Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power (eARC Review)

Publisher: Delacorte Press
Page Count
: 352

*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*

CW: death, murder, arson, vomiting, unplanned pregnancy

I was supposed to read this book about two months ago, before it’s release in early July, but it was a struggle getting here. I want to start by saying that I have not read Wilder Girls and therefore had no expectations concerning the author’s writing style or way of storytelling. All I thought this would be was a family drama, which it was in part, but there is definitely so much more to it that I feel like I didn’t sign up for.

I’ve been trying to gather my thoughts for a while now, but can’t seem to make sense of it all yet. I think my main issue was that I went into this book thinking I’d get a twisted tale of a torn family, but really, it was more along the lines of horror? Those of you who know me, realise that in 9 out of 10 cases, I would not pick up a horror book on purpose and it was off-putting here as well.
I was prepared for an otherworldly, thick with the scent of buried secrets atmosphere (which Power manages to create quite well), however, I was not prepared for it to be so decidedly not our world in the end. When you start this novel, the characters take some getting used to, but it seems like we are here, in our reality. It takes almost half the book to come to the conclusion that you are not and at that point you are just confused.

This book features queer characters, a strained family relationship, a rural/small town setting – all factors that would usually entice me to read a book! So, why exactly didn’t it work for me?

Burn Our Bodies Down is told through the inner monologue of the main character Margot. She is a strange girl with very intense mood swings, something that didn’t always make it easy to follow her thought process. We get snippets of her personality as well as a bit of exploration of her sexuality (is she a lesbian? bisexual?), but it all gets dropped in favor of the “mystery” of the plot. And that mystery is really all that kept me propelled to keep reading, because I surely wasn’t able to connect or like any of the characters very much. I wanted to know how it would be resolved. I had my guesses early on and even though at that time, I had still thought this was just regular reality, I was right. That just added to me not feeling very satisfied by the pay off, because what else could it be?

Before I end this review for good, I just want to say that I saw a lot of people enjoy this book. It’s probably a very me-thing that I didn’t and which I mostly base on the inability to connect to any of the characters while reading. I highly recommend you check out varying reviews if you are still unsure whether you want to read this book or not.

Fazit: 2/5 stars! This was not meant for me.

Have you read this book? Do you want to? Have you read Wilder Girls? Let’s talk!

#CurrentlyWatching: Stargirl

It’s finally here – the post I have been talking about for weeks now! Stargirl has, more or less, taken over my life in the past months and I mean that in the absolutely best way. I did fanart and met some fun people through it, never mind the absolutely lovely cast. That show was a godsend during lockdown but while I have mentioned it regularly, I still wanted to wait until the season was out in its entirety before I reviewed it properly. So, after FNL, this is definitely the show that deserves a full on #CurrentlyWatching post!

Stargirl is a DC comic book adaptation that was released on the DC streaming platform as well as the CW and currently consists of one season of 13 episodes, but has already been renewed for a second season (which will air only on the CW). Thanks to one of the best people I know, Lois, I have actually been able to read the definite collection of Stargirl comics created by Geoff Johns, who is also in charge of the show! It’s probably due to that fact that it isn’t a 100% faithful adaptation, but one that rings very true.

After discovering that her step dad was a superhero’s sidekick and having been chosen by a powerful weapon to carry on the legacy, teenager Courtney Whitmore has to become a superhero of her own.

There’s something about Stargirl that is really special. I want to preface this for anyone who didn’t know this, but Geoff Johns, the creator of the comic book character Stargirl and the show, shaped Courtney Whitmore after his late sister. She passed away at a young age and he wanted to immortalize her in a way. Through that alone, the character has so many more layers and it was the loveliest way to honor her.

If you look closely, this photo of the real Courtney and Brec (who plays Courtney on the show) is featured in the pilot episode. Credit: CW

When I first started watching Stargirl, it didn’t feel like any of the other currently airing superhero shows out there. It had a cinematic look to it and was visually pleasing, but also included bursts of humour that made everything immediately more endearing, while maintaining a cast of relatable characters. A lot of the times people complain that the heroes are either all kids or all adults, but here there is a great mix of both. Whether you prefer a bit of high school drama or more grown up issues, there’s likely something in there for you.

