Kat’s Weekly TV & Movie Recap #48

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

I’m sorry for my absence this week. I’ve been sick and well … still am (not sure if it’s the flu or just a very persistent cold, I just know it’s not the rona …) and was quite preoccupied with pre-holiday stuff. I couldn’t let it slide to not post a weekly wrap-up of what I’ve been watching though. So, let’s check out some movies and shows and let me wish you a happy festive season!

FINISHED TV SHOWS/SEASONS

Yellowstone (Season 3-the latest ep. of Season 5)

I’m not actually going to rattle on too long about the show. I always have to be in the right mood for Yellowstone, but when I am, oh boy … I just binge the heck out of it. There will be a 5-minute-sequence of these people just cowboying and doing work on the ranch and I’ll happily watch them? I don’t know what has happened to me, but I probably just miss horseback-riding again.

Anyway, the season 3 finale was wild and the show has seriously mellowed out since then. With season 5 being 16 episodes long, I expect a serious showdown between Beth and Jamie by the end of it. The thing is though … I couldn’t possibly care less about Jamie if I tried. I don’t want him to succeed, I just want him to move to another state and follow his ambitions there, so I don’t have to deal with it anymore. I’d rather watch a spin-off show set on the 6666 ranch.

Emily in Paris (Season 3)

I’ll admit it without shame that I was a person who used to hate-watch Emily in Paris. The characters always used to be insufferable and the people from France were portrayed as their worst stereotypes. I was always like “this is slander and ridiculous!”, but then this season really surprised me. Emily stayed out of business that wasn’t her own, most people made fairly decent decisions and the French people actually spoke in French with each other. Did … did the showrunners listen to peoples complaints?

Genuinely, this was the least annoying season so far and I’m actually excited for what comes next! I still don’t like everyone or support all decisions, but Season 3 worked. And well at that. 

Also, Luc is the best character. It’s not up for debate.

WEEKLY TV SHOWS

National Treasure (Season 1)

I continue to enjoy this show, despite it not being like the movies. You just have to adjust your expectations, I think. I’m also praying to the TV gods that I will get to love Jake Austin Walker’s character throughout the entire run of the show. He’s usually prone to be cast as a douche.

1923 (Season 1)

This is another Yellowstone prequel show. I hadn’t seen the previous one, but Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford are strong arguments.

Gossip Girl (Season 2)

I’m sad they went there with Audrey. It feels like it’s the beginning of the end of the triad.
Also, why make Obie’s family German, when none of these actors speak the language? It’s painful to listen to, considering that they’re supposedly fluent/it’s their mother tongue.

Mythic Quest (Season 3)

Love me sitcoms that can do heavy moments well. It’s what makes Mythic Quest so good.

MOVIES

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

Catherine Called Birdy

100% not a fan of Lena Dunham. In fact, she was the reason I pondered whether I should watch this movie at all, but then I saw the trailer again and couldn’t resist. I’m so glad I watched Catherine Called Birdy. It’s a beautifully funny yet touching coming-of-age tale and acted so well on all parts. I have a soft spot for Joe Alwyn (his voice is so freaking soothing), so his involvement was a major plus for me, but Bella Ramsey was the clear standout. I haven’t read the book, but I kind of want to now and can definitely see why people would love this story so much.

Boxing Day

I’ve made it my mission to watch new-to-me Christmas movies this season that weren’t ridiculously Hallmark-y and Boxing Day delivered for that prompt. It still had flaws, because the main guy was not worth all that trouble and I will side with Lisa forever, but I had a good time. That’s what we want from a movie, right?

The Thing About Harry

Disregarding the stupid bi/pan stereotypes, this was such a cute movie. The chemistry worked and I was really rooting for them. Due to the cast being who they are, I now also see the latest season of Grey’s Anatomy in a whole new light. I’m having ideas, if you know what I mean?

