Watched, Read Loved and what I’ve been up to in 2018

Hello everybody! I’ve been rather inconspicuous the last few months, and I’ve really missed blogging and interacting with everyone in the blogging world. I’ve posted a few times, and thanks to everyone that still popped in – you are appreciated! I’m almost ready in having a normalized life again, so I plan to be a bit more active with reading and posting about how I’ve managed to entertain myself since December 2017.

Firstly, I started my new position in the company I work for. It’s been quite a change, and I’ve been struggling to adapt to this new life of crazy deadlines and people with serious lack of work ethic. I’m almost motivated again, and I’m not blind to how extraordinarily lucky I’ve been to get to a point where my qualification and my job are actually aligned.

I’ve also graduated, and the event was… anticlimactic? I’ve worked my butt off to get here, and yet the day felt rushed and the moment passed too quick. However, my BSc is now in the bag and I can continue with this crazy career path of mine.

I am also finally in my own apartment. I hope someday soon it will actually feel like I live here, but for now I am just enjoying the experience and getting used to having my own place.

So yes. This year has been really big so far. We are only at the end of August now and I have been all over the place. It is good, right? To be honest it is all just a bit overwhelming.

This post has basically said nothing that I originally thought to write on it, but here’s a rundown of the films (it’s probably not all, because it has been so long), books and series I’ve explored.

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug and The Battle of the Five Armies – One movie night and three really dedicated people lead to all three Hobbit movies being watched, with a variety of sarcastic comments (mostly from me) about the length and things that happen that is entirely unrelated to the actual Hobbit book. I haven’t  had a look at the reviews about these films up here for ages, and it is probably time to revisit them. They aren’t bad, but compared to The Lord of The Rings trilogy (incidentally never reviewed on here because I don’t know how to review perfection like that), they are a bit uninspiring.

Edward poster

Edward Scissorhands (1990): A pretty cool film and very deserving of its reputation, I enjoyed seeing Johnny Depp in something pre-Jack Sparrow. This is some of Tim Burton’s best work and really great to watch.

duff

The Duff (2015): Yes, again. It’s great to watch and such a nice laugh, I can’t understand why this film received such a negative backlash at the time. It’s certainly better than it’s hormonal book counterpart! This reminds me of a 2015 version of Mean Girls (although Mean Girls is certainly better), and on that note, I probably watched Mean Girls sometime this year too, as well as Easy A, a simply hilarious staple for chick flicks.

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Pride and Prejudice (2005): Yes, also again. I can watch this all the time, and this rerun was triggered by reading the book again.

vampire academy poster

Vampire Academy (2015) Okay this one does deserve the hate that gets thrown its way, but it is a guilty pleasure of mine.

Jane eyre poster

Jane Eyre (2011): I loooooovvveeeedddd this. It is a wonderfully accurate adaption to the book, and another film I’ll probably end up watching ten million times.

Ant-Man (2015): I somehow kept postponing this film, and it is so stupid because you all know how much I like watching Marvel superheroes do their thing. Eventually Ant-Man turned out really fun and is a great film, and I will actually manage to see the second one before the turn of the century.

Nacho Libre (2006) and Napoleon Dynamite (2004). I can at least claimed to have heard about Napoleon Dynamite prior to my watching it. The spectacularly ginger teenager Napoleon is really a staple image in everyone’s recollection of the internet, occupying his own, very unique space. It was really quite a weird film and I am not sure what else to say about it. Nacho Libre is also… really weird. Jack Black has some strange titles under his belt, and this might bee the strangest yet.

Jumanji (2017) – Jumanji deserves an actual review, not necessarily because of it’s cinematic prowess but because of my eternal love for Dwayne Johnson. This film was surprisingly good, and included another viewing of Jack Black, who was actually quite fantastic in this film.

fallen

Fallen (2016) – Got in my YA dose with this, and I am not sorry for a second. Is it bad? yes. Do I care? No. I had fun.

About A Boy 1

About a Boy (2002) – one of the better random films I picked up to watch the last couple of months. Review coming soon

Tomorrowland (2014), Freaky Friday (2003) and Did you hear about the Morgans? (2009) – neither of these deserves posters on this post. Tomorrowland is getting a thrashing in it’s review (when I end up writing it), because what a load of turd. Freaky Friday is fun, but it also serves as a really sad reminder of how someone can screw themselves up so badly. The last, Did you hear about the Morgans, is neither inspirational, funny or adventurous, and is some of the poorest films in it’s genre.