Something I massively appreciated about the show was that everything felt incredibly intentional. No episode, and that is really rare, felt like a filler episode, as it was all leading up to something. While I will say that I sometimes wished that a couple characters got more screen time, everything we saw made sense and led towards the progression of the story and development of the heroes.

This season very much focused on Courtney and her journey, which is funny, because a lot of the time people were just really annoyed with her. But that’s the beauty of a show that isn’t afraid to show a flawed character growing. Courtney was so stubborn and sometimes even entitled, that her behaviour could be frustrating, but you really see how much she grows and where here insecurities and beliefs come from through the episodes. Her relationship with Pat (played by Luke Wilson) was one of the most precious things and an absolute joy to watch. In the end, the main theme of the show is found family (one of my absolute favourite themes ever) though and that affects so many more characters than just Courtney.

Another thing that I enjoyed about Stargirl was that it often threw you a curveball. The heroes don’t always win or succeed at the first try. It is stated clearly that they aren’t natural talents without any sort of training and that no one can really do it alone. There are consequences to actions and no one is really save. Oh, how I wished I could get some characters back, because they trick you and peel off layers to make you like someone you never thought you would just to rip them away from you.

Where do I even start? I fell in love with so many characters, whether their roles were small or big, I have no clue what to say! The cast of villains was some of the best I have ever encountered. The Injustice Society of America, while ruthless, made sense and you even found the occasional scene where you rooted for them. Not to mention that they were just highly entertaining and I would watch a spin-off show of Icicle, Brainwave and/or Tigrees & Sportsmaster without so much as a second of hesitation.

Every character had their own journey to undertake and many still have so much more story to tell, but I guess if I had to pick a major draw for me, I would say HourNite! It has the grumpy angry guy and smart cheery girl dynamic that I love and while there were hints and crumbs, I just knew I’d ship them unconditionally when episode 8 happened.

Rick (Hourman) and Beth (Dr. Midnite), who make up the ship that is Hournite, are both such great characters on their own. I would legit do anything to protect Beth, who is bold and so smart and always positive. People were giving her a hard time, because she didn’t know how to fight on the show, but honestly, we need people who do the intel stuff and despite not having combat skills, she still went into dangerous situations to help her friends. I wanna see those critics do that!

And Rick, my angry angry boy, he came such a long way this season. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I was just so proud of him in the finale. That’s what I call growth!

Putting those two together would be such a smart move, and not just because they are canonically married in the comics, but because Beth can logically argue and calm Rick when his temper gets the better of him and he is there to make sure nothing harms her when she puts her life on the line for the people she cares about it. It just works!

I KNOW that I could go on and on about so many more characters, but this post is already over 1K long and I know that it’s the breaking point for a lot of my readers. I hope this enticed you to check out he show if you haven’t yet! Season 1 ends beautifully with a tease of what’s to come, but no brutal cliffhanger at all.


Did you watch Stargirl? If so, who is your favourite character? Who do you want to see more of in S2?

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #40

Once again, this is going to be sort of long, but I apparently had more time to watch stuff than I thought I did. Let’s hope there’s some shows and movies in there you are interested in!

Home Before Dark (Season 1)

It took me literal months to finish this show and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because Apple TV really isn’t the site to be when you have spotty wifi, but it just took long. That, however, does not reflect on the quality of the show. I’ve really enjoyed all the Apple TV content I have checked out so far and Home Before Dark is no exception.

Based on a real story, Hilde just baffled me as a character. She is eight years old and out there solving intricate decades-old crimes like it’s nothing. It’s not all down to the actors being amazing (and yes, Jim Sturgess as a dad is a BIG draw for me), but the whole case is actually really compelling. I am not a crime person, not even or maybe especially not true crime, but I like this. And I would like to point out that I would not recommend watching this with children, despite the young protagonist.

Home Before Dark has a clean look, the cinematic quality that all Apple-productions bring with them and a great cast of all ages that are (mostly) able to tell this story convincingly.

