October 2019 Wrap-Up

It’s been a month! (You can interpret that any which way you want.) I am not even trying to compare my Goodreads goal to my actual reading status, but I am proud to say that I have read two books last month.

Both, Dear Evan Hansen and Pan’s Labyrinth, are books that have been written AFTER they’ve become successful as another medium (in this case, musical and film). I tend to like to do read this kind of stuff, just like I am one of the few people who really enjoys book-to-movie adaptations, especially when I am a bit familiar with the casting and may have already seen a trailer. The only thing I am bad at is reading these books if I know too much about the story already. Then it can quickly become boring, even more so if it’s a faithful adaptation. I had a lot of fun with the books last month though and they both rated somewhere in the 4-star-area.

Dear Evan Hansen     Pan's Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun

As per usual, when you click on the covers, you’ll get re-directed to Goodreads and when you click on the titles, you’ll get to my reviews!

I am currently, at this very moment, not working anymore. I had my last day of work late October and it coincided with a movie premiere my company hosted and it was a really nice farewell. I say that like I haven’t been to the office twice since then again, but now it’s just for lunch dates with former colleagues and to individually say goodbye to everyone. I don’t think it has really sunk in that I am no longer going to work there, it just feels like I am finally on a vacation (which I deserved, let’s be real). After 14 months, it will be so strange to go back to Vienna, stay in my childhood bedroom for a bit, but I have plans! I don’t want to jinx it, but something is in the works and if that works … it will be big!

Another thing we’ve been talking on here for a while, which I was simply too busy for is me doing reaction videos on YouTube. I’ve made a channel, I shot a video but … due to copyright claims I cannot upload it. I want you to know that I freaking TRIED! My original video was 31 minutes and I edited it down to 14 minutes but still had copyright claims. I figured if I cut any more, the video wouldn’t make any sense. So, I am going to try it with different episodes of the same show, but if that doesn’t pan out, I am going to try a new show altogether. If you have anything you’d like me to react to, just let me know!

THINGS I LIKED THIS MONTH

If you didn’t see it coming that my absolute favourite thing of the month was Charmed (once again), then I am not sure you know me at all. I put so much fangirl energy into this show, it’s becoming a little ridiculous, but I have to say that they are doing an AMAZING job with season 2. It’s almost as if they have a whole new set of showrunners (which they do and I have already talked about before … ).

I made two fan edits (and I am really no good at that at all), the latest one you can check out here;

What I am pretty happy to have gotten back into is my art though. I have been back using watercolours and also did some practice with regular pencils, all for my favourite Charmed ship – Hacy. I don’t know what has me so obsessed, but I’ve been known to channel all my energy in TV stuff if I don’t have anything else going on.

MY POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS

I hope you had a good month! Sorry that I couldn’t post any Halloween pictures, but I didn’t think my costume through very well. Turns out it was too cold to run around in a Scoops Ahoy uniform …

Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich, Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Book Review)

Publisher: Penguin
Page Count
: 358

CW: anxiety, depression, suicide

If you are like me and you struggle to connect with musicals (even if I do occasionally adore some of them *cough* Hamilton *cough*), you will be happy to hear that there is a novel based on the hit show that is Dear Evan Hansen. I say this like it’s big news, but really, the book has been out for a year already. And I do even know and like some of the songs from the show, but I am not among the fortunate few who might get to experience it live and just listening to the songs gives me limited amount of joy, so I was really happy to dive into this in a more traditional book-format.

In all seriousness though, I was prepared to sob my way through this book from all I had heard, but I didn’t actually cry until very close to the end. It’s not that there isn’t inherent sadness to it all, but something about the way it was written and told just made it a very fast-paced and easy read for me. I don’t remember the last time I devoured a book in less than two days … Nonetheless, that didn’t keep me from connecting with the book on an emotional level too!

