Lists, Personal, Uncategorized

Christmas Movies We Hope to Watch

holiday in handcuffs

It is now officially December. And Nicole and I have made it our task to watch some famous, or new, Christmas movies to later review right here on our blog. I am a huge fan of cheesy Christmas movies. My favorite, by far, is Holiday in Handcuffs (from the screenshot above). I’ve sort of made it a tradition to force everyone to watch it every year with me. But I think it’s good to branch out a little bit too. So, although I will definitely rewatch Holiday in Handcuffs again this year, Nicole and I will watch these Christmas movies as well.

Nicole’s Picks:

  • Jingle All the Way (1996)

jingle

With Arnold Schwarzenegger as a workaholic father hellbent on finding the perfect toy for his son, I bet he’ll learn in a funny, silly journey that Christmas isn’t all about presents. And I will probably like it.

  • Marry Me For Christmas (2013)

marry me

A businesswoman’s family simply wants her to find a husband. For the holidays she decides to bring along her assistant who pretends to be her fiancee. I predict they will fall in love or something, and all the lies will work out. And I will probably reluctantly find it really cute.

  • Elf (2003)

elf

No I’ve never seen this, and yes once I finally do I guess I will like it like everyone else does.

 

Isis’s Picks:

  • A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

charlie brown

I love Snoopy, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of the Charlie Brown movies. I’m pretty sure as a kid I loved the Peanuts comics. I think it’s about time I watched this one. I have no doubt it will fill my heart with warm, fuzzy feelings.

  • A Very Merry Toy Store (2017)

toy store

My dynamic duo: Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez, return to the world of cheesy Christmas movies with A Very Merry Toy Store. It’s the story of two toy store owners who unite forces when a big toy corporation moves into town. I am so excited about this one. I hope to love it as much as Holiday in Handcuffs. If not, then at least it will make me “aww” a lot because look at those two.

  • A Miser Brothers’ Christmas (2008)

miser

I’m not sure what to expect from this one. I know one of them is Jack Frost. Nicole told me to watch it. But she and I have very different taste. I hope to be entertained by it, but we shall see. Honestly, those two look sort of creepy.

Advertisements
Lists, Uncategorized

End of the Year TBR

Isis:

12067

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett – I want to finish this book. It’s kind of long, by my standards. But I know it’s about angels and demons, so that’s what I like about it. I haven’t been in a reading mood lately, which makes it near impossible for me to think I’ll finish it within a month, but a girl can dream.

 

34152914

A Baby for the Sheriff by Mary Leo – I’ve been reading this one for a while. I love everything about it. It’s so cheesy and it keeps talking about the male interest as an “alpha male” which is ridiculous but that’s why I love it so much. It’s about a sheriff who has to take care of a baby abandoned at the doorstep of a vet. It’s really fun. I hope I can finish it.

 

Nicole:

30269126

Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza. I am halfway through this book already, so I’m hoping to finish this space opera very soon.

 

22733729

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. I read about half of this one in the summer but never finished it. I really enjoyed it to so once I finish Empress of a Thousand Skies I will be getting to this one.

 

29283884

Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. Isis has already read this and put up a review here, but I’m still at the beginning.  I’m hoping I’ll get into it more, because right now I’m just finding it okay.

 

1099301

The Name of this Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch. This is a middle grade mystery that, again, I read half of before putting it down. I don’t know why I did it. I enjoyed it a lot. I just have a problem.

 

28006120

The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan. I still haven’t finished this book, and yes, yes I did start it and put it aside earlier this month. I’m scared to finish this trilogy, but I have to know what happens.

 

 15704307

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. I forget where I was in this series, so I’m gonna have to start at the beginning. I think there are seven out. I promised Isis I would catch up, and I want to before 2017 ends.

30264

Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison. I was going to say this is one I haven’t read anything of, but that’s a lie. I read the first chapter in October then set it aside for books I got at the library. So basically all of my end of year books are simply finishing up books I randomly stopped reading throughout the year. All I know about this one is it has magic, vampires, and pixies in it, and I’m looking forward to it.

