Mirandom Reviews

August 16, 2016

This was the first Harry Potter book since book 4 that I missed the midnight release. I didn’t even pre-oder it! Crazy I know. But as soon as I found an open window to read it, I downloaded the book and closed the door. Deep in my gut, I knew that I...
This was the first Harry Potter book since book 4 that I missed the midnight release. I didn’t even pre-oder it! Crazy I know. But as soon as I found an open window to read it, I downloaded the book and closed the door. Deep in my gut, I knew that I would not put it down till I couldn’t keep my eyes open any more. Turns out that point came at 79%. Last night I finished Harry Potter and The Cursed Child and wanted to sleep on my review instead of jumping into it like normal.

With a book like this, avoiding reviews, comments, and criticism is hard. If I watched Game of Thrones (I know shocking that I don’t) I might be more used to such spoilers. I did try to avoid anything that might give the story line away too much and commenced avoiding anything HP related on social media.

Okay so let’s get right down to it. This latest installment was a script for a play. Which as a writer, I can appreciate on a whole new level. The dialog carried the story beautifully. I tend to be a bit heavy handed with the inner dialogue so to speak, so this was refreshing. What I loved about this play, was how it wasn’t afraid to break down walls of what “masculinity” should look like. Toxic masculinity dictates that men must act a specific way, in order to be considered an acceptable man. Not only has this damaged the way that society sees men, but it’s utter crap. TV, movies, and even books have added to this unacceptable macho man expectation we’ve all come to have of what a male to male relationship should look like and anything other outside of this new “norm” is labeled “gay” disparagingly so.

HP Cursed Child is what I consider a normal (wizardness aside) relationship expectations of two 14 year old boys. Why can’t they be kind to one another? Talk about feelings?  Pop culture has created insecurities and shame with regards to any sort of physical intimacy between men regardless of weather or not it is sexual. Meanwhile girls do it all the time and no one bats an eye. Instead of criticizing HP Cursed Child for “queerbaiting” why can’t we stand up and celebrate it instead? Do you know what this book did well, it portrayed a loving relationship between two fourteen year old boys. Weather or not their in love is neither her nor there. What does mater is bonds of their friendship.

Okay stepping off my soap box. See this is what happens when I start to read reviews before I write one. Grrr…

What I LOVED seeing, was the time-terner. I’ve read it as one of the top criticisms of the series. If they existed, why didn’t the ministry simply go back before it all started and stop xyz from happening. I loved seeing this in use and that alternate realities it created, including bringing back Snape, Umbridge, dementors. I loved who the question of weather Ron and Hermione really should be together sort of gets played with. I basically loved it all. I couldn’t put it down. Ron, Harry, Hermione are not the same as Scorpious and Albus. Nor should they be. Every character is who they are inherently are. I was glad to see that there wasn’t a case of reinventing our trio in some new generation.

Love it or hate it, I saw this book as a win. My biggest complaint, it was just too short.

August 9, 2016

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell is one of those rare books you stumble upon, so filled with magic, that it manages to change your world forever. I can remember having a small conversation with Rainbow Rowell on Twitter some time last year, but I’d...
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell is one of those rare books you stumble upon, so filled with magic, that it manages to change your world forever. I can remember having a small conversation with Rainbow Rowell on Twitter some time last year, but I’d yet to read any of her books. On a trip to the library, I’d came across a copy of Eleanor & Park and added it to my stack. Unfortunately I never got around to reading it, and had to take the book back.

When Audible had a sale on some titles, and this was E & P was one of them, I jumped at the chance to add it to my library. As my readers know, I’m an audio book fool. Especially if there’s a great narrator, and this book had two:     Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra.

I feel like I could tell you what this book is about, two outcasts fall in love but are torn apart by family and circumstance. But it doesn’t begin to do it justice. Maybe I’m a softy, and that chocolate gooey center is just a sucker for a great love story. I don’t know. This story was innocent, gripping, filled with first loves, and made me ache for something I haven’t felt in years. It was like stepping into a time portal and getting to experience all of that teenage angst for the first time all over again, this time without the homework.

I did a quick google image search for “Eleanor and Park” and came up with a slew of fan art. I wanted to show some of it off. It’s rare that a book moves people to such things, and when it does, I thin it’s worth sharing.  This first one, I believe is from a special release of the book, the others are from fans. Each of them are simply lovely.

It’s after reading a book like this, that I wish I was friends with the author. I want to call Rainbow up right now, and squee into the phone. I want to know where this came from, who the inspiration was, what her thoughts were. I want to know what she’s thought of doing since. Is there a film in the works. Could one ever do it justice by capturing the magic that was clear in the book. Ahhh well. Someday.

Until that day comes, please check out this book. If you’re up for young love done right, this is where you should start.

August 2, 2016

Don Tillman is looking for a wife, enter Rosie, she’s everything Don was trying to avoid. With the mishaps of a romantic comedy, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion will warm your heart and leave you wanting more.
This was one of those books that I’m...
Don Tillman is looking for a wife, enter Rosie, she’s everything Don was trying to avoid. With the mishaps of a romantic comedy, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion will warm your heart and leave you wanting more.

This was one of those books that I’m pleased I happened upon. It was unconventional and written with such a strong, unique, voice, it was no wonder I couldn’t put it down. Of all the books I’ve read this year, The Rosie Project has the strongest sense of voice bar-none. As a writer myself, there are certain things I look for in a book, and this was one of them. From the first pages Don sucks you in as he tells you his story. It’s easy to root for his successes, and morn his losses, even if he struggles to do the same for himself.

A little digging proved there’s a second book already published and potentially a third one on the way. In true Miranda fashion, I’ve already purchased the second and eagerly await the third. There is little doubt in my mind that the Rosie Effect, and whatever Graeme has named the third, will not be just as powerful as the first book.

Rosie is charming, Don is endearing. The antics between Gene and Claudia (Don’s only friends) are just as engrossing, and I’m dying to know if they’ve worked out their issues just as much as I want to know how married life is for Rosie and Don.

I was surprised to read, at the back of the book, that it was originally a screenplay. After five years of edits and rewrites and more edits and rewrites, The Rosie Project was born. I find tidbits like this encouraging. It’s nice to see that amazing authors didn’t just pull a fully formed book out their ass. It took hard work and long hours and commitment to create a piece of art, ready for the world.

This is a light summer read, that will not disappoint.

August 2, 2016

A truly good title will draw you in all by it self. I was at the local library when I saw this book for the first time. Not That Kind Of Girl by Lena Dunham. I picked it up based on title alone. Little did I realize it was a book of essays....
A truly good title will draw you in all by it self. I was at the local library when I saw this book for the first time. Not That Kind Of Girl by Lena Dunham. I picked it up based on title alone. Little did I realize it was a book of essays. Beautiful. The last book of essays I read was years and years ago, so I was looking forward to this one.

I was roughly half way through the book when I started to watch the television show Girls on a whim. A handful of episodes into the first season and it occurred to me that what I was watching was all a bit too familiar. Why? OMG. It hit me, I was reading a book by the creator of the show. Duh. What a lovely surprise, I had no idea. Thank you Lena Dunham.

If you look at my good reads account then you’ll see that I’ve been reading this book for months. In most cases, this is a bad thing, however with this book, it was a process of savoring it. From the very beginning Lena had me laughing out loud. There wasn’t a single essay that I didn’t gobble down quickly.

Lena Dunham is a talented, creative, writer. This book was smart, vulnerable, bold, and in your face. Let me sum it up this way. After two weeks with the library book, I ordered a copy of my own. Lena is an inspiration to both women and creatives alike. I love how unapologetically brazen she is. This was hands down one of the best books I’ve read all year. When the topic of non-fiction, essays, or people I admire come up, this is one of my go to topics.

Now go out and grab a copy for yourself please. Because Lean is so That Kind of Girl.

August 1, 2016

I met Pierce Brown before ever hearing about his series of books, the first of which is Red Rising. The cover blurb is what ultimately sold me,“Ender, Katniss, and now Darrow.” But where to begin with this review… I’m not entirely sure…
I decided to...
I met Pierce Brown before ever hearing about his series of books, the first of which is Red Rising. The cover blurb is what ultimately sold me,“Ender, Katniss, and now Darrow.” But where to begin with this review… I’m not entirely sure…

I decided to listen this book because I wanted to tackle it right away and I was in the middle of editing two books (which hinders my personal reading time a bit). I think my biggest hang-up came down to not liking the narrator for the audio version. I found his voices to grain on my nerves and ultimately even when I wanted to know what was going to happen, I’d roll my eyes at the idea of listing to more. When I decided to up the speed a bit, this helped dull the narrator’s voices a bit. In the end it took me quite a bit longer to listen to this book then it should have. This being said…

I enjoyed the book a lot. There were some places where I felt that it dragged a bit. I wanted it to move faster, to really get to the story and leave me in the thick of things. This happened a bit in the beginning, and during the time at the institute. Had I been reading a physical copy I’d have probably peak ahead to find out when it picks back up. Maybe even skimmed through the areas, I felt were too slow of a pace.

I did appreciate the beauty of the world that Pierce created. Stunning world building and that alone deserves recognition. From the caves of the hell diver, to the world of the golds, Pierce paints a world so vivid that I started to question where I was. True immersion in a book’s world is so rare.

I did find it a bit weird that Darrow was married. I had a hard time aliening the book in my mind as a YA, despite the fact that there was no reason it shouldn’t have been one. While it helped move the story forward, it still left a weird taste in my mouth. On the other hand, there were a number of twists that I hadn’t expected and found myself quite surprised, enjoying the ride.

In summation… I would not recommend listing to this audio book. Tackle this one old school, page by page with a paperback, or digital edition. Would I read the next book in the series? Yes, I think I will. It’s a bit short and sweet today, but sometimes that’s all that’s needed.

July 18, 2016

I’m not really a comic book person. At the end of the day, there just are not enough words. I want more out of the story than I feel a comic or a graphic novel can provide me. My sister, Mel, however is an avid comic book nerd. She can school just about any dude we’ve encountered on the ins and outs of just about every superhero not to mention the hundreds of non-superhero comics available. Maybe not so ironically, she’s not a big reader.

Like a drug dealer, I push books on everyone I meet. I’m always recommending this book or that one, depending on the person’s tastes. It helps that I’ll read just about anything under the sun. I’m always trying to get Mel to read something new. Testing the waters with a new title as often as I catch her in the same room long enough. In recent years she’s tried to turn me to comics.

I’ve read a small handful of what she considers to be the best of the best. It pisses her off that I don’t even agree with her half the time, but once in a while she catches my attention with something new and fun.

Enter: comiXology

I downloaded this new app onto my tablet called comiXology. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s an app to read comics and graphic novels from. You can buy digital versions of basically anything and application has painted software that moves through each panel smoothly. They also have a free trial of their monthly subscription service where you can read a number of their “unlimited” titles. Now, I could give a rats ass if you choose to subscribe to them, I’m just telling you how I’m reading these titles. As someone who doesn’t really want to invest in graphic novels that I probably won’t like, $5.99 a month is a steal. That being said…

I decided to use my free trial to peruse some new titles. I left several after a few pages because blah. Either the story wasn’t catching me or the pictures weren’t. But then I came across Scott Pilgrim. Like most of the world, I’d heard of Scott Pilgrim, but unlike most of the world, I’d never read it. So why the heck not.

It was very catchy. I was surprised in a good way that the story moved with ease and mostly that I wanted to know what was going to happen next. Side note: I’ve also never watched the movie. But after reading the first graphic novel, I’m set on reading another and finding the movie.

Okay so one point Mel. Who knew that I’d find something I’d like all on my own.

So I’m pursuing the titles again and I come across: Sex Criminals. We both know that title caught your attention too, let’s not pretend it didn’t. The clincher was that Pat Rothfuss and Wil Wheaton both loved this book too when I looked it up. How could I go wrong?

I was not disappointed! Best Graphic Novel I’ve read probably ever. Not that I’ve read that many, but still. It had a crazy amazing story, the art was beautiful, and at the end of the day I just really enjoyed it. Providing that reading about two people who have the ability to stop time by having sex doesn’t bother you, than I’d highly recommend checking this book out!

Secret? I’d probably even buy the whole set to own in book format. Shocking I know. 2 points Mel. Now, if I can only find something that will grab her attention long enough to even the score.

June 9, 2016

At the 2016 Emerald City Comicon, I met Sylvain Neuvel. He was so quiet and shy, and cradled in his hands was a copy of Sleeping Giants. I heard about a large number of books that were coming out, or had already come out via the con. I was given an...
At the 2016 Emerald City Comicon, I met Sylvain Neuvel. He was so quiet and shy, and cradled in his hands was a copy of Sleeping Giants. I heard about a large number of books that were coming out, or had already come out via the con. I was given an even larger number of books to take home and read. But this was the only one that I was truly excited about. Sylvain even gave me a copy of his new book.

I had to wait to read it of course, because book rules dictate that no one reads my autographed and special release books. I’m one of those crazy book people who put them up on their own shelve and they stay in the most pristine condition ever. Someday I’d like to have a glass cabinet in which to display them all… oh dreamland, you’re the best.

Last week I downloaded a copy of Sleeping Giants from audible. It’s read by a full cast of people. The book is written through a number of case studies, journals, logs, etc. as it follows a few specific characters. 20 years have passed since a giant glowing hand was found in the earth, cradling a child. Now a secret government agency is uncovering all the missing parts of what appears to be a  sleeping giant. Is it alien? Will it cause havoc or peace? Who is the nameless man pulling the strings?

I am still reeling from this book and I finished it yesterday. The ending has me seeing stars and I saw nothing coming. NOTHING. I’m usually quite good at predicting how a book will progress and the ultimate ending, however Sleeping Giants kept me at the edge of my proverbial seat until the very last page. The log entries helped keep up the suspense and had me clawing for the next time I’d hear from a specific character.  I don’t even want to tell you more about the book, because it’s that good. I don’t want to spoil any of it for those who might pick it up. It’s rare for a book to come along and keep the suspense up for so long. I bow to you Sylvain.

When I reached about an hour from the end, I had to find out if there was more. Was this it? Could he wrap up such a large, cultivated, interact story so quickly? Nope… of course not. This is book one of three. Ahhh… ding ding ding, it all makes so much sense. There was no way this could be it. Simply put, I need more.

Like a lot more.

June 3, 2016

For those of you who follow, I started this book a couple of months ago. Generally speaking I’m a much quicker reader and often this when I struggle it is due to disinterest or distraction of some other shinny new book. In this case, it was the later. Let’s face it, everyone knows that anything by Stephen King is quite the undertaking. This was no exception.It might have taken me longer to get through, but it did not take away from what I consider one of his best pieces of work. I have this weird fascination with history and people and in a lot of ways, 11.22.63 fulfills all of my book loving dreams.

George…err… Jake (because who doesn’t want a secret Identity?) is an English teacher who finds himself in an interesting position, a doorway to the past has landed in his lap. If you could change history for the better, would you? With some persuasion, Jake goes back in time to stop the Kennedy Assassination. In theory, if he’s able to prevent it from happening, by killing Oswald, the entire world would be a different place. But will it be a better place or will the butterfly effect wreck havoc and destroy  Earth as we know it?…

Filled with a generous heaping of 1960s history and a side of time travel, King sent me back in time with Jake to an America of long ago.

Like many of you out there, I picked up a copy of this book when it first came out. It sat on my shelf for a long while, and when the television show came out I was hooked.

One episode in and I knew that I had to read the book. By episode three I was buying the audio version to go along with it and by episode 6 I’d nearly made it half way through the audio book. Right along with the mini series I had to know what was going to happen. What was different? Was it better or worse then the other? I couldn’t even decide until I finished both.

For a shortened ride, high highs, low lows, go with the television show. For the full effects of a mind bending tale that will warp your mind and have you craving more, read the book. Of course read the book. Like there was any other options.

May 30, 2016

Dream A Little Dream’s psychedelic story has been a long standing favorite in my DVD collection.  If it was ever released to Blu-Ray, I’d be all over it. Outside of Wil Wheaton, which I’ve talked in length about in the past, Corey Feldman was my other childhood crush. Heck, I told the world I’d only go to my high school reunion if Corey Feldman would be my date. Needless to say, I never got in touch with Corey, and I did not attend my reunion.I sort of came across Coreyography by coincidence. I’m the person who can spend hours looking for a movie on Netflix and never decide to watch anything becuase it was more fun to look at titles then to pick something. I can do the same things with books. I can spend hours looking up titles, must read lists of varying genera and topics, I can wander a book store and be lost for good. I was on one of these rampages when I came across this book. Of course, with my long time love affair of Dream A Little Dream, and Corey, I bought it right away. Downloaded both the kindle version as well as the audible audiobook  because Corey Feldman reads it. How better to enjoy a book then when it’s read by the author.

Maybe it is my fascination with people’s lives that caused me to gobble this book in just a few days, or maybe it was because it was a genuinely well written book. Either way, it was an interesting read.

Corey Feldman talks about everything from his best friend, Corey Haim, to Michael Jackson, his film carrier, his family, and his and Haim’s sexual abuse as a child stars in Hollywood. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Corey didn’t dwell on any one topic too long, leaving me both wanting more and moving to the next event keeping me engaged until I’d finished the book. It felt like the tip of an iceberg, you know there’s depths undiscovered but you awe in what you can see.

There is little doubt to any of us that some people in this world have lived very hard, yet fascinating lives. I am glad to read that despite the abuse, the struggle, the loss, that Corey Feldman continues to thrive and make a positive impact on society. I was lost in his words until the very last page. Chalk it up to a 30 year fondness, or someone who can legitimately tell a story and keep his reader engaged.

 

May 25, 2016

**** SPOILER ALERT – While I won’t spoil this book for you, it might spoil Before You a bit. I’ll try not to give too much away, but you’ve been warned *****After You by Jojo Moyes

When I finished reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, I was a bit surprised to see that there was a sequel. If you’ve read the first one you’ll know why I’m scratching my head a bit, but heck. I’m game for just about anything so bring it on.

While I enjoyed this book, it wasn’t what I was expecting. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but I can see why I’ve heard/read some mixed reviews.

To me, the first book felt like it was about finding happiness. In a lot of ways the second is the same, finding happiness through pain. The biggest different is that the first book was the secondary main character was searching and the second time, it was our main character. The majority of this book is Lou working through the grieving process. Jojo Moyes does a beautiful job of showing that grief comes in all forms, and so through the eyes of various side characters. I couldn’t always keep them straight but it never seemed to matter.

After the ending of the last book, you can’t help but wonder what happened to Louisa Clark. Did she pick up the pieces? Did she go on grand adventures? Did she really live? Were left thinking maybe, as we leave her sitting in a Paris cafe. In After You some of our questions are answered. Lou did go and travel, she tried to pull herself together, only in the end she failed. She failed so hard that one night she drank to much and fell off the roof of her condo building. Ouch!

What we do learn though, is even through life’s obstacles, if we seek the things that make us happy, sometimes with enough luck, we can have them.

Did I like part two as much as part one? No. Was I glad that I read part two? Yes. Was it a lovely book where I got to spend several more hours with characters that jump off the pages? Yes. Without a doubt.

May 4, 2016

By now most of you know that I’m a sucker for watching movies and I’m a sucker for a good book. When the best of both worlds lands in my lap, well… I simply can’t resist. While I haven’t actually seen the movie yet, haven’t you watched a movie preview and just known you were going to love it? I’m hardly wrong about these things, so after watching the preview for Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, I bought the book.I want you to keep in mind I never read the back of the book or a single thing online. Yes I live under a rock. I let the preview speak for itself. I knew going in that this was a love story between a caregiver (who maybe didn’t know so much about care giving) and man who was paralyzed. Oh and bumblebee stockings. Somehow those played in to to the book, I just knew it.

