Monday, November 30, 2015

A Discovery Of Witches

Reading A Discovery of Witches was an obsession. It was desperately romantic, historic, literary and full of magic. Deborah Harkness blends paranormal, romance and historical fiction into one amazing novel. I don't know if I can express how much I loved this book. It is not a short novel, well over 500 pages of history and intensity. Harkness is a historian, like Diana, the main character. She also loves wine (and had a wine blog), this trait comes out in Diana's love interest, Matthew. Harkness's love of both history and wine permeates the novel, but it is seamless, as they are easily taken as traits belonging to Diana and Matthew. Harkness makes the pages of alchemical manuscripts come alive through Diana's descriptions of them. Matthew adds depth to history with his "recollections". The way she writes about history is with love. It makes me want to read one of her historical books, maybe The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution? That's how wonderful I am left feeling after a Discovery of Witches, I will read anything Deborah Harkness writes at this point.

I adored every character. Diana and Matthew were brilliant. It just wasn't there relationship that was wonderful, it was how they existed apart from each other before coming together.  They had careers, pasts, goals for the future. I loved Diana's need to understand the past and Matthew's scientific inquiry. For a minute there, early on in the story, when Matthew is watching Diana sleep, I wondered if I'd end up with grown up Bella and Edward, but thankfully nope. Still, guys, it was creepy. Harkness seemed to "address" the creep factor, showing that it was wrong within the story, not some romantic gesture.

I loved Marcus, Matthew's vampire son. He was young and full of energy. I loved his context within Matthew's family. I loved Matthew's family. Diana's family, just wonderful.

I enjoyed the relationships that developed between the witches, vampires and demons in the house. Marcus and Em seemed to have a special connection. Marcus and Nathaniel too. I wonder if they'll get up to trouble in one of the future books. Sarah and Matthew also developed some kind of respect and understanding. The growth of Diana and Ysabeau's relationship was interesting. I am excited to see them all under one roof.

I loved all the places they went too. Oxford, a castle in France, a small town in New York. They were each so different from each other, but Harkness made them all feel real.

I'm not going to be satisfied until I get my hands on Shadow of Night and see what Harkness has in store for her star-crossed lovers.

Saturday, November 28, 2015


Overbite was a race to the finish. I just had to know what was happening. I did not expect the twist with Father Henrique and his guards. It was a nice surprise in a story where my main focus was finding out who Meena was going to end up with. I just needed to know. Lucien? Alaric? The end, it was great. I would have liked a little more romance, especially at the end, especially with Insatiable as a precedent, but I still enjoyed Overbite.

I appreciated again that though Meena was in love with a vampire, she didn't get all swoony every time he was around. She valued her friends, her family and her job. She didn't want to be turned, she wanted to live. Meena wasn't desperate to be with any man. She desired one (or two), but she that wasn't the focus of her life (though it was a big part of the novel). She wanted to save people. She wanted to figure out the mystery. 

Acording to Goodreads, Meg Cabot is working on a third Insatiable book. They cite Cabot's website, but when I look, I see no mention of it. I hope it's true though. I want to read it. I want to read more of Cabot's books. Overbite, was an entertaining read and I looked forward to more fun stories.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Mockingjay Part 2

You know what ruined the end of the movie for me? The group of girls sitting behind us. They seemed to think that because the "action" was over, the could talk through the epilogue. The drool, the baby, the cat, hahaha. Please, when you got watch a movie in a theatre, be quiet. I'm not laughing. 

What I liked about Mockingjay Part 2 and all The Hunger Games movies is how faithful they are to the books. Like any adaptation, there are things changed or left out, but they use lines taken right out of the novels. They keep the essence of Suzanne Collins' story. I love Finnick. Absolutely one of my favourite characters in the entire series. I love his growth and change over the series. He comes off as a cocky egotist, who knows he's hot. He is really a loyal fighter. He falls apart, then has to put himself back together. His own journey mirrors Katniss's. He is in love with another victor, though they obviously competed in seperate games. The person he loves is captured by Snow for the purpose of hurting him. After his lover is rescued, after pulling himself together, he goes to the Capitol to fight. He does all this without the pressure of being the Mockingjay, though he still does a couple propos, outing his and Snow's secrets.

As much as I loved Finnick and enjoyed the movie, I don't really know if Mockingjay needed to be two movies.  Part 2 was definitely better than Part 1, but it lacked the intensity of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. Maybe I'm jaded and just see it as a money grab (and grab our money it did).  I did think the scene with the black oil and the scene in the tunnels were well done. I appreciate the grimness of the conclusion too. It's not all sunshine and rainbows. There's sadness and hardship, there's a feeling of realism, though set in a fictional dystopia. Though there was some blood missing from certain "events", I don't think The Hunger Games movies sugar-coated things. The big, concluding battle wasn't imaginary, losses were suffered and felt by the characters. It changed them and their relationships forever. Mockingjay Part 2, was a good conclusion to an excellent series.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Jessica Jones - Episode #1

I was so excited for Jessica Jones. I'd been looking forward to it since it was announced, since I finished watching Daredevil. I really enjoyed the first episode. I liked getting to know Jessica and the people around her. I found that the episode gave us a taste of everything, a taste of her friend, the man she's interested in, the woman she works for, and her powers. We get to see what her life has become after some bad things happened, after she was trying to be good.

