#CurrentlyWatching: Lost in Space

I am finally back with another installment of #CurrentlyWatching. I have discarded all sorts of themes (although I probably still would have had a couple up my sleeves I suppose) and will just do one post per week again. I wanted to give you all a little break to catch up on your watching, because today I am here to talk about Lost in Space.

Lost in Space is a new Netflix original, which is technically a remake of the 1960s science fiction and adventure show as well as a late 90s movie. I have seen … none of those? Which is not an issue whatsoever for me personally, as it is a total reboot and starts fresh again. There’s one season out so far and there are mixed reviews. Similar to the Anne with an E reboot, a lot of people were missing the happy and quirky, more humerus approach. I guess you just need to watch it as something completely different than the work it is based of? I understand that can be difficult to do if it is something you loved, but then I just feel like people should understand what Netflix does by now, cause that is how they tackle most of their narratives – make it more darker and troublesome.

Lost in Space follows a family, the Robinsons, after they crash-land on a unknown planet and have to survive to make their way to the human colony in space.

I know my reading list is mostly full of fantasy and contemporaries, but just like with my books, I love SciFi as well. I don’t crave it all the time, but when I hear or in this case see that something is done right, there is no hesitation from my side to check it out. With this one, it was most of all the cinematography and the top notch CGI that drew me in. If the story is solid, I might be able to overlook low budget effects, but I am always overjoyed when I don’t have to. Also, I took one look at the location and knew immediately that they filmed it near Vancouver, which made my heart rejoice. That may be a very biased way to judge a show, but if it gets me to watch the program, does it really matter?

Anyway, let’s talk more about the story and the characters. I find myself gravitating more and more towards stories that focus on family and all that comes with it, which is the definition of this show. The Robinsons aren’t perfect, they fight, they have their problems in the past as well as the present, but they also would do anything for one another. They are a kind of patchwork family, which is just another way of modernizing the story, which I very much appreciate. Each family member has their role to play, with all their weaknesses and strengths.

For me, the emotional components balanced nicely with the more scientific stuff, that I mostly try to let sink in but don’t always get entirely. I have no problem suspending disbelief and just going with whatever I am told in that kind of setting. Do I think that there might be tiny plot holes every now and then? Yes, absolutely. But I was here for the characters and their relationships more than accurate depiction of space travel to begin with.

One thing that bothered me a little was how the villain was handled. Look, I am all for villains, but they have to have some sort of character development, motive and maybe a tinge of redeeming quality about them. With Dr. Smith there was none of that. She was manipulative, but to a point that didn’t even make sense. They were all fighting for survival and she was clearly not trained for the kind of situations they were faced with, so she needed the others.

On the other hand, I really enjoyed the alien robot storyline. I’ll admit that he looked like a tall person in a suit with a mask on sometimes … but his relationship with Will, his learning progress and the continued mystery about his origin was fascinating. I, of course, don’t know if there is another season, but that robot’s story is not done yet and I am very happy about that. (The robot made me cry, folks! The robot did that!)

This is the point where I usually have my character spotlight, but the thing is that I don’t know who to spotlight in the family? Maureen is a fierce and brilliant mother and engineer, showing that you can really do it all. John is a former soldier not letting anything come between him and his kids as he has lost too much time with them already. Judy, the eldest daughter, is only 18 but has received accelerated medical training and is now the doctor for the next wave of space colonists. Then there is Penny, who seems superficial at first, but who is brave and cunning when others need help. Or Will, the youngest with only 11 years, but one of the kindest, sensible and most thoughtful kids out there who managed to befriend an alien robot that might as well could have killed him? They are this perfectly imperfect family with so much heart, because they do make mistakes and sometimes really stupid ones considering their IQs, but they are still very lovable as a whole.

There is just one last thing I want to talk about before I conclude this little post. While watching this show, I felt certain … vibes between Judy and Don (a roguish technician) and I was wondering if I only imagined them. In former versions of this story, I believe they were a couple, but I am not sure how audiences would feel about it here. As I mentioned, Judy is only 18, but Don looks like he is in his 30s (the actor is 36) and while I don’t mean to say that age difference necessarily has to be a problem when it comes to love, they do make it a lot harder to root for them? I will withhold judgement on this (cause it worked pretty damn well in From Dusk Till Dawn despite the age thing), but I am just trying to say that it might stir up some controversy. Anyway, him giving her his pet chicken to look after was one of the best moments of the season.