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Knives Out is one of those movies that I’ve watched more times than I can actually count. Because of the high profile cast and the subversion of expectations, it was one of my few joys of 2020 and has been fun to rewatch ever since. Now, I knew I shouldn’t go into Glass Onion with expectations that were too high, because how could you possibly recreate that? Rian Johnson did it again though. While Knives Out has a special place in my heart, I had the best of times watching (and rewatching) Glass Onion. I just love the structure of these films so much and that they get big names actors for even the smallest cameos. I hope we get hundreds more of these movies and Benoit Blanc helping the right kind of people.

Klaus

Klaus is my #1 Christmas movie and I insist on watching it every single year. There’s never a dry eye in the house when I watch it, no matter how often I’ve already seen it. The animation is perfection, the characters and their development amazing and it just has SO. MUCH. HEART! It’s my biggest recommendation of the season.

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

Kat’s Weekly TV & Movie Recap #47

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

I’m a little under the weather currently, so apologies if this is on the short side.

FINISHED TV SHOWS/SEASONS

The Sex Lives of College Girls (Season 2)

What a freaking hot mess. 

Look, I know that Mindy Kaling has been doing the same self-insert with her characters for a long time now and I just inhale those stories anyway. The thing with The Sex Lives of College Girls is that technically the conclusion to the season isn’t necessarily (at least not for all) out of character, but it was hella rushed and without the necessary build-up. I don’t like that there’s sitcoms with 20-minute-runtimes that only have 10 episodes now. It’s just not enough!

I was so ready to have a season of Bela and Eric being comedic rivals and lovers at the same time and was ROBBED, because we just had to make Bela into a massive dick? Kimberley, my sweet summer child, suddenly developed feelings for someone (I won’t believe you if you say you saw that coming in S1) and lied to Whit about it, despite giving the advice to be honest just the episode before. Whitney was absolutely in her right to mess around with bio chem dude, but she deserves so much better and I don’t think she’ll find happiness in the sorority. Lastly, Leighton – girl, you’re the only one making good decisions right now.

I need to know how they’re going to rectify *gestures* all that.

White Lotus (Season 2)

Controversial opinion here, but I’m not the biggest fan of the White Lotus franchise. It always has an incredible cast, way more hidden meaning in every scene than you might expect and great social commentary, but … I just never really like any of the characters? I need someone to root for and each season I struggle to find someone I actually want to support. I mean, I definitely support women’s rights AND wrongs, which makes this show perfect, but most of them are just miserable. I wouldn’t want to trade my life with them. Also, despite the hints everywhere, I didn’t see that ending coming. Well done! Let’s see which location wins the raffle to host the show next season.

WEEKLY TV SHOWS

National Treasure (Season 1)

I know, I know … how can it be National Treasure when Nic Cage isn’t in it? Well, it’s not perfect by far, but I love a good treasure hunt. It’s for sure targeted at a younger audience and I, too, am to blame, cause I tuned in for my boy Jake Austin Walker. They got me with the first two episodes though and Riley is going to make a cameo in the future. I’m looking forward to more!

Gossip Girl (Season 2)

The thing with the Gossip Girl reboot is that I’m barely vibing with any characters, I’m not fully invested, but I still want to know how the mess ends, you know? 

Mythic Quest (Season 3)

I love love love their standalone episodes, they are always the highlight of the season. This little Poppy/Ian backstory was everything to me, mostly because I just adore their dynamic and they haven’t actually shared enough scenes.

MOVIES

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

Something from Tiffany’s

Do you like Christmas? Do you like corny romance movies (especially with Zoey Deutch)? Then Something from Tiffany’s is for you. It feels like those Hallmark movies, but with an actual budget and good casting (and better but not incredible writing). In all fairness, the movie is very predictable, but it felt sweet and it just worked. I have to say that I just want all the romcoms with Zoey Deutch though, she’s my weak spot. Set It Up is still a masterpiece. 

Darby and the Dead

When I saw the trailer for Darby and the Dead, I remember thinking that this was exactly my jam. It reminded me a lot of the teen movies that I used to love when I was younger and that have been replaying on repeat at my home and I’m glad I enjoyed myself while watching. However, I somehow expected there to be a bit more of a spin on a story I’ve seen many a time before. There were some parts that I thought were rushed (Capri’s “redemption” or the resolution to Darby’s own trauma), but overall it was a fairly cute movie. I could have easily seen this be a mini-series, giving each character a bit more time to shine. Still, I had fun.

