Brother by David Chariandy (Book Review + Movie Trailer)

Brother by David Chariandy

PublisherA button to add a book to the platform "The Storygraph"A button that says "Add book to Goodreads": Bloomsbury
Page Count
: 194
Release Date: September 26, 2017

CW: racism, police brutality, gun violence, death, grief, homophobia

Just a couple weeks ago, I posted about how all my favorite books are about grief and loss (check it out here, in case you missed it), so it should come as little surprise that I was drawn to Brother by David Chariandy like a magnet. I had seen the below trailer and just knew that I NEEDED to read this immediately.

Brother is one of those quiet but impacting books. It wins you over with descriptions of daily life, slowly building up to the devestation you are bound to face all the while accompanied by the inner turmoil of the narrator. Most stories about grief are that way, I think. Slow, deliberate, but crushing.

Experiencing loss is such an intimate thing and can look so different for everyone. Some people can’t let go and there’s a question in there somewhere of whether they should. Grief, for many, feels like something to wallow in alone, but can also be a beautiful, albeit sad, forger of bonds. Switching between past and present, I often found myself tearing up the most at the moments about the people that remained. I can’t quite put into words why that need for community in our direst moments was so hard hitting, but it speaks to something deep inside me.

If I could change one thing about the book, it’s that I’d probably add one more chapter. It doesn’t necessarily need it, but I would like to have it for personal closure.

I think this story, despite being set a couple decades ago in Canada, is unfortunately still very timely and something many people are confronted with. I also believe that it will translate powerfully on screen.

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! Grief books and I just work.



Now, if you didn’t believe what I had to say above, you just watch that trailer and tell me this story won’t rip your heart out. I already recognized so many scenes from the book in the brief sequences we got to see here. The fact that Lamar Johnson, who just delivered another heartbreaking performance as someone’s brother on The Last of Us, is just the cherry on top. I will be seated when the movie releases later this year!

Did you read Brother or do you think you might want to check out the book/movie in the future? Let’s chat!

Kat’s Weekly TV & Movie Recap #56

Where I ramble about all the TV shows and movies I’ve watched in the past week ….

I’m really pleased with most things I’ve watched, although not all. Let’s dive right in, I’ve just gotten back from work and I’m doing this to clear my thoughts.


Mayfair Witches (Season 1)

After the massive success that was Interview with the Vampire (a show that made it into my top TV shows of 2022 – check them out here) and AMC announcing that they’d expand on the Immortals Universe, I was really excited for Mayfair Wichtes. I had no previous knowledge from the books and wasn’t invested in any sort of faithful adaptation, I just knew I loved witches and stories about them, but dang … this season was a real drag. 

While you get shown several timelines, nothing felt really connected and I thought it might have been more impacting if they hadn’t shown tiny bits of the past all the time, but rather made a dedicated flashback episode. Rowan, as a character, wasn’t someone I cared about much and the stakes rarely ever felt high or important. The final two episodes finally got me a bit more engaged, but let’s be honest, that was a tad too late. I’m just really disappointed that this show couldn’t live up to my (probably too high) expectations.

Outer Banks (Season 3)

I LOVED season 1 of Outer Banks. It was a mix between The Goonies and the OC and just had a blast watching it. With season 2, I adored the addition of Cleo, but felt a bit more lackluster about other characters. So, while I was still interested in this new season, I didn’t think I’d manage to still be super invested. I was wrong. This season totally won me back – probably due to my adjusted expectations of what we would be dealing with.

I have to say, the treasure hunt getting bigger and bigger is my least favorite part of the show. I personally just loved to see the Kook/Pogue divide and the characters interact. I’ve been waiting for Kiara and JJ to happen since episode 1 of the show and am so glad for every scene we’ve got between them in season 3. They really delivered. John B and Sarah on the other hand … what a mess that turned into! I’m glad the real life break up of the actors didn’t affect the chemistry of the characters at all, but I didn’t love their storylines. What I did love was Cleo and Pope! Aside from Pope’s parents being the only parents on the show with any rights, I just adored how Cleo fit into the family and lived for her moments and blossoming friendship with and feelings for Pope. 