 

 

 

Lists, Uncategorized

Unpopular Books We Love

BooksandLala posted this video about a week ago, and we decided it was a great idea. So we went onto our goodreads accounts and looked at what was the lowest rated books there, and looked at our own ratings to see if they were any higher. This is the first five that stuck out for both of us.

Nicole:

18339618

Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight by M.E. Thomas

GR Rating: 3.12 stars

My Rating: 4 stars

M.E. Thomas is a diagnosed sociopath and she wrote this book in part to tell her own story, and in part to debunk the myths surrounding being a sociopath. And she succeeded with that, at least with me. This book changed the way I thought, and I can’t recommend it enough. I do agree with some people that it can drag and get a little repetitive, however, I do think it’s worth it. Others dislike it because they found Thomas unlikable which, well, I won’t share my opinion about that.

 

 26116473

The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight

GR rating: 3.28 stars

My rating: 4 stars

I loved this thriller. It was one of my favorite books of last year. I see a lot of people say it is full of tropes, and really weird. I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t read thrillers a lot, but I was simply fascinated by this book even when I got confused. I didn’t think anything was overdone simply because I haven’t read this plot before. Also, people find the MC’s anxiety unrealistic. That’s a problem I find with some rep. They found this unrealistic while I related a lot to it.

 

 22095547

Serpentine by Cindy Pon

GR rating: 3.52 stars

My rating: 5 stars

People said this was mostly about the writing and they thought it was slow. I think it’s more of a personal thing because I flew through this book, and thought the pace was good. 

 

 18007533

One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak

GR rating: 3.66 stars

My rating: 5 stars

This is a funny little short story collection. I think it’s mainly if you don’t like his jokes then you won’t like the book. Plain and simple.

 

6472545

The Curse of the Ancient Mask and Other Case Files by Simon Cheshire and R.W. Alley

GR rating: 3.68 stars

My rating: 5 stars

This is a children’s mystery book with not a lot of reviews which I think it is main reason for the rating. The few people who did rate it low didn’t leave a review at all so I’m not even sure why they didn’t like it.

 

Isis:

22561345

Holy Cow by David Duchovny 

GR rating: 3.32 stars

My rating: 4 stars

I had a lot of fun reading this book. It made me get back into reading after a really bad reading slump.

 

9460435

How I Stole Johnny Depp’s Alien Girlfriend by Gary Gishlain

GR rating: 3.45 stars

My rating: 4 stars

This one was a wild trip from start to finish. I read it back when I didn’t know Johnny Depp was an asshole. But I think this book is pretty fun, regardless of the title.

 

7718644

The Blind Contessa’s New Machine by Carey Wallace

GR rating: 3.48 stars

My rating: 4 stars

I loved this book. It’s such a sweet romance, full of angst and a bittersweet ending. I loved it so much. I don’t know why people don’t agree with me on this.

 

5148

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

GR rating: 3.56 stars

My rating: 5 stars

This is one of the first books I fell in love with. It was a required read for high school, and I thought it was incredible. I cried over it. It’s a book I’ve never forgotten.

 

12700353

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

GR rating: 3.58 stars

My rating: 4 stars

This book rocked my world. It was absolutely hilarious, but sad nonetheless. I really liked the originality in this book. It played with various themes and formats, and I liked that.

Categories, Lists, Personal, Uncategorized

Favorite Childhood Reads

Isis:

I never read much as a child. I do remember reading Clifford obsessively and these Maisy books because they had little pop ups. They were my favorites as a kid.

858719Displaying pastedImage.png

Nicole:

I read a lot more than Isis. Not like now, but I’ve read a lot of different books. I remember rereading a lot of the same book over and over again. Unlike now when I rarely ever reread books.

23772201138

I’m pretty sure that I read all the Dr. Seuss books, and a lot of The Berenstain Bears seriesI would finish one book in one sitting and start on the next one right away.

