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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Noah Shaw

Image result for the becoming of noah shawThe Becoming of Noah Shaw
by Michelle Hodkin

The Becoming of Noah Shaw, while being as wonderfully written as The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer series, carries a slightly different tone to it. This series, at least this book, really dives into the mentality of Noah, who is much more grounded in his reality though that alone comes with it's own darkness. This creates a more stable narrator though. Because there is the Mara Dyer series before this one too, the reader (should they read this after the Mara Dyer series) already knows about what is going on with the group, which also changes the tone of the novel from the first series. The great thing that this book does though, is that even as the reader has gained so much knowledge from the previous series, the pace of the story is still engaging and intriguing. We all thought that the answers were solved with the end of The Retribution of Mara Dyer, but here we find that it was only the tip of the iceberg.

Image result for noah shawThe plot of the novel picks up almost immediately after the The Retribution of Mara Dyer, and I am not entirely sure that you can read this one without having read the others (The Unbecoming, The Evolution, The Retribution... of Mara Dyer). All of these books are fantastic though so, trust me, you won't regret reading them. Unless you get freaked easily... then you might. Coming back to this novel though, I think the plot is really well created: it is not the same as the previous books- there is no way that it could have been- but instead builds on it in a way that smoothly transitions from the last book to this one. We find out in this story that there is still so much that we do not know; but the pieces start to come into place in this book.

Another thing that was different in this book was the narration. I already touched on this, but seeing the story through Noah's point of view is vastly different from Mara's. All of the characters are slightly different, yet the same, now that they are seen through Noah's perspective, and holy moley does it make a difference. For me, the biggest difference was seeing Mara and her actions and words as opposed to being in her head. Also, she has some insane character development that kinda freaks me out, but I'm also looking forward to seeing more of.
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This book is a great start to what I really think is going to be a great series. It is not the same twisty, dark, and psychologically freaky story as The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer series, but The Becoming of Noah Shaw still very chilling and darkly themed, which I love. Plus, Noah Shaw is there the entire freaking time.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Review of The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin

Image result for the becoming of noah shawBe Prepared for the Roller Coaster that is 
The Becoming of Noah Shaw
By Michelle Hodkin


My rating: 

This is not an automatic rating because I love the Mara Dyer books. I am so so so so so happy and lucky to say that I got to read a copy of the book- yes, THE book!!!- before the release and it is absolutely incredible.
*THANK YOU to Simon & Schuster Books for a digital copy through Edelweiss+*
110% this book is going onto my favorites shelf and I'm giving it five stars. THERE WILL BE NO SPOILERS IN THIS POST. So for those of you who are just hunting for those, you will not find any here.

Image result for the becoming of noah shawFrom Goodreads:
"In the first book of the Shaw Confessions, the companion series to the New York Times bestselling Mara Dyer novels, old skeletons are laid bare and new promises prove deadly. This is what happens after happily ever after.

Everyone thinks seventeen-year-old Noah Shaw has the world on a string.

They’re wrong.

Mara Dyer is the only one he trusts with his secrets and his future.

He shouldn’t.

And both are scared that uncovering the truth about themselves will force them apart.

They’re right."

Chances are, if you are reading this post you may have already seen this Goodreads page, but I just wanted to give you a refresher of what is going to be happening.

Image result for the becoming of noah shawI absolutely loved the Mara Dyer series, and I really think that I am going to love this series as well if not more because I think that having it be a companion series allows there to be so much more depth, even just by nature of it being a companion to something that already exists. There are some new characters, but the main group is composed of people that we already know from the other books and the background to this novel is the Mara Dyer series; so it goes straight into the action of the plot and further development of these characters. 

One of the great things about the Mara Dyer series is the unreliable narration in my opinion. While that is not an element in this book, I still think that Noah was a strong narrator and that there is still a very creepy and Gothic vibe to the book that matches the others that have come before it. There is still a very strong and important theme running throughout the book of what these characters can do beyond the natural, but the tone of the novel takes a slightly different tune as the reader hears a story from Noah and his mind as opposed to Mara and her strange combination of PTSD and supernatural abilities. 

Image result for the becoming of noah shawMADNESS: the real cause of excitement for most people I would imagine. Oh my. I think that is the most comprehensive and accurate summary of what I can say without spoiling anything. Good luck interpreting, but please for the sake of the fandom and myself READ THIS BOOK ASAP. Also, cover love. All of the Mara Dyer books have water on the covers and this one has like flames and embers and I am totally obsessed with the opposites here.

I'm honestly terrified to keep going because I don't want to accidentally spoil anything. The excitement and feels for this book though are SO strong and if I go on I may actually slip up on something. It is at that level of amazing to me. Michelle Hodkin's writing is just as beautiful and wonderfully intricate in this book and The Becoming of Noah Shaw is a phenomenal and strong start to the beginning of what I believe will be a great companion series.


