Category Archives: Movies

Monthly Recap: July

Books I Read

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (reread)

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick (finished July 1)

So I read A Wrinkle In Time for the first time. And I can see why it’s so beloved and classic. However, some of it was too on-the-nose for me and some of it was a hair too out-there. It’s like when I watched Interstellar for the first time, and I was pretty sure where it was going and I watched as this movie teeter-tottered on the fine line between interesting sci-fi and going off the deep end. I wanted to feel just a little more invested in the characters and could have done with less unnecessary riddles. I also watched the trailer of the new movie coming out the same day I finished and felt a little disappointed. I guess I wanted the movie to feel more classic, but to me it already screams: THIS WAS MADE IN 2017, so I don’t see it enduring as a movie. But that’s based off a two-minute trailer, so what do I know? Maybe it will be amazing.

A New Favorite…

Baking mix! Though don’t let the fact that it comes in a box fool you, this is almost as involved as made-from-scratch, but just as delicious and so worth it!

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

For some reason, it feels really momentous to have finished Deep Space Nine again. Probably because I love the show so much and the end is just so satisfying for me. As is reflected by my top episode of the season, the Nog arc really did it for me. But of course there are also the great arcs we see for Kira, Bashir, Damar, Sisko… It could be talked about forever, which is why there are podcasts dedicated to such. (If you’re a fan of DS9, be sure to give The Orb podcast a listen.)

#bookstagram Images of the Month

I think that both Caraval and Wall-E have made it onto my #bookstagram images of the month before, but they’re just so photogenic!

Movies I Watched

My husband and I saw Spider-man: Homecoming and Dunkirk. I reviewed Spider-man here, and I’m still sorting out my feelings for Dunkirk. It’s incredibly raw and intense, but without much of a narrative it was hard for me to appreciate it as a story. It’s a beautiful film, that’s for sure, but I would have loved to have gotten to know the characters onscreen better. I mean, in a way we know them because we see them when they’re afraid, but… I just wish I could adequately describe how I respect what Nolan was doing but just don’t really love it but I desperately want to. I actually want to try to see it again, preferably in film, now that I better understand what happened, thanks to the movie’s Wikipedia page that spelled it out.

In Case You Missed It…

I was featured on Andi’s ABCs talking about what decision I wish technology would make for me!

Plans for August

Switchfoot concert! I’m so excited. I lost count on how many times I’ve seen them long ago. It’s got to be around the dozen mark at this point. It’s also my husband’s birthday month! Which means CAKE! Oh, and celebrating my wonderful husband. 🙂 It also means my birthday is around the corner SOS I don’t want to get older.

Potential July TBR

It Started With Goodbye by Christina June (already started)

These Vicious Masks by Kelly Zekas and Tarun Shanker

Without a Summer (Glamourist Histories #3) by Mary Robinette Kowal

(yes I know those last two were on last month’s list… shhh…)

How was your July? What are you looking forward to in August?

Movie Review: Spider-Man: Homecoming

It’s been a while since I’ve really posted a review, especially a movie review, and I felt like sharing my thoughts on the MCU’s latest offering: Spider-man: Homecoming.

Spider-man: Homecoming is probably not going to be lauded by most as the best Marvel has to offer, but I think it’s safe to say most will consider it the best of Spider-man. Tom Holland nails his role as a nerdy and quirky Peter Parker, who is a total Hufflepuff by day, and Spider-man-with-training-wheels-but-doesn’t-know-it by night. Even if you feel burned-out on Spider-man after so many reboots, if you had any love for the character in Civil War I’d definitely recommend checking out Homecoming.

A few of my favorite things about the movie:

  • Peter’s such a good guy. He hasn’t been jaded and I love his pure enthusiasm. His main desire seems to be to do the right thing.
  • Peter’s not a perfect Spider-man. He really has to work to develop his abilities. 
  • High school awkwardness. So much on-point high school awkwardness and I loved it. 
  • Captain America PSAs. Enough said. 🙂
  • Peter’s friend Ned. Ned feels like such a real high school student, rather than a glamorized version of one, and I really appreciated that. Plus he is a good friend to Peter. 
  • Peter makes a choice that gives him a nice little arc. I don’t want to spoil anything, but Peter shows some maturity towards the end of the movie that I thought was a nice touch.

Also, not necessarily a favorite thing about the movie, but something I did appreciate, is that there isn’t really a romance. Peter does pine after a girl, but they never kiss or go on a real date, and at the end he doesn’t “get” her. It was refreshing and felt more realistic!

But it wasn’t perfect…

  • The villain. I appreciated a certain aspect that I won’t spoil, but overall he was really pretty boring. Villains that aren’t named Loki really are Marvel’s Achilles heel.
  • Really… that’s the main thing.

Right now I feel Marvel is trying to walk the tightrope between taking itself too seriously and being too light with their movies since Civil War. While I really liked the turn of Winter Soldier, Age of Ultron fell a little flat, and Civil War never completely worked for me, so I’m enjoying the levity. Right now, I’m enjoying the high-quality popcorn entertainment Marvel provides, but I am curious to see how this might ultimately tie together for a deeper storyline.

Have you seen the latest Spider-Man? What are your thoughts?

Monthly Recap: April


Books I Read

A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Anne’s House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery

Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal

Only one of these is YA! I’m trying to broaden my horizons a bit. I enjoyed all these reads but Anne’s House of Dreams was my favorite (which was such a relief after Anne of Windy Poplars was a small let-down).

