October Reading Wrap-Up!

Okay, so I sort of failed this month. Horribly, in fact. I didn’t complete any of the challenges I set myself and now I’m in a reading slump and behind on all my Arcs! I suppose, though, that I’ve done well reading for the rest of the year but my reading abilities have dwindled now. It’s just that time of year. Anyway, here is what I did manage to complete this month and I hope you did a lot better than I did.

This is Going to Hurt
Adam Kay

I did really enjoy this and I think it’s an important book, but it included so many problematic elements that I ended up docking it from four stars to five stars. I think, if you want a book to learn about how difficult being a doctor/nurse is and how important the NHS is, LANGUAGE OF KINDNESS is a much better option to go for.

Sawkill Girls
Claire Legrand

This is by far one of the best paranormal horrors I’ve read in a while. It did get a little tropey, especially near the end. It still felt like it had an original twist to it, and I’d be really interested in what else this author has written.

The Colorado Kid
Stephen King

This was short and great! It had a really old fashioned feel to it, and it was like being told a story. It didn’t really have a conclusion, so if you want a mystery where you can get a conclusion this probably isn’t for you.

Dead Popular
Sue Wallman

This was just…okay? It had good promise and I thought it was going to be like an interesting Pretty Little Liars sort of thing. It very nearly reached that mark but, in the end, never really got there. It was just ok and I can’t say I enjoyed it very much. You shouldn’t be bored reading a thriller.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones
Seanan McGuire

This is the second book in this series, and I actually might have liked this one even more than the first one. I really liked Jack and Jill from the first book, so I really enjoyed hearing more about their backstory. Listening to it in an audiobook was also a good idea.

The Prison Doctor
Dr Amanda Brown

I enjoyed this one a lot more than a doctor book I read earlier on in the month. The doctor, Amanda Brown, was so kind and lovely. I’m not sure I really agree with her that even the child molesters should be treated kindly, but everyone else there did. I think everyone should be reading this, because society as a whole looks down on those that use drugs and steal, etc. There’s always a reason behind it and they’re still human.

Celeste
Virginia Andrews

I’m actually still in the middle of reading this one, but I did start this in the middle of October and I just haven’t got around to finishing it yet. I am really enjoying it, though, so I know I will eventually get around to finishing it as I don’t want to DNF this just yet.

Frankenstein
Mary Shelley

It took me long enough to get around to reading this, I know. It was a perfect Halloween read, though. I did enjoy it, but some of the language used was a bit difficult and hard to understand. I expected that, though, and it’s why I don’t read a lot of classics because it makes them harder to enjoy.

The Other Wife
Claire McGowan

This was, actually, really good. I liked that it put the man at fault for his own actions rather than on the women. You could see real character development going on throughout the book. It was really interesting, and I really enjoyed it. I received this as a free copy on NetGalley in exchange for a review.

A Good Girls Guide to Murder
Holly Jackson

This was far more developed than I’m used to YA thrillers being. Not that I think young adult thrillers are bad, or I would never read them, but that it was just so complex and advanced. Long story short, I adored it.

Three Hours
Rosamund Lipton

This was quite dark, as it was about being trapped inside a school during a school shooting and how even the most ordinary of teenage boys can become a killer. I also loved how it focused on the racism, especially against Muslims/refugees, that happen as soon as a shooting happens. They are the first suspects, even though they are usually the victims of these crimes. Extremely good, and absolutely terrifying. I received this as a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for a review.

What Makes Us
Rafi Mittlefehldt

This one was a DNF as it just wasn’t for me. It was pretty heavy on the subject, and it seemed like all the characters and the story was made just so the story subject could be told so I think this would be better as a non fiction book. It didn’t work the way it was in my opinion. I received this as a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for a review.

 

So, that was my absolute failure of a reading month! I’m hoping November will be better (although, spoiler alert, so far it’s worse).

Any tips on how to get out of a reading slump will really be appreciated.

