Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Graphic Novels: The Girl From the Other Side - Book 1

This post will essentially be Spoiler Free, however comments by other users may possibly contain information that spoils portions of the plot, so read at them your own risk. This is my first review of a graphic novel! I don't feel like you can talk about them in quite the same way as a standard print novel, so I'm going to change things up a bit.


What it's about:

A little girl and a dark monster are companions - but how did they become this way? The girl, Shiva, is sweet and curious - interested in the world, and waiting for her grandmother to come and take her home. "Teacher," a beast with a curse, watches over her - but the two can never touch, lest Shiva become cursed as well. How do these two coexist, separated by this affliction?

Sunday, December 22, 2019

What's Going On, Shayna?

My lovely readers,

This is a letter to you. No, I'm not saying goodbye to my blog or anything, don't worry, but I do think we need to talk a little. I'm not blogging a lot right now. I'm not really enjoying blogging right now. I hate that. Sometimes in the past few months, I've had no ideas at all, and other times I've had a million - so many that I can't start on a single one.

It's been a hard year. In some ways, it has been one of the most difficult years of my life - but I can definitely say it's been the year of greatest change. I bought a house, and moved in. I switched jobs from one I had been in for ten years (same organization, different department and work schedule). My relationship of several years ended. Four people in my family died - three being in the span of three months. With all of this, I've still been going to school (although with a decreased workload).

I'm so tired.

I want this post to be intelligent and eloquent - I don't want to just type everything that comes to mind, and yet I also want to write this as a diary entry to just release absolutely everything that I've been going through. So forgive me, if I sound a little crazy.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Trouble with Lichen (John Wyndham)

This post will essentially be Spoiler Free, however comments by other users may possibly contain information that spoils portions of the plot, so read at them your own risk.


What it's about:

Diana Brackley is unusual. She doesn't think about marriage or babies, and wants to go to university. She asks uncomfortable questions and seems to be able to look right through you. Upon graduating from school, she decides to become a biochemist, and soon is hired at the prestigious Darr House, owned and operated by Francis Saxover. Upon working with different strains of lichen, Diana discovers something she never could have foreseen - a lichen species with a property that, if know, will change the course of human history forever.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Library Life: You Found WHAT in a Book?

Fascinating things can be found between the covers of a book - and I don't just mean the words. Amongst the pages of books and the cases of DVDs and books on CD, I have found many a treasure. Here are a few of the things I have found trapped between the covers of library items, from the mundane to the ridiculous:

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Mini-Reviews: Aquaman, Billy Elliot, The Choice

The past few months have been crazy and hectic. I haven't watched a lot of TV or movies, but I've experienced quite the eclectic mix of titles! From superheroes to dance to romances, here are the most recent ones I'd like to share with you!

I walked into this one expecting it to be visually stunning, but not particularly great otherwise. As I am not a huge fan of the DC Universe, I didn't have any attachment to the characters or the story from the beginning. Well, it was exactly what I expected. Although I knew it was necessary, the film was very heavy in its use of CGI - and it wasn't always well done. Unfortunately this took away from the seriousness of certain scenes. Did I enjoy watching it well enough? Yes. Do I plan on watching it again or specifically recommend it? Nope, not really.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

TMST: Authors for Dinner

No, I'm not eating writers...but I am talking about which ones I'd like to have over for dinner. This week's Tell Me Something Tuesday question is "If you hosted a dinner for authors, who are the six authors you would invite (alive or deceased)?" Thanks so much to Rainy Day Ramblings, who hosts these fun discussions. I can't wait to hear who you all come up with!
For my personal list, I didn't necessarily pick my favourite authors (although some of them are), but instead I picked people I would be interested to have discussions with for various reasons. I've tried to include some of the reasons why I think they'd be fun to sit down with.

1) Ann Radcliffe
- one of the first Gothic writers, and a woman
- an inspiration for many works, and she was popular throughout her life and after her death

Sunday, October 27, 2019

In Remembrance: Sylvia Plath

Today would have been Sylvia Plath's 87th birthday. Although there is much controversy surrounding her death in 1963 and her marriage with Ted Hughes, I don't want to focus on any of those things. Today I want to shed light on her writings.

Am I fan of Sylvia Plath? I don't know - I can't say. And perhaps this post will be oddly amusing to some of you because of that. Why would I write a post about a poet and author that I don't know how I feel about? Well, because in some ways I can't help but feel intensely connected to her.

