September 2021 Wrap-Up

September was the month that I chose to take a break from my reading experiments, not so much because I don’t like them, but mostly because I wanted to pick the books I was reading myself. This all started very well, but I fell in love with the first book so hard, it almost put me in a reading slump. I still managed to get to four stories though!

The Atlas Six (The Atlas, #1)  Ace of Spades  Beasts of Prey  Franny and Zooey

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! My own reviews (where there is one) you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

I have also recently created a Storygraph profile and try to link to the books on that platform as well when I do my reviews. However, I haven’t had the time to fully delve into it. Feel free to add me as well here, but know that I’ve mostly just looked at the way they portray stats (very cool) but have struggled a bit with the navigation on site otherwise (my phone has no storage for further apps, so I’m using the desktop version). I’d like to support it though!

September was a really good month for me! I switched department at my job and am really enjoying it. I found a flat that I will move in during October, which is lovely and nice and without roommates for once. In addition to that, I’ve felt far more comfortable in my own skin, lighter in general, and that has made me really happy. I even found a new goal to work towards. As silly as it sounds, I feel like I’m adulting quite alright over here, I even contemplated to go on dating apps, but a brief Twitter poll crushed that idea fast.

If anyone has some ideas on how to meet people (to potentially date, to be clear) offline, I’d be all ears!

I don’t know how October will look like for me, as I’m sure I will be busy moving and still getting adjusted at work, I’m looking forward to it. Especially having a space that is all my own will be exciting! I get to decorate and do things just the way *I* want to. Even the mere idea of that makes me giddy!
Aside from that, I’m looking forward to working on the latest reading experiment. I already hinted at who it might be in the Sebastian Stan post, so you can check that one out for a clue. I don’t want to make promises that I’ll post it in the new month for sure, as I’m guessing I will be quite busy, but I’m sure going to try. I might, however, get sidetracked by having Nancy Drew (and therefore Ace, one of my all time favorite characters) back on my screen.

MY FAVORITE THINGS

As I said earlier, I really fell in love with one of the books I read – namely, The Atlas Six – and even got art prints of the characters from the person who also illustrated them for the book. They are now in my childhood bedroom and I’ll have to somehow get them off my wall safely and bring them to the new flat. Wish me luck!

Other than that, I’ve been enjoying getting back into more TV shows again. The new season of Lower Decks has me invested in the characters again, while offering light entertainment. I can’t wait for the new episode of Ted Lasso each week and I’ve surprisingly really taken to Midnight Mass. Apparently horror is no longer a no go for me, at least not when Mike Flanagan is involved. Something I haven’t really talked about on here though is The Big Leap, which has only aired two episodes so far, but which I’m really enjoying. I just adore shows that are set in the world of TV. Feels meta to me, but in a good way. I’m only worried, because it is on FOX and we all know their track record of keeping shows I like … (still bitter about Pitch!)

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

This part of the wrap-up where I usually dedicate some space to the amazing work other bloggers do in the community. I hope you give them a visit and show some appreciation for their contributions! I unfortunately didn’t have that much time to blog hop and comment, but I always try!

MY OTHER POSTS

PREVIOUSLY ON WHAT IF …

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you will have a spooky and nice October! I like getting to wear more layers again, which is usually possible around this season where I live, but hope it won’t get too cold yet. I still am gunning to wear my Scoops Ahoy uniform from Stranger Things at least once on Halloween!

What If … Thor Were an Only Child? Episode Review

Once again, I’m a little late, but I have written a review for the latest episode of What If …? titled What If … Thor Were an Only Child? From here on forward, there will be spoilers for the episode!

What If ... Thor Were an Only Child?
credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

Thor, who never had to compete with or set an example for his brother, turned out quite differently – he became the Party Prince of Asgard!

My thoughts?

We’ve established by now that I’m not the biggest fan of the show, so I don’t think we need to harp on it much more. I was, however, actually looking forward to Party-Thor, just because I knew it would be a more light-hearted episode and it didn’t disappoint in that regard. Then again, much like last week, this episode didn’t feel too imaginative to me. Did not having a brother really change Thor all that much, or were his parents just more lenient? I almost believe it’s the latter, but let’s just break down the episode bit by bit.

