Mini Reviews: Dumplin’ and Locke & Key

I am actually one book ahead of schedule for my Goodreads reading challenge and that has me super pumped. I started out the year definitely less in a reading slump than before, but now that some urgent stuff at work has crept in and I have been distracted, it slowed down again. Anyway, I wanted to share with you a couple more books I read this month, so here we go:

Dumplin‘ by Julie Murphy

Dumplin’ Movie Tie-in EditionI knew of the existence of this book for quite some time, but I never really paid attention to it (my bad, I am sorry). However, after the Netflix trailer for the movie adaptation dropped, I kind of knew I had to read it and I am so glad I picked up this book.

Dumplin’ was such a relatable and heartbreaking yet heartwarming read – I had the best of times flying through the pages. I don’t want to necessarily compare it to the movie (which Netflix still hasn’t released in my current territory by the way), but it had a completely different focus in my opinion. While I really enjoyed seeing more of Bo on the pages (he’s seriously such a great love interest. He’s not without flaws, but I love how he never really gave up on Willowdean), I felt like the mother-daughter-relationship was actually explored in a bit more depth in the movie. Both still had very interesting explorations of grief, confidence, changing relationships, experiencing life at different speeds and body shaming of all sorts; I enjoyed it!

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! Would recommend, especially if you are into trying Dolly Parton as your reading soundtrack while you are at it.

Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft (Vol. 1) by Joe Hill/Gabriel Rodríguez

Welcome to Lovecraft (Locke & Key, #1)Reading comics every now and then just makes sense to me. It cleanses my pallet, because there is so much less text and sometimes that’s just what I need. I picked this one in particular due to it being free on my Kindle at the moment of my reading it and because this is yet another comic book that is getting adapted for the small screen. By now I don’t think I need to explain that I have a thing for adaptations anymore.

The concept of the series is definitely fascinating. It opens up the doors for so many possibilities and I am more than curious to see how this will translate in the show they are making. I am a sucker for a good supernatural story after all! However, an issue I have found with quite a few comics lately is that I don’t enjoy violent content. Sure, it’s gritty and dark and often the igniting incident that propels the characters into a new life, but … I don’t particularly want to see that?

Fazit: 3.5/5 stars! Whenever we start telling stories without the gore, my ratings for comics will be higher than average.

That’s it from my side. I hope you’ve enjoyed those really rather short reviews! Let’s chat in the comments below!

What I’ve Been Binge-Watching #4

I haven’t actually been in as much of a binge-watching mood as I used to. I do enjoy some currently airing shows though, so I will make allowances and talk about both – shows I have binged lately and shows I keep watching on a weekly basis.

Roswell, New Mexico

Only two episodes in and this show has my heart. Other than with the Charmed reboot (which I could just NOT get into), I am somehow completely fine with the NUMEROUS changes and liberties they have taken with the material. The necessary core and the endearing factors are all still there, so I am not going to complain. (Also, I am CW trash … we all know that.)

Liz and Max have the chemistry they are supposed to have. They didn’t whitewash the entire town of Roswell like they did in the 90s and they even added in some LGBT+ representation (I am not being more detailed on this because I don’t know how the characters identify yet and I don’t want to just assume, but my point is, not everyone is straight).

A lot of people have complained that Roswell, New Mexico is too political, but I personally like that. It adds that feeling of urgency and really makes it current. Seriously one of the shows I most love to tune in every single week. 

Derry Girls

I don’t know why I watched this? I guess I wanted something low-key to play in the background and the show seemed like a perfect fit for that. The thing that’s bugging me about it a little is that it doesn’t have a storyline that spans the whole season. It’s really just single episodes and you could probably watch them in random order (except for the first and last maybe) and it wouldn’t make much of a difference. Maybe I am being unfair, because it does actually touch upon some rather serious stuff that happened in Ireland, but mostly it’s just super weird humour?

But it was funny and it served the purpose of distraction. I would probably watch more of it just for the giggles. I wish I had more to say about it, but that’s really it.

