Monday, June 13, 2016

Preacher "The Possibilities" Review


This week's episode was something else. It seems that Tulip has finally gotten through to Jesse with her attempts to get him committing crimes with her again. We had some great Cassidy moments as well as a great Eugene scene. Jesse has been testing out his new powers more and more. Viewers also got to see an example of just how long Jesse's commands can last. It seems that the creepy bus driver still can't remember just what his sins were. Miracles and strange happenings are being left in Jesse's wake wherever he goes and it won't be long before people start to catch on. Who knows what might happen if anyone start asking questions.

I can't wait to see where all of this does lead. Sorry for the short review but I stayed up to watch this episode after the Tonys so my brain is a little fried.

As a bonus just know that this is what I imagine anytime Jesse calls Cassidy "Cas" and I can't help dying of laughter every single time.

Motor City Pride 2016, Orlando, The Tonys, and Hamilton

This was quite the eventful weekend! There were some good things that happened and some not so good. Everything started off great when I went to Motor City Pride on Saturday with my Mom and Aunt. This was my first time going and I've wanted to attend ever since I first came out nearly six years ago when I was about 14. It gave me a chance to finally wear my Bi Pride shirt and I also painted my nails the colors of the Bi Pride Flag. Everyone at the festival was just so happy and nice. It was great to be in such a huge, diverse crowd of people and know that none of them held anything against me just for being me. It was really hot but it was totally worth it. I hope that next year I can go for the parade.

When I woke up today after having just gone to my first pride festival the day prior I was devastated to hear the news of the Orlando shooting. I fear that I don't even have the words to describe what I am feeling about this tragedy. We've come so far what with the marriage ruling last June but it seems the U.S. has taken huge steps backwards in its acceptance of the LGBT community since that day. I just hope the rest of us can continue to fight against those prejudiced people who would rather see their fellow humans crash and burn than even be tolerant of anyone different. My heart goes out to all those effected by the United State's largest civilian massacre.

As horrible as today's events were, I couldn't let it put too much of a damper on things since tonight was the 70th Annual Tony Awards. I've been watching the Tonys for eight years and this year was the best. James Corden did a wonderful job hosting and his opening sequence was perfection!

The Tonys were dedicated to the victims of the Orlando shooting. This was so perfect and typical. Theatre is the most accepting community I have ever been a part of. Broadway is probably the most diverse and welcoming place in this country right now. Everything about the Tonys tonight reflected that. From one of the most diverse musicals in history (cough ... Hamilton) winning 11 awards (including Best Musical) to James Corden's speech about absolutely anyone being able to be whoever they want to be to the numerous knocks on the worst person in America (Donald Trump). This night was perfection and exactly the kind of energy that needed to be put into the world at this moment.

Some other highlights include:

The Hamilton Performance

The School of Rock Performance

James Corden's Broadway Carpool Karaoke

I can't know if things will ever get better or if we will ever have quite as great a President as Obama again but one can hope. Sometimes I am astounded at how horrible America is right now but other times terrifying events like the Orlando shooting or brilliant works like Hamilton remind me that as terrible as everything might seem we truly are lucky to be alive right now. You never know when will be your last day or who will tell your story.

Oh and by the way Alexander Hamilton was bi. I like to think he would be on the right side of history right now and that he would want to remind everyone that history has its eyes on you.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Re-Read

So if you're keeping up, I'm re-reading Harry Potter for the billionth time in preparation for the release of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script and sharing my thoughts on them sixteen years after first picking up the series. I also have every intention of choosing a favorite through the course of this re-read. Caught up? Good. Moving on.

Some new realizations I had and little things I noticed while re-reading Prisoner of Azkaban:
- Harry is so angsty at the beginning of this one.
- I don't remember being this drawn in to the story of the Marauders when I was younger. Why? They're all so amazing! Especially Lupin. And I never saw how tragic all that happened to Sirius was. I mean I got that it was sad when I was little but I felt more sad for Harry not being able to go live with him than anything else. But everything else that happened was breaking my heart this time around. I mean Harry not getting to live with him was sad to but being framed and imprisoned and just - I can't even.
- This is the one where Hermione slaps Draco! <3
- The Time Turner is SO magical. I can understand now that I'm in college and want to take all the classes why she stressed herself out so bad to take all of the courses being offered.
- When Hermione walked out of Divination! Just YES! That is what it feels like sitting in Gen Eds. Like yes I realize I could actually be doing something worth while but instead I'm sitting here learning something I will NEVER need to know! I feel that.
- Ron and Harry are idiots and so mean to poor Hermione! She is the only mature one. Girls always mature faster. Did they really not think the Firebolt was suspicious and how are you going to control what a cat does? It's an animal. Plus she was thirteen so she was probably going through puberty and getting her first period and crap and trying to take so many classes and helping Hagrid with Buckbeak's case but Ron and Harry just have to be inconsiderate little jerkwagons.
- If Harry let Sirius kill Pettigrew everyone would have lived happily ever after.
- Lupin is the best teacher Hogwarts ever knew.
- It makes me sad that Lupin probably would have been allowed to take care of Harry if he wasn't a werewolf.
- This is the book where Harry starts to become a sass master.