 

Blindspots: I’m behind (which is a shocking surprise, I know)

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Ghostbusters (1984), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy  (2005), Die Hard (1988)

2018 releases:

Avengers: Infinity War Tomb Raider Black PantherThe Maze Runner: Death CureThe Greatest Showman, Jurassic World (Fallen Kingdom), Deadpool 2

books

The Obsession (Nora Roberts)Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte), Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen), Harry Potter (series), The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams), How To Hang A Witch (Adriana Mather), Shelter in Place (Nora Roberts, ongoing), The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

series

I am really bad at finishing series. I will start off with great enthusiasm, but I never have the patience to get through the lull that inevitably strikes every show about halfway through when the original cast wants to leave and the writers are tired of finding something interesting to keep the watchers entertained. I was recommended to watch Call The Midwife Seasons 1&2 because of my love for Downton Abbey. It’s good, and I enjoy the show. I should continue into Season 3 soon and continue with my knowledge of female reproductive health when women had even less rights than we do now.

Friends Season 1-7: A series I actually finished! I loved this show. It is hilarious, and even though there are some lulls it stays funny, sweet and relatable.

Brooklyn Nine Nine Season 1 – this is a hilarious comedy and I will definitely watch some more. I was a bit crushed when they announced the series was coming to an end, but I see that there will be a final season of Jack Peralta and his fellow officers. Yay!

Riverdale

Riverdale Season 1&2 – I have a review coming in shortly for season 2, and I really like this show despite the lack of quality the last part of season 2 had.

greys

Grey’s Anatomy Seasons 1 – 7: As I am finalizing this post I come to you from a space where I have now banned myself watching this show during the week. There are a couple of reasons why – the lack of will to live if I am not watching it, the extreme emotional attachment to the characters and the stern talking to I had with myself that they are not real and that I can’t stop watching at night and then I am exhausted the following day (really, I need a boyfriend or a life at this stage). I couldn’t have expected this show would be so good. I mean, at seven seasons I am only halfway through the series, because the show remains super popular and it is now at it’s fifteenth (?!) season. It is heartbreaking and intense and happy and sad, and I.AM.ADDICTED.

Pride and Prejudice (1995): I am telling all of you, I know I have an unhealthy attachment to this story. The series is by far the most accurate to the book, and it is a lovely adaption that makes me really happy to watch.

So, there you have it. I have been writing on and off on this post for ages, so it is so good to have it finally out there! Let me know what you’ve seen, whether or not it has correlated with my watches. Adios!

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Watched, Read, Loved: October 2017

Untitled

My battle cry should be: “What a Month!”. 2017 in particular has felt like a whirlwind. Every month, so busy, so rushed. Work has been mad. Growing career wise is exhausting. There have been a number of unpleasantness in my team – people resigning, a sexual harassment case (super happy to report that my esteem for my company rose with how they handled the matter), and naturally just the normal amount of pettiness, drama, laziness and idiocy I’ve come to expect from working professionals. However, that said, some demented part of me enjoys working in such a difficult environment. It is enormously satisfying when people bend to your will, see your point, praise your efforts and start acting less like two year olds. I’m probably going to go crazy while doing it, but man, what a ride.

Some things are stressing me out still – waiting for my final results to get my degree is one particular one, and my University is as relaxed about releasing results as they usually are. It is so frustrating to be on a cliff, waiting for an answer, so close to the finish line. That and the course was pretty damn hard, so I am STRESSED. One moment I am convinced I passed and the next moment I’m sure I failed. I’m not the most pleasant person to be around right now, of that I can assure you.

I am also planning my oldest sister’s baby shower. She’s married with a baby on the way; I applaud myself when I comb my hair in the morning. These are the paths we take. However, planning an event is something that always stresses me out – I am such a perfectionist and if I don’t feel something is nice, I get really grumpy. With that is all the baby things too – stressing me out, because my ovaries are going to die soon (I might remove that sentence, I might not). Looking at children in the mall and wondering why anyone would put up with that is what I think of the most, yet at the same time there is something to be said about leaving a legacy. But I also like having my entire salary to myself, and let me tell you, pregnancy seems to come with many ailments that makes me want to revise my previous notion that pregnancy isn’t a sickness.