Believe it or not, this was one of the most fun relationships on the show!

Did you watch Lost in Space already? Are you going to? Did you miss #CurrentlyWatching? Let’s talk!

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (April 9-15)

I’ve been a little absent this week for no particular reason, but I am back with the usual Sunday Trailer post! Let’s see what I’ve got for you!

Movies

Incredibles 2

I know, I know – we are all excited!!!

Ocean’s 8

Seriously cannot wait!!

Solo: A Star Wars Story

I am going to stay cautiously optimistic about this one.

Fahrenheit 451

Seeing books burned hurts me deep inside.

Hearts Beat Loud

This looks so cute!

Hot Summer Nights

Sweet Timmy looks hella shady in this movie, but I like the trailer?

Dude

Somehow I am not 100% into this ..

Alex & the List

The dude is so going to end up with Karen Gillan in the end. I am calling it now!

Another Kind of Wedding

I am down for watching this at home on a lazy Sunday?

A Kid Like Jake

This is a different side to Jim Parsons.

Anything

I am happy these kind of stories are getting made, but I also understand why people would prefer a trans actor in the role instead of Matt Bomer, no matter how awesome he is.

American Animals

I really like the cast on this one, a bit confused by the premise.

The Wife

A movie about writers is always going to catch my eye.

The Con is On

Con-artists are always fun.

Mary Shelley

I am not the biggest Elle Fanning fan, but the subject matter is interesting of course.

Dark Crimes

Not my kind of movie, but I guess this means Jim Carrey is back for real.

In Darkness

Natalie Dormer is already pretty badass, so I think this could be interesting and tense.

Future World

It looks cheap and outdated?

The Meg

I am not made for this. That shark is freaking terrifying.

The Escape

I imagine this to be hard to watch because it’s definitely going to be emotional.

The Last Witness

I remember when people thought Pettyfer was going to be the next big thing and then he managed to kill his own career.

Birthmarked

Collette and Goode are really great actors, but I don’t like the whole kids-as-experiments-aspect.

 

TV Shows

Younger (Season 5)

I can’t wait for my lovelies to return!!!

Animal Kingdom (Season 3)

I need to catch up on this desperately and just hope it will help me with my Peaky Blinders withdrawal.

Fabled

Have no idea what’s happening.

Picnic at Hanging Rock

Another thing with Natalie Dormer!

That’s it! What are you thinking? What will you be watching?

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer/Annie Barrows (Book Review + Movie Trailer)

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Page Count: 250

Okay, this must have been one of the longest titles to EVER exist on my blog. The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society is quite a mouthful, but don’t get intimidated by the title (which will from here on out just be Guernsey Lit or something for simplicity)! This was the second book that I chose as my giveaway prize from the one Ari @The Romance Corner Blog was amazing enough to host. So another shout out to her for making it possible for me to read that book!

Most of you who have followed my blog for a while now, know that I struggle with books set during or around the time of World War II (especially if you have read my review of Wolf by Wolf). Being from the country that I am from, we just seem to have a continued peculiar relationship with the topic and due to the way it was heavily treated at school, I was usually not very fond of spending even more thoughts on it in my free time. However, all of that doesn’t change that those books usually end up having quite the impact on me and it wasn’t much different this time either.

Guernsey Lit is completely told in letters between various parties. Some people may only appear once while others are visible main characters. It was easy to fall in love with them all, each having their own voice, wit and humour about them. I am not sure I could pick any favourites, however, I do love Dawsey Adams. He is the one who initiated contact with Juliet because he found a second-hand book that once belonged to her. It turns out he is quiet, kind and considerate but it is most of all that shared passion for literature that brought him and Juliet closer. Honestly, this must be the dream scenario for any bookworm looking for romance! I shipped it hard. But seriously, where is my Dawsey Adams??

I enjoyed reading how Juliet got closer and closer to the members of the society with time, yet through letters alone, because it reminded me so much of the 1940s version of our very own bookish online community. I have found so many dear friends that I wouldn’t want to miss from my life through blogging and reading, so whenever someone would suggest she didn’t even know these people for real, I felt offended on her behalf. Also, her meeting them for the first time was just brilliant as well and also reminded me of online friends meeting in real life!