My final verdict?
I love this book so much! The world building Jo does here is absolutely phenomenal. Animagi, Hogsmeade, The Knight Bus, The Marauder's Map, Dementors, Time Turners, Divination, Hippogriffs! The list could go on and on. She delves into so many different interesting topics and it makes the world ever more engrossing. The early teen angst is so on point. The trio lets their emotions get the better of them constantly and that is so realistic. It's a good thing Voldemort didn't rise to power in Prisoner of Azkaban. I feel like this is how it would have gone:

Voldemort: AVADA-
Harry: Go on then! Just kill me! I hate my life! It sucks and my parents are dead and I hate everything! *falls to floor and pounds fists in hysterics*
Voldemort: Why don't I just come back in a few years when you actually give a shit then? Dear Wizard God! Children these days!

I mean for real Harry is so reckless and dumb. Thank goodness for Hermione. But all the wonderful new things presented in Prisoner of Azkaban make it the best in the series so far. Harry's stubborn death wish can even be endearing at times simply because of its accuracy. Teenagers tend to think they are invincible even in the real world. Imagine how much having magic powers could inflame that sensation. At least the wit that develops out of his angst is on point. I love Prisoner of Azkaban.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Lindsey's Story

This is my first short story that I will be posting on my blog. I guess you could categorize it as Flash Fiction based on the amount of words in it. I know not to post stuff that I want to get published but I can't publish this anyway because it is written from a prompt int Gail Carson Levine's book, Writing Magic, (which I am loving working out of) so here ya go! Feel free to leave feedback.

Lindsey’s Story
The first time I saw Stephen, he painted a hex sign on my right arm, and I couldn’t move my fingers for three hours.  I was six years old then. The next time I saw him Stephen was eighteen and his power was ten times that of what it was ten years ago. When you’re six people think you’re just making this sort of thing up. They think you have some sort of imaginary friend. It’s not until you’re sixteen that it's no longer cute and they decide to have you committed for making up boys who can literally freeze you.
            Seeing Stephen the second time happened about two years ago now. I told the same story to countless doctors in my time at Smythe’s Mental Healthcare Estate for Young People. I was waiting for the bus after going out to see a movie with some friends when I encountered a boy who had then frozen me in place. I knew it was Stephen only when he began retracing the same spot on my right arm that he had painted that sigil on  exactly ten years ago. Only this time it wasn’t just my fingers but my entire body that was immobilized.
He dragged me completely conscious to a dark alley. There I remember trying to get away but he laughed, as I couldn’t even move. As I lay on the cold concrete unable to move a muscle. He didn’t do anything more to me but his touch had burned a mark into my skin that has yet to fade. He didn’t speak out loud but instead I heard his words in my mind.
“You’re mine now, Lindsey.” Stephen said, his green eyes bearing into my soul. “You will always be mine and you will come to me when called. I could make you do anything right now and you would not be able to fight it. But I won’t. I don’t need to... yet.”
Then he left. Just like that. After I got home I spent weeks researching the depths of the Internet for any kind of monster like this boy. I found other girls with similar experiences. All of whom were too afraid to tell their friends and families about them. Some of the young men with this power used it for good and some not so much… Many of these young women were assault victims of the predators or had been forced to commit some horrible crime. The ones who seemed to be doing good with their powers always asked for a favor in return and sometimes that was where their evil came to light. For when you promised something to one of them they held you to it without fail.
I began to have nightmares and Stephen was the star in them. One day I also began seeing him everywhere I went but I couldn’t tell if it was really him or not. I had to tell someone and of course when I did I instantly regretted this decision. My mother came to the conclusion that there was something wrong with me when I came to her. That’s when my stay at the Estate began.
 I’ve lived in fear that he might come for me ever since the last time I was frozen. Of course, this is what they call paranoid-schizophrenia in a psych ward. Hallucinations, anxiety, and panic attacks fitting their diagnosis perfectly. They might also call it PTSD if they believed me. If anyone would just believe that what happened was a supernatural violation of my mind and body. Instead I must live in fear of my attacker at all times because not a single soul will trust that I am sane.