When I read The Bell Jar, I hated it. Perhaps one day I will revisit it and discover that it holds a strong truth for me. Perhaps I read it at the wrong time, or reading about depression was too true and I just found it bleak and colourless. I don't know. But when I read about her, I feel connected to her soul. Some of her poems resonate with me strongly.

Here are a few pieces of her writings that mean a lot to me personally:

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The Word, or The Page?

I was thinking about making a list of "Ten Books I Would Save in a Fire," and wondered immediately after how many people would think about it the same way I was. What kind of lists would everyone generate if they did one as well? Would their books contain specific copies of books they own (such as special editions), or would they just write down a list of their favourite books.

Of course, as a perpetual overthinker, this brought me to my next point: do people have a specific attachment to their exact copies of a book, or would any copy of it do? What I'm trying to say, in the most convoluted way, is that I am personally very fond of my specific copies and editions of many of my books, even if there is nothing technically special about them.

Why? It's the same book...

Monday, October 21, 2019

An Interview...with Me!

Do you know Clo @ Cuppa Clo? If not, you should - she's lovely! Clo, alongside Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts, runs the event Novel Newcomers, which focuses on new book bloggers. This time, they are featuring book bloggers who started within the past two years - and that's me! 

So, I got the opportunity to be interviewed by Clo and to be featured on her blog. Want to learn more about me? Well, you can read that interview here.

If you enjoy the interview and want to know more, please feel free to post some questions for me below in the comments here and I would love to answer those questions in a future post.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

TTT: Extraordinary Book Titles

It's been quite some time since I did a Top Ten Tuesday, but this one was so fun that I couldn't miss it. There are a bunch of ways I could have gone with this, but I mostly decided on some of the most ridiculous-sounding book titles I know. Yes, I have completely gotten used to some of them as time as gone on, but looking back at them, they are utterly silly. Thanks to That Artsy Reader Girl for a great topic once again!

1) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

2) The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat: And Other Clinical Tales - Oliver Sacks

3) Sex Kittens and Horn Dawgs Fall in Love - Maryrose Wood

4) Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants - Dav Pilkey

5) Away Laughing on a Fast Camel - Louise Rennison (Cue: any books in her Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series)

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Favourite Five: Movie Musicals as an Adult

A while back I did a list of my favourite movie musicals as a child, however some people were interested in also hearing what my favourites were now. So, I will oblige. The truth is that I've had this post in my drafts since about...forever? I had the hardest time limiting it to just five. If I had to pick musical on their own, and not just movie musicals, I have no idea what I would do. These are my current five favourites (in no particular order)...well, at least the best I can compile them:


1) Gigi


   2) Yentl

Saturday, October 5, 2019

September 2019 Update

The slowest viewing month I've had in ages!

Started Watching:

Poldark - season 1 - started and finished, 5
What, didn't you just watch this? Why yes, yes I did. So, I got family members hooked on the series and we are watching it together! We have just finished season 1, and will be starting season 2 sometime this week. The fifth season started yesterday, so I am now watching that as well. Re-watching has served as a very interesting reminder about a couple of character's less-than-perfect moments, and it will be fun watching the old side-by-side with the new.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

YA in Review: Catalyst (Laurie Halse Anderson)

This post will essentially be Spoiler Free, however comments by other users may possibly contain information that spoils portions of the plot, so read at them your own risk. Catalyst is a companion novel to Speak, occurring in the same environment, but with an entirely different set of characters.


What it's about:

Kate Malone is a straight-A student, preacher's daughter, member of the track team, and has a gorgeous, brainiac boyfriend. Yet, more than all of that, there is one thing that defines her - she belongs at MIT - she just has to wait for her acceptance letter. Yet, even though Kate might be waiting, life is still zooming forwards. After her classmate's house burns down Kate is forced to share her room with bully Teri Litch and her young brother while they rebuild. Now, Kate is dealing with classes, relationships, waiting to get into school, sharing her home, taking care of her own brother, getting noticed at cross-country meets, and helping kleptomaniac Teri. But she can handle it for a few more months...can't she?

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Library Life: Phone Etiquette

Conversation #1

______ Library, how may I help you?

My name is _____ _______ and I lost my book, or I think I lost it, but I don't really know, and it might be in my cottage in North Bay which is several hours away, and my daughter might be able to get it in a week or two, but I don't know. What do I do?

Okay, let me take a look at your account. Can I get your name again?