  • In this universe, Odin never adopted/kidnapped Loki and instead returned him to his birth father. This must have also quelled the war/animosity between Asgard and the Frost Giants, as it doesn’t seem to be an issue henceforth. This led to Thor and Loki growing up as friends, however, never as real brothers.

More than battles won or lost, it’s relationships that truly define a hero. The people who shape them, their stories.

What If ... Thor Were an Only Child?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Back on Earth Dr. Jane Foster and Darcy Lewis notice a pattern from outer space, guessing an alien invasion is about to happen. While they are right about the visitors being from somewhere else in the galaxy, it’s actually just Thor and his friend group deciding to go on a bender while Odin is asleep and Frigga is off to visit her sisters.
  • I’m not going to go into detail, but Thor turns the entire planet into an intergalactic party central and apparently once partied so hard on Alpha Star, it destroyed the whole thing. Jane, who met and fell in love with Thor in this version too (they even got matching tattoos), worries that he will accidentally be the end of Earth. Death by party?
What If ... Thor Were an Only Child?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • The cameos in this episode are almost boundless. You have several characters from the Thor movies (Korg, the Grandmaster, Skurge, …), The Guardians of the Galaxy (Drax, Mantis, Nebula, …) as well as Howard the Duck again. Howard even gets married to Darcy. I’m not joking. That happened!
What If ... Thor Were an Only Child?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Maria Hill, who is acting director of SHIELD after Fury had a run in with an overexcited Korg, is ready to bring in the big guns to fight Thor and calls in Captain Marval aka Carol Danvers. They have a fight around the globe, but ultimately it is Jane who stops Thor by ratting him out to his mother.
  • All the alien visitors help Thor clean up his mess on Earth, but he still gets caught. It nevertheless serves as a lesson to the God of Thunder to become more mature and he eventually asks out Jane on a real date. The end? Happily ever after? Not quite!
  • The final scene, because why would we ever just end on a happy note, showed an evil Ultron appearing with all infinity stones. What does it mean? Who even knows at this point …

I’m a little tired of the cliffhangers, BUT I am intrigued by this one in particular. The thing is, The Watcher seemed surprised by the end himself. So far, no matter how bleak the outcome, he always knew that it had to be the fate of that particular universe or character. However, at the end of the episode, he appeared to be flustered by the appearance of Ultron, possibly not expecting it. So, what could it mean?
I can’t help but wonder if this Ultron breached from a different universe, which would slowly fold into the Loki series storyline of the multiversal chaos we are about to witness. The only reason I’m hesitant to fully buy into this theory is that his infinity stones would effectively be useless if he were from another universe. At least in the comics, it is impossible for more than one set of infinity stones to exist in the same realm and remain powerful. It’s like they cancel each other out.
Another theory is that he might be from the future, which would still work, but not really explain the Watcher’s surprise. We might never get an answer, so this could potentially just remain another frustrating loose end, but there is a chance that this might be the first multi-chapter story within the What If …? stories. We shall see!

What If ... Thor Were an Only Child?
credit: Marvel Studios

PREVIOUSLY: WHAT IF …


What did you think of the episode? Did you enjoy it? Let’s talk!

What If … Zombies!? Episode Review

Wednesday remains Marvel review day, even if I might post a little later in the day. As a warning, this will likely happen for several weeks to come, as my schedule has changed a bit. BUT reviews are still happening. Today we talk about What If … Zombies!? and spoilers are ahead from here on out!

What If ... Zombies!?
credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

When Bruce Banner falls to Earth to warn everyone about Thanos’ arrival, he finds a planet entirely changed and now inhabited by … zombies.

My thoughts?

I genuinely thought last week’s episode was dark, but this one was equally (if not partially more) sinister. In general, I was never a huge fan of the zombie genre, but I was curious to see what they would do with it paired with the Avengers and it was a lot of fun. I don’t have a comparison to the comic book storyline (because yes, there were zombies in the comics too), but it worked alright for me. That is … until the once again, super open and ambiguous end. I vowed not to complain so much about the episodes feeling rushed (which they still do), but I also haven’t made peace with the fact that it’s never really a closed story. Sometimes an open end is great, but sometimes … I just don’t know what to do with it. But let’s start at the beginning!