To load more on my plate, I’ve literally started loading things off my plate. That’s right – I’m at the “healthy lifestyle” game again. It’s a pretty pompous term, but I enjoy using it and it is certainly a better one than the word diet. I’m taking it very basic – cutting out most carbs and eating veggies and protein, with lots of water. I don’t drink any sugar carbonated drinks, so that isn’t a problem, but I do consume copious amounts of Coke Light. Working on lessening that too, as my primary objective is living as clean as possible and not consuming pseudo junk. I like to think I’ve become a regular at our local Parkrun, my total tally of walks is now somewhere around ten. I’ve even done one on my own, because I’ve realized that fitness and companionship aren’t always something that can happen at the same time. So far I’ve lost 3kg, which is obviously slower than I’d like, but it is a consistent trend downwards that makes me happy. I am also sleeping better and feeling more alert, which are two things I desperately needed.

So after an entire dialogue about all my problems, here’s what went down entertainment wise this month.

movies logo

Thor Ragnarok poster

Thor: Ragnarok (2017): This was one of the big ones I wanted to see. My darling favorite superhero returned to the big screen, and I was ready. Thor has never been my favorite franchise of Marvel, but on a science level it has always worked really well. This time around Waititi joined in to direct (and star), and I actually watched it TWO times in cinema – super super rare for me. The second watch did highlight some issues – some of the pacing is off, especially by Tessa Thompson, but it was still so much fun that I am not willing to alter the 8.5/10 I gave it.

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It was also Halloween month, so I picked up Hocus Pocus for the very first time in my life. It was okay, I’ve definitely seen worse and better, but I did enjoy the drama of the three witches and how excellently they acted it out.

Dis Koue Kos, Skat, was my Afrikaans feature for the month. Think Eat, Pray, Love, with less praying (and travelling). Anna-Mart Van Der Merwe, a South-African film legend, stars in this excellent film as a newly divorced woman settling into her new life. I had  a lot of fun with it.

Lego Ninjago Poster

Lego: Ninjago movie (2017) – This was October as well?! October WAS a long month! I had a lot more fun with this than I thought I would, which is saying something.

star trek 2009

Star Trek (2009) – it took me nearly ten years to watch this, and I am happy that I finally did. Review coming soon.

books

I kept it pretty simple this month with reading, revisiting the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. It’s simple reading, perfect for stressful days where you just need a bit of chill and sexy vampires.

series

The real reason for the little amount of movie watching that went down can be pinned to Spartacus. I finally started the series. It’s pretty good despite awful dialogue, though just not one of the shows to watch with your parents / child. EVER.

spartacus

What have you been up to this month?

Book Review: Silver Shadows (Richelle Mead)

silvershadows

Sydney Sage is kept captive by the people she’s devoted her life to – the Alchemists, an ancient society sworn to keep the Vampire population hidden from the human race. Sydney, who was raised an Alchemist by her strict and domineering father, did the one thing the Alchemists find truly unforgivable – she fell in love with Moroi Vampire Adrian Ivashkov. Her sister betrayed her and Sydney was taken to reeducation – a place where Alchemists are kept and “persuaded” to become “good” again.

As months pass, Sydney knows she needs to at least pretend to bend in her beliefs. She is introduced into the group life stage of reeducation, where she meets other Alchemists in the same position as her. At first they all treat her life a pariah, but slowly Sydney gets included and manages to make a few friends.

Adrian Ivashkov is meanwhile working hard to find Sydney. He is already unstable due to his Spirit abilities – a magical element that makes him see people’s auras and visit dreams, but Sydney’s disappearance has driven him even further into destructive behavior. He is aided by Marcus, a rouge Alchemist who has contacts all over the world and also wants to see Sydney safe. Even though Jill Dragomir, the only living relative to Queen Vasalisa Dragomir, is the one who needs to be kept under constant protection, she insists that two of her Guardians help save Lissa should they find a lead.

Sydney discovers the reason Adrian hasn’t been able to visit her in her dreams – she and her fellow inmates are being drugged with gas each night and Adrian can’t penetrate it. She employs the help of her newfound friends to stop the gas flow, enabling Adrian to visit her. It gives them both hope to see each other again, but it is still frustrating because Sydney has no idea where she is based.

Through meticulous work Marcus finally finds venues where Sydney could possibly be based, but Adrian has to resort to visiting other detainees in their dreams for information when Sydney gets caught using magic.

Can Adrian, Marcus and Eddie save Sydney? How will they possibly stay away from recapture? What psychological scars does Sydney carry from her incarceration time? Is Jill as safe as she believes she is? What will the Moroi royal court do when they finally learn Adrian is in love with a human?

Rating: 6.5/10

I’ve been following this series from the beginning rather religiously, and after each new release would mope when I the book was finished – the series always had a few books outstanding. I kept off reading Silver Shadows with the idea to leave it until closer to the time for the last book of the series, Ruby Circle. I think RC is being released early next month so I managed quite well!