On my 168th day at Smythe’s as I climb into my bed I resolve to start pretending I’m “cured” so I can at least get out of here. Anything is better than this. Then just as I slip under the covers I hear a lilting voice say, “Lindsey… Come out, come out, wherever you are...” and I freeze.

Feed the Beast "Father of the Year" Review


How it feels having been so pumped for this show and then seeing it:

Unfortunately the second episode of Feed the Beast has been even worse than the first. I think there are two clear elements that could have been removed from the show in the hopes of de-cluttering the plot. Either Tommy's racist, abusive father or the mob war stuff could easily be cut completely from the show. I mean the acting on the part of Schwimmer and Sturgess is fantastic but the show over all is just really trying too hard. I'll probably give it another chance next week only because there are only two other shows on right now that I watch but if it doesn't get better I'm done. So disappointed in this show.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Preacher "See" Review


This week's episode of Preacher was a fabulous continuation from the pilot. Preacher started to discover his strange new powers a bit more. He held strong in his resolve not to commit crimes with Tulip. There were some wonderful moments between Jesse and Cassidy. Eugene had a strong moment in his admitting that he hadn't felt better in spite of his baptism. Oh, and Cassidy kicked some serious but. The action in this particular episode was just as great as the last. The episode also had me laughing so hard at moments like the bit with the steering wheel. Over all, while there were some great moments in the episode it wasn't quite as exciting as the pilot. I'm hoping we get the energy we saw at the very start back soon and that it stays throughout the rest of the season.While this episode did slow down a bit it was still good and provided a nice little snapshot into the lives of all our main characters while introducing some cool new people and concepts.

Monday, June 6, 2016

STORY TIME: My Thyroid Cancer Story

For those who don't know I used to do booktube. I stopped when the last school year started and this is why. I made a video explaining my absence due to Thyroid Cancer because I plan to jump back into making videos again this summer. My May Wrap-Up should be up soon, though it will be a little late as it's already June.

Feed the Beast "Pilot Light" Review


Tonight was the premiere of the new AMC series, Feed the Beast. When I first saw a preview for this show I couldn't contain my excitement. I was like:

I mean, first of all, I love David Schwimmer. Second, I love intense dramas. Third, AMC has been killing it with the new shows so I figured this one had to be good! And I am proud to say I think I was right.

The pilot was really good. Not as wowing as the other week's premiere of Preacher but still great and all I was expecting it to be. It had just the right mix of drama with a sprinkling of funny moments. The cooking montages were beautiful and overall the show has a cohesive tinge of dark humor. Some moment's gave it an oddly similar vibe to Orange is the New Black. Weird comparison, I know, but that's what many parts reminded me of. Schwimmer and Sturgess both do a great job as their characters and I can't wait to see both their characters and their restaurant grow over the course of this season. This show just makes sense all the things it has going for it fit perfectly together. My only qualm is that there may be a bit too much going on. You have the two down-on-their-luck bros trying to realize a dream, the dead wife/mom drama, and the gang problems. Why through in a plot about Tommy's dad so randomly? Hopefully they'll tie that together nicely though and it won't seem like there's too much happening anymore.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Re-Read

As I've mentioned I'm in the process of re-reading the Harry Potter series before the script for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is released. I just finished Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets which I have always referred to as one of my two least favorite books out of them all. The other being Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Usually, I only refer to these two as my least favorites whenever somebody asks which one is my favorite because those are the only two I can rule at as not being my favorite. However, they still have a special place in my heart. One of my goals with this re-read of the series, though, is to finally choose a favorite. Who knows if that will actually be accomplished though. I think the problem is more like when you've been a Harry Potter fan for 80% of your life you have different favorites at different stages of life. Same goes for Disney princesses. Anyway onto the re-read!

Some new realizations I had and little things I noticed while re-reading Chamber of Secrets:
- Rowling does foreshadowing really well. It's almost like she's trolling you when you go back and read these. I noticed that Dumbledore tells Harry exactly what he needs to know about Fawkes' powers way before the chapter that takes place in the chamber.
- I got unreasonably angry about how Hagrid was treated during this re-read. It was proven that he didn't open the chamber when he was at Hogwarts so in my opinion he should have at least been given his wand back. People should have known it wasn't him anyways. His dad was a wizard and his mom was a giant. How likely would it have been that he was Slytherin's heir? I mean really.
- It also struck me more than normal how hard poor Ginny really had it during her first year. The thing about reading Harry Potter as a young child is that the characters are still older than you so you don't process that they're actually still really young and are putting up with the crap that they do. Reading this now, if I were Mr. or Mrs. Weasley I would be having her go to St. Mungo's for some magical therapy. That's for damn sure. Poor Ginny.
- In the same vein. Ginny and Harry make so much more sense than I realize. Only the two of them have been so deeply affected by Voldemort messing with their mind. I mean Ron and Hermione get a taste of that in Deathly Hallows from the locket but not on such a long-lasting level. They take turns carrying the burden at least. Harry and Ginny could both totally have PTSD from this. Ginny's mind has been so utterly violated and she is only an 11-year-old girl! *shudder*