Baby

A friend and I started watching this together on a whim and we finished the entire show that evening. If I am not mistaken, it’s Netflix’ first Italian show and the dubbing is terrible, so I recommend watching it with subtitles.

The first half it just slowly trickles along and you are wondering what this is even all about. What’s the purpose of the show, you know? But then things start happening and the last two episodes are majorly eventful. I quite enjoyed it in the end. It may not have been perfect and it does not show Rome in any way you’d think it would, but it’s interesting. I hope Netflix keeps going with all that original programming from different countries.

Once I am in the mood for more violence again, I will watch The Punisher (S2) and Titans. They just haven’t felt right for now though. What have you been bingeing? Seen any of the shows I have mentioned? Let’s chat!

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (Jan 21-27)

This week went by fairly quickly. I feel like I have gotten some of my reading mojo back as well as motivation to write, which makes me extremely happy. Here’s to hoping it lasts for a while, but now on to the new trailers:

Movies

Fast Color

This is legit the movie I am most looking forward to from the candidates we get this week. It looks stunning!

The Death and Life of John F. Donovan

Like, I am here for it, but they started the dramatic music way too early (and I say this with the utmost love for Woodkid).

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

Can we not glorify Bundy? Why is this music so upbeat? Dude is evil!

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

I really like the title and it looks like a great movie.

The White Crow

I like ballet movies and I caught a glimpse of Sergei Polunin and he is a formidable dancer.

Drunk Parents

Meh. I very much doubt I would pay for a ticket at the movie theater to see this.

Run the Race

This, too, does look like a TV movie.

The Unicorn

I just clicked for Lucy Hale in this one.

Abe

The sound on this one is off somehow, but Noah Schnapp and food! I am into it.

TV Shows

American Gods (Season 2)

I am pumped! As long as it has Mad Sweeney, I will tune in.

The Umbrella Academy

I CANNOT WAIT!!! It looks so good and I am seriously counting the days until it releases. Bless Gerard Way!

The Boys

Another comic book adaptation and I am IN!

The Spanish Princess

I looks good. Starz knows what to do with historical subjects.

Bless this Mess

It does look like a bit of a mess indeed.

The Enemy Within

I shared a teaser before and I still don’t care about the topic, but here you go.

What are you watching? Did you like anything you saw here today? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!

Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer (Book Review)

Publisher: Page Street Kids
Page Count
: 400

I am on a roll, people! After flying through Dumplin’ and a comic book I picked up (mini-reviews coming for those at the end of the month), I feel like I really found my way back into reading with Echo North! I hadn’t realised just how MUCH I had craved a good Fantasy book until I started reading one. I have missed the genre, I have missed the escapism, I have missed exploring these beautiful and cruel made-up worlds. I have found my book haven again.

Before I get lost in my love for the genre in general though, let’s talk about Echo North instead. For those of you who say it sounds familiar and a little bit like a Beauty and the Beast retelling – I hear you. It does have that vibe, but it actually draws from many popular as well as less known tales while also simultaneously creating its entirely own story. I don’t mind finding familiar story elements in a book I read, as long as the writer is still able to make it their own and I think Meyer definitely succeeded in doing that. At one point, it even felt like the character in the book was breaking the 4th wall and it was such a great moment! It really makes you check the page twice in a way. (At least I thought that was very clever!)

“It is like any wild thing that has been tamed. It is sometimes safe, and sometimes not.”

One of my most favourite things (aside from the wolf, because I adore wolves and they are unrivaled) about Echo North was the magic house and its rooms. It had tame and dangerous rooms, spiders, snakes and poisonous flowers just as well as singing bears and an enchanted library full of mirrors that were actually books. I cannot imagine a reality in which I would not spend all my free time in that freaking room. Can you imagine walking through the silvery surface and being IN the story? Because I can and I would love nothing more.