As a whole, I wouldn’t describe Guernsey Lit as a heavy read at all, having marked several paragraphs that had me laughing out loud, but at the same time it does cover the topic of war and the feelings of grief, anger, loss, helplessness, frustration and fear that come with it. There was this one particular part told from someone who was sent to a concentration camp and it reminded me of my visit to one of those camps. They are usually done with school where I am from and by chance we met this elderly man while we were there and even though he only spoke French (me and some of my classmates translated for the rest of the class), he wanted to tell us his story. It was the first time he came to visit as some of his relatives had died in that very camp. It was heart-wrenching and sad, but to that man it was important to talk about what happened. He didn’t need us to reply, I am not sure we would have had the right words, he just needed someone to listen. I feel like that is very much the same thing with the people in that book and the story that they are all trying to tell, whether it was on purpose or not. WWII was one of the most atrocious times in human history and while I understand that some people rather wouldn’t be reminded of it, it is also necessary to acknowledge that it happened and to prevent it from ever happening again.

The last quarter of the book seemed to loose focus a little bit. I was a tad confused by the direction it took on and didn’t really see all of the storylines as necessary, because some of them were quite a bit whacky. However, that did not subtract from my enjoyment of the book as a whole.

And lastly, here is the trailer for the movie adaptation that will release mid to the end of April! I am in love with the cast, and not just because it is a sort of mini Downton Abbey reunion, but because I have followed the careers of most of those actors a while and loved their work. They obviously had to change quite a bit to get the characters together sooner though, since they couldn’t just rely on letters for the storytelling (I think that would not be very visually pleasing?). I am not too anxious, even though I can really see a lot of changes, but I am worried about one of my favourite storylines being cut – the adoption storyline! It’s another topic near and dear to my heart, but I  don’t want to say any more as to not spoil anything. It doesn’t look like that will be in the movie at all though, as well as another, in my opinion, important storyline. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, especially if you have read the book as well!

 

Fazit: 5/5 stars! Did not expect to fall in love with it the way I did.

Are you going to read the book? Have you already? Do you want to watch the movie? Let’s chat!

 

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christa (Book Review)

Publisher: Hot Key Books
Page Count: 368

Before starting this review, I want to give a huge shout out to Ari @The Romance Corner Blog because To Kill a Kingdom was one of the books I won in her giveaway. I rarely win those, so when she messaged me I was over the moon (and looking at the two books that came my way and that I absolutely love, I still am over the moon now) and she deserves all the thanks for making this happen. And second, I also want to thank Marie @Drizzle and Hurricane Books for being my buddy reader for this adventure. Don’t forget to check out those lovely ladies’ blogs and to keep a lookout for Marie’s own review of the book.

Sooo, that was a lot of unrelated preface for my review. I am trying my best not to simply scream at you that I loved the book. However, from the get go, it had everything I liked in a story. Sirens, pirates and the cold ruthlessness and beauty of the ocean. I know that to Kill a Kingdom is a sort of retelling of the Little Mermaid, but I really didn’t have a hard time separating those two stories. First of all, Lira is a siren and there is a vast difference between sirens and mermaids in the book (SO appreciated that!! You know how fuzzy I get about those two getting mixed up together). And then I feel like the story just had a completely different vibe.

The descriptions were whimsical and dark. There was so much murder and ripping out of hearts in the beginning, I reveled in it and knowing what was about to come. We tried to pace ourselves, but at some point I just couldn’t stop reading anymore. I needed to know how long Lira could keep up her ruse, who’s hearts would be broken and who would survive the wrath of the evil Sea Queen. I wouldn’t claim that the book was entirely unpredictable, but it still kept you on your toes, with some cruel chapter-cliffhangers but an amazing conclusion in the end.

While I loved reading both Lira and Elian’s POVs, I think I can consider Lira being one of my new idols now. Her change was gradual and comprehensible, I loved how she discovered humanity and grappled to come to terms with siren-hood at the same time. Her hate-to-love-story with Elian never really seemed forced or suddenly uncharacteristically mushy, but rather involved daggers, fights and bickering that seemed true to their nature and was a lot of fun to read. The only thing I quarrel with a bit is the fact that Elian calls himself a pirate. He is a prince, a diplomat wherever he goes, and I don’t think he has ever plundered a ship? How can he be a pirate? I guess he may have taken the bounty of other pirate ships, but that’s just like him executing the law? To me he was a sailor and not so much a pirate …

I didn’t just love the main characters, but I also really fell for some of the side characters (mainly people from the crew, but not only). There was something about the style of writing that just made it really easy to picture everyone and every place. I would want nothing more than to travel through those kingdoms during a time of peace, as it sounds absolutely beautiful.

