Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Page Count: 352 Release Date: January 11, 2022
*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*
CW: depression, teen pregnancy, explicit sexual content, parental abandonment/tension, body insecurity
I have to start off by saying that this was the perfect end of the year/start of the new year read! It’s set around that time, in my beloved Seattle no less, and I just felt like all the fates aligned, especially with this being very reminiscent of my favorite Netflix RomCom Set It Up to bring this story to me. Honestly, it’s like this book was written for me.
The author preempted the story with a note on the depiction of depression in the book and how personal of a topic it was, while it may also be very different from other people’s experiences. I really appreciated having that insight before I dug in, but, from the beginning, I loved the setting (having worked in the TV world as well), the dynamic between the characters (not even just talking about the main pairing) and the themes that were presented. I could see a lot of myself in Ari and was immediately in love with her love interest, Russell. It’s not often that you get to read about a male plus-size love interest and one that is done so well no less.
In general, I found a lot of Weather Girl just laugh out loud hilarious, while simultaneously thinking that even the most over the top moments had a feel of authenticity to them. I enjoyed the great communication and could have even done without the obligatory third Act fight. However, I really have to emphasize that the fight made sense and added another point of realism. I just wanted everything to be happy, which, if you’ve paid attention to the book, is just not feasible or realistic. Sometimes, it takes time and work to get to where you want to be. Sometimes, you have to be vulnerable and take a risk in order to get a reward. And sometimes, it’s okay to bend a little for the right person. It was a lovely message.
Ultimately, I really enjoyed the whole book! I liked the pacing and the progression of the relationships, but also the challenges they had to face. In the end, I might have even wished for one or two more chapters before the epilogue. Still, this was such a satisfying read!
Fazit: 4/5 stars! The perfect way to end this year for me!
Are you planning on reading Weather Girl? Do you think this story might be for you? Let’s talk!
It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for the Thursday Movie Picks feature. 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.
I’ve enjoyed doing this feature on a weekly basis for the past year, but I don’t know if it (or I) will continue in 2022. So far, I’ve not seen a new schedule with topics for the upcoming year. We’ll see? I just know I don’t have the creative energy to come up with themes of my own and I understand this is a lot of work and yeah … Let’s just say I’d get it running its course, because I know it has been around for a very long time.
As it so happens, for this final theme of 2021, we once again change it up for the month and talk about TV shows instead of movies. Today’s topic is holiday! I’m going to liberally interpret the theme as festive holidays as well as going on vacation (or as I sometimes say, go on holiday, if you get my meaning).
Dash & Lily
I’ve read the books in the series and was really looking forward to all of them getting adapted. However, Netflix decided to not move forward with the property anymore, but at least the ending wasn’t super open. It felt pretty fitting and I’m sure that there’s many people who feel content enough with what the show provided. I loved it for sure!
Hjem til Jul/Home for Christmas
This was the first year without a new season of Hjem til Jul and I missed it. I would have loved to see a little bit of what happened after she got the guy, you know? But I’ll just headcanon that stuff and deal with it. Definitely one of my most favorite Norwegian shows!
The White Lotus
This show is messy and not exactly happy go lucky, but so well acted. I liked the subversion of expectations in many cases and am intrigued to find out what they’ll do with the next season, since it doesn’t seem like something you can continue easily. Maybe it will be more anthology like …
What are some holiday shows you can think of! Don’t cheat and just say holiday themed single episodes either, I want the whole show to be about it! Let’s talk!
So, before I get started, I need to clarify a few things. There’s a lot of Marvel content out there these days, but what I will be talking about in this particular post are the movies and TV shows that are considered canon part of the MCU. This excludes property such as Marvel’s Hit-Monkey and M.O.D.O.K., which is no judgment on their quality, it just falls outside of the MCU and therefore what I want this list to be. All of the titles must have been released in 2021 to qualify for the ranking. But now comes the really important part:
This list is entirely subjective! It’s my opinion alone and if you feel differently, that is perfectly alright too!
(Also, there’s potential spoilers for everything, so beware if you haven’t watched the properties.)
I haven’t done one of these in a while, but there are two books I’d like to share some thoughts on, while I also believe that I don’t actually have enough to say to warrant separate full review posts. So, I’m bringing mini reviews back at the end of this year!
Click on the covers to get redirected to Goodreads!
Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (audiobook)
You all know I’m not a big audiobook person, in fact, I usually actively dislike them. I cannot focus on what is being said, I drift off and then loose the narrative thread entirely. Well, good thing full cast audiobooks that feel more like plays exist! Voiced by the likes of Jennifer Beals, Judy Greer, Pablo Schreiber and Benjamin Bratt, this story really had a life of its own as I listened to it and thankfully found myself enjoying it for the most part.
Taylor Jenkins Reid tried something new with this format and I think it worked really well. The reason I struggled with it though was entirely a me-problem. I, personally, don’t seek out and actively try to avoid stories that focus heavily on substance abuse and that was definitely a focus throughout Daisy Jones & the Six. Other than that, I could appreciate the different takes on love and like that it had a Mick Riva cameo (I’ve previously read Malibu Rising and am planing to read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo next year, so I’m getting his story in reversed publishing order). However, while I don’t think characters have to be likable, I didn’t find myself connecting with anyone here. I was rather frustrated with a lot of them …
Fazit: 3/5 stars! Not my favorite TJR read so far.
