IT HAS BEEN FAR TOO LONG! I am finally making my big comeback to the blogging scene. I’m so thankful for those of you who are still following me and to the new people who have decided to hop on board since I’ve been on hiatus. I took way too long of a break thanks to my *mental health*, but here I am and I’m better than ever. I’m a published short story writer, I’ve got a new job, and I am thriving! I am so excited to get right back to it! Stay tuned because I. WILL. BE. POSTING.
I have been absent for quite some time now and it has allowed me to focus on my fiction writing. Well I have spectacular news!
One of my short stories are going to be published by Scare Street! 🥳
Some of the details are still pending, but you’ll be able to find my story very soon! Keep an eye out for more info!
Books that Shaped Me
Every reader has those books that will stick with them for their entire life. I have a few, and I mostly consider them the books that grew up with me. They marked some kind of reading milestone and had a deep impact on who I am. Here is my list of books that shaped me.
The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss
The Foot Book was the first book that I ever read on my own. I remember that I read it to my grandma at her house when I was really young. I wasn’t a strong reader as a kid and I had to go to extra reading classes to catch up to the other kids. But, when I read this book on my own for the first time, I knew that I was going to be a reader.
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Those of you who have been around for a while have probably heard me talk about this book before. This was the first chapter book that I ever read. I found a copy of it at the river where I was camping and I was afraid to take it. So everyday that we camped I walked down to the river and read a little bit. On the last day of our trip I decided that the book was abandoned and I took it home. Yep, I’m a book thief.
Anyway. This story about a young girl and her dog remains a favorite.
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Just like the last entry, if you’ve been around a while you’ve heard me sing the praises for this book. I love Tolkien, he’s my favorite author. The reason this particular book is special though is because my dad would read this to me around Christmas time and it really opened my eyes to fantasy.
The Hobbit will forever be the bridge that I crossed to reach my deep love for fantasy.
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
I LOVE HARRY POTTER! Yes, you all know this. I’m not going to say a whole lot, just that these books were a godsend when I was pre-teen/teen.
No I do not condone JKR’s actions, but I’m trying to love this series still and not promote Rowling. It’s hard when something you love so much comes under fire, but I’m trying not to line her pockets anymore than they already are.
The Lord of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Yes, yes, I know. Tolkien twice?! Seriously though, Tolkien is my fave and these books were such a great outlet while I was in college. They really helped me alleviate my stress and offered a beautiful escape.
If I could go back in time and meet one dead author it would be Tolkien.
So these are the books that shaped who I am. They’ve been helpful for me overcoming things like being an outcast or learning to read. My life would be very different if any of these were never written.
What books helped shape you? Let me know in the comments ❤️
Movie Review Monday: Jojo Rabbit
So we’re going to do this review a little different due to the manner of this film. If you have not heard of this film by Taika Waititi I will be extremely surprised. This movie has been followed by harsh criticism for its content and the belief that it makes light of the Holocaust. But, I’m going to dive in and tell you why you SHOULD watch Jojo Rabbit.
Jojo is a Hitler youth during WWII and his greatest desire is to be Hitler’s right hand man, and he will stop at nothing to get there, or will he?
The reason that I believe this movie doesn’t deserve the harsh criticism it has received is that this movie is a strong satirical criticism of the way children were manipulated by propaganda during WWII. Taika Waititi plays Adolf himself and while his role is ‘comedic’, it’s far from funny and that’s easy to see.
I was very skeptical the first 10 minutes of this movie because it does feel like it’s making fun of WWII, but that quickly evolves into something bigger and more daunting. Waititi does a very good job of creating a funny and serious movie. You never laugh at the expense of Jewish lives lost, and really it’s a good hard look at the German people.
Waititi pokes fun at what the human mind can be trained to believe when it’s constantly preached to by government officials and when it’s plastered on every wall. This movie is a peek in at people’s ability to suspend disbelief and create a villain out of regular people. When it comes down to it, the Holocaust was just people killing people, but the Germans were brainwashed into believing that the Jewish people were monsters who laid eggs and could control minds. I just want to add that I am in no way dismissing German behavior during WWII, it’s just interesting to see how a race of people can make those leaps and bounds.