*Patron now thinks I am an idiot because they already told me their name, and proceeds to spell their name which is something like "Mary Smith"*

Situations like this happen to me several times a week, and there are a few simple ways to change this - but it seems like learning phone etiquette is a thing of the past...or never occurred at all. So, I would like to share a few tips on how to conduct yourself over the phone with a business or organization. Now, organizations have different ways of doing things based on how their computer system works, but this is a generally good guide.

What to do before making a call:
1) Know what has happened (even if you don't know why)
2) Know what you want to achieve
3) Have your client card/number present

Tips when speaking:

1) Say hello.
You don't need to ask how the person you are calling is, it's okay. You are welcome to (politeness is definitely not a bad thing), but please also keep this relatively brief - often staff are minding phones as well as other things, and drawing out a phone call for a long time over pleasantries can be a bit frustrating. However, please never EVER just launch into what your problem is without even saying hello - it is just plain rude, and people are less likely to do you a favour.

2) First state in a single clear and concise statement what the problem is.
This is not the moment to give the entire backstory of what has occurred. Often people will have launched into their full problem in complete detail...only to be told that they need to be transferred to another location or person. Some businesses have people to answer the phones simply to route the calls to the correct place and answer simple questions (ex. hours of operation, nearest location, etc.), while others have fully trained staff answering the phones and taking care of other things (or somewhere in the middle). Since you likely won't know the capabilities of the person on the other end, the best thing that you can do is to simply inform the person what you need/the problem, so that they can determine what tools will be needed to help you - whether that is opening the correct computer module, or transferring the call.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

YA in Review: The Scorch Trials (James Dashner)

This post will essentially be Spoiler Free, however as it is part of a series, some comments may spoil portions of the plot of previous books by default. This book is the second book out of The Maze Runner series. My post about the first book can be seen here.


What it's about:

After the Gladers escape from the Maze, they find themselves in the company of WICKED scientists. The Gladers learn that they are not only in another phase of an experiment, but that they have caught a horrible disease called The Flare, which causes those infected to lose their minds. Yet, WICKED offers them a cure - they just have to make it through the Scorch - the deadly desert that stretches for miles, by the end of two weeks. Except there's one big catch: the Gladers aren't the only ones vying for the cure.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Mini-Reviews: Clueless, Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Age of Adaline, Then Came You

It's time for another round of mini-reviews! A few fun ones this time, I mostly kept things light except for the last review this time.


I actually watched Clueless! Although this was a huge cultural phenomenon for people of my age, I was never in the least bit interested in checking it out. When I heard it was actually based on Jane Austen's Emma, I thought about it briefly, but...Emma is hands-down my least favourite Austen work, so I still was hardly tempted. I decided to finally bite the bullet, and ended up enjoying it. It definitely wasn't my favourite movie, and there are some annoying aspects about it, but it also could be really cute (young Paul Rudd is a heartbreaker!). I likely wouldn't seek it out again, but I'm glad I checked it out. Basically, if you like Emma, then I would check this out, but if you despise it, then you're much safer staying away.


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
I remember hearing the title of this book a while back and thought it was just about the dumbest title I had ever heard. It sounded like a book that only the seniors were going to read, and that it would be about as dull as dust. And now I make my copious apologies. When I saw the trailer for the movie, I realized that I had gotten it 100% incorrect. I knew I wanted to watch it right away, and ended up really loving it! It's sweet and lovely, and both Lily James and Michiel Huisman are great to watch. If you're looking for a feel-good romance film that has some hardships along the way, then this is perfect.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

August 2019 Update

August was largely a month of rewatching comfort movies, so although I have watched a few things, I definitely didn't get through as much as I did last month!

Started Watching:

The Office (US) - season 4
I've watched two or three episodes of this season, and I'm not sure if I'm going to keep going. There is nothing wrong with it, but the episodes are longer, and a lot of the dynamics have shifted...so I'm not very motivated to keep going actively. If it's on, I'll enjoy watching it, but I think I'm done binging this show!

Dark - season 1
To put it bluntly, this show is...well, dark. It's in German, and I personally chose to watch it with in the original German with English subtitles. Only 10 episodes long, this is good if you are looking for a dark science fiction show that is full of mystery and intensity, but also doesn't stretch on forever. Specific, eh? I've watched four or five episodes, and although am enjoying it, I find it a bit heavy to blast through in a few days. Definitely looking forwards to seeing where it goes though. Oh, don't watch this alone at night - trust me.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Uncomfortable Recommendations

Do you ever recommend something to someone - a book, show, or movie without really thinking about the content?