Thanks for reading and I cannot wait until I can share my full thoughts with you all!!!!!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Dunkirk Movie Review

Image result for dunkirkDunkirk Movie Review 
4.97 out of 5 Stars

I went into this movie knowing pretty much only that it was written and directed by Christopher Nolan with a score from Hans Zimmer. The other bare minimum information in my head going into previews was that it took place in France during World War II, and that Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, and Harry Styles were in it. Even with my sparse knowledge of the film, I was blown away. It is different from any other movie that I can think of in that it doesn't seem to have been made primarily for the stories it tells; but rather, it seems to have been made to educate both historically and emotionally what this event was like.

Image result for dunkirkThe experience of watching Dunkirk reminds me of the first time I rode a roller coaster. There was this great anticipation of what was about to happen followed by this adrenaline rush fueled by a combination of fear and thrill. It was a bit rocky and hard to adjust at first, but then by the end I did not want the experience to be over.

Without a doubt, the part that sits in my mind the strongest is the shooting of the film itself. Some of the angles and view points that were used are beautifully done and brilliantly clever. The cinematography of this film is stunning in my opinion and it made me feel like I was there. Especially with the shots that were either from the view of a pilot or were shot underwater while the ships were going down really pinned me to my seat. This in combination with the point directly below about the stories followed makes this movie more of an experience of Dunkirk than anything else.

Image result for dunkirkSwitching constantly between three different stories that all started at different times makes for a strange time frame that admittedly was hard to follow at first. But I quickly realized what was going on, and it became a fascinating way to see how these all overlapped each other and came together at the end. Looking online, there are some mixed reviews because it can be confusing at times, but I really liked this aspect. It gave the viewers insight to so many different elements that were all being played out at once or near to the same time. Slightly risky, considering how the scenes needed to jump from one abruptly to another, but overall it paid off because the viewer experienced multiple angles of this tragedy.

Contributing greatly to this experience is without a doubt the sound effects and score. I am a huge fan of Hans Zimmer's work (I really do not care how nerdy that sounds), and I really think he pulled off another fantastic score. Between that and the sound effects there were times when the theater seemed to be shaking or the reverberations of the sounds could be felt. Everything just came together so wonderfully, and I liked the balance between sound effect, score, and other miscellaneous things. It was all orchestrated without a single flaw and it made me feel the wide range of emotions even stronger than without it.

Image result for dunkirk fionn whitehead
Fanfreakingtastic acting. While it was very heavy on the male cast, I can't even say anything about that because it is so realistic as to who would have actually been there and I would much rather have accuracy in a movie like this. For the actors who are in this movie, I thoroughly enjoyed their work and efforts. To me, there was no one person that stood out as the best actor. They all played out their role amazingly and I do not think I can come up with a single complaint. The one person I will point out is Fionn Whitehead, because I had never heard of him before, but he did just as great of a job as everyone else and I'm interested to see where his career takes him.

The only thing I actually do want to point out is that I have no idea what most of the characters' names are. There's George, and Farrier, and Mr. Dawson, and I think that's all I got. It was just so strange to go through a movie like this and not even be able to tell what someone is called; I'm not even sure if the other characters were given names- I'll have to check the credits. That being said, there wasn't much talking in general, which really is also a statement about Christopher Nolan's ability to tell a story without much dialogue. Name issue aside, I don't think the film suffered from being mostly action based. I actually think it helped the movie because so much more was able to be shown and said in the actions and silences of the soldiers.
Image result for dunkirk cillian murphy

Another note to add to this movie (outside of the story itself) is the timing of its release, which seems very early on in the movie season. Personally, I like this time for it because I can let it sit in my mind for awhile and steep instead of having to immediately jump to another train of thought for school or for any reason. And this is definitely a film that demands your thoughts and attention, so I highly recommend going to see it, (because everything about it is amazing and stunning) and then re-watching it on DVD going into award season because I would be very surprised if this film does not receive any nominations and/or wins.

Thanks for reading!

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Image result for wonder womanWonder Woman Movie Review
4.9 out of 5 Stars

Before this movie, I would always tell people, "I love Marvel heroes and DC villains." Wonder Woman though was so great that I may have to reconsider that statement. I have not read any super hero comics of any kind, but I really love watching the movies and I think that this may be one of my favorite movies of the genre. It was the perfect balance of humor, badassery, and plot line and all done in a way that made it fit in seamlessly with every other super hero movie while standing out because it is a female hero. I'm so glad that there is this movie for people to look toward for a woman super hero.