Until next time,

A.W

BoJack Horseman Book Tag! // Original

bojack horseman

So, to celebrate the release of the new series of BoJack Horseman, I wanted to do a book tag related to the show but I couldn’t find any so I guess I’m going to create my own! I don’t think it’ll be good enough for other people want to do but, if you do, remember to tag me so I can read your responses to the questions!

bojack

BoJack Horseman: Name a Book You Loved With an Unlikeable Main Character

I really enjoyed The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. I like that it put the focus on the peers of the Chosen One and what its like to watch it from the outside without having any insider information, which I thought was unique and interesting, and I love love love Patrick Ness…but oh my god, the main character was annoying. Maybe it’s because he’s a lot like me and I annoy myself.

diane

Diane Nguyen: A Character You Feel is Misunderstood

I don’t know if this is a popular or unpopular opinion, but I think Tori Spring from Solitaire/Heartstopper Volumes One and Two by Alice Oseman is SUPER misunderstood. A lot of people didn’t like her and thought she was too cynical and pessimistic, but I think she was just…you know, sad. I enjoyed reading about someone who thinks the way I do and depression is different in everyone, and she absolutely deserved more love than she received.

mr peanutbutter

Mr. Peanutbutter: Name a Book You Just LOVE

I have a feeling a lot of people would pick the same answer, or Harry Potter, but The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. It’s just a masterpiece that I don’t want to see turned into a movie, because it wouldn’t achieve anything close to the spectacular standards this book set itself. It’s just amazing how it managed to appeal to such a wide variety of people from all walks of lives with such a different set of tastes. Absolutely a classic.

todd

Todd Chavez: Name Your Favourite Book Featuring an Asexual Character

I have two answers for this one! The first one is Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire. If you have the ability to, I really recommend reading this on an audiobook because it feels and sounds like a fairytale. It’s so fun and adventurous. My second answer is Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand, especially since the asexuality came as a complete shock to me, as nobody told me it would be in there and it was a wonderful surprise.

princess-carolyn.jpg

Princess Carolyn: Name a Fiercely Determined Character

Ooh, I think Denise from On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis. I love how she fought so hard to get what she needed and wanted. She didn’t just fight for herself, either, she did a lot of it for her mother and sister. She’s one of my favourite characters in any book, ever. She’s just so kind and brave and a lot like Princess Carolyn, but a little less manipulative and sometimes quite mean. Sorry, Princess Carolyn, I love you anyway!

sarah lynn

Sarah Lynn: What’s a Book That Really Took You on a Journey?

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman which, for some reason, took me such a long time to read even though my school library had the entire series in their stock. I always passed them wanting to read them, but I never got around to it. I somehow managed to avoid any spoilers, and wow what a ride that was.

wanda

Wanda Pierce: What’s Your Favourite Historical Fiction Book?

Historical fiction really isn’t my favourite genre, but occasionally I do find a book among the genre that makes me keep on reading it. I can’t choose Evelyn Hugo again (well, I could, but that would be boring) so I’ll pick a different one! Although it’s by the same author, I did really enjoy Daisy Jones and the Six and it introduced me into the world of older rock bands and how could I not love a book that introduced music into my life?

 

I really hope you like it. I’m not a very creative person and I’m not very good at doing things, so I’m not going to be offended if nobody wants to do the tag, and I’m sorry to any other BoJack Horseman lovers who already created a book tag for this and I just couldn’t find it! Let me know if there are any.

Until next time,

A.W

Netflix Horror #4 – Eli

eli

Movie Summary

Eli suffers from a chronic illness meaning he is allergic to the outside world. This can cause him severe hives where he can even stop breathing. When he is taken to a sanctuary to receive treatment for his sickness, he learns that he isn’t as safe as he once thought.

Cast

  • Charlie Shotwell as Eli
  • Kelly Reilly as Rose
  • Max Martini as Paul
  • Lili Taylor as Dr Horn
  • Sadie Sink as Haley
  • Deneen Tyler as Nurse Barbara
  • Katie Gomez as Nurse Maricela

What I Thought

It has an awful lot of jumpscares, which are pretty predictable and standard. That doesn’t mean it didn’t scare me because it absolutely did. Especially since it had this unknown mystery going on in the back that we know is really sinister but you could still make a guess at what happened, as that wasn’t as difficult to figure out as the movie clearly thought it would be.

Because I have medical anxiety, that is probably what made this experience much scarier than it probably is to everyone else as a majority of the movie happens in a medical facility where it’s just him, his parents and the nurses/doctors. He is forced to go through painful procedures that often trigger these allergic reactions. There is a lot of needles, medical suits, nobody communicating clearly what is happening, nobody helping you with your uncomfortable experiences, etc.

