Watching: Bojack Horseman Season 3

Season 3 of Bojack Horseman was a whirlwind. It has my favorite episode of Bojack so far, a look on some more background of Bojack and the gang, and some of the darkest most intense moments of the series so far. This is the season where I have found that I am completely in love with this show and I can’t wait to talk about why.

First of all, I want to talk about my favorite episode.

Episode 4: Fish out of water

This episode is an art piece. The sound of it. The way that everything is visual. How it’s basically silent storytelling. It’s gorgeous. It’s also one of the happiest episodes of Bojack. As a seahorse gives birth and Bojack ends up taking care of the little one and taking him back to his home.

I loved it so much I even drew my favorite moment:

I made a bit of a mess of the proportions, but I’m still happy with the result. It was a fun thing to draw. This is the happiest I had ever seen Bojack and Bojack has done so many things that have been sketchy in his life, but seeing him happy is the way I wish I could always see him.

A big part of season 3 was showing the past. The time after Bojack was a star on Horsin’ around and when he stared on a new tv series “The BoJack Horseman Show”. A show that was said to be terrible. In these episodes of Bojack Horseman we see younger versions of everyone and get a sense of how they’ve grown and developed to the people they are later on. Mr. peanutbutter in a bad marriage, Princess Caroline not yet an agent and barely developing her on again off again relationship with Bojack, Todd being young and discovering who he is, Diane working in a coffee shop just starting to write on the side. It’s so cool to see that part of these characters I have come to love. Gives each of them an even deeper characterization and all of them feel even more like people.

A big aspect of season 3 is Diane gets pregnant. Diane does not want a child and so she decides to have an abortion and being the social media coordinator for Sextina Aquafina she accidentally tweets about it and Sextina becomes a face of the pro-choice movement. It’s a unique perspective because I feel like Diane learns a lot about herself through this time and what it means to her to be a feminist. She gets confronted by her own biases and understands that the way she had been viewing Sextina was in a way that didn’t value her for who she truly was. It was a fascinating part of season 3 for me.

Another thing that happens is Todd meets up with his old friend Emily and they make a business together. Emily likes Todd, but we find out that Todd is asexual and just having that shown in a show like this was really cool. Todd ends up carrying on the business with Mr. Peanutbutter and it becomes the opposite of what it was meant to be originally and even though for me it turned into something I didn’t care for it ended up being a good thing later on.

A big part of season 3 is Bojack creating a campaign in hopes of being an Oscar winner. He and his friends go into meetings and set up places for him to show to create a new image for him to get picked. A lot of it goes great and a lot of it doesn’t, but that’s sorta how everything always goes for Bojack.

Bojack develops an interesting relationship with his publicist Ana. She thinks she can win him an Oscar for his role in secretariat and it ends up not happening and so she leaves him. This starts the unraveling that later turns into the most heartbreaking series of events in Bojack so far.

After years of Princess Caroline being Bojack’s agent he fires her for good. At that point he had all his hopes in Ana and Caroline had seemingly ruined two new opportunities for him and he felt fed up. It really wasn’t her fault, but it didn’t matter. Thus, began the beginning of the end.

Bojack gets announces as an Oscar nominee and so he throws a party. He gets majorly drunk and when he tries to kill himself by driving his car into his pool. He then gets saved by Mr. Peanutbutter only to be told that his nomination was a mistake. Then, Bojack has a convo with Todd that is the most intensely sad convo I’ve heard in all the series. Where Todd tells him that he’s the problem. The reason he is the way is is because of himself and no one else and it’s both so cruel and so hard-hitting. Bojack then goes on the deep end.

Then we get to the saddest part of the show. After months of sobriety Sabrina goes on a bender with Bojack and it’s terrible and heartbreaking to watch. Showing such darkness and pain in a tv show like this hit me hard. Both of them become lost.

And then as sometimes happens after taking too many drugs Sabrina dies and Bojack realizes her loss was his fault. The body isn’t meant take that much poison. Then the art of it, the way that they portray her death is haunting and beautiful. Yet not at all glorifying the moment in anyway. It felt like a knife in the gut to watch.