What I mean by this, is that you enjoyed the content, but you were either desensitized to something in it or have forgotten it. For example, you might encourage a fan of the fantasy genre to watch Game of Thrones...but I hope that it isn't a twelve year old whom you are suggesting it to.

Sometimes you might not think about the level of graphic sex, violence, or language used in a piece before recommending it. I know that for myself, I might remember one or two of those aspects (ex. sex and violence in Game of Thrones), but the language is something I might have forgotten. So if I'm telling a friend to watch so-and-so, I might omit to ask them if they are okay with graphic language.

Well, that was unexpected...

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Era of Ignition (Amber Tamblyn)

This post will essentially be Spoiler Free, however comments by other users may possibly contain information that spoils portions of the plot, so read at them your own risk.


What it's about:

Era of Ignition: Coming of Age in a Time of Rage and Revolution is, in a sense, Amber Tamblyn's life work. Detailing her experiences acting from an early age through her teen years and young adulthood, to her years as a mother and producer, Tamblyn discusses being a strong female in a male-driven world. Told through essays, letters, and interviews, Tamblyn re-examines what it means to be a feminist, and why it's so important now to stand up for women everywhere.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Library Life: And I Quote...Unusual Favours

I'm going to start a new series! Well, a segment within a series. Within my new "Library Life" series, I want to do an occasional segment, which I'm thinking I want to call "And I Quote..." but that might change, haha. Basically, I wanted to share some of the hilarious situations I deal with while working in a library. Some of these are very much exclusive for libraries, but a lot of them are things that people in all public service situations can relate to. So, here is my first installment of this series - let's see how it goes!

*Disclaimer: to protect the privacy of the people involved, small details and/or wording may be changed from what actually occurred, however the main content is the same.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Mini-Reviews: The F Word, The Space Between Us, The Perfect Date

Here are a few things I've been watching for fun that I haven't done a full review for. Let me know if you've seen any of these and what you thought!

The F Word/What If
Now these are the types of roles Daniel Radcliffe shines in! Radcliffe's character is disillusioned with love, and both Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan are both appropriately awkward and dorky together. It's a sweet movie with some offbeat humour that is really great for any day of the week. The main characters both have odd names though, and the movie is definitely quirky, so if you aren't into that, then it's likely not your cup of tea. It's that kind of predictable, but sweet romantic comedy like When Harry Met Sally that can't help but make you smile. The original title is "The F Word," however it was changed in some countries to "What If".

The Space Between Us
Although pretty predictable, it's still a sweet movie about two teens both trying to break free from the lives they've been forced into. It has lots of adorable moments and the connection between the two leads is perfect. Asa Butterfield is so, so cute in this, and Britt Robertson is great as a troubled but still good at heart kid. It's a nice movie with a cool concept, and definitely worth a watch if you are looking for something with a little depth but that won't leave you feeling too heavy-hearted.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

July 2019 Update

July has been another crazy month for me with life! There hasn't been a large variety in what I've been watching, but I did enjoy a fair amount of TV.

Started Watching:

The Office (US) - season 1, 2, 3
Well, I was rather late to this party, wasn't I? I've seen some episodes of The Office before (both US and UK), but it's been a bit random and sporadic, and only from the first few seasons. After a few friends were talking about it a lot recently, I decided to sit down and try it out from the beginning. Since the episodes are short, it's been a nice way to take study breaks! I don't know how many seasons I'll end up watching (there are nine, I believe), but it's been enjoyable so far.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

TMST: Favourite Blogs

It's been a while since I've participated in a Tell Me Something Tuesday, and I've been meaning to get back into it! Thank you to the lovely Rainy Day Ramblings for this week's topic about some of your favourite blogs. Now, I have some bloggers that I enjoy that aren't related to books at all...but this time I'm just going to focus on my bookish buddies. This isn't a comprehensive list of course, but these ones deserve some extra special attention.

In no particular order...

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Blog-Along: Pilgrimage

Blog-Alongs: my thoughts about a movie as they happen, with minimal editing. Yes, this is my opportunity to be snippy and sarcastic and tell you exactly what I think.
How Do I Read This Post?: However you'd like! You are more than welcome to just read it as is, or you can watch the movie and follow along. I've included rough timestamps so you can check back in when you're watching. There are usually a few mild spoilers in these, but honestly, I am super careful to not spoil anything crucial. Regardless, however you decide to participate in this post, I hope you enjoy it.


