I really enjoyed the first movie in the new Fantastic Beasts series. I didn’t know how it was going to tell a over-arching story but when I found out it was going to be about the rise and fall of Grindelwald I was excited. I thought this was a perfect piece of lore that we needed.
This second movie does a good job at providing a lot of back story and details that I am sure we are going to need in the later movies. Though I will say that I felt like not much happened in this movie. I felt like our character ran around looking for things and getting backstories as they went. For a book this usually works well, because you get wrapped up in the stories but for a movie I can see it boring some people. Especially those that don’t know the Potter universe a much as some of us super fans do.
I found myself enthralled because I loved hearing all these backstory pieces I did feel like I had to really concentrate in order to figure out who was who and what their story was. When we headed home we had to rehash parts to remember who was who. I think there are quite a few new names and branches to their stories which can be hard to follow. I may have to buy the screenplay just to be able to make note of what character is part of what story.
I really liked that this story told us more about Leta Lestrange. I am finding her fascinating. I am not sure quite why. I think it is because I know of her family in the present and they are evil. She is not bad, jus someone who doesn’t let anyone treat her badly. But she has a good heart and I am very curious how her bloodline twists throughout the story.
I also found it really interesting the way the character of Grindelwald was presented.This movie does a good job of showing how a dictator comes into power. You have these people who have been put down and stomped on and he is presenting them with possibilities no one else will provide. The way they show how a good speech and well said words can twist even the best person is interesting. You see that someone doesn’t have to be the most powerful they just need to know what words to use.
I also thought it was interesting the way Grindelwald was able to manipulate the situations around him. It all showed how things played into his hands and what he wants. We got a great sense of who this man was.
I love this movies too because there are a good number of easter eggs for those of us who know the books backwards and forwards. Certain surnames are mentioned and I grin. I love that aspect.
Spoilers below this line for those who have not seen the movie. I have to discuss this piece but seriously if you have not seen the movie don’t read. Big Plot Spoiler!!
My one big issue with this movie was that ending. In the end Grindelwald tells Credence that he is Dumbledore’s brother. I feel very confused about this plot point. I know these books. I know all the extras about this world.
The seventh book gives us a good history of Dumbledore and his family. Yet nowhere is it mentioned that he has any other siblings than Aberforth and Ariana. I feel like if he was going to have another sibling there would have been some indication of that fact in the books.
J.K. Rowling does such a good job at keeping her books in order and feeding the stories into each other. (Let’s just pretend Cursed Child doesn’t exist). I feel like throwing in another sibling here will throw a wrench into what we know about the books.
I know that this is all being said by Grindelwald which doesn’t mean much because he is the bad guy. He could easily be lying which he has done. He manipulates everything so this could all be a ruse. But I feel like throwing out that name is a big thing to do.
I know that there are three more movies so this could all flow into more twists which I hope they do. I want these movies to enhance the books, make me feel more connected to them. I want to be able to read the books after and not have to dismiss aspects to make things make sense. I trust J.K. Rowling and her storytelling genius but this revelation did make me a bit nervous. Though I am willing to see how it all plays out.
Have you seen the movie? What do you think? Where do you think this whole series is going? What are the next twist we will learn?
I thought it was time to give a quick update on how my NaNoWriMo attempt is going. I said in my original post that I didn’t think I was going to get very far and that I would be surprised at anything I wrote. I also said it was more about getting something down on paper.
Well I will have to say that is very much still true. I think I am at about 8,000 words, which is not good for the challenge on Day 17. I started out the first week strong. I wrote every day going beyond the necessary word count.
Then life crept up and I lost control of it. My big work event happened on the 15th which went well but took a ton of my energy throughout the week or so leading up to it. Then I found a house that I am super excited to buy but that is a long and tedious process. Much of my free time as been dedicated to finding the right papers, making appointments to sign papers and setting up inspections.
I actually thought this weekend that I was going to do a lot of catching up but I work up Friday feeling like I am getting sick. This morning it was worse. I do plan on spending much of my time on my couch this weekend so we will see if I feel well enough to dive into the story.
That being said I am excited about the progress I have made on this story. I did something very different than I normally do when writing. Instead of trying to write the story in linear fashion I have been writing the scenes that keep coming to me. I have been getting a lot of the scenes that would end up in the middle of the book and instead of just making notes about them and waiting until I get to those points I have been writing those scenes. I have a feeling this book may end up like a jigsaw puzzle that needs to be put in order but that doesn’t sound too bad. Actually sounds a bit of fun.