  • Just like in Infinity War, Bruce Banner crashes into the Sanctum Sanctorum to warn everyone of Thanos’ arrival. However, in this reality, Bruce finds Earth changed and seemingly deserted. That is until Bruce’s henchmen arrive to start a fight, just to be surprised by superpowered zombies in the shape of Tony Stark, Wong and Doctor Strange. It’s not often that I see zombies retain the abilities they had before they were changed.
What If ... Zombies!?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Bruce eventually gets saved by Hope van Dyne, Strange’s cape and Peter Parker as we find out what happened on Earth.
  • In this version of events, Hank Pym also went to find his missing wife in the quantum realm, but the reunion went quite differently. Janet van Dyne contracted a quantum virus that corrupted her brain (aka turned her into a zombie) and because of her daughter’s unrelenting search for her, she managed to bring the virus back to our realm and infect large groups in no time. Once the Avengers joined the fight and got turned as well, the fate of humanity was more or less sealed. 
  • If only it weren’t for a small group of survivors that still carried that torch of hope. In a very curious constellation, Hope van Dyne, Peter Parker, Happy, Bucky Barnes, Kurt (one of Scott’s friends, if you struggled to remember him as well), Sharon Carter and Okoye as well as Bruce Banner now, all found themselves in New York, willing to give their all to save the planet.
  • The group gets a beacon that tells them that a potential cure has been found and in an attempt to get there, they lose a couple members. I have to say that, despite the scenes being fairly brief, the violence was definitely upped quite a bit. I never thought that I’d have to watch Sam get cut in half from top to bottom and Bucky react entirely nonchalantly, but here we are. I mean, he literally said “I should be sad, but I’m not”. To me, there were several quite gruesome moments.
  • Only Peter, Bruce, Bucky, Okoye and Kurt make it to the base that is supposed to hold the cure, just to find Vision there. He found out that his mind stone creates an aversion within the zombies, which ultimately led him to test his theory. He was able to save Scott, but only his head. A head that keeps floating around and just telling dad jokes. Typical Scott!
  • This is where Marvel really twists in the knife though! When everyone gets excited about potentially saving humanity, Vision turns dark. In reality, he has been luring people to his hideout in order to feed his zombie bride – Wanda. She is too strong and her zombie-condition can’t be cured, so he instead contained her and fed her, even holding T’Challa hostage.
What If ... Zombies!?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • I did not expect to get another appearance of Chadwick as T’Challa, but my heart sang again. This wasn’t nearly as happy as the last episode he was in, but yeah, I’ll take what I can get.
  • Ultimately, Vision can’t betray everyone he knows, while he also can’t let go of Wanda. He opts to destroy himself and give up the mind stone to the others, rather than leave her or kill her himself.
  • A Hulk vs. zombie Scarlet Witch fight ensues, while Peter, Scott’s head and T’Challa are the only ones making it off the base with the mind stone. Thankfully, Wakanda’s shields were strong enough to not have them fall pray to the zombie apocalypse. So, technically, there is still hope that they can fabricate a cure, if only it wasn’t for the small little detail everyone forgot – Thanos arrival.
  • The episode ends with an image of a zombie Thanos, who is wearing an infinity gauntlet with a full set of stones. To me, that means he defeated the remaining people in Wakanda and got the mind stone. I’m assuming his plans for the use of the gauntlet changed with his turn to a zombie, but I don’t know. I could speculate and form a dozen theories, but that’s the frustrating thing with these episodes sometimes. The end could mean basically anything and everything.
What If ... Zombies!?
credit: Marvel Studios

What did I learn from this episode? I still remember this thing going around TikTok or Twitter, where someone said that heroes would always sacrifice their love in order to save the world, whereas villains would burn down everything rather than let you go. Well, I think the What If … multiverse proves that our heroes are definitely willing to let it all go to hell for their loved ones. Just some more food for thought, because as the watcher said, all these stories (most of which often turn to a form of horror) started with love and hope/Hope.