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Library Life: Library Misconceptions

I've been fortunate that most of my life has been split between two incredible fields of work: science, and library services. Yet, what I've noticed while talking to people outside of these fields, is that there is very little understanding of what we do! I don't blame people for this, I have no idea how an accountant spends their day, or an electrician. However, both of my fields tend to be portrayed rather stereotypically in the media, leading to some pretty funny misconceptions. So today I want to share with you some of the most common ideas I have heard from people about library work/workers. In future, I want to discuss a little bit of what types of jobs I actually do! I've had experience in three departments, and in two types of positions, so my experiences will be an amalgamation of those, and anything else I can tell you - It won't be indicative of every library, but it's a start!

Misconception #1: You get to read books all day!

Uh...I WISH!
I have had to do this in the past, absolutely, but it's not as big a part of most library jobs as people believe. Children's Programmers, those who run storytimes, definitely have to do this to select the items they are going to read. Librarians mostly skim read to determine what items to maintain in the collection, otherwise they usually read book selection/review articles and magazines (nowhere near as fun, trust me). Occasionally we read to get an idea of items in the collection to better be able to recommend them to others, but this is usually on personal time, and for fun! I actually work with some people that don't read for enjoyment at all. These guys are usually movie buffs though!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Mini-Reviews: The DUFF, Mortal Engines, The Impossible

More movies in my long list of things that need to be reviewed! I love watching movies, but I don't like to review all of them. Why not? Well, there can be a few reasons for this: 1) sometimes there just wasn't enough going on in it for me to feel inspired to write a full review/have enough material to write about, 2) because I often just want to watch a movie for enjoyment, and without analyzing it. So, here's how we both win: I watch it for fun, and then I write a mini-review. However, if you see that I have watched a movie and you desperately want a full review...tell me! I am more than happy to consider writing a full review if I know readers are interested.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, here are some of the things I've been watching!

Do you like Easy A? Well, this movie has that kind of feel to it. It's a relaxed, but fun teen movie that still deals with some important issues and relationships. It's a little bit quirky, but still very relatable. If you are looking for a fun movie for the weekend, or for an evening to curl up and relax with, then I think this is perfect. It will leave you feeling happy, and without having to think too intensely to keep up.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

June 2019 Update

In terms of television, June has been an exceptionally slow month. Thankfully I had a bunch of posts lined up, because I did almost no blogging near the end of the month!

Started Watching:

Accidentally in Love - season 1
Yes, I started another Chinese drama. Actually, I'm taking a break from watching it right now to finish up this post. So, this is one that I had saved as one to watch, but like many, I don't recheck why I had picked it before I started watching...and it's very much like Meteor Garden and A Love So Beautiful. Does that mean I am bored? Nope. Does that mean that I am already obsessed with it? Absolutely. I didn't have much hope for it in the first episode or two, but by the third episode I knew that I was going to adore this one. I'm about a third of the way through, and am having a great time.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

YA in Review: Flipped (Wendelin Van Draanen)

This post will essentially be Spoiler Free, however comments by other users may possibly contain information that spoils portions of the plot, so read at them your own risk.


What it's about:

Julianna Baker flipped for Bryce Loski instantly. Bryce? Not so much. He spends the next several years trying to get away. But when the eighth grade comes around with new challenges and influences, Juli starts to see Bryce for more than just what he is on the outside - and she's not sure she likes what she sees anymore. Yet Bryce, upon being prompted to take a closer look, starts getting a funny feeling every time Juli is near.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Read vs Reel: The Kissing Booth

BEWARE -SPOILERS ABOUND. With this being a comparison between the novel and the film adaptation, there will be lots of spoilers in this review under the section "Where the Movies Differs". Read at your own risk. The other sections should be essentially spoiler-free.

In all honesty, I almost didn't finish this review. No, that isn't any reflection on the source material, I just had so many roadblocks come up with this post that I didn't really have the heart to continue. So, better late than never, here it finally is!


The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles started as a story on Wattpad before being picked up by publishers in 2012. The Netflix movie adaptation was released in 2018, instantly garnering hoards of fans. It stars Joey King, Jacob Elordi, and Joel Courtney, with Molly Ringwald in the supporting cast. A companion novella, The Beach House was released in 2011 and can be read on Wattpad.