“Wolf.” I stretched out a hand to touch the scruff of fur on his neck, and he didn’t pull away. I tugged the ribbon on the hat, thinking he hadn’t quite answered my question. “What did you lose? Who did you love?”

“Nothing. No one.”

But his eyes said Everything. Someone.

The book isn’t without flaws. I, personally, feel like the romance could have been a bit more developed. Don’t get me wrong, it was beautiful in its relentless power and the ever connected thread between the characters, but I maybe would have liked to read some more exploration of the feelings as they started blossoming. They went from being attracted to eternal loyalty in a heartbeat and in hindsight all of that makes sense, but considering the slow pace of the book, it would have been a nice touch.

“I made your life into something it never should have been.”

It wasn’t at all what I had expected. “Wolf, I’ve never blamed you.”

“Then why do you blame yourself?”

That was something I had no answer for.

But in the end, the writing, the characters, the story and the presence of enchanted wolves was all I could have asked for! I could not stop reading and I really didn’t want to either. What more could you possibly want from a book? A story that picks you up and wraps you up in its magic entirely. I think I am going to think of Echo North fondly for a long time and maybe some of you will pick it up as well and will want to chat about it with me.

Fazit: 5/5 stars! A new favourite of mine!

Have you read Echo North? Have you ever even heard of it before? Do you think this could be up your alley? Let’s talk about!

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (Jan 14-20)

It’s Sunday and you all know what that means – a new batch of trailers has arrived! I hope you all had a good week. I initially planned to post more on the blog, but then I just couldn’t find the time. Maybe next week!

Movies

Berlin, I Love You

I am not going to go into detail on how the movie should be called Berlin, ich liebe dich based on the previous movies being Paris, je t’aime and New York, I Love You … but whatever. I am also not going to comment on how I only saw two German actors in that whole thing, because … I like the look of it … a lot.

Spider-Man: Far From Home

I am sad by how underwhelmed I am by these trailers.

Red Joan

I love the casting and I actually think the subject matter looks interesting too.

Ghostbusters (2020)

Why are we doing this again?

Little Woods

It looks sad, but Tessa Thompson and Lily James in one movie – it’s as if someone made this specifically for me.

Five Feet Apart

They made another trailer or was the first one just a teaser? I can’t remember. Really glad the topic of CF is getting exposure, but I can’t see this becoming a huge commercial success. But we will see.

Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase

I feel like I am not the target audience for this.

The Hummingbird Project

Why would take away Alexander’s hair?

Paddleton

This could be right down my alley. It’s one of those lazy Sunday movies.

I Like Flynn

I would have never pegged this for a theater release.

Patrick

THE GAME OF THRONES REFERENCE FROM FORMER DAARIO!!! (Otherwise the movie looks silly)

High Life

The creep factor on this is on a level I don’t know how to describe.

John Wick: Chapter 3

I know this franchise has a cult following, so I am not going to comment on it (couldn’t really anyway since I haven’t watched the previous ones).

High Flying Bird

I can’t really see myself being super into this topic, but it doesn’t look bad.

Penguins

Documentary of the week.

TV Shows

Now Apocalypse

The so didn’t get the rights to call it Apocalypse Now and will forever confuse audiences now.

Space Force

Just the fact that someone made this into a show is hilarious in itself.

Dirty John

Guess Netflix bought the rights to another show with a very creepy man as the main focus.

Game of Thrones (Season 8)

This still isn’t actual footage from the episodes, but I am so here for Jon and Arya protecting MY queen. (The lone wolf dies but the pack survives – I have to keep believing that!)

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Season 4)

Kimmy Schmidt is one of those shows that I always watch, that has some really great gags, but in the end it doesn’t stick super strongly. So, what I am trying to say is, I am not really sad that this will be the final season.

What are you watching? Did anything in particular catch your eye? Let’s talk about!

