Saturday, April 20, 2019

Saturday Screen Time #31: Superheroes, vampires, and creeps


Happy Saturday, everyone! In the time since my last Saturday Screen Time I've watched even more (gasp!) horror movies, but this week I have a bit more variety. I've also watched some superhero movies and vampire shows! As much as I adore horror films, I'm feeling like I may have to start branching out, at least for a few weeks. I'm starting to feel like everything is pretty average. 


THIS WEEK IN SCREEN TIME



Channel Zero: No-End House - I'm always a little wary with anthology shows because I'm always worried later seasons won't live up the the first. I'm excited to say that No-End House was just as amazing as Candle Cove! This season revolves around characters who enter a haunted house that doesn't end when they leave. This is again based on a creepypasta that I've never read, but I'm definitely going to have to look it up! If you're looking for a horror show that isn't AHS, you might want to give this one a try. (4.5/5 stars)

Captain Marvel - I'll admit I was nervous about seeing Captain Marvel. I'm not sure why, but every time a new Marvel character is introduced I feel like I won't love them, even though it's almost never true. I ended up seeing this one twice because it was just that good! Captain Marvel is the female superhero I didn't know I needed in my life. I loved how kickass she was without being sexualized at all. I know a lot of people adored Wonder Woman but that movie just didn't do it for me. Captain Marvel is the pinnacle of female heroes as far as I'm concerned and I can't wait to see her in Endgame! (5/5 stars)

The Bay - I've been trying to watch The Bay for a LONG time, ever since I saw it on a list of best found footage movies. For whatever reason, it was really elusive and I had a really hard time getting my hands on it. Thankfully I finally found it on Tubi, a streaming service I didn't even know existed. Unfortunately, it was... not great. It's a pretty typical found footage movie about a parasitic outbreak, which wasn't what I was expecting at all. The scares are pretty standard and the characters were hard to care about. This just wasn't for me. (2/5 stars)

Creep - I had watched Creep years ago but decided to give it another watch after seeing Creep 2 a few weeks ago. Honestly, I'm terrible at remembering details so I couldn't remember much about it. I do remember being pretty, well, creeped out by it. Somehow it wasn't as scary as I remembered. The main character was still super creepy and I did like the way the movies were tied together. I don't think I'd give this a third watch though. (3/5 stars)




Us - The hype has been REAL for Jordan Peele's next horror movie. I was so excited to finally get to see this after loving Get Out, but it was a pretty big letdown. While Get Out did a great job of blending horror with a message, this one was way too on the nose with its allegory. The film tries too hard to explain too much, while not making sense of anything. The logistics of this world don't make sense and there are a TON of plot holes. I wish that more had been left to the imagination instead of trying so hard to make this make sense in real-world America.  (2.5/5 stars)

The Originals Season 2 - I hadn't watched The Originals since the first season aired, but after finally finishing The Vampire Diaries I decided to give it another chance. I'd heard that it was much, much better and more mature than later seasons of TVD and that is absolutely correct! I had forgotten how much I loved the Mikaelson family and jumping back into their world was so much fun! Klaus is terrifying as always, but I loved seeing his softer side (at times). The parental drama was a bit much, but the relationships between the siblings more than made up for it. (5/5 stars)

The First Purge - Hm. Yikes. The first couple movies in this series were just so good. I'm not sure what went wrong here, but it was painful to watch. I think this is another case of a horror movie trying to explain way too much that really never needed explanation. Less is more in the world of The Purge and the explanations are over the top ridiculous. I'd suggest stopping with the second movie in this franchise. (1/5 stars)




What was your favorite recent release?
What has been your biggest recent letdown?
Let me know in the comments!



Friday, April 19, 2019

Game of Thrones Book Tag


With Game of Thrones back and just amazing as always, I'm excited to pour some of the hype into an awesome book tag! This tag was created by Claire Rousseau on Booktube and showcases some of the show's best characters!


ARYA
A character that's all about revenge


Lada Dragwlya is the most badass of all female characters and is out for revenge from the very beginning of her series. I love how fierce she is and how hard she goes for what she believes is hers.


VARYS
A book that featuring political intrigue


This is a recent favorite and one that has the perfect amount of political intrigue! It has to be done just right to hold my attention and Ash Princess definitely did.