“If the pain is in you, it’s in you. It follows you everywhere. Can’t outrun it. Can’t erase it. Can’t push it away; it only comes back. The way I’ve been thinking, after all that’s happened, maybe there’s only one way to survive it. You have to let it in. Let it hurt you. And don’t wait. It’ll reach you eventually. Might as well be now.”

Evan Hansen is, at least to me, a deeply relatable character. He suffers from severe anxiety, feels lonely and like he doesn’t fit in. Although he has a very loving parent in his life, he feels expectations of what he should be and how he should act weighing him down and ultimately it leads to him making some really, really bad decisions out of fear. I cannot say that I have done anything nearly as terrible as what Evan did, but I like that the book did not try to make excuses for him. Not once did I feel as if this was a redemption storyline, but rather a plea to own up to your mistake, clearly communicate with the people you care about and maybe, just maybe, there is always someone in a similar situation as yourself, so don’t give up.

“I wish that everything was different. I wish that I was a part of something. I wish that anything I said mattered, to anyone. I mean, let’s face it: would anybody even notice if I disappeared tomorrow?”

If I had to criticize one part of it all, it would probably be the love story. I get that everyone handles grief differently, but the way this was told felt a bit off. But then again, so many of the decisions made were beyond questionable, so I don’t even know if you could consider that specific part strange. My head just wasn’t really in it, because all I really wanted was for Evan and Connor to have gotten the chance to be friends for real.

I obviously can’t attest to any of the differences between the musical and the book, however, from what I gathered from others, the book definitely expands on the story and the inner thoughts of the characters (which is neither good nor bad, but just a thing that comes with it being a different format that allows more content than a musical). As someone who did not know all the songs and all the details of what Dear Evan Hansen would be about, I can say that it’s a book you can definitely pick up if you haven’t had anything to do with the musical! 

Fazit: 4/5 stars! A heartfelt and relatable story about mistakes, loss, grief, family and much more!

Have you heard of the musical? Have you read the book? Do you want to? Let’s chat!

August 2019 Wrap-Up

This post is so long overdue, but I’ve just been super busy and haven’t really been able to do much blogging in the past weeks (which you probably noticed due to the lack of activity on my part). However, I do think that August went a lot better overall. I started strong, but then it just sort of fizzled out again. I am now on one of those very long train rides again and hopefully, if the wifi doesn’t crap out on me, I will be able to do this post … hence, if you’re reading this, all went well.

In August, I read a lot more than in previous months. At least, that’s what it felt like, even if page counts would probably tell you otherwise. First of all, I tried audiobooks for the first time in my blogging career. It could have gone considerably better, but now I know what I am talking about when I say that they aren’t for me.

I also read a lovely novella by Taylor Jenkins Reid, who only just about everyone in the community seems to adore. That felt like a really good palette cleanser and I thought I had gotten back my reading spirits, but alas, life through me another curve ball. Time really wasn’t an easy commodity to come by, so I went for an easy route – comics! Seen as Disney introduced a whole lot of their upcoming content, among them the Eternals, I felt it was my duty to read up on them. There’s some really cool content there, but I also am intrigued by the fact that some characters seem to be gender swapped and that the ages have also been changed quite a bit. The casting is high quality for sure, so I cannot wait to see which story they are going to with.

These are the volumes I have read (so not the Neil Gaiman ones) and you can check them out on Goodreads by clicking on the covers:

Eternals: To Slay A God: v. 1 (Eternals (2008-2009))   Eternals: Manifest Destiny

What else is new? I’ve been working a lot, so I didn’t really put in the necessary time to go looking for a new job. I still want to say thank you to all of you who keep inquiring and sending me job advertisements that reminded them of me. It’s much appreciated and I so very much love the gesture, even if I don’t end up applying for all of them. I wish there was more to tell, but I am not sure where to start?