At the very end, Bojack tries to kill himself once more and ends up watching a group of wild horses just running and it stops him. Then the season ends on a moment of hope. It’s such a dark season and yet beautiful in its way. The writers and artists create a both real, bleak, and yet hopeful picture of what living life is. It’s glorious. It’s a show well worth applauding.

On the heels of my favorite season so far I’m excited to continue on the series and see what more Bojack has in store for me. I’m now halfway through his journey and so far I’ve loved each and every moment. Can’t wait for what is next.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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Watching Bojack Horseman: Season 2

I have to start off by saying this show is great. As my person would say it has some of the best showing of what it is to have depression on television. Season 2 of Bojack Horseman was fantastic to watch.

This season reached some great highs and some heartbreaking lows. Happiness is an inside job and Bojack struggles to find it and does in spurts, but never for long. That’s how depression goes sometimes. Sometimes it’s hard to change a mindset that you’ve held on to for years.

The very first episode was the hardest for me to watch.

Nothing gets to me like sucky parents and the closest I’ve gotten to crying because of this show has been seeing how awful Bojack’s parents were to him. Made him feel like his existence was inherently wrong and bad and it’s no wonder he’s grown up not truly being able to find happiness, because he’d never found a good way of healing all that pain. He gave himself to alcohol and bad decisions. He’s found great success in life, but still feels like nothing will ever be good enough. It can’t be not when he can’t find the good in himself.

Bojack finally lands his dream role of Secretariat. Yet at first his want to change his attitude makes him not as suitable for the role. All along Bojack had a lot of similarity to Secretariat’s essence even if that really is a sad truth. Yet even when he’d preform at the core of who Secretariat would be, they decided to make a completely different movie, all the grit removed. Hell they didn’t even use a single bit of Bojack’s acting in the final movie, just a cgi version of him.

Yet, somehow this very different movie that has nothing to really do with Secretariat turns out ok. Yet, it says nothing of Bojack or Secretariat and I don’t really know if I’d be ok with that if I were in Bojack’s shoes.

Another huge part of season 2 of bojack is JD Salinger’s show having Mr. Peanutbutter hosting. Bojack becomes a celebrity on the first episode and shit hits the fan. It becomes about humiliating Bojack until Princess Caroline tells Bojack about Mr. Peanutbutter’s tell. That episode is one of my favorites. It gets into so many difficult topics and realities of human reaction. Bojack gets petty and makes some sucky decisions and it is what it is.

Not to mention that Bojack’s girlfriend Wanda is a very important part of season 2. She makes Bojack happy for a while, but with his focus often elsewhere it isn’t enough and his depression wins out. Wanda is a positive being. She lifts Bojack up, but Bojack doesn’t want to be lifted not really. He may have loved her for a while, but in the end he breaks her heart and instead of chasing after her he chases his past and again only finds a temporary kind of happiness.

One of the most interesting things to watch was the dynamic between Bojack and Diane. Diane was supposed to go off to Cordovia for 6 months and she does, but then she realizes that Sebastian St. Clair is full of shit and she really isn’t doing anything to help anyone so she heads home. Yet, instead of going home she stays at Bojack’s house and lies to her husband for months that she’s still in Cordovia. Yet all the while she lays around drinking with Bojack and he lets her stay there.

This of course creates tension between himself and Wanda. Wanda certainly doesn’t want her boyfriend sitting on his ass wasting away with someone he’d had love for, for hours on end. It’s then she realizes she never really knew Bojack and everything between them falls apart.

Yet I have to say my favorite high of the show was for Princess Caroline. She enters a relationship with Rutabaga and they want to have a company together. Since Rutabaga puts the company in her name when things go bad for the two of them when Rutabaga shows he’s playing around and doesn’t truly respect Caroline she gives him the finger and keeps the company for herself. I have mad respect for Caroline. She’s amazing. Love seeing such a strong feminine feline in this show.