I enjoyed Silver Shadows. It is written in first person with sections dedicated to Sydney and Adrian – essential, so you can have a look at Sydney’s captivity and the budding rescue mission. Sydney’s capture was beginning to feel long, as were her many setbacks and determination to not shut up – something I respect but there is a time and place for everything, you know?

The love story is completely ridiculous – the extremely sciency good girl falls for a borderline alcoholic with mental problems. Okay, maybe that has happened, but I think in the long run two such extremes won’t make the world’s most stable couple. I like both Adrian and Sydney – neither is overly whiney or childish and they don’t have the frustrating petulance often found in YA.

The book is decently written, especially compared to other YA books out there. It is miles better than Vampire Academy, the series on which Bloodlines stems from, and I think Mead has genuinely grown as a writer.

If you look beneath the frothy vampire story you might find what I did – these books are about social injustice and I even want to say racism – the class systems used in these books are unfair and based solely on race.

This is a fun series, but don’t expect the world’s tightest plot and superb writing though. (And I can’t wait for the next one!)

Movies of 2014: Part One

2014 final

If you’ve taken a peek at your calender, Facebook feed or internet, I am sure you know that 2014 is done. I won’t go in to how I’ll be better with stuff in 2015, because let’s face it, I won’t be 😀

2014 was a relatively successful year for movies, but it also contained a truck load of disappointments. Today’s post is a run down of about half the movies I saw this year (that was also released in 2014), with the second installment to follow. Please let me know, what you thought, and all that you loved and

Vampire Academy

I had such hopes for Vampire Academy. I’ve read all the books and when I heard it was made into a movie, I was very excited. It turned out to be one of the greatest disappointment of 2014. Not only is it a horrible book adaption with terrible directing, it didn’t capture the essence of the story or any of the characters.

Captain America: Winter Soldier

Marvel has had its ups and downs with their Avenger series, but the first and second installment of Captain  America has just been so superb.

Maleficent

I really enjoyed this Disney movie. I thought it had a beautiful message and refreshing take on a very old story.

Lego Movie

Hmmm. I’m not really a fan of any animation but this was quite well for what it was. (except for that wildly annoying and addictive song)

How to train your dragon Part 2

This movie could have worked with Toothless flying around the entire time, but I enjoyed the storyline as well. Very cute considering the big plot twist which was the equivalent to Robb Stark’s death in the animation world.

That awkward moment

Since watching Zac Efron cancels the need for a good storyline, I enjoyed this despite its flaws.

The Fault in Our Stars

Yeah, I cried like a baby. It was well adapted from the book and several levels of unfair.

Guardians of the Galaxy

It may not have been worth the hype, but it was good all around.

Grand Budapest Hotel

This is one of my favorite movies of 2014. Ralph Fiennes’ acting and the whole extravagance of the movie made for a wonderfully entertaining time.

What was your favorite movie of 2014?

5 Things Friday: 5 Best book series

Happy Friday!

Harry Potter: JK Rowling

harry potter

Reading Harry Potter is not merely a simple pleasure anymore; I need to do it at least twice a year to ensure my eternal happiness. I have to start from the beginning, at The Philosopher’s Stone, and work through to the Deathly Hallows, or it feels like a fake book run.

A study recently found that children who read Harry Potter grew up to be more open-minded and liberal. I can really agree and that might even explain why I am a person who thinks everyone should be left alone to do whatever the hell they want, unless it actively harms other people.

Harry Potter has it all – the books are excellently written, the story unique and touching, the characters ridiculously funny. Rowling created magic with these books, and I am eternally grateful for it.

Bloodlines: Richelle Mead

bloodlines

For a while there it did feel like VAMPIRES, VAMPIRES EVERYWHERE type of situation in the entertainment industry. The dawn of Twilight heralded the universe desperately seeking fanged romance, and eyes were rolled by people who are desperately against the mainstream.

Every aspiring writer tried to recreate a world similar to Twilight, with enough changes to prevent a law suit. Most books failed and spectacularly so, because you will generally fail if you copy other people’s work.

However, Richelle Mead firstly came along and wrote Vampire Academy. Although not the best series on the planet, it was fresh and interesting and original. Then she wrote Bloodlines and I became successfully addicted.

My attachment to this series stems from my admiration of its lead female lead. Sydney Sage is intelligent, a leader and a problem solver and she will take action if needs be. The love story is developed at a fantastic rate and worked out really well, and the unlikely couple’s journey to finding each other is really nice to read.