When I am not at work, I’ve been trying really hard to get out of the house and just DO stuff more often. Sometimes I am successful at that and I have had a great time at several movie premieres and open air concerts and such in the last couple of weeks, but in the end they are never so much about meeting anyone new. That’s still something I don’t really know how to do exactly.

THINGS I LIKED THIS MONTH

I suppose at some point I had to stop talking about The Rook, so I reluctantly did. Instead, I switched to bombarding everyone with tweets about Four Weddings and a Funeral (the TV show), because it is really, really lovely. Mindy Kaling hits home with me about 80% of the time and I enjoy the content she creates for us and she was heavily involved in the making of this show. It’s super sweet, heart-warming but also heart-breaking. It’s square in the old-school RomCom genre but with far more diversity. I just loved it so, so very much, even if it was heavily predictable at times, because it was so reminiscent of all the things I used to love but that don’t get produced the same way these days anymore. It’s proof that you can still make these silly romances but keep them up to date. And for real, the most unrealistic part about the show isn’t that everyone meets their ideal love interest, but rather that these people seem to work and live in different countries on a whim without having to go through mountains of paperwork, visa and work regulations …

Also, if you are a Duffy – hit me up! I’d like 100% date someone like him and I am not really a Maya at all, so no heart breaking from me. Words I have spoken: “That stupid dork is like my ideal guy”

MY POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS

How was your month? Was summer as busy for you as it was for me? Let’s chat a little bit!

July 2019 Wrap-Up

I am a tad bit late again with this wrap-up post, but rest assured this only ever happens when I desperately try to crank out a post before the end of the month and then it just won’t happen. The way this year has been going, I read comparatively a lot, but in the end the day has only so many hours and unfortunately I wasn’t able to finish the books on time for this post. Anyway, I did finish The Rook though and wrote a book-TV-comparison.

These posts are always a lot of fun and I think they attract readers too, because a lot of people are curious about the differences and such. I am not going to lie though, it’s also pretty hard to compare something, keeping it short and not spoiling everyone, especially since the most annoying things I didn’t like are often massive spoilers. If you haven’t checked out the post yet, feel free to click on the banner or the title of the book.

This hasn’t been a very blogging intensive month, because I have been super busy with work. There were a couple of 10+ hours at the office days and once I even worked on a weekend (for a movie premiere in places that weren’t Berlin, so it was exhausting but cool). My work contract was supposed to end come September, but now I extended it until the end of October and will be present for some more exciting projects (even though I honestly had to think about it for a long while). All of that, combined with a very steamy heat messed with my sleep rhythm and I was just happy to not do anything that required too many brain cells. I even started watching like 5 different shows that I still haven’t finished to this day … it wasn’t really an easy month sometimes. I just really can’t stand the heat.

On a whole different topic, I joined Bumble. For those of you have never heard of it, it’s basically a dating app HOWEVER it also has a bff function, where the app is supposed to help you find friends in the area. After living in Berlin for a year now, it still gets lonely sometimes and I am having a hard time making real connections outside of work, so, I thought why not give it a shot? At first, it all went really well. I got a lot of matches, but the conversations soon fizzled out, even with the people who were initially interested in meeting up. I don’t know if it’s just me or if anyone else on the app is having that problem, but it doesn’t seem very effective to me. We will see if anything happens on there …

THINGS I LIKED THIS MONTH

Aside from the Rook, which I talked about pretty much on a daily basis for a while the past month, I am currently obsessed with Davia and Dennis from Good Trouble. I know there’s a lot of great characters and representation on that show, also it’s just very entertaining, but those two really struck a chord with me. It’s probably all because I can relate to Davia’s weight struggle, even if she is a very body positive person, because that doesn’t mean all your doubts and unhealthy behaviors evaporate when certain people are around.

Unfortunately, I can just see Freeform messing with those two, which is why I dread the summer finale (not the season finale) next week. The last episode was just not ideal in terms of set up … and the promo for next week looks glum … people are crying … ANYWAY, until the bad stuff happens, I will just watch the video below on repeat.