On a whole, season 2 was amazing to watch. It had great funny moments. It showed some real friendship. It had some wonderful jokes. Some real lows. A lot of difficult subjects to delve into. It’s a masterpiece. Every single character is three dimensional and real. You care for everyone no matter how flawed. People don’t always chose the “right” thing and this show gets that and isn’t afraid to show things for what they are.

There is so much detail that goes into the art and you can screenshot any point and you could see just how much was going on. It’s so good at showing hard truths. Yet it isn’t a hopeless show. Bojack wants to be better and it shows him working on himself, but finding his inner happiness and strength seems like it may be a long battle.

One of my favorite conversations was him talking to Mr. Peanutbutter:

Mr. Peanutbutter has something that Bojack doesn’t, a feeling of self-worth and the confidence that goes with that. Nothing seems good to Bojack because he hasn’t found that yet. It’s such a powerful conversation in the show. It was incredibly well done.

I’m excited to continue on and watch season three. It’s going to be incredible. Bojack’s journey is a hard one and I want to watch it to the very end.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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Ant Man: A Discussion

I never forget about a series. So, of course I’m continuing on with my Marvel series! I watched Ant Man yesterday to refresh my memory and God so I love this movie.

This movie is one of my all time favorite marvel films. Here is why:

1. This Guy:

Luis has the funniest lines in the whole film. Every single time he’s on screen it makes everything that much funnier. Plus, he shines from the very beginning talking about all the sucky things that happened while his friend was in prison, but saying he has his van.

2. This scene:

https://youtu.be/Oj2u_obs3n0

3. Everything about the film is on the border of what can and cannot be accepted as reality, but the perspectives in all the scenes are done so well that it brings you in because it looks cool. It’s artful, but at the same time still a little too out of reach.

4. Ant Dog!!!!!

I want a giant ant friend!!! No one can convince me otherwise.

5. The Daughter dynamics:

Ant man has a daughter and does everything for her. The relationship between then is very real and it’s also real in how there are tensions between him and the mom. It’s not perfect, but he loves his daughter and would do anything to redeem himself to her.

But, I also love that it mirrors Hank and Hope’s relationship:

While there is more tension here and higher stakes Hank really does love his daughter. He just feels it’s too late to repair his relationship with her.

6. The Incredible imagery:

https://youtu.be/54h7QYEkkBk

Shown best in its final battle scene linked above the perspective shots in Ant man are incredible! I love seeing something being done so uniquely. They took as many opportunities as they could to showcase perspective in really interesting ways.

7. Ant Man in its entirety:

Even without saying specifically what I love so much about this film, I enjoy the whole thing. It’s funny in its entirety, yet it’s balanced by some serious topics. The villain may be a little too cliche, but with everything else the film has to offer I don’t really care. It’s fun. It’s different. Maybe a little strange, but that’s what makes it so great.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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Autonomous: A Review

Autonomous by Annalee Newitz

My Rating: 5 stars!

Cover Rating: 10/10 I usually wouldn’t give a cover like this, this high of a rating, but after reading the novel I couldn’t think up a more perfect cover. It’s simple, yet elegant. In a way, it tells you exactly what the inside story is about. If there was one image to describe what Autonomous is it is exactly what this cover is.

Publisher: Tor Books

Publish Date: September 19th, 2017

Number of Pages: 303

Received: The Tor Book of the month for a month I don’t recall.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

When anything can be owned, how can we be free

Earth, 2144. Jack is an anti-patent scientist turned drug pirate, traversing the world in a submarine as a pharmaceutical Robin Hood, fabricating cheap scrips for poor people who can’t otherwise afford them. But her latest drug hack has left a trail of lethal overdoses as people become addicted to their work, doing repetitive tasks until they become unsafe or insane.

Hot on her trail, an unlikely pair: Eliasz, a brooding military agent, and his robotic partner, Paladin. As they race to stop information about the sinister origins of Jack’s drug from getting out, they begin to form an uncommonly close bond that neither of them fully understand.