Something I appreciate a lot with these episodes is how they replicate certain shots from the bigger MCU in animation. It was especially notable with Captain Carter’s episode, but continued to be utilized throughout the season thus far. This time around, for example, we saw a corrupted Steve Rogers still use his shield and it looked marred by blood, just like it did when John Walker misused it in TFATWS. It’s very smart cinematography, because it easily creates a connection and possible emotional memory to something familiar, but in a very subtle way.

In general, this episode offered a lot of imagery hinting at the fate of characters in different realities. There was Peter with the cloak/cape and him being Spider Supreme in another universe. Then there was Bucky with the shield (“guess this is the end of the line”), stepping up as the new “Captain America” in this version. It’s the little things that often only last a couple seconds, but that can be meaningful to viewers (although Sam is my Captain. Sorry not sorry).

Ultimately, I liked the episode, but I’ve enjoyed others even more. Maybe I’m not the right audience for an anthology series like this, but we’ve made it to episode 5 (which I believe to be the halfway point of the season), so I’m going to keep going with these little reviews/recaps.


PREVIOUSLY: WHAT IF …


What did you think of this episode? Did you like this take on zombies? What are your thoughts? Let’s chat!

August 2021 Wrap-Up

I don’t know where this summer went, but it sure went by quick! I’m well aware I’ve said the same thing the past couple of months, but it’s still true. I blink and suddenly the month has gone by, but apparently I had a lot of time to read, because I somehow managed to finish my Goodreads Reading Challenge! I know I could adjust the goal, but I kind of like that there’s now zero pressure for the remainder of the year.

Goodreads Reading Challenge 2021

But let’s take a closer look at all the books I had the chance to check out during August!

The Green Knight (Movie Tie-In) In the Wild Light Still Life With Woodpecker The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone Ballad of the Whiskey Robber: A True Story of Bank Heists, Ice Hockey, Transylvanian Pelt Smuggling, Moonlighting Detectives, and Broken Hearts Take Me with You When You Go Dark and Shallow Lies

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! My own reviews (where there is one) you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

So, August was alright? It was my birthday month, but I’m not much of a birthday person, so I didn’t really celebrate. I told all my friends and family that I didn’t want anything, except to maybe spend some time with them. Therefore, I went on some nice walks in town, got good food and even went hiking. I’m not a super athletic person and I need new hiking gear, but I still love the feeling of accomplishment once you get to the top (or your designated spot). That was hard, but nice! (And I’m completely going to ignore that I forgot to put on sun screen and had the worst sun burn afterwards.)

Not really sure if this constitutes as news, but I’m currently looking for an apartment in Vienna for myself. This is momentous due to a couple reasons for me, because 1) living with my parents has always been my safety net and a great way to save money during tough times, 2) I never really intended to stay in Vienna and therefore never went looking for a place of my own, so this is like admitting defeat in my pursuit of moving abroad? Kind of? and 3) as I’m getting over my crushed dreams, I’m developing new ones and I’m really looking forward to making some of them come true (this is not necessarily referring to a flat).

MY FAVORITE THINGS

I hope you’re not getting tired of hearing this, but I’m once again going to talk about my reader compatibility series! I put a lot of work into these posts and I know the topic is kind of silly and fun, but I’m really, really proud of the outcome. The latest installment was me checking to see if Sebastian Stan and I are compatible readers and the result was genuinely surprising to me! This series will continue to be a regular feature on the blog, however, I decided to take a break during September and possibly focus a little more on books that I just want to read for my own sake. Still, I have a list of names ready to go!

Sebastian Stan compatibility

Another thing I completely adored and simply cannot get out of my head is the movie CODA! It’s about the only hearing child of deaf adults and her passion for music. It was honestly one of the most beautiful and emotional movies I had the pleasure of watching this year and I’m really not surprised audiences love it so much. If you haven’t yet, I hope you’re going to check out this masterpiece!!

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

This part of the wrap-up is always dedicated to the amazing work other bloggers do in the community. I hope you give them a visit and show some appreciation for their contributions!

MY OTHER POSTS

PREVIOUSLY ON WHAT IF …

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS

VARIOUS POSTS AND TAGS

TRAILER POSTS


I hope your August went well and that you are safe and healthy! Wishing you all the best for September and hope we can chat a bit in the comments!