Another thing that I really loved about this movie was the tie in with mythology. Again, I have not read the comics, so I didn't really know too much about the movie going into it. But I was really pleasantly surprised with all of the different elements that were incorporated from the gods all the way to the different weapons that the Amazons used. It made my nerdy heart smile.

Image result for wonder womanLooking at our heroine herself, there are two big things that stuck out to me. First, I think Gal Gadot did an amazing job. Her acting was phenomenal from start to finish and I am really looking forward to seeing her in Justice League. Second, I read online somewhere (sorry! I forget!) about how the costumes for the women in this movie, including for Wonder Woman, were so much more legitimate in this movie in comparison to the other renditions of it. I have not seen these other adaptations of WW, but from watching this movie, I could totally see how these women were wearing armor. That was the sole primary purpose of their outfits, inspired by ancient armor so that it both protected and provided flexibility. I just thought it was really interesting and that on screen it all came together really well.

Image result for wonder woman chris pineChris Pine. I am so glad that he has (sort of) reemerged back into my movie viewing world. I know he hasn't been sitting around doing nothing- heck, he is kinda important in the Star Trek movies, right? But I don't watch those. At least, at this moment, I am not really into them, so to be able to experience his acting again was really nice and I really enjoy his work. I cannot wait to see what he does with his role in A Wrinkle in Time that is coming out next year. On a fun(ish) side note: Steves and planes do not go well together in super hero movies.

I probably should not do this, but overall the movie was very reminiscent of Captain America: The First Avenger. Now, I do not consider this a bad thing. I loved that movie, and I loved this movie. I love learning about World War II, which may indeed having something to do with it. But for the most part I think what these two movies share is that their protagonists share a genuine goodness to them. Yes, heroes and heroines save the world which kinda makes them good automatically, but for Steve and Diana it is more than that. Viewers can tell that they both just care so much for every person around them and show amazing bravery in the great risks they take without fear, not because they aren't afraid, but because they believe that they are doing something important and right.

Image result for wonder woman islandThe hardest part I would imagine in making a really good movie is the climax and how the story is going to get there. For Wonder Woman, I think they hit the nail on the head for this. There was such a good build to the final battle between Diana and Ares, especially I think because of the death of the German officer that Diana originally thought was Ares. This was something where it was believable that he was Ares, but then when there was the reveal that he was not, it also didn't seem too surprising or like it was too far of a stretch. There was just enough groundwork there for that moment for the disbelief to remain suspended without seeming completely random and out of the blue.

I liked how there wasn't a super strong romance element to this movie too. Of course, Christ and Gal did a great job with the development of the feelings of their characters, but it was subtle enough not to choke the rest of the story or become an obstacle. It was barely even a side plot because constantly the attention was always on finding and killing Ares to stop the war. However, this did not stop me from getting teary eyed when the plane blew up because they had created that relationship; it just wasn't front and center in the movie.

In the midst of all of the greatness though, I feel like DC movies still have to master the art of not being incredibly dark. I do not mean content; I do not mean language; I do not mean theme; I mean the lighting. Except for the scenes on the island, everything seemed a shade or two too dark. There was great improvement- I will give them that. But it still seemed unnecessarily grey or the tones a bit too dark at times.

I can't image how busy Gal must have been lately between this and Justice League coming out in November, but I do know that I am looking forward to see her play this role again in this movie and how her character interacts with the others in it and what kind of awesome music they do it to because this score was pretty great and I have high hopes for JL.

Thanks for reading!

Shadowhunters 2x16

Image result for shadowhunters season 2 episode 16Shadowhunters 2x16
"Day of Atonement"
Thoughts and Feels

I think the biggest thing that I want to address from this episode is the reveal of Sebastien's background and how he fits into the world in relationship to the other characters. My huge question mark moment concerning all of this is that Sebastien was in hell? Even for Valentine, that seems extreme. For awhile during the episode too, I had no idea where they were going with it. But then, with the conversation that Seb had with Val it sort of makes sense- it's like Seb was sent there for a time-out. And by the end of the episode, I like this backstory because I think it will transition well for where the story needs to go. For those who have read the books, there is a connection to Lilith later that seems a bit out of the blue in the book, but this alternate story in the show creates a bridge that will make this connection much smoother and believable. So while it is a different backstory, I think it was well done and is a good set up for what I hope/believe is to come.
Image result for shadowhunters day of atonement

The single issue that I have with the Sebastien development is the line, "I've never given a damn about your mortal instruments, I never had." Um.....well shit. Am I remembering this wrong from the books? Maybe at this point in the show they're angling for a fatherly connection but Seb will eventually grow into caring about the Instruments so that he can make a psycho demon army. If this is the case, I actually think it will be really interesting for the development of the character. It will definitely make Seb more sympathetic to viewers which could be very interesting given what I hope will happen by the end of this season (cough*deaths*cough). I think Will Tudor could also do a really good job with this development. I am really enjoying his work with the character so far. His portrayal of Seb at the Institute versus in the cabin with Valentine is fantastic, so I definitely think he could handle a development like this.