Without spoiling anything, there was a time jump in the final episode and I thought that would have been a really neat ending for the show, but it got renewed for another season even before this one got released. I’m SO confused by Netflix’ strategy, because they’ll renew something like this, which might get ruined in future seasons, but they won’t give others a chance (YES, I’m bitter cause there are still no renewal news on Lockwood & Co and many of my faves have been cancelled too soon in the past).


The Company You Keep (Season 1)

Shows like this, with a familiar storyline of a criminal and agent falling in love, need great casting to still feel fresh and exciting. The Company You Keep definitely delivered on that in the first episode and while I’m cautious in thinking it will get renewed, I’m definitely tuning in.

The Last of Us (Season 1

Each. week. is. just. so. good. My friends, who know I haven’t played the game, warned me that I’m not ready for the final two episodes.

Will Trent (Season 1)

Turns out that I don’t necessarily care as much about Angie being in Will’s life, but I did like the flashbacks. The actors were chosen well and had the mannerisms down.

Walker: Independence (Season 1)

I can’t believe Tom knew who Abby was all along?! Next week is going to be wild and I’m just in denial about Gus, okay?

1923 (Season 1)

Very little Alex and Spencer, but this upcoming episode is the finale for this season and I’m dreading it already. They better hurry up and film some more soon.

Wolf Pack (Season 1)

Theory time! Do we think that the werewolf that is killing everyone is maybe Sarah Michelle Gellar’s character’s son? I can’t read that lady at all, but I still think that the voice on the phone sounds like Ian Bohen.

How I Met Your Father (Season 2)

Again, another great episode showcasing individual friendship-duos. I just want scenes with all of them together though.

Abbott Elementary (Season 2)


9-1-1: Lone Star (Season 4)

This season feels so off to me. I mean … we’ve lost Marjan now or what is happening?

Station 19 (Season 6)

This episode was ALL OVER THE PLACE. We had Bishop’s storyline, which was really unethical doctor behavior, we had the elderly ladies and their scavenger hunt, which was fun but random, we had the police brutality arc continued, which was just nerve-wrecking and then we also had the potential Crisis One backlash, because Montgomery was running his mouth and potentially abusing information he learned on a call. So much heavy and weird “funny” bits. 

Grey’s Anatomy (Season 19)

Strangely, not as emotional as I thought it would be. Turns out, I didn’t care as much about Mer as the others, but I do love that half the interns are living at the old Grey house now. They’re really leaning into those season 1 vibes.


As always, don’t forget to add me on Letterboxd if you want to be up to date on all my movie experiences! 

Why Can’t My Life be a Rom-Com?

Look, I just saw two actors from Reginald the Vampire being in this and thought I’d check it out. It did not impress.

While it tried to be modern, it felt like it belonged in the long line of movies that released a while ago and didn’t seem timely then either. Some characters were straight up annoying and contradictory. It wasn’t the worst, but also not the best. A certain spark was missing for a lot of it though, even though I liked the main couple in the end.

Did you watch anything I’ve watched? Are there some movies/shows I should check out? Let’s talk about that!

The Buried and the Bound by Rochelle Hassan (Book Review)

Cover for the Buried and the Bound

PublisherA button to add a book to the platform "The Storygraph"A button that says "Add book to Goodreads": Roaring Brook Press
Page Count
: 384
Release Date: January 24, 2023

CW: death, emotional and physical abuse, suicidal thoughts, homophobia, mentions of blood

I was intrigued by The Buried and the Bound because 1. I’m making this the year of reading more Fantasy again and this even has fae in it and 2. because of this absolutely spellbinding cover art. You really can trick me that easily; I’m a sucker for pretty covers that much. (But, it also turned out that me being fascinated with the cover helped me deduce some stuff in the story later on and that was neat.)

Told from three different POVs – those of Aziza, Leo and Tristan – I will admit that it took me a moment to get into the book. It’s something I regularly struggle with when it comes to multiple POVs, simply because it takes more chapters/pages to get to know the characters and thus invested in their fates. But wow, once I’ve crossed that hurdle, I did not want to stop reading. 

Each character is presented with plenty of flaws and equal lovable quirks. It soon became clear to me how certain plotlines were going to be interwoven and I was ridiculously proud of myself for guessing several “plot twists” early on. Regardless, the story never felt predictable, but instead you wanted to know how the trio would face what would inevitably be thrown their way. There wasn’t a single one I wasn’t rooting for.