Walsh Family Series: Marian Keyes

The series has a book for each Welsh sister: Rachel stars in Rachel’s holiday, Clare’s story is told in Watermelon, Anna’s in Is Anybody Out There? Helen has the lead in The Mystery of Mercy Close and Margaret is the main protagonist in Angels.

The Walsh sisters are incredibly messed up. Their mother, although meaning well, had a recurring tendency to put her feet in her mouth as her daughters grew up, and managed to pass on her bad self-image to all her daughters. As they all stumble in their lives, catastrophes happen, and they all have an incredible journey to get through.

Marian Keyes is an excellent writer, producing hilarious books that are full of detail as well. My favourite of the series is most likely Rachel’s holiday, and as it was the first book of Keyes that I ever read, the one I have read the most.

The Hunger Games: Suzanne Collins

hunger games trilogy bookset

After the Vampire craze passed, Suzanne Collins created The Hunger Games, and dystopian fiction became all the rage. The world quickly changed its focus, and soon there were movies on the cards. The movies, including the books, are exceptional. Collins had a chilling idea and wrote to produce a truly scary story, and the world was fascinated by a post-apocalyptic place where people killed each other off in a televised “Games” broadcasted for all to see. While this book series is a great read and very compelling, it is also one of the few trilogies I have stumbled across where the movies are nearly as good as the books.

The Lord of the Rings: JRR Tolkien

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Say what you want about the length of the books or the tedious amount of details, the Lord of The Rings was the Harry Potter of its time. Tolkien is also the creator of magic and it cannot be forgotten that he is the reason those EPIC movies exist. I only read this when I have a month of vacation time or something, you cannot be tired at all and have a drifting mind when attempting this.

Honourable mentions:

Divergent: Veronica Roth

Twilight: Stephanie Meyer

Vampire Academy: Richelle Mead

Those I want to read but haven’t started yet

A Song of Fire and Ice: George R. Martin

Southern Vampires: Charlaine Harris (I am actually starting this soon!)

What is your favourite book series? Tell me!

Movie Review: Vampire Academy (2014)

VA poster

Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutch) and Lissa Dragomir (Lucy Fry) are best friends that escaped from St. Vladimir’s Academy, or Vampire Academy, when Lissa felt unsafe. They are eventually caught and taken back to school by one of the Guardians, Dimitri Belikov (Danila Kozlovsky), who becomes one of Rose’s teachers and the guy she falls for.

I went in fangirl mode to watch Vampire Academy on Saturday night and I have never been more disappointed. VA is officially the standard now for horrible book to movie adaptions.

Rating: 5.5/10

What I liked:

For most parts, the movie stuck to the book relatively close.

The class rooms and training arenas were well done.

Rose’s eyes (although it is not in the book) – when she sees into Lissa’s mind. Looked pretty cool.

The fight scenes were amazingly well done – surprisingly so in comparison to the quality of the rest of the movie.

Casting of: Rose (Zoey Deutch), Dimitri (Danila Kozlovsky), Victor Dashkov (Gabriel Byrne), Natalie Dashkov (Sarah Hyland), Christian Ozera (Dominic Sherwood), Mason (Cameron Monaghan), Sonya Karp (Claire Foy)

Zoey Deutch really did the Rose Hathaway attitude well. She looks the part, she played the part and I loved her outfits all around.

Danila Kozlovsky as Dimitri Belikov: Wow. Just wow. I would give him an 8/10 for correct character casting and portrayal. At least they got a real Russian to play him and didn’t attempt some horrible accent changing thing.

Girl Power: The girls in the movie kicks ass and can take care of themselves. It is what I loved about the books too, and I am glad they didn’t want to change either of the leading females to whining brats.

What I didn’t like:

It was like the Twilight-meets-Harry Potter-meets-Mean Girls movie. The OPENING scenes are similar to all those trees in Twilight, the castle shots look like they were taken at Hogwarts and the constant bitching and sarky remarks were right out of Mean Girls. Does Mark Waters only know how to direct one type of movie?

It felt like the movie was rushed. Don’t give me nonsense about a shoe string budgets – plenty franchises’ first instalments were made on tiny budgets and did wonderful – like Twilight, which for all its faults had decent directing.

The soundtrack: The opening song bombs the movie from the get go, and it never fully recovers.

Nothing was properly explained. The series has a lot of new lore to explain and it was rushed over. People who haven’t read the books won’t even begin to understand what is happening in the movie.

Underused characters: Christian and Mason were really well cast but Christian became a vapid pretty boy – this is the guy whose parents turned into evil monsters and has lived under the scandal that it caused his entire life. He is not the pretty little man who easily became a devoted pet to either Rose or Lissa. Mason did really well. He is one of the few who acted decently and showed some depth, but he wasn’t used all that much.