And underlying it all is one fundamental question: Is freedom possible in a culture where everything, even people, can be owned?

Opening Sentence: “The student wouldn’t stop doing her homework, and it was going to kill her.”

Musings:

Autonomous is a smart novel. In every sense of the word. It’s language is very scientifically based, yet not in a way that is overly complicated. It’s well-balanced and fun to read. Yet, it’s subject matter is often serious. This is one of the first adult novels I’ve read. I was not disappointed. It’s one of the most intriguing as Sci-fi novels I’ve ever read.

What I Loved:

The relationships. The relationships in this novel are more then just interesting they are eye-opening. In a world where bots and humans co-exist some taboo relationships were bound to happen and I enjoyed reading about what that would look like. Also, I love that Jack is casually bi-sexual. I love seeing books have people represented as exactly who they are and it being accepted. No one cares about Jack’s sexuality and I feel like that’s how things should be.

It’s really well structured. I have not geeked out on the structure of a novel in a long time. It’s not something I typically even notice so much, but Autonomous has this balance of storylines past and present with so many things going on, but not too much, but all of it is interesting. Everything is important in the novel. There is no filler. In a sci-fi this is a magical thing that I have not experienced before.

No one is truly the good guy. Sure, everyone thinks they are, but no one is totally clean of doing something wrong. The whole point of Jack’s quest is to right a wrong that affected over a hundred people’s lives in a very negative way. Except she still reads off as a hero. But, in the end to those effected by what she did, their lives were ruined. It wasn’t completely her fault, but to those families I don’t think it would matter.

Talk about anthropomorphizing bots. Humans tend to want to humanize everything. I know I do it when I see my dog have emotional responses to things we do. As well as her very unique personality. It is very human. Yet you can’t fully give a human identity to an animal, but with something that looks so human-like? The lines blur. It was super interesting to read about.

The actual political system. The government system in this novel is not the biggest part of the novel, but it is very much there. There are rules and regulations that very much effect the plot. Also an indenture system that blurs the lines between what it is to be human. Where bots can be autonomous and humans can be indentured slaves. It’s incredibly interesting.

All in all:

Not much more can be said without spoiling this beauty of a novel. It’s gorgeously written. Filled with incredible characters. Very human situations. Pirates and parties and addiction and injustice. So much substance with every turn of the page. Autonomous is well worth the read.

About the Author:

Annalee Newitz writes science fiction and nonfiction. They are the author of the novels The Future of Another Timeline, and Autonomous, which won the Lambda Literary Award. As a science journalist, they are a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, and have a monthly column in New Scientist. They have published in The Washington Post, Slate, Popular Science, Ars Technica, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic, among others. They are also the co-host of the Hugo Award-winning podcast Our Opinions Are Correct. Previously, they were the founder of io9, and served as the editor-in-chief of Gizmodo.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

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A Coffee Kickback/ Review: Schism

This weekend has been wonderful. I woke up Saturday morning made some breakfast while listening to Christmas music. Then after breakfast I had some tea and read Schism for about two hours. After that I watched Christmas movies while drinking some coffee with my mom and my sister.

I watched “The Holiday Calendar” and “Holiday in the Wild” and well as “Holiday Rush”. Overall, a Christmas extravaganza. It was the most relaxed and myself I had been in a long time. It reminded me that you can make any day special and do whatever it is that would bring you the most joy at life the spur of the moment.

Christmastime this year has really showed me to enjoy every moment as well as the unfolding is happening. Because nothing is ever done, not really. Life is constant movement and I’m so ready to enjoy and dance in it again. Which is exactly what I’ve been doing recently. So much so that I have noticed that I no longer find a trace of depression or anxiety anywhere at all. I am so free and from that place of freedom I know that the world will be my oyster and I can’t wait to see what else unfolds.

On to the review!

Schism by Britt Holewinski

My Rating: 3/5

Cover Rating: 4/10 it’s not the best in my opinion. It fits the setting and the genre, but I feel like they could have done something so much cooler. It kinda looks like they just kinda photoshopped a few things together that in some basic way fit the story and that doesn’t really do it for me.