You can really tell, especially with the jump scares, that this was made by the same people who made The Haunting of Hill House but nowhere near as good. I absolutely adore that series (and really need to rewatch it).

Also, pretty ableist? As I know so many people, including the person I’m dating, who suffer with daily allergic reactions to the world around them and I felt like this dealt with that subject in a really insensitive and disrespectful way.

The movie kept withholding information which made this a lot more confusing than anything else. Even after the movie is over, I’m still pretty confused by what actually happened and I’m open to having a discussion with anyone who has watched the movie. I’d like to hear some opinions on what others thought about this.

Until next time,

A.W

Netflix Horror #3 – The Grudge 2

the grudge.jpg

I just want to start off by saying, as I do in every one of these posts, that I don’t want horror movies to be frightening. I don’t believe horror movies have to be scary in order to entertain you. The story and the plot can be interesting without you cowering behind a chair, but I also prefer horror that’s paranormal over gory – I’m probably quite unpopular in the horror movie community, but I feel like I should put down that disclaimer anyway.

Also, another disclaimer, this isn’t made by Netflix, this is just available on (UK) Netflix! Unlike the other two in this series that I’ve reviewed so far, which has been Marianne and Into the Tall Grass – I am watching another horror series made by Netflix currently though, so I’ll write a review on that when I finally finish it.

So! Cast:

  • Sarah Michelle Gellar as Karen (also seen in The Big Bang Theory, Star Wars Rebels, Princess Rap Battles, American Dad, The Simpsons, All My Children, Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, etc)
  • Amber Tamblyn as Aubrey (also seen in Two and a Half Men, 127 Hours, The Ring, etc)
  • Arielle Kebbel as Allison  (as seen in Fifty Shades Freed, The Vampire Diaries, 90210, Vampires Suck, The Uninvited, etc)
  • Takako Fuji as Kayako (as seen in all three Grudge Movies, Princess Mononoke, etc)
  • Edison Chen as Eason (as seen in Internal Affairs, The Dark Knight, etc)
  • Sarah Roemer as Lacey (as seen in Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, Daybreak, etc)
  • Matthew Knight as Jake (as seen in The Grudge 2 and Cheaper by the Dozen, etc)
  • Misako Uno as Miyuki (as seen in The Grudge)
  • Teresa Palmer as Vanessa (as seen in Lights Out, I Am Number Four, Warm Bodies, Hacksaw Ridge, etc)

What I Thought

To begin with, I thought the acting was pretty terrible, I’ll be honest. But, as the movie went on, I really enjoyed the plot. It was intense, and on occasion pretty scary. I thought the original Grudge movie was boring, to be honest, and this was just miles better. Pretty far from perfect, and I’ll admit this was more just enjoyment of a trashy movie and it’ll be in the trashy movie pile.

The movie begins in Japan with two pretty typical teenage girls, who are very popular and take this shy and unpopular girl under their wing. They tell her how to wear her clothes and then, as a sort of introduction to becoming part of their friendship group, they take her to the now abandoned house where the first Grudge movie took place. It’s now the most haunted building in Japan, where they get terrified out of their wits and they waken up the ghosts.

Back in Pasadena, Mrs Davis sends her daughter to Japan to bring her sister Karen back home after she was sent to hospital from surviving a fire. After their meeting, Karen dies and during Aubery’s investigations into what happened, she finds herself stuck in the same situation. She’s being chased by the ghost of the house.

The bad acting was apparent in the whole movie, and it kind of nearly ruined the whole thing, but it’s mostly only obvious during the scene with the three teenage girls. The bad acting might be due to the language barriers of the different locations, and the different directors working on the movie, as I’ve seen this actors in different roles and they weren’t anywhere near as awful. The acting does improve during the jumpscare moments. So, at the actual horror and suspense moments, they were pretty good.

If you’re looking for something a little different to the first movie, though, you may be disappointed as it has a very repetitive and similar plot line but if you had high expectations for the first movie and just didn’t enjoy it very much then you might enjoy this one a lot more, as I did.

Sequels for horror movies rarely do well, though, because a lot of it relies on having a lack of expectation and knowledge to what is about to happen which is difficult to do and sometime impossible for sequels.

