My Quarterly Two-Cents: Literary Reviews of January-March

Hey fellow bloggers,

I’ve been reading a lot since right before the new year started and it’s inspired me to start a new segment here. “My Quarterly Two-Cents” is where I put in my two-cents aka opinion about some of the latest novels and movies from the last quarter (3 months) of the year. That means you can expect to see another one of these for the April-June period as well as for July-September. I won’t even bother to promise reviews for the end of the year because I’m most busy then…but we can cross that bridge when it comes. For now, I’ve been consuming everything from classic fairy tales to novel thriller films and I can’t wait to give you all the scoop!

January

I kicked off the new year with Beauty and the Beast, one of my all time favourite stories as you already know from my second latest post.

rating:  4/5⭐⭐⭐⭐

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I’ve had this novel sitting around my cubbyhole since the remake came out last year, always brushing it off borderline childish and easily replaceable by the movie. Plot twist: it wasn’t either of those things. It’s been a long time since I’ve found a love story (or any story at all really) that made me feel so magical and wholesome. Seriously, this book is not cheesy at all and will appeal to even the strongest of writers and literary enthusiastsnot to mention those looking for plots with resilient, driven heroines and amazing lessons on life.

*I also went to see the new Transformers movie: Bumblebee. If you missed that post, you can support my writing career by checking it out here: Bumblebee: the only B that’s worth an A+

 

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rating 3.5/5⭐⭐⭐♦

Next, I was on to Speak: the Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrated by Emily Carrol. Let me tell you it was a quite the portrayal of the sexual assault that author Anderson explains she experienced when she was 13. Yeah…not a quick, easy read…not a book for the faint of heart. Although I’m pretty empathetic and made it through without crying (too much) so I would recommend this to girls AND guys aged 16 and over. Moreover, I think it highlights some major flaws with the societal norms and dating protocol that plague our society today and definitely sparks some important talks. My favourite part was the girls supporting girls in the “drawings on the bathroom stall” scene. This reminded me of the way my girlfriends and I empower one another and the way high school students (of any gender) should support each other. The tree imagery and symbols for growth were refreshingly strategic and impressively novel to me…I’ve never seen it that way before so thanks for showing me a new writing style, Anderson.

Baby Driver —-rating 4/5⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

 

 

I mean with an intro like the one shown above, a 93% Rotten Tomatoes rating and a stacked cast list…do I really need to say much more? The movie’s awesome and you should totally see this 2017 film if you haven’t already. The only thing I would change would be the way that Baby meets Deborah… it was  kinda unrealistic and they could have done better justice to such an exceptional relationship. I will add, however, that there’s a surprising abundance of symbolism for such a fast paced, action packed film. I’m definitely going to have to re-watch in order to catch all those obviously hidden easter eggs. Maybe I’ll even do a film review?

February

How to Get Away With Murder ~ Season 1 ——rating: 2/5⭐⭐

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How to get away with Murder should be called “How to Get Away with Brain Overload.” There’s an overload of disorientating camera angles…overload of mixed and matched sub-plots…overload of completely unnecessary sex scenes. Here’s my theory: it’s no secret that general North American audiences are notoriously uncooperative (*cough* polite way of saying we’re lazy) when it comes to analyzing the advanced plot cropping techniques and symbolic lighting often used in this show. The H.T.G.A.W.M producers knew this and, to lure in the retreating Americans, doused a beautifully strategic show with lousy “sex-sells” scenes. They knew their only saving grace was hotties like Connor Walsh so they exploit the hell out of his sexuality; in literally every court case, he sleeps with someone to win evidence illegally. To be fair they give him more character development than any other character so I suppose his tacked-on Adonis behavior was a founded tactic. But the cheap thrills couldn’t overpower this show’s irrelevance and weak acting. Neither could these tactics convince me to watch past episode 8 (*yawn*.) Ultimately, the first season is ephemeral, unspectacular and  in need of advice from better lawyer shows like…Suits?

 

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rating:⭐⭐⭐

Right now, Louise Gornall is the kind of author where you WANT to like her because you can tell she’s got the deep kind of personality and anecdotes that will improve this world. But she’s also the kind of authour you don’t want to like her because her novels could use some work. Under Rose-tainted Skies is her first novel and it shows judging by the literary devices and writing techniques she uses throughout. I’ve seen far more refined similes used by various authors and I think her descriptions could be smoother. That being said, I’d also argue that Gornall uses original and creative symbolism, foreshadowing and allusion techniques that not many authors could have so subtly integrated into their writing. In doing so, she skillfully avoids the typical amateur mistake of heavy-handed writing. Additionally, she manages to sensitively mix in serious topics like mental health and self harm with the  humorous, sarcastic tone protagonist Norah Dean. That Gornall so successfully opened up about these battles in her skillful writing makes her one of my new role models as well as a force not to be reckoned with.  Will definitely be buying any new book she publishes, so long as that book has more than one plot-setting. I believe Louise Gornall’s writing abilities are only growing better from here on out.

 

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AUDIOBOOK rating: 2/5⭐⭐

Literally I don’t get the big hype around this book. It’s was frequently recommended to me during my tween and early teen years…a notion that makes no sense now having listened to the book. The only demographic I can see it appealing to are girls in their late teens looking for advice and cathartic relief about a their oncoming or recent college experience. The thing is that, under that theory, I should have loved this book and I could barely keep my eyes open throughout…what a drag. Don’t get me wrong: it’s a well written coming of age story with fan-fiction, developped heroines finding their voice and dreamy guys along the way. In other words, it’s everything a teenage girl could ask for in a book…once it’s droning, monotonous, slow pace is overlooked. I’m sorry to fans of this book but I honestly wonder if I’ll be able to endure listening past chapter 10 where I currently stand. And that’s coming from someone, in the targeted reader demographic, who’s been giving this a chance since Christmas…. not a good sign.

March

For some reason, I entered the month of March with an immense sense of wanderlust and this newly found yearning to be abroad. Naturally, my mind wandered to Europe, my dream travel destination, and enough Youtube searching led me there. I found awesome British documentaries about crazy UK teens and there’s no denying that I’m obsessed.

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These shows are so funny that I’d honestly recommend them to every demographic: boys, girls, old or young will enjoy these and learn life lessons from them. But just maybe no one under the age of 10 because topics gets mature at times. wstrictestp.png

P.S. my favourite episode is definitely the Ghana one. If you’re looking for a place to start, it’s the episode with two girls in the above picture.

The last (but certainly not least) thing I’ve been getting into is Trevor Noah’s Youtube channel. He’s a talented, cultured, forward thinking and (of course) funny comedian that brings up important political issues. I know he’s got a few movies on Netflix like Scared of the Dark and he used to be on some TV show like The Daily Show…(don’t quote me on that.) Somehow I just enjoy short and sweet Youtube videos better and so I’ll share this one with you now:

 

 

And I’m gonna end this here so that I’ll still have something to write about for the next few months. I’ll talk about any new books or shows that I’m finding during the next quarter. For now let me know if you found  this helpful or if there’s anything you want to see in next quarter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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