Rose and Dimitri’s love story. So much was left out – all the signs that he is secretly in love with her just wasn’t there. They had so much more to offer. It is also never fully explained why he is training her individually.

Rose and Dimitri 2

*At least one of the scenes were done right.

Lissa knowing about Dimitri and Rose – WTF she only finds out when Rose leaves St. Vladimir’s to hunt Dimitri down later on.

Kirova being portrayed as underhanded. She has always struck me as a fair disciplinarian who is irritated with Rose’s constant rule breaking.

Mia Renaldi (Sami Gayle): I see the curly ringlets were thrown out, but the actress at least did a decent job.

Lissa and Rose just TELLING Natalie what is going on in their lives. The Spirit, the Bond – those are SECRETS dammit.

The compulsion looks fake.

The fire scene where Christian sets Ralf Sarkozy on fire. IT.WAS.SO.FAKE.

Sonya Karp being some of the Strigoi that wants to attack the school. Just no. She enters much later on with another purpose.

Lucy Fry as Vasalisa Dragomir: What accent was she playing at? It seemed like a very bad mix of British and Australian. Those two shouldn’t be mixed. She seemed very immature and selfish one moment and very adult and wise at other times. The character didn’t match up and neither did she come close to what Lissa is in the books.

Conclusion:

Fire the director and screen writer. I’ve always thought the books would make an excellent TV series, not movies, because let’s face it: Taking six books and hoping they will all make it to cinema is ridiculous unless it’s Harry Potter. Stop trying to make the franchise what it isn’t. Make it more dark and sexy and not so damn PG rated.

And once again, Fire the director.

Thoughts 2.1

How can you work at a company for years and still not know the door code? The sound of the door ringing in our office drives me NUTS I tell you.

PS: Gliding to a door on your leisurely pace will certainly cause the door to close again. No, I am not opening it for you. You have your own feet.

Still thoroughly enjoying my car. All that freedom just for me.

#100DaysofHappy

I’ve been eyeing this challenge for a bit – it is so upbeat and happy and positive. A work colleague and I will now be trying this out – for a 100 days you record something that makes you happy.

Check out their website here:

http://100happydays.com/

I will be posting about my 100 Days in batches – I really don’t think you want to read 100 separate posts about it! 🙂

12 February 2014: 1st day of Happy

New Girl

New Girl

I put this show on yesterday and it is awesome! I laughed so hard.

Manners

Please and thank-you. The two phrases you learn from childhood. How do you FORGET something that has been ingrained since you were young? Quick Question: Who wouldn’t help a person who asks nicely and who would help someone who is rude?

What I want to say to the Waterkloof Four:

Boys,

You think you’ve won. You think you’re very smart and funny and free. You are not. You think you are rich. I hope one day you make the distinction between having rich parents and actually being rich through your own blood, sweat and tears. You look like a bunch of pretty hipsters on their way to a JB concert. This couldn’t be further from the truth. You are all murderers. You preyed on the most vulnerable form of human being – a poor homeless man whose life was already horrible. You represent what is bad in this country – continued racism (from both sides), disrespect for the law and a dismissive attitude towards the lives of others. I am ashamed that you are part of my ethnic origins and I am ashamed that you are South-Africans. I hope one day you realise what you have done and have true remorse.

Flappy Bird

Flappy Bird

WTF world. It is so addictive it is crazy. Makes absolutely no sense in its addictiveness because it is possibly some of the worst graphics I’ve seen in ages. I downloaded it (to my eternal regret) and now rue the day I heard about it. The creator of Flappy bird, Nguyen Ha Dong, has since taken it down from all App stores for now apparent reason but I have it on my phone already so BOOM.Instead of saying that it ruined your life claim responsibility for how rich it made you.

BTW: My score stands at 33. What is yours?

The Mentalist Season 5

I am astounded that the producers of the Mentalist managed another season without revealing Red John. Season five is one of the best seasons of the series. I really enjoyed it and more specifically because they had plenty more Red John information in there than previously.

Vampire Academy

VA is being released this week in South-Africa and I am so there. Go watch it!

Books

Reading the 89th book of the book challenge – Key of Knowledge by Nora Roberts. Very entertaining.

Quote

“When I am silent, I have thunder hidden inside” Rumi

How cool a quote is that?

Valentine’s Day

Currently feeling that it is a stupid money making scheme. May be because I am single. Not discounting that fact.

valentines

5 Things Friday: 5 Movies I’m totally excited about for 2014

Happy Friday!