What It's About

Two best friends give birth to their babies on the same day. Their children, Lee and Elle, are inseparable from that moment on. They can count on the other for everything, no matter what. But when Elle and Lee plan a kissing booth as part of the school's carnival fundraiser, they never could have guessed what would happen - her first kiss is with none other than Lee's older brother Noah. Noah seems like a dream: straight A student, football player, and completely gorgeous...until you factor in his motorcycle, womanizing, and tendency to get into fights. Elle is torn between wanting bad boy Noah, and running the other way. What's a girl to do?

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Every Day

Every Day is based on a 2012 book of the same name by David Levithan. It was adapted as a movie in 2018.


What It's About:

Every day a person named A wakes up in the body of a different human being. They are not a body in and of themselves, and only a soul. On one particular day, A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets his girlfriend Rhiannon, with whom they spend an unforgettable day. Rhiannon, unused to this type of attention from Justin is over the moon, but when Justin can't remember it the next day, she is not only heartbroken, but confused. A, however, has fallen head over heels. Through a series of different bodies, A meets Rhiannon and explains their story - and when the two start a relationship, they have no choice but to hide it. For who would understand that when Rhiannon looks like she is with a different person every day, that she is really with A? 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Drums of Autumn (Diana Gabaldon)

This post will essentially be Spoiler Free, however as it is part of a series, some comments may spoil portions of the plot of previous books by default. This book is the fourth in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. A television series is also currently out. It recently finished its fourth season, which covers the contents of this book.


What it's about:

From Scotland to France to Jamaica, Claire and Jamie Fraser have travelled many miles on their journey together. Now in North Carolina, another chapter of their lives is beginning. Journeying to River Run, they meet Jamie's aunt Jocasta, and then move onward to make themselves a home on the newly named Fraser's Ridge. Yet the uncolonized land presents its own challenges - along the way both new and old friends and foe are encountered which will have lasting consequences. Back in the present, Claire and Jamie's daughter Brianna learns the history behind her parent's future - and knows she has to help them in any way she knows how.

Friday, May 31, 2019

May 2019 Update

May was definitely an intense month for television...I think I need some happier things for June, don't you?

Started Watching:

The 100 - season 6
I was a bit worried about whether or not I would keep watching this show, but it's looking like it has gotten a decent revival with the change of scenery this season. It's still pretty early on, but I'm liking it so far. I definitely don't feel desperate to watch the episodes the second they come out, but I am watching them within a few days, and am looking forward to them. If you're into basic sci-fi and dystopians, I would check this series out. It is also inspired by a book series, but they are only very loosely related to each other. The series came out before the first book was published, so it is only based on the characters and the concept, but most of the plot differs.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month, so I do want to talk about this a little bit. Although I'm hesitant to discuss my own mental health here, ensuring that good role models exist in the forefront and reducing the stigma is really important to me. There need to be resources for people to go to understand their own mental health, the mental health of others, and to feel less alone in their struggles.

Today I want to highlight some books and movies that feature different mental health situations that will resonate with a variety of groups. I'm only including pieces that I have read or watched, because I don't like to comment too often on things that I'm not familiar with. If you have any of your own pieces that you think people will want to experience, please don't hesitate to mention them in the comments. There are some great pieces out there that I won't have seen yet!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Bell Jar
Just Listen
Green Angel
Go Ask Alice
A Monster Calls
New Moon
Thirteen Reasons Why

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

T5W: Emerald Covers

In honour of May's birthstone of the emerald, this week's Top 5 Wednesday is focusing on emerald green book covers! I haven't done many of these, but I think they are a fun addition to the blog from time to time. If you want to join in on these, you can see all of the T5W topics here. Here are some emerald books that I have read or are on my TBR:



Friday, May 17, 2019

YA in Review: How I Live Now (Meg Rosoff)

This post contains mild Spoilers, although they occur not far into the book. Comments by other users may possibly contain information that further spoils portions of the plot, so read at them your own risk. This book was adapted into a movie in 2013 which stars Saoirse Ronan, and is an early role for Tom Holland.


