Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top 14 Books I Read in 2014

14. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
            I just recently read (and saw the movie adaptation) of Gone Girl. It was amazing! The story is riveting and it has so many great plot twists. I do have to say that it is not something I would probably ever feel the need to reread though.
13. Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
            This is the non-fiction memoir by Piper Kerman that the tv show (which I also love) by the same name is based on.  The memoir was much less sexual and much more “dry” – not as much exciting story line – than the tv show is, but I found that listening to the audiobook was still entertaining while I drove on long car rides.
12. The Giver by Lois Lowry
            This was a reread for me this year, because I hadn’t read it since I was in 7th grade and knew that I loved it. I didn’t remember the main characters being as young as they are, but the story is such a classic, and I will definitely be continuing with the series.
11. Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
            This was such an unexpected story for me! The main character is young, and so some of the language he used was odd, but ignoring that, I absolutely fell in love with the very real and painful living situation he lives in, and I love the fact that art plays such an important role.
10. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
            This book was overhyped, and so there is some stigma surrounding it, but I found that the plot twist and the big reveal of what happened with the group of main characters was so shocking, that I was just so emotional. And that is always a very good thing for me.
9. Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
            The world building in this first novel of the Heir Chronicles is glorious! I loved the protagonist, and his friends who play a big role in the story. There are some hilarious moments in the story as well as dramatic moments.
8. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
            This was a book that I started without having ever heard of it, I was just looking for a Jennifer Donnelly book. And I was most definitely not disappointed. 
7. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
            This was just a feel good book to the max.  The main character and most of the other important characters are very young – in 6th grade – it doesn’t feel like only young children should be reading it.  It was for me.
6. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
            This was a beautiful story.  It was weird, and it crossed between the real and an unnatural world and it was fascinating for it.
5. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
            This plot was glorious! They went into such detail, talking about the evolution of the language used on the ship years after they’ve left earth, and about how nobody looks like different races and everything else.  I just couldn’t get enough.  I cannot wait to continue with the series.
4. Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
            The writing in this story was beautiful.  I’ve said it before in videos but it was like reading a dance.  That’s how it felt. There wasn’t much of a plot, it was more about the descriptions of the circus that only came at night and what magic went on there. It was amazing.
3. Winger by Andrew Smith
            This one was heartbreaking for me, but it was wonderful nonetheless, and it just hits hard.  The characters were very real to me and it was beautiful.
2. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
            This entire world was just – wow – I still can’t believe how real it seemed, and there were so many layers to the world, the characters, and everything else that’s involved with this story. It really makes you think about where our future is headed.
1. Vicious by V.E. Schwab
            THE SUPERHERO STORY.  I thought this was going to feel too young for my taste, but it was an adult superhero story at its finest.  The characters are well developed, twisted, and there were no good men in the game. There were no black and white good or bad guys.  Everyone was a little fucked up and it was simply a matter of who was more fucked up. Amazing.
BONUS: The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler

            This is a written play of short stories that Eve Ensler heard from real women and then performed as a one woman show all together in one play.  I think every woman, but really every human should read (or go see it live!) this book! It just tells a whole lot about women and how well we may or may not know our vaginas.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Reactions to Mockingjay Part 1

When I went to see this movie, I was blown away. And although the movie was amazing, and it was a great adaptation, and the actors did great, that’s not what did it. 

There’s a scene where Katniss goes to district 8 and goes into the make shift hospital for those who were wounded in the capital’s bombing of the district. And somebody in the crowd of people asks, “are you here to fight with us?” and she says, “yes” and out of the corner of my eye I saw movement in the audience.  Someone put their arm up in the three fingered salute, and right after everyone on screen did the same. 

The first thought that flickered in my mind was “how silly this person sitting in a comfy theater watching this movie is, doing the revolution’s symbol of the movie. And then I had an OH SHIT moment. Because this movie is dangerous.  Not in this country where we have democracy. But all over the world, this movie could be seen as dangerous.  It could be a REAL spark for revolution all around the world in countries where there is corrupt leadership.

So when I got home I did a search. “Mockingjay Part 1 banned”

There are countries that have banned Mockingjay for fear their people will finally rise up against them and start their own revolutions. There are people in Thailand that have been arrested for doing the three fingered salute.
If you still think these books about people standing up to their governments are just fads for teenagers you are blind and mistaken.”

It turns out that in Thailand, protesters against martial law there used the three finger salute themselves as an act of defiance, which resulted in the ban of the movie when it was released.

It feels unbelievable that this trendy piece of writing can have real life effects.  But its happening! Here in real life! That is amazing!  I often forget that living in the United States, I have a lot of freedom that not everyone in the world is privy to.  That what just may simply be entertainment to me is a spark of a revolution somewhere else in the world, today in the same exact moment.

 So I guess I’m writing this just as a little reminder to keep my eyes open about the rest of the real world that I’m sharing my experiences with. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

How will we continue to shape history?

I recently came across this link to a wonderful photo museum of some very important instances that have happened in the last fourteen years.

I strongly encourage you to take a look at the photos before continuing reading this post, so you can see what I saw.  Because as I was scrolling down, reading the captions of these immensely emotional photos from the last 14 years, all I could think was “How will people reflect on what we have done?”

Here in the United States, we spend hours of our days for at least 12 years learning about the past.  We sit in a classroom and listen to teachers tell us what happened from the times of Mesopotamia all the way up to the Civil Rights Movement (usually).

And eventually this present will be the past that has to be taught.  And what will they say about us?

What we do is important. The choices we make are important.  And so with every step, I’d like to make a reminder to everyone, including myself, to remember that we are all humans of the 21st century on this planet.  We all matter.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

American Horror Story: First Impressions (s04e01)

So American Horror Story Season 4 Episode 1 premiered a week and a half ago. 