What I’ve Been Binge-Watching #3

It’s been one of those weekends again, where I just couldn’t resist a good old binge of TV shows. There were some new releases on Netflix, but I’ve also finally started something I’ve been eyeing for a long time now. Here’s what I got for you this time:

Sex Education

Not gonna lie, I thought this was gonna be garbage, but the show had something really endearing about it. Obviously, if you aren’t comfortable with the topic of sex or just don’t care about it, maybe the show isn’t entirely for you, but there’s so much more to it. Although it might look like it’s set in the 80s, it very much plays in our world today, in some part of the UK that I could not specify if you begged me to.

I feel like this show is so relatable for so many questioning teens out there. It isn’t really so much about regular high school drama, but the discovery of yourself as a person and your boundaries, the things you are capable of and your limits. Pair all of this with some really great acting, great humour and a more than solid plot and you do have my attention. At this point, I would be delighted for another season!

Friends from College (Season 2)

Friends from College is one of those truly underrated shows on Netflix. It has a star-studded cast, is absolutely hilarious and tackles some really great topics. I might be drawn to this more now that I am in my mid-twenties and adulthood is inevitable, but I genuinely enjoy every single episode of this show and Season 2 was a real blast.

The characters and their relationships are so complex and while their decisions are often faulty and misguided, you do understand where they come from. There’s hours upon hours of material up for discussion after watching this but I just need everyone to back off of Lisa. The woman is no saint, but Ethan’s transgressions were like a 100 times worse and I stand by that.

Halt and Catch Fire (Season 1)

Okay, I haven’t actually finished the first season yet, but I am officially in love with this show! I’ve known of its existence for a while now, but Karen Gillan’s The Party’s Just Beginning made me yearn for some more Lee Pace stuff I hadn’t watched before, and that’s when I finally started it. Best. decision. ever!

Halt and Catch fire is an incredibly intelligent drama about what seems to be the 80s computing industry, but is really only the backdrop to showcase some intriguing and real characters (real even has a double meaning here, because it’s supposedly largely based on true events). They have their faults, dang they are all introduced in a less than flattering way, but you want to know more about them. It’s a truly character-driven show. I can’t wait to watch all the rest!

Have you watched any of those? What are your thoughts on them? (For those of you surprised that Titans wasn’t in the post, it will probably be featured in the next one) Let’s chat!

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (Jan 7-13)

I can’t believe that has only been the second week of 2019, because somehow it feels like we’ve been at it for months already! Anyway, this year will hopefully hold some great movies for us, so let’s check out some trailers:

Movies

Little

I know this has big remake vibes like What Men Want, but I am still here for it. It looks funny.

Hotel Mumbai

I heard Dev talk about this movie at a festival, but I still wasn’t prepared for the intensity of it all.

IO

Uhm … I thought Io was just spewing volcanoes and therefore definitely not livable? I’ll still watch it for sure.

Polar

Has Netflix discovered Vanessa Hudgens for themselves? I am more excited about Mads and Lagertha being in this.

Velvet Buzzsaw

Why did this have to turn into a horror flick?

FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened

Documentary of the week

TV Shows

HBO Line Up

My Queen Sansa is not having it in that small moment with Dany. I can’t wait!

One Day at a Time (Season 3)

Who else is SO ready for all the B99 cameos!?!?!

The Punisher (Season 2)

There is no Karen Page in this trailer and that makes me angry. She better not be sidelined, because I am gonna go ahead and guess that Netflix will have to cancel this like all their other shows because of Disney+.

Pure

Joe Cole! Joe Cole! Joe Cole!

Siempre Bruja: Always a Witch

I didn’t expect there to a be a time travel element, but I am here for it.

Russian Doll

Is this Happy Death Day in serial format?

Weird City

It’s weird. Let’s leave it at that.

Hanna

So, this is supposedly based on the film Hanna.

Roswell, New Mexico

SOON! It will never hold up to the brilliant show from my past, but I am ready for more alien action.

The Enemy Within

It’s very hard for me to get into these kind of shows. There are just so many crime shows already.

What have you been watching? I’ve been binging a lot of Netflix, so I will likely make another post about that soon!