Sorry that this was such a badly written review. I haven’t written in a while, I’ve been kind of in a book slump and I’m just mentally not doing that great. I haven’t been sleeping very well, either (all the horror movies and thrillers probably aren’t helping either). So, my brain isn’t on its top form. Again, sorry about that!

I also watched this movie a while ago so it’s relying on a movie that I don’t know very well anymore!

Until next time,

A.W

 

Netflix Horrors #2 – INTO THE TALL GRASS

in the tall grass

Trigger Warning: drugs, blood, dead bodies, gore, a dead decomposing dog, abuse, implied rape and sexual assault, talk of abortion and adoption, cults and rituals, pregnancy, childbirth, dead children, cannablism

I feel like, right off the bat, I should put a disclaimer that I don’t think I’ve ever read the novella that this movie is based off of. So, as far as comparisons go for wanting to know the accuracy and how well it translated on screen, I’ll be unable to answer. I’m sure I’ll read it in the future, and then I’ll get back to you.

Main Cast:

– Laysla De Oliveira as Becky DeMuth (also featured in The Gifted, iZombie, Gothika, Guest of Honour, etc)
– Avery Whitted as Cal DeMuth (also featured in The Vanishing of Sidney Hall)
– Patrick Wilson as Ross Humboltdt (also featured in The Phantom of the Opera, American Dad, the A Team, Insidious, The Conjuring, etc)
– Will Buie Jr as Tobin Humbolt (also seen in Modern Family, Daytime Divas and Gifted)
– Harrison Gilbertson as Travis McKean (also seen in Look Away, Fallen, Need for Speed, and Virginia)

Summary

Siblings Becky and Cal hear the sounds of a lost boy calling for help within a field of long grass, where they then go on to rescue him but become ensnared themselves by a sinister force that quickly disorients and seperates them. Cut off from the world and unable to escape the field’s tightning grip, they soon discover that the only thing worse than getting lost is being found. Based on the novella by Stephen King and Joe Hill.

Review

Things I Liked:

  • It’s interesting and I’ve never watched a horror movie like this before
  • It was a lot like Blair Witch in that they can’t escape and the more they walk the deeper they get in, and how others in the woods seem to be in a different time zone, which I really liked (and I also really liked Blair Witch)
  • I’m not sure who the director is but I’m going to be following them and their future movies they create, because I just like the style they do in horror movies
  • Cal looks A LOT like Nick Jonas
  • I’m claustrophobic so, although I don’t actually think the purpose of horror movies is to scare you 100% of the time, it did scare me just watching the prospect of not having a way out

Things I Didn’t Like:

  • The same setting consistantly can be very hard on the eyes and gets boring quickly
  • A little too long
  • It leaves a lot of unanswered questions
  • It contains attempted rape and, as a horror fan, I’m pretty sick and tired of that being used in horror movies as a scare factor
  • There’s a rock with special powers, but this is never explained at any point. How does it have special powers? Why does it feed from your organs? Why can’t it feed off of birds and stuff that go into the grass, why does it need humans? Why does it turn other people evil? What’s the purpose of that? How does it create an almost cult like mentality in those that go near it? None of this is explained, but I’m hoping it’ll be explained in a novella

 

So, to summarise! This isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and with being in the grass and only having dark, stripy settings, it can give you headaches watching it easily. Personally, I really love things like this and I give it a 4/5. Paranormal and supernatural horror is my favourite kind!

Until next time,

A.W

 

Book Haul!

Hello! I know I’m buying a lot of books lately, which is especially bad because I have around 700 books (I really need to get rid of some of those soon). They just entice me, and I want them! None of these books I bought for full price (or bought at all), so at least they may be taking up space but not draining my bank account. I’m pretty excited about all of these.

The Girl Who Speaks Bear
Sophie Anderson

I bought this for a reading group, but then I never heard back from the reading group, so I have no idea if they’re still doing it! Regardless, I do want to read this anyway. I’m not sure what this is about, but it sounds like a girl who can talk to animals, and…probably bears.

Dead Popular
S
ue Wallman

I haven’t heard much about this but I had to buy a second book to get a discount on The Girl Who Speaks Bear, so I chose this one! I had either already read, already owned or had no interest in the other books available. This sounds like a Pretty Little Liars sort of book and I really loved that TV show so I’m looking forward to this one.