Since I did a trailerreaction on my channel, I thought I’d update you on my thoughts about the first episode of the season.

I really enjoyed it!  It was weird, and a little bit of a mind fuck, the visuals are beautiful in the creepiest ways, and it just was all around riveting.  I don’t know if it’ll live up to the first two seasons, (the second of which is my favorite) but I think it will definitely surpass the third season (The Coven) which I was not a fan of.


I am really enjoying the dynamic of Sarah Paulson’s two headed character, and the sisters’ mind talking thing.  Its giving us a nice insight into their own thoughts.

The whole clown thing throughout the show, was probably the freakiest part for me, and I loved the choice of keeping us in the dark of whether or not he’s part of the group until the very end.

A negative here: when Evan Peters “fingers” the woman at the little party the housewives throw, all I could think was… there is no way it would be that easy, she would have screeched if he just straight up put his hand up there like that.

I also thought the mother and son customers at the end were creepy as fuck!  I’m very interested in learning more about they’re relationship, because it seems like it could definitely get weird between the two of them, let alone what will happen in the show as a whole with them.

Lastly I want to say that I’m so glad Jessica Lange shows off her “freaky” bits at the end, revealing she doesn’t have legs.  I’m interested to know if the rest of the group knows that she is “one of them” too or if they think she’s “normal.” 

What were your thoughts on the AHS premiere? Do you have a favorite character yet?  Do you have any complaints about the first episode?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Shondaland First Impressions

So like most every woman at least in the United States, I am obsessed with the three shows currently on air created by Shonda Rhimes.  These three shows are on ABC, consecutively on Thursdays from 8p-11p and they are glorious!

I’m going to talk about them in the order of saving the best for last, which also happens to be the order that they come on the air.

I will warn for each show about spoilers of this particular episode, but I will only be talking about episode 1 of the current season.  So if you’re not caught up to this season, SPOILERS EVERYWHERE. LEAVE, WATCH, COME BACK!

GREY’S ANATOMY (season 11)

Man this show has been on a long time.  And honestly, this season is the first time I believe that this fact is beginning to show.  We left last season with a (tearful) long winded goodbye to Christina Yang (played by Sandra Oh) and dear lord, I was a wreck.  Yang is my favorite character, and her and Meredith together are what makes this show for me. The best friends.  Any relationship can be torn apart, anybody can die, and those things will be devastating, but I can’t handle the Meredith and Christina friendship being pulled apart to separate ends of the country.  It’s not okay.

So for me, I knew the beginning of this season was going to be disappointing to me in it of itself because YANG ISN’T THERE.  And I knew that, and I am trying still to get past it.  It’s a difficult process.

I had some high hopes going into this episode for the new newb, Miss “I’m Eliis Grey’s daughter and I was given up for adoption and I’ve come here for a sense of who she was and I’m half black so the audience knows that obviously I’m Richard’s daughter too but I have no idea about that part.” 
            And throughout the show, she kind of annoyed me.  I took into account that she’s supposed to be really young for being head of a department (cardio, YANG’S position) and so gave her some slack for maybe trying to be a little macho so people will take her seriously.

I also loved that whole thing throughout the episode about trying to get Hunt to go out on a man date because surely he’s sad about Christina leaving.

But my favorite part has to be the situation between Meredith and Derek and his job offer across the country.


Throughout the whole episode Meredith is complaining to other people about the fact that Derek is choosing the job over staying with his family.

BUT AT THE END, after a heartfelt moment with a patient, Derek declines his position and tells Meredith he’s going to stay in Seattle.  And instead of being happy, her face goes stone cold and she says “I’m getting a drink.” And orders a shot of tequila! It was badass, and it makes me nervous for their relationship!

Moving on to:

SCANDAL (Season 4)

I was very confused in the beginning, because I forgot that last season ended with Olivia deciding to leave the city with Jake. So when the show opens on the beach, I thought Olivia was dreaming, and was very confused about everything. 

I also forgot Harrison was killed last season, and so had to go through that shock all over again.  Any possibility it’ll turn out he’s not dead? I hope so.


I really hated that Huck and Quinn still have some fire between them, I just do not like that nasty weird situation going on. Especially since that moment last season when Huck LICKED HER FACE after telling her he was going to pull her teeth out.  That was so creepy, I don’t understand how Quinn could even look at him again after that.

I LOVE MELLIE.  Watching her go through this depression over the death of her son is really adding so much depth to her, and I just want her on screen at all times.
And if I disliked Fitz before, this is just making me HATE him.
Her monologue about how when he sees Olivia again, to tell her, so she can be warned that he’s gonna be a disgusting pig to her basically was amazing.

Which brings me to the fact that I am simply so over the Fitz and Olivia back and forth. Move on already!

Lastly I want to mention how incredibly hot the sex scene at the end between Olivia and Jake was. AMAZING.

Now for:


I am so excited for this show.  It pulled me in and I am hooked.  The kid who plays Dean in Harry Potter is in it, and he does a GREAT American accent.
I also love that the guy who plays Bennet on Orange is the New Black is in this show, and I could not place his face to save my life.  His character irriatates the shit out of me on this show though so that’s unfortunate.

The character “Laurel” also annoys me a little.  I don’t like her eyebrows, and she is just meh to me.


The pilot episode.  Even as a pilot, this episode was RIVETING.  I loved the time warp of the show, which has been continuing in the following episodes.  It makes it even more interesting than it already is.

I loved the scandal of Gibbons catching the professor sleeping with a man in her office, and then as if that wasn’t enough, it turns out that it was NOT her husband.  That was great.

Viola Davis is a goddess, I am just in love with her and that’s all I have to say about that!

Do you watch all of these shows, or just one? Which is your favorite?