July 2021 Wrap-Up

July went by super fast for me! It almost feels like I blinked and suddenly the month was over and I’m well aware I pretty much said the same thing last month. Somehow times just accelerated and I hope the rest of the year won’t fly by as quickly. Where even is time going? But … before this all gets too deep, let’s take a look at the books I read during the past month.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind  The Taking of Jake Livingston  God Pharm  Like a Love Song  The Course of Love

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! My own reviews (where there is one) you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

July was good? There’s really nothing in particular that stood out as either amazing or bad. I DID finally get my vaccination and while I felt a bit tired and sore, it went over pretty decently. Other than that, I’m really struggling to think of anything noteworthy to mention. I may have returned to social media a bit more, but am still not spending nearly as much time on it as I previously did. I just feel calmer not thinking about it too much and mostly focusing on my DMs. So, if you need me, that’s where you can still easily contact me.

However, one thing I did appreciate this past month is that my lengthy commute to and from work gives me the perfect excuse to read more again. Since I’m not glued to my phone to check various timelines, I can just read and/or enjoy the landscape going by. I’ve really managed to get through quite a lot of books compared to the past, where I just got distracted by other devices or things I could do instead.

MY FAVORITE THINGS

As excited as I was about last month’s reading experiment, I was just as pumped to share another one in July. Comparing my reading taste with that of Chris Evans was once again super fun and also surprising in many ways. I’m so very glad this is a whole series now, because it forces me to read outside of my comfort zone, while simultaneously wetting my appetite to go back to books that I want to read. I’m not sure I’ll manage to post one every single month, just because it’s very time and labor extensive, but you can definitely expect another reading experiment post in August! Feel free to guess who the next person will be!!

I have to admit that the Loki finale didn’t blow me away as much as I had hoped it would. While I loved so many of the new characters, I felt a bit torn about quite a few other aspects. The show felt a bit like an emotional downer, not portraying that spirit of mischief at all, but I did like how it really changed the entire MCU to come. However, something I did obsess over was this Loki fic with a reader insert that made you feel like you were part of the show. If you are ever bored and/or interested check it out here!

dang, I’m the one that needed a hug after the finale …

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

Once again, I’d like to point you all to some awesome posts on my fellow bloggers’ pages. I hope you’ll give them a visit, because they deserve some love as well!

MY OTHER POSTS

LOKI REVIEWS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS

VARIOUS POSTS AND TAGS

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you had a pleasant July as well! Here’s to a great and relaxing August for all of us!

May 2021 Wrap-Up

Time’s just flying by and I have lost all track of what’s happening. I did, however, read an astonishing amount of books this past month, which was only possible because some of those were no more than 40 pages and included a lot of poetry collections, but still … I read a bunch! I love that for me. Let’s check out what was on my list:

  • The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin (3 stars)
  • On the Shortness of Life by Seneca (3 stars)
    It is astonishing to me that, after 2,000 years, we still struggle with similar problems. This series of short essays wasn’t always something I agreed with, but it raised some very interesting points.
  • Love Looks Pretty on You by Lang Leav (4 stars)
    This poetry collection was so easy to get into. I found a lot of passages I could identify with, while others were so specific that it almost felt like intruding on someone’s personal life.
  • The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman (5 stars)
    This is “just” a printed version of the inaugural poem Amanda Gorman wrote, with a foreword by Oprah Winfrey. Nothing beats watching her perform it though.
  • Where Hope Comes From by Nikita Gill (5 stars)
    Another poetry collection, this one with a focus on the year 2020. I found it very emotional to read and do not recommend it if you don’t want to be reminded of the pain of the pandemic (which we’re still in).
  • Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (4 stars)
  • Galatea by Madeline Miller (3 stars)
    Miller’s short story – Galatea – is bound to break your heart, like most of her writing will.

The Nature of Witches  On The Shortness Of Life: De Brevitate Vitae (A New Translation with Image Gallery and Seneca Biography) (Stoics In Their Own Words Book 4)  Love Looks Pretty on You  The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem  Where Hope Comes From: Poems of Resilience, Healing and Light  Malibu Rising  Galatea

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! My own reviews (where there is one) you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

So, what’s new? I have further reduced my time on social media (although it’s still easy to reach me via DMs if there’s ever something I need to know or you want to talk about) and it has been very freeing. I barely check my timeline, I tweet something every other day and then log off again and just enjoy not giving my opinion on all things? It’s not that I have nothing to say or talk about, but … does the whole world need to know? The answer is likely “no”, so I reduce my interactions mostly to brief reactions about what I’ve watched recently. It honestly works for me.

