Saturday, 31 March 2018

Sunday Post 94, It's Monday, what are you reading? 79

The Sunday Post - a chance for bloggers to have a chat and a catch-up - is hosted by Kimba, here: and It's Monday, What are you reading? is hosted by Kathryn, here:

Sometimes when I sit down to do these posts, I know exactly what I'm going to talk about. Others .... well other times I think "My week was exactly like every other week, what am I going to talk about?"

I have nothing - lol. Um. I've been enjoying the long weekend and not doing much at all. I had lunch with a friend yesterday, and today spawn and I read some Harry Potter, watched Moana and did some colouring and dot-to-dot-ing, which was fun. Other than that ...

Other than that, I have nothing. I need to step up my game.

I read My Story by Elizabeth Smart, and my friend and I watched Tut, the mini-series from a few years ago on Friday night at her place.

I'm still working through Wizards and Glass and The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet.

What about you? What's your week like? What are you reading?

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Review - Love, Simon

I'm not sure whether it's a good thing or a bad thing that I only read the book a coupe of weeks ago, because it meant the changes made in the movie really, really stood out and were a bit distracting.

Having SAID that ... Love, Simon was great. Sweet and bittersweet, and kind of adorable, and I don't know, it all just worked really well.

I will most certainly fight a bear for Simon, and for his friends.

Martin though.... Martin's on his own.

Anyway. Simon starts exchanging emails with an unknown boy who puts a post up on the school's blog about being gay. Simon has no idea who it is, but he reaches out, recognising a kindred spirit.

The film handled the emailing aspect really well, and also Simon's speculation over who the other boy could be. If you didn't know for sure, then you would be kept guessing right along with Simon.

And yes, I got teary a couple of times.

A+, would fight seven out of ten bears.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Review - The Boundless Sublime by Lili Wilkinson

Ruby is struggling with the burden of grief - her little brother has died, and she believes that the accident that killed him was her fault.

Her father is in prison for the actual act, and her mother has sunk into a deep depression.

Ruby can't see any way out of her own personal tunnel of despair until she meets Fox. Fox is a member of the Institute of the Boundless Sublime, and it's not long before Ruby finds herself following him and becoming caught up in the Institute herself.

The Institute is, of course, a cult. It's run by a man who, disturbingly, is called "Daddy" by everyone at the Institute. He's a kind of ... Charles Manson figure, I guess? Charismatic and manipulative.

Ruby buys into the rhetoric for a while, and starts to believe the L Ron Hubbard level of BS that's being shot at her daily.

However, when Fox and another woman disappear, Ruby starts to wonder if the Institute is really as benign as it seems.

I read The Boundless Sublime in one sitting pretty much. I just started, and then kept going until I'd finished it. There are issues with some of the pacing - particularly towards the end of the book - but my heart just about broke for Ruby. She's grieving and struggling with regret and blame and trying to keep it all together for her mother's sake, so when she meets Fox, she's vulnerable enough to fall into the cult.

Ruby's the most vivid character in the book, and although Fox is sweet, I found there to be something ephemeral about him - something unreal? Possibly because he was raised almost entirely inside the cult itself, I'm not sure.

Definitely a good read.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Sunday Post 93, It's Monday, What are you reading? 78

The Sunday Post - a chance for bloggers to have a chat and catch-up - is hosted by Kimba, here: and It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Kathryn, here:

Last week was ... ordinary. I think that's the right word - lol. Just work and stuff, the usual.

Work is going okay, though I did catch myself on Thursday, getting awfully bored. Which is not good. I'm grateful to have a job, I really am, but I need to watch myself a little bit, I think and try and stay a bit more focused.

What else. I finished a book - The Boundless Sublime by Lili Wilkinson, which I really enjoyed. I also went to see Love, Simon yesterday, and went to the library. It was nice to get out and about on my own for a bit.

I'm still picking at Wizards and Glass, though I've busted The City Stained Red back to want to read for now - it needed to go back to the library anyway.

I was channel surfing one day and I came across a documentary on the crime channel about Elizabeth Smart. It was in her own words, and it was absolutely riveting. I found her book in the library yesterday, so that's next up. I'm also still reading The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet.

What about you? How's your week? What are you reading?