I will be writing a wrap up post near the end of the month on this saga. I hope to get at least 25,000 words done by the end of the month, which may be possible now that work has slowed down and I am at the waiting point for the loan on the house.
Are you doing NaNoWriMo? How are you doing? Any surprises that you are particularly pleased about?
Life is a bit insane right now, so posts are going to be infrequent for a minute. I thought it was time for another trip through my TBR shelf. Should be interesting this time because my birthday is in a week, so I am going to be taking notes for my usual bookshop buying trip!
This was originally created by Lost in a Story and seems like a good way to go through some of my TBR on Goodreads and see what is there and what I can get rid of or push me to start reading.
Links will be on the titles for the books Goodreads page. (I am going to do ten for this round of this tag).
It works like this:
- Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
- Order on ascending date added.
- Take the first 5 (or 10 or 15 or 20, if you’re feeling adventurous) books
- Read the synopses of the books
- Decide: keep it or should it go?
- Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next time!
TBR Total – 247
Attrition of the Gods – P.G. Burns – Vague but still interesting. I like the idea of a force influencing all major things throughout time.
The Wrath and the Dawn – Renee Ahdieh – I have this book on my physical shelf. I want to read it because it sound interesting but I also am trying to not get into series at the moment. I am one of those people who has to finish a series once I start and I haven’t wanted to dedicate the time to a whole series yet.
The Achieved (The Archived #1) – Victoria Schwab – Another one I really want to read but again don’t have the time to get into a whole series but I do think I am going to read this one soon.
Broken Fate (Threads of the Moirae, #1) – Teenage Fates from mythology, I love the idea.
The Night Watch (Watch #1) – Sergei Lukyanenko – Sounds alright but generic, nothing is standing out as unique.
The King Must Die (Theseus #1) – Mary Renault – Sounds alright but hard to discern if it is supposed to be factual or fiction.
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops – Jen Campbell – This sounds fun.
Forget Tomorrow (Forget Tomorrow #1) – Pintip Dunn – Sounds like a YA version of Minority Report. I loved that movie so I am curious how this will be.
The Thirteenth Tale– Diane Setterfield – I got this book at a bookshop. I will pick it up someday soon.
How They Met, and Other Stories – David Levithan – I really like his storytelling and I like the idea of a various types of love stories in this collection.
Total TBR – 245
Didn’t do the greatest at removing this time but there are quite a few on this list I really want to get to soon.
Felicity wants nothing else in life other than to be a doctor; but she is a woman in a time that scoffs at the idea of educated women. She needs to find a way around the restrictions placed on her. She teams up with a mysterious stranger, not knowing what Sim’s ulterior motives are. She meets an old friend and the three of them embark on a journey to save a secret and a legacy.
In the first book, A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, I didn’t care much for Felicity. To me she was nothing more than just the big sister character. She was there to tell Monty when he was wrong and to foil his plans. To me she didn’t hold any real personality of her own.
This book changed my opinion of her all together. We learn that Felicity is a woman stuck in a time that is not for her. She wants to be a doctor. She wants to be independent but she lives in a time where she is told that she is supposed to get married, have kids and take care of her husband. I liked watching Felicity come to terms with who she was and the world she lived in.
She had a fighting spirit that she kept throughout the story. I found it interesting that throughout the story she wasn’t told right out that she was some hero or someone who was going to change the world. She learned that she had to find a way to balance all aspects of her life. It was okay for her to be who she was and she learned that throughout the story. She was able to see that she didn’t have to resign her life to fit what she is told she has to be.
I also liked the three female characters and how they balanced each other throughout this story. Sim was a tough woman, she wanted to be recognized and trusted. She was adventurous and she didn’t back down. But she was also soft as well. She had a softer side which she showed to Felicity.
Johanna was interesting because she was someone who enjoyed dressing up, she wanted to be married and go to parties but she also wanted to study nature and make a name for herself. She liked being taken care of but she also could take care of herself when necessary. I think she played against Felicity’s character well.
The two of them together showed that there is no one way to be a woman. You don’t have to be all girly and poised or defiant and tough. You can be a mix and that is okay. That commentary on not belittling other women for who they are was poignant and important.
I wasn’t thrilled with the end of this story. I felt a lot was leading up to a very epic end but we got a quick handful of pages. Things were taken care of quite quickly and easily. Our main villain was taken out pretty fast.