Me Before You was profoundly moving. Not in a Nietzsche sort of way but in a The Fault in Our Stars sort of way. It was unexpected and it snuck up on me.

Lou is the newest caregiver to a quadriplegic, he is the last man Lou ever thought she’d love. Will was a daredevil and after an accident that left him wheelchair bound, he is ready to take his own life.  Can these two find happiness or is death the only answer?

I wanted to know the answer to this question with every page of the book. It’s a rarity to find a story that is both captivating and leaves me wondering how it will all end. Usually there is a bit of give, and you know that the couple will end up together, it’s a trope. But I wasn’t sure with this one. Not till the very last page.

I’m not going to tell you what happens, because even though there have been 5 million copies sold, I won’t give it away for other rock dwellers. It’s too special to ruin. What I will say is, if you are looking for a new kind of love story, one that will move you to tears, look no further.

June 1st I will be at the theatre, to see if the movie lives up to the book. I’ll let you know if it does.

March 20, 2016

The Juniper Wars: Dandelion IronBy Aaron Michael Ritchey

Reviewed by Miranda Boyer

I had to look up the the last Aaron Michael Ritchey book I had the privilege of reading; it was back in June of 2015. Nearly a year ago, I finished Long Live the Suicide King and I’ve been itching at that empty part of me waiting for the next piece of fiction from Ritchey so that I might get my fix.

This time last year I met Ritchey and he told me about this wonderful new series he was writing. The way his face lit when describing a futuristic post-apocalyptic cattle drive was worth a thousand words. You can imagine my surprise and delight when I received an ARC of The Juniper Wars: Dandelion Iron. I breathed a little easier knowing that after many long months, the wait and come to an end.

The year is 2058 and the Sino-American War caused many problems for the world. The first and arguably the biggest problem was the Sterility Epidemic, causing 9 out of 10 men to be sterile as well as 9 out of ten births to be female. The second largest problem was due to the Yellowstone Knockout. New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and Montana, as well as the edges bleeding into bordering states have no electricity. This makes up what is known as The Juniper, the wildest most dangerous part of the world. While the rest of civilized society moves on and embraces technology, cures cancer, and are working hard to save the earth; those in the Juniper are left to function in the dark ages of what resembles the old west.

In Dandelion Iron, book one of six in the Juniper Wars series, we meet Cavatica Weller. She has fully embraced civilized life and going to school in the city. She’s even made peace with the fact that she’ll probably never have a boy of her own. Until her gunslinging sister Wren shows up at her school forcing her to run for her life back to the Juniper. Her oldest sister Sharlotte is holding down the family ranch, with bad news to bare. In a last ditch effort to save the family ranch, Cavatica and her sisters will take on the most dangerous outlaws the Juniper has ever known.

During this Firefly-esk book, a rare viable boy who falls from the sky. Literally. Only how much do the Weller sisters know about him? Wren wants to sell him for the millions he’s worth while Cavatica has fallen head over heals in love and Sharlotte is caught in between. It’s easy to forget how emotional teenagers are when you no longer suffer with the highs and lows of teenage hormones, when everything is life or death. In this case though, the world really is life and death and falling in love with a strange boy who fell from a zeppelin makes it just a bit harder. Or is easier?

There is a strong dance in Dandelion Iron around what is right and what is wrong. The world starts a little black and white for Cavatica. She tends to see things strongly one way or the other, despite her own internal reservations. As the book progresses, we see her start to listen to the internal voice that tells her the world isn’t so black and white as she once thought. I have little doubt that we won’t see more of this as the series progresses.

This book is about so much more than everything I’ve said before. It’s also about family, three sisters who could not be more different if they tried. But whose love and commitment to one another keeps them together. Dandelion Iron is a coming of age story and while I don’t know for sure, I would guess that it’s the beginning of something much bigger to come.

Ritchey’s writing never ceases to delight. His pros never fail to pull at the heart strings, and promote strong visuals. Ritchey’s work is the perfect example of showing a reader the story with words and not telling them outright. Everything from the landscape to each character has been developed so completely that it is all as real in my mind as if I’d witnessed everything myself. English teachers everywhere will be proud.

Now if you’ll please excuse me for a couple of days, I have book two to melt into next and I’m dying to know what happens to the Weller sisters and their beefsteaks out in the Juniper.

Juniper Wars: Dandelion Iron

Release date: April 11, 2016

Pre-order it today by clicking here!

March 20, 2016

The Night CircusBy Erin Morgenstern

Reviewed by Miranda Boyer

I’ve picked up The Night Circus twice now. The first time, I was so completely and utterly thrown by the way it was written, that I got distracted by it. I’ve never read a book told in such a way. This only stopped me a short time though, before I found myself picking it back up again. I only made it 50 pages the first time. It’s a thing I do, give every book 50 pages before calling it quits. In my experience, many books need a little extra time and they are so worth the time. But if you’re not completely drawn in by that point then move along. After all there are millions of books in the world, and I only finish about 50 or 60 a year. I like to think that the 50 or 60 I do finish were worth the time. Besides, this book was calling me. I read 50 pages and walked away. Only it haunted me and called my name.

The Night Circus can best be described as Romeo and Juliet meets a circus filled with magic. It is the tale of two very old, very great magicians (for lack of a better word). They have to extremely different takes on how to manipulate the world around them. So much so that they have created a test or a game out of who’s way is better. Enter Marco and Celia.

Marco and Celia come from “two houses”, or two schools of thought. Pitted against one another to be the best, each plays their part well in the circus. Until they fall madly in love. With a backdrop of characters making up the company, the guests, and time, Marco and Celia must bend all the rules to break free of the game and follow their hearts.

I truly enjoyed this book far more then I anticipated. I tend to shy away from things that are overly popular and maybe that was my reason for shying away form this book for as long as I did. I’ve been entranced for days now and all I keep thinking is how beautiful it would be to attend a proper circus, a night circus. I imagine that nothing will live up to the images painted by Erin Morgenstern in my mind. The love letters that Marco and Celia send to one another in the form of circus tents, magic mazes, and wishing trees… I don’t know that any real circus could live up to this romanticized version.

There was part of me that wondered how different would The Night Circus be from say Water for Elephants. I loved that book as well for many different reasons. It was grounded in history and the former took a turn for mysticism. In the end, I will recommend this enchanting tale for years to come.

March 2, 2016

By Jim Butcher Reviewed by Miranda BoyerI called it! I told you all about my book three theory. When book number one is epic, often book twos fall a little flat. I think in a lot of ways that we have just huge expectations about what we want and we are always a little let down. I rarely read a good book two but always push through them for book three. Because book threes are nearly always where the money is!

Jim Butcher’s Grave Peril was no exception to the three book rule. This book took off in a way that the other two couldn’t touch. I found the lack of Agent Murphy in this book to be the only real disappointing part. There was more of Susan then I would have liked too. Not that these stories are all about the romance, they are far more slay the dragon. However there are romantic connections and I just don’t feel it when it comes to Susan and Harry. Like at all. I am really rooting for Agent Murphy in this one. In the end I guess maybe we won’t see Susan so much anymore but it doesn’t change the fact that she was sort of a big part of this book.

I’m guessing that we won’t see to much of the Never Never again until book 5. Harry has a year until his Godmother can got after him and there seems to be between 6-9 months between each book (in book time that is). Yea, I’d guess maybe well see more Never  Never in book 5. Also MORE MURPHY!!!!

Bring on book 4 people, bring it on!

February 26, 2016

I’ve read a lot of negative reviews with regards to the reboot Fuller House. I don’t know about you, but every day after school I would come home, throw my backpack down and turn on channel 12. To be fair it was the only channel we got. BUT, it had Full House, Saved By The Bell, and an array of other wonderful (and often trashy) 90s TV. I watched it every single day. In more ways then I ever imagined this show hits close to home today then it ever did as a child. I simply love it.So lets recap a little since they went off TV, now that 29 years have passed and everyone has grown up. The first episode was all about reintroducing the gang.

DJ’s husband was a fire fighter who passed away on the job, leaving DJ with their three sons. Stephanie (aka DJ Tanner) is a DJ, and traveling goddess. Danny and Rebeca are hosting a morning show in LA, I don’t remember what Jesse is doing… but the twins are in collage. Joey is in Las Vegas doing 10 shows a week. Steve is a divorced podiatrist and still every bit in love with DJ. Kimmy is also divorced, (or will be soonish?) a party planner and has a daughter of her own.

Everyone is moving on and DJ is staying in San Fran with her babes. When the gang over hears her crying upstairs with Tommy, her youngest, on the baby monitor EVERYONE offers to stay and help. Family. Stephanie tells them no, that it’s her turn to step up and Kimmy offers her help too. By the end of the episode, I had happy tears of nostalgia and love.

There were a couple of great moments, such as when Stephanie asked where Michelle was and Danny says, “She’s in New York too busy with her fashion empire, but she says hi.” Every cast member stairs into the screen for a long moment giving the live audience and myself a good laugh.  Or when DJ’s middle child says, “I already know the bad words, dumb, booger, and Donald Trump.”

The thing is, yes it might be a bit unrealistic, but the show pokes fun at that. Everyone went on to do big things and honestly we want nothing less from them. Sure it’s probably a bit unlikely but who cares?! I don’t, I love that at the end of the day everyone did well for themselves. There is something so American about dreaming big. Television shows like Full House taught morels, talked about real family issues, and at the end of it all, they were there for each other. Basically, say what you want, I loved it.

February 16, 2016

Fool Moon by Jim ButcherSo this is my second Jim Butcher novel. If there is one thing I can say about the man’s writing is that he has some of the best one liners. Like “I wanted to hold her. I wanted to clean the stains inside of my head.” There’s another one about the barrel of a gun that will come back to me tomorrow after I’ve posted this blog. But it was good.

The first book Storm Front focused on a rouge wizard who was using Chicago based storms to wreck havoc on the city. Fool Moon was about rouge ware-wolfs (of which there are seven verities) killing various citizens. The common denominator with both novels is the big bad who’s supporting or training the various other baddies has yet to be be explored.

Both books are written as a sort of a sifi cop drama. There is no point in which Harry, our main character, takes a breath. It is literally go go, go. There is no point in which you want to stop and take a breath. There is no point in which you can. I just had to and every time it was hard.

So was book two better then book one? I didn’t think so. I enjoyed the character development. I think there is something between the main investigator and Harry and I’d love to see that develop a bit more. I’m sure it won’t be for a long time.  I have this theory about books, movies, etc that the second of something is never as good as the first, but by the third the creator has figured out how to make it good again. Now, I’m in no way saying book two was bad, just that I preferred the first. Now, that being said, I can’t wait to read book three. If my theory serves it will be freaking epic!

February 7, 2016

Storm Front by Jim ButcherI’ve owned a copy of this book for like a thousand years. A good friend recommended the series to me way back when there were a quarter as many books as there are now. And just think, had I taken his advice to heart I would have just gobbled down the latest book, not the first. Ah well such is life sometimes. This is most defiantly the year of reading all the old books I never touched for one reason or another.

So way back when, I had a hard time getting into the first book let alone the whole series. I’m not even really sure why in all honesty, but I’m glad that I gave it another go because wow! This book was go-go-go from the very beginning. It’s like it never stopped to breathe. Sometimes I think I stop to breathe too much in my books, and this was the extreme opposite. It was refreshing, I laughed, I was shocked at one point, I was kept wondering page after page.

I read that this was Jim Butcher’s first novel and all I have to say is how impressed I am. Everything comes back around.

I know this is an extra short review. Sometimes that’s just life. I did start book two today, so maybe there will be a bit more depth to that review. Until next time.

February 1, 2016

Sinatra by Anthony Summers and Robbyn SwanThis biography qualifies for my 2016 reading challenge as the “book I own but never read.” I’ve owned two copies of this book, hard back and audio, for many years now but I never ‘found the time’ to read either. I think in part because of the size, I knew it would be a large time commitment.

Let me start first by saying: It was worth every single minute, page, word committed.

The authors Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, thoroughly researched this book. It’s been a long time since I’ve read such a strategically thought out biography. Truly. The structure followed (for the most part) from the beginning of Frank Sinatra’s life and his parentage through his death, with limited veering from the timeline. Sinatra managed to cover some hot topics such as: The Mob, JFK Life and Death, The Mob, All 4 Wives and 400 Mistresses, The Mob, Singing Career, The Mob, Acting, The Mob, His Charitable Nature, and even The Mob…again. I always wondered how deeply rooted Sinatra was with the Mob, and this biography paints a very colorful story I’m sure would make the very private Sinatra roll in his grave.

Summers and Swan made me reassess the love of my musical life, a little. Like every person breathing, Sinatra was human. As humans we all make mistakes and some of them are worse then others. Sinatra lived a very… is ‘active’ (pun only partially intended) the right word here?… a very unique life.

Musically speaking I was a bit on the sheltered side. Some might argue the opposite, my parents for sure but it wasn’t until I was 16 that I discovered life outside of 80s rock. This might be great for someone a few years older then myself but my formative middle and high school years were in the late 90s and early 2000s (graduating class of 2003 here). Growing up in the most north west corner of the united states meant that Canada was closer then Seattle, offered better hangout places, the only local TV and radio (also why my accent is accused of being Canadian – not that I’ll admit to having an accent in the first place). Which effected my choices of what to watch and listen too- also this contributed to missing a lot of the very popular types of music and TV (Meh). This combined with the cost of CD players in the 90s and my lack of radio control all equaled believing that the coolest music in the world was accessed through my parent’s record and CD collection. It was a lot of Guns and Roses, Heart, Meatloaf, Alice Cooper, Eagles, and Cindy Lauper. My first tape was a mix and my favorite song was Joan Jet’s version of Crimson and Clover. In fact I think I still have it in a box somewhere. So sweet 16 came along and I got my first car. To me, this meant control over the radio. Holly shit world, there is so much music! Gods forbid I run with the crowd on this one, no… I fell in love with Sinatra instead. So while my friends were in the world of boy bands (which is a funny story for another time) I was in love with Frankie Blue Eyes.

Reading this book meant taking the chance that I’d be so disgusted with someone I loved. But I guess that’s the thing about love. It means loving the person whole, flaws and all. Loving them for everything they are: good, bad, and the ugly. I worried for nothing. I still love Frank despite his severely rooted Mob ties, his drinking, the 400 mistress, and his often angry take on life. His music makes me swoon still today. I can’t help but stop whatever I’m doing to listen. A girl doesn’t take 10 years hunting down a specific record to find the only version of a song she loves, to fall out of love by some words in a book. Even if that book doesn’t always paint the man so nicely. While this post has taken a mind of it’s own, Sinatra was a gripping detailed portrait of a man the world loved through music and movies. I was no exception. While not always kind with words, the authors seemed to be as unbiased as possible in their work which I appreciated. At the end of the day when all is said and done, I would recommend it wholeheartedly.

January 9, 2016

I need to start by confessing that I think that I’m in love with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. This afternoon I went up to Bellingham for a girls day with my BFF. We went to Buffalo Wild Wings, which is probably one of my all time favorite restaurants. Who knew wings could be so yummy?! After we headed over to the the theatre and watched Sisters.How many of you out there have a sister? I can’t help but know that, in particular, girls with sisters will be nodding their head along in utter agreement because, they themselves have had many of those moments. Those who are only children or don’t have one might not find it as believable or simply might not get the ‘sister’ aspect of it all. As someone with sisters, I was not only nodding my head along but I know for fact when my sister (the one who is closer in age with me) watches this movie she will loose it in agreement.

There is something to be said for having a sister who you can bond over the silliest things with. While this movie had a few over the top moments, it didn’t take away from what was one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in a long time. I’m sure that somehow this movie has fallen through the cracks given all the Star Wars mania. Or maybe it hasn’t and I just live in a bubble. Which let’s face it, it’s probably the later of the two.

Amy Poehler plays Maura, who is always putting other people first. She’s the responsible sister, a nurse, who owns a house, has a good savings account, generally plays the party mom. I’ve been there.

Tina Fey plays Kate, who is the far more irresponsible party sister. She’s a hair stylist, who can’t hold a job, or track her daughter, without a place to live. She’s laid back but has a bit of a temper.

Ike Barinholtz plays the love interest of Maura, James. I love Ike from The Mindy Project and it was nice to see him in a bit of a more intelligent roll.

The three of them make a down right hysterical movie.  I even found myself crying from laughing too much, something I really needed right now given everything that’s been going on in my life. It was a nice escape and I recommend it to those who enjoy movies like Bridesmaid, Pitch Perfect, and anything that Tina, Amy or Ike have been in.

January 9, 2016

I froze my ass off waiting in line to buy tickets for Mocking Jay II. Who’d have thought after weeks of waiting for it to come to the small town base theatre I’d still have to wait outside?! Not me, that’s for damn sure. But really that’s a rant for another day.Mocking Jay II… So I’ve purposefully not read a single review of this film. I read the books right after the first Hunger Games came out in theatre. In fact, my roommate at the time had told me about the books about a year before. I’d never heard of them. I’m sort of a book cover snob (trust me, I know how bad that is) and since it looked very political thriller-esk I never got around to reading them – quickly forgetting the premise she’d told me about. Fast forward a year and I’m sitting in the theatre absolutely appalled at what I’m watching. Children killing one another wasn’t my idea of a good time. In the small town I was living in, there was only one reputable theatre at the time – two screens. If you wanted to see a movie, you just went and picked one – not always with many options. About half way through the movie, it was ringing bells in my mind of something I’d heard before. I of course went home and looked it up after and found that it was based on the first of a three book series. Needless to say, I read them all in less then three days – borrowing from various friends to get the job done.

So tonight I sat and enjoyed the final installment of a four part movie saga I read more then four years ago. While I remembered almost every moment of the book, I was still hoping the movie would feel fresh. Boy did it ever! I was pleasantly surprised at the way it was filmed. I felt like the last book was a bit rushed but they were able to take the time to express it all visually in this two part movie.

After the movie was over, my theatre companions asked me: Did Peta and Katniss actually have children at the end of the book? I was able to explain that yes they did. In the books, Katniss was so hell bent against ever getting married or having a family because it would mean that she’d bring life into a world of starvation, slavery, death, and the chance at torture in the Hunger Games. But by the end of the book, she’d found peace, and sacrificed nearly everything for it. Children at the end of the book and movie meant that life in the districts was peaceful and she was able to flourish. Enough so that bringing life into the world wasn’t a bad idea.

I wondered how Philip Seymour Hoffman’s roll was going to play out in the film knowing that he’d passed away before the filming was finished. Successfully it would seem, it didn’t feel awkward at all. Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson had outstanding performances. As I was walking out of the theatre these two Bro-Bro’s were walking behind me. “I don’t know why Katniss chose Peta over that hunky Gale.” “Seriously dude, Gale was way more buff then Peta.”

*Sigh* Clearly some people don’t understand.

The cinematography didn’t disappoint and in fact I (the girl who never gets jumpy) jumped when the mutts came out of the tunnels. I was on edge when the oil was rising. I got choked up when Finnick was getting married knowing it was only a matter of time before he was going to die. There are a lot of things that could be said about the these films, a lot of political statements. But at the end of the day, they are also simply good fiction. I feel like the film was able to do the book justice, it made me even want to re-read them all. Maybe this year I’ll do just that.