What it's about:

Fifteen year old Daisy defines herself by everything she is not; She is not Elizabeth, not wanted at home, and definitely not going to eat. Sent from the United States to live on an English farm with her aunt and cousins, Daisy finds herself thrown into a very different world. Instead of her indifferent father and nasty stepmother, she is greeted by four quirky and connected cousins, and her mother's loving sister. Quickly fitting in, Daisy finds the family dynamic she didn't know she could have. Yet, just as suddenly as her idyllic farm life begins, it is shattered by the start of World War III. The enemy is as unknown as the future as everything gets thrown into chaos. But for Daisy, there is nothing more important than holding on to her newfound life.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

TTT: Books I Read Because of Their Adaptations

Thanks to That Artsy Reader Girl, this week's Top Ten Tuesday is a "Page to Screen Freebie (Books that became movies/TV shows, movies that became books, great adaptations, bad ones, books you need to read before watching their movie/TV show, movies you loved based on books you hated or vice versa, books you want to read because you saw the movie or vice versa, etc.)". So for me, I wanted to do books that I read because I had seen, and enjoyed the movie. Enjoy!

Pride and Prejudice
I remember my mom watching this one day, and I curled up in front of the television with her to watch it as well. She had to explain several things to me, but I ended up falling in love with the story. It's been a favourite ever since, and I knew I had to read the book. It was maybe the third or fourth Austen book that I read, but it was the first one I was exposed to. Favourite version: 1995 with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth

Wuthering Heights
I would definitely say that this was my introduction to Gothic movies and literature. This was something my mom and I would watch at like 1:00 in the morning when we couldn't sleep, and honestly that is the best time to watch it. It is dark and obsessive, and just plain wonderful. I didn't read it until many years later, but my love for the movie was certainly why I picked it up. Favourite version: 1992 with Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche

For all of you who know my love of period dramas, it should be no surprise that Outlander appealed to me instantly since it takes place in two historically important periods. I watched the first episode knowing almost nothing more than a wartime combat nurse and science fiction time travel, and was really interested. I missed the next few episodes (insert long, unimportant story here...) and then learned that one of my best friends had actually been reading the series for a while and also loved the show. I just recently finished the fourth book myself.

The Hunger Games
The same friend who loves Outlander also took me to see The Hunger Games, and loaned me her copies of the books. In all honesty, I think I might have started the first book before seeing the movie, but I don't remember...and I at least started reading them because the movie was out.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

TTT: Characters That Remind Me of Myself

Unfortunately, even those these have been awesome topics for me lately, I've had to rush through these lists. Thanks to That Artsy Reader Girl for this week's topic, today we're talking about characters that remind you of yourself. Here are some that automatically come to mind (for various reasons).

Mini-Reviews: On Chesil Beach, Juliet, Naked, Midnight Sun

If you could see the notes posted on my computer, you'd discover that I watch a lot of movies, and review...perhaps two thirds of them. What does that mean? Well, those notes contain all of the movies I've seen that I don't really want to write a full-length review for. I've been a bit lazy recently (i.e. too busy with other things that make blogging hard), so the list has been piling up, and up, and...up. Some of the movies on that list I watched back in the summer! Regardless, I will be starting to post a few mini-reviews again to get rid of the backlog...and to give you just a brief summary of what I thought. If you'd like a more in-depth review of any of these, please leave me a comment below or send me a message in the sidebar and let me know, and I will be more than happy to provide one. These ones are all recent ones first, and then I will be moving backwards to some older ones.

Here we go!

On Chesil Beach
I was going to do an in-depth review here, but then I realized I didn't have too much to say about it. I'm also planning on reading the book (by Ian McEwan), so I might do a Read vs. Reel post on that in the future. But, I digress. On Chesil Beach is sad. It's entirely about character development, and about two people who are unable to communicate properly, especially in the midst of a difficult situation, and this changes their relationship forever. It's told through present moments interspersed with flashbacks so you can fully understand where each person is coming from. I did think it was well done, but I'm not sure it's one that will appeal to a lot of people. If you want a lot of action, or a neat and tidy resolution with all of the answers, then this isn't really your type of film. If you like character-driven plots, where you get a resolution that comes full circle as an end but doesn't give you all the bits that happened in between, then you'll be good with this one. Saorise Ronan, Billy Howe and Anne-Marie Duff (whom I adore) are all great.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

April 2019 Update

Yay, my semester is done! I have a few weeks with which to read and watch a bunch of stuff, and blog to my heart's content. That's a good thing because May has a bunch of awesome content that I am looking forward to.

Started Watching:

3% - season 2
I only have two episodes left of this season (which is all there is on Netflix so far), and then I will be done. There was a huge shift in the feeling and perspective of this season, so that took quite a bit to get used to. Where last season focused on the candidates in the Process, this season actually takes place before the next year's process. Although I found this interesting (and we get to see a lot of character backstories), I haven't been enjoying it as much as the first season. Still worth a watch, but I'm not as attached to it.