Movie of the Month

Beauty and the Beast! It was lovely! As much as I loved Emma Watson and the guy who played the Beast though, I kind of think Luke Evans as Gaston stole the show! He was spot-on.

My husband and I are also working our way through a Star Wars movies rewatch; only episodes VI and VII to go now!

#Bookstagram Images of the Month

Camp NaNoWriMo

I needed some serious time away from the project I have spent years on, so this month I dabbled on a new story idea that I am pretty sure now is going to be my next WIP, a contemporary about two teens competing for first chair sax. I completed my goal of 10,000 words, though they weren’t all exactly in order. Oops. Anyhow, I’m really loving it and hope I get to share it one day!

Looking Forward to in May

My husband and I will be celebrating 8 years of marriage and 13 years together on the 16th! Sometimes it seems so crazy it’s been that long, but sometimes it feels like it’s been longer (in a good way)! Sadly, we don’t get to go on a vacation this month around our anniversary like we usually do because I got sick so much this winter and used up my PTO, sigh… But I trust it’ll be a good month regardless. We have a local jazz festival I am looking forward to plus a few things lined up to do with friends.

Potential May TBR

The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (reread) by J.K. Rowling

These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas

Paper Wishes by Lois Sephban

I also already finished one book after reading half of it on April 30 and finishing it the first day of May, but I’ll mention that in my recap next month. 🙂

How was your April? What are you looking forward to in May? 

*Edit May 29: I have closed comments due to an unusual amount of spam comments for this post.

Monthly Recap: March

Books I Read

Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (reread)

I also DNF’d a book, which was kind of shocking to me because I usually do this about once a year late into the year, so to start March this way was a little crazy. It was my first attempt reading a Star Wars novel and there was too much technobabble for a book for me personally. I guess I ought to just stick with the movies.

Movie of the Month

I still haven’t seen Beauty and the Beast yet (I know!) but I did finally get around to watching Arrival this month. It was really well-done and well-written, but it has definitely not stuck with me the way I thought it might. I didn’t feel a real connection with Amy Adams’ character despite the poignancy of her story. It was definitely interesting and worth a watch though. Can’t say I feel the same way about the other new-to-me movie I watched in March, Batman vs. Superman. Ugh. I was “forced” to watch this by my husband. I just can’t buy into Batfleck. Don’t even get me started. And I didn’t even like Superman in this movie after liking Man of Steel. But I digress…

March Madness

If you follow me on Twitter and managed to not mute me during basketball season, then you know I am a huge fan of Middle Tennessee men’s basketball. I’ve been watching them play for about 12 years, so I was a fan before they became household names last year for beating Michigan State. I was thrilled to watch them win the Conference USA tournament again this year and clench a spot in the NCAA tournament, and even more thrilled that they “upset” in the first round again against Minnesota! Sadly they once again lost in the second round, but the program is definitely making strides in the right direction, and a 31-5 record is something to be proud of.

SE YA Fest

This year was the second annual SE YA Fest here in Middle Tennessee where several YA and MG authors come for signings and panels. It’s focused on the local schools first and foremost, but on Saturday it’s open to the public and I was able to attend this year like I was last year. For a variety of reasons I ended up not doing as much this time around, but still enjoyed it and I got Beth Revis’s writing advice book autographed.

#Bookstagram Images of the Month

Looking Forward to in April

Camp NaNoWriMo! I have a new story idea that I think I am actually going to stick with this time (I’m terrible about jumping around from idea to idea) and am looking forward to using the month of April to further develop it. Anyone else participating?

Potential April TBR

A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raynourn

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (reread)

Glamour in Glass (Glamourist Histories #2) by Mary Robinette Kowal

How was your March? What are you looking forward to in April?

Monthly Recap: January 2017

I decided today that I want to start doing a monthly recap of what I read that month, my other favorites of the month in media, and whatever else pops into my mind as noteworthy.

Books I Read

All In (The Naturals #3) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Bad Blood (The Naturals #4) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Let’s All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs (reread)

Shades of Milk and Honey (The Glamourist Histories #1) by Mary Robinette Kowal

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling (reread)

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

January was a fabulous month for reading for me as these were all truly enjoyable 4+ star rated books for me. If I had to choose a (new-to-me) favorite though, it would be Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal, which I discussed here. I’m really looking forward to reading more of the series now!

Books I Acquired

Glamour in Glass (Glamourist Histories #2) by Mary Robinette Kowal

Without a Summer ((Glamourist Histories #3) by Mary Robinette Kowal

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Movie of the Month

I watched We Bought a Zoo (2011) for the first time and I thought it was cute! I wish we could have gotten more of Elle Fanning’s character because I really loved her (and her budding romance with the son!), and I also loved Rosie, the little girl portraying Matt Damon’s daughter.

Music of the Month

Before Christmas I saw a recommendation for a band called The Gray Havens, and for some reason, I decided to actually check them out, and I quickly became interested in their music. I listened to a little bit on their website and Spotify, then I got swept into Christmas music season, but after the new year I finally bought the latest of their three albums and I’m really enjoying it. I also got the new Colony House CD, Only the Lonely, and haven’t listened to it a lot yet, but have enjoyed it so far.

Fun of the Month

I got to take a little trip to the beach, which I’ve never done in the winter before, but it was sunny and 70 degrees, so it was perfect!

#Bookstagram Images of the Month

What was noteworthy for you in January?