I haven’t drawn or done much creatively once more and I’m not sure June will be the month for that either. It’s going to hold a lot of changes for me and we shall see how that might also affect my blogging schedule (been going “strong” with at least 2 posts each week minimum). For now, it looks like the Canada thing needs to be buried, which saddens me but is something I’ll just have to deal with. I think a lot of lives have been interrupted/disrupted/changed during the past year and if letting go of that dream is what it means for me, then it could have been much worse I suppose.

During the past months, my blogging friend Stephanie @Adventures of a Bibliophile has really inspired me with her reading experiments. Be it about books she read based on her zodiac sign or letting Buzzfeed decide her next reads, it is always sure to be fun and a unique to her experience. Now, I’m not saying I’m going to copy her, but I have started my very own reading experiment. I wanted it to be something that felt very true to me and that you would all hopefully enjoy as well. I’m not ready to disclose what exactly my post will entail, but having written about it here will give me that accountability to go through with it! I’M SO EXCITED!

MY FAVORITE THINGS

Since I spent less time on social media apps, you might think I spent less time in front of screens, but that’s not entirely true. I still watched a whole lot, for example also the TV adaptation of Panic by Lauren Oliver. Fair warning, I forgot everything there was about the plot, except for random details, but I had a good time. The concept of the game within the story is pretty reckless and stupid, all of it is a very teen angst filled show, but I was entertained.

I’ve also started to delve into fan fiction a bit, just because I think it’s such an amazing outlet for all the creative people out there. I love reading my friends’ takes on Charmed (which are often better than canon) such as katasstropheee‘s or amandapanda425‘s works (to just name a few). But also all things Marvel related, where I’m especially excited to see the Why Me? fic continued once the Loki show will air. Reimagining already existing worlds can be so satisfying and I might try my own hand at it while my motivation for my original novels is lacking.

MY OTHER POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS

VARIOUS BOOKISH STUFF

TRAILER POSTS


What are some things that shaped your May? What are you looking forward to in June? Let’s chat a little bit and I hope you are all happy and healthy!

April 2021 Wrap-Up

I can’t believe April is over already. I’ve had all these plans and ideas for the year, but once again, little of that is going according to said plans. Anyway, I managed to read/listen to three books and that’s what we will start this post with. It’s not a huge amount of reads, but my motivation in the reading department is a continuous flow and ebb.

  • Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin (4 stars)
  • The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas
    This book not having a rating has nothing to do with the quality of the writing, but simply with my decision not to rate and review books by friends and people I know. Elena is an old blogging buddy and I was so happy to see her dream of releasing her own romance novel come true. I HAD to support that and had a really good time reading The Spanish Love Deception. Romance isn’t my usual genre, so I don’t feel super qualified to comment on it anyway, but the banter between Lina and Aaron was so much fun.
  • The Sandman by Neil Gaiman/audiobook (3 stars)
    I still don’t know how people sit through audiobooks, because I’m apparently a very visual reader and completely space out after a while. The fact that The Sandman had a fantastic voice cast (with the likes of James McAvoy, Kat Dennings, Michael Sheen, Riz Ahmed and many more) and thus making it more of an audioplay than audiobook helped immensely. Still, I struggled with paying attention a lot … I keep trying this medium, but apparently it’s just not for me (as I’ve talked about before in this post)

Hana Khan Carries On The Spanish Love Deception The Sandman (Sandman Audible Original, #1)

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! My own reviews (where there is one) you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

At the end of April, I took a little social media break and I’m basically still on it and it feels quite nice. It’s not that anything in particular happened that drove me away, but I did not enjoy being constantly glued to my phone and putting my entire energy into that thing. After a while, it also spiked my anxiety to voice my opinions, despite no one ever coming for me and I just decided to dip out for a while. I’m not completely gone and if anyone needs me, it’s fairly easy to contact me, but I just thought I’d let you know why my timeline is a little bit more quiet. It definitely helped in eliminating one of the many excuses I had created for myself in order to not pursue any of my creative ideas (be that writing, drawing or something else entirely).