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Review - Dr Strange

Steven Strange is an eminent neurosurgeon, and let's be honest, an arrogant dick.

He gets into a bad car accident and I'm not sure, but I think he breaks, like, all the bones in both his hands, which puts a bit of a damper on his surgery career.

He tracks down someone who says he was cured of paralysis in Kamar-Taj.

Strange heads East and becomes a student of The Ancient One (a bald Tilda Swinton and yes it's weird.).

He learns magic, adopts a levitating cape and saves the world from Mads Mikklesen.

I don't know much about Strange from the original comics, and I thought the movie was .... okay.

It's not my favourite of the recent Marvel movies but it was watchable, even though Bendyouover Caddyshack with an American accent is really, really weird.

I'm not sure what I can say about a movie where the best thing is the levitating cape.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Review - The Fandom by Anna Day

Dressed up and ready for the excitement, Violet and her friends Katie and Alice and Violet's younger brother Nate are all ready for Comic-Con.

They're celebrating their favourite book, The Gallows Dance, where they're meeting actors from the movie and anticipating having fun.

Then things go a bit ... wrong.

There's an accident, and Violet and co wake up in the world of The Gallows Dance, right at the opening scene.

When they inadvertently kill off the main character, they are forced to go through the events of the book themselves in order to try and find a way home.

The Fandom is part Hunger Games, part ... modern-girl-in-fantasy-realm, part ... something else - lol. I have to admit, I did enjoy it, and I think 17YO me would have LOVED it, I spent a lot of time as a teen imagining myself in other worlds, and The Fandom definitely plays in to that. It's also a kind of love letter, almost, to large recent fandoms like Harry Potter, and there are references to that series and others that will definitely be recognised.

It's definitely a read in a single (or two) sitting book, but it doesn't suffer too much for that. The story is fun, the characters are engaging, and it's really, really readable.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Sunday Post 92, It's Monday, What are you reading? 77

The Sunday Post - a chance for bloggers to have a chat and a catch-up - is hosted by Kimba, here: and It's Monday! What are you reading? Is hosted by Kathryn, here:

Let's see ... last week went along pretty much the same as every other week lately, which is no bad thing. I've had some up and down days at work, but that happens. I've only been there for five months and I've never worked in a call centre, so I figure speed bumps are inevitable.

Anyway. Everything was normal, as I said, until 4.40am on Friday morning, when Spawn woke up with a fever, and aches and pains. Sigh. It feels like he only just got over his tummy bug, and BOOM! It was my turn to stay home with him, so that's what I did on Friday, giving myself an accidental long weekend. It was a good day to be inside - rainy and strong winds.

He's feeling much better now, thankfully - the fever broke overnight last night and he's back to his bright and bubbly self.

So back to normal tomorrow and *fingers crossed* that things stay normal - lol.

What else. I've started watching Nailed It on Netflix, which is hilarious. It's a kind of baking show where ordinary people come in and try to re-create incredibly elaborate cakes and it's just kind of awesome.

I'm still reading The City Stained Red and Wizards and Glass, and I also read The Fandom by Anna Day which was a very quick read. I'm also reading The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet at lunchtime at work.

We all sat down and watched Dr Strange today, which was ... okay. Review for that later in the week.

So how are you doing? What are you reading?

Friday, 16 March 2018

Review - Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

Beneath the Sugar Sky is the third book in Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children series. Like book one, this one starts at Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children.

It's set after the events of Every Heart a Doorway, and there's a new student - Cora, who has returned from a Drowned world and ended up at the school like so many of the children who had returned unintentionally from their own fantastic worlds.

Things kick off when a girl - Rini - falls out of the sky. Rini claims to be the daughter of Sumi, and to have come from Confection.

Now the trouble there isn't that Rini has come from a Nonsense world, but that she's claiming to be Sumi's daughter because 1) Sumi was a student at the school and 2) Sumi is dead.

However, Cora, Kade, Christopher and Rini set out to figure out how to bring Sumi back, and also to ensure that Rini - who is slowly vanishing - exists at all.

Wayward Children is one of my favourite series, and Down Among the Sticks and Bones was my favourite read last year.

The books are all short - about 180 pages each - but they all pack so much in, and Beneath the Sugar Sky is no exception. Revisiting the school was fun, and some of the characters from Every Heart a Doorway.