Publisher: Delirious Pixie

Publish Date: March 15th, 2016

Number of Pages: 264

Received: goodreads giveaway

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

“My name is Andrea Christensen. I’m one of the oldest oldest people in the world.”

The first book in a new YA, dystopian trilogy, SCHISM is a story of survival, of good versus evil, and of constructing a future with only memories of childhood.

A virus, created by the smartest minds in the United States government, which is meant to target male adults in times of war, is accidentally released before testing is complete. Within weeks six billion people are eliminated from the world. The only survivors are prepubescent children.

Five years after this catastrophic event, a young girl named Andy Christensen and her two friends are forced to leave their home in Bermuda and return to the North American continent. There, they discover that America is wild and chaotic, and people have instituted a “survival of the fittest” mentality. Andy and her friends soon band together with fellow survivors in search for a new place to call home.”

Opening Sentence: “The two young men moved quickly under the cover of night, the summer air thick with humidity.”

Musings:

Schism is post-apocalyptic in a very dark way. It really paints a negative picture of human beings being at there worst most of the time and the few that are good that are trying to make the best of it all. People are raping and human trafficking and murdering all over the place.

Not only that but it’s kids doing all these things to other kids because all the adults were killed by a virus. It’s utter chaos. Nowhere is safe. There’s drug trading and just a whole lot of awful things and as smart as the kids are the pieces of hope are few and far between.

What I liked:

The pacing. There was always something happening and the story moves pretty fast. There is always something shocking to wonder at.

The characterization. Everyone was pretty distinct and they all had their own motivations for acting and I really enjoyed that.

Not too unlikely of a scenario. I want to believe that if this really happened that all the kids of the world would behave this terribly, but honestly I don’t really know. I want to hope humanity would do better, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the reality.

The idea itself. I like an interesting concept and this sure was unique. It was an exploration of what could be.

All in all:

An interesting and intense novel. I had my issues with it, but overall it was enjoyable read.

About the Author:

I was born in Boston, but moved when I was less than a year old. I lived all over the country growing up, so I had to adapt and learn to make new friends quickly. I was a gymnast at a highly competitive level until I was 15. Then I focused more on school, especially math and science because I wanted to become an astronaut.

After high school, I went to the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, where I studied mechanical engineering. I graduated in 2000, and attended graduate school at Pennsylvania State University. After getting my master’s degree, also in mechanical engineering, I went to work for the CIA shortly after 9/11. I travelled all over the world for my job, including 3 years in the Middle East. I decided to leave the Agency after 14 years to focus on writing, which is where I am today!

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Till next time!

The Voice of my Mind: A Review

The Voice of my Mind by T. A. Fish

My Rating: 3/5 stars

Cover Rating: 4/10 it’s simple and fits the title, but it’s not something that really stands out. It’s not something that would really attract my attention in a book store.

Publisher: Book Baby

Publish Date: June 1st, 2019

Number of Pages: 86

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

The Voice of My Mind, by author T. A. Fish, is an avant-garde poetry collection that took over 5 years to complete. Each poem is beautifully crafted with great virtuosity, that haunts with extreme depth and wonder. The collection deals with themes of grief, love, spiritual enlightenment, and philosophy. From beginning to end, the poems read in a mesmerizing and captivating style, expertly flowing from one theme to the next.

Opening Poem:

Treasure

The pyre of life Is a great treasure chest;

Pouring out All, Of the world’s best.

The fruit of men Is like a deep well;

To find the bottom Time will tell.

The love of God Is like a great vista view;

Endless in boundaries And beauty too.

The hate of the world Is an abominable snow;

Blinding in rage Of what it ought not know.

The knowledge of life Is knowing what is to gain;

Searching all truth And seeking in vain.

Musings:

I think one of the main issues with this collection is how much the same it is. The rhythms are all the same and it’s like reading one long redundant poem and no one wants that.