I don’t want to give away too much, so I’m keeping this short, but I loved this approach to magic and the fae realm. I also LOVED that the book set up several storylines that could be explored in future installments of this new series, but didn’t leave you hanging on any sort of cliffhanger. You somehow felt satisfied and sated, but wanted more at the same time! That’s honestly the best way a book can leave you and I will gladly be seated for more books by Rochelle Hassan.

Lastly, I have to give a shoutout to Kal @Reader Voracious, because it was due to her tweet that I found out about the book and immediately got a copy. You can find her review here.

Fazit: 4.25/5 stars! Great start to a new YA fantasy series!

Have you heard about this new book series? Do you plan on reading it? Let’s chat!

Kat’s Weekly TV & Movie Recap #55

Where I ramble about all the TV shows and movies I’ve watched in the past week ….

Another week is coming to a close and I’m tired af, but have no idea what from. Some days will just be like that, so I took a nap in the middle of the day and delayed the post. Let’s talk about shows and movies though! 


I didn’t finish any shows this week, but watched a bunch of movies, so stay tuned for those!


Mayfair Witches (Season 1)

I’ve finished episode 7 and we’re finally getting somewhere, but dang that’s far too late in a season to make me change my mind about the show.

Will Trent (Season 1)

Betty is the moment. Need I say more? Well, yeah. It was fun to learn more about Faith’s home life and I’m just glad we have Will Trent back after the break last week.

Walker: Independence (Season 1)

I’m so confused about what to believe. Obviously, I kinda sorta somewhat know that Tom is a terrible person, but I still thought he was one of the best characters of the season aside from Calian.

1923 (Season 1)

My darlings are alright and getting married and … aaaah! I just know this season is going to end with Spencer arriving at the ranch and the wait for the new season will be torture.

Wolf Pack (Season 1)

The CGI of the animals remains absolutely abysmal, but I keep wanting to learn more about the pack dynamics. I don’t buy Luna pining after Austin though. I’m so sorry.

How I Met Your Father (Season 2)

Sid remains a top tier character and I like how we’re fleshing out the friendship dynamics, although I wish they would include the whole crew and not just duos.

Abbott Elementary (Season 2)

Never seen Barbara this flustered before, but the real twist were Jacob’s cookies.

9-1-1: Lone Star (Season 4)

Everything about the TK/Carlos storyline was peak content, the Owen stuff stays very mid.


As always, don’t forget to add me on Letterboxd if you want to be up to date on all my movie experiences! 

At Midnight

I continued my “Valentine’s Day” binge of new RomComs and this one was probably my favorite of the bunch I watched. It has Notting Hill and America’s Sweetheart vibes and is utterly corny. I know that parts of it will be too ridiculous for some people, but I like movies that are unabashedly romantic, not scared of not taking themselves too seriously and have that retro flair. Diego Boneta and Monica Barbaro had great chemistry and I had a really great time watching the movie! Also, almost all of it was shot on location in Mexico, which is cool! 

Somebody I Used to Know

What a waste to never having used the song during the entire movie, but what can you do? Directed by Dave Franco and co-written by him and Alison Brie, I thought that the movie was marketed in the wrong way. It’s not a RomCom, but it’s a very good film regardless. Aside from a Community reunion between Alison Brie and Danny Pudi, I enjoyed the themes of regret, change and trusting yourself. I will always watch anything Alison Brie stars in regardless, but I’d love to see more of this husband-wife-duo, because they seem to work really well together.


I so wish I hadn’t watched the trailer and while I will post it below, I don’t recommend you actually watch it. The cast was really enticing and it was an okay movie, but none of the twists hit me, because I saw them all from a mile away (possibly because of having watched the trailer). I enjoyed how every “chapter” more or less ended on some kind of betrayal, that was thematically smart, but the rest was unforatuntely a tad underwhelming for me.

Did you watch anything I’ve watched? Are there some movies/shows I should check out? Let’s talk about that!

All My Favorite Books Are About Grief and Loss …

All my favorite books are about grief and loss

Are really ALL my favorite books about grief and loss? Well, no. That was a gross exaggeration in order to make the title of this post a little more clickbait-y. But that doesn’t change the fact that A LOT of them are and since I’ve promised a post like this for almost a year on social media now, I thought I should finally go ahead, sit down and actually write it.