January 3, 2016

I just finished binge watching the first season of How To Get Away With Murder on  Netflix. Can I just say holey shit balls wow! I could not stop  watching, like at all. I was up till three am last night watching;  hooked doesn’t begin to explain it. I’m so  glad that I didn’t hear or read any spoilers, it made watching it that  much better! I went to Hulu in hopes of watching the first episode of  season 2 and of course it’s already gone. But they had a ‘clip’ from the  first episode, and of course I pressed play. Watched the preview of  Analiese getting shot and Wes running away from the scene of a crime.   So I’m like wow, Okay well can’t wait to get to watch it. I press the  back arrow and it doesn’t work. My remote has chosen this moment to stop  working. As those of you who have Hulu know, the next episode starts.  AHHH!!!!!! No, no, no, no!! Why?! Episode 5 has started to play and the  dame remote won’t cooperate! I had to jump up and pull the plug on my  FireTV because I was about to learn who killed Rebeca 5 episodes too  soon! That would not do… So while I  don’t want to know what happens, and I’m totes sorry if I’ve spoiled  anything, I simply had to say that I’m officially hooked and wanted to  share. That is all.
I just finished binge watching the first season of How To Get Away With Murder on Netflix. Can I just say holey shit balls wow! I could not stop watching, like at all. I was up till three am last night watching; hooked doesn’t begin to explain it.I’m so glad that I didn’t hear or read any spoilers, it made watching it that much better! I went to Hulu in hopes of watching the first episode of season 2 and of course it’s already gone. But they had a ‘clip’ from the first episode, and of course I pressed play. Watched the preview of Analiese getting shot and Wes running away from the scene of a crime.   So I’m like wow, Okay well can’t wait to get to watch it. I press the back arrow and it doesn’t work. My remote has chosen this moment to stop working. As those of you who have Hulu know, the next episode starts. AHHH!!!!!! No, no, no, no!! Why?! Episode 5 has started to play and the dame remote won’t cooperate! I had to jump up and pull the plug on my FireTV because I was about to learn who killed Rebeca 5 episodes too soon! That would not do…So while I don’t want to know what happens, and I’m totes sorry if I’ve spoiled anything, I simply had to say that I’m officially hooked and wanted to share.

That is all.

January 3, 2016

Yes Please by Amy PoehlerReviewed by Miranda BoyerIf  you can’t tell by now, I have a fascination with people. I love to  watch people, I enjoy knowing about their lives, the reasons why they do  things. It’s the reason I wanted to go to law school and some days  still do. The way that I satisfy my lawyer-esk cravings is by reading  autobiographies and biographies. Weird right? Like getting to peak into  someone’s life without having to go to law school, sort of. So the latest autobiography was Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. I  went about it the good ol’ audio format, I figured listening to Amy  read her book had to be funnier then reading it myself. I was pleasantly  surprised to find that one chapter was read from a comedy club, she had  several guests and it was a surprising delight. There was a large chapter or two dedicated to Poehler’s television show Parks and Recreation.  While I’ve never watched this show, I was still able to enjoy those  very humorous chapters. Amy takes us through her very middle class  suburbia life through her education and hard work, to the heart of her  story. We get to peek inside of her life and we get to take a glimpse of  who she is.
Yes Please by Amy PoehlerReviewed by Miranda BoyerIf you can’t tell by now, I have a fascination with people. I love to watch people, I enjoy knowing about their lives, the reasons why they do things. It’s the reason I wanted to go to law school and some days still do. The way that I satisfy my lawyer-esk cravings is by reading autobiographies and biographies. Weird right? Like getting to peak into someone’s life without having to go to law school, sort of.

So the latest autobiography was Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. I went about it the good ol’ audio format, I figured listening to Amy read her book had to be funnier then reading it myself. I was pleasantly surprised to find that one chapter was read from a comedy club, she had several guests and it was a surprising delight.

There was a large chapter or two dedicated to Poehler’s television show Parks and Recreation. While I’ve never watched this show, I was still able to enjoy those very humorous chapters. Amy takes us through her very middle class suburbia life through her education and hard work, to the heart of her story. We get to peek inside of her life and we get to take a glimpse of who she is.

December 26, 2015

In some ways, I’ve waited my entire life for Star Wars The Force Awakens.  Let’s face it, most of us can agree that the prequels were utter  failures for too many reasons to count. For me, this was this case  because of the way the films developed. Instead of leaning on the  characters to suggest relationships, histories, and backgrounds they  were all bagged up with a nice bow, explained for the masses to cover  the extensive backgrounds. The Force Awakens  finds itself on the complete and utter far side of the prequels in a  movie debate. From the very beginning without being out right told we  get to watch characters develop properly and unfold into our laps as a  feast for the eyes. The shear lack of exposition is a breath of fresh  air and brings these movies back to the heart of what they once were.  Despite the array of new cast, there is no trouble following who is  tapped into the force for good or the dark side. A wonderful and  surprising (as I didn’t read a single spoiler before watching the film)  charicter was First Order Stormtrooper FN-2187 a.k.a. Finn (John Boyega)  who rebels against the First Order to become his own person. There was  also Rey (Daisy Ridley) a desert planet Jakku scavenger, who I think we  all suspect has a much larger role to play in the grand scheme of  things. We can’t forget BB-8 who I fell head over heals with. There is a  beautiful scene where Rey is ridding a speeder across the vast  landscape of decaying ships from the past. There are also some  favorites, we see Carrie Fisher as Leia and of course Chewie and Han  Solo (Harrison Ford) are back in action as well. Now  let me attempt to side step my soapbox for a moment while I talk about  the women in this film. While I don’t always agree that Bechdel Test is  the best form of measurement when it comes to the integrity of gender  portrayal, but it is something that is a consistently used method for  film criticisms. That being said… The Force Awakens  passes the test where the most basic requirement is for two women to talk to each other about something other then a guy. Rey,  is this epic story’s heroine. I found myself pleasantly surprised when  Rey was in a fight with multiple male baddies trying to save BB-8 from  being taken. During this scene Finn starts to come to Rey’s rescue only  before he gets there he realizes that she doesn’t need saving at all.  Throughout the whole film Rey finds herself saving Finn. Never once is  Rey sexualised instead her character is strong, intelligent, independent  and able to save herself. The other  strong female is General Leia. This might be a rather clear attempt at  correcting the image of helpless slave bikini Leia from movies past.  Now, General Leia of the Resistance, she is independent, strong, and not  afraid to live her own kick ass life as she’s  even split from Han  Solo.  Maz (Lupito N'yongo) is an older,  wise woman, revered above many and very Yoda-esk. She was fantastic and  again not just there to chat about boys. While  I know there were others, the only other female to stand out to me was a  Chief Stormtrooper (Gwendoline Christie). I don’t recall in the past  ever seeing a Stormtooper clearly labeled as a girl. There is no  defining female body armor, which I appreciate, it’s armor after all and  doesn’t need to be sexual. In my personal opinion, I feel like for the first time the fandom spoke and the creators listened. The Force Awakens brings  back to screen the same magic that the original trilogy had, contains  strong females characters that weren’t simply sexual objects, and  developed in such a way that when you leave the theatre you’re begging  for more. I’ve been a Star Wars girl since I was five years old. It means the world to me that Episode VII was created so beautifully. P.S.I never even mentioned how wonderful Adam Driver was in this film! I  love him in Girls as well as a few other small rolls he’s had. It was  nice to see him here as Kylo Ren, the son of Liea and Han Solo. The  endless, and I truly mean endless number of cameos was fantastic:  Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Love Actually and Maze Runner), Ewan McGregor,  Mark Hamill, Frank Oz, Billie Lourd, Jessica Henwick, Bill Hader (as  BB-8), Simon Pegg (as Unkar Plutt!), Greg Grunberg, Mark Stanley,  Warwick Davis (who’s been in both Return of the Jedi & The Phantom  Menace) Even Daniel Craig played a Stormtrooper!
In some ways, I’ve waited my entire life for Star Wars The Force Awakens. Let’s face it, most of us can agree that the prequels were utter failures for too many reasons to count. For me, this was this case because of the way the films developed. Instead of leaning on the characters to suggest relationships, histories, and backgrounds they were all bagged up with a nice bow, explained for the masses to cover the extensive backgrounds.The Force Awakens finds itself on the complete and utter far side of the prequels in a movie debate. From the very beginning without being out right told we get to watch characters develop properly and unfold into our laps as a feast for the eyes. The shear lack of exposition is a breath of fresh air and brings these movies back to the heart of what they once were. Despite the array of new cast, there is no trouble following who is tapped into the force for good or the dark side. A wonderful and surprising (as I didn’t read a single spoiler before watching the film) charicter was First Order Stormtrooper FN-2187 a.k.a. Finn (John Boyega) who rebels against the First Order to become his own person. There was also Rey (Daisy Ridley) a desert planet Jakku scavenger, who I think we all suspect has a much larger role to play in the grand scheme of things. We can’t forget BB-8 who I fell head over heals with. There is a beautiful scene where Rey is ridding a speeder across the vast landscape of decaying ships from the past. There are also some favorites, we see Carrie Fisher as Leia and of course Chewie and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) are back in action as well.

image

Now let me attempt to side step my soapbox for a moment while I talk about the women in this film. While I don’t always agree that Bechdel Test is the best form of measurement when it comes to the integrity of gender portrayal, but it is something that is a consistently used method for film criticisms. That being said… The Force Awakens  passes the test where the most basic requirement is for two women to talk to each other about something other then a guy.

Rey, is this epic story’s heroine. I found myself pleasantly surprised when Rey was in a fight with multiple male baddies trying to save BB-8 from being taken. During this scene Finn starts to come to Rey’s rescue only before he gets there he realizes that she doesn’t need saving at all. Throughout the whole film Rey finds herself saving Finn. Never once is Rey sexualised instead her character is strong, intelligent, independent and able to save herself.

The other strong female is General Leia. This might be a rather clear attempt at correcting the image of helpless slave bikini Leia from movies past. Now, General Leia of the Resistance, she is independent, strong, and not afraid to live her own kick ass life as she’s  even split from Han Solo.

Maz (Lupito N’yongo) is an older, wise woman, revered above many and very Yoda-esk. She was fantastic and again not just there to chat about boys.

While I know there were others, the only other female to stand out to me was a Chief Stormtrooper (Gwendoline Christie). I don’t recall in the past ever seeing a Stormtooper clearly labeled as a girl. There is no defining female body armor, which I appreciate, it’s armor after all and doesn’t need to be sexual.

In my personal opinion, I feel like for the first time the fandom spoke and the creators listened. The Force Awakens brings back to screen the same magic that the original trilogy had, contains strong females characters that weren’t simply sexual objects, and developed in such a way that when you leave the theatre you’re begging for more.

I’ve been a Star Wars girl since I was five years old. It means the world to me that Episode VII was created so beautifully.

P.S.

I never even mentioned how wonderful Adam Driver was in this film! I love him in Girls as well as a few other small rolls he’s had. It was nice to see him here as Kylo Ren, the son of Liea and Han Solo.

The endless, and I truly mean endless number of cameos was fantastic: Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Love Actually and Maze Runner), Ewan McGregor, Mark Hamill, Frank Oz, Billie Lourd, Jessica Henwick, Bill Hader (as BB-8), Simon Pegg (as Unkar Plutt!), Greg Grunberg, Mark Stanley, Warwick Davis (who’s been in both Return of the Jedi & The Phantom Menace) Even Daniel Craig played a Stormtrooper!

December 22, 2015

If you couldn’t tell from my photos with Kevin, my three and a half  foot stall storm trooper, or the fact that I named my niece and nephew  Luke and Leia in my new(ish) column, I’m a bit of a Star Wars fan. I’m  no fanatic, or walking encyclopedia but I have a special bond with these  movies.The first live action movie I watched as a child is Star Wars Episode  4. I was about five years old, and my dad wanted to show me one of his  favorite movies, Star Wars. It seemed so magical and grownup. We sat on  the ground our backs to the couch so we would be eye level with our  over-sized wood grained boob-tube. He read aloud the yellow words on the  screen as they floated into space for the first time. The Storm  Troopers, Jabba, Chewie, Luke, Leia, Han, even cloud city was magic to  my young eyes.My dad has always been a huge movie buff; he trained me from a young  age in the art of finding both wonderful and wonderfully awful movies.  It wasn’t long before his favorites became mine and Star Wars was no  exception.In 1999 I was fourteen years old and I’d been counting the days until  Star Wars Episode 1 came out. Dad talked about his youth and how  important the movies were to him, the impact they had, the number of  times he’d watched them. I’ve heard how my mom wasn’t really a fan but  when they re-released the movies in theatre the two went and saw all  three together anyways. In a way, I hoped that the next three would be  as special to me as the first three were to him. When they finally came  out one after the next, my dad and I went to watch each of them in turn.  Forever I will think about my father when I think about Star Wars. I  don’t know that I could separate the two if I tired.Lets fast forward and the year is 2015, Disney has purchased Lucas  Films and they’re going to release another Star Wars, this time Episode  7. It should come as not great surprise that like the rest of the world,  I’m dying to see it. Only I live on a small little island and I’ve not  found the time to escape away to a bigger town to see it yet. Have no  fear, it just means that I get extra time to re-watch the first 6  episodes. Tonight is Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.For those who live under a rock, The Phantom Menace is a prequel to  the original three Star Wars movies that were released between 1977 and  1983.Where to start, where to start. Lets start with the most obvious, Jar  Jar Binks. When I was 14, I thought Jar Jar was fine. He was fun and  likable and I didn’t understand what the issue was. Now at 30 I find him  a bit distracting, annoying, and I’m wondering what the hell Lucas was  thinking. Now that that is done we can move on.This first movie moves a bit awkwardly. Unfortently I don’t feel like  there is enough Qui-Gon Jin (Liam Neeson) or Obi-Wan Kenobie (Ewan  McGregor). For that matter, Darth Mal feels under developed as well as  lacking in screen time too. It’s sort of like Lucas was too excited to  use updated special effects that he forgot about character development  and the emotional investment that movie goers want to put forth into  their characters. Unfortunately when there is a moment between  the characters, it often feels forced. As someone pointed out to me,  this film is missing a Han Solo or Luke Skywalker to provide the  audience connection we crave. I didn’t find myself rooting for anyone in  the ways I did 4,5, and 6.On the plus side, the pod-racing is top notch as was the ending. In  general the special effects are outstanding for the time. This movie has  far more in that category than the original 3 put together. The costume  design must be noted as well, in particular Queen Amidala’s. I don’t  remember if costume was ever nominated for an Oscar but I wouldn’t be  surprised if they were.At the end of the day, this was a lot of back story for characters  we’ve grown to love in later films. I have a soft spot for C3PO and R2D2  and in this film we get to see their beginnings. This is the beginning  of it all. I think that’s what makes this one so hard. In writing,  there’s a saying about back story: Cut it all out. While backstory is  fun for the author, and okay to draw on once in a while, most of the  time backstory is just not nearly as interesting to the reader. In a lot  of ways, these are my thoughts on this film. It’s nice to know, but  just not as good to the audience as it was to the creator.Fun fact: I’m pretty sure that at the one hour mark you can see Warwick Davis who plays Willow in the 1988 movie, Willow. Maybe I’m full of crap, but that’s what it looks like.Until tomorrow…
If you couldn’t tell from my photos with Kevin, my three and a half foot stall storm trooper, or the fact that I named my niece and nephew Luke and Leia in my new(ish) column, I’m a bit of a Star Wars fan. I’m no fanatic, or walking encyclopedia but I have a special bond with these movies.The first live action movie I watched as a child is Star Wars Episode 4. I was about five years old, and my dad wanted to show me one of his favorite movies, Star Wars. It seemed so magical and grownup. We sat on the ground our backs to the couch so we would be eye level with our over-sized wood grained boob-tube. He read aloud the yellow words on the screen as they floated into space for the first time. The Storm Troopers, Jabba, Chewie, Luke, Leia, Han, even cloud city was magic to my young eyes.My dad has always been a huge movie buff; he trained me from a young age in the art of finding both wonderful and wonderfully awful movies. It wasn’t long before his favorites became mine and Star Wars was no exception.

In 1999 I was fourteen years old and I’d been counting the days until Star Wars Episode 1 came out. Dad talked about his youth and how important the movies were to him, the impact they had, the number of times he’d watched them. I’ve heard how my mom wasn’t really a fan but when they re-released the movies in theatre the two went and saw all three together anyways. In a way, I hoped that the next three would be as special to me as the first three were to him. When they finally came out one after the next, my dad and I went to watch each of them in turn. Forever I will think about my father when I think about Star Wars. I don’t know that I could separate the two if I tired.

Lets fast forward and the year is 2015, Disney has purchased Lucas Films and they’re going to release another Star Wars, this time Episode 7. It should come as not great surprise that like the rest of the world, I’m dying to see it. Only I live on a small little island and I’ve not found the time to escape away to a bigger town to see it yet. Have no fear, it just means that I get extra time to re-watch the first 6 episodes. Tonight is Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.

For those who live under a rock, The Phantom Menace is a prequel to the original three Star Wars movies that were released between 1977 and 1983.

Where to start, where to start. Lets start with the most obvious, Jar Jar Binks. When I was 14, I thought Jar Jar was fine. He was fun and likable and I didn’t understand what the issue was. Now at 30 I find him a bit distracting, annoying, and I’m wondering what the hell Lucas was thinking. Now that that is done we can move on.

This first movie moves a bit awkwardly. Unfortently I don’t feel like there is enough Qui-Gon Jin (Liam Neeson) or Obi-Wan Kenobie (Ewan McGregor). For that matter, Darth Mal feels under developed as well as lacking in screen time too. It’s sort of like Lucas was too excited to use updated special effects that he forgot about character development and the emotional investment that movie goers want to put forth into their characters. Unfortunately when there is a moment between the characters, it often feels forced. As someone pointed out to me, this film is missing a Han Solo or Luke Skywalker to provide the audience connection we crave. I didn’t find myself rooting for anyone in the ways I did 4,5, and 6.

On the plus side, the pod-racing is top notch as was the ending. In general the special effects are outstanding for the time. This movie has far more in that category than the original 3 put together. The costume design must be noted as well, in particular Queen Amidala’s. I don’t remember if costume was ever nominated for an Oscar but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were.

At the end of the day, this was a lot of back story for characters we’ve grown to love in later films. I have a soft spot for C3PO and R2D2 and in this film we get to see their beginnings. This is the beginning of it all. I think that’s what makes this one so hard. In writing, there’s a saying about back story: Cut it all out. While backstory is fun for the author, and okay to draw on once in a while, most of the time backstory is just not nearly as interesting to the reader. In a lot of ways, these are my thoughts on this film. It’s nice to know, but just not as good to the audience as it was to the creator.

Fun fact: I’m pretty sure that at the one hour mark you can see Warwick Davis who plays Willow in the 1988 movie, Willow. Maybe I’m full of crap, but that’s what it looks like.