JOFFREY
A villain you love to hate


Keris Veturia is the worst of the worst in the world of An Ember in the Ashes. There are Bigger Bads, but she is the one I hate the most. I hope she dies the same way Joffrey did, to be honest.


JON SNOW
A coming-of-age story


Can I say Harry Potter? I'm saying Harry Potter. Although I didn't get to grow up with the characters, I never get tired of seeing them go from children to adults over the course of the series.


JAIME & CERSEI
A ship you don't like


There is no other answer besides Alina and Mal. I hate them together so much. I'd rather Alina have ended up with herself than ended up with Soggy Bread Mal.


LADY OLENNA
A kickass older character


I'm going with another obvious choice: Gandalf. He's amazing in the books and the movies and I love him. Literally who else is more badass than he is?


DAENERYS
A book featuring dragons


I don't usually care for books about dragons, but Talon is such a unique series! I love the idea of dragons hiding right under our noses and the characters in this book are amazing.


SANSA
A character you grew to love


Nesta Archeron was so hard to love from the very start, but over the course of the series she really grew on me. She's still a bit rough, but I understand and love her character so much more!


MELISANDRE
Favorite magical system


Completely ignoring everything undone by King of Scars, I'm going to go with the magic of the Grishaverse. I think it's so unique and I love how each category is so distinct.


TYRION 
A character whose weapon is his mind


Kestrel is such a brilliant character, which really comes through more as the series goes on. I loved Kestrel for a lot of reasons, but her ability to strategize was high among them.



Did you watch the season premiere?
Who's your favorite character?
Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Audiobook Review: Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Title: Ash Princess (Ash Princess #1) 
Author: Laura Sebastian
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 432
Add to Goodreads


Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia's family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess--a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She's endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn't always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.

Ash Princess has been on my radar since it was published, but for some reason I never got around to reading it until now. I was surprised upon finally reading it to find that it was not a Cinderella retelling! I don't really know why I assumed it was other than the title, but I definitely enjoyed this original YA fantasy!

Theo has been a prisoner in her own home for ten years, forced to bend to the will of the Kaiser to stay alive after he killed her mother. She has grown complacent, even making friends with the daughter of one of her enemies, but she starts to consider things differently after an old friend reappears in her life unexpectedly.

Theo was such an incredible character! She is definitely one of my new favorites. It's very easy to understand how she chose to follow the rules of her enemies instead of fighting every second of the last ten years, but I loved watching her realize her strength. I loved how blurred the lines were between good and evil. Morally gray characters are my absolute favorite and I adore when an author can make a case either way.

Speaking of other characters, there is absolutely a hint of romance and, yes, a love triangle. While this isn't a trope I always enjoy, I felt that it worked really well here. While one of the love interests made sense as someone Theo had always known, I also really liked her chemistry with Soren and I am wholeheartedly on that ship.

While I am getting a bit sick of elemental magic in general, I liked the way that it worked in this book. The magic system is familiar, but still manages to be unique. I also enjoyed the politics and the world, although I would have liked seeing a bit more of it. Based on the way Ash Princess ended, I assume there will be much more of the world in book two and I can't wait to see all of it! The author definitely took her time crafting what we did see of world and its different cultures.

This book was everything I could have hoped for, although I went in with no expectations at all. There was magic and romance, twists and mystery! And the ending was BRUTAL! I am just so glad that I already have book two available to read immediately.


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday #235: Rainy Day Reads


Today's Topic: 
Rainy Day Reads

Oh no. This is such an open ended topic and I am horrible with those! I stared at the screen for quite awhile trying to figure out what a rainy day read was. I decided there are two distinct types of books I'd classify as "rainy day" books. The first is a quick read with a mystery that you can't stop reading until the end. The second is a super moody book that fits the weather. These are the ten that I came up with! 