I understood why things ended as they did, and it made sense. I just wish there had been more. I felt like it ended and we got to that last point and were just like, “okay, that’s all.” I wanted a bit more to make me feel tense and feel like we truly accomplished something.
I read this book quite quickly. I didn’t get hung up on any details. I do think the main premise was a bit of a stretch. I kind of wished the creature they were after was easier to identify. I know it had to be something we have in our world today but I had trouble making a connection.
I think it would have made more of an impact if I knew what they were talking about. In that day and age it was common to mistake certain animals for mythical creatures. They gave these grand ideas and names to these creatures because they didn’t know better. I wanted to be able to say, “Oh, okay, I can see how they saw that as this.”
I have this book four stars on Goodreads. I think if there had been a stronger end I would have given it a full five stars.
“I want to understand things. I want to answer every question ever posed me. I want to leave no room for anyone to doubt me.” (pg. 48)
“….it’s hard to be raised in a world where you’re taught to always believe what men say without doubting yourself at every step.” (pg. 69)
“But one can only spend so long booklets in the company of another human before one feels compelled to make conversation.” (pg. 210)
“You refused to let me – or anyone! – like books and silks. Outdoors and cosmetics. You stopped taking me seriously when I stopped being the kind of woman you thought I had to be to be considered intelligent and strong.” (pg. 246)
“So if you can’t win the game, you have to cheat.” (pg. 297)
October was a steady month for me. There hasn’t been a ton going on. The colder weather has created a great reading atmosphere. I do know that my posting schedule has slipped a little. I didn’t post nearly as much as I would have liked but that will be a trend until after November I am sure.
I am up to 47 books read for the year, that is a record number for me. I love to read but I can’t always find the time. This month I read four books and all of them were great. I read a few that I have been dying to read all year and nothing disappointed me. I am hoping to keep up this trend throughout the coming months!
Books I read:
Vengeful – V.E. Schwab – This was a great sequel to the first book. I love these books because you fall for characters who are not good people. They are not supposed to be either. I find it fascinating how Schwab is able to make you feel sympathy for “villains.”
Realm of the Reaper – K.A. Applegate – I am still loving my reread of this series.
The Hate You Give – Angie Thomas – This is one of those books that everyone needs to read. The insights it gives to our current time is invaluable.
What If It’s Us – Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera – I have been anxiously waiting for this book for months. It was exactly what I wanted, a sweet and adorable love story.
The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley – Shaun David Hutchinson- Review
Book Tag: It’s Finally Fall
Down the TBR Hole #10
Vengeful – V.E. Schwab – Review
Realm of the Reaper – Everworld #4- K.A. Applegate – Review
The ABC Challenge (B)
The Hate You Give – Angie Thomas – Review
The Spooky Would Your Rather Book Tag
What If It’s Us – Adam Silvera & Becky Albertalli – Review
I haven’t watched too much TV this month but I have been wanting to watch the new “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” show. I have heard mixed things about it. Has anyone watched it? What do you think?
I enjoy certain type of puzzles. There are ones that I love called Conceptis Puzzles. They are slightly like Sudoku but involve filling in blocks to make a picture. I have found a new type that are sticker puzzles. You take the stickers and they go in certain places to make a picture. I love them! I love doing these things because they are logic puzzles but are also entertains to do.
Do you have favorite logic puzzles you like to do?
How was your October? Productive? My November is going to be insane so that wrap-up post should be fascinating!
Ben and Arthur have a chance meeting in a post office. Arthur stumbles over his words, completely out of his element. Ben is just trying to mail his ex-boyfriend his things back. What is the universe trying to tell these two? Can you be destined for the one you run into for a moment? How can they make this work? Should it work?
I had to get this book the moment I heard about it. I adore Adam Silvera. His books are among some of my favorites. He has a way of making you feel deeply for his characters. Normally his books are extremely emotional, while Becky Albertalli’s book are sweeter, cuter romances. I was very interested to see how these two could create one story.
I liked that you couldn’t tell this was written by two different people. Sometime when a book is coauthored you can hear the different writing voices. I have been able to tell before just by word choice and way the story flows. In this book everything flows right. It probably helps that each of them wrote one of the characters. Silvera wrote Ben and Albertalli wrote Arthur. They were each able to give the characters their own personalities while keeping the story as one complete and whole story.
I will say I liked Arthur better in this book. Arthur was just adorable. He was this guy who had no idea what he was doing. He kept describing himself as having “no chill,” and there could be no better way of saying it. He was always stumbling over himself and his words. He was a lost little puppy just trying to figure out this new world around him. I thought he was adorable. I loved the way he tried so hard.