Image result for shadowhunters season 2 episode 16
Only question: are they cutting the sick sibling attraction Seb has for Clary? If so i think I'm OK with that one. We already had the weird maybe-incest stuff back when Clary and Jace thought that they were related, so I don't think we really needed the Seb stuff in the book. And while it was 100% more character development for Seb in that context, I think if the show handles his character in the way I described above, they might have enough for his character as it is. On the other hand, I don't think I'll ever complain for them sticking to canon book content. It would be hard for them to go wrong either way on this matter.

Switching gears away from the psychopathic demon-shadowhunter villain of the series, I really enjoyed the scenes with Simon and Maia. They have a really great relationship growing between them and the show is making it seem so natural and easy, which I really appreciate. The moments that they had during and after Yom Kippur made the feels come to the surface. I know that they probably won't last too long if they go along with the books for Simon's love interest, but it still is a very crucial element to the development of both of their characters. The each learn and get so much out of the relationship that they have with each other, and I think it's really nice for the show to have this included and I think they will do a good job with it. All that being said, it also makes me really excited because this means we are some steps closer to A) meeting Jordan (I really hope they get a Jordan on this show...maybe season 3?) and B) SIZZY- aka the more adorkable ship to every grace the YA community.

Image result for shadowhunters yom kippur

On the shipping note, I absolutely love how they are taking their time developing Clace. They aren't jumping straight from Simon to Jace, which is perfect because I don't think Clary and Simon have even officially broken up yet. But there was definitely a major Clace moment in this episode where Clary was hallucinating about Jace's safety after she swallowed the Lake Lyn water and OH MY WORD I LOVED IT. It was a moment that was so fuzzy-feely and it shows the growing feelings between them without them acting on it and I really really think it was done well. A+ scene. Another very entertaining piece to the episode was that Jace's sass was spot on. I don't if it was the screenwriting or if Dom delivered them differently or if it was simply the context of when they were said, but dang the sass was tangible. Perfect classic Herondale sass that I sincerely hope we see more of.

Image result for shadowhunters season 2 episode 16A big thing that circulated this episode was that it was directed by Paul Wesley, and I think he did a really amazing job. Even if you were to ignore all of the amazing shots that captured the indirect developments of the characters, Idris was stunning. I know that is something that may/probably was chosen by someone in set design, but the shoots and angles that were done in the episode showed it off beautifully. I am really looking forward to going back to Alicante so that we can see more of it. Back to the Paul Wesley thing, I think I am missing something: why is it such a big deal that he directed? Because there was a lot of hype around him directing this episode. I know him from the Vampire Diaries, but I haven't seen all of the episodes yet and I know for a fact that I have not gotten to the point where he has directed any of the episodes. He is a fantastic actor in my opinion, and after watching this episode I think he is just as good at directing, if not better (from a viewer POV only obviously). Did people know this from watching the episodes of VD that he directed? Is that what I'm missing? I think so.... either way, I really appreciate the work that he did with this episode.

Image result for city of fallen angelsAt the point of writing this, I have seen a few interviews of the cast from Comic Con, and they have revealed that more than one person is going to die by the end of season 2. My predictions: Max, Valentine, and Ithuriel. These are all the characters that either should be dead already or will be dying according to the books. There is absolutely no way they are going to kill a main character, and I can come up with reasons why they won't kill each of the minor characters. Robert dies in another book, Malec is eternal, Rafael is needed later on, etc. etc. And while this news is terrifying, because character deaths always are, it is simultaneously relieving because I will say it again, Valentine needs to die. This probably sounds super harsh or aggressive, but for the sake of the plot and character developments this needs to happen. The villain focus needs to shift from Valentine over to Sebastien because if it doesn't then it will have a negative effect on not just the main characters, but the development of the Shadowhunting community.

There are only four episodes left of this season! I found something online too that said season 3 will be centered on City of Fallen Angels, which makes me think that my death predictions are probably right. Also, I think that season 3 will dip into City of Lost Souls a bit too, because CoFA isn't too long, and I don't recall it having too much happening in it.... there are definitely some big moments, but not enough I think for a whole season of TV shows.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Image result for sarah j maasThe Maas Crossover Theory:
My crackpot theory regarding Sarah J Maas's two series:
A Court of Thorns and Roses and Throne of Glass

Image result for aelinFirst things first, I am referring to the Cauldron when I say "the bathtub". I love watching Christine Riccio's videos on YouTube (polandbananasBOOKS), and her affectionate term for the Cauldron has grown on me.