I don't want to say too much more.  It's only the first day and there are 12 more episodes for me to watch.

One thing I was expecting though was a little more action. We got some "action", but not what I thought I'd be seeing. I wanted to see Jessica Jones kick someone's ass. She did shove someone through a window, but it wasn't a big fight scene or anything. I want to see her powers. The lack of powers, coupled with the intriguing story, made me want to hit play on the second episode. I didn't though. Other things to do. But I want to. So much. I enjoyed the first episode so much and I can't wait to watch the rest of the series.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Mockingjay (Re-Read)

I love The Hunger Games. I loved the books when I first read them and I have loved every movie. Before I go to see Mockingjay Part 2, I decided to re-read the book. Mockingjay is a fantastic novel and a great conclusion to The Hunger Games trilogy.  Though the other books have “The Hunger Games” in them, the last book, a Hunger Game in its own right, is so much more violent.  We watch as characters we love come to gruesome ends.  I’m not going to say who dies, as the movie is about to be released, but I do wonder how they are going to portray these scenes.  When the first movie came out, I remember hearing about complaints, some people didn’t expect it to be so violent. Perhaps they hadn’t read the books, or even understood what “The Hunger Games” were. Mockingjay is more violent.  Maybe I can give one warning about the tunnels?  Also, just when you think things are safe and easy…

There are a lot of frightening, heart-wrenching moments. I really like how Katniss’s relationships with everyone evolve through this novel and through these moments.  Her relationships are so much more complicated and multi-dimensional than they were before. Peeta and Gale aren’t just boys who love her, they have their own anger and motivations.  I also like the relationships that are left out of the films, how Katniss feels about Mags and Delly, the roll Delly plays with Peeta, even Greasy Sae, who is there, but not there in the movies. Katniss goes through such a change.  She thinks about children in war and includes herself, she is only 17, but remembers that there is no way either side think of her like that anymore. Peeta, oh Peeta.  Gale, so different, but maybe more himself than he’s ever been.  Prim, not yet 14. 

I have noticed though, that Plutarch is so different in the books than the movie, he’s so much more “Capitol” in the books.  I’m surprised Katniss never punches him, or even screams at him. There’s a difference that is noticeable between the three groups of people.  The Citizens of District 13, the Citizens of the Capitol and the Rebels. Though I guess there’s another group, the Rebels who come from the Capitol, like Plutarch and Fulvia, they don’t quite fit in at District 13, but they know life in the Capitol is wrong.

I don’t re-read a lot, but reading each of The Hunger Games books before seeing the movies was a good decision. It places the characters fresh in my mind. I’m eager to see how this exciting novel plays out on the screen.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Geek Girls

I've been a Geek Girl ever since my Dad sat me down to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation. I developed a love for geeky things, books, movies, television.  When I first heard about The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy, I was excited.  What would I discover? What did author Sam Maggs have to say about fellow Geek Girls?

I enjoyed The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy. It was cute, fun and had a bunch of laugh out loud moments.  Did it give me any new information? Not really.  I liked how Maggs broke down things like social media and conventions, but I knew all that stuff already.  Maggs included different books, movies and television shows Geek Girls would enjoy.  Most of the movies and shows I have already watched, but a lot of the books she mentioned, I have not, so I put those on my to-read list (not that it needs to be any bigger). A large part of the book is devoted to conventions and cosplay, I may have glazed over some of the things I already knew, but there were some helpful information and sources for cosplay creations. There was a great section on feminism. Yes, again it was stuff I knew, but the tone felt true and empowering.

Though the book didn't reveal to me any new insights into geekdom, it was nice to be reminded of so many of the things I love. I also think this is a great source of information for beginner geeks, someone just discovering Star Trek: TNG or the Marvel Cinematic Universe or looking to dive into cosplay. I think when reading Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy, many people will find the comfortingly familiar mixed with the new. It made me feel good about being a Geek Girl.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Source Code

I'm not really sure how to describe Source Code. It's a movie with Jake Gyllenhaal. It's full of action and explosions and some interesting effects. Jake Gyllenhaal's character, Captain Coulter Stevens, appears to be on a train, but then he appears to be in some kind of Arctic capsule, but then a whole lot of other things. It is a movie that is full of action and adventure and a mystery that needs to be solved, but is also movie that plays with your mind. The lies are everywhere. The twists are incredible and interesting. The last few minutes of those last two or three scenes of the movie are totally the best and they get you thinking back on the entire movie. They also have Stevens' "friend," Goodwin, thinking. What are the possibilities with Source Code? I am so glad I stopped to watch this movie, I was not disappointed.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Books I Don't Want to Want

You know when you read a series of books and you finish, and you think you're done with that series forever, then surprisingly another book in the series comes out? What if you were torn about whether or not you should read this new book? I mean, I enjoyed the series when I read it, but after time and reflection, I realize it wasn't as good as I thought it was. But I still enjoyed it, a lot. When I was reading it it was all I could think about. I found it exciting and engaging and I was desperate to know what happened next. I have the hope that this new book would still excite me, but having reflected back on the series I'm not sure how I would take the new installment. Do I leave it alone? Do I let my enjoyment of the series stay in the past or do I succumb to the urge to buy this new book?