I hope that some of my rambles actually made sense, but most of all that my excitement and love for this story swept over to you. At some point during our buddy read, I was reminded of a picture of an actress I really adore and it just screamed Lira at me. I know that everyone pictures characters differently, but I couldn’t end this post without sharing it with you!

Doesn’t she just look like someone who could rip out your heart? And she definitely has pirate vibes too!

Fazit: 5/5 stars! Whenever anyone will ask me for a Fantasy recommendation in the near future, this will inevitably come up!

Did you read To Kill a Kingdom? Do you want to? Let’s talk about it!

 

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (April 2-8)

So, the first week of April has come and gone and I honestly do not know where time went. It’s like I blink and another week is over. Anyway, here are the trailers I found!

Movies

Avengers: Infinity War

I have no words for how I excited I am about this.

The Honor List

Arden Cho better not just be there in the beginning.

Modern Life is Rubbish

Well, this is a mini Skins reunion.

Night School

Kevin Hart movies are kind of always the same? But everyone still seems to like watching them.

Ideal Home

I’d watch it for Paul Rudd, but I am scared it’s going to get into some very stereotypical stuff that’s just not going to be actually funny.

Johnny English Strikes Again

I honestly didn’t need this.

How to Talk to Girls at Parties

This is just plain weird.

Upgrade

Most of the comments just were about the main actors looking like a rip-off of Tom Hardy.

Adventures in Public School

Uhm .. interesting parenting style?

Lean on Pete

Horse stories are always sad.

TV Shows

3% (Season 2)

It looks awesome! I cannot wait.

Quantico (Season 3)

Huh, didn’t know this was still on.

What are you watching these days? Did any of the trailers above catch your eye? Let’s chat!

The Cheesy Goodness Book Tag

You may (or may not … who am I to know what you are thinking) have noticed that Tuesdays and Fridays have been suspiciously void of #CurrentlyWatching posts. I promise, they are not gone for good, but I had noticed a decline in readership of those posts and they are A LOT of work, so I just wanted to give you all a breather. I may have overdone it with the recommendations and I know that not everyone can watch as many shows as I do. I don’t even know how I do it. Anyway, long story short, #CurrentlyWatching will be back but reduced to once per week. In the meantime I am here to do some other tags and features?

I saw the Cheesy Goodness Book Tag over at Kay’s blog Hammock of Books and I LOVE CHEESE SO MUCH (we are completely going to disregard that I am trying to consume less milk products, because cheese will still forever be my weakness). And, while I wasn’t personally tagged for this, there was an invitation for everyone who loves cheese to do this – queue my entry!

THE RULES

  • Pingback the original creator (Sydney @ Fire and Rain Books) so she can see all your cheesy goodness answers.
  • Pingback the person who tagged you!
  • Have fun!

CHEDDAR: THE TRADITIONAL CHEESE | Name your favorite classic novel

Usually, I would say The Great Gatsby, but since that was Kay’s answer, I am going to dig deep and come up with something else. Classics really aren’t my specialty, you know? But I do adore Persuasion by Jane Austen, so that is not too shabby of an answer either.

SWISS: THE HOLE-Y CHEESE | Name an emotional roller coaster

While Midnight Sun definitely has its faults, you could laugh and cry equally with this book. That constitutes as an emotional roller coaster then, right?

BLUE CHEESE: THE CONTROVERSIAL CHEESE | Name an unpopular book opinion you have

I … okay, how do I say this? *deep breaths* I did not like The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I know it’s a modern classic. I know a lot of people love it and it has helped quite a few as well, but I could not connect to it at all and I blame the writing and not the story for that. Because when I actually watched the trailer for the movie, that evoked more emotion in me than the entire book.

BRIE: THE FAVORITE CHEESE | Name an author you always want more of

There’s a couple go-to authors I can never get enough of and it’s quite hard to choose from them all. However, I have read every. single. book Morgan Matson has written and there are no regrets there whatsoever.