Until tomorrow…

December 21, 2015

Summer Sisters by Judy BlumeReviewed by Miranda BoyerFor the last 12 years, I’ve read Judy Blume’s Summer Sisters at  least once  a year - sometimes twice. There is something about this  story of friendship between two girls that resonates with me to this  day. Maybe this is in part because I grew up with sisters. Maybe it’s  because I’m still friends with my childhood girlfriend, my own summer  sister. For these reasons, this review won’t be as ‘typical’ as others. The  book follows Caitlin and Vix through the many ups and downs of their  lives from a friendship that started over summer vacation in the sixth  grade and lasted into their thirties. We get to watch these two girls  grow into women over the course of their summers spent together.  Supplementary we get to read the narration through many of the books  other characters. However, never once does Blume voice Caitlin, only  letting us see her through Vix’s rose colored glasses. The two are the  epitome of opposite attraction. Vix is prudent, introverted, perceptive,  hard working, and comes from a middle class working family. Meanwhile  Caitlin is far more irresponsible, extroverted, free-spirited, the apple  of everyone’s eye including her upper-class family.There are  many layers to this book and it seems that it doesn’t matter how many  times I read it, I’m able to take something new away. I was 18 when I  first read Summer Sisters. Back then I think I envied Caitlin a  little, relating much more to Vix. I envied Caitlin’s ability to let  loose, to travel freely alone, her gumption, the carefree way she viewed  the world. As I’ve grown it’s Vix who I envy. I moved away to a small  nowherevill town and fell in love. I was in love the the town, it’s  people, but mostly I was in love with the person that it turned me into.  Or as I’ve learned, the person I let myself become; stronger and more  independent. When I left the town and moved on with my life I traveled  the United States in my car, alone. I saw things, experienced things  that made me a better, stronger, wiser person. I didn’t feel like Vix  while living there. I’d let myself grow wild. But now, I crave stability  (I always have in one way or the other), I want to buy a home, I want  to make something of myself, I want things that feel out of my grasp but  I’m not going to let anything stop me from achieving my goals. I feel  thirty and much older, more experienced then the child who read Summer Sisters 12 years ago. I  guess what I’m saying, is that this is the sort of book that someone  can relate to repeatedly over the years, whether your sixteen or sixty.  I’m saying that if you’ve never read this book, that you should give it a  few hours of your life. It’s short but oh so sweet. It will leave you  wishing for a warm beach with an old friend.
Summer Sisters by Judy BlumeReviewed by Miranda BoyerFor the last 12 years, I’ve read Judy Blume’s Summer Sisters at least once  a year – sometimes twice. There is something about this story of friendship between two girls that resonates with me to this day. Maybe this is in part because I grew up with sisters. Maybe it’s because I’m still friends with my childhood girlfriend, my own summer sister. For these reasons, this review won’t be as ‘typical’ as others.

The book follows Caitlin and Vix through the many ups and downs of their lives from a friendship that started over summer vacation in the sixth grade and lasted into their thirties. We get to watch these two girls grow into women over the course of their summers spent together. Supplementary we get to read the narration through many of the books other characters. However, never once does Blume voice Caitlin, only letting us see her through Vix’s rose colored glasses. The two are the epitome of opposite attraction. Vix is prudent, introverted, perceptive, hard working, and comes from a middle class working family. Meanwhile Caitlin is far more irresponsible, extroverted, free-spirited, the apple of everyone’s eye including her upper-class family.

There are many layers to this book and it seems that it doesn’t matter how many times I read it, I’m able to take something new away. I was 18 when I first read Summer Sisters. Back then I think I envied Caitlin a little, relating much more to Vix. I envied Caitlin’s ability to let loose, to travel freely alone, her gumption, the carefree way she viewed the world. As I’ve grown it’s Vix who I envy. I moved away to a small nowherevill town and fell in love. I was in love the the town, it’s people, but mostly I was in love with the person that it turned me into. Or as I’ve learned, the person I let myself become; stronger and more independent. When I left the town and moved on with my life I traveled the United States in my car, alone. I saw things, experienced things that made me a better, stronger, wiser person. I didn’t feel like Vix while living there. I’d let myself grow wild. But now, I crave stability (I always have in one way or the other), I want to buy a home, I want to make something of myself, I want things that feel out of my grasp but I’m not going to let anything stop me from achieving my goals. I feel thirty and much older, more experienced then the child who read Summer Sisters 12 years ago.

I guess what I’m saying, is that this is the sort of book that someone can relate to repeatedly over the years, whether your sixteen or sixty. I’m saying that if you’ve never read this book, that you should give it a few hours of your life. It’s short but oh so sweet. It will leave you wishing for a warm beach with an old friend.

December 11, 2015

 Declaration (Optional Use) Wildflower By Drew BarrymoreReviewed by Miranda BoyerI’ve had a long love affair with Drew Barrymore. I’ve always felt this weird connection to her although we’ve never met. I even named my cat after her. But I promise this isn’t some crazy Taxi episode. But as you can imagine when I heard about Drew writing another biography I was super excited to read it.I decided to listen to Wildflower because what better way to get a sense of the author’s meaning then to hear them tell you and Drew didn’t disappoint. She has always been so full of life and it radiates off her during the reading. Wildflower reads more like a long love letter to the various people in Drew’s life then it does an autobiography. I guess in a lot of ways, she’s moved so far beyond the crazy young woman she once was and this is reflected in the book. I’ve always thought about writing a memoir myself, I’ve lived an interesting life and I’ve got some stories. But I’ve always worried that I would over praise some of the wonderful people in my life to make up for the bad. In a lot of ways this is what happened in Wildflower. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, it just is.  None of this changed how I feel about Drew. She’s the product of reckless parents in the worst sort of way. Drew later became a UN ambassador fighting for the right for children to get an education because she never did. She really puts her heart into everything she does, and I have a lot of respect for the woman.On the whole, if you like Drew, than I can’t see why you wouldn’t enjoy this very quick upbeat read.
Declaration (Optional Use)WildflowerBy Drew Barrymore

Reviewed by Miranda Boyer

I’ve had a long love affair with Drew Barrymore. I’ve always felt this weird connection to her although we’ve never met. I even named my cat after her. But I promise this isn’t some crazy Taxi episode. But as you can imagine when I heard about Drew writing another biography I was super excited to read it.

I decided to listen to Wildflower because what better way to get a sense of the author’s meaning then to hear them tell you and Drew didn’t disappoint. She has always been so full of life and it radiates off her during the reading. Wildflower reads more like a long love letter to the various people in Drew’s life then it does an autobiography. I guess in a lot of ways, she’s moved so far beyond the crazy young woman she once was and this is reflected in the book. I’ve always thought about writing a memoir myself, I’ve lived an interesting life and I’ve got some stories. But I’ve always worried that I would over praise some of the wonderful people in my life to make up for the bad. In a lot of ways this is what happened in Wildflower. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, it just is.

None of this changed how I feel about Drew. She’s the product of reckless parents in the worst sort of way. Drew later became a UN ambassador fighting for the right for children to get an education because she never did. She really puts her heart into everything she does, and I have a lot of respect for the woman.

On the whole, if you like Drew, than I can’t see why you wouldn’t enjoy this very quick upbeat read.

December 4, 2015

That 70’s Show Reviewed by Miranda BoyerWould you believe that over the years, I’d never so much as watched an episode of the long running series That 70’s Show. Sometimes crazy stuff just happens. I decided to embark on this eight season journey a few weeks ago. In a lot of ways, the beauty about this show was that I could have it playing and if I missed something (while I was multitasking), it didn’t matter. I would still get a chuckle out of it at least once or twice an episode. I was able to keep track of who Jackie was dating, whether or not Donna and Eric were on good terms and that Hyde, Fez, and Kelso were still getting into trouble. As the show progressed though it surprised me. More often then not, I’ve found that a good show is strong early, weak middle, but usually ends as strong as they started. That 70s Show got stronger laughs, better story, and more substance as the seasons went on. I know that there is quite a bit of controversy about the last season given that two of the six main characters disappear. Arguably though the ensemble could expand to include Red, Kitty, Bob and many other reoccurring roles. Taking this into consideration, it doesn’t feel as sad to loose two characters. I don’t know if it was creative differences or if it was just going on to do bigger and better things, but loosing Kelso and Eric didn’t bother me so much. After all we got Randy (who was a better Eric then Eric was) My understanding (years later of course) is that loosing them really hurt the shows ratings and led to the ultimate plug pulling that was the demise of this often hilarious show. I think as time went on Kitty was my favorite character. She got some of the best lines in the last two seasons. I often found myself laughing as tears ran down my cheek and her one liners. I’m glad that I watched this show after the fact, when everything was said and done because I think had I seen it while it was on TV I might have hated the changes as well. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. While I could happily watch this show another two or three seasons, instead it ended. I can now say that I have a larger appreciation for the fact that Ashton Kucher and Mila Kunis getting together in real life and having a kid. There is something to be said for Kelso and Jackie and I think it’s all sort of a cute.  It would appear that the six core are still very much friends. Which I’ll say, is nice to think of.
That 70’s ShowReviewed by Miranda BoyerWould you believe that over the years, I’d never so much as watched an episode of the long running series That 70’s Show. Sometimes crazy stuff just happens. I decided to embark on this eight season journey a few weeks ago.In a lot of ways, the beauty about this show was that I could have it playing and if I missed something (while I was multitasking), it didn’t matter. I would still get a chuckle out of it at least once or twice an episode. I was able to keep track of who Jackie was dating, whether or not Donna and Eric were on good terms and that Hyde, Fez, and Kelso were still getting into trouble. As the show progressed though it surprised me.More often then not, I’ve found that a good show is strong early, weak middle, but usually ends as strong as they started. That 70s Show got stronger laughs, better story, and more substance as the seasons went on. I know that there is quite a bit of controversy about the last season given that two of the six main characters disappear. Arguably though the ensemble could expand to include Red, Kitty, Bob and many other reoccurring roles. Taking this into consideration, it doesn’t feel as sad to loose two characters. I don’t know if it was creative differences or if it was just going on to do bigger and better things, but loosing Kelso and Eric didn’t bother me so much. After all we got Randy (who was a better Eric then Eric was) My understanding (years later of course) is that loosing them really hurt the shows ratings and led to the ultimate plug pulling that was the demise of this often hilarious show.

I think as time went on Kitty was my favorite character. She got some of the best lines in the last two seasons. I often found myself laughing as tears ran down my cheek and her one liners. I’m glad that I watched this show after the fact, when everything was said and done because I think had I seen it while it was on TV I might have hated the changes as well. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. While I could happily watch this show another two or three seasons, instead it ended. I can now say that I have a larger appreciation for the fact that Ashton Kucher and Mila Kunis getting together in real life and having a kid. There is something to be said for Kelso and Jackie and I think it’s all sort of a cute.

It would appear that the six core are still very much friends. Which I’ll say, is nice to think of.

November 30, 2015

Bag of Bones By Stephen King Reviewed by Miranda BoyerI was going through my audiobooks (I might have a few) and came across Stephen King’s Bag of Bones. It was one that I’d bought for my mother, she’s probably one of Kings’s biggest fans. When I told her about coming across it she encouraged me to read it, advising that it was her second favorite Stephen King book (in case your wondering, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is the first). Of course, it didn’t need much selling but the icing on the cake was when I learned that Stephen King reads it himself. Of course this would be my next big read. Right away I can tell this is going to be an epic tale. It has the best narrator possible, the author! Of course he’s s going to know exactly what each character was thinking and the cadence of their voice, the inflections and ultimately the story will mean something way different coming from him then it would from any one else. And it did. I really think that Bag of Bones was significant in King’s writing as he really steps away from his typical “horror” genre and intertwines a sprawling ghost story of good and evil and of love and hate. This book was not about demons and ghouls that lurk in the night and in our nightmares. Instead this novel touches on the very real horrors that live in the minds of men instead, the unthinkable created out of lust, greed, and bad choices. King delivers something in Bag of Bones unlike anything I’ve read of his before. I’ve never seen the made for TV version of this book, and honestly I’ve not heard very good things either. But now that I’ve read it, I’ll have to see if it’s still listed on Netflix. I don’t know that anything will do the book justice. In fact, I’m sure it won’t but I’ll still give it a go.
Bag of BonesBy Stephen KingReviewed by Miranda BoyerI was going through my audiobooks (I might have a few) and came across Stephen King’s Bag of Bones. It was one that I’d bought for my mother, she’s probably one of Kings’s biggest fans. When I told her about coming across it she encouraged me to read it, advising that it was her second favorite Stephen King book (in case your wondering, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is the first). Of course, it didn’t need much selling but the icing on the cake was when I learned that Stephen King reads it himself. Of course this would be my next big read.Right away I can tell this is going to be an epic tale. It has the best narrator possible, the author! Of course he’s s going to know exactly what each character was thinking and the cadence of their voice, the inflections and ultimately the story will mean something way different coming from him then it would from any one else. And it did.

I really think that Bag of Bones was significant in King’s writing as he really steps away from his typical “horror” genre and intertwines a sprawling ghost story of good and evil and of love and hate. This book was not about demons and ghouls that lurk in the night and in our nightmares. Instead this novel touches on the very real horrors that live in the minds of men instead, the unthinkable created out of lust, greed, and bad choices. King delivers something in Bag of Bones unlike anything I’ve read of his before.

I’ve never seen the made for TV version of this book, and honestly I’ve not heard very good things either. But now that I’ve read it, I’ll have to see if it’s still listed on Netflix. I don’t know that anything will do the book justice. In fact, I’m sure it won’t but I’ll still give it a go.


November 3, 2015

DoorguyBy Michael A. Knutson Reviewed by Miranda BoyerIn what seems like another life I knew the author Michael A. Knutson, of Doorguy, when he himself was ‘the door-guy’. At the time I considered him a dear friend and it was with a little apprehension that I looked up this book. In part I feared that it would be bad, not a reflection on his abilities per se but a reflection on my unwillingness to review yet another poorly written self published vanity book. After stewing on it a couple of weeks, I pulled up the title on Amazon and started to read the sample.  At first it seems rough around the edges and maybe it is, the wording here, or a sentence there. However, soon I found myself out of free pages and unhesitant I ordered the full book. In large, this is a is semi-autobiographical work of fiction. For a first time novel, the writing was remarkable and the prose excellent without question: worthy of attention. Scott is a prideful, haunted, and often lost soul following the only song he hears: the call to create art regardless of the consequences. Landing in a small town in the pacific north west without means, Scott finds himself working as a bouncer by the grace of a kind stranger. What follows is the disconsolate account of a single human life over the span of a few years. Told in such a way that immediately connects with the reader, Doorguy is an honest account of personal tribulation and ultimately perseverance despite an unending plethora of social and moral repugnance. Doorguy is a far cry from the feel-good-book-of-the-year award, but requires appreciation none the less. Not all fictions are blissfully happy but they ask and beg to share the spotlight. Doorguy is a lonely and often bizarre walk in a stranger’s shoes. I would strongly suggest giving it a few hours of your life; I can almost guarantee you will close this book and view nightlife, humanity, and art with new eyes. It will sit with you hours after you’ve finished, weighing on your thoughts and demanding your attention.
DoorguyBy Michael A. KnutsonReviewed by Miranda BoyerIn what seems like another life I knew the author Michael A. Knutson, of Doorguy, when he himself was ‘the door-guy’. At the time I considered him a dear friend and it was with a little apprehension that I looked up this book. In part I feared that it would be bad, not a reflection on his abilities per se but a reflection on my unwillingness to review yet another poorly written self published vanity book. After stewing on it a couple of weeks, I pulled up the title on Amazon and started to read the sample.At first it seems rough around the edges and maybe it is, the wording here, or a sentence there. However, soon I found myself out of free pages and unhesitant I ordered the full book. In large, this is a is semi-autobiographical work of fiction. For a first time novel, the writing was remarkable and the prose excellent without question: worthy of attention.Scott is a prideful, haunted, and often lost soul following the only song he hears: the call to create art regardless of the consequences. Landing in a small town in the pacific north west without means, Scott finds himself working as a bouncer by the grace of a kind stranger. What follows is the disconsolate account of a single human life over the span of a few years. Told in such a way that immediately connects with the reader, Doorguy is an honest account of personal tribulation and ultimately perseverance despite an unending plethora of social and moral repugnance.Doorguy is a far cry from the feel-good-book-of-the-year award, but requires appreciation none the less. Not all fictions are blissfully happy but they ask and beg to share the spotlight. Doorguy is a lonely and often bizarre walk in a stranger’s shoes. I would strongly suggest giving it a few hours of your life; I can almost guarantee you will close this book and view nightlife, humanity, and art with new eyes. It will sit with you hours after you’ve finished, weighing on your thoughts and demanding your attention.
October 28, 2015

Why Not Me? By Mindy KalingReviewed by Miranda Boyer“People talk about confidence without ever brining up hard work That’s a mistake. I know I sound like some dour older spinster chambermaid on Downton Abbey how has never felt a man’s touch and whose heart has turned to stone, but I don’t understand how you could have self-confidence if you don’t do the work.”Something about this line and really the entire essay before it, struck a cord with me. If you work hard then self confidence, particularly in what your doing, should come naturally. Entailment is essentially feeling like you deserve something. It’s okay to feel that you deserve something providing you’ve put in the work and actually do deserve something.  I love how mater of fact Mindy Kaling is. She is fresh and forward in her writing. This is her second book, the first was Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). I had almost planed on waiting to read this book at the end of the year, since I started the year with her first book. It seemed very poetic. I caved and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Oh Mindy, you steal my heart every time.  This, much like the first, was written in short essays covering everything from work to love. I feel like if I met Mindy, we’d be BFFs in no time. That’s how her books are, they get personal, but stay fun and at the end of it, you feel connected to her as a person. I really do recommend this book for some light fun reading. It’s the perfect in between after finishing something a little heavier but when you’re not quite ready to delve into something else. Also, despite what her editor says, I can think of a couple of guys who’d enjoy this book too.
Why Not Me?By Mindy KalingReviewed by Miranda Boyer“People talk about confidence without ever brining up hard work That’s a mistake. I know I sound like some dour older spinster chambermaid on Downton Abbey how has never felt a man’s touch and whose heart has turned to stone, but I don’t understand how you could have self-confidence if you don’t do the work.”Something about this line and really the entire essay before it, struck a cord with me. If you work hard then self confidence, particularly in what your doing, should come naturally. Entailment is essentially feeling like you deserve something. It’s okay to feel that you deserve something providing you’ve put in the work and actually do deserve something.I love how mater of fact Mindy Kaling is. She is fresh and forward in her writing. This is her second book, the first was Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). I had almost planed on waiting to read this book at the end of the year, since I started the year with her first book. It seemed very poetic. I caved and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Oh Mindy, you steal my heart every time.This, much like the first, was written in short essays covering everything from work to love. I feel like if I met Mindy, we’d be BFFs in no time. That’s how her books are, they get personal, but stay fun and at the end of it, you feel connected to her as a person. I really do recommend this book for some light fun reading. It’s the perfect in between after finishing something a little heavier but when you’re not quite ready to delve into something else.Also, despite what her editor says, I can think of a couple of guys who’d enjoy this book too.

October 25, 2015

The Wise Man’s Fear By Patrick RothfussReviewed by Miranda BoyerThere are a lot of things that I could say about The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. Not all of which are harrowing reports. (Take that Pat!) If you’ve not read this book or heard of the series let me stop you for a moment and direct you towards The Name of the Wind the first in this mountain of a trilogy. Start there, it is well worth your time. As you’ve heard in the past, I decided to read this series after meeting Pat at ECCC this past year. He’s by far the most even grounded writer I’ve ever met. Nice guy with good advice and more than willing to chat about books, agents, and the whole publishing world. I was very thankful. On the second night of con I went to buy some books authored by various attendees. Admittedly more than a few I’d not heard of. But what better opportunity to find new and wonderful favorites?! When I held a copies of The Name of the Wind and A Wise Man’s Fear I was stopped multiple times by various patrons professing their love for the book. I knew right then I had to read them. Fast forward a few months and I’ve just finished with the second book in the King Killer Chronicles. I’m feeling all sorts of emotions right now. First, that sort of elated euphoria from finishing a book, the kind that comes from a truly magnificent tale. I’m feeling irritation from the way the book ended, god forbid you leave us on a happy note Pat like we’re almost lead to believe. And frustration at the fact that book three doesn’t even have a publication date yet! *sigh* All that aside, this was without question a brilliant follow up to the first book. I’ve taken some time away from my second novel, a dark fairytale, and thumbed some pages in the follow up to my first novel. There is an art to continuing a story, to keeping the heart of the first in tact. I tip my hat to Pat for he is a master story teller in every respectI fee like I don’t need to tell you the details of this story. You’ve either read it, or are going to and in either case you don’t actually want to know. You already do, or you’d like to be surprised as I was. All I’ll say is that there is more of each of our favorites and many more.  I did find this fun comic online and I thought I’d share it. I don’t know who the author is, but it does seem to be tagged in the corner. Without a doubt, this is not a book you want to remain in the dark about. Get on it before the rest of the commonwealth does.  