For fans of: true crime dramatized, Apple content, kid detective stories for adults

Selling Sunset (Season 1-3)

I just one day felt like I should check that out, always enjoying looking at some real estate I will never ever be able to afford, but then I got roped into the drama and … I loved it? Well, that’s not the right way to phrase it. I am actually quite annoyed with some of the drama, because it makes me dislike people (despite knowing that this is scripted to a certain extent), but I never thought I would care for them. I just want to know what happens next at the office, not caring at all whether it’s staged in parts or not. I so know which group of women I’d be friends with if I worked there … But, please, bring back more open houses and showings of the real estate. I just want to judge those residences so bad!

For fans of: LA millionaire houses, docusoaps, women being badass at their job but also fighting each other all the time

Mortel (Season 1)

I’ve had this on my watchlist for a while, but never really felt in the mood for it. With me watching it with subtitles, it’s definitely one of those shows I have to pay attention to (other than French romcoms where I can space out every once in a while). Anyway, while it was a bit darker than I thought it would be (like … I was wondering if I should really watch this in the dead of night), I ended up enjoying it a lot. Most of it is probably due to the romance between the awkward kid and the smart artsy yet cool girl? I was living for that and I am not lying when I am telling you that the hair cutting scene lives in my head rent free!

There was a lot set up for another season and I would definitely be interested to watch it, but I heard different things about it. Some sources say it’s up in the air, others say it’s cancelled, so, I would proceed with caution if you prefer shows with a very clear ending.

For fans of: international Netflix content, dark gods, horror with superhero-elements

The Rain (Season 3)

As happy as I was with the bittersweet end of Dark, I really felt screwed by the finale of the Rain. Without spoiling anything, let’s just say that there are a couple character deaths. Most of them I understood, but others I was just plain furious about, because they were for no good reason in my eyes. My favourite ship was destroyed … and for what? I don’t know! In general, the show ends with this glimmer of hope, but still with a pretty darn glum future for everyone and I don’t know how I feel about that. Maybe a little flash-forward would have helped, anything really to give me a better sense of this being concluded.

I understand that not everything needs to be tied up super neatly and that this leaves it up to the viewer to interpret the fate of the group at the end, but I wanted … more? Something else? These complex and layered world-ending stories are hard to wrap-up, but I am not sure this was it for me.

For fans of: Danish dystopian TV

Ted Lasso (ongoing)

I only saw the first three episodes of this show, as it’s still an ongoing release, but it already has my whole heart. I don’t want to say it’s wholesome, because for that, the word “wanker” is used far too often, but it’s precious in a way. It’s infectious with positivity in ridiculous situations, has some real characters and will make you laugh.

There’s such a fun dynamic of stereotypical American meets stereotypical English people, and while I can understand why people think that’s cliché, if you see it for what it is (entertainment, not to be taken too seriously), it’s hilarious. The characters play off each other perfectly and I am just here rooting for Ted. Him and coach are a duo that I would appreciate in my life, not gonna lie, they’d make everything better.

For fans of: American optimism meets British skepticism/pessimism

Work It

I honestly thought this would be so much worse. I came for Keiynan’s soft pink hair and Jordan Fisher, but stayed because it was an actual fun movie to watch. Definitely not world-class and I am not sure the dancing in the groups was that groundbreaking, but I didn’t hate it. There’s really a part of me that can’t believe that this was produced by the same people who did The Kissing Booth – does not compute in my brain.

Some of the dialogue is cringey and I could not with the shirtless scene in mattress land, but overall, not terrible.

For fans of: teen dance movies, the cast!

Project Power

The plot of this whole movie was very generic and predictable. You think you know what’s going to happen? Yeah, it likely will happen exactly that way. BUT I will give it to them that they had some great characters. The cast alone was a draw for me, but watching it, they were the only highlight.

I love superpowered humans that get messy and those kind of stories, but there was nothing particularly fresh about the approach here. It’s not a bad Netflix movie, but it’s also not them on their A-game.