However, the reason why I rated this 3 stars is because there was 2 poems that I really did enjoy, but even those have the same redundant rhythm and I wish it didn’t.

I will share the one I liked the most with all of you:

Grim

The madness creeping deep within,

The lifeless body of a man named grim;

As a heartless beat quakes the thin,

Revenant who died and rose again.

Writhing and crawling with nary a shin,

Carrying a devilish smile,

disguised as a grin,

His twinkling eyes,

protrude through the dim,

Haze of blackness that encompass his skin.

Seeing a doppelganger claiming his twin,

The unrepentant soul of abhorrent sin,

Seeking to devour his spirited kin;

Dragging his corpse into the depths therein.

Screaming his last, from the pit, of the dungeon,

Never a fate so great and grim,

La fin.

I like this one because it was darker and it made me think of Halloween and creepiness. But, even re-reading it I don’t feel like it has a lasting impression.

Mostly, I just wanted there to be variety in the tone. It’s like the words no longer matter because there was no variety in the beat. It’s like the poetry is trying to be grander then it actually is. It’s not even that the poems themselves are bad. I feel like it’s all trying too hard.

All in all:

This collection had a lot of potential it never tapped into. It had some good topics and some good lines, but it fell lacking to redundancy. It’s a run of the mill poetry collection. Not terrible, but not great. Which is why I gave it the rating I did.

About the Author:

T. A. Fish is a Christian author, who spent over 5 years crafting the deep, provocative, and thought-provoking poetry collection The Voice of My Mind. “The Voice of My Mind is a journey of the human spirit; one that dives into the deepest and darkest crevices of the human mind, and then reaches for the heights of spiritual enlightenment and redemption. ” – T. A. Fish

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

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Watching: Marvel’s Runaways: Season 1

Runaways is a really great teen tv show following a group of friends who find out their parents are not at all who they believed them to be.

What interests me most about the dynamics of this show is the idea of the parental and child relationship that each of them has that is never broken in spite of any of the transgressions on both sides. All the parents here have done absolutely awful things, but they still have this something about them that is redeemable. Especially with some of the parents more then others.

Especially Victor Stein who is the father of Chase and is an abusive asshole. Yet the show showcases unhealthy relationships in a way that doesn’t glorify them while showing real cycles of abuse that play off in abusive relationships in real life. I really enjoy a show that does that. Shows morality and immorality in a way that is clear, but also glorifies neither.

Then there is the casual relationships that happen between the characters that show them discovering the kind of people they are and who they want to be with.

The is especially apparent with Nico who spends half of the show dating Alex:

Then discovering that he wasn’t quite what she wanted and exploring a new relationship with Karolina after she expresses her feelings for her.

Life and love is a fluid thing and I really like seeing that fluidity expressed in a matter of a fact way throughout the show.

As far as the powers go my favorite was by far Gerts! Having a Dino that listens to you and is your constant companion is so cool! Also the fact that they call her Dino an emotional support Dino for her anxiety is so beautiful!

I love that it’s that Gert is a person first and she happens to deal with anxiety. No one in life is there mental health issue or disability. Everyone is themselves first and foremost. I love this characterized in a marvel tv show.

But I love that we also have a character that is a part of the group that doesn’t have a specific power. Alex is a leader that doesn’t have any powers, but that doesn’t make anyone respect or love him any less.

All in all, Runaways is a great tv show that showcases diverse characters in a very well represented way living their lives and navigating school, love, and saving the world from their parents. It’s complicated and well-written. I loved the first season and I can’t wait to watch season 2!

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It’s ok to DNF

Sometimes you start a book and it’s not all you hoped it would be. Sometimes you power through and finish it anyway, but sometimes that feels a bit like pulling teeth.

I don’t know what it is, but I always feel bad if I DNF something. It’s like an obligation to the author and all the people that put so much effort into the book that I do my duty as a reader, writer, and reviewer to finish the book. But sometimes, there is a book that’s problematic or boring or just plain bad and it no longer feels worth it to review and promote something that makes you feel like pulling teeth.