For those of you who are interested in the status of my Canada-move, it’s still very much looking grim. I have decided to apply for another extension of the visa once that is possible (you can only do so 30 days before yours expires), but that I cannot put my life on hold for this any longer. I’m currently taking steps to figure out what I might be able to do instead and how I could move on, but it’s all a process. This really still is my biggest dream and giving up on it is soul crushing to even contemplate.

My creativity still isn’t at a peak, but I can feel some of it returning. I may or may not have splurged on some new materials that I’m excited to work with, even though I still have to get acquainted with a lot of them. I don’t think I will post any portraits or other drawings in the near future, but rather just try to get a feel back for myself without having to put anything of it out into the world yet.

MY FAVORITE THINGS

As much as I struggled with the fact that the finale of the Falcon and the Winter Soldier premiered on the same day and at the same time as Shadow and Bone, I loved doing those weekly reviews. They may not have sparked as much engagement and views as some of the WandaVision content, but it was nice to dig deep on content I feel so passionate about. I’m still unsure whether to go through the trouble for Loki, but at the same time, I felt a big hole this past Friday without anything to review. Please, let me know in the comments which other shows (besides Loki) you could imagine me doing weekly or in depth seasonal reviews for! I obviously can’t promise anything, because I don’t know if I will always have the time for it, but I enjoyed the routine and if you *want* me to talk about something in particular, I’d really like to know what, so I can at least think about it!

I’m all ears for your ideas!

MY OTHER POSTS

THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER REVIEWS/CONTENT

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS

VARIOUS TAGS AND POSTS

TRAILER POSTS


Hope your April went well! What are some posts you enjoyed reading this past month? Did you encounter some great books and TV shows? Let’s talk!

Charming as a Verb by Ben Philippe (Book Review)

Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Page Count
: 336

I have said it before and I will say it again, there’s something about Ben Philippe’s writing that just works for me. I was utterly smitten with The Field Guide to the North American Teenager and extremely pumped to read Charming as a Verb. From the first couple of pages, you just sort of get the characters and their personality. They come to life easily and grow on you quickly.

All children are charming as an adjective, but you’re charming as a verb. 

Henri “Halti” Haltiwanger is, in all possible meanings of the word, charming. He has a Smile (yes, capital S) for every situation and knows how to navigate people like the back of his hand. In addition to that, he is also extremely smart and funny and handsome – a combination that makes him likable in every social circle he encounters, despite some massive income differences between him and his other classmates. And while you read, you get it! Henri is a go-getter and not beyond a little con here and there to get to the places he needs to go. He just knows exactly what to say and makes his flaws look endearing, so, it comes as little surprise when Corinne, the social opposite of him, blackmails him into helping her get a social life. A meet cute started by blackmail, not something you see every day!

“You want me to She’s All That you?” I manage to say, hiding the smile creeping on my lips.
“What’s that?”
“Oh, my God,” I groan. “Watch more movies. Maybe that’s been the missing ingredient all along.”

From there on, things evolve quickly and you have a sort of rivals to friends to lovers situation. Corinne and Henri are incredibly cute together and will have you smiling like crazy with their banter and endearing get-to-know phase. However, this book isn’t just a romance. It’s about so much more!

A much bigger component, and the source of many a problem, is the fact that Corinne, Henri and their friends are in their senior year at High School. Being at a very competitive private school is one thing, but Henri simultaneously has to keep his dog-walking-business running, help out at home and fulfill his dad’s dream of getting into Columbia. And that’s the source of one of the main issues!

Despite our both being the O-Generation – a concept I have to admit rings terribly true the more I think about it – Corinne isn’t an immigrant. Or the child of immigrants. It’s a distinction that’s mostly irrelevant except in the moments like these, where it could easily place us on two different wavelengths. There’s no Haitian in her, no Jamaican, no Puerto Rican. Her Blackness is American, born and raised. Stolen and enslaved, technically, but still, it’s rooted here. She never aspired to be here from another shore elsewhere. She might not understand.
“If I give up on Columbia, then … I don’t know.”
“Then it’s like you’re no longer Haltiwanger Hungry?”
“Something like that.”