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GOUDA: THE DUTCH CHEESE | Name a book that makes you want to travel

Call Me By Your Name made me want to go back to Italy. I’ve been there and I wasn’t in love with the place I specifically went to. But books like that always make me want to disappear in the country side for a couple of months, get to know the locals and learn the language.

I’d be Elio, just sitting at some piazza and reading and enjoying the sun. Also, Italy has good cheese, right?

AMERICAN: THE FAKE CHEESE | Name your least favorite book

Wow … that’s actually a really tough one! I checked Goodreads and I gave The Homecoming a solid 1 star-review. If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know that’s rare, but for the life of me, I could not tell you what happened in that book. I am good at erasing the memory of things I did not like.

COLBY JACK: THE MIXED CHEESE | Name your favorite ship

Again with the hard questions!?!? I am very bad at choosing just one thing/person/ship/whaterver … buuut, Sevro and Victra (Red Rising series) are the weirdest yet one of the best couples out there.

*actual life tips Victra would give*

MOZZARELLA: THE SIMPLE CHEESE | Name an old favorite you’ll never stop loving

The Thief Lord is one of my childhood favorites and I will never not love it. Same goes for the Inkheart trilogy. Basically everything Cornelia Funke was my jam when I was younger.

PEPPER JACK: THE SPICY CHEESE | Name a book you can’t judge by its cover

Disregard this odd cover choice for My Lady Jane! I am so, so, so, so glad it is not the only one available, but that cover just totally ruins the vibe for me.

MUENSTER: THE MONSTER CHEESE | Name a villain you wish would never have the joy of eating cheese again

Since I just finished To Kill a Kingdom, I can say that I hate the Sea Queen with a passion. I don’t know if she lives off of anything other than her enemies’ tears, but now she is getting NO cheese, not once, not ever.

I TAG THEE

I am going to make this very simple since I wasn’t technically tagged myself either, I am opening up the possibility for everyone who loves cheese to do the tag as well. You are hereby tagged, cheese lovers!

What did you think of the tag and my answers? Can you relate??

Dear Martin by Nic Stone (Book Review)

Publisher: Crown Books

Page Count: 220

I’ve wanted to pick up Dear Martin for the longest time, but I am just glad I finally got around to actually reading it. Not going to lie, I always find it hard to review books like this one. The topics of racial profiling and police brutality are so very important and especially these days, but they also aren’t easy to digest. In addition to that, I just feel like it’s a little different in my own country. I am not saying we don’t struggle with racism as well, that would be a blatant lie, but it’s still a little different? Also, our police just really isn’t as trigger happy as the one in the US? Anyway, I am digressing as I tend to do when I don’t know where to start.

Dear Martin is reminiscent of books like All American Boys and The Hate U Give, but also very much its own story with its own style (definitely loved the mixed format of regular text, letters and news broadcasts). Where the other books took me days and days to read, I couldn’t put down Dear Martin and I was done within 2-3 hours. I thought about whether I would have wanted more, but with a little time to ponder over it, I think it really was the perfect length. While I would have appreciated a little more character development from various people here and there and a bit more of a cohesive timeline, I overall can’t say anything really bothered me in this book. In fact, I absolutely loved reading it!

“It’s like I’m trying to climb a mountain, but I’ve got one fool trying to shove me down so I won’t be on his level, and another fool tugging at my leg, trying to pull me to the ground he refuses to leave.”

From the get go, Justyce is a good guy. You see him making all (or at least mostly) the right choices and you are rooting for him, while you also see life and even more so people trying to tear him down every step of the way. My heart really hurt for him, because why be good? Why be the reasonable one? Why keep trying and making those right choices when the reward will never come? No one can tell me they wouldn’t feel defeated after a while, if they knew there were others out there who didn’t want them to succeed. It’s a struggle and one some people will never understand but I hope that this book will get them a little closer to it. If I had any say in this, I would make the book part of so many schools reading lists, because I am sure it will not only give people a way of seeing themselves in literature, but it also opens up a discussion about so many important and very current issues.

Obviously, this book has my recommendation written all over it! It’s gripping and real. It’s a punch in the gut and an eye opener. In short, it’s a real must-read.

Fazit: 5/5 stars! Definitely wouldn’t mind if this book was part of a mandatory reading list in some schools!

Did you read Dear Martin? Do you intend to? Let’s talk!