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

Mini Reviews: Alone With You in the Ether, Stella

Mini Reviews

We’re nearing the end of 2022 and I still have a couple books that I need to read in order to reach my book count goal (we can forget about the page count goal …). So, I didn’t really think it was necessary to do separate reviews for the following books and hope you enjoy their mini versions.

*links to Goodreads and Storygraph will be provided after the ratings!*

Alone With You in the Ether by Olivie Blake

Alone with You in the Ether by Olivie BlakePublisher description:
CHICAGO, SOMETIME—
Two people meet in the Art Institute by chance. Prior to their encounter, he is a doctoral student who manages his destructive thoughts with compulsive calculations about time travel; she is a bipolar counterfeit artist, undergoing court-ordered psychotherapy. By the end of the story, these things will still be true. But this is not a story about endings.
For Regan, people are predictable and tedious, including and perhaps especially herself. She copes with the dreariness of existence by living impulsively, imagining a new, alternate timeline being created in the wake of every rash decision.
To Aldo, the world feels disturbingly chaotic. He gets through his days by erecting a wall of routine: a backbeat of rules and formulas that keep him going. Without them, the entire framework of his existence would collapse.
For Regan and Aldo, life has been a matter of resigning themselves to the blueprints of inevitability—until the two meet. Could six conversations with a stranger be the variable that shakes up the entire simulation?

My Thoughts:

I’ve read three (four if we’re counting her YA story under a different name) books by Olivie Blake this year and only one of those was a reread. She was so excited to have her stories published traditionally, some with more edits than others to her previous versions, I was so hyped to get them straight on release day each time. Which is why I felt all the sadder when I didn’t initially vibe with Alone With You in the Ether at first.

While Blake definitely has a way with words, I struggled at the beginning. It took me a while to connect with the characters and I found it much easier once they had actually met each other. Starting from that moment, I could see the usual banter, the intricate psycho-analysis and peeling away of layers as well as tearing down of emotional walls. Those are the things I know, love and expect in an Olivie Blake book. Still, she chose to play with her writing in this one and I found the inconsistent style choices weren’t exactly for me.

“Can you love my brain even when it is small? When it is malevolent? When it is violent? Can you love it even when it does not love me?”

I know that this was a deeply personal story for the author and one she longed to tell. The characters both had mental health struggles and unique ways of perceiving the world, which I feel like that was something that was mirrored in the way the different parts of the story were written. So, it fitted the characters and their minds, but unfortunately not always my own. That’s all I’m going to say in terms of the mental health representation, just because I don’t have any personal experience and don’t want to speak on a matter I’m not informed enough on.

This might also make me sound like a hypocrite, because I would absolutely love for my partner to be my best friend, lover and confidant, but something about Aldo and Regan’s relationship sometimes just felt like … too much? I was worried for them and that’s not what you want in a romance – no matter how unconventional it might be. That’s not to say that there weren’t some truly beautiful moments of genuine connection, but I’m still not entirely convinced that their relationship is healthy.

Fazit: 3.5/5 stars! This won’t ever be my favorite Olivie Blake book, but it had some good moments.

Goodreads | Storygraph

Stella by Takis Würger

Stella by Takis WürgerPublisher description:
In 1942, Friedrich, an even-keeled but unworldly young man, arrives in Berlin from bucolic Switzerland with dreams of becoming an artist. At a life drawing class, he is hypnotized by the beautiful model, Kristin, who soon becomes his energetic yet enigmatic guide to the bustling and cosmopolitan city. Kristin teaches the naïve Friedrich how to take care of himself in a city filled with danger, and brings him to an underground jazz club where they drink cognac, dance, and kiss. The war feels far away to Friedrich as he falls in love with Kristin, the pair cocooned inside their palatial rooms at the Grand Hotel, where even Champagne and fresh fruit can be obtained thanks to the black market. But as the months pass, the mood in the city darkens yet further, with the Nazi Party tightening their hold on everyday life of all Berliners, terrorizing anyone who might be disloyal to the Reich. Kristin’s loyalties are unclear, and she is not everything she seems, as his realizes when one frightening day she comes back to Friedrich’s hotel suite in tears, battered and bruised. She tells him an astonishing secret: that her real name is Stella, and that she is Jewish, passing for Aryan. Fritz comforts her, but he soon realizes that Stella’s control of the situation is rapidly slipping out of her grasp, and that the Gestapo have an impossible power over her.
As Friedrich confronts Stella’s unimaginable choices, he finds himself woefully unprepared for the history he is living through. Based in part on a real historical character, Stella sets a tortured love story against the backdrop of wartime Berlin, and powerfully explores questions of naiveté, young love, betrayal, and the horrors of history.