Alone by Cyn Balog
The Cold Is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale
Girls With Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young



House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
Pines by Blake Crouch
The Raft by S.A. Bodeen
The Shuddering by Ania Ahlborn
Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Weekly Recap: 4/7 - 4/13


HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

Hi everyone! Well, this has actually not been a busy week at all, at home or around the blog. Instead of blogging or doing much else, I've been laying around trying not to die. What started as a cold on Monday seems to have progressed into a sinus infection and I literally might not make it, you guys. I couldn't think well enough to even write a review. I am EMBARRASSED to have only posted twice this week. What even?? I haven't had a week this bad in years. But alas, here we are. Hopefully next week will be better! At the very least I'll be seeing a doctor tomorrow if I'm still not better. I fear antibiotics may be in my future. In better news, today is my birthday! I'm trying to enjoy it despite feeling very under the weather. :/


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK



THIS WEEK I READ

 


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

The topic was crazy things I've done for books for Top Ten Tuesday
On Thursday I talked about weird books


UPCOMING REVIEWS

 


I'm linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Thursday, April 11, 2019

Weird YA books for weirdos


I've always been a bit of a weirdo, but lately I have been extremely into weird books. Sadly, there aren't nearly enough of them and no matter how hard I look I can't find a list of weird books that are strictly YA and not contemporary. I can't quite put my finger on what I mean by "weird" here other than a specific atmospheric quality, but I think each of these books speaks for itself. If you're like me and love weirdness and YA, look no further than this list (unless it isn't long enough and you need more to read, in which case keep looking).



WINTERSONG BY S. JAE-JONES

This book is definitely based on Labyrinth and if you're a Labyrinth fan you're already weird, so you'll probably love it! Wintersong is for people who secretly shipped Jareth and Sarah despite the weird age difference and general creepiness of the Goblin King. There are spooky goblins, a creepy underground, and a lot of weirdness, but the Goblin King is very handsome, a bit weird, and of course, swoon-worthy.


HOUSE OF SALT AND SORROWS BY ERIN A. CRAIG

THIS. BOOK. I only read this very recently and it hasn't been published yet, but I promise you want to read this book! It's a retelling and a ghost story and it's just a weird, atmospheric masterpiece. This is the kind of book that you're never really sure you can trust and it will keep you guessing until the very end.


THE COLD IS IN HER BONES BY PETERNELLE VAN ARSDALE

I fell in love with Peternelle van Arsdale when I read The Beast is an Animal last year (also a very weird book). The Cold Is in Her Bones is just as weird, but I loved it even more! This is a medusa retelling and has a very folktale feel about it, which adds to the strange atmosphere. There are snakes and curses and demons and it is AMAZING!


WILDER GIRLS BY RORY POWER

The cover of this book tells you everything you need to know about it. Every part of this book is original and I literally have nothing else to compare it to. It involves a weird disease that gives the girls of the island really, really awful symptoms and basically the entire island is out to get them. Think Annihilation, but YA. Read it.


SAWKILL GIRLS BY CLAIRE LEGRAND

I literally finished this last night and, while it's not my favorite, it definitely belongs on this list. This book involves a monster on an island and the girls who come together to fight against it. There are so many things going on in this book, but the atmosphere is chilling and every part of it is weird from the monster to the romance.



This one was recommended to me when I asked for more weird books and it definitely fits the list! I had only read a handful of other Holly Black books and I honestly wish everything she wrote was like this. The vampires were much closer to Lestat than Edward and the Coldtown was creepy and unique and I loved it! Of course, there's also some vampire romance that I absolutely could do with more of.


CRUEL BEAUTY BY ROSAMUND HODGE

Cruel Beauty was one of the first Beauty and the Beast retellings I read and I was not prepared for how strange it was. I loved the dark, creepy atmosphere and the anti-hero that the author created. This book has magic and mythology and a lot of general weirdness. All of this author's books are super weird, honestly. You should probably just go ahead and add them all to your TBR.


BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA BY APRIL GENEVIEVE TUCHOLKE

I did not know what I was getting into with this book, but I absolutely loved it! It's about a girl who lives with her brother on a cliff and a mystery boy named River who comes into their lives. The town is creepy, the characters are weird, and the atmosphere the author creates is incredible. I still need to pick up the sequel, but she is definitely an auto-buy author. Her recent Beowulf retelling is pretty weird too.



BOOKS THAT HAVE BEEN RECOMMENDED TO ME
(but that I haven't read yet)

Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin
The Graces by Laure Eve
The Killing Jar by Jennifer Bosworth
The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King
The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
The Accident Season by Mo├»ra Fowley-Doyle
A Room Away From the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma
Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton



Do you like weird books?
Are there any others you'd recommend?
Let me know in the comments!