There's also this feeling of the series being incomplete on my bookshelf. I have all the other books, if there's a new one, I should have it too, right? However, I've been trying to not let my book hoarding get out of control. I have so many other books that I want to read, should I let this one go? (At least for now?) I was thinking I might, but then I saw it... 50% off. It is so tempting....

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Shatter Me

I could not stop reading Shatter Me. Tahereh Mafi created a story was exciting, fun and full of energy. I liked the unique writing style. I enjoyed those "secret" crossed out sentences, like we were really being immersed in the main character's minds, being involved in her thought process. I loved Juliette. She was such a different protagonist. She was observant, clever and a fighter. She was kind, but fierce. She can also manipulate. She had a lot of time to think and observe, to learn how to manage people and time, I think only now has she had the opportunity to put this into practice.

I enjoyed the relationship between Juliette and Alex. I like how involved, complex, yet simple it is. I like the special aspect of their relationship. I like the twist with Warner. I like that Alex has more than just Juliette to care about. I like when Juliette takes control. There are other characters I found really interesting, but if I talk about them, I think I'll give away too much of the story.

I like that you start reading Shatter Me thinking it is dystopian, but then it is not just that. There is a supernatural, X-Men kind of element. Juliette very much reminds me of Rogue. That can only play in the novel's favour for me. The inability to touch, but the goodness. The bad influence, but choosing what's right.

I have had Shatter Me sitting in my Kindle app for ages. I saw it and had to have it, but then I didn't read it. I mentioned recently that I wanted to read all these first books that I own, to see if I want to buy the rest of the series. I will be getting everything from Mafi.  I want all the Shatter Me books, plus she's working on something new, due out next year, I already want that too. This very much reminds me of how I felt after reading Lauren DeStefano's Wither. I don't know what it is about these specific books, maybe it's the love. I have always enjoyed a good love story, mixed in with something otherworldly. It isn't just love that drives the plot in either book, but in Shatter Me, it's the desperation, the fight to get something more.

Watch out for The Reestablishment. I feel like someone, a group of someones, could come up with this, promise a better future, then hold the world in their grip. 

I am very happy that I finally read Shatter Me and I am excited to read the rest of the series.

Sunday, November 01, 2015


MacBeth was interesting, but not what I expected. Though, I don't know what I really expected. I had never read MacBeth before (even though I took an entire class in University on William Shakespeare). I knew about the witches, I knew they told MacBeth some stuff and because it is Shakespeare, I assumed MacBeth died at the end. You know what I didn't know? Lady MacBeth. She does some serious convincing, then she goes nuts! Can I blame her for the path MacBeth goes down a bit? Not all of it though. He goes mad with paranoia! All the those people, former friends, wives and children. The witches definitely put the idea into MacBeth's head, but it is Lady MacBeth that spurs him into action, and MacBeth has to be held accountable for falling into desperate ambition.

I'm left feeling like I did after reading Cyrano de Bergerac, I really want to see this play. I've heard that there is going to be a movie soon, with Michael Fassbender. I'm really excited for it, more than I would have been had I never read Shakespeare's play first. I really enjoy the witches' scenes. Something about their rhymes and laughs and talks with Hecate are so fascinating. I'd love to see it played out. The opening scene, one of the best I've ever read, I'd love to see it on stage or the big screen. The scenes with MacBeth and his wife, making plans, deciding to do the deeds. I also feel like I will connect more with the themes and emotion of the play, if I could see it. Though, the end, with the beheading, very dramatic no matter how that's played out on film or stage. 

Is it weird that this kind of reminded me of The Hunger Games and killing for power... though I suppose there are a lot plays, movies, novels, about killing for power...

I was supposed to be done on October 23 for the Classics Club Spin, but somehow didn't get it finished in time.

I wonder how I'll feel and what new insights I'll have after seeing the movie?

I wonder if I'll ever finish reading all of Shakespeare's plays?


"Fair is foul, and foul is fair:"

"Round about the cauldron go; 
In the poison'd entrails throw."

"Double, double toil and trouble; 
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble."

"Fillet of a fenny snake, 
In the cauldron boil and bake; 
Eye of newt and toe of frog, 
Wool of bat and tongue of dog, 
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting, 
Lizard's leg and owlet's wing, 
For a charm of powerful trouble, 
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble."

"By the pricking of my thumbs, 
Something wicked this way comes."

"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player 
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage 
And then is heard no more: it is a tale 
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,"