So, Henri has to figure out why he wants to go to Columbia and how far he is willing to go to get there. I call it the main issue, because it leads to Henri doing something that just made me so irrefutably angry. Maybe it’s not fair for me to hold Henri to such a high standard, but I truly expected better from him and that just made me so disappointed in his actions.
Then again, that’s another sign of great writing! I was so invested in the life of the characters, I wanted them to do better. I wanted everyone to succeed and live their dreams. And I don’t even speak of just Corinne and Henri here, who were so lovable, but also side characters like Henri’s best friend Ming. That dude was exactly the kind of friend I wish everyone had!

To recap, Ben Philippe’s writing style is still something that I enjoy very much. He manages to not feel the need to detail every second of every day the characters live through and yet you always feel like you have the full picture. His characters are full of life, relatable and fun. I didn’t enjoy the conflict in this one as much as in The Field Guide … but I still thought it had amazing parts focusing on the family-theme and very cute romance moments!

Fazit: 3/5 stars! I really wish Halti hadn’t done that one thing …

3s

Are you planning on reading Charming as a Verb? Have you read Philippe’s other book? Let’s talk!

August 2020 Wrap-Up

Again, August wasn’t my most active month on the blog. I know I keep saying this, but more about that in the life update section!

I have read 100% more books than last month, which means two instead of one! To some of you, that might still not seem like a lot, but I am happy with it. My reading challenge is still on track and that hasn’t been the case in years around the same time.

  • Stargirl by Geoff Johns – complete collection (3 stars)
    I did not review the comic book, although it was a decent collection. It got confusing at times when the crossovers with the JSA, Titans, etc. were incomplete or out of order, but you definitely got a feel for the character and its history.
    Again, major thanks to my friend Lois for gifting this one to me!
  • Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power (2 stars)

Stargirl          Burn Our Bodies Down

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! My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above.

I announced last month that I would replace my art challenge with a fitness challenge and I am sad to say that I did not finish Chloe Ting’s 25 Day Hourglass-Challenge. The thing is, I had been lightly working out on the daily for months (pretty much since lockdown started), but this challenge was a whole other intensity. A lot of the exercises repeated themselves in multiple videos and it led to my knee getting bad again and my wrist getting strained from overuse (basically too much planking and kneeling). It was very frustrating, as I was hoping to finally see results, but I knew I had to stop and rest in order to not risk a more severe injury. I haven’t been working out for 3 weeks now and I am not happy with the situation, but also cautious about possible injuries while doing this alone at home … (Everything’s fine now and nothing hurts, just being wary)

I also haven’t been writing or blogging very regularly, I did, however, continue to draw whenever possible and inspiration struck. Feel free to follow me @katimpossibledraws on instagram. I’m really close to 300 followers and hope to get there in September.

A lot of people have suggested I open a shop or sell prints, open my account for commissions, but I honestly have to tell you that I don’t think I’ll do that. Drawing has kept me sane in this very strange time we are living in. I like drawing what I want whenever I want to and enjoy it not being connected to any sort of stress factors. I’m sorry if that disappoints people who were hoping to commission something, but I really need this to just be my zen place.

MY FAVOURITE THINGS

My favourite things this past month were 100% certain Apple shows that I enjoyed. One is called Little Voice and is about a struggling musician finding her voice. It has one of my favourite ever love interests. I was really team Samuel since day 1 and I adored the finale. It was created by Sara Bareilles and Jessie Nelson and features just a bunch of songs you’ll end up listening to on repeat. All 9 episodes are available on Apple TV+!

The other show I adore is Ted Lasso! I haven’t had such a perfect comfort show in a while, but this one is really IT. Starring Jason Sudeikis as American Football coach Ted Lasso, who takes on the position of manager of a UK football (meaning soccer) club. It’s hilarious and very much American optimism meets British pessimism. The characters and their dynamics and relationships are everything! If you want to be happy too, watch it! (It’s still ongoing, but half the season is out so far)

As 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!!

MY OTHER POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS


Hope you had a good August and are looking forward to a little less heat as much as me! Let’s chat a bit in the comment section!

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!