Having said all of the above, I am so hyped for the limited run series that will release on Amazon Prime Video next year. In my humble opinion, Amazon is doing some really great work with adapting pre-existing properties, so I am quite optimistic. The set photos and BTS stuff from the cast does make it look like it will be hard to tell people apart at first (the guys all look alike), but I cannot wait what they’ll do for the songs. I expect some downright magic!
Taste: My Life through Food by Stanley Tucci
Ever since I can remember, I’ve been a huge Stanley Tucci fan. I knew some stuff about his personal life, but I didn’t go digging very deep. I just enjoy his work and the way he always makes his roles memorable, even if they aren’t always the biggest parts. I’m part of the Tucci Gang for sure (if you’ve never seen that SNL sketch, go remedy that right away here).
Some of you already know this, but I even own the Tucci Table cookbook, so it was a no-brainer that I wanted this mix of autobiography and formidable recipes in my life as well. It really was such a treat to find the book under my Christmas tree and then it was even more of a treat to devour it in the shortest amount of time.
In the words of Ruth Rogers, who is featured on the back cover: “This is a book I shall have in my kitchen, by the bed and in my suitcase.”
Stanley Tucci‘s love for food shines throughout this entire book, but I’ve also learned a lot about his life and more recent struggles. Things I personally had never heard of before, but that made my appreciation for him grow even fonder. Do not read this book hungry, but read it when you’re yearning for good food and conversation at a friend’s house or at a remarkable restaurant, which is so lacking these days, but something we all deserve.
Fazit: 4/5 stars! If you’r even remotely interested in Stanley Tucci and food, this book is for you.
So, are you interested in reading or listening to either of those? Let’s chat!
I wish you all happy holidays and a belated merry Christmas, if you celebrate! I know it’s been quiet over the past few days, for obvious reasons, as I was staying with my parents for the festivities. I still wouldn’t miss a classic trailer Sunday though, so let’s get started!
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, as we’re nearing Christmas at an unstoppable pace, it’s all about Holiday Parties! Of course, a holiday party doesn’t necessarily have to be about Christmas though, because there’s many more celebrations out there. Let’s see what I can come up with!
This movie is literally about two people forming an arrangement to be each other’s +1 to various holiday parties, because they’re tired of the pressure of bringing people or dating during the holidays in general. It’s not the best movie out there, but it’s enjoyable enough.
This might be my favorite queer Christmas movie (and I’m saying that, not having watched Single All the Way yet). Kristen Stewart didn’t feel as misplaced or awkward here and I really liked the movie. The parents are throwing a rather huge Christmas party, so I figured it would fit the theme.
I don’t want to spoil this movie for anyone, but I have fond memories of it, because I got to go to a special advanced screening with Emilia Clarke and the director, got a branded advent calendar and a green Santa hat. I had a great time. In the movie, they’re also doing a huge event for charity, which isn’t exactly the same as a party, but I’ll just use it as such anyway.
What are some holiday party movies you could think of? I know there’s one literally called “Office Christmas Party”, but I haven’t watched it nor do I intend to, so I didn’t want to include it. Let’s chat!
CW: loss of a loved one, (parental) abandonment, grief, sexual assault, death, domestic violence, child neglect
When I first heard about this book, I immediately knew it was going to be a good fit for me! All my friends loved it, the premise sounded so good and I was ready to have my feelings crushed again. And yet, I didn’t actually pick up the book until the final month of the year … sometimes I’m just scared of the things that I know are good for me.
Where the Crawdads Sing is told in multiple timelines that slowly converge. For one, you have Kya’s entire childhood, teen years and adult life and then there’s the crucial year of 1969, where a certain character was found dead and suspicions arise. I have to say I really wasn’t as invested in the investigation until the last chapters, because Kya’s life was just so much more interesting. I wanted to adopt her in like … chapter 2? She’s the perfect example of resilience in the face of all the terrible things life can throw at you.
I’ve read The Lonely Citythis year, so I actually have a bit of background knowledge on solitude and loneliness, I also live by myself in a city during what can only be considered “non-normal” circumstances, but I don’t know how Kya survived for so long. The smallest kindness can make such a difference and it was heartbreaking to often see her, understandably, closed off and alienated from the world.
Owens, who previously co-wrote several non-fiction books, has done some beautiful work with her first novel. The descriptions of the marsh and nature in general are so very atmospheric and enticing. I very much appreciated the incorporation of poetry and lyrics, that neither felt pretentious nor out of place. Overall, there was a clear authentic root to the story, which just made it all the more gripping. The only thing I struggled with, and I realize that is a very me-thing, was the heavy Southern slang. It made sense and also changed over time (at least in part), but as a non-native speaker, it was a bit of a rough start for me. In general, I’d say this is definitely more for people who enjoy slow-paced, character driven stories!
Lastly, I cannot help but mention the ending. I did not find it surprising, like many others, but still thought it was extremely fitting for the tale we were told. I like when things come together in a way that just makes sense.
Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! After reading it, I definitely understand the hype!
Now, having talked about the book, I want to say that I’m really excited to talk about the upcoming movie adaptation of Where the Crawdads Sing! Reese Witherspoon is known for having some great picks for her book club, but when she enjoys something, she also tries to be involved in the adaptation. It comes as little surprise that she is therefore one of the producers of the film.
The casting I’ve seen so far is spot on! (Below a picture of some of the mains) The release date next year got pushed back for what you can imagine to be obvious reasons and is now scheduled for July 22, 2022. I do think this is a movie I’d rather enjoy in the comfort of my own home, just because of some of the heaviness, but still, looking forward to it. I cannot wait to see a trailer and experience Daisy perform her magic with adapting accents so foreign to her own!
Did you read Where the Crawdads Sing? Do you want to? Will you watch the movie? Let’s chat!
I can’t believe we’re so close to Christmas. It’s less than a week away. Oh well, time keeps flying and I know we’re all here for trailers rather than my ramblings. So, let’s check out what this week has to offer!
As I’ve recently started my vacation, I’ve also binged more and more TV shows and movies. I thought it was about time I’d get you all caught up, before this post gets out of hand. I did find so many things I liked!
The Witcher (Season 2)
It’s been two whole years since the last season and I, once again, binged it all in one sitting. I don’t know what it is exactly, but this season didn’t work as well for me as the previous one. That’s not to say it was bad, because it wasn’t, but it also didn’t excite me as much. This time around, there were no timeline shenanigans and I felt the final twist was somewhat predictable (at least the thing I imagined happened to be exactly the thing that was the final frame?).
To me, we got to spend more time with characters last season, getting to know them and their fears and dreams in detail, while it felt more rushed this time around. I’m glad we got a focus on Ciri, because I couldn’t quite grasp her before and she feels much more well-rounded as a character now. Still, there was a kind of emotional disconnect from me to the characters in general, despite several bonding moments that were clearly meant to evoke some sort of feeling. You’d think Daddy Geralt would work more for me, but it just felt a little bland.
There was a clear story-thread throughout the entire season, less “monster of the episode”-type stuff, but I’m still confused about some revelations or developments. I’d very much like to continue with the story as a whole, but I hope the break won’t be too long. (I very much understand why it took that long and I do not blame them for keeping their production, crew and cast safe! I want to make it very clear that I am pro Covid-safety and stopping work during a pandemic.)
Little hint: If you stay past the credits of the finale episode, you’ll get a first glimpse at the spin-off The Witcher: Blood Origin!
The Big Leap (Season 1)
I loved this show with my whole heart. It made me cry, it made me laugh, it made me want to dance and sing. While it works (kind of) as a self-contained mini-series, I’d very much appreciate another season. This show totally works for you, if you like a show about reality shows, but make it fictional and dramatized. The characters were absolutely brilliant and lovable and so very easy to let into your heart. I have so many favorite moments and dynamics. At the end of the day, I can only say that it was beautiful and human and I hope people watch it online now that it’s on hulu (or Disney+ if you’re in Europe. Sorry, not sure about other territories).
The Sex Lives of College Girls (Season 1)
I 100% didn’t expect to enjoy this show as much as I did. I thought it was just going to be some comedy about sex, but it really wasn’t. It had a lot of depth, while still providing quite a bit of humor. I’m rooting for these girls and I’m happy to announce that Season 2 was already confirmed, so I don’t actually have to worry about whether I have to prematurely say goodbye to characters I adore again. There’s just so many themes that get picked up that I don’t even know where to start. I especially liked Bela’s ambitions to become a comedy writer, but was heartbroken about some developments. Kimberley is a favorite. She tries so hard, but definitely says the wrong thing a lot. Her story focuses quite a bit on being inexperienced and poor surrounded by much worldlier people with money and influence. Leighton has this whole sexual identity crisis, which was done very realistically in my eyes and lastly, there’s Whitney. I liked her, but I felt her story arc was the least developed.
Lost in Space (Season 3)
This was the final season of the show and it was a good one. Not AS good as previous ones, but it gave us a satisfying ending.
I think most of my issues with the season were the fact that the Robinsons kept getting separated and that it all just felt a little bit rushed. Maybe that’s because they had more planned and needed to cram it all into one season or maybe it just happened, because sometimes that’s how it goes. Either way, it was lovely to see them all grow up and go through it one last time. Especially my baby Will is now a really tall and lanky teen – when did this happen!? I might have cried during an episode …
The Hating Game
Disclaimer: I have not read the book!
I had so much fun watching this movie? I know there were changes and people weren’t happy. I also know that the male lead casting was questionable? I didn’t really feel a spark watching the trailer either, but they worked really well off of each other once you watch the entire movie. I think romances are often predictable and this didn’t exactly feel like an exception, but I was entertained throughout. Solid movie!
There’s currently not too many weekly shows that I’m following aside from The Wheel of Time and Hawkeye, which are both ending next week. Hence, I spared you my list of weekly shows. What did you think of my mini-reviews? What are you watching? Let’s chat!