My Thoughts:

I wanted to read more books in German this year and this was my feeble last minute attempt at doing just that. I was surprised that I flew through this book, making it one of the quickest German reads in a long time, even though the subject matter is quite literally WWII and the atrocities committed during that time.

Back in 2019, when this book was first published, it was just about everywhere and sparked quite a lot of discussions. Since Stella is in part based on historic facts (such as the title character, Stella) and part fiction (such as the lead character from who’s POV we’re reading the story), I understand the criticism the book is facing after I’ve now read it myself.
I know that a lot of people were bystanders in the war, their silence and passivity making them complicit in what happened. A larger portion of the population would probably fall under that category than the usual heroes and rebels that stories tend to be about. It’s one thing to tell the story of a citizen who was compliant with the regime for whatever reason and a totally different one to bring and outsider into this, who decides to go to Berlin in the midst of war to “learn how to draw”.

Friedrich was one of the most infuriating characters I have ever come across. He is passive, privileged and naive beyond reason. Everyone tells him that people are being murdered for being different in Germany and he wants to go see it for himself and experience a bit of music and art while he’s at it. Even though we get a lot of (quite horrible) historic facts at the start of each chapter and aren’t spared some truly gruesome moments in the story itself, they don’t seem to affect Friedrich in the way that they should. All he cares about is the woman he loves, despite us never understanding that supposedly deep and unwavering connection.

A story from the point of view of Stella, no matter whether you agree with her choices or not, would have been fascinating and an interesting historical study. Telling the tale of a lovesick puppy, who ignores literally every warning he is given in life, feels useless and disappointing.

Fazit: 2/5 stars! This was told through the wrong lens in my eyes.

Goodreads | Storygraph


Have you read either of those books? Do you plan to? Let’s chat!

Kat’s Weekly TV & Movie Recap #46

So, my attempt to blog “every day” for the month of December lasted all of 5 days, but that’s okay. I tried and that’s what matters. I do want to write a couple more posts other than just wrap-ups this month, but first my reading challenge is a real priority. I’ll live not reaching my page count goal, but I really want to get to the number of books I set myself to read. I thought I wasn’t even challenging myself, but it’s going to be tight.

FINISHED TV SHOWS/SEASONS

The Flatshare (Mini-Series)

I honestly thought that The Flatshare was going to be adapted into a movie, but it’s a 6-part mini-series instead and I was HERE FOR IT. I love me a good romcom and this one had all the right vibes – good chemistry between the lead and side couples, interesting and complex relationships all around, terrible exes you had no issue not rooting for, fun and unusual situations that somehow made sense in the context of the show. The flatshare arrangement itself sound ludicrous at first, because I could never, but once they start communicating via post it notes, it was over for me. I was rooting for everyone hard. Also, since I haven’t read the book myself, I was told that there were some changes, but a lot for the better, like giving Mo and Maia a bit more screen time. Definite recommendation for all the romcom lovers out there!

Firefly Lane (Season 2)

I remember watching the first season of this show and only feeling so-so about it. I definitely identified more as a Kate (and not just because of the name) and her adult storyline away from Tully continued to be the arc I was most interested in in the second season. I have to admit, I really got sucked back into this one. I binged the whole season in one day and had zero regrets, in fact, I definitely wanted more by the end of it. Luckily, a third and final season is coming, so I love the prospect of this getting tied up all neatly. I mean, we mostly know what drove Tully and Kate apart now, we know who’s with who, but there’s a bunch of unanswered questions, not the least because of that flash forward.