This movie also illustrates a huge group of victims who are rarely spoken about. German children, and I mean real children, like 10 and under, not teenagers. Kids are always huge victims when it comes to war, and not only did Germany destroy Jewish children’s lives, but their own children as well. Kids as young as the ones in Jojo Rabbit don’t have the capacity to understand what is going on, and I felt like it was a great point that doesn’t get covered.
Do I think it crosses a line? No, but I would definitely say that it rides that line very closely. Is it worth watching? Absolutely, you will laugh, and you will cry. I loved this movie and I’m not going to give it a star rating because I feel like it will cheapen this review and the situation surrounding this movie.
Have you seen Jojo Rabbit? Does it sound interesting? Let me know in the comments.
Potterheads! Have you seen the Hogwarts Legacy trailer?
My little Harry Potter loving heart about exploded out of my chest when I saw the trailer for the new open world Harry Potter RPG. It’s coming to next-gen consoles in 2021! You can customize your own witch or wizard, and supposedly even decide if you’re pure blood, half blood, or muggle born. You can explore the Hogwarts castle, but you’re not limited to just Hogwarts, there are other locations to adventure too.
There has been a lot of speculation about a Harry Potter game the last couple years, and now that it has been announced I’m so excited. I felt all of the emotions watching the game trailer. I just hope it lives up to expectations!
Here is the trailer for those of you who have yet to see it!
Zombies or Vampires? The differences in lit and film
So today is going to be kind of a weird post. I recently started reading I Am Legend and watched a couple “zombie” movies that had me questioning the way we view these monsters. What makes them different? Are they similar in a lot of ways? How come some people use them almost interchangeably?
Let’s start with I Am Legend. You’ve probably seen the movie if you haven’t read the book. Here’s a description of the book,
And here is a description of the movie,
So first of all, when the I Am Legend movie came out, just about everyone thought the monsters were zombies. I haven’t seen the movie in years because it makes me cry, but I distinctly remember thinking they were super strong zombies as well.
And I find it hilarious that the Amazon description specifically mentions vampires, because it was not advertised like that, and has become kind of a topic of debate.
But, if you read the book there is no questioning it. The monsters are 100% vampires. I guess I bring this whole topic up because it would’ve been so simple to make the distinction in the movie. Give Neville a garlic greenhouse like the book, or put a mirror on the front door like the book. I don’t know why they went for a subtle route in the movie, but here’s my theory.
At this point in history and the past 10-15 years we have been arguably more interested in zombies than vampires. Why? I don’t know, maybe it’s the primal nature of the monsters, or maybe it’s because they’re so much like us. Regardless, I think they left it relatively vague on purpose. Zombies pull in a crowd, and typically vampires do not.
This leads me into my next question, how interchangeable are they? This is when I bring in the two movies. Patient Zero staring Matt Smith, Natalie Dormer, and Stanley Tucci.
The cast is why I watched it, it looked terrible 😂. The second movie is called Feral.
First off, both movies are awful, but they made me ask questions. In Patient Zero Matt Smith can communicate with the zombies, much like Neville can in I Am Legend (Book), and they show varied levels of intelligence. Some of them riding the edge of genius level zombies. This is fundamentally not what a zombie is portrayed as, but definitely fits into the vampire description. Even the way these zombies moved reminded me of vampires. This movie rode the line of zombie vs vampires hard, and while they consider them zombies, I’d beg to differ.
The movie Feral was a bit different. The zombies only reanimated during the night time, which can be considered an older zombie trope, but is more in line with vampires. The one thing that really bothered me though was the appearance shift from human to “zombie” in this movie. Because over night their appearance would change. The skin would grey, the hair would fall out, they’d have new teeth, and they’d have different eyes. They honestly looked like a nastier version of the zombies in the I Am Legend movie. It didn’t feel like a zombie transformations, but a vampiric one. On top of that they moved more vampire-like than zombie-like. No shambling, or moaning, or brain eating. They just gave me vampire vibes.