The Wise Man’s Fear

By Patrick Rothfuss

Reviewed by Miranda Boyer

There are a lot of things that I could say about The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. Not all of which are harrowing reports. (Take that Pat!) If you’ve not read this book or heard of the series let me stop you for a moment and direct you towards The Name of the Wind the first in this mountain of a trilogy. Start there, it is well worth your time.

As you’ve heard in the past, I decided to read this series after meeting Pat at ECCC this past year. He’s by far the most even grounded writer I’ve ever met. Nice guy with good advice and more than willing to chat about books, agents, and the whole publishing world. I was very thankful. On the second night of con I went to buy some books authored by various attendees. Admittedly more than a few I’d not heard of. But what better opportunity to find new and wonderful favorites?! When I held a copies of The Name of the Wind and A Wise Man’s Fear I was stopped multiple times by various patrons professing their love for the book. I knew right then I had to read them.

Fast forward a few months and I’ve just finished with the second book in the King Killer Chronicles. I’m feeling all sorts of emotions right now. First, that sort of elated euphoria from finishing a book, the kind that comes from a truly magnificent tale. I’m feeling irritation from the way the book ended, god forbid you leave us on a happy note Pat like we’re almost lead to believe. And frustration at the fact that book three doesn’t even have a publication date yet!

*sigh*

All that aside, this was without question a brilliant follow up to the first book. I’ve taken some time away from my second novel, a dark fairytale, and thumbed some pages in the follow up to my first novel. There is an art to continuing a story, to keeping the heart of the first in tact. I tip my hat to Pat for he is a master story teller in every respect

I fee like I don’t need to tell you the details of this story. You’ve either read it, or are going to and in either case you don’t actually want to know. You already do, or you’d like to be surprised as I was. All I’ll say is that there is more of each of our favorites and many more.  I did find this fun comic online and I thought I’d share it. I don’t know who the author is, but it does seem to be tagged in the corner. Without a doubt, this is not a book you want to remain in the dark about. Get on it before the rest of the commonwealth does.

October 15, 2015

The Archivist By Tom D WrightReview by Miranda BoyerAs a first time author myself, I get a little more anxious when reviewing books by other newbie writers. I feel that I have to take a little more time to review a book by someone who is in my direct peer group, especially when they deserve the extra time. The Archivist by Tom D Wright was a solid attempt at a first book (although after further research I think it might be his third?). However, in the end it’s not really my cup of tea. More often than I care for, the writing is unnecessarily long and overly descriptive, like beating a dead horse with words and more words and more words (<-get it?).  For example: “I quench my thirst with a pint of thick brown ale that looks like the muddy river we came up, but the cool brew has a nicely rich and smooth taste.” Or this one: “I am merely cautious as I stand at the entrance, and take my time, loosening my dark oilskin duster while I survey the room.” But than again, maybe this just simply doesn’t meet my writing style preferences. I will give the author this much, there is an interesting plot amongst all the extra words and editing choices. I just had a hard time getting to it. The novel felt as though he was trying to hard to show me a story and forgot to tell it. Which ironically enough is the extreme opposite of another big no-no in the writing world, telling and not showing. I suppose that pendulum swings to both extremes and somewhere in the middle is where the gold lies. There is adventure, intrigue, and at times it even reminded me of the Librarian. If you’re into futuristic dystopian societies with an almost steam punk meets Indiana Jones flair about them… than this book might be for you. It does have some really beautiful cover art and I have to give props to the artist for that, whoever they might be. We can’t win them all, for me this will be a pass. I do want to thank my friend over at www.TheSteveStrout.com for the recommendation though. Check out some of his fantastic interviews with authors, actors, artists (the three A’s of Awesome) and get caught up on all the latest geeky news.  
The ArchivistBy Tom D WrightReview by Miranda BoyerAs a first time author myself, I get a little more anxious when reviewing books by other newbie writers. I feel that I have to take a little more time to review a book by someone who is in my direct peer group, especially when they deserve the extra time. The Archivist by Tom D Wright was a solid attempt at a first book (although after further research I think it might be his third?). However, in the end it’s not really my cup of tea.More often than I care for, the writing is unnecessarily long and overly descriptive, like beating a dead horse with words and more words and more words (<-get it?).  For example: “I quench my thirst with a pint of thick brown ale that looks like the muddy river we came up, but the cool brew has a nicely rich and smooth taste.” Or this one: “I am merely cautious as I stand at the entrance, and take my time, loosening my dark oilskin duster while I survey the room.” But than again, maybe this just simply doesn’t meet my writing style preferences.I will give the author this much, there is an interesting plot amongst all the extra words and editing choices. I just had a hard time getting to it. The novel felt as though he was trying to hard to show me a story and forgot to tell it. Which ironically enough is the extreme opposite of another big no-no in the writing world, telling and not showing. I suppose that pendulum swings to both extremes and somewhere in the middle is where the gold lies.There is adventure, intrigue, and at times it even reminded me of the Librarian. If you’re into futuristic dystopian societies with an almost steam punk meets Indiana Jones flair about them… than this book might be for you. It does have some really beautiful cover art and I have to give props to the artist for that, whoever they might be. We can’t win them all, for me this will be a pass.I do want to thank my friend over at www.TheSteveStrout.com for the recommendation though. Check out some of his fantastic interviews with authors, actors, artists (the three A’s of Awesome) and get caught up on all the latest geeky news.
October 3, 2015

Yes, My Accent Is Real and Some Other Things I Haven’t Told YouBy Kunal NayyarReviewed By Miranda BoyerI added this book to my local library request when I first heard about it’s release. If you don’t know what a library is, then read this link here (I know, I didn’t know that kind of magic existed either). Everyone in America has heard of The Big Bang Theory and like most people I figured that a book written by Kunal Nayyar had to be amazing.Unfortunately it just wasn’t as funny as I’d hoped or as interesting as I dreamed it would be. Nearly every story in this compilation can stand alone, so there is no flow from one to the next. Which is fine however the writing isn’t anything to be excited about and he often comes off pompous. Although he does say more then once “I was such an idiot” in an attempt to ease this.  There wasn’t too much about BBT and maybe there was a bit of disappointment in that. Although I understand that this is about Nayyar it wasn’t what I was expecting and I was on the whole frustrated with my lack of love for this book.  Oh well, there are a million others to read so onward and upward.
Yes, My Accent Is Real and Some Other Things I Haven’t Told YouBy Kunal NayyarReviewed By Miranda BoyerI added this book to my local library request when I first heard about it’s release. If you don’t know what a library is, then read this link here (I know, I didn’t know that kind of magic existed either). Everyone in America has heard of The Big Bang Theory and like most people I figured that a book written by Kunal Nayyar had to be amazing.Unfortunately it just wasn’t as funny as I’d hoped or as interesting as I dreamed it would be. Nearly every story in this compilation can stand alone, so there is no flow from one to the next. Which is fine however the writing isn’t anything to be excited about and he often comes off pompous. Although he does say more then once “I was such an idiot” in an attempt to ease this.There wasn’t too much about BBT and maybe there was a bit of disappointment in that. Although I understand that this is about Nayyar it wasn’t what I was expecting and I was on the whole frustrated with my lack of love for this book.Oh well, there are a million others to read so onward and upward.
September 23, 2015

Amanda Knox Waiting to Be HeardBy Amanda KnoxReviewed by Miranda BoyerI’m going to start this review a little different. I want to make my opinions clear first before I go on with my review…I’ve been following the Amanda Knox trial since the brutal murder of Meredith Kercher in 2007. For those of you who don’t know, I have a BA in Criminal Justice and I worked for Law Enforcement for a number of years. One of the cases that I studied in school was this one, near the end of my degree. There was a long while where I had every intention of going to law school. Life led to a different path and glad for it (two Masters degrees in very different areas). However, my background gives me different eyes to view criminal cases with. I whole-heartedly feel, and have for a number of years, that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are innocent. Take away emotions and pictures of the defendants and look at the case information by it self. If you change the names and take away the media frenzy, it should be clear to anyone who knows more about the law and forensics outside of shows like CSI and Law and Order (which only perpetuate a false view of the law enforcement system, good entertainment but it ends there) what happened. You can’t magic away evidence that was never there. Transcripts of the court proceedings are available online as are a number of FACTS about the case (don’t mix these up with the media falsehoods that ran rapid for years)So, now that that is clear, I read the book Amanda Knox Waiting to Be Heard by Amanda Knox this week. I was very excited to see things from her eyes. My greatest fear is loss of control; my heart ached for her through the whole book as she lost four years of her life because of a false conviction. Some have called it a witch-hunt, I’m inclined to agree. In the book Amanda takes us through her move to Italy, the first six weeks she lived there, the night Meredith was murdered, the subsequent days, weeks, and months that followed. Amanda tells us about the first two trials in her own words, for the first time speaking out and setting the record strait.Was the writing the best? Not particularly. BUT there was a story to be told and she did it well. I gobbled more then 450 pages in two days. Amanda uses the transcripts of court documents and journals to help paint a picture of the hell that she lived. I would recommend this book to anyone who is curious or wants to understand the history better, without getting lost down an Internet rabbit hole.
Amanda Knox Waiting to Be HeardBy Amanda KnoxReviewed by Miranda BoyerI’m going to start this review a little different. I want to make my opinions clear first before I go on with my review…I’ve been following the Amanda Knox trial since the brutal murder of Meredith Kercher in 2007. For those of you who don’t know, I have a BA in Criminal Justice and I worked for Law Enforcement for a number of years. One of the cases that I studied in school was this one, near the end of my degree. There was a long while where I had every intention of going to law school. Life led to a different path and glad for it (two Masters degrees in very different areas). However, my background gives me different eyes to view criminal cases with.I whole-heartedly feel, and have for a number of years, that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are innocent. Take away emotions and pictures of the defendants and look at the case information by it self. If you change the names and take away the media frenzy, it should be clear to anyone who knows more about the law and forensics outside of shows like CSI and Law and Order (which only perpetuate a false view of the law enforcement system, good entertainment but it ends there) what happened. You can’t magic away evidence that was never there. Transcripts of the court proceedings are available online as are a number of FACTS about the case (don’t mix these up with the media falsehoods that ran rapid for years)So, now that that is clear, I read the book Amanda Knox Waiting to Be Heard by Amanda Knox this week. I was very excited to see things from her eyes. My greatest fear is loss of control; my heart ached for her through the whole book as she lost four years of her life because of a false conviction. Some have called it a witch-hunt, I’m inclined to agree.In the book Amanda takes us through her move to Italy, the first six weeks she lived there, the night Meredith was murdered, the subsequent days, weeks, and months that followed. Amanda tells us about the first two trials in her own words, for the first time speaking out and setting the record strait.Was the writing the best? Not particularly. BUT there was a story to be told and she did it well. I gobbled more then 450 pages in two days. Amanda uses the transcripts of court documents and journals to help paint a picture of the hell that she lived. I would recommend this book to anyone who is curious or wants to understand the history better, without getting lost down an Internet rabbit hole.
September 18, 2015

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) By Felicia DayReviewed by Miranda BoyerAnyone who knows me well enough knows that I have a long time love for Felicia Day. She has inspired me to create and follow my dreams. As far as women go, she is among the most bad-ass. I didn’t know what to expect when I finely got to read her book. I knew that whatever Felicia had to share with the world, in You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost), I needed to be apart of it. I had to know. I was moved to tears from both laughter and heartbreak. This is an honest memoir about a woman who worked her ass off to get where she is. She unknowingly set the standard for web-shows online, and played her part in making gaming cool. More than that, she stands up for women despite the danger that it places her own life in. Gamer Gate was not long enough ago to forget the horrors of trolls ruining the lives of women. I applaud Felicia Day for standing up against internet trolls knowing full well that they will attack her because of it. “The world suffers a lot. Not because of the violence of bad people, but because of the silence of good people.” - Napoléon Bonaparte. Felicia Day has led a very unique life. She was a violin protégée, math major (4.0 people!), home schooled by one of the most interesting mothers (yea, she alone makes this book hysterical), lets not forget she’s also the creator of the Guild and Geek and Sundry, should I go on? For those of you who know this woman the same ways I do, you will without question love it. For those of you who haven’t the foggiest whom I’m talking about, open your minds to something new. I read You’re Never Weird on the Internet in one day, because I simply couldn’t put it down. Step aside Andy Wier, Felicia Day has you beat in my inability to savior.
You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)By Felicia DayReviewed by Miranda BoyerAnyone who knows me well enough knows that I have a long time love for Felicia Day. She has inspired me to create and follow my dreams. As far as women go, she is among the most bad-ass. I didn’t know what to expect when I finely got to read her book. I knew that whatever Felicia had to share with the world, in You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost), I needed to be apart of it. I had to know.I was moved to tears from both laughter and heartbreak. This is an honest memoir about a woman who worked her ass off to get where she is. She unknowingly set the standard for web-shows online, and played her part in making gaming cool. More than that, she stands up for women despite the danger that it places her own life in. Gamer Gate was not long enough ago to forget the horrors of trolls ruining the lives of women. I applaud Felicia Day for standing up against internet trolls knowing full well that they will attack her because of it. “The world suffers a lot. Not because of the violence of bad people, but because of the silence of good people.” – Napoléon Bonaparte.Felicia Day has led a very unique life. She was a violin protégée, math major (4.0 people!), home schooled by one of the most interesting mothers (yea, she alone makes this book hysterical), lets not forget she’s also the creator of the Guild and Geek and Sundry, should I go on? For those of you who know this woman the same ways I do, you will without question love it. For those of you who haven’t the foggiest whom I’m talking about, open your minds to something new.I read You’re Never Weird on the Internet in one day, because I simply couldn’t put it down. Step aside Andy Wier, Felicia Day has you beat in my inability to savior.
September 12, 2015

The Martian By Andy WeirI read the back of The Martian more than two years ago, I’ve had a copy on my bookshelf for more than a year and I’ve only now read it. The irony (and the bubble I sometimes live in) is I learned they were making a movie only a week ago! So this works out wonderful! Let me start by saying that Andy Weir’s debut novel blew my mind, may it rest in peace. For the first time I’m not even sure where to began. Do I keep this review short for fear anything I say would ruin the book? Or do I tell all and if you haven’t read it, you’re just shit out of luck? What I will say is this. The Martian is smart and discusses some intense sciencey things without making me, and I’m sure every other reader, feel dumb. I’ve read my share of theory books (Physics of The Future being probably my favorite) and I would have still had trouble keeping up if Weir didn’t have such a way with words. Never once does he talk down to the reader or bore you with the details. Instead The Martian was gripping, funny, and full of adventure.  I carried it everywhere I went – just so I could get a few extra pages in during my day. Simply put: I didn’t want to put it down. If there was one word to describe this book it would be: Inventive. I really don’t want to spoil it for you. The reality is you could go see it in a few weeks in the theatre, I’ll be there too. You could read a spoiler online and have every nail biting moment laid out for you. But I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to tell you if he lives or dies. I don’t want to tell you how Mark Watney puzzles himself alive through another day on mars. But what I will tell you is that this book was worth every moment. Andy Weir created something special with The Martian. I recommend reading it before the movie comes out. I don’t know if it will live up to the masterpiece in my hands but I sure hope it does.
The MartianBy Andy WeirI read the back of The Martian more than two years ago, I’ve had a copy on my bookshelf for more than a year and I’ve only now read it. The irony (and the bubble I sometimes live in) is I learned they were making a movie only a week ago! So this works out wonderful!Let me start by saying that Andy Weir’s debut novel blew my mind, may it rest in peace. For the first time I’m not even sure where to began. Do I keep this review short for fear anything I say would ruin the book? Or do I tell all and if you haven’t read it, you’re just shit out of luck?What I will say is this. The Martian is smart and discusses some intense sciencey things without making me, and I’m sure every other reader, feel dumb. I’ve read my share of theory books (Physics of The Future being probably my favorite) and I would have still had trouble keeping up if Weir didn’t have such a way with words. Never once does he talk down to the reader or bore you with the details. Instead The Martian was gripping, funny, and full of adventure.  I carried it everywhere I went – just so I could get a few extra pages in during my day. Simply put: I didn’t want to put it down.If there was one word to describe this book it would be: Inventive.I really don’t want to spoil it for you. The reality is you could go see it in a few weeks in the theatre, I’ll be there too. You could read a spoiler online and have every nail biting moment laid out for you. But I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to tell you if he lives or dies. I don’t want to tell you how Mark Watney puzzles himself alive through another day on mars. But what I will tell you is that this book was worth every moment. Andy Weir created something special with The Martian. I recommend reading it before the movie comes out. I don’t know if it will live up to the masterpiece in my hands but I sure hope it does.
August 31, 2015

Touch By Claire North Reviewed by Miranda BoyerClaire North (aka Catherine Webb) is quickly becoming an author climbing the ranks of my favorites list. She has a unique voice and creates worlds that blend nightmares and wishes into thrilling adventure. In Touch we meet Kepler our protagonist, a being that moves from body-to-body with just a touch of skin. “Have you been losing time?” A few minuets here or an hour there? Kepler is a Ghost, a near-immortal species that moves from body-to-body, taking over life after life. All the while the host body has no idea anything has happened. One minute they are shanking hands with a stranger the next hours, weeks, months, even years have passed and their life is upside-down.  Kepler is genderless, ageless, and able to take over the body of anyone. Kepler doesn’t choose bodies for money, or fame like some might. No, instead Kepler prefers bodies that don’t have pains and aches. Kepler takes care of his hosts, always leaving them in a better position then when he found them. But the dead body of Josephine Cebula changes everything. The thing that this book does, maybe unintentionally, is challenge sexuality and gender in a new way. The Ghosts, once probably human, can be any person, gender, race they want. There is also a major theme in the book, LOVE. The love of oneself, love of others. This is a dark and thought provoking novel, and exquisitely written. If you are a fan of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August (and if you’ve not read that, please jump on it) then you’ll enjoy this book as well. It’s a thrilling and unexpected journey with no limits on time or the human race.
TouchBy Claire NorthReviewed by Miranda BoyerClaire North (aka Catherine Webb) is quickly becoming an author climbing the ranks of my favorites list. She has a unique voice and creates worlds that blend nightmares and wishes into thrilling adventure.In Touch we meet Kepler our protagonist, a being that moves from body-to-body with just a touch of skin. “Have you been losing time?” A few minuets here or an hour there? Kepler is a Ghost, a near-immortal species that moves from body-to-body, taking over life after life. All the while the host body has no idea anything has happened. One minute they are shanking hands with a stranger the next hours, weeks, months, even years have passed and their life is upside-down.Kepler is genderless, ageless, and able to take over the body of anyone. Kepler doesn’t choose bodies for money, or fame like some might. No, instead Kepler prefers bodies that don’t have pains and aches. Kepler takes care of his hosts, always leaving them in a better position then when he found them. But the dead body of Josephine Cebula changes everything.The thing that this book does, maybe unintentionally, is challenge sexuality and gender in a new way. The Ghosts, once probably human, can be any person, gender, race they want. There is also a major theme in the book, LOVE. The love of oneself, love of others.This is a dark and thought provoking novel, and exquisitely written. If you are a fan of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August (and if you’ve not read that, please jump on it) then you’ll enjoy this book as well. It’s a thrilling and unexpected journey with no limits on time or the human race.
August 22, 2015