WEEKLY TV SHOWS

Gossip Girl (Season 2)

I thought they were going to continue to drop two episodes per week, but alas, I was wrong. I think shows like this are better for binging, but whatever.

White Lotus (Season 2)

You know what? I guessed that reveal for Tom Hollander’s character after last week. My brain still functions.

The Sex Lives of College Girls (Season 2)

I just can’t have nice things. I mean, Eric was 100% in the right and I support his decisions, but dang … my ship sailed and sunk so fast. I don’t think it’s over over, but I guess I have nice other ships in the meantime? Kimberly and Jackson are exceedingly cute, but I’m still rooting for Canaan with Whit.

Abbott Elementary (Season 2)

Gregory and Janine are EVERYTHING. 

Mythic Quest (Season 3)

I love a good Christmas episode.

MOVIES

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

Aftersun

I love Paul Mescal and he continues to be so passionate about this movie and wanting to work with Charlotte Wells again, I just couldn’t resist any longer. I went in with this gut feeling that I would be emotionally wrecked, because a) one of my movie friends, who is a super harsh critic and rarely gives out more than 2 or 3 stars max, gave this movie 4.5 stars and b) I spent summers in Turkey with my parents in the 90s and likely have daddy issues myself. 

You have to go into this movie fully knowing that not much happens. It’s the exploration of one summer, one parent-child-relationship and the things we might never know about our parents. It’s quiet and slow and intimate. Aftersun doesn’t tell you what happens, it shows you moments and you have to draw your own conclusions from them. I feel like it’s one of those movies that you have to be in the right mood for, because I watched it, knowing I would probably have a good cry – which I did – and sad isn’t always the vibe I want from a movie. It was a spectacular debut from Wells! I’m looking forward to her future work.

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

Something Different: I was a Teenage Exocolonist (Game Review)

Something different
Or
That time I got completely addicted
to: I Was a Teenage Exocolonist

I’ve mentioned I was a Teenage Exocolonist in my November 2022 wrap-up post and I think it’s fair to say that I’m obsessed. When I first started playing the game, I sat there for 15 hours straight, not being able to tear myself away from the screen. You know I don’t do game reviews often, but I just couldn’t pass up the chance to talk about this one. But first things first!

*I have not been asked to talk about this game by the developers! I am sharing these views of my own accord.*

I was a Teenage Exocolonist is a single-player RPG simulation game by Northway Games and Finji. I played it on my laptop, but I think there are options for the PS5 and Nintendo Switch as well. Originally an indie game, the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive and I’d just love to add my voice to those. The game is currently 20% off on Steam, but you can find all that relevant technical data here.

What exactly is the game about? Well here’s how the developers put it:

Spend your teenage years on an alien planet in this narrative RPG with card-based battles. Explore, grow up, and fall in love. The choices you make and skills you master over ten years will determine the course of your life and the survival of your colony.

The absolutely adorable and beautiful design aside, I am always easily swayed by games where your choices matter and lead to different outcomes. What is so special about I was a Teenage Excolonist though is that you play it through once, encounter incredible losses and then … you get to do it all over again! As many times as you like! It’s a game that is designed to be replayed as you character remembers their past life/lives and can alter events based on that knowledge. I just wanted to save everyone and explore all possible endings, I got sucked in hard!

Why Do I Like It So Much?