I liked the theme of this story, that the universe had some part in the relationship of these two. They meet in a post office but don’t exchange numbers. They then have to go through an elaborate scheme to find each other. I am someone who constantly talks about how “the universe,” needs to do this or that. I liked that they equated parts of their relationship to being done for them.
As the story moves forward you realize it is the work done by them that makes this work. For all their talk about the universe they do what needs to be done to make this whole thing work. I liked the way these two idea flowed into one another.
All of the references to Harry Potter, Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen were awesome. As a lover of all three of those I adored the shout outs and references. It was nice nod to those popular things.
I know that the end of this book is a diverse one. I will say that I adored the end. The end, to me, fits perfectly with this story. It is real. It makes sense for their age. It also fits perfectly with the theme of the universe having a controlling force in their lives. I don’t want to go into too much more detail but the end works well because of how real it felt.
I wasn’t as thrilled with Ben’s character as I was with Arthur. While he did end up growing on me at first he was a bit annoying. He seems a bit self centered and that was bothering me. You could tell that at first he didn’t quite want to be with Arthur. I felt like he was so hung up on his ex that he was being a jerk to Arthur.
I wanted him to just give Arthur a chance. I felt like he was acting like he was obligated to be with him, even though he searched for him. In the beginning I had a lot of trouble reading him and I didn’t like the way he talked with Arthur. In the end he did grow on me and I thought he was good for Arthur but it was that start that made me a bit unhappy with his attitude.
There was nothing in the book that threw me out of the story. It flowed well. The characters were good, Ben grew on me. The story made sense and I felt ended just as it should have ended.
I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads because I loved the sweet story. It was just a nice story to read.
“We’re not old-school Catholics who live by the Bible and convientienly ignore all the verses that contradict the hate coming out of their mouths.” (pg. 67)
“You start with nothing and maybe end with everything.” (pg. 148)
“Except it’s not over, because Arthur and I have to carry this around.” (pg. 242)
“I don’t like that the same world that brought us together is also scaring him.’ (pg. 243). (This scene in the train is what ultimately changed my opinion of Ben).
“Maybe it’s all about people coming into your life for a little while and you take what they give you and use it on your next friendship and relationship.” (pg. 328)
“I don’t know if we’re a love story or a story about love.” (pg. 414)
It is almost that time of year again, National Novel Writing Month. It is a challenge to write a full novel in a month, or at least 50,000 words of a novel, in the month of November. The idea is to use the month to put yourself into overdrive and get out that first draft.
I have done NaNoWriMo since 2012. In that time I have only ‘won” twice. I tend to get stuck in the middle of the novel and fizzle out. I do enjoy the challenge though and this year the challenge is going to be much bigger than usual for me.
While I do plan on participating I know that my odds of even coming close to winning this year are very slim. Not only do I have a major work even, a Poetry SLAM for 26 teams with 400 kids that I am primarily in charge of planning, it is also my birthday month (I am turning 30), Thanksgiving and I have also decided to buy a house.
So the fact that I am going to add “write a whole novel in 30 days” to my list of a thousand things to do is a huge hurdle to jump. While I know that my odds of getting close to 50,000 words in the month are low, I do want to use this time to get as much down as possible. I like the challenge. I love the shared feeling of pushing towards a goal.
I do want to try to go to a few write ins though not sure when I’ll make time for that. NaNoWriMo for me this year is a more of a challenge to prove to myself that I can make time to write. I know my life is much busier than it has been in the past but that does not mean my writing has to suffer. I can make this work and I plan on showing myself that in November.
I also am going to try something else. Instead of handwriting everything I am going to try typing and see where that gets me. I will probably still handwrite pieces of it because I just love to handwrite when I write but because of time I may do most of it directly in typing in order to get closer. We will see if that gets me anywhere close to the story I have in mind.
If you are doing NaNoWriMo be sure to add me as a friend and maybe that will help me stay on track better! My name is on the site is Shmibby.
Are you doing NaNoWriMo?
Starr and her childhood friend Khalil make their way home from a party. The night takes a tragic turn when Khalil is shot and killed by a police officer. Starr is the only witness. Starr must decide how she wants to handle the situation. How she wants to speak out about what happened and who Khalil is as a person. She learns she has to use her voice, her weapon to make the changes that are necessary.