Witches of East End By Melissa De La Cruz Reviewed by Miranda BoyerLike many other fans of Witches of East End television show I was super disappointed to hear that it hadn’t been picked up yet for another season. If it was going to end then it could have been wrapped up at the very least. Instead the show left us in a gripping moment, begging for more. To help ease that sense of empty that now sits as I fruitlessly hope some by miracle my show will continue for a third season, I needed to fill the void. But how to do that?? Surprise!!!! Witches of East End is a book! The funny thing is that I actually owned it but hadn’t put two and two together yet. My copy was shuffled around behind a few other books and in my never-ending ‘to-read’ pile. It should come as no great surprise that the show and the book are quite a bit different. The discrepancy list is long however I’m no stranger to this plight and am quite capable of appreciating each version individually. The novel, Witches of East End, is about the Beauchamp family who live in a fictional East Hampton. Freya Beauchamp is the plucky wild younger sister of the family who has fallen in love very quickly with the new and powerful neighbor. Ingrid Beauchamp is the older sister, a little wiser, quieter, and a bit bookish. Joanna is their mother and these three powerful women are a force to be reckoned with. They are after all, thousands of years old witches. Their magic has been restricted for the last five hundred years or so, but that isn’t stopping them from having a little fun. Until too much fun, causes too much trouble, and people are dead (or maybe zombies?) and missing. Was it something they did? Was it Killian, the estranged brother of Freya’s fiancé? Was it some other dark powerful force come to haunt our witches after the gates to their home world closed? I suppose you’ll have to read it to find out. All in all, I enjoyed this book. It was an easy read and because I knew the background via the television show, I wasn’t disappointed with the directions it took. I was quite surprised at the end. Without giving anything away the author takes the book to a place I hadn’t anticipated. There is sort of an old school mystery reveal all ending to the book. I don’t know that I liked that too much. I felt like the book could have continued a little longer instead of tying everything up with a bow in one last chapter. I am going to order the next book in this series, as I enjoyed it enough despite the ending. I still don’t feel like I’ve gotten my fill of Beauchamp women just yet.
Witches of East EndBy Melissa De La CruzReviewed by Miranda BoyerLike many other fans of Witches of East End television show I was super disappointed to hear that it hadn’t been picked up yet for another season. If it was going to end then it could have been wrapped up at the very least. Instead the show left us in a gripping moment, begging for more.To help ease that sense of empty that now sits as I fruitlessly hope some by miracle my show will continue for a third season, I needed to fill the void. But how to do that?? Surprise!!!! Witches of East End is a book! The funny thing is that I actually owned it but hadn’t put two and two together yet. My copy was shuffled around behind a few other books and in my never-ending ‘to-read’ pile.It should come as no great surprise that the show and the book are quite a bit different. The discrepancy list is long however I’m no stranger to this plight and am quite capable of appreciating each version individually.The novel, Witches of East End, is about the Beauchamp family who live in a fictional East Hampton. Freya Beauchamp is the plucky wild younger sister of the family who has fallen in love very quickly with the new and powerful neighbor. Ingrid Beauchamp is the older sister, a little wiser, quieter, and a bit bookish. Joanna is their mother and these three powerful women are a force to be reckoned with. They are after all, thousands of years old witches. Their magic has been restricted for the last five hundred years or so, but that isn’t stopping them from having a little fun. Until too much fun, causes too much trouble, and people are dead (or maybe zombies?) and missing. Was it something they did? Was it Killian, the estranged brother of Freya’s fiancé? Was it some other dark powerful force come to haunt our witches after the gates to their home world closed? I suppose you’ll have to read it to find out.All in all, I enjoyed this book. It was an easy read and because I knew the background via the television show, I wasn’t disappointed with the directions it took. I was quite surprised at the end. Without giving anything away the author takes the book to a place I hadn’t anticipated. There is sort of an old school mystery reveal all ending to the book. I don’t know that I liked that too much. I felt like the book could have continued a little longer instead of tying everything up with a bow in one last chapter. I am going to order the next book in this series, as I enjoyed it enough despite the ending. I still don’t feel like I’ve gotten my fill of Beauchamp women just yet.
August 12, 2015

Married with Zombies By Jesse PetersonReviewed by Miranda Boyer I started Married with Zombies far too long ago. It’s an endearing book about a woman Sarah and her husband David who are on the verge of divorce. Neither is putting in the effort to make their marriage work any longer. Meanwhile at the University of Washington a zombie outbreak has happened. Sarah and David are on their way to couples therapy one morning. When they arrive at their session, they find their therapist mowing down on the couple from the earlier session. Hurdled head first into this new world Sarah and David have to learn to work together to stay alive. Married with Zombies is a lighthearted fun read about the sacrifices we all make for the ones we love. There are four and a half books in this series and I really could see them getting better and better as the author grows as a writer. The ending was left wide open for more adventures and I would happily read the next book. I know that a jaunty comedy about a zombie apocalypse can be tricky. I’m usually down for a good Zombie read or movie, but I’d never ready anything quite like this before. I’d recommend this for someone who is looking to cross into that new world of horror without the fearing it might leaving you with nightmares. This book instead will leave you smiling.
Married with ZombiesBy Jesse PetersonReviewed by Miranda BoyerI started Married with Zombies far too long ago. It’s an endearing book about a woman Sarah and her husband David who are on the verge of divorce. Neither is putting in the effort to make their marriage work any longer. Meanwhile at the University of Washington a zombie outbreak has happened. Sarah and David are on their way to couples therapy one morning. When they arrive at their session, they find their therapist mowing down on the couple from the earlier session. Hurdled head first into this new world Sarah and David have to learn to work together to stay alive.Married with Zombies is a lighthearted fun read about the sacrifices we all make for the ones we love. There are four and a half books in this series and I really could see them getting better and better as the author grows as a writer. The ending was left wide open for more adventures and I would happily read the next book.I know that a jaunty comedy about a zombie apocalypse can be tricky. I’m usually down for a good Zombie read or movie, but I’d never ready anything quite like this before. I’d recommend this for someone who is looking to cross into that new world of horror without the fearing it might leaving you with nightmares. This book instead will leave you smiling.
August 6, 2015

Magic Mike XXL Reviewed by Miranda BoyerOkay let me start by saying that Channing Tatum in a thong was just about the only thought I needed when I went to see this movie. Did I really require another reason? Well as it turns out I got a few, Juan Piedrahita, Joe Manganillo, Kevin Nash, Gabriel Iglesias, Matt Bomer, and Adam Rodriguez in thongs. There might have been a serious lack of plot and follow through on said thin plot lines but let’s just be completely honest here: I wasn’t watching Magic Mike XXL for the plot. I will say this about the acting (can we call it acting?) those men are incredibly strong. The shear physical power demonstrated is extremely attractive. This movie was a crowd pleaser; I would be surprised if even a single man or women in the audience was able to contain their laughter. At the end of the day Magic Mike XXL is a road-trip comedy with an extreme amount of stimulating chemistry between the characters. A little more then three years after leaving the world of male entertainment, Michael “Magic Mike” Lane is more then a little frustrated with his happily ever after.  Business is good but not great, his girlfriend (formally played by Cody Horn) said no to his marriage proposal and he’s left wanting more. After being swindled into meeting with some of his old friends, Mike joins the group on a road trip to Myrtle Beach to perform one last exotic dance at a male entertainers convention. The impressively choreographed dance routines leave the first film in the dust. They are both creative and erotic. In my opinion Manganillo steals the show on this one. The first time was during an impromptu convenience store stop where the other guys bet him he can make the clerk smile just by dancing. He later follows that routine up with the most elaborate romance and bondage-themed performance hot enough to leave the audience on their knees begging for more. I enjoyed this film far more then I expected to. The first film had far more plot, the second had far better dancing. It isn’t often when a sequel surpasses the first film but that managed to happen with Magic Mike XXL. I’m excited for the DVD release later this year.
Magic Mike XXL
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
Okay let me start by saying that Channing Tatum in a thong was just about the only thought I needed when I went to see this movie. Did I really require another reason? Well as it turns out I got a few, Juan Piedrahita, Joe Manganillo, Kevin Nash, Gabriel Iglesias, Matt Bomer, and Adam Rodriguez in thongs. There might have been a serious lack of plot and follow through on said thin plot lines but let’s just be completely honest here: I wasn’t watching Magic Mike XXL for the plot. I will say this about the acting (can we call it acting?) those men are incredibly strong. The shear physical power demonstrated is extremely attractive.
This movie was a crowd pleaser; I would be surprised if even a single man or women in the audience was able to contain their laughter. At the end of the day Magic Mike XXL is a road-trip comedy with an extreme amount of stimulating chemistry between the characters.

A little more then three years after leaving the world of male entertainment, Michael “Magic Mike” Lane is more then a little frustrated with his happily ever after.  Business is good but not great, his girlfriend (formally played by Cody Horn) said no to his marriage proposal and he’s left wanting more. After being swindled into meeting with some of his old friends, Mike joins the group on a road trip to Myrtle Beach to perform one last exotic dance at a male entertainers convention.

The impressively choreographed dance routines leave the first film in the dust. They are both creative and erotic. In my opinion Manganillo steals the show on this one. The first time was during an impromptu convenience store stop where the other guys bet him he can make the clerk smile just by dancing. He later follows that routine up with the most elaborate romance and bondage-themed performance hot enough to leave the audience on their knees begging for more.

I enjoyed this film far more then I expected to. The first film had far more plot, the second had far better dancing. It isn’t often when a sequel surpasses the first film but that managed to happen with Magic Mike XXL. I’m excited for the DVD release later this year.

July 27, 2015

ArmadaBy Ernest ClineNarrated by Wil WheatonReviewed by Miranda Boyer After I fell in love with Ready Player One there was no doubt in my mind that I would gobble Ernie Cline’s new book Armada as soon as it became available. It has taken all the will power I have not to finish this book in a single setting. There are some books that I have regretted reading too quickly because you can only enjoy it for the first time once. I didn’t want to make that mistake with Armada.Zach Lightman has been fantasizing his life away with an endless barrage of video games until one day a technologically sophisticated drop-ship lands in the courtyard of his high school drawing the attention of everyone near by. Men exit the ship in dark suits and sunglasses giving him and myself Men In Black flashbacks. Soon enough Zach learns that the endless hours of playing video games has paid off as he has been recruited by the government to fight an impending alien war using the same skills he’s mastered in video games. In one very long day Zach and a few hundred other top gamers find themselves in a secret military bunker learning about a forty year old government cover up involving alien Europans. With a handful of colorful characters, and a long lost father Zach will be in a race to prevent genocide and save the world. I’m sure by now, you all know how much I appreciate Wil Wheaton. So undoubtedly you could have guessed that I was going to read this via audible book. Again, without question Wil pulls off a great read. Each character is definable. I just read that Wil’s narration of Ready Player One was listed as one of the top ten narrations in 2014! Gun to my head, I still prefer Ready Player One but that doesn’t negate the adventure, excitement, and intense action in Armada. It was a high-octane science fiction ride that kept me wondering from page to page how it would all end. I was not disappointed in the least, just the opposite in fact, I never wanted it to end.Some day this gal wants to be invited to speak at a writer’s conference and with any luck about my own books. I just look forward to the day when I can sit next to Ernie Cline and know that I’ve made it in the science fiction universe.
Armada
By Ernest Cline
Narrated by Wil Wheaton
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
After I fell in love with Ready Player One there was no doubt in my mind that I would gobble Ernie Cline’s new book Armada as soon as it became available. It has taken all the will power I have not to finish this book in a single setting. There are some books that I have regretted reading too quickly because you can only enjoy it for the first time once. I didn’t want to make that mistake with Armada.
Zach Lightman has been fantasizing his life away with an endless barrage of video games until one day a technologically sophisticated drop-ship lands in the courtyard of his high school drawing the attention of everyone near by. Men exit the ship in dark suits and sunglasses giving him and myself Men In Black flashbacks. Soon enough Zach learns that the endless hours of playing video games has paid off as he has been recruited by the government to fight an impending alien war using the same skills he’s mastered in video games.In one very long day Zach and a few hundred other top gamers find themselves in a secret military bunker learning about a forty year old government cover up involving alien Europans. With a handful of colorful characters, and a long lost father Zach will be in a race to prevent genocide and save the world.I’m sure by now, you all know how much I appreciate Wil Wheaton. So undoubtedly you could have guessed that I was going to read this via audible book. Again, without question Wil pulls off a great read. Each character is definable. I just read that Wil’s narration of Ready Player One was listed as one of the top ten narrations in 2014!Gun to my head, I still prefer Ready Player One but that doesn’t negate the adventure, excitement, and intense action in Armada. It was a high-octane science fiction ride that kept me wondering from page to page how it would all end. I was not disappointed in the least, just the opposite in fact, I never wanted it to end.Some day this gal wants to be invited to speak at a writer’s conference and with any luck about my own books. I just look forward to the day when I can sit next to Ernie Cline and know that I’ve made it in the science fiction universe.

July 21, 2015

The Perks of Being A WallflowerReviewed by Miranda BoyerDear Charlie, I am writing you because you listen and I feel you have been a good friend the past few days as we’ve gotten to know one another. You’ve opened your heart to me and the honestly has been refreshing. There is an old saying about not judging someone until you’ve walked a mile in his or her shoes. I feel like you’ve given me the opportunity to see your life through your eyes and experiences. You are so intelligent, and I can see that you don’t really get credit for that. Let me say this, as I know only two before have said aloud, you are special, and you’re story is one worth sharing.              You have taught me much about emotions, and the importance of being your self, feeling your feelings, and being honest with those around you. You’ve shared your experience with the generosity of love, the meaning of friendship, and how beautiful the innocence of thought and feelings can be.             I hope that you get better, in a perfect world you go on to do wonderful things with you’re life. I hope that someday you are able to show to not only yourself but also others how much you have to offer the world.             Lastly I hope that one day you get the opportunity to love the real Sam, and not just the fictionalized idea in your head of whom she is. If not Sam, then some other beautiful kind human. I hope that one day, you get to love the good and bad and experience that same warmth in return. Someday soon, we will meet again. Until that day, I will share your address with those around me, and I hope that they too can meet and fall in love with you Charlie. Love always, Miranda
The Perks of Being A Wallflower
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
Dear Charlie,
I am writing you because you listen and I feel you have been a good friend the past few days as we’ve gotten to know one another. You’ve opened your heart to me and the honestly has been refreshing. There is an old saying about not judging someone until you’ve walked a mile in his or her shoes. I feel like you’ve given me the opportunity to see your life through your eyes and experiences. You are so intelligent, and I can see that you don’t really get credit for that. Let me say this, as I know only two before have said aloud, you are special, and you’re story is one worth sharing.You have taught me much about emotions, and the importance of being your self, feeling your feelings, and being honest with those around you. You’ve shared your experience with the generosity of love, the meaning of friendship, and how beautiful the innocence of thought and feelings can be.
I hope that you get better, in a perfect world you go on to do wonderful things with you’re life. I hope that someday you are able to show to not only yourself but also others how much you have to offer the world.
Lastly I hope that one day you get the opportunity to love the real Sam, and not just the fictionalized idea in your head of whom she is. If not Sam, then some other beautiful kind human. I hope that one day, you get to love the good and bad and experience that same warmth in return. Someday soon, we will meet again. Until that day, I will share your address with those around me, and I hope that they too can meet and fall in love with you Charlie.
Love always,
Miranda
July 21, 2015

Inside Out Reviewed by Miranda BoyerFrom the creators of Toy Story, WALL-E, and Monsters, Inc. comes a visual masterpiece filled with magic, emotional sensitivity, asking the deeper question about life in the film Inside Out. When I saw the preview for Inside Out there was no question in my mind that this was going to be epic on colossal scale. Of course the movie did not disappoint. When I was reading about the film, I was intrigued to find out that the creators went to actual doctors to learn about our inner-voices. On average there are 27 in fact and the creators managed to cross reference from multiple lists, narrowing it down to the top five emotions experienced and were able to create a cast of characters from that list. Inside Out is an examination of the life and feelings of a young eleven-year-old girl Riley Anderson. At first we meet Riley and Joy (Amy Peohler). Joy is our tour guide through Riley’s mind and headquarters. She enthusiastically tells us how it is “Just Riley and me forever!” That is until less then a minute later Sadness (Phyllis Smith) arrives and in short time we meet Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hadar), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling). Everything is great, life is good and the first eleven years have been exhilarating in the control center. Personality traits have even surfaced: Goofball Island, Friendship Island, and Family Island all in which attribute to why Riley is Riley. Riley’s life is suddenly disrupted when Mom (Diane Lane) and Dad (Kyle MacLachlan) move the family from their Minnesota home to San Francisco. This was one of the most emotionally stirring cartoons I’ve seen in years, and I really can’t wait to see it again. The journey that both Joy and Riley go on will have you rooting till the end. If this doesn’t bring a happy tear to your eye, I might question weather or not you’re actually a human.
Inside Out
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
From the creators of Toy Story, WALL-E, and Monsters, Inc. comes a visual masterpiece filled with magic, emotional sensitivity, asking the deeper question about life in the film Inside Out.
When I saw the preview for Inside Out there was no question in my mind that this was going to be epic on colossal scale. Of course the movie did not disappoint. When I was reading about the film, I was intrigued to find out that the creators went to actual doctors to learn about our inner-voices. On average there are 27 in fact and the creators managed to cross reference from multiple lists, narrowing it down to the top five emotions experienced and were able to create a cast of characters from that list.
Inside Out is an examination of the life and feelings of a young eleven-year-old girl Riley Anderson. At first we meet Riley and Joy (Amy Peohler). Joy is our tour guide through Riley’s mind and headquarters. She enthusiastically tells us how it is “Just Riley and me forever!” That is until less then a minute later Sadness (Phyllis Smith) arrives and in short time we meet Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hadar), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling).
Everything is great, life is good and the first eleven years have been exhilarating in the control center. Personality traits have even surfaced: Goofball Island, Friendship Island, and Family Island all in which attribute to why Riley is Riley. Riley’s life is suddenly disrupted when Mom (Diane Lane) and Dad (Kyle MacLachlan) move the family from their Minnesota home to San Francisco.
This was one of the most emotionally stirring cartoons I’ve seen in years, and I really can’t wait to see it again. The journey that both Joy and Riley go on will have you rooting till the end. If this doesn’t bring a happy tear to your eye, I might question weather or not you’re actually a human.
July 20, 2015