  • SO MANY OPTIONS! Do you want to romance all the characters? Be in a poly relationship or are you not interested in romantic gestures at all? Choose your own pronouns? Do you want to be a bully or give back to the community? Do you want to commune with aliens or become part of a military complex? End famine or create a life-ending virus? Everything is possible! You might just have to do it a couple times over to get the outcome you want.
  • The developers created a beautiful world with intricate storytelling. They wanted to have inclusive storytelling, but also knew that not all subject matter was suitable for every player. Before you even start, you have the option to look at a list of content warnings, which I thought was very considerate thing to add to the home screen.
  • Every single character has a backstory, their own personality, desires, dreams and fears. You may think that they’re only side characters in your world, but they have a mind of their own and their choices make sense for who they are meant to be.
  • The mini-games to level up your skills are simple yet fun. Each memory is more or less transformed into a card, which you can then use to level up and do certain jobs in a card game. It’s not the hardest thing in the world to master the mini-games, but when your stress level is too high, you might curse them. If the novelty ever wears off, you can turn off the card challenges though.
  • The auto-saves are super solid and while you should “bookmark” certain milestones, I’ve used the auto-saves quite often to remedy a bad decision.
  • While the look of the game is definitely more cute and pretty than steamy, I still have to praise it. For me, it had the perfect visuals.
  • You really go through a whole bunch of emotions. Grief, loss, happiness, relief, joy, anxiety, anger, jealousy, … you name it, it’s packed somewhere into the game. I always tended to pick the kinder options, because even in a game, I find it hard to be mean to people, but you can even be as rebellious or compliant as you like.

Downsides?

  • As I said, it’s a game you start over again and again and again … with that come certain repetitions. You have the option to skip dialogue you have encountered before, but some tasks remain tedious and necessary regardless. I sometimes wish I could also keep some of my character’s abilities, but that is just me being greedy.
  • While you have the option to customize a lot about your own character, such as name, gender etc., you can’t really choose your appearance. I got used to it and definitely didn’t mind it in the end, but I would have loved to create my own look, hair or clothing choices.
  • You can’t change everything. I don’t want to spoil anything, but despite some people claiming you can save everyone, there are a couple character deaths that you simply cannot prevent, no matter how hard you try. They are necessary for other character’s story arcs, so there’s that. I was sad, but I also got it from a storytelling point of view.

In the last week, I’ve played this game for more than 50 hours and I can see myself putting in even more time. It just has such a special feel to it, that I keep wanting to come back. I know I could have gone more in depth on some parts, but where’s the fun in knowing all that could happen?

credit: Finji/Northway Games


Previous game reviews:


Have you played I was a Teenage Exocolonist? Can you see yourself giving it a try? Let’s chat!

“This Is Your Story” – Book Tag!

This Is Your Story - Book Tag

I haven’t done a book tag in ages, but you know, what better time than this very December – since I decided to try and blog every single day of the month. So, thank you very much to the Orang-utan Librarian for delivering me content for my blog on a silver platter! Also, I love imagining myself in stories, so this is absolutely perfect.

The Rules

  • Link back to the creator @ReadBetwixtWords
  • Answer each question by using your favorite (or TBR) book covers, characters, and stories
  • Tag a friend or two
  • And have fun with it!

Questions

AUTHOR – WHO’S WRITING YOUR STORY?

With where my mind is at right now, I’d 100% love to see Olivie Blake take up that job. We’d all be complex and multi-dimensional characters with deep yet relatable conversations.

The Atlas Paradox by Olivie Blake book cover

WORLD – WHAT LITERARY WORLD IS YOUR STORY PART OF?

This is honestly so tough for me. I want it to be a world with magic, but there’s still SO many options and I’m not sure how high Fantasy I actually want to go. What about The Night Circus!? There’s magic for sure, the system isn’t entirely strict and logical though and it has all the whimsy!

ROMANCE – WHO WILL BE YOUR LOVE-INTEREST?

I’ve had many a bookish husband over the years. There was Dawsey from the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Max from the Book Thief, Mark Watney from The Martian … As of late, I tend to rather want to adopt characters though, it seems.
Well, that’s not the question/prompt though, is it? I want Benji Andor from The Dead Romantics! He basically looks like Lee Pace and works as a book editor. Dream job and dream guy anyone?

Lee Pace entering the room with one hand on the door frame looking tall and sexy while doing absolutely nothing.

APPEARANCE – WHAT WILL YOUR CHARACTER LOOK LIKE?

So far, I didn’t pick anything unhinged with my answers, but let’s go off-road for this one. I pick my own character, Viola, from my current Fantasy WIP, who is actually inspired by my very own Dungeons & Dragons character. With that skin color, I’d definitely stand out.