For fans of: superpowers, the cast, mediocre Netflix movies that will pass the time

Magic Camp

I haven’t turned into the biggest Disney+ fan ever since I subscribed. There’s just not a lot of content on there that interests me, but I was a kid who was totally into magic, so, I figured … why not?

In very Disney-fashion, this definitely delivered as a family movie. You had kids struggle, you had a (found) family element, you had them tugging at your heartstrings, while also attempting to be (more or less successfully) funny. It’s a formula that works, but that doesn’t blow you away. I enjoyed myself, but I also don’t think I would revisit this movie ten more times.

For fans of: family friendly movies, comedians doing movies that are actually more wholesome than you’re used to from them

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What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #39

I meant to do this earlier, but I then forgot … so, now this post is getting a little long. But I hope you’re looking forward to hearing my thoughts on some shows anyway!

Outer Banks (Season 1)

I think this show released in May and I heard the buzz, but I just wasn’t ready to really dive into it. I, then, watched it all in the span of two days and kept thinking “I’m not sure why this show got so hyped”, but … we are now two weeks later and I still haven’t stopped thinking about it. I keep watching cast videos, have the episodes ready for editing, the script of the pilot and am seriously considering doing my next art series with the characters in mind. So yeah, guess I DO get it after all …

Basically, this show has a treasure hunt, OC-like rich and poor kids in a beach setting, a kind of thriller element with bad guys with guns and a bunch of possible ships. I already mentioned this in my monthly wrap-up, but basically everyone ships these two characters that are like the only ones that haven’t hooked up yet. Their chemistry was on fire! But it’s not just romantic tensions everywhere, the friendships on that show are golden and I don’t mind them actually taking the time to evolve things naturally to another level, if that’s something they want to do. I had a lot of fun and am super curious about the next season (which is confirmed)!

For fans of: the Goonies, the OC, found family

The Umbrella Academy (Season 2)

I didn’t read the comics and I don’t know if they followed them anyway, but I had no idea what this season would look like. There was never really any doubt, but I really enjoyed it again. The characters are just so much fun and unique, it’s great to watch them try to prevent stuff they caused themselves. I have to say that sometimes a couple episodes felt a bit repetitive or slow, but the music choices were killer again and the end always makes up for the slower parts.

If there’s one thing I would criticize, it’s that almost everyone had a love interest (either from the previous season or a new one) and it felt a bit like too much romance sometimes? That could totally just be me, but I noticed it. Also, them not really reflecting on the people they lost in the last season made me sad. Sometimes the characters seem like they just live in this bubble of now, when we darn well know that their past affects them greatly.

I’m obviously not going to spoil anything, but – THE END!!! I wish the next season was already done as well.

For fans of: comic book adaptations, unconventional superheroes, character driven stories

Get Even (Season 1)

Netflix kept recommending this to me over and over again, so I caved and just watched it. It’s not a very long show and I think it was already released on BBC a while ago? Could be wrong about that, but they definitely co-produced it.

The show is about a group of girls who, instead of getting mad, get even. I understand a need for revenge and sneakily wanting to get back at bullies, but I am torn about the message. On the one hand, I don’t want abusers and bad people to get away with what they did, but on the other hand, I don’t think revenge is THE answer.

It was a decent show that definitely set up a future season with a couple relationships not being as explored but rather hinted at so far. Overall it didn’t overwhelm me though, it just whelmed ….

For fans of: don’t get mad – get even, rich kids, outsiders, revenge plots getting out of hand, possible lesbian ship

Control Z (Season 1)

Control Z is Mexican Netflix content and I’d say this show is a mix of Elite, Gossip Girl and You. If that doesn’t make it clear for you, it more or less means that the themes involve hackers that publish secrets, rich vs. poor kids conflicts and also some stalking material.

I binged the entire show in one afternoon/evening, because it was a pretty easy watch. Sometimes those teens felt way over the top and unnecessarily so. Especially in the romance department, there was a lot of instant attraction that I had no idea where it came from? But overall also decent and with a massive cliffhanger in the end – be warned!