So do we consider these to still be zombies? Even though they don’t look like or behave like zombies? Can you vary that far from the source material and still be shrouded in the zombie genre? Let me know what you think in the comments!
I’m safe from the fires
I just wanted to drop in and let you all know that I’m safe, my family is safe, and our houses are likely going to be fine. The fires are still active but they are no longer heading in our direction. I’m not entirely sure if this is correct but I saw where someone said that the fires are mostly hot spots that keep reactivating.
It has been really hard to get any factual information on the fires because misinformation was the only thing spreading quicker than the wildfire. Supposedly the fire was human caused. Not to mention the other fires along I-5 in Oregon were supposedly caused by people throwing Molotovs out of their car. The major news stations aren’t really covering the crisis here and it’s unfortunate. So I can’t give you all very much info because I don’t want to be spreading any falsehoods.
This will likely be my last fire update, unless something drastic happens. Thank you for sticking with me and for all the kind words I’ve received.
I intend to resume business as usual on my blog this coming week. I’ve started reading I Am Legend and it’s a wild one. I can’t wait to talk to you all about it.
Emergency Update! Oregon is on fire.
I just wanted to quickly let you all know that my home state is on fire and we are preparing in case we have to evacuate. The fire is an hour away so we’re still in the prepping phase.
Sorry this was so brief.
Stay safe everyone, talk to you soon.
Heading Back to Hogwarts
Today is the day that the Hogwarts Express leaves London and embarks on its journey to Hogwarts. Potterheads around the world will be rejoicing, and taking a trip back to the wonderful world of Harry Potter.
I’ll be celebrating by listening to a Harry Potter audiobook and drinking out of my new Harry Potter water bottle.
How will you be celebrating the journey back to Hogwarts? Let me know in the comments!
Life & Blog Update
Sorry I’ve been so quiet. I’ve had a lot of stuff going on and I just needed a break. I’ve always tried to stress how important mental health is when I give advice about blogging, and I’ve just been stretching myself too thin. Last week was wild. I got sick, not with COVID, there was family drama, and I just felt so busy. It was hard for my brain to function and I needed to step back for a little while.
I’m going to try and get back into the swing of things this week, but please forgive me if I don’t get all of my regular posts out the next few weeks. I promise I’m not abandoning all of you wonderful people. I just needed some time alone.
Thank you for understanding and sticking by my side.
IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!
Hello 24! Today is my day to celebrate surviving another year, and I’d like to pat myself on the back for a new personal record. I do NOT feel 24, some days I feel 10 and others I feel 100, but never 24 😂
I hope everyone has as fantastic of a day as I am. Don’t worry I’ll eat enough cake and ice cream for all of you ❤️
Goals August 2020!
I didn’t hit all of my goals for last month, but considering I started a new full time job I don’t think I did too bad. I was about 200 followers shy of my 1,000 increase. So this month I’m going to put my total follower goal at 4,500.
I’m also going to try and put out at least one book review a week and keep with my Movie Review Monday.
My biggest goal is to be kind to myself, because I’m still adjusting to a new job, I have a 1 1/2 year old, and I’m trying to keep up with my nearly daily blog schedule. That’s a lot of stuff to juggle.
Thanks to all my wonderful followers as usual. Interacting with you all makes it worth every second.
Movie Review Monday: The Invisible Man
This updated version of the classic by H.G. Well is sure to give you nightmares! Let’s take a deeper look at what makes this movie so scary.
The Invisible Man is a 2020 science fiction horror film written and directed by Leigh Whannell. It follows a woman who believes she is being stalked by her abusive and wealthy boyfriend even after his apparent suicide. She ultimately deduces that he has acquired the ability to become invisible. The film stars Elisabeth Moss, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, Harriet Dyer, Michael Dorman, and Oliver Jackson-Cohen. It is an international co-production of the United States and Australia.
(Description from Wikipedia)
When I first saw that The Invisible Man was being turned into an updated film I kind of scoffed. I thought to myself, how could this be scary? Well, my skepticism was quickly quelled, because this movie is freaky. The acting is great and the plot had me on the edge of my seat.