After I finished Dream Waters which was something that I didn’t particularly care for, for a lot of reasons, I had a Netgalley review copy to read. I started it. But, right away I didn’t like the vibe. Then I looked into the reviews and I just didn’t have the energy for a book like that one. It was problematic in a lot of ways. The main character wasn’t like able, but that wasn’t the issue. There was weird relationships with older men. A general idealization of men in general. As well as many other negatives that many reviews pointed out.

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t keep going. I’d read about 4 chapters and I couldn’t read another word. I wanted to read something good and right after the book I read was incredible. Something with great representation and solid history. I loved it. I felt good about reviewing it. I dreaded reading and reviewing the other book.

However, you don’t have to have a particular reason to not finish a book. If you don’t want to read something you don’t have to. You don’t have to explain it or give a discussion like mine. You just stop reading and forget about it. It’s ok to DNF. That’s a reminder to myself as much as to all of you.

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Dream Waters: A Review

Dream Waters by Erin A. Jensen

My Rating: 2/5 stars

Cover Rating: 5/10 stars, this kind of cover isn’t typically what attracts my attention. The color is pretty, but otherwise it’s a pretty standard cover. It’s also a little misleading. I thought this was a ya book when I first saw it and didn’t realize it was adult till a ways into the book.

Publisher: Dream Waters Publishing

Publish Date: April 4th, 2016

Number of Pages: 418

Received: Giveaway

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

A contemporary fantasy that blurs the lines between dream and reality, fairy tale and history, love and obsession, Dream Waters is the first book in the Dream Waters series. 

All his life, Charlie Oliver has watched the people around him morph into creatures that no one else sees. Unlike the rest of the world, Charlie remembers the Waters that transport him to the Dream World each night. And he sees glimpses of people’s Dream forms in the waking world. Condemned to spend his waking hours in a psychiatric facility because of his Dream Sight, Charlie doesn’t expect anything to change. But everything starts changing the day Emma Talbot walks through the door in the middle of a group therapy session. 

Haunted by memories of the events that led to her admission, Emma plans to end her life the first chance she gets. But something about Charlie stops her. From the moment they shake hands, his friendship feels safe and familiar. As Emma begins to let down her guard, Charlie catches a glimpse of the fiery-eyed dragon that lurks behind her Dream form. Each night, as Emma dreams of the man who’s been banned from visiting, Charlie searches the Dream World for the monster that shadows her. But when Emma’s suppressed memories begin to surface, Charlie finds more monsters than he bargained for.

Opening Sentence: If anyone had told me when I woke up that morning that my life was about to change forever, I’d have said they were crazy and considering the fact that I woke up in a psych ward, odds are I would’ve been right.

Musings:

So, there are a lot of things about this book that felt odd to me. The first being that I didn’t get the fact that this was an adult book until later as ages aren’t given till a bit into the book. The relationship between Emma and her husband which is one between a man who was an adult when she was a child and knew her all during that time and took her to his bed by the time she was 16. Which is something I’m not sure is properly reprimanded in this book. However, as I have not read any of the next books in the series I’m not sure how it will be handled in the future.

In general, while the concept was interesting, I felt it wasn’t fully realized in this book. It felt like an early draft of something that could have been much better, but never quite made it there.

The psych ward itself didn’t feel like a true representation of one, but more of a movie like idea of one with rules that made the plot fit.

Then there were the secrets that we never learn about Emma’s husband. Like, did he kill the girl that told Emma she was having an affair with him. Or why the hell no one went after him when Emma’s father found the two together before she was an adult.

There’s a lot of things in this book that makes me raise my eyebrow wondering why it’s even a thing. Especially after the ending. The ending made me question if they would ever properly reprimand the husband for grooming Emma to be his wife, because they give rights to have her under house arrest and then he gives Charlie a job.

I know this review is all over the place, but this book makes me go: ????

Charlie was the only thing I liked about this book and still even the way he was written still didn’t feel fully fledged.