Second, this post will have major spoilers for all books in both of these series, so if you have not read up through both A Court of Wings and Ruin and Empire of Storms, I suggest you do not read this yet unless you want to be spoiled.

Theory: Aeline Galathynius is going to make the bathtub (and the wall and Prison) from ACOTAR. Theses are all things that survive years (thousands, millions, who knows) and become a part of the world that exists in ACOTAR, therefore the ACOTAR world is the TOG world set way into the future. The ancient history of Prythian is the story of Aelin and Erilea.
Image result for rhysand

Here's How:
Aelin has a serious issue of how she's supposed to put the three keys together to form the lock that doubles as portal thing to other worlds. Either her or Dorian is supposed to die to make this happen, which I'm dreading either way. But it would literally be just like Aelin to find some new direct magic or something to find this loophole to make a still usable, but very hard to contain and control, conduit that doesn't require a death. Plus, with the Cauldron the capability to travel to other worlds still lies within the realm of possibility, so Aelin doesn't have to worry about the timing of getting all of the Valg out before she shuts down the portal for good.

Also, look at the details: three keys to form the lock, three legs to the bathtub. Coincidence?

In the process of all of this, Aelin could probably also solve the great debate of fae versus human debate, because Chaol brings up a really great point in that the fae are so muc more powerful tan the humans that there is almost no way to check all of the fae. In response to this then a wall is built to separate the two so that stronger jurisdiction can be put into affect over the fae, securing protection for the humans as much as possible.

Image result for erileaSo then in the north, where Terrasen is, all of the fae live and over time evolve to live in different groups that correlate with specialties. Specialties that evolve over time as well, becoming the seven different courts of Prythian. Look at the two maps: they are very similar. It would not be too far of a stretch if over time the land changed. The top of Erilea doesn't exist either, so it is entirely possible that the rest of the fae spread onwards and upwards if they don't necessarily like Aelin's rule or whoever comes after her.

The other thing that fits in this theory is the Prison. That thing could have totally been made to contain Maeve.

Image result for prythianAnother thought just crossed my mind.... the ACOTAR characters could totally be evolved from the TOG fae. Lorcan is blessed by the god of death, which could eventually translate into the Night Court. Rhys is called "Death Incarnate" at one point by Feyre, and who has been blessed by the god of death? Lorcan. Also- now this is really a stretch- without Cairn, there are five members of Maeve's cadre (I'm not counting Cairn because I'm really hoping he doesn't make it through the last TOG book). Throw in Aelin and Aedion and you have seven differnt major fae figures..... and there are seven courts in Prythian. OH! Throw Cairn back into the mix and his bloodline can become the King of Hybern.

Image result for empire of stormsAll of this is stemming from the fact that Feyre and Rhys have to fix the bathtub because Amren broke it. Amren is definitely a goddess of some sort that was trapped in a fae body. The description just fits perfectly to what we know about the TOG world and Sarah's writing. And we already know that those gods and goddesses can take over a fae body because Diana took over Aelin's body in Empire of Storms. WHAT IF AMREN IS MAB!!!!! That was random, but think about it. Aelin is blessed by Diana, but a descendant of Mab, who we know ships Rowaelin because Rowan prayed to her in Heir of Fire and got his prayer answered. She would totally then come through to help out Aelin make the bathtub and survive so that she could live with her mate, Rowan. It all fits.

I'm actually really hoping that at least a fraction of this post is correct now, if not all of it, because it makes sense to me. And look at the quotes from the series! I mean really, "The world will be saved and remade by the dreamers". Remade. I think this may be it. But I could also be really wrong. Feel free to ask questions or comment because I would love to flesh out this theory some more!!

Please let me know what you think and thanks for reading!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Shadowhunters 2x15

Image result for shadowhunters a problem with memoryShadowhunters 2x15
"A Problem of Memory"
Thoughts and Feels

I just checked and I have not written one of these since episode 7. I'm sorry!!!! I got really busy at the end of the school year and start of summer, but now I'm planning on finishing out the season with these Thoughts and Feels posts again, so I hope you enjoy reading them! For this post specifically, I will be making references to the other episodes. While I did not write about them, I did watch them so they may be coming up in conversation.

Image result for aline penhallowRight in the begining of the episode, we see Jace getting so hopeful about the kiss in the Seelie Court, and I loved it, because it just sort of reminded me of a sad little puppy looking happy for the first time in ages. For those of us who have read the books, I feel like we know more backstory about Jace and understand how important this is for his character to open up like this, but generally speaking for all fans, TV and book, I think this moment was really well done because everyone at this point knows that Jace has reservations about his feelings for Clary. It got slightly messed up with the whole sibling revelation before the Climon break up, but the sentiment is still the same. Jace doesn't think he can be with Clary, for a multitude of reasons (blame the Herondale gene); but in this moment we see the hope come through his eyes for the briefest of moments before it gets shuts down again, which is great development for the character of Jace.