For fans of: Elite, Gossip Girl, You, hackers, blackmail, dramatic teens

Banana Split

I wanted to watch this because I thought this was finally a less toxic female friendship that shows how two people who just get each other can be friends despite complicated histories with a guy. Well, it wasn’t exactly that. Still, it’s one of the smarter teen romcoms in terms of emotional complexity, while still having super crude and offensive language? Could be your thing or not, but I liked the way the movie was directed and how it prioritized friendships in the end.

For fans of: smart teen romcoms, friendship > romance

School Life

Sometimes I just randomly watch French content to gauge if I can still understand the language. That’s not to say that I don’t need subtitles, but I generally like French stuff I find on Netflix. I checked out this one in particular, because the main actress was also the lead in Plan Coeur and that’s my favourite French show on Netflix. Anyway, for a school drama about how the system makes it hard for certain kids and how not every teacher cares, there were some amazing shots in there! Transitions and just some scenes as a whole were really cool to watch and I liked it overall a lot.

For fans of: hardships in the French school system in fictional drama form

The Willoughbys

This was a strange movie and the kids wanted to purposely make sure their parents died so that they could be orphans. Granted, their parents were really, really terrible. They abused and neglected their children, but this was (despite the bubbly look) quite dark. I am not sure what age I would really recommend this for?

The final message of finding your family in the people you choose is beautiful though, so there’s always that!

For fans of: animated (dark) family films, “what is family?”-questions


That’s it from me! Have you watched any of those things? Do you want to talk about something? Let’s chat!

July 2020 Wrap-Up

So, as you may have noticed this past month, I wasn’t super active on the blog. That mostly had to do with the art challenge I was participating in (more about that later). It all swallowed up so much time, I could neither read nor blog very much.

A Pocketful of Crowsad ONE book. It was called A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne M. Harris and the reason I did not review it on here was because I did not enjoy it. Despite it being told in a very fairytale-like fashion, which is usually very much in my wheelhouse, I ended up giving it 2 stars only. I neither liked the characters nor the message of the book and I was very unsure about a white author using this to also talk about the topic of racism. Something about it all just felt off.

I don’t feel worried about my reading challenge though! I am still three books ahead, because I made sure to set a very achievable goal for myself.

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! I don’t have any reviews this time around, but normally you can find them by clicking on the titles in the text!

As mentioned above, but just in case you missed it, I did a little art challenge for the entirety of July. It wasn’t with different tasks every day, but rather establishing a routine and being consistent with your output. I set mine for drawing AND writing every single day, while friends joined me along the way to just do one of the two or something they wanted to work on. It was really motivating and I got a lot done!
If you want to know some details, you can read up on my half-way check-in and the entire recap. However, here are my favourite art pieces I made during the time:

Having finished this art challenge and having gotten some of my creative spirits up and moving again, I decided to start a new unrelated challenge. I am currently doing Chloe Ting’s 25-day-hourglass-workout. It’s already day 11 and I am actually having fun with it. Don’t think that I can do all the exercises at high intensity the way Chloe can, but I was happy that my lockdown workouts have prepared me for it to some extent and helped me with finding alternatives to exercises that made sense when I couldn’t do the suggested versions. So far, there is no weight difference, but my clothes definitely fit differently! I am super intrigued to see results.

MY FAVOURITE THINGS

I could say Stargirl again and it would not be a lie. But there is only one more episode and I think I will have to move on from it after that … maybe … probably … hopefully? That show took up a lot of my mental space.

I did also watch Outer Banks this last month and kind of get the hype, because I keep thinking about it and totally can’t wait for the next season. I feel a bit betrayed, because youtube ship videos made me believe that Kiara and JJ were gonna be a thing and that just wasn’t the case? But now that’s what I want, neigh, NEED! Like, I did not make these videos, but watch them and tell me there’s nothing there!?!?

As almost per usual, I’ve unfortunately still not been as active as I would have liked to be on everyone else’s blog. If you are up for it, feel free to share one of your own posts that you consider one of your faves from this past month in the comments below! I’d love to check it out!!

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Hope your August started out well and that your July was as good as can be expected during these times!