For today: Five Movies being released in 2014 I am so excited about.

Enjoy!

Vampire Academy

So you thought the Vampire craze was dead? Nope. It is here and it is happening. Based on the best selling series of the same name by Richelle Mead, Vampire Academy focuses on Dhampir Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutch) and Moroi Princess Lissa Dragomir (Lucy Fry). I am really excited that it is being released within a respectable time frame in SA (next week).

VA

Divergent

Divergent

The Fault in Our Stars

It is definitely Shailene Woodley’s year. Starring in both the FiOS and Divergent, Shailene is set to rocket to stardom. I haven’t seen anything of her yet, but since both these movies are being made from two of my favorite books, I am putting a lot of trust in her acting abilities.

TFIOS

The Mockingjay Part one

mockingjay

Captain America: Winter Soldier

Captain America

What movies are you excited about for 2014?

PS: I linked the respective movies to their books, so go take a look 🙂

 

Book Review: The Fiery Heart (Richelle Mead)

fiery heart

Book: 77/100

I’ve been so excited to read this book. I should really start sticking to my rule of only reading a series when all the books have been released, because this waiting for books is really not for me. I found this book as enjoyable as all the other books in the Bloodlines series.

Sydney has finally stopped feeling guilty for loving Moroi vampire Adrian – even if it is something the Alchemists, of which she is a part of, would never accept and that the consequences of them finding out would be dire. When her younger and very competitive sister, Zoe, arrives as a back-up Alchemist, she knows she needs to be very careful how she goes about things.  She constantly sneaks away to be with Adrian, finding ways to break the hold the Alchemist tattoo hold on its members and her witch/coven activities – another thing the Alchemists wouldn’t appreciate – by claiming she is doing extracurricular activities for her teacher Ms. Terwillinger, who started Sydney with the whole witching business. Zoe becomes increasingly irritated by her sister’s disappearance, but has no reason to suspect more than the dire need of good education Sydney claims to have.

Adrian is still struggling with his Spirit induced depression and madness, and eventually agrees to go on anti depressants after a drunken rampage. With the right medicine, Adrian becomes a stable person, although he is not able to access any of his powers. He secretly fears that he will not be able to heal someone he loves if they are ever fatally wounded, but keeps on taking the medicine so he can be the least of things Sydney worries about.

Jill Dragomir is still finding a way to deal with the fact that she is the illegitimate child of a royal Moroi bloodline. Sent away into hiding for her own safety by the Queen of their race, who is also her sister, Jill finally adjusts to a human schedule after months of drama. Her attraction to her bodyguard, Eddie Castile, still remains, but she tries to ignore it because he makes it clear he doesn’t deserve her.  Strangely enough, the girl who found out she is actually Royal is the most sane of everyone hidden away in Palm Springs.

As things heat up in Sydney’s world, will she be able to hide her relationship from her sister and the Alchemists? What will happen if they find out? And will Adrian be able to keep insanity at bay?

Rating: 7/10

The Fiery Heart was everything I hoped it would be. I knew that some things was certain to happen, so I wasn’t overly surprised, but I found the way it ended to be very sneaky – no one will be missing the next book.

I applauded that Sydney didn’t take another whole book to deny her feelings – that would have been exhausting. I‘ve found her enjoyable from the start – the passionate scholar who is able to do and be things no one will ever think of. Writing witchcraft into the books was risky, but it turned out to be a tool that leads Sydney towards her own empowerment, and isn’t overbearing to the original storyline.

Adrian is such a fascinating male lead. I find this series really cool because he is such a messed up guy. He isn’t this ridiculously brave and strong traditional lead – he is a guy who finds his power through so many other things, and is still learning a lot about himself. Richelle Mead really describes his crazy very well, and how he is in need of real help. His struggle with alcohol brings some real life issues into the mix too. His love for Sydney is so strong and tangible. She is the perfect girl for him – and that is so amazing because no one would ever be able to realistically expect the logical Sydney to fall for artistic, crazy Adrian.

Lastly, I think I need to mention that I thought switching the story between Adrian and Sydney’s POV worked out fine. It was obviously risky, and I’ve found it annoying in other books.

It is clearly recommended that you read the previous books in the series before this one, but the book is very much recommended if you are a YA reader.

Book Review: Shadow Kissed (Richelle Mead)

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Book: 59/100

Book three of the Vampire Academy Series

What happened?