One of the things that I've actually appreciated these past few episodes is how accurate they have been to the history of the Circle and how things went down with the different families and Valentine. Especially concerning Jace and the experiments I feel like they are sticking really close to the books, which is fantastic. In this episode specifically, I LOVE that they dropped one of the most iconic Jace quotes from his "lessons" from Valentine.  Granted, this quote is used differently in the show than the book, but I think it worked just as well in the show. It also had a really great effect of giving Valentine a chance to make barbs at Jace about his feelings for Clary, driving deeper those Herondale pessimistic moody thoughts.

Image result for shadowhunters alecAline came!!! This was something that I have been looking forward to since the reveal of Will Tudor of Sebastien. Aline is a minor character in the books, but a catalyst for so many things, so of course I was waiting for her. I think they did a decent job with her role in the show, but there were a few things that I didn't really like and now have concerns about for the future. First, would it really have been so hard to say that she was seeing a girl named Helen? Maybe I'm missing something from the books, but if they are having her open in the show, then why not match her with Helen from the get-go? With this actually is my concern for the future episodes. If Aline is openly gay in the show now, what about the Jace-Aline thing in Alicante then that will lead to Jace breaking a window and such. It is a small thing in relation to everything else in the show and story, but it still is a bit of a moment for all three characters involved: Aline, Jace, and Clary. In that scene, Aline realizes that she really is only into girls, Jace realizes that there is no one else for him but Clary, and Clary realizes that she doesn't want Jace to be with anyone else. But now.... I can't really see how that will happen.

Image result for shadowhunters sebastianAs far as Climon goes, I think that ship is done for the show, but I can't really be sure based on the final conversation that Clary and Simon have. Honestly, while watching it, all I could think of was Ross and Rachel from F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and how they had confusion if "they were on a break" and what that actually meant. So yeah, I think it's done, but not closed, which means there's room for chaos and heartbreak at least on one end of the two. This is something that I really hope gets wrapped up quickly in the next episode. 

I think the show is doing a really good job with the roles of the minor characters in the books. For example, in this episode, Simon gets accused of murder and we follow him and Luke and Raphael interact more in that aspect of the Shadow World. In City of Glass (which is where I think the show is roughly at), Simon and Luke don't really have roles and appearances, so it's nice for them to have something to do in the show that doesn't interfere with the big picture and not just disappear.

Image result for shadowhunters a problem with memory valentineUnfortunately, there were so many different parts of this episode, that I think Magnus got brushed off a bit. What I think is kinda funny though is that the title of the episode primarily applies to him and his history. It also applies to Sebastien, because he doesn't have the actual Sebastien Verlac's memories when Aline comes, but really the only plot Magnus has in this episode is overcoming his worst memories from when he was a child. And we didn't really get to see too much of that, which just makes me wonder about why they decided to title this episode what they did.

The biggest thing that I feel like I need to talk about is Sebastian. Because I haven't written one of these posts in ages, I haven't gotten the chance to talk about him yet!! While being one of my favorite secret villains on this show (lol I say this as if there's more than one), he is also simultaneously one of the biggest wrenches that the show has added. There are just some details that do not line up with the book at all and it does concern me because there are a few things from the book that I think REALLY need to happen, but cannot yet because there is absolutely no set up for them yet. I might write an entire post about his, and if I do I will link it here. But for this episode, my immediate concern was that Sebastien/Jonathan looked exactly like the real Sebastien. A million warning bells went off in my head at that moment because I had no freaking clue what the show was playing at. But then they resolved it at the very end by showing Seb/Jon as a super burned person demon thing with black eyes. Which, I guess works, even though I do think they could have easily just stuck to the book cannon. Unless they have something else in mind, but I really cannot see what that could possible be.

Image result for shadowhunters a problem with memory will tudorComing off of that, I have to say that I think Will Tudor is doing a phenomenal job. Sebastien is such a twisted complicated character, and Will is doing a great job balancing the different faces that he puts on in the public of the other Shadowhunters and the privacy of his own apartment. Plus, some of the expressions he makes and lines he delivers are perfect, which is commendable to the screenwriters and directors as well. This character I think is being handled the most carefully out of all of them, which is spot-on considering the depth of Sebastien and the role that he plays, now and in the future. I think that Will Tudor was a fantastic choice and I cannot wait to see where the character of Sebastien goes. Do I wish his hair was dyed black like it was in the books? Yes. But I guess that was a really small detail and the show is fine without it. :)

Final question to think about: when and how is Valentine going to die? Because let's be honest, that needs to happen, and probably quickly now that Sebastien has revealed himself to Valentine. It is also just critical to the plot of the story, and I really really do not want to see the show mess it up. Based on the rest of season 2 so far, I don't think they will, but I'm still nervous.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Review: The Evolution of Mara Dyer

12950372The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First Review (2013): AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's it. That's all I wrote. I can honestly say I'm slightly embarrassed by that review because it really isn't any review at all and this book deserves all the accolades I can verbally express.