I have had this book sitting on my physical TBR shelf for a long time. I knew it was going to be a tough read, one that I had to be in the right mindset to read. It was just recently that I decided that I was in the right head space to be able to read this book and take in everything it was presenting.
Starr was a great narrator. I felt like I was close to her. I felt like I could easily understand her and her choices. We are presented with a young woman who is stuck in-between worlds. She lives in an impoverished neighborhood but goes to a wealthy private school. Her parents are making ends meets. They hold a devotion to their neighborhood and culture but also want to keep their children safe.
Starr states multiple times that she has to wear different masks depending on where she is. At her schools he has to be careful of how she speaks. She can’t use certain slang or a certain tone. She doesn’t want to be labeled as one type of person. She is very conscious of how she presents herself in that world.
At home she has to do the same thing. She is careful of what she says and how she acts, trying to not let out anything she talks about at school come out. She knows she has to be a certain person in this neighborhood too. She can’t be fully herself anywhere.
This was a tough part for me to read. She is always oscillating between different forms of herself. Reading about her trying to contain her emotions at school because she doesn’t want to be labeled as the “angry black girl,” was tough. I felt sympathy for her. No one, especially a kid, should have to always be watching themselves so people don’t label them as one way.
One of the things this book does so well is show you that there are so many different sides to a person and story. We have seen this story so many times in the news in the last few years. We always get the same way of interpreting the situation. The media gives us one story and doesn’t gives us the whole picture.
One of the things this book does so well is force to remember that you don’t know anyone in these stories. You don’t know these people and thus you do not get to pass judgement on them. A life is lost and that deserves to be respected. A few pictures do not tell a whole story. A few actions do not determine who a person is. What this book does is remind us that those who have been killed in these tragedies are human, just like anyone else. They deserve the same respect and dignity, period.
I also found the storyline with Hailey interesting. I know people who are similar to her. They make jokes, make comments not thinking about what they are saying. They think that if they don’t “mean” it, it doesn’t matter. They frame their actions through their own lens. They see their comments from their side but refuse to listen to the other side. They refuse to ask if what they said may hurt, refuse to see that they might have to change their thinking.
I thought this storyline was well done. You see Starr try so hard to make exceptions for this girl. You see Starr do all the work and finally realize that she doesn’t need to be the one doing the work. She doesn’t need to keep around a person who is narrow minded and refuses to realize that changing their thinking is needed.
There as nothing in this book that didn’t feel like it didn’t fit. It was a full story, it flowed well. I felt like I was sitting on the edge of this family’s life, watching as they navigate this complicated world. Their bound was strong and great to see. There was no forced happy endings. There was no forced ways of fixing the issues that weren’t realistic. You felt the connection between not only Starr and her family but also the neighborhood.
There nothing that did not work in this book. It was done so well.
I am white. I don’t live this life but I do work with kids who do. I work in an inner city at the schools. I hear these stories from their lips and this book helped me understand them even better. I gave this book five stars because it is one of those books that everyone needs to read.
“….people like us in situations like this become hashtags, but they rarely get justice.” (pg. 59)
“It is easier to find some crack than it is to find a good school around here.” (pg. 169)
(This line hit me hard. As someone working in after-school programming in these schools in order to try to help these type of situations this one really did hit hard).
“My bad. I didn’t know shoes determined somebody’s race.” (pg. 235)
“I wish people like them would stop thinking that people like me need saving.” (pg. 246)
“We let people say stuff, and they say it so much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us.What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?” (One of the main points of this whole book)
“They with a capital T. There’s Them and then there’s Us. Sometimes They look like Us and don’t realize They are Us.” (pg. 343)
I saw this challenge over on A Book. A Thought. I liked the idea of going through my shelves and thinking about some of the books that stick out in my mind. I have fun going through my shelves and picking out books. I found some that I want to reread soon.
Memorable Titles that Start with “B”
Beneath the Sugar Sky – Seanan McGuire – This was probably my favorite of this series so far. It was a fun, twisting story that I felt connected me best to the characters.
Blind Faith – Ben Eaton – I bought this when I was in London years ago. I remember it being about following a government without thinking for yourself. I need to read it again now and see how it relates to our time.
Because You Love to Hate Me – Various Authors- This was an interesting short story collection. It told stories from villain’s POV. Victoria Schwab has one about death that is just fantastic.
The Book Thief – Markus Zusak – This is a classic and it is as good as the reviews have said. It heart-breaking but in the best way possible.
Books Starting with “B” on my TBR
What are your opinions on some of these books? Any that you love?