First, I want to manage expectations! Not all of these books will necessarily be tearjerkers, not all of them will have grief or loss as a main theme, but simply as some aspect of the story. I’m going to try and do my best to categorize everything in a way that makes sense to you all.

Read More »

Kat’s Weekly TV & Movie Recap #54

Where I ramble about all the TV shows and movies I’ve watched in the past week ….

Let me tell you, I surprised myself with the amount of shows I watched/finished this past week. Let’s talk about that! 


National Treasure: Edge of History (Season 1)

I know a lot of people were skeptical, because the show didn’t feature Nic Cage and focused on a much younger age bracket, but you know what? For what it was, it was a lot of fun. Everyone is insanely smart, so they figure out clues and puzzles super fast, but it was also just great to have a really healthy and nice friendship group dynamic to watch. There’s loads of ships if you’re interested in that and the final episodes did hold some twists I didn’t necessarily expect. 

I haven’t yet heard any news on a potential renewal for the show, but it works as a one-off limited series just as much as a continued show. They definitely set up a storyline should they get another season order, but there was no dreadful cliffhanger.

The Legend of Vox Machina (Season 2)

I LOVE THIS SHOW SO MUCH! I think Prime also really cracked the perfect formula of how to release episode on a streaming platform. They posted three episodes per week, which was (to me) the ideal mix of being able to binge and immerse myself in the story while also having the excitement of a weekly release and getting to talk to people about specific episodes. 

As far as the animation goes, I feel like they really stepped it up in season 2, because there were some gorgeous shots that I still think about a lot. Especially all things concerning the Raven Queen was SO WELL DONE. I just adored seeing the campaign come to life on the screen and this show hyping up adult animation content, because it can be so dope!

I’m very glad to inform you that season 3 has already been greenlit.

YOU (Season 4, Part 1)

Somehow, YOU manages to reinvent itself a little bit every season. I have to admit that I don’t really get why we split the season in two other than Netflix trying to generate buzz for their property over a longer amount of time, but as a viewer, not really feeling it. 

This season starts out as a kind of murder mystery, where I surprised myself by guessing the murderer before I had even met the character – a new record for me! I feel very torn in the way they try to give Joe more and more redeemable qualities, because he is an absolute psycho and people are bound to forget that, because they find him hot … 

Still, long story short, I had fun and binged it in one evening. Looking forward to part 2 now and will judge the season as a whole afterwards.


The Last of Us (Season 1)

We got TWO episodes this week and I’m so glad about that. Henry and Sam’s story deserved to be told and was so freaking heartbreaking. I thought it was kind of fitting that those were the two episodes that aired closer to each other. 

Mayfair Witches (Season 1)

I’ve watched episode 6, because I think for some it wasn’t obvious that I’ve continued to be one episode ahead of the TV release. I’m just not a fan I suppose. I would have structured the show so differently.

Fire Country (Season 1)

If I get tired of Bode and Gabriella now … that does not bode well (see what I did there?) for upcoming seasons.

Wolf Pack (Season 1)

Loving this show! I don’t yet know what it means to be in a pack in this particular universe, but I can’t wait to find out.

How I Met Your Father (Season 2)

Sooo … Sophie admitted she kissed all of her friends at some point on the show. That means my Sid endgame is still an option.

Abbott Elementary (Season 2)

The Valentine’s episode was fun! They know how to do themed stuff on Abbott.

9-1-1: Lone Star (Season 4)

Ugh, again with the FBI storyline that I do not care about … the Iris thing on the other hand? Carlos cannot blame TK for it. I just won’t allow my babies to fight over something that was done by an unhinged person.


As always, don’t forget to add me on Letterboxd if you want to be up to date on all my movie experiences! 

Your Place or Mine

I announced that we would get a resurgence of RomComs this year and Your Place or Mine was one of the first ones on my list. Not sure if all of you have seen the red carpet pictures of Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher, but those two did not look comfortable next to each other at all. It was super awkward to watch, but it sort of makes sense now that I’ve watched the movie and the leads don’t share the screen for 90% of the time. 