After an attack on St. Vladimir’s academy, the entire school headed to an exclusive resort for the holidays. While there, a bunch of Rose Hathaway’s friends sneaked out to go capture Strigoi in Spokane, and Rose went after them. She managed to save most of her friends, except Mason. Afterwards, her teacher Dimitri told her he had accepted that he would always love her.

Shadow Kissed

Rose is set to take trials at being a Guardian within St. Vladimir’s Academy. The trials consist of Dhampir novice Guardians shadowing selected Moroi, and “protecting” them if one of their teachers attacks them while faking as Strigoi. She fully expects to be assigned to Lissa because of their bond and also because everyone knows that is how things should be. Rose is outraged when she is assigned to look after Christian Ozera, Lissa’s boyfriend. Eddie gets to guard Lissa, and while she knows that he will do a very good job, she is peeved that they would actually separate her from her best friend. Dimitri chastises her and she finally acknowledges that it might be a good idea.

As an aftermath to the bloodshed she witness the past year, and a side effect of being shadow-kissed, Rose has developed the scary ability to see ghosts. Initially, she doesn’t know this, and thinks she is going crazy when she sees Mason’s ghost in the school. She learns that the magical wards that surround the school is supposed to block ghosts and Strigoi, but everyone tells her the wards are maintained and in perfect order.

Rose learns that Victor Dashkov, the man who had tortured Lissa, is set for trial. Dimitri tells her that she and Lissa aren’t allowed to attend, and she is furious with him. Adrian Ivashkov, a Moroi royal, manages to get them to attend to impress Rose, making Dimitri feel useless as he really tried his best.

At the Moroi Royal Court, the queen summons Rose and tells her to stay away from her great-nephew, Adrian. She makes it clear that she won’t allow the relationship, not listening when Rose says that she truly isn’t interested in Adrian. Rose receives a threatening message from Victor Dashkov, with some hints that he might out her and Dimitri’s forbidden love. She goes to Dimitri, and they visit him together. They discuss the matter, and even though Victor still taunts them, Dimitri says he is confident that their secret won’t come out. Victor is eventually sentenced to life imprisonment, and locked away.

Rose continues to have headaches whenever she is not in school or the Academy. Every time it seems like there are ghosts are around her, waiting for her attention.  Meanwhile, she is messing up her Guardian tests, because she sees Mason every time she is supposed to fight. It is only because of Dimitri’s vote of confidence that she is allowed to continue, and she is ordered to do only half day guarding after she tells her teachers about the ghosts and they think her stressful life is catching up to her.

Rose notices that there are many kids with bruises at the school who won’t confess who is hurting them. She investigates, and learns that it is a secret club started by elite Moroi who tries to force their friends into using compulsion – something that is forbidden in their world. The group tries to recruit Lissa and Christian too, but they laugh it off.

Rose finally gets to prove herself when Dimitiri attacks her and Lissa, faking as a Strigoi. It is a close fight, but she wins, impressing her teachers and friends alike. After that she realizes that Lissa is under attack from the compulsion group, and rushes to her aid. She helps her friend, but takes some of Lissa’s Spirit-induced darkness and starts attacking the group. She is restrained by Dimitri and taken to a cabin away from the guilty so that she can calm down. Finally, their resolve falters and after a year of restraint they make love. Upon returning to the school grounds, Rose sees Mason, and shortly afterwards she sees the Strigoi that Mason had pointed out.

With the evil vampires on school ground, Rose hurries back on Dimitri’s orders and alert the Guardians. They go into full scale attack, and when Rose finds Christian on the school ground, they combine their skills and kill many Strigoi together. The living Strigoi flees campus before sunrise, and Dimitri tells Rose that they took Dhampirs and Moroi captive.

After debating the pros and cons, the Guardians decide to stage a rescue mission. They head out to the caves where they know the Strigoi are hiding, and rescue the captives. Rose sees Dimitri get trapped, but is pulled to safety. At school, Rose hears something that makes her world crash – That Dimitri had been turned into a Strigoi. Her only choice now is to hunt him down and kill him, as they promised each other they would. But will she find him and come out alive?

Rating: 6.5/10

After Frostbite, this book seems so well done. Things relevant to the storyline actually happen here, and the events aren’t too stretched out. I applauded Rose and Dimitri for finally getting together and his decision to just accept his feelings and work with it instead of the denial that had tormented him. Turning him into a Strigoi was a great idea, and I was floored that Richelle Mead actually had the nerve to do it. Without knowing what happened in the rest of the series made me sad for their lost love so short after their acceptance of it, but reading onwards it became clear that a great plan was in the works for the series.

This is definitely one of the better books in the series, and quite enjoyable.