Jurassic World Reviewed by Miranda BoyerThere are a few things that this girl loves as a general rule: coffee, fast cars, reading, and dinosaurs. So when I heard that there was a new Jurassic movie coming out, of course I got excited. Duh! This was probably the best of the four movies… Well maybe closer to a tie with the original but not by much. Jurassic World takes place 20 years after the first film, and details the pandemonium of a dinosaur park after a genetically modified monster escapes from it’s holding cell, I mean cage, I mean home… With a little help from Chris Pratt and no help form Bryce Dallas Howard and Vincent D’Onofrio most everyone manages to die by dinosaur mauling. In more then one way it resembles the original Jurassic Park for example, young siblings being lost in the park running from monsters the whole movie. Ironically enough in so many ways the original is superior, but World has more jumpy moments, better graphics, and monster on monster action! It was thrilling and impressive to the very end. Let’s just say that if there was a fifth, I’d watch it.
Jurassic World
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
There are a few things that this girl loves as a general rule: coffee, fast cars, reading, and dinosaurs. So when I heard that there was a new Jurassic movie coming out, of course I got excited. Duh!
This was probably the best of the four movies… Well maybe closer to a tie with the original but not by much. Jurassic World takes place 20 years after the first film, and details the pandemonium of a dinosaur park after a genetically modified monster escapes from it’s holding cell, I mean cage, I mean home…With a little help from Chris Pratt and no help form Bryce Dallas Howard and Vincent D’Onofrio most everyone manages to die by dinosaur mauling. In more then one way it resembles the original Jurassic Park for example, young siblings being lost in the park running from monsters the whole movie. Ironically enough in so many ways the original is superior, but World has more jumpy moments, better graphics, and monster on monster action! It was thrilling and impressive to the very end. Let’s just say that if there was a fifth, I’d watch it.
July 17, 2015

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August By Claire NorthNarrated by Peter KennyReviewed by Miranda Boyer The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is a book unparalleled by most. I picked this book up in an audio format.  First let me say this note about Peter Kenny, he is hands down one of the best narrators I’ve ever had the privilege of listening too. Throughout this book, there is an endless array of accents, even by our main character and Kenny handles each flawlessly. Not only does is voice add to the story, I can’t imagine that this superlative novel being told any other way. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August explores the meaning of time, life, friendship, and personal fate in awe-inspiring premise. Harry, our protagonist is reborn life after life as himself, same year, same family, same everything. Reincarnation or Groundhog’s day on steroids, I suppose we’ll never know. Each beginning of his lives is identical to the first with the exception that by the age of four or five Harry remembers the entirety of each of his former lives. At first, in his second life, Harry and his family think he’s gone mad and he kills himself by the age of seven. By his third life he’s adjusted to his fate and starts to understand the advantages to using his knowledge of the world to better his situation. Soon Harry learns that he is a rare bread of people, the Kalachakra, who are apart of a secret society, the Cronos Club, spanning all of time. The club protects and saves young members from the hostage like state of having to live life as an adolescent repeatedly without being able to change their own lives. The club also is a way for each member to connect and pass messages through time both forward and backwards. Harry receives such a message in his eleventh life from a little girl: The world is ending, much like it always does, but at an accelerated rate and far sooner then it should.I found that Harry is most fascinating when he’s at his most reflective moments in the book. Harry endures some atrocious experiences in multiple lives; he often looks back in a retrospective way with an almost cold historian like dispassion that edges on inhuman. This wall he’s built up around himself protects him from every experience he’s had in his more then 900 years on earth. Once in a while that wall cracks, and when those emotions come out and Harry can’t catalog them as a third party anymore, that’s when Harry is most compelling. The internal battle between what he dispassionately knows needs to be completed and what he emotionally desires to do instead makes for a beautiful read. Claire North aka Catherine Webb is a skilled writer who strings a number of deeply complex events together flawlessly in a clear and compelling narrative. I couldn’t put this down.
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
By Claire North
Narrated by Peter Kenny
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is a book unparalleled by most. I picked this book up in an audio format.  First let me say this note about Peter Kenny, he is hands down one of the best narrators I’ve ever had the privilege of listening too. Throughout this book, there is an endless array of accents, even by our main character and Kenny handles each flawlessly. Not only does is voice add to the story, I can’t imagine that this superlative novel being told any other way.The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August explores the meaning of time, life, friendship, and personal fate in awe-inspiring premise. Harry, our protagonist is reborn life after life as himself, same year, same family, same everything. Reincarnation or Groundhog’s day on steroids, I suppose we’ll never know. Each beginning of his lives is identical to the first with the exception that by the age of four or five Harry remembers the entirety of each of his former lives. At first, in his second life, Harry and his family think he’s gone mad and he kills himself by the age of seven. By his third life he’s adjusted to his fate and starts to understand the advantages to using his knowledge of the world to better his situation.
Soon Harry learns that he is a rare bread of people, the Kalachakra, who are apart of a secret society, the Cronos Club, spanning all of time. The club protects and saves young members from the hostage like state of having to live life as an adolescent repeatedly without being able to change their own lives. The club also is a way for each member to connect and pass messages through time both forward and backwards. Harry receives such a message in his eleventh life from a little girl: The world is ending, much like it always does, but at an accelerated rate and far sooner then it should.
I found that Harry is most fascinating when he’s at his most reflective moments in the book. Harry endures some atrocious experiences in multiple lives; he often looks back in a retrospective way with an almost cold historian like dispassion that edges on inhuman. This wall he’s built up around himself protects him from every experience he’s had in his more then 900 years on earth. Once in a while that wall cracks, and when those emotions come out and Harry can’t catalog them as a third party anymore, that’s when Harry is most compelling. The internal battle between what he dispassionately knows needs to be completed and what he emotionally desires to do instead makes for a beautiful read.
Claire North aka Catherine Webb is a skilled writer who strings a number of deeply complex events together flawlessly in a clear and compelling narrative. I couldn’t put this down.
July 1, 2015

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank BaumNarrated by Anne HathawayReviewed by Miranda BoyerIn the forward, Baum says that he didn’t intend for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to be violent, like so many fairytales before it. However this is a book about a little girl get’s transported to a magical strange land where she kills the first person she meets. Later she teams up with three complete strangers to kill yet again. When I was young, I watched the movie, with Judy Garland, but I never understood what the appeal was. I was perusing the audible titles the other day, as I like to listen to books as well as read them. At first when I saw the listing I kept right on looking, until I saw that Anne Hathaway was reading it. Oh how I clicked to look.Turns out for 99 cents I got to hear one of the funniest audio’s of a book; that I wasn’t even that found of. My favorite part was probably Hathaway’s valley girl raven. It was a short read coming in a just over three hours. Overall, still not my favorite, for no reason in particular. But I did enjoy Hathaway’s rendition. I would recommend investing some pennies for a good laugh.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
By L. Frank Baum
Narrated by Anne Hathaway
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
In the forward, Baum says that he didn’t intend for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to be violent, like so many fairytales before it. However this is a book about a little girl get’s transported to a magical strange land where she kills the first person she meets. Later she teams up with three complete strangers to kill yet again.

image

When I was young, I watched the movie, with Judy Garland, but I never understood what the appeal was. I was perusing the audible titles the other day, as I like to listen to books as well as read them. At first when I saw the listing I kept right on looking, until I saw that Anne Hathaway was reading it. Oh how I clicked to look.

Turns out for 99 cents I got to hear one of the funniest audio’s of a book; that I wasn’t even that found of. My favorite part was probably Hathaway’s valley girl raven. It was a short read coming in a just over three hours. Overall, still not my favorite, for no reason in particular. But I did enjoy Hathaway’s rendition. I would recommend investing some pennies for a good laugh.

June 30, 2015

The Importance of Being Earnest By Ernest ClineReviewed by Miranda BoyerErnie Cline is one of my favorite people authoring my<br /> favorite book Ready Player One. So it<br /> should be no surprise that I was willing to get my hands on anything while I<br /> wait for Armada to be released later this year. The Importance of Being<br /> Ernest, while a play by Oscar Wilde, it is also a book of poetry slash<br /> monologs by Ernie Cline. Cline actively participated in various poetry slams<br /> from 1997-2001 when he wrote this short little book.Some of my favorites from this compellation was<br /> When I Was a Kid; Cinema Verite;<br /> The Geek Wants Out; and the title poem The<br /> Importance of Being Ernest. The last one I can relate to 100 percent. If I<br /> had a nickel for every time someone asked me to read him or her thier rights…<br /> I’d be a very rich person. This book as originally published by Cline himself in 2004,<br /> and since the success of Ready Player One<br /> this little charm has a new edition with fantastic illustrations by Len<br /> Peralta. If you don’t want to shell out $15 for this book, which is a<br /> great addition to my own collection, then you can check out Ernie Cline’s<br /> website where you can find copies of these poems as well as his spoken word<br /> album “Ultraman is Airworlf” which is a collection Cline performing these at<br /> various poetry slams. The only downside… I wish there was more!
The Importance of Being Earnest
By Ernest Cline
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
Ernie Cline is one of my favorite people authoring my favorite book Ready Player One. So it should be no surprise that I was willing to get my hands on anything while I wait for Armada to be released later this year.
The Importance of Being Ernest, while a play by Oscar Wilde, it is also a book of poetry slash monologs by Ernie Cline. Cline actively participated in various poetry slams from 1997-2001 when he wrote this short little book.Some of my favorites from this compilation was When I Was a Kid; Cinema Verite; The Geek Wants Out; and the title poem The Importance of Being Ernest. The last one I can relate to 100 percent. If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me to read him or her their rights… I’d be a very rich person.
This book as originally published by Cline himself in 2004, and since the success of Ready Player One this little charm has a new edition with fantastic illustrations by Len Peralta.If you don’t want to shell out $15 for this book, which is a great addition to my own collection, then you can check out Ernie Cline’s website where you can find copies of these poems as well as his spoken word album “Ultraman is Airworlf” which is a collection Cline performing these at various poetry slams.
The only downside… I wish there was more!
June 29, 2015

Long Live The Suicide King By Aaron Michael Ritchey Reviewed by Miranda BoyerThis is a tragic yet beautiful story of a teenager who is fighting to find a reason to live. What is the meaning of life? Why do you keep going every day, in and out of the same routine? What is it that pushes you forward and gives you the will to live each day? This is the story of JD. Through this first person point of view, we get a glimpse into the life of Jim and a taste of what life looking up from the bottom feels like. Jim’s grandfather was the man he looked up too, the man who parented him when his own parental figures couldn’t or wouldn’t be around. Then he died, but not before a decline into dementia and ultimately a very un-heroic death. In the middle of a drug-fueled clarity JD realizes that he’s not a very nice person. He’s grown cold and mean, even standing by while he nearly watches his friends do something reprehensible.  Jim doesn’t want to die like his grandfather did, he doesn’t want to be a bad person anymore, and he doesn’t want to live without purpose. He simply doesn’t want to live.  This book is Jim’s road to redemption so to speak; his path toward finding something to live for. He does it sober, without a bottle of something, smoking something, or taking anything might draw him back to the dark side and give him reason to change his mind.  Life however seems to have it’s own intricacies that make him pause—whether it be, from his elderly neighbor, the god fearing good girl, the jock, his own counselor, or the friendships found in the unlikeliest places.  This book is filled with dry adolescent wit and as always Ritchey does an excellent job at story telling. This book deals with a number of not so light topics and each are handled with the grace of a Suicide King.  Your story is not finished yet. This is a dauntless book navigating a tough topic with guts and grace that shouldn’t be missed.  
Long Live The Suicide King
By Aaron Michael Ritchey
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
This is a tragic yet beautiful story of a teenager who is fighting to find a reason to live. What is the meaning of life? Why do you keep going every day, in and out of the same routine? What is it that pushes you forward and gives you the will to live each day?
This is the story of JD. Through this first person point of view, we get a glimpse into the life of Jim and a taste of what life looking up from the bottom feels like. Jim’s grandfather was the man he looked up too, the man who parented him when his own parental figures couldn’t or wouldn’t be around. Then he died, but not before a decline into dementia and ultimately a very un-heroic death.In the middle of a drug-fueled clarity JD realizes that he’s not a very nice person. He’s grown cold and mean, even standing by while he nearly watches his friends do something reprehensible.
Jim doesn’t want to die like his grandfather did, he doesn’t want to be a bad person anymore, and he doesn’t want to live without purpose. He simply doesn’t want to live.This book is Jim’s road to redemption so to speak; his path toward finding something to live for. He does it sober, without a bottle of something, smoking something, or taking anything might draw him back to the dark side and give him reason to change his mind.Life however seems to have it’s own intricacies that make him pause—whether it be, from his elderly neighbor, the god fearing good girl, the jock, his own counselor, or the friendships found in the unlikeliest places.
This book is filled with dry adolescent wit and as always Ritchey does an excellent job at story telling. This book deals with a number of not so light topics and each are handled with the grace of a Suicide King.
Your story is not finished yet. This is a dauntless book navigating a tough topic with guts and grace that shouldn’t be missed.
June 28, 2015

In the Unlikely Event By Judy Blume Reviewed by Miranda BoyerIn the Unlikely Event is<br /> Judy Blume’s highly anticipated new novel, and only one of four aimed at an<br /> older audience in Blume’s career. In the vain of Summer Sisters, this novel is told through the many eyes of a town.<br /> In the Unlikely Event takes place in<br /> the 1950s in Elizabeth New Jersey where three planes fell from the sky in less<br /> then sixty days. Pulling from the backdrop of her own experience living through<br /> these actual events, at 77 years old, Blume depicts a time when Elizabeth<br /> Taylor haircuts and A-bomb hysteria were very real.  I know that a lot of people found tracking the various<br /> characters difficult, the biggest complaint about this book, however I didn’t<br /> find it to be anything new. One of my favorite books is Judy Blume’s Summer<br /> Sisters and it was written in a similar fashion. I found it refreshing and<br /> ultimately unique story telling device that enriched the narrative. While the crashes are at the center of the story<br /> manipulating the lives of each character, this narrative is really a coming of<br /> age story. The reader experiences these events from three generations of<br /> families, friends, and strangers.Bulme successfully honors the real victims of these tragic<br /> events by bringing to life the facts surrounding the plane crashes in New<br /> Jersey. In the Unlikely Event is an enchanting<br /> story of life’s ordinary and extraordinary events.
In the Unlikely Event
By Judy Blume
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
In the Unlikely Event is Judy Blume’s highly anticipated new novel, and only one of four aimed at an older audience in Blume’s career. In the vain of Summer Sisters, this novel is told through the many eyes of a town. In the Unlikely Event takes place in the 1950s in Elizabeth New Jersey where three planes fell from the sky in less then sixty days. Pulling from the backdrop of her own experience living through these actual events, at 77 years old, Blume depicts a time when Elizabeth Taylor haircuts and A-bomb hysteria were very real.
I know that a lot of people found tracking the various characters difficult, the biggest complaint about this book, however I didn’t find it to be anything new. One of my favorite books is Judy Blume’s Summer Sisters and it was written in a similar fashion. I found it refreshing and ultimately unique story telling device that enriched the narrative.While the crashes are at the center of the story manipulating the lives of each character, this narrative is really a coming of age story. The reader experiences these events from three generations of families, friends, and strangers.
Blume successfully honors the real victims of these tragic events by bringing to life the facts surrounding the plane crashes in New Jersey. In the Unlikely Event is an enchanting story of life’s ordinary and extraordinary events.
San Andreas Review by Miranda BoyerLos Angeles rescue ranger Ray, (Dwayne Johnson…am I still<br /><br /> aloud to say Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson?) and his wife (Carla Gugino) are action<br /><br /> spouses trying to get to San Francisco after the Big One finely hits the<br /><br /> California San Andreas Fault line to save their daughter. Be it helicopter,<br /><br /> stolen truck, stolen plane, or stolen boat their only goal is to save their<br /><br /> daughter.  This is a story about a middle-class nuclear family on verge<br /><br /> of a divorce that manage to come together in the middle of the biggest crisis<br /><br /> known to man, with a private helicopter. While it doesn’t say specifically, I’m<br /><br /> pretty sure it was a work issue helicopter for those who wonder how convenient<br /><br /> it was that he owned one. This movie will provide you with an endless succession of<br /><br /> cringe worthy natural disasters. The fear of falling, being crushed, drowning<br /><br /> or a hundred other ways to die are ever present. Never say never because let me<br /><br /> just say, it can always get worse. Paul Giamatti is about the only shining star in this film,<br /><br /> holding down the subplot about a Caltech professor who knew the whole event<br /><br /> would happen only no one listens.While I love to watch anything that Dwayne Johnson does, he just didn’t nail<br /><br /> the heart felt moments making my movie theatre companion and I giggle.<br /><br /> Although, I will watch him run with the injured and helpless in his arms any<br /><br /> day.  In the end this was a doomsday film with a never ending<br /><br /> supply of action. If you don’t mind the subpar acting and some of the cheesiest<br /><br /> lines known to man, it wasn’t a that bad of a film. I might have nightmares about<br /><br /> earthquakes, but I kind of liked it.  
San Andreas
Review by Miranda Boyer
Los Angeles rescue ranger Ray, (Dwayne Johnson…am I still aloud to say Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson?) and his wife (Carla Gugino) are action spouses trying to get to San Francisco after the Big One finely hits the California San Andreas Fault line to save their daughter. Be it helicopter, stolen truck, stolen plane, or stolen boat their only goal is to save their daughter.
This is a story about a middle-class nuclear family on verge of a divorce that manage to come together in the middle of the biggest crisis known to man, with a private helicopter. While it doesn’t say specifically, I’m pretty sure it was a work issue helicopter for those who wonder how convenient it was that he owned one.This movie will provide you with an endless succession of cringe worthy natural disasters. The fear of falling, being crushed, drowning or a hundred other ways to die are ever present. Never say never because let me just say, it can always get worse.Paul Giamatti is about the only shining star in this film, holding down the subplot about a Caltech professor who knew the whole event would happen only no one listens.
While I love to watch anything that Dwayne Johnson does, he just didn’t nail the heart felt moments making my movie theatre companion and I giggle. Although, I will watch him run with the injured and helpless in his arms any day.In the end this was a doomsday film with a never ending supply of action. If you don’t mind the subpar acting and some of the cheesiest lines known to man, it wasn’t a that bad of a film. I might have nightmares about earthquakes, but I kind of liked it.
TomorrowlandReview by Miranda BoyerTomorrowland attempts<br /><br /><br /> to turn the heads of youth who have become increasingly pessimistic about their<br /><br /><br /> ability to make a positive impact on the world. Tomorrowland promises a better tomorrow. Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) is an intelligent,<br /><br /><br /> passionate, optimistic young woman. Her father (Tim McGraw) is on the fast<br /><br /><br /> track to loosing his job with NASA as he nears completion of his job<br /><br /><br /> disassembling one of it’s legendary shuttle launch pads. In the middle of the<br /><br /><br /> night, via stealthy ninja moves, Casey disables equipment to ensure that her father’s<br /><br /><br /> work will take a little longer, delaying the inevitable. Eventually Casey is<br /><br /><br /> caught red handed so to speak and taken to jail. When she is released, by the<br /><br /><br /> grace of her father’s boss, she discovers a pin with the letter ‘T’ among her<br /><br /><br /> belongings that shows her a vision of a futuristic world. Eventually the pin looses its power, and Casey goes in<br /><br /><br /> search of anyone who can provide her with more information. She uncovers a conspiracy<br /><br /><br /> that proves that the Utopia is both real, and that the world is in danger of a<br /><br /><br /> catastrophic ending. With the help of Frank (George Clooney) and Android Athena<br /><br /><br /> (Raffey Cassidy), Casey sets out to save the future. I grew up about an hour away from Disneyland and spent many days<br /><br /><br /> of my youth wandering the park riding rides and living in my own fantasy where Tomorrowland was real. Eventually my family moved away, but we still<br /><br /><br /> managed to visit family once a year and of course there was always Disneyland. I might have a<br /><br /><br /> soft spot for this movie, as it plays on the imaginations of the young, and the<br /><br /><br /> memories of the old. Tomorrowland is a<br /><br /><br /> sincere idealistic film that asks the viewer to try harder. Pointing out that<br /><br /><br /> while we gobble up the idea of dystopian societies and destruction, we often never<br /><br /><br /> lifting a hand to better our own world. It’s easier to put it off, forever procrastinating.<br /><br /><br /> Yes this movie asks the viewer to think twice about the earth, but I don’t see<br /><br /><br /> this as a bad thing. Why is it a fauxpas to want a better future? Why is it<br /><br /><br /> wrong to be optimistic? Tomorrowland asks<br /><br /><br /> you to set aside the negative and dream big. I for one enjoy dreaming big.
Tomorrowland
Review by Miranda Boyer
Tomorrowland attempts to turn the heads of youth who have become increasingly pessimistic about their ability to make a positive impact on the world. Tomorrowland promises a better tomorrow.Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) is an intelligent, passionate, optimistic young woman. Her father (Tim McGraw) is on the fast track to loosing his job with NASA as he nears completion of his job disassembling one of it’s legendary shuttle launch pads. In the middle of the night, via stealthy ninja moves, Casey disables equipment to ensure that her father’s work will take a little longer, delaying the inevitable. Eventually Casey is caught red handed so to speak and taken to jail. When she is released, by the grace of her father’s boss, she discovers a pin with the letter ‘T’ among her belongings that shows her a vision of a futuristic world.
Eventually the pin looses its power, and Casey goes in search of anyone who can provide her with more information. She uncovers a conspiracy that proves that the Utopia is both real, and that the world is in danger of a catastrophic ending. With the help of Frank (George Clooney) and Android Athena (Raffey Cassidy), Casey sets out to save the future.
I grew up about an hour away from Disneyland and spent many days of my youth wandering the park riding rides and living in my own fantasy where Tomorrowland was real. Eventually my family moved away, but we still managed to visit family once a year and of course there was always Disneyland. I might have a soft spot for this movie, as it plays on the imaginations of the young, and the memories of the old.
Tomorrowland is a sincere idealistic film that asks the viewer to try harder. Pointing out that while we gobble up the idea of dystopian societies and destruction, we often never lifting a hand to better our own world. It’s easier to put it off, forever procrastinating. Yes this movie asks the viewer to think twice about the earth, but I don’t see this as a bad thing. Why is it a fauxpas to want a better future? Why is it wrong to be optimistic? Tomorrowland asks you to set aside the negative and dream big. I for one enjoy dreaming big.
June 17, 2015