In theory, this should have been a home run. We have friends to lovers, immature adult bonding with a kid, a LOT of bookish references and talk about plants, Zoe Chao was featured. Those are legit all things I enjoy, but I felt a bit lackluster about the outcome of it all. It was nice, but not the best RomCom I’ve seen of late. I think we are allowed to want the genre to thrive, but for it to also do … more?

Did you watch anything I’ve watched? Are there some movies/shows I should check out? Let’s talk about that!

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin (Book Review)

On a bitter-cold day, in the December of his junior year at Harvard, Sam Masur exits a subway car and sees, amid the hordes of people waiting on the platform, Sadie Green. He calls her name. For a moment, she pretends she hasn't heard him, but then, she turns, and a game begins: a legendary collaboration that will launch them to stardom. These friends, intimates since childhood, borrow money, beg favors, and, before even graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster, Ichigo. Overnight, the world is theirs. Not even twenty-five years old, Sam and Sadie are brilliant, successful, and rich, but these qualities won't protect them from their own creative ambitions or the betrayals of their hearts.

Spanning thirty years, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Venice Beach, California, and lands in between and far beyond, Gabrielle Zevin's Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a dazzling and intricately imagined novel that examines the multifarious nature of identity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love. Yes, it is a love story, but it is not one you have read before.

PublisherA button to add a book to the platform "The Storygraph"A button that says "Add book to Goodreads": Knopf
Page Count
: 418
Release Date: July 5, 2022

CW: grief, depression, injuries, chronic pain, amputation, sexism, loss of a loved one, questionable consent to sexual abuse, mention of racism, alcoholism, drug use and suicide

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a book that crept up on me slowly and then I simply couldn’t put it down. At first, it reminded me of a lot of shows and movies that I love (e.g. Halt and Catch Fire, Mythic Quest and The Social Network – basically a lot of stuff with start ups and gaming/tech), but once I stopped comparing it to other things I’ve consumed in the past and just let myself get engrossed in the story, it really started to shine.

My brain really went “MYTHIC QUEST!” when I started reading, so inevitably I could only think of Ian and Poppy when I pictured Sadie and Sam, even though they look nothing alike…

I’ll be frank with you, Sadie and Sam aren’t always the most likable characters. They had their fair share of hardships and most of their decisions – whether you agree with them or not – make sense for who they are. Can their miscommunication be frustrating? Sure, but while that usually is a huge pet peeve of mine, it worked in favor of their particular story. Because they are messy individuals and you know what? Life is messy. Trauma and grief are messy! No one gets it right all the time.
As the book promises, this isn’t your traditional love story, at least not in terms of romance. It also isn’t “just” friendship. Their relationship is somehow so much more, “love” almost feels like a word that doesn’t do it justice. I was rooting for them to clear up misunderstandings, hoping they wouldn’t miss their cues. They sure took you on a journey, but my heart was, in the end, stolen by someone else.

Marx, my favorite NPC, tamer of horses, all around darling – you deserved the world! He’s the kind of guy you want in your corner and dang it, but Sadie and Sam weren’t always the best in showing him the appreciation he deserved. However, I will cherish him today and tomorrow, and tomororw, and tomorrow. But where my boy was golden, there was another character the pure opposite of him. He is also the main reason this book isn’t a full five stars – Dov.
Every. single. time. Dov showed up in the story, he gave me the ick. He’s the kind of guy who thinks he is the coolest, but actually he’s just an aging creep with way too big of an ego. I think my biggest gripe with his character was that none of his actions were really condemned. Sure, people didn’t like what he did either, but it was mentioned like an afterthought or a side note … no one ever did something and he was seemingly always forgiven. Well, not by me.

I realize that I ultimately talked more about the characters than the story, but it’s hard to pack 30 years of companionship, fights, losses and success into a decently sized review. We get taken from past to present to the future seemingly at random, but with much precision behind the structure. There are imaginative interlude chapters and utterly pretentious paragraphs of text. I can see it maybe not being for everyone, but it’s definitely a vibe and one that suited me just fine! I mean … I sobbed my way through the entire final quarter of the book. That always says something!

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! The emotional breakdown this book gave me was totally worth it!

Rating: 5 stars

Do you read books about gaming and tech start ups? Are you planing on reading Zevin’s book? Let’s chat!