It's short, but it packs a real emotional punch.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Review - John Wick

Okay - fair warning for anyone who hasn't seen this - a puppy dies. That's not a spoiler, it happens fairly early on, but. A PUPPY DIES.

Okay, so - John Wick (Keanu Reeves, aka Dorian Grey because he DOES NOT AGE) is a former hitman. He's grieving as his wife has recently died, and he does not have his shit together.

His wife - knowing he would need something to focus on - posthumously sent him a puppy so John Wick would have something to love.

John runs into some idiots at a service station who offer to buy his car - it's some kind of fancy-schmancy ... Dodge? John says no, and heads home with his puppy.

Then the idiots break into his home, kill his puppy, and steal his car.

And John Wick - former hitman extraordinare - is NOT PLEASED.

The guy who stole his car and killed his puppy is the son of a Russian mobster and even he's scared of John Wick and basically goes OH SHIT YOU MORON when he finds out what his idiot son has done.

And then John Wick kills everyone. I'm not even kidding. The thing is though - it's actually a good movie? Like, the premise is really, really simple - man loses wife, then dog gets killed and car gets stolen so man kills everyone - but ... it works?

I don't even know HOW, but it does.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Review - Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

I've been wanting to read this one for a while, and when it came up on iBooks for less than $10.00 I figured it was fate and hit the "purchase" button.

And I'm really glad I did. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is great - super cute and lots of feelings to be had.

Simon is gay, but he's not out to anyone - not his family, not his friends. The only person he confides in is via email - another not-out person at his school.

But - when someone finds Simon's emails and tries to blackmail him - Simon finds himself facing some struggles that he wasn't expecting.

He finds himself at odds with his friends, and struggling to maintain normality while rehearsing for the school musical, and find out who his mysterious confidante is.

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is romantic, quirky and a really quick and very heartfelt read.

Definitely recommended.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Sunday Post 91, It's Monday, What are You Reading? 76

The Sunday Post - a chance for bloggers to have a chat and a catch-up - is hosted by Kimba, here: and It's Monday! What are you reading? Is hosted by Kathryn, here:

Last week, thankfully, was back to the quiet normal of work, school, work work work ... spawn is back to his normal lively self and J and I are  .... working - lol.

Other than that, I seem to be watching a lot of TV and playing games. But honestly, I don't mind that. Work is tiring, so it's nice to come home and just kind of blob out.

Mmmm .... blobbing.

I have finished a couple of books - I read Simon vs The Homo Sapien Agenda, which was great - super, super cute, and Beneath The Sugar Sky, the third book in the Wayward Children series, which was also pretty great.

I'm also trying to watch a movie every week, and so far so good. So today, while I painted my nails, I watched John Wick, which I hadn't seen.

So there'll be reviews of those later this week.

I did, finally, manage to have lunch on Thursday with my friend who is a newly-minted police officer. In her mid-40s she decided to revisit a long-held dream she had had since her early 20s. She applied for the police force then but was turned down. So she spent two years getting her fitness up to scratch and completed her training earlier this year.

As you might expect, with her also having four kids, lunch is a bit of a rare commodity for us, so it was really great to catch up. I'd say that was the highlight of my week. And we both ran into another mutual friend that day, so memorable all round.

I'm still working through Wizards and Glass, and also City Stained Red. I'm looking for something shorter as well that I can buzz through quickly as they're both pretty large novels.

How about you? What's your week like? What are you reading?

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Review - Get Out

Okay, so, this was hella creepy. In the good, thriller-with-excellent-music kind of way, and also in the social commentary kind of way.

I actually didn't know what the plot of the movie was before I started watching, and honestly, I think that's the best way to approach it. It meant that I felt a little off-balance for most of the movie, and that's really how the best thrillers should work.

Little shocks and tiny heart attacks here and there are also very important.

The social commentary is obvious - young African-American man goes to meet his wealthy white girlfriend's parents for the first time - and he feels unsettled and out of place right from the start. He also sees other African-American people working as servants and that adds to the unsettled feel of the whole movie.

Get Out is entirely centred around Daniel Kaluuya's performance as Chris, and he holds everything together with his performance, even when everything starts falling apart around him.

The central premise of the story is ... really really really disturbing. Like. Eeeesh.