The Truth and Lies of Ella Black
Emily Barr

I got this used for £1.50, it looked really interesting! I’ve never read anything by Emily Barr but I’ve wanted to for a while. When I saw this, I just had to pick it up. The premise, as well, also sounds awesome.

The Travelling Cat Chronicles
Hiro Arikawa

Did I buy this just because it had a black cat on the cover? No. What about because it has cat in the title? Also no…

Doctor Sleep
Stephen King

I actually already own this on Kindle, but I wanted a physical copy because I’m more likely to read it in physical form. I really need to re-read The Shining so I can read this! I read it years ago, and I’ve only seen the movie once, so there’s probably loads I’ve forgotten.

The Cruel Prince
Holly Black

I got this because I needed to make the order cost £20 for free delivery and paid delivery made the total cost over £20, so why not? It was pretty cheap and I already own the second book, and I’ve wanted to read this for ages. I’m looking forward to it.

The Institute
Stephen King

My friend very kindly bought this for me after I said I wanted to read it, and they were selling this special edition with blue pages from Waterstones that I wanted but couldn’t afford. I really can’t wait to get to this, and it’s one of my most prized books on my shelf.

 

So that’s some of the books I got during the month of September! Have you read any of these? What did you thing of them?

Until next time,

A.W

My Least Favourite Tropes!

overdone tropes

Hello! I know this was a Thursday discussion prompt a little bit ago, but I’m pants at keeping up with things like that, especially when there’s a specific day you need to use it on so I’m just going to use some of the prompts and make posts seperate from the Thursday discussion posts – but, if you think it sounds familar, now you know why!

So, I’m going to start  with some tropes I don’t like in typical YA and then I’ll make another post for tropes I hate from horrors/thrillers that I read, because I feel like that can cover it’s own topic by itself really. Also, it’s October, it really fits in with the theme.

You can find the original discussion posts on Ally Writes Things

NOT ALL GIRLS

Of course, more and more people are speaking up on how they hate this trope, so we see it a lot less in YA than we used to (at least, from my perspective). When I do see it, though, it annoys me. You being “not like other girls” doesn’t make you special –  actually, I would love to know why you would want to divide yourself from other girls just to impress some medocre high school boy.

LOVE TRIANGLES

I know some people just loooove the tension and suspense this can add to the story, but personally it just bugs me. I wish they would just get into a polyamarous relationship together and call it a day.

MISCOMMUNICATION CAUSING CONFLICT

I know in young relationships, romantic or platonic, miscommunication will happen. It happens all the time, no matter your age (but I feel like it happens less frequently as we get older and learn that actually communication is quite important). When it’s the only conflict in the novel, though? Like Ally said, it just feels like lazy writing.

THE CHOSEN ONE

As much as I love books like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, the idea of there being one “chosen one” strikes me as a bit ridiculous. Sure, in a world of dragons and sea monsters and actual Greek Gods, maybe my prime concern shouldn’t be what’s realistic or not – but I can believe unicorns. One thirteen year old boy out of billions of people is the ONLY one that can save the world? That’s reaching.

SEXUAL ASSAULT/RAPE

Let me expand on this by saying, sometimes, this is pretty vital for the story. It’s important to share the stories of people who have had this happen, to talk about how little people who have been assaulted are believed, etc. I think my problem with this arises when it’s used as a conflict, or when it’s used to build strength within a character. Just no.

BEAUTIFUL BUT UNAWARE OF THIS

This trope doesn’t actually bother me when the person in question is not conventionally attractive and would, therefore, not have been told their entire life that they are in fact beautiful. When it is a conventionally attractive person, which is usually is, it’s like “…there’s no way this tall, skinny blond with perfect skin doesn’t know she’s attractive”. Body dysmorphia are a thing, and everyone feels insecurities, but it feels overdone to me. Like, an effort to make the male love interest feel more empowered and important by him being what makes her feel beautiful and not her friends, her family and herself. Kind of like the writer is making the female character rely on the male character, and it just doesn’t feel right to me.

 

So, these are just some of the tropes I really don’t like in young adult! Stay tuned for the horror/thriller tropes I hate. Which ones do you agree with and which tropes do you hate?

Until next time,

A.W