets.

The Fever King (Feverwake, #1)

Start a book with a letter and you have my attention. I don’t know if this will be a recurring thing throughout the book or just this once at the beginning, but I adore the incorporation of letters.

QUEEN OF THE CONQUERED by Kacen Callender

My mother kissed my forehead with a smile when I cried, upset that the party would carry on as I was sent away to sleep, and while I lay awake in my bed of lace, huddled beneath my covers and shivering in the cool trade-winds breeze, I heard when the tinkling piano stopped and when the laughter turned to screams.

Queen of the Conquered (Islands of Blood and Storm, #1)

And here I thought I was the queen of run on sentences! Despite this being very long in comparison to all the other examples, I think it definitely peaks my interest. I just want to know what happens next and isn’t that the absolute best outcome you can have with a first sentence?


Have you read any of those books? What do you think of my TBR and their first lines? Let’s talk!

April 2021 Wrap-Up

I can’t believe April is over already. I’ve had all these plans and ideas for the year, but once again, little of that is going according to said plans. Anyway, I managed to read/listen to three books and that’s what we will start this post with. It’s not a huge amount of reads, but my motivation in the reading department is a continuous flow and ebb.

  • Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin (4 stars)
  • The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas
    This book not having a rating has nothing to do with the quality of the writing, but simply with my decision not to rate and review books by friends and people I know. Elena is an old blogging buddy and I was so happy to see her dream of releasing her own romance novel come true. I HAD to support that and had a really good time reading The Spanish Love Deception. Romance isn’t my usual genre, so I don’t feel super qualified to comment on it anyway, but the banter between Lina and Aaron was so much fun.
  • The Sandman by Neil Gaiman/audiobook (3 stars)
    I still don’t know how people sit through audiobooks, because I’m apparently a very visual reader and completely space out after a while. The fact that The Sandman had a fantastic voice cast (with the likes of James McAvoy, Kat Dennings, Michael Sheen, Riz Ahmed and many more) and thus making it more of an audioplay than audiobook helped immensely. Still, I struggled with paying attention a lot … I keep trying this medium, but apparently it’s just not for me (as I’ve talked about before in this post)

Hana Khan Carries On The Spanish Love Deception The Sandman (Sandman Audible Original, #1)

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! My own reviews (where there is one) you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

At the end of April, I took a little social media break and I’m basically still on it and it feels quite nice. It’s not that anything in particular happened that drove me away, but I did not enjoy being constantly glued to my phone and putting my entire energy into that thing. After a while, it also spiked my anxiety to voice my opinions, despite no one ever coming for me and I just decided to dip out for a while. I’m not completely gone and if anyone needs me, it’s fairly easy to contact me, but I just thought I’d let you know why my timeline is a little bit more quiet. It definitely helped in eliminating one of the many excuses I had created for myself in order to not pursue any of my creative ideas (be that writing, drawing or something else entirely).

For those of you who are interested in the status of my Canada-move, it’s still very much looking grim. I have decided to apply for another extension of the visa once that is possible (you can only do so 30 days before yours expires), but that I cannot put my life on hold for this any longer. I’m currently taking steps to figure out what I might be able to do instead and how I could move on, but it’s all a process. This really still is my biggest dream and giving up on it is soul crushing to even contemplate.

My creativity still isn’t at a peak, but I can feel some of it returning. I may or may not have splurged on some new materials that I’m excited to work with, even though I still have to get acquainted with a lot of them. I don’t think I will post any portraits or other drawings in the near future, but rather just try to get a feel back for myself without having to put anything of it out into the world yet.

MY FAVORITE THINGS

As much as I struggled with the fact that the finale of the Falcon and the Winter Soldier premiered on the same day and at the same time as Shadow and Bone, I loved doing those weekly reviews. They may not have sparked as much engagement and views as some of the WandaVision content, but it was nice to dig deep on content I feel so passionate about. I’m still unsure whether to go through the trouble for Loki, but at the same time, I felt a big hole this past Friday without anything to review. Please, let me know in the comments which other shows (besides Loki) you could imagine me doing weekly or in depth seasonal reviews for! I obviously can’t promise anything, because I don’t know if I will always have the time for it, but I enjoyed the routine and if you *want* me to talk about something in particular, I’d really like to know what, so I can at least think about it!

I’m all ears for your ideas!

MY OTHER POSTS

THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER REVIEWS/CONTENT

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS

VARIOUS TAGS AND POSTS

TRAILER POSTS


Hope your April went well! What are some posts you enjoyed reading this past month? Did you encounter some great books and TV shows? Let’s talk!