The Evolution of Mara Dyer may be the most beautifully crafted horrific tale of suspense I have ever read. Not to mention, this book has some great quotes and one-liners that serve to either accentuate certain elements of creepiness or depth, or to add humor to the mix in the middle of all of this darkness. I love this second book even more than the first one. In this book, the story morphs from that of a character central story into one that, before you realize it, has really amazing intricate details of paranormal, sci-fy, and classic tension. This is a book where you keep reading it for one thing but then before you know it you cannot put it down for an entirely different reason. And even as the story gets darker and creepier, you will not be able to stop reading it.
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This book absolutely has more of a plot structure than the first book, which is part of the reason why I like this one more. The plot of this story is so captivating because whether or not you realize it, you will become completely wrapped up around this story that just gets more and more intense and dark. There is no escape from this book. With every turn of the page, another element and layer is added, and like a train that is beginning to derail, you have the sense of what catastrophe is about to happen but you simply cannot look away. As the pieces start to fall together, there are moments when SO many things make sense, and words cannot describe the feeling of these revelations nor the horror and tension/suspense that they add. Spot on plot building.

Mara: This poor girl. Really, this is the second time I have read this book and what she goes through is still so mind boggling and confusing that I can't help but feel terrible for her. (And I am perfectly aware that this is a fictional character we're talking about.) In this book we do get more clarity of what is going on though and we also get to see more backstory about her grandmother and the bigger picture. It still is very complicated and can be hard to follow, so I highly recommend reading it at least twice.
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Noah: I freaking love this guy. In the first book, he had this great heart throbbing moment, and he has another one in this book when he shows up at Lakeview just so that he can be there for Mara. His devotion to Mara is greatly admirable and it makes the story so much better because the two of them balance each other out beautifully. In this respect, I really love how the two of them are foils for each other in every aspect possible. And in a totally fangirl perspective, Noah Shaw just becomes more fantastic in this book.

Jamie: I freaking love this kid. As you can tell, I think very highly of the two guys closest to Mara who are not related to her. But again, just like how I mentioned in my review for the first book, Jamie is one of the best friends I think Mara could ever and will ever have. He gets so many friend points and sarcastic points and I love his lines and actions.

Jude: I am generally not a fan of even the "I wish this character would die" thing. But I guess my equivalent would be I wish Jude would be stranded on an isolated island in the middle of the ocean so that he can never harm another living soul again. Maybe he'll be able to sort himself out too while he's there. But seriously, I would banish him from the rest of human civilization.

Image result for mara dyerKells: I correct my statement about Jude's island. This b***h can join him there. I actually hate her more than I hate Jude. Jude is Voldemort, but Kells is Umbridge. It is actually infuriating who she is and what her role is in the book. But it does add another wrench into the story of the book. She is this authoritative figure that is so corrupted that it turns this dire situation into an impossible one. Literary speaking, her character is brilliant. Humanly speaking, she is the definition of vile.

I've already touched on this point in the plot, but Michelle Hodkin did a great job with the writing of this book, because if it had been anything less than stellar than the slow revelation and entrapping of the plot would not have been possible. That, and the careful manipulation of the characters and their developments simply make this book fly above the typical novel. Between those two things and the detail that goes into the descriptions of the events and sensations of our lovely unreliable narrator, this book is unlike any other.

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Like I said in my review for the first book, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, I really love the narration of this book. It is incredibly witty, and it is a phenomenal use of an unreliable narrator. If I had to pull up an example of an unreliable narrator, it would be Mara Dyer. This series is the best use of one that I have ever read, and it makes it all so much more interesting and creepy and keep-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat-y.

If you've read the first book, keep going. If you have not read these books yet, go start with The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and then come back and read the full review.

Thanks for reading!
View all my reviews

The Evolution of Mara Dyer SPOILER FREE Review

12950372The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Spoiler Free Review
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First Review (2013): AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's it. That's all I wrote. I can honestly say I'm slightly embarrassed by that review because it really isn't any review at all and this book deserves all the accolades I can verbally express.