MY POSTS

TV SHOW/BOOK RELATED

TRAILER POSTS

So, there wasn’t much happening on the blog this month, but I have a couple things planned already that I will post very soon! So, stay tuned!

February 2019 Wrap-Up

This month surely had its ups and downs. I’ve been sick to the point where I missed 1.5 weeks at work, which has never happened to me ever before and drove me slowly nuts. Nonetheless, I tried my best keeping up with my shows, the blog but I only read one single book. The Light Between Worlds was an absolute joy, and if you haven’t checked out my review of it yet, you totally should (click here). There wasn’t even a doubt in my mind that I would give it 5 stars, but I don’t think it should take up more space on this wrap up. I am instead going to talk a bit more about what else happened this month.

I am not sure all of you know, but my contract at work and therefore my internship would have run out this week, but I extended it for another 6 months and will be in Berlin until the end of August. Everything after that is still pretty hazy. I have some vague ideas of where I want to go and what I want to do, but I have given myself permission to just live my life until May and figure things out after that.

THINGS I LIKED THIS MONTH

(Because I have lost the ability to narrow it down)

For those of you who know me well, it comes as no surprise that Hozier is one of my favourite artists. I’ve been lucky enough to been to his concerts twice already, I met Andrew after the one in Berlin last November and now I got to attend an event that was just the cherry on top of it all! I got guest list tickets to an exclusive Hozier album listening experience. Wasteland, Baby! will be released on March 1st, however, I already had the privilege to listen to it in its entirety last Friday (so a week in advance), with Andrew/Hozier present, with him answering questions and a brief meet and greet photo opportunity. My favourite tall bean remains the kindest and most humble being. His music is magical and perfect as always! I can’t wait for you all to be able to listen to the new songs. They are quite more upbeat than the past album.

Also, look at that glow up from November 2018 to February 2019. We looked happy in the cold, but the professional photographer really pays off.

Something you will most likely also have noticed if you follow me on Twitter is that I have become very invested in SKAM … or more truthfully it’s German and French adaptations, Druck and Skam France. I don’t even know how this started. It was something about me wanting to watch more web series, my colleague knowing an actress on Druck, me checking it out and just being swallowed by it all. I still haven’t (and probably never will) watched the original, but I do adore what I’ve been seeing thus far. Also, I have been on a war path with the French language for years now and Axel and Maxence have managed to convince me to give it another try by portraying soft but cool and sometimes dumb Lucas and Eliott. I love them so much for it! (I talked more about this, but especially Druck, in my Galentine’s Day post!)

Lastly, there are probably a couple more shows that would deserve a shout out as they got me through my sick days, but I’ve already given you so many recommendations on what to watch anyway. I am sure I will include a lot of it in future binge-watching posts anyway.

MY POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS

I hope you had a less turbulent month than me! Did you read something nice? Did you check out some of my posts? Let’s talk!

January 2019 Wrap-Up

For the first time in a long time, this section in the beginning that is always dedicated to books, isn’t completely empty. I’ve gotten a bit of my reading groove back and had a blast with most of the reads I picked. Not gonna lie, I have become even more careful with the selection of stories I actually read, just because I don’t want to end up in the slump that was the previous year again.

A Very Large Expanse of Sea  Dumplin’ Movie Tie-in Edition  Welcome to Lovecraft (Locke & Key, #1)  Echo North

Like in the olden days, click on the titles to get to my reviews and on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads!

January was a challenging month for me. I don’t want to get into the details as most of what happened was very private and took me a long time to come to terms with, so I’d rather not rehash it all. However, all of that made January feel like years and the blink of an eye at the same time. It was a strange one, so much so that I didn’t even hesitate for a second writing the date in the title. I am DEEP into 2019 already.