I think what makes this film most frightening is that the relationship between Cecelia and Adrian is so authentic for an abusive relationship. On top of that you throw in Adrian having super genius intelligence, and the potential for him to haunt her from “beyond the grave”. This movie was scary on multiple different levels of the horror spectrum. There are scenes that will stick with me for the rest of my life.
Adrian is what we could call the poster child for an abusive partner. He isolated Cecelia by controlling everything from what she ate, wore, said, and eventually thought. Every aspect of her life was under surveillance and had every red flag you could imagine. Setting up this relationship set the tone and increased the seriousness of the situation. I love when a horror movie has real life problems mixed in with the “paranormal” or “abnormal” circumstances, because it gives people something to relate to.
Elisabeth Moss puts on an A+ performance in this movie. I didn’t expect anything less based on her performance in The Handmaid’s Tale, but you never know. She definitely brought her A game, she makes the emotions come to life and her fear is genuine on screen. Elisabeth has an emotive face and she was by far the correct choice for the leading lady of this movie. I will say that the rest of the acting is about average. Not very many well known actors/actresses are featured but they did put on a pretty good performance.
I was frustrated in some parts because I feel like Cecelia could’ve done more to prove her innocence. Adrian does everything he can to make Cecelia look insane and to get her family/friends to turn on her. She finds all kinds of proof but I feel like she doesn’t fight her case hard enough. I also understand that she had forces gaslighting her every step of the way, and that is painfully real. But, for as strong as she is and outspoken, I feel like there was more she could’ve said or done. Also she goes to places that would obviously have cameras to prove her innocence but no one bothers to check and see what happened. It felt like a big plot hole.
This movie will make you fall in love with Cecelia. She has the kind of human resilience that you would expect from a strong willed person. She has every attribute to make you love her, but she is also flawed. She struggles with existence post-abuse and her life is far from fixed. The script and directing of this movie did a fabulous job of creating a protagonist you just want to root for.
I give The Invisible Man 4/5 stars!
If you’d like to rent a copy follow this link! It’s only 2.99 USD right now!
Have you seen The Invisible Man? Or have you read the original from H.G. Wells? Let me know what you think in the comments!
New(ish) NetGalley App?
So I saw on Twitter that NetGalley has finally developed an app. I only checked it out briefly and here are my thoughts.
It’s direct. There’s no download, make sure your kindle account is connected to the app, and then hope the the e-copy is formatted in a decent way, like you have to with the Kindle app. It’s a straight shot, you just log in, and boom, you can download your books.
You can bookmark pages for later. I know this is the most basic function that can be offered in an e-reading app, but I’m glad they didn’t leave it out, so I’m counting it as a pro.
Hopefully this will eliminate that crappy other app you’d have to download for graphic novels. It never worked right and I do most of my e-reading on my phone and the previous app just wasn’t compatible.
I did not see an option to highlight! This is my biggest issue. I do a lot of highlighting in the Kindle app so I’m hoping this will get added in soon.
I was really hoping you’d be able to browse new titles to request, but you can’t. At least I don’t think… it seems like just an e-reading app. Which I’m okay with I just would’ve liked the convenience of it all being in one place.
Questions I have
I didn’t thoroughly explore so I can’t say without a reasonable doubt that this app supports reading graphic novels, and I’m really hoping it does. Does anyone know the answer to that?
Does anyone know if they have plans to integrate the requesting system into the app? I’d love that!
Am I crazy for being upset that I can’t highlight? Let me know 🤣
Book Review – Shed No Tears by Caz Frear @CazziF @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #BookReview #BlogTour #policeprocedural
This book is multilayered and quite enjoyable according to Shalini’s Books & Reviews. Check out the review by following the link. -Sav
Many thanks to Tracy Fenton and Compulsive Readers for my spot on this Blog Tour. A tense, superbly crafted plot line, author Caz Frear delivered a …Book Review – Shed No Tears by Caz Frear @CazziF @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #BookReview #BlogTour #policeprocedural