The Evolution of Mara Dyer may be the most beautifully crafted horrific tale of suspense I have ever read. Not to mention, this book has some great quotes and one-liners that serve to either accentuate certain elements of creepiness or depth, or to add humor to the mix in the middle of all of this darkness. I love this second book even more than the first one. In this book, the story morphs from that of a character central story into one that, before you realize it, has really amazing intricate details of paranormal, sci-fy, and classic tension. This is a book where you keep reading it for one thing but then before you know it you cannot put it down for an entirely different reason. And even as the story gets darker and creepier, you will not be able to stop reading it.

Like I said in my review for the first book, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, I really love the narration of this book. It is incredibly witty, and it is a phenomenal use of an unreliable narrator. If I had to pull up an example of an unreliable narrator, it would be Mara Dyer. This series is the best use of one that I have ever read, and it makes it all so much more interesting and creepy and keep-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat-y.

If you've read the first book, keep going. If you have not read these books yet, go start with The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and then come back and read the full review.

Thanks for reading!
View all my reviews

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Spiderman Movie Review

Image result for spiderman homecomingSpider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review
4.45 out of 5 Stars

I remember going to see The Amazing Spider-Man starring Andrew Garfield in theaters, so I was really worried stepping into the movies to see this one. I had seen the trailers, and watched some interviews, and saw that it was getting good reviews online, but I was still on the cautious side, because I had really liked the other movies.

I really had nothing to worry about. This movie portrayed Spidey in a way that was younger and more geeky, which is different from the others, but I liked this aspect because it made it so much easier to suspend my disbelief about a 15 year-old super hero and it drove home the magnitude of what Peter Parker did, all because it seemed more realistic for someone of that age. It didn't take away from the hero complex of the character either. If anything, they emphasized it by putting the character of Spider-Man in juxtaposition with Tony Stark and having Peter really want to join the Avengers. It modeled a father and son dynamic which increased the motivation to do good in the city. 

What's taking away from this movie is that I feel like there are a few too many stereotypical tropes played out. Granted, these things are stereotypical for a reason, and Marvel does call itself out on it at one point via Tony Stark, but I thought it still was a bit too heavy handed. They had the moments, hero underappreciated by those he wants it from, hero has a moment where he messes up, hero has revelation about who he is, etc. etc. That's all fine and good, but the way they made it in this movie seemed too on the nose to me.

One of the scenes that I both applaud Marvel for, but also am mentally giving them the side eye for, is the scene with the elevator. Ummmmm.... I don't know about other viewers, but I watched that and all I could think of was Gwen Stacy dying at the bottom of an elevator shaft in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Oh my word, love the cameo, but dang it was kinda cruel. Also, I loved the branzino reference, also from the other Spider-Man movies.
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Michael Keaton as the villain was fantastic. I loved his character, partly because he was a real person without some weird scientific mishap, and partly because Michael Keaton did a great job with it. It was so good because it gave the villain a genuine reason to be doing what he was doing. This is not to justify was he did, but the motivation was good, so in a way the villain is not completely damnable. Still is, and I'm glad that Peter got him in prison, but he isn't a complete sociopath either. I'm interested to see where his character goes though because if you stuck around for the after credits (like you should) there is that scene where he doesn't give up Peter's identity, but he still has this evil look in his eye, like, "I'll be the one getting revenge". Cue evil laughter... I wonder if they'll carry his character immediately into the next Spidey movie?

The fight scenes in this movie were really great. I loved seeing Spidey flip all over the place and learn how to fight against the new alien tech weapons. My favorite fight scene would have to be when he and the Vulture were both outside the jet and from the moment they engaged out there to the moment the fight ends on the beach, I just loved it. It wasn't too fast or too slow and while I think Peter would be more injured than how he is shown, the fight was really well balanced and a great end to that plot line.

Lastly, I loved Tony Stark in this movie. I already touched on the father-son dynamic he and Peter seem to have, but what I really loved about his role in this movie is that it was light and sarcastic again, like from the first Iron Man movie. He has that sarcasm in all of the movies, but some of the later ones it feels more forced; but in this movie, it was just natural and flowed so much easier, like how it does in Stark's first movie. My only question concerning his character is, how does he know Mae? He references her in the beginning and obviously he has to have known Peter from somewhere, but did they ever mention that, either in this movie or in Captain America: Civil War?

Image result for spiderman logoI feel like Andrew Garfield will forever be my Spider-Man (like how Whovians have their Doctors ***coughDavidTennantcough***), but Tom Holland definitely pulled off this role so spectacularly that I will definitely watch the rest of his movies and I am really looking forward to seeing him with the other Marvel heroes. He was nerdy, he was funny, he was younger, and he without a doubt made the role his own. I think that is the greatest success of the entire movie. Everyone in the cast did great, but really I think Tom had the greatest challenge with two major predecessors and consequentially had the greatest success by still managing to create a role for his own Spider-Man.

I hope you enjoy the movie as much as I did and thanks for reading!