A girl with pointy ears, light blue skin, almost white hair with faint traces of pink in a lilac dress looking off into the distance, holding a book tight to her chest.
I once showed this to my aunt and she said, “oh, that looks like you!”

SIDEKICK – WHAT CHARACTER/CREATURE WOULD YOU HAVE BY YOUR SIDE?

I bet I’d be so annoyed by him after a very short while, but can I get my boy Sevro from the Red Rising saga by my side? He’s a maniac, but I adore him with all my heart. He’d be my bestie (and fierce protector) for sure.

I made this character aesthetic a while ago and I’ve used every chance since to include it in posts.

GOOD, EVIL, OR GRAY – WHERE DOES YOUR CHARACTER STAND?

I’d sure pretend I was a little Ms. Goodie-Two-Shoes, but it will be so much more interesting if that’s just an outward facade and there’s a really more of a gray-scale personality behind it. Actually, I’ve always loved the idea of the main character giving in to the proposal of the villain and burning down the world together. It would be something I’d love to read about.

DESIGNATION – WHAT WILL YOU BE? (HUMAN, FAIRY, PIRATE, PRINCESS, ETC..)

Since we’re not talking about D&D classifications (although my character is a wizard Air Genasi), I’d just go with elemental magic-y creature? I’ve always loved the idea of playing with the elements. I’ve even written a story back in school about “elementals” before Avatar: The Last Airbender became a thing.

OPPOSITION – WHO WILL BE YOUR NEMESIS?

Do I have to have one? Uhm … the ghosts of my past? Is that a cop-out? I was thinking kind of like Watch Over Me?

Watch Over Me

THE ENDING – HOW DOES YOUR STORY END? *SPOILER ALERT!*

I like a romantic, yet absolutely devastatingly tragic and emotional ending. I’m really thinking along the lines of Soulswift here. If you’ve read that book, you know exactly what I’m talking about!


I TAG THEE

If this seems like a fun idea to you, go wild and consider yourself tagged! I’d love to see Anoushka and Sophie give it a try, but please don’t feel obliged!


What did you think of my answers? Can you sort of maybe picture a story with those elements? Would you read it? Let’s talk!

November 2022 Wrap-Up

November Wrap-Up

So, I really dropped the ball in terms of blogging in November. I don’t know if it was some preemptive winter blues getting more or something else, but I neither had the time nor motivation to do anything creative on here. I also didn’t manage to read a whole lot, but what else is new? Check it out:

  • Swimming Lessons: Poems by Lili Reinhart (2 stars)
    Yeah, I’m sorry, friends, but there was a reason people dunked on this when it came out.
  • The Atlas Paradox by Olivie Blake (5 stars)
  • Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman (5 stars)
    While it’s really hard to read about the pandemic – especially in ways that suggest it’s over completely – this book was so emotional, relatable and vulnerable. Amanda Gorman has honed her craft and it shows.

Swimming Lessons: Poems  The Atlas Paradox (The Atlas, #2)  Call Us What We Carry

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! OR find me on Storygraph, where I have become more active this year. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above, if there are posts for them.

I’m sort of still on track with my reading goal in terms of books (I can read four more books in a month, right?), but there is absolutely no way I will read 4K+ pages in December. It’s sad to see that I aimed too high, but sometimes you have to push yourself. I’m still happily reading Babel at the moment and have added Alone With You in the Ether to my currently reading pile, because why stop at three books by Olivie Blake in one year. I can up that number at least.

 

In Other News

November was an odd month for me. Loads to do in general, I barely registered the month flying by. I distinctly remember wanting to do more, but somehow you just blink and *poof* no more time left. I initially was really determined to get back into writing and then did exactly none of that, so we will see how my resolve to blog every day of December will go (watch me break my streak after four days). Let’s break down the month again!

Twitter Went Into Titanic Mode

Twitter is my favorite and most used social media platform. I can’t handle all the images and videos on short livedness (that’s not a word, is it?) of instagram and TikTok (although zero offense if you like these platforms, they just overwhelm me). When everyone started jumping ship, I really panicked. I don’t want to loose contact to so many people I love having in my life, getting information on things I care about and just being able to communicate in a simple way.