My final verdict?
I'm loving getting back to the wizarding world but it is so much darker than I ever remember it being. I guess I just never really noticed as a kid. I appreciate Chamber of Secrets so much more than I ever have. However, it will probably never be my favorite. Maybe the darkness is what put me off from Chamber of Secrets in the past. I can't wait for Prisoner of Azkaban now though. I feel that PoA is such a lighter read. It may be a real contender for favorite HP book.

Orphan Black "The Redesign of Natural Objects" Review


This week's episode of Orphan Black was as intense as always. This is just such a wonderful season so far. "The Redesign of Natural Objects" was an especially great episode for Alison. Because Alison isn't pregnant, isn't sick, and isn't Sarah we don't get to see as much character development from her as of late, however, that changed a bit this week. We saw her struggle with her love for Donnie and her sisters, her alcoholism, and her faith. All the struggle. I was feeling some big time second hand panic for Ali not gonna lie. I was like:

What's really interesting about Alison's story is that while typically she isn't in quite as much immediate danger as the rest of the clones she is still so affected by everything. I think in some ways Alison trying to keep things so normal in her family is what causes her story to have such high stakes as well as what causes her character to have so much stress and conflict. This can cause her to act rashly but at other times she thinks things through even better to protect those she loves. Like tonight.

When everything turned out okay and the girls got back on the path to saving themselves this was me at the end of the episode:

Alison and Felix did good and I'm confident that Cosima is on the right track. I do worry that not involving Rachel will be a risk, though. Maybe that creepy swan is a bad omen.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Signs Point to Yes Review


Last summer I read Sandy Hall's debut novel,  A Little Something Different, and I LOVED it! So of course, I got her next book the minute it cam out last year. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten the chance to read it until just now. But I am so glad I finally got to it.

Signs Point to Yes was so good! I read it in only two days and absolutely adored it. The plot was wonderful. The family dynamic of both families was great as was how the parents reacted to the kids dumb decisions. Very realistic on that front. Also, being a young bisexual woman I really appreciated Margo's subplot. It is pretty rare to see a bi character in YA. Jane being into fandom was also great. If you are fan of John Green, Sarah Dessen, or even Rainbow Rowell you will like Sandy Hall's writing. I love road trip stories and cute quirky summer romances so of course I loved this! If you can imagine Paper Towns and Fangirl having a baby that's what Signs Point to Yes and how can you not enjoy that?

The Final Verdict?
I give Signs Point to Yes a 4.8 out of 5 stars. The plot and characters make it a 5 but Hall's writing style is the teeniest tiniest bit passive but then again the same could be said for Cassandra Clare's writing style. I also got really angry about how immature some of the decisions the characters made were. It was still worth reading in spite of these minor flaws because the story is just lovely. Haven't read something so cute in a while.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Clockwork Prince Review


Before I get into this review I'd like to explain that I did not like this trilogy from the start but this second book made me fall in love with it! I tried to read The Infernal Devices three times before I finally forced myself to get through Clockwork Angel once and for all. It ended up being not too bad but it was still really slow. This book though! This book made me like The Infernal Devices even more than  The Mortal Instruments and I devoured those when I first read the original trilogy.

My one warning is that there is a love triangle in this book but what makes this okay is that it is loosely based off of A Tale of Two Cities so it kind of has to have a love triangle. This particular love triangle is so wonderfully angsty and you have a hard time deciding what guy you are rooting for. Jem or Will? Jem or Will? They're both equally wonderful. The scenes between Tessa and either boy (but especially Will) were delightfully steamy and intense. Much more so than any romantic scenes written in The Mortal Instruments (which is a bit surprising considering the eras both series are set in). The backstory that was revealed about Will is what really kept me hooked. It made his character much more understandable and three dimensional. The battle scenes in The Infernal Devices are also ten times more well written than those in The Mortal Instruments.

The Final Verdict?
I would give Clockwork Prince a 5 out of 5 stars. This was the best story I've read since Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus which is my favorite standalone novel of all time. That's how good this book was. I used to feel like I was struggling to get through an Infernal Devices book so I could read another Mortal Instruments book and now that I'm reading City of Lost Souls  I feel the exact opposite. I cannot wait to get to Clockwork Princess and get my next Will Herondale fix.