99107

I was obsessed with Winnie-the-Pooh when I was little. I vaguely remember the book, but I watched the movies over and over again. My room for years only had Winnie-the-Pooh decorations.

13045402322209

I had a lot of these Little Golden Books. I read a lot of them but Aladdin and 101 Dalmatians were a couple of my favorites. I would read these and then watch the movie and then read these again.

958277853708

My kindergarten teacher used to read to us everyday. I don’t remember any of the books she read except with the Junie B. Jones series. I loved these. I loved Junie, and all of her mishaps. I found this through my teacher, but I loved it so much that I would go to the library to get the ones she didn’t read.

19435143056

I remember always picking this series up though I don’t remember what actually happened during it. I do want to find these in thrift shops or the library and reread them when I can. 

1644879

I’m so glad I decided to do this post, because I’ve been trying to figure out the name of this book for ages and I could never find it. I tried one more time so I could add it to this list, and I finally figured it out. In elementary school sometimes if you got there early they would take you to the library and the librarian would read to everyone until it was time to go to class. This was one of the books she read though I never got the full story since sometimes I would miss school or come later so then I missed out on parts of the story. But I always wondered what happened at the end. Now that I remember the title, I’m going to look it up and read it again.

5031045984981

We had to read these books in fifth grade, but I never minded the work involved because I loved these stories. With Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry especially. I went to the library and got all the other books in the series. When I finished them all, I was so upset that it ended that I wrote my own fanfiction of it. Not that I knew the term then.

131525387576

These aren’t so much children’s books, but I felt the need to add them here. I didn’t read as much as I got to middle school, but these books were my everything. I would get in trouble all the time for reading the Maximum Ride series in class. I never liked getting in trouble, but I just had to know what was going to happen. Though by the time I think the third or the fourth book came out I was over them. I think I read all the books that Lois Duncan had out. I would read them in one or two sittings because I was so captivated, and then I would immediately go to the library to get another one. This was also the time I picked up Harry Potter, and became obsessed with that. Then, for years Harry Potter books or fanfiction was the only thing I read.

Lists, Personal, Uncategorized

Books We Want to Read This Summer

Isis:

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

28458598

This is one of my most anticipated summer releases. It looks like a sweet romantic comedy full of culture and awesome characters. I can’t wait for this to come out so I can get to it. 

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

15724396

I picked this up on a whim a few weeks ago, and I’m eager to read it. Nicole hyped it up for me. I love lighthearted reads so I’m hoping this is one of those for me. And it has the word “summer” in it so it’s perfect. 

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

20820994

This one also feels very summery, though I don’t think it’s as lighthearted. I’m still looking forward to reading this story. I’ve heard it deals with twins in different time periods, which reminds me of a book I didn’t finish for school called “The God of Small Things.” I’m hoping this one isn’t as emotionally draining. 

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

18189606

I’m so behind on Morgan Matson books, but I enjoyed Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, so I’m excited to finally get to this book. Every summer since I got this I’ve been meaning to read it, but it hasn’t happened yet. Hoping this is the year. I know this one is about a close friendship, and I’m fully on board. 

Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky

25184383

I’m also hoping this one is lighthearted. The title alone hooked me from the start. When I think of summer, I think of kidnapping members of a boy band. Not really! But I’m interested to see how this plot is handled in this book. 

 

Nicole:

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

7736182

I’m currently on The Titan’s Curse in the original Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. I’m hoping to finish the series and start on The Heroes of Olympians series this summer. My goal is to finish these series and the Apollo series by the time the third Magnus Chase book comes out. It’s a pretty ambitious goal,  but I don’t want to read The Ship of the Dead until I read Riordan’s other books. Simply because I’ve heard from other people who’ve read all of them that they think it’ll all intertwine. I don’t want to be confused or spoiled so this is my big goal.

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

30095464

I got this from NetGalley, started it, and then never finished. I’m still really interested in it, though I’ve found that I have trouble concentrating when reading on my phone. I have a few others from NetGalley I really need to get to and review soon, but this one is my most anticipated.