Ultimately, I’m still on Twitter, I won’t go anywhere for now and I even made a proposition to my friends. If you consider yourself one of them, feel free to DM or email me:

The Atlas Paradox Released

THIS was my most anticipated sequel of the year! I went to the bookstore on release day and was really excited to get a physical copy to make notes and annotations in. I just adore Olivie Blake’s writing and was so, so giddy to just get started on reading it. Sequels are dangerous and many books suffer from second book syndrome, so I wrote a whole post about it.

Does the Atlas Paradox suffer from second book syndrome?

I Accidentally Played a Game for 15 Hours Straight

I’m not a gamer, you know this about me! So, I have no explanation for what happened to me when I started playing I Was a Teenage Exocolonist and suddenly it was 5AM and I hadn’t gotten up or eaten or slept at all in the past 15 hours. After I got over the fact that that was some disconcerting behavior and I now had to readjust my entire sleep schedule (it took a while) I moderated the time I spent on the game and fell in love with it even more. Would you guys be interested in me making a post about the game and talking about why I love it so much?

I Got a New Show to Obsess Over

Don’t I always obsess over some show or movie? It sure feels like it on my end. And there’s many contenders for content I adored – Wakanda Forever, Walker Independence, The Sex Lives of College Girls, … to name a few – but there’s one in particular that left me wanting more: 1899. Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar created one of my favorite German shows ever (Dark, hope you knew that) and have now reeled me in again with 1899. It’s a far more international undertaking and includes languages such as German, English, French, Spanish, Cantonese, Danish, Polish and maybe some more. The cast has been assembled in part from previous Netflix projects and together they made the most expensive German TV show to date. I hope they get to continue. I’ll be so upset if they don’t. If you’re curious about the show, please don’t wait too long to watch it – viewing hours in the first couple of weeks are most crucial for Netflix.

My Weightloss Journey Continues Some More

Again, feel free to skip this portion of the wrap-up. I know it’s a difficult topic for many and I get it, put yourself first!

I started going to the free gym at my work about twice a week, which includes some weight training. Going into it with the knowledge that I wouldn’t loose as much weight since I was building muscles and getting stronger, I’m happy that I still got to further reduce my weight by 1.5kg/3lbs. I have to say that my motivation still took a dip during the past month, because there were times that I just felt physically exhausted and didn’t see any progress, which made me want to not continue at times. The thing is, I factually know that I now fit into pants comfortably that I could barely zip up a couple months ago, but my brain couldn’t see a difference while looking at my body. We’re weird creatures, us humans.

Anyway, point being, when people tell you to take progress pics, they really mean well. Your brain might not want to register the difference, but when you put images side by side, you’ll notice it clear as day.

If you want another fun at-home-workout, I got you covered:

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF NOVEMBER 2022

I know you’ve read this before, but I’m going to keep saying it – thank you for showing up to my old posts even when my blogging motivation is lacking. I appreciate it so much!!

  1. Should YOU Read “The Atlas Six”? (What I learned from my reread!)
    (originally posted March 2022)
    That just made sense with the sequel coming out, I guess people were wondering if they should jump on the bandwagon.
  2. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Book Review)
    (originally posted in December 2020)
    Not a month goes by that this post isn’t doing numbers.
  3. Mind the Gap, Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn/David Levithan (Book Review)
    (originally posted November 2020)
    Did not expect that review to make a comeback!? But Dash and Lily are basically bookish Christmas, so that makes sense.
  4. Something Different: Duskwood (Game Review)
    (originally posted June 2020)
    Glad people are interested in the game. I loved playing it.
  5. Does The Atlas Paradox Suffer From Second Book Syndrome?
    A new post made it onto the list! Wohooo!

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

Apologies for not doing better and blog hopping more. I did the bare minimum of everything and anything in November.

MY OTHER POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you all will have a great last month of the year. I hope the holiday season won’t be too stressful and you’ll all finish your reading goals with ease! Let’s talk soon!