Game of Thrones - season 8
No spoilers, don't worry. The show "everyone" has been waiting for. Love it or hate it, it's definitely everywhere right now. Unfortunately I am not always able to remain completely up to date with this because my family likes to watch it all together, so that can make being on the internet difficult. I am currently all caught up though, so it's nice to be online right now! Haha. Anyway, I'm not overall impressed yet, but there have been a few stellar moments, so I wouldn't list myself as disappointed. Bit of a deus ex machina type of thing going on for me though. We'll see!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

TTT: Thought-Provoking Book Quotes

Surprisingly, although I absolutely adore quotes, this week's Top Ten Tuesday was a tough one for me. These are a few quotes that I absolutely adore from books that I wanted to share. I will most likely do another post about quotes in the future when I have time to compile a bigger list. Thanks to That Artsy Reader Girl for this week's topic.

1) “She philosophically noted dates as they came past in the revolution of the year. Her own birthday, and every other day individualized by incidents in which she had taken some share. She suddenly thought, one afternoon, that there was another date, of greater importance than all those; that of her own death; a day which lay sly and unseen among all the other days of the year, giving no sign or sound when she annually passed over it; but not the less surely there. When was it?” - Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Friday, April 26, 2019

Period Drama: Colette

Keira Knightley stars in this biographical drama about french novelist and icon Colette during her burgeoning years as a writer.


What It's About:

Before she was famed Parisian writer Colette, she was simply Sidonie-Gabrielle. Upon her marriage to famous author "Willy," she moves from her quiet country life to the big city, and helps her husband with his correspondence. Eventually, amidst financial troubles, in order to increase Willy's literary output, Colette becomes one of of his numerous ghost writers. Yet no one could have predicted the magnitude of her invisible success. But there comes a time when Colette is no longer content being invisible.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

TTT: First Ten Books I Reviewed

A quick topic this week for That Artsy Reader Girl's Top Ten Tuesday, and that is about the first ten books that you reviewed. Although we could include Goodreads reviews, I decided to just focus directly on my blog this time. I knew some of these were my first reviews, but there were a couple I had forgotten were near the beginning! I've included links to them in case you want to check them out, but let's be honest, some aspects of my style have completely changed!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

TTT: Rainy Day Reads

Since I suggested this topic, I figure I have to do it, right? Haha, no I'm super excited that one of my suggestions was picked for this week's Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This one is perfect for April, since it's spring and generally full of rain. So, whether it's books that fit the rainy or stormy mood, or ones that cheer you up out of a weather slump, there are lots of good options for this topic.

Where I'm concerned, I generally gravitate to either one of two types of books when it's all sombre and rainy out: Dark/Gothic, or Sweet and Lovely. With that in mind, my list is going to be split between the two types this week! So, here we go:


1) The Tennant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë

2) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

3) Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

4) The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare

5) Vampire Knight manga by Matsuri Hino

6) The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Favourite Five: Period Drama Shows

I think one of the most important things to know about my television and movie tastes is that I am wholly and utterly obsessed with period dramas. If there is a new one coming out on television, it is highly unlikely that you telling me about it will be new information. This is one genre that I just can't seem to get enough of.
So, in honour of my unending love and dedication to period dramas, I want to share five of my absolute favourites. I am limiting it specifically to television shows, however. So that means that movies are out, as are mini-series. So anything on this list either has lasted more than one season, or was created with the intention to last more than one season. That means that adaptations like Pride and Prejudice or North & South are out, no matter how much I adore them.
So, here are five favourites and why you should give them a go:


1) Poldark
I put off watching Poldark for a bit because, well, I knew I was going to be obsessed with it. I didn't have the time to devote to it, and then when I did try to pick it up was when I couldn't seem to get my hands on it from the library because everyone else wanted it too. Poldark is not only a stunning way to fall in love with Cornwall (or in my case, further in love than I already was), but it's got a little bit of everything. War, love, lust, jealousy, revenge, justice, questionable morality...it is just so, so good.


2) Victoria
I love anything to do with British royalty (not really...but kind of really), and Victoria is no exception. If you want an intense story right at the peak of a period of great change and progress for England, then this is a great one. Victoria is not without her faults, and you get to see them, but she still remains very likeable and utterly respected. Costumes and sets are gorgeous, you get to really watch Victoria grow and change in her role, and the cast is brilliant. It's still going strong in season 3.