Saga Comics by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

29237211

I’ve read the first three of these comics forever ago it seems like. I never continued on since the wait was too much, and I would forget what happened. But Isis has been bugging me ever since to get caught up so she can talk about it with someone. Since she’s planning on reading Magnus Chase, I guess it’s finally time to catch up on this series for her.

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

19161852

I’ve wanted to read from N.K. Jemisin for a while now, and I’m hoping to get to this this summer. I don’t particularly know what this book is about, but I’ve heard nothing but good things. I’ve also really been into fantasy, so that’s all I need to know.

The Diviners by Libba Bray

17899351

This book includes the occult, a supernatural power, and a murder case with a serial killer. It’s right up my alley right now. It’s been a year since I’ve gotten this book, and I think it’s high time for me to read it.

 

Lists, Personal, Uncategorized

10 Tropes We Love

Image result for trope

About three months ago we did a post about tropes we hate. Today we are gonna do the opposite, and talk about tropes we love.

1. Childhood Friend Romance – I love it when two characters are friends since childhood, grow up together, and eventually realize they belong together. It’s a combination of the “Friends to Lovers” trope, so I’m including that in here too. I love the way these two people know each other so well by the time a romantic relationship is built. It’s sweet. My favorite is the one in Point Pleasant by Jen Archer Wood, between Ben and Nic, who knew each other from birth, seriously.

2. Blond Evil Guys – I’m not sure if this counts, but I’ve seen plenty of these characters in so many books. And I love every single one of them. From Draco Malfoy to Warner to Laurent, there’s so much to love. I love dark characters, and I love that they happen to be blond, and I love that they all have a sad story to explain why they’re so bad. Sometimes it’s super problematic, but it’s a guilty pleasure.

3. The Philosopher – I love a character who can bring philosophical concepts into a novel. They always look for the meaning behind every action and try to see the world in a different light. This can get pretty pretentious if it’s done wrong, which has happened many times *cough, cough–John Green–cough cough* but I think it can also be really great. My favorite example is Aristotle from Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. 

4. Good Parents – I seriously appreciate good parents, especially in YA. There are countless stories where the parents never appear, are dead, abusive, negligent, close-minded, cruel, and so on and so forth. I’m so tired of reading all of these tropes. We need more books with good, supportive, amazing parents that are there for their children, even when their children are older. Again in Aristotle and Dante, both Ari and Dante had wonderful parents. 

5. There’s No Place Like Home – I’m a sucker for characters that go on a journey away from home, only to discover that they didn’t have to run away from home to be happy because the home left behind is where they felt truly happy. It sounds cheesy, and it probably is, but I never get tired of seeing this.

6. Hidden Heart of Gold- This character is usually sarcastic, cold, and a jerk to mostly everyone. That doesn’t make them the villain though. They have good intentions, but a bad attitude. Or, they are afraid of getting hurt or even being seen as nice so they hide. Whatever their reasons, I usually love this trope if it’s done well. By that I mean I don’t like when they cross over into being abusive, and I don’t like when other characters forgive them automatically. If they are in need of redemption, it needs to be done well.

7. Magnetic Hero- The hero needs to go on an epic quest, but in order to do that they need some help. A lot of times they have friends, and it’s a no brainer that they will join. It’s when the hero needs someone who is reluctant that this becomes interesting. Usually the hero is simply earnest and being themselves and not even trying that hard to convince them to change their minds. It can be because of the hero’s personality, a hidden connection the person has with the hero, or a connection with the actual quest that they choose to change their minds. It may seem too easy to some, but I typically love when this happens.

8. Fire-Forged Friends- These characters do not like each other. However, they have the same goal. For whatever reason, they have to work together to get that goal. There is usually a lot of banter and fighting and soft nice moments, and I love all of it. Typically, there’s scenes when they fight against the common enemy together, where one of them is determined not to leave the other behind even if they 100% have the choice to do so, and a conversation where they admit that each other isn’t all that bad. And I love all of it. It’s so good.