All in all:

There are a lot of things I wish were different about this book. I wanted to like it, but I simply didn’t. It was entertaining at times, but there was too many things that felt unfinished and some things that was ended up completely up in the air. This book was not my cup of tea.

About the Author:

Erin Jensen is the Amazon International bestselling author of The Dream Waters Series. She was awarded the Bronze Medal for fantasy fiction in the 2018 Readers’ Favorite international book award competition. She also received Honorable Mention for fantasy fiction in the 2018 Writer’s Digest self-published e-book awards. A part-time pharmacist and a full-time daydreamer, she resides in upstate New York with her ridiculously supportive husband, two teenage sons–who are both taller than her–and a Yorkshire terrier who thinks he’s the family bodyguard.

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Wicked Saints: A Review

Wicked Saints (Book 1) by Emily A. Duncan

My Rating: 4/5 stars!

Cover Rating: 5/10 a standard book cover. I like the darkness of it. It just doesn’t give me a wow factor. I do like that the kingdom is in the cover though. That’s pretty cool.

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publish Date: April 2nd, 2019

Number of Pages: 385

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis: An instant New York Times bestseller! 

“Prepare for a snow-frosted, blood-drenched fairy tale where the monsters steal your heart and love ends up being the nightmare.” – Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Gilded Wolves and The Star-Touched Queen

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings. 

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holytrilogy.

“This book destroyed me and I adored it.”- Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval

Opening Sentence: Death, magic, and winter. A bitter cycle that Marzenya spins with crimson threads around pale fingers. She is constant; she is unrelenting; she is eternal. She can grant any spell to those she has blessed, her reach is the fabric of magic itself.—Codex of the Divine, 2:18

The calming echo of a holy chant filtered down from the sanctuary and into the cellars.”

Musings:

This book reminds me of why I love fantasy. A whole world in your fingertips that can be as dark and magical as you dream it to be. Emily writes such a tale. Something where everyone has their own agenda and manipulation and truth within lies makes world views shatter and the fate of whole kingdoms lying in the balance of all of it.

What I Loved:

The writing. There were some chapters of this book where the writing was positively addicting. The reason I say some is only because certain chapters were written like dreams and the elegance of those chapters shown, while others served the purpose of showing action and furthering the plot and that isn’t a bad thing. It made the book very well balanced and thoroughly enjoyable.

Falling for the wrong guy. It’s nice to see a story that shows someone making a mistake about the person they fall for. It happens to all of us and in this story it had some dubious consequences. Although I loved the attraction between Nadya and Malachiasz. I think I have a thing for male characters with M names “cough Morpheus cough Mephistopheles cough” with a penchant for magic and very charismatic personalities. It’s a sad that Malachiasz would probably kill me before showing me any sort of interest.

The unwinding of truth and lies. Nadya has lived her life incredibly sheltered. She lives to serve the Gods and has practiced a perfection of being and devotion that is tested and bent completely as the book unfolds. She uncovers lie after lie. Something about the way everything is revealed to her was sort of grossly beautiful to me. Because it makes me think what sort of incredible fury she will unleash in the next book. I want to see this girl rise and I have a feeling she will and I can’t wait to see it happen.

The magic itself. There isn’t really much limitation to how the magic in this world manifests. It does have limits from person to person, but in general there is a lot of variety to the spells that are very personal to who is casting. This makes for some beautiful scenes where the magic manifests in very unique ways that I really enjoyed.

All in all:

This book is a great one! The way things enfolded has me very excited about what is to come and what adventures await Nadya in the future! I love a book with intensity and Wicked Saints had that aplenty.

About the Author:

emily / XXVI / 
—NYT & Indie bestselling author of WICKED SAINTS and RUTHLESS GODS from Wednesday Books/Macmillan 

— purchase Wicked Saints here! 

—preorder Ruthless Gods here! 

— YA fantasy writer rep’d by Thao Le of SDLA 
evil!boyfriends / villains / metal music / Goth Life /

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Yesterday’s Wordcount: 918