I don't want to say too much because spoilers, but if you get a chance, you should definitely watch the movie.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Review - Rough Night

Jess's life seems to be all in control. She has a burgeoning career in politics, a Very Nice Fiance, and good friends.

Then one of her old college friends books a bachelorette's weekend in Vegas, and things rapidly go downhill from there.

The stripper/criminal who dies in the living room of the house the girls are renting is only the start of the bad things that keep happening.

I keep going back and forth on this one. I mean - I didn't really like it that much, and Scarlett Johanssen's Hillary Clinton/Kate plus 8 haircut didn't really help. She's great in the Avengers - kicks butt and all that - but I'm not sure she's the right one to carry a comedy.

The other girls were fine, if forgettable - except for Kate McKinnon who was, I'm sorry, BADLY miscast as an Aussie. The part was clearly written for Rebel Wilson, and McKinnon's hybrid Australian/Cockney accent was really distracting. Though, possibly, you wouldn't necessarily notice it if you weren't from Aussie or NZ.

The plot was stupid, and it just clenched its teeth and tried WAY too hard to be funny.


Saturday, 3 March 2018

Sunday Post 90, It's Monday! What are you reading? 75

The Sunday Post - a chance for bloggers to have a chat and a catch-up - is hosted by Kimba, here: and It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Kathryn, here:

Last week was a bit more lively but certainly not in the way I wanted.

I'd gone out at lunchtime on Wednesday for a bit of a walk and to get some money out, when I got a call from Spawn's school - he'd just thrown up everywhere. Now, J is working in a different town at the moment, so he couldn't pick him up. I don't drive, and I'd also given my house keys to my sister as she needed to do laundry.

So I headed back to work and both the receptionist and I tried to get my sister on her phone to no avail. I packed up my bags, let my team leader know what was happening and was all set to make a dash for a taxi. Luckily, his teacher offered to drive him home once she knew I was there.

Then the receptionist bursts into the back office and says, "She's here!"- lol. My sister, luckily, had come back at just the right time to return my keys. (Note to self: get a spare key cut.) So she drove me home, and the teacher in due course showed up with Spawn, who was miserable for the next two days with a tummy bug.

Luckily it was only a 24 hour thing, I think. I kept him home the next day anyway and J stayed with him for that one.

Give me a quiet week in which nothing happens - lol.

I have tomorrow off - I had to take a company leave day before the start of April and I accidentally took Oscars day off, so I know what I'll be doing tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it.

I went out to the pub quiz with my friends last Wednesday. I did feel guilty because of Spawn being ill but he was home with J so I struggled on. We came third.

I wrote a couple of review last week, and I'm going to do the same this week, but I haven't finished any books, so I just have a couple of movies to review - Rough Night and Get out.

I'm still slowly getting through Wizards and Glass - it's my lunchtime book so it's going to take a while anyway. I also started City Stained Red by Sam Sykes, and Simon vs the Homo Sapien Agenda, which I've been meaning to read for a while, and it looks like a reasonably quick finish, so I'm not entirely getting bogged down in Tomes.

What about you? How's your week? What are you reading?

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Review - Black Panther

You know how sometimes you go to a movie, and it's so good that there's absolutely nothing you'd change about the whole thing and it's as satisfying as say, eating a steak that's been perfectly cooked or drinking tea while it's raining?

That's what this is. Black Panther is so good. SO GOOD.

Okay, there is ONE thing I would change, but it's a pretty minor thing. I just think Martin Freeman sounds ridiculous with an American accent, but APART FROM THAT everything was great and perfect  exactly what I want - not just from superhero movies, but from movies in general.

Great and engaging storyline. Check.

Hot dudes fighting. Check.

Smart and fierce and amazing women. Check.

Regard for family and loyalty and tough decisions. Check.


I'm sure there's more, but those are the main things.

OH. A VILLAIN WHO MAKES SENSE IN THE CONTEXT OF THE WHOLE STORY. AND his motivations for what he does - apart from good old-fashioned greed - are actually understandable and not just like ... some men just want to watch the world burn, which added to Black Panther's emotional depth.

So great. SO GREAT.

Also, stay until the end if you haven't seen it. I'm serious. Don't be a Muggle. Stay. Until. The. End.