9. The Unintentional Badass- These characters usually don’t even want to be the hero. Saving the day isn’t on their to-do list, and they complain about it a lot. So, when they do something badass, it’s either a surprise or done in a way that’s not typically considered badass. They can do that by using their previous knowledge that you wouldn’t think would help, or solve the problem in any way that is not with violence.

10. Unlikely Friendships- One is a pessimist while one is the optimist. One is practical while the other is a free spirit. One is creative while one is scientific. One is old and the other young. Whatever opposites they are, if they still love and support each other, I will love their friendship.

Film Reviews, Lists

Favorite Romance Films

love-1

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ve put together this list compiling my top favorite romance films. I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for a good romantic movie. I love sitting back with a good snack and watching two fictional characters fall madly in love with each other. Who doesn’t? Isn’t fun to root for two people to finally get together after so many obstacles and misunderstandings? (I grew up watching telenovelas, so this is a way of life for me). Anyway, let’s begin.

 

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

pp

I’m sure everyone has seen this masterpiece, but I had to include it anyway. Having seen mostly all adaptations of this Jane Austen story, I have to say that this one stands out. It isn’t exactly like the book, but another thing entirely, and that’s what makes it so great. It keeps the best parts of the characters and relationships, but adds it a little extra humor and fun.

The Wedding Singer (1998)

the-wedding-singer-1998

Let’s be honest. This is probably one of the best Adam Sandler movies ever made. But this movie is made ten times better thanks to Drew Barrymore and her sweet charisma. This movie is kind of a big cliche, but I’m not even mad about it. I love every moment, and every ridiculous and beautiful song in it.

City of Angels (1998)

city_of_angels

And here we have the movie that always makes me listen to Iris on repeat and sing my heart out while crying over the bittersweet ending. I have a love/hate relationship with this movie. The whole angel thing doesn’t excuse Nicholas Cage from stalking poor Meg Ryan even when she’s in the bathtub. I mean, come on. It just goes to show that even angels are big creeps. But I still root for these two every time.

Big Eden (2000)

big-eden

This is one of those unbelievably sweet and feel-good movies that don’t come too often. I adore this one so much that it’s my usual go-to whenever I need a lift me up. It’s just so damn beautiful. Henry and Pike go through so much before they can be together, but it is so worth it in the end. And what could be better than a small town being so accepting and encouraging of two men falling for each other? Probably nothing.

When Harry Met Sally (1989)

405169ac0b151ac7ef2a1089760613c3

Meg Ryan was the literal queen of rom-coms back in the day. This is another classic, of course. I’ve seen this one quite a few times, and it never gets old. Seriously. It’s so witty and clever and absolutely frustrating because these two are so stubborn and it’s just great and awful at the same time. If you haven’t yet seen the beauty of Harry and Sally, then you’re in for a treat.

The Way He Looks (2014)

91yavuqqjul-_sy445_

This movie is like an ice cream sundae on a hot summer day. It is absolutely stunning. I love the quietness throughout and the way the friendship develops between the two main characters before it ever turns into more. I love that one of the characters is blind and he fights his way to independence. There’s so much to love about this one. And yay for two boys falling in love and having a happy ending!

Margarita With a Straw (2014)

margaritawithastraw-300

This movie is heartfelt and painful, but I loved it all the same. The main character has cerebral palsy, but that isn’t the focus of the story. Laila learns to be independent, far away from home, where she falls in love with a woman. It’s not as lighthearted as the movie poster might indicate, but it is so worth the watch. I loved the romance, and everything in between.

Dan in Real Life (2007)

dan_in_real_life

This is possibly my top favorite romance film of all time. It isn’t abundantly romantic. It focuses mainly on Dan’s family and  character development, and it is fantastic. This one has a pinch of forbidden love. Who doesn’t love that? I really love the overall atmosphere of this movie. It’s set in a small Rhode Island town and it’s full of quirky characters. The soundtrack is outstanding, which is just a plus.