All that aside, I did actually post a couple new chapters in the Google Doc for the #witchyWIP that still roams my mind just … every single day. I haven’t had the time and energy to write the way I wanted to, but maybe going with the craze and switching to Comic Sans as a font did help a little bit. I have also decided to publish the existing chapters on wattpad in the near future. Any takers for that? (I hope so, because at least some people were interested in a little Twitter poll I did)

So, while I’ve been productive to a certain degree and able to balance some aspects of my life better than others, I am somewhat glad this month is over. It just wasn’t exactly a smooth start into 2019.

FAVOURITE THING OF THE MONTH

Hands down, it just HAS to be a tie between Halt and Catch Fire and the Roswell reboot on the CW. Both of those shows have completely enthralled me for very different reasons, so don’t make me choose!

Halt and Catch Fire has complex characters that aren’t really likable … at all. They are so very flawed, but as you watch, they grow on you big time and you cannot help but love them regardless. Also, it’s set in the world of computer programming and engineering in the 80s with excellent female badasses. 10/10 would recommend if you are into slow character studies (and a better Mad Men).

Roswell, New Mexico on the other hand is everything CW represents and I am here for it. It has beautiful actors and actresses, most of whom will look very familiar from previous shows on the network. It feels very current, with them not holding back on making political statements and trying their best at integrating LGBTQ+ characters (I say try, because sometimes they are misguided, but I give them A for effort). Most importantly though, I like this reboot so, so, so, so, so much more than the Charmed one (They lost me when they butchered the whole whitelighter storyline). Roswell, NM is nothing like the show from the 90s, but you DEFINITELY have the chemistry between the characters. It works that they are all aged up to adults and I feel like they all got more pressing conflicts than their High School equivalents did. It’s still early days, but I am in love.

MY POSTS

2018 IN REVIEW

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS

That was a short recap of my month of January! I hope you had a less turbulent start into the new year and I am looking forward to chatting with you!

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi (Book Review)

Publisher: HarperCollins
Page Count
: 310

Tahereh Mafi is one of my all-time favourite authors. I haven’t read everything by her, however, most of what I have read was more in the dystopian (??? gosh, I am terrible with genres) category, whereas A Very Large Expanse of Sea is Mafi’s first YA contemporary! I wasn’t sure how her writing style would translate to this genre, but it was a truly amazing read!

Where to even start? Set one year after the terrible events of 9/11, it chronicles a particularly memorable time for Muslim teenager Shirin. You can immediately tell that it is a very personal story and while I don’t know all the specifics that went into this book, I am certain that Tahereh drew some parts of it from her own experiences. Even though I can’t say I was really a teen in 2002 just yet myself, I was slowly getting there, and it instantly brought back some memories from that peculiar time. I remember the news reports and the fear and all that even though I was living on an entirely different continent. But I also associate those years with a certain kind of nostalgia, when everything was getting more digitalised while not quite being there yet.

Aside from a setting I could easily wrap my head around, I was most enamored with the characters. Shirin is a no-bullshit kind of narrator and a really smart one at that. She manages to paint a picture of all the people in her life in a way that makes them seem real, even if you only meet them briefly on the page. Her growing relationship to Ocean was exactly how I picture teens in love for the first time. Everything happened fast but at the same time with caution and the awareness that the other person might just have the power to break their heart.

The entire story tackled so many different topics. This isn’t just a love story, although there certainly is a focus on it, but also a tale about family, friendship, finding your passions and having to handle racism and Islamophobia. It hurts deeply to know that there are such vastly ignorant and hateful people out there. I always wished that those parts of the story were fiction only, but unfortunately that’s not the case.

Lastly, Tahereh Mafi finished the story off in the most bittersweet way. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I am not going to go into the details here, but it felt right to end it in that certain way, while you also wanted so much more afterwards.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! This book was packed with so much in such few pages in comparison.

Have you read A Very Large Expanse of Sea? Is it something you’d be interested in? How did you feel about Tahereh writing in another genre? Let’s talk about it!