The Name of the Wind By Patrick RothfussReviewed by Miranda Boyer I met and had a great conversation with Patrick Rothfuss,<br /><br /><br /> before ever knowing who he was. I met him, among many other wonderful authors,<br /><br /><br /> at the writer’s conference during ECCC this past year. Later when I was looking<br /><br /><br /> through the books for purchase I recognized his name from meeting him and I<br /><br /><br /> picked up a copy of The Name of the Wind<br /><br /><br /> and read the back. While standing there merely reading the back of this book I<br /><br /><br /> was stopped not once, but three times. Each person who approached me felt the<br /><br /><br /> strong need to tell me about his or her individual love for this very book. The<br /><br /><br /> last person told me that not only was this his second favorite book of all<br /><br /><br /> time, but that his first was Ready Player<br /><br /><br /> One, which as you know, if you’ve read my review, is also my favorite book.<br /><br /><br /> There was no question now… I had to buy it. This is the sort of novel that fantasy readers search their<br /><br /><br /> whole lives to find, and the kind of book that a novelist (such as myself) can<br /><br /><br /> only hope of attaining a fraction of its beauty.  This book is eloquently written, with deeply<br /><br /><br /> complex characters. There are careful revelations and amazing pot twists. In my<br /><br /><br /> opinion one of the best parts is emerging into the world slowly without feeling<br /><br /><br /> overwhelmed when being introduced to its nuances. No, instead, every thing I<br /><br /><br /> learned made me fall in love a little more. Step into a world where magic, mystery, adventure, and most<br /><br /><br /> of all a great story lives. This is the story of Kvothe. He is Kvothe the<br /><br /><br /> bloodless, The Flame, The Thunder, The Broken Tree, E’lir, and one of the Edema<br /><br /><br /> Ruh. He is Kvothe the Arcane, and Kvothe Kingkiller. Kvothe, our protagonist, is seemingly hiding as an<br /><br /><br /> innkeeper. But when he rescues a bard, he ends up sharing his life’s story with<br /><br /><br /> the chronicler. 9/10ths of this book is the back story of a nearly-mythical<br /><br /><br /> wizard, mixed with the increasingly dark present back at the inn. The best part about this book is that Kvothe is, in so many<br /><br /><br /> ways, a very relatable character. The conflict isn’t built up on small<br /><br /><br /> disagreements that could have been easily solved if one person would have just<br /><br /><br /> cleared up some misunderstanding. Those types of situations would have me<br /><br /><br /> shaking my head and this was not the case during The Name of the Wind. The love story is something we can all relate<br /><br /><br /> too, probably in our teen years. A friend who we have stronger feelings for but<br /><br /><br /> never had the courage to say anything for fear of ruining the relationship. And<br /><br /><br /> most of all, Kvothe is afraid of failure and making mistakes. His problems<br /><br /><br /> often stem from a lack of action rather then a stupidity or brashness. I don’t<br /><br /><br /> know any man who isn’t afraid of failure on some level. The magic in this novel is thoroughly rooted in the world in<br /><br /><br /> which Rothfuss has created. Nothing seems contrived and the consistency of it<br /><br /><br /> is flawless. When the protagonist does something youthful and dumb, the<br /><br /><br /> authenticity rings true, just as it does when he does something clever. Each<br /><br /><br /> character is realized. Because of this, the magic is true to its own world. I devoured this book, and felt as though I’ve been on a long<br /><br /><br /> journey in another land. The second in this three (and a half) book series, The Wise Man’s Fears will be on my<br /><br /><br /> reading list in due time. “Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have<br /><br /><br /> power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can<br /><br /><br /> wring tears from the hardest hearts” – Patrick Rothfuss The Name of the Wind
The Name of the Wind
By Patrick Rothfuss
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
I met and had a great conversation with Patrick Rothfuss, before ever knowing who he was. I met him, among many other wonderful authors, at the writer’s conference during ECCC this past year. Later when I was looking through the books for purchase I recognized his name from meeting him and I picked up a copy of The Name of the Wind and read the back. While standing there merely reading the back of this book I was stopped not once, but three times. Each person who approached me felt the strong need to tell me about his or her individual love for this very book. The last person told me that not only was this his second favorite book of all time, but that his first was Ready Player One, which as you know, if you’ve read my review, is also my favorite book. There was no question now… I had to buy it.
This is the sort of novel that fantasy readers search their whole lives to find, and the kind of book that a novelist (such as myself) can only hope of attaining a fraction of its beauty.  This book is eloquently written, with deeply complex characters. There are careful revelations and amazing pot twists. In my opinion one of the best parts is emerging into the world slowly without feeling overwhelmed when being introduced to its nuances. No, instead, every thing I learned made me fall in love a little more.
Step into a world where magic, mystery, adventure, and most of all a great story lives. This is the story of Kvothe. He is Kvothe the bloodless, The Flame, The Thunder, The Broken Tree, E’lir, and one of the Edema Ruh. He is Kvothe the Arcane, and Kvothe Kingkiller.
Kvothe, our protagonist, is seemingly hiding as an innkeeper. But when he rescues a bard, he ends up sharing his life’s story with the chronicler. 9/10ths of this book is the back story of a nearly-mythical wizard, mixed with the increasingly dark present back at the inn.The best part about this book is that Kvothe is, in so many ways, a very relatable character. The conflict isn’t built up on small disagreements that could have been easily solved if one person would have just cleared up some misunderstanding. Those types of situations would have me shaking my head and this was not the case during The Name of the Wind. The love story is something we can all relate too, probably in our teen years. A friend who we have stronger feelings for but never had the courage to say anything for fear of ruining the relationship. And most of all, Kvothe is afraid of failure and making mistakes. His problems often stem from a lack of action rather then a stupidity or brashness. I don’t know any man who isn’t afraid of failure on some level.The magic in this novel is thoroughly rooted in the world in which Rothfuss has created. Nothing seems contrived and the consistency of it is flawless. When the protagonist does something youthful and dumb, the authenticity rings true, just as it does when he does something clever. Each character is realized. Because of this, the magic is true to its own world.I devoured this book, and felt as though I’ve been on a long journey in another land.
The second in this three (and a half) book series, The Wise Man’s Fears will be on my reading list in due time.“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts” – Patrick Rothfuss The Name of the Wind
June 15, 2015

Mad Max: Road to FuryReviewed by Miranda BoyerThirty-six years after the original Mad Max debuted we are forced to live through another installment,<br /><br /><br /> this time Fury Road. George Miller<br /><br /><br /> directed the newest and every previous Mad<br /><br /><br /> Max feature. Although he clearly forgets that not everyone follows his<br /><br /><br /> films closely and might not know what is going on.Tom Hardy, is our Max who is forced to be a living blood<br /><br /><br /> bank in a nightmare world where gangs of powder-faced skin heads control the<br /><br /><br /> water supply and other humans. Let’s not forget the fact that women are<br /><br /><br /> property used for milking, and breeding an entire population of disgusting<br /><br /><br /> toothless peasantry, begging for water. If there is one thing that this film has going for it, it is<br /><br /><br /> John Seal’s cinematography. While simultaneously thinking about how confusing<br /><br /><br /> this movie was, and complaining about the lack of any back story AT ALL, I did<br /><br /><br /> often want to complement the beauty of the filming. Despite the occasional beauty the whole movie was one LONG<br /><br /><br /> chase scene. I think I can sum up this movie pretty easily. There is a<br /><br /><br /> woman named Furiosa (named this as a child, not a name she earned I might add) has<br /><br /><br /> rescued and is now fleeing with five of the young breeders/kings wives. Max meets<br /><br /><br /> up with them in the desert by chance. Furiosa, Max, and the breeders are<br /><br /><br /> fleeing and the King’s army is chasing them. Over and over; in different ways; in<br /><br /><br /> different vehicles; in different directions. I will give props where there due, and Charlize Theron, as<br /><br /><br /> Furiosa gives an impressive performance of raw emotion, if only the film could<br /><br /><br /> be brought up to her talent.It is no secret that I love a good car chase scene and explosions (Furious 7) but<br /><br /><br /> I do require the ability to feel for the characters, not to mention the small<br /><br /><br /> part about wanting to know what the hell is going on. If you’re into two straight<br /><br /><br /> hours of action that are filmed really well but entirely lacking in suspense,<br /><br /><br /> then this is the movie for you.
Mad Max: Road to Fury
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
Thirty-six years after the original Mad Max debuted we are forced to live through another installment, this time Fury Road. George Miller directed the newest and every previous Mad Max feature. Although he clearly forgets that not everyone follows his films closely and might not know what is going on.
Tom Hardy, is our Max who is forced to be a living blood bank in a nightmare world where gangs of powder-faced skin heads control the water supply and other humans. Let’s not forget the fact that women are property used for milking, and breeding an entire population of disgusting toothless peasantry, begging for water.
If there is one thing that this film has going for it, it is John Seal’s cinematography. While simultaneously thinking about how confusing this movie was, and complaining about the lack of any back story AT ALL, I did often want to complement the beauty of the filming.
Despite the occasional beauty the whole movie was one LONG chase scene.I think I can sum up this movie pretty easily. There is a woman named Furiosa (named this as a child, not a name she earned I might add) has rescued and is now fleeing with five of the young breeders/kings wives. Max meets up with them in the desert by chance. Furiosa, Max, and the breeders are fleeing and the King’s army is chasing them. Over and over; in different ways; in different vehicles; in different directions.
I will give props where there due, and Charlize Theron, as Furiosa gives an impressive performance of raw emotion, if only the film could be brought up to her talent.It is no secret that I love a good car chase scene and explosions (Furious 7) but I do require the ability to feel for the characters, not to mention the small part about wanting to know what the hell is going on. If you’re into two straight hours of action that are filmed really well but entirely lacking in suspense, then this is the movie for you.
June 15, 2015

I Am Not A Serial KillerBy Dan WellsReviewed by Miranda BoyerI’ve just finished reading the book I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells, whom I had the pleasure of<br /><br /><br /> meet and chatting with at Emerald City Comic Con this past March. I really did<br /><br /><br /> walk away with a slew of knew authors to read, and I’ve slowly been making my<br /><br /><br /> way through the list. This book starts a little slow, not to say that it isn’t<br /><br /><br /> gripping, we get to see first hand what embalming a corpse is like after all,<br /><br /><br /> but the story itself needs the first hundred pages to really get moving. We<br /><br /><br /> meet the main character John Wayne Cleaver. He’s a fifteen year old who is<br /><br /><br /> presently on the psychopathy trail of destruction. He does everything in his<br /><br /><br /> power to follow his own self-imposed rules in an attempt to be “normal”.  But with a name like John Wayne, only a very<br /><br /><br /> well known serial killer, and the last name of a weapon how could John really<br /><br /><br /> have any actual chance at being normal. Or so he thinks.The story focuses on John in a sort of character analysis introspection. We<br /><br /><br /> read and watch John as both a typical teenage boy (although maybe he doesn’t<br /><br /><br /> recognize that some of his thoughts are normal) and we get to openly see the<br /><br /><br /> mind of a psychopath (the not so normal parts). Until, that is a serial killer<br /><br /><br /> in his small town starts to slowly pick people off, one at a time. In order to<br /><br /><br /> find and destroy the killer, John must let down his own wall of rules. John<br /><br /><br /> must let the monster he’s worked so hard at controlling, out of its box. What I love about this book is the ability to root for John,<br /><br /><br /> even when he really should disturb you.<br /><br /><br /> John is a fascinating protagonist that struggles with a lack of empathy,<br /><br /><br /> how to connect with people, and where his moral lines lay. Wells asks a hard<br /><br /><br /> question: What makes a monster? Is it the teenager who keeps his dark<br /><br /><br /> tendencies in check when even when he feels nothing watching someone die? Or is<br /><br /><br /> it the one who cries for his victims every time he mutilates one?<br /><br /><br /> I enjoyed this story. It takes some wild and unexpected twists and turns. If<br /><br /><br /> you’re looking for something outside of your comfort zone, pick up I Am Not A Serial Killer today. Also, if you haven’t heard, there making this into a movie! They finished filming recently and it is due out next year!
I Am Not A Serial Killer
By Dan Wells
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
I’ve just finished reading the book I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells, whom I had the pleasure of meet and chatting with at Emerald City Comic Con this past March. I really did walk away with a slew of knew authors to read, and I’ve slowly been making my way through the list.
This book starts a little slow, not to say that it isn’t gripping, we get to see first hand what embalming a corpse is like after all, but the story itself needs the first hundred pages to really get moving. We meet the main character John Wayne Cleaver. He’s a fifteen year old who is presently on the psychopathy trail of destruction. He does everything in his power to follow his own self-imposed rules in an attempt to be “normal”.  But with a name like John Wayne, only a very well known serial killer, and the last name of a weapon how could John really have any actual chance at being normal. Or so he thinks.The story focuses on John in a sort of character analysis introspection. We read and watch John as both a typical teenage boy (although maybe he doesn’t recognize that some of his thoughts are normal) and we get to openly see the mind of a psychopath (the not so normal parts). Until, that is a serial killer in his small town starts to slowly pick people off, one at a time. In order to find and destroy the killer, John must let down his own wall of rules. John must let the monster he’s worked so hard at controlling, out of its box.
What I love about this book is the ability to root for John, even when he really should disturb you. John is a fascinating protagonist that struggles with a lack of empathy, how to connect with people, and where his moral lines lay. Wells asks a hard question: What makes a monster? Is it the teenager who keeps his dark tendencies in check when even when he feels nothing watching someone die? Or is it the one who cries for his victims every time he mutilates one?
I enjoyed this story. It takes some wild and unexpected twists and turns. If you’re looking for something outside of your comfort zone, pick up I Am Not A Serial Killer today.Also, if you haven’t heard, there making this into a movie! They finished filming recently and it is due out next year!
June 13, 2015

Pitch Perfect 2Reviewed by Miranda BoyerIf you’ve seen the first Pitch<br /><br /><br /> Perfect movie, than you’ve come to expect the often crude humor, the<br /><br /><br /> enjoyable yet predictable narrative, camaraderie, and of course the songs. Only<br /><br /><br /> Pitch Perfect 2 is way funnier and<br /><br /><br /> the music will blow your shorts off. While the plot is a bit Hollywood streamlined, the journey<br /><br /><br /> to the end is what makes this film stand out. The majority of the former cast<br /><br /><br /> has returned for the second film and all in all every character feels fleshed out.<br /><br /><br /> There are few sequels worth praising in my book, but this film not only has<br /><br /><br /> touching goosebumpy moments, but also hilarity that will bring a tear to your<br /><br /><br /> eye. There are even underlying themes about friendship, love, and the reality<br /><br /><br /> about what life is like outside of college. This is all accomplished while<br /><br /><br /> still feeling refreshing despite following the same formula as the first. The sequel starts off with the Barden Bellas singing for the<br /><br /><br /> President of the United States (The actual Obama’s were shown) where a more<br /><br /><br /> then embarrassing incident occurs involving Fat Amy’s (Rebel Wilson) lack of<br /><br /><br /> undergarments during a pants splitting moment on stage.  Due to the repercussions of the event, public<br /><br /><br /> humiliation not being enough, the Belles won’t be able to continue to compete<br /><br /><br /> unless they win the International A Cappella Championships in Copenhagen. There<br /><br /><br /> they will have to beat out competition, Das Sound Machine, a formidable<br /><br /><br /> opponent with intense choreography and vocal precision. Beca (Anna Kendrick) has a bit of a secret this time around,<br /><br /><br /> she’s working as an intern for a production studio and attempting to impress.<br /><br /><br /> There is fresh blood with newcomer Hailee Steinfeild who plays a freshman<br /><br /><br /> legacy to the Bellas. Lastly, let’s not forget some of the guest appearances<br /><br /><br /> including, Snoop Dogg, Katey Sagal, and the Green Bay Packers, just to name a<br /><br /><br /> few. There were so many great parts, and among the best was the<br /><br /><br /> finale at the world championships where the film moved my movie companion to<br /><br /><br /> tears! Love it or hate it, but really just love it. If you’re a fan of the<br /><br /><br /> first film, you won’t be disappointed in the second. I know I wasn’t.
Pitch Perfect 2
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
If you’ve seen the first Pitch Perfect movie, than you’ve come to expect the often crude humor, the enjoyable yet predictable narrative, camaraderie, and of course the songs. Only Pitch Perfect 2 is way funnier and the music will blow your shorts off.While the plot is a bit Hollywood streamlined, the journey to the end is what makes this film stand out. The majority of the former cast has returned for the second film and all in all every character feels fleshed out.
There are few sequels worth praising in my book, but this film not only has touching goosebumpy moments, but also hilarity that will bring a tear to your eye. There are even underlying themes about friendship, love, and the reality about what life is like outside of college. This is all accomplished while still feeling refreshing despite following the same formula as the first.
The sequel starts off with the Barden Bellas singing for the President of the United States (The actual Obama’s were shown) where a more then embarrassing incident occurs involving Fat Amy’s (Rebel Wilson) lack of undergarments during a pants splitting moment on stage.  Due to the repercussions of the event, public humiliation not being enough, the Belles won’t be able to continue to compete unless they win the International A Cappella Championships in Copenhagen. There they will have to beat out competition, Das Sound Machine, a formidable opponent with intense choreography and vocal precision.
Becca (Anna Kendrick) has a bit of a secret this time around, she’s working as an intern for a production studio and attempting to impress. There is fresh blood with newcomer Hailee Steinfeild who plays a freshman legacy to the Bellas. Lastly, let’s not forget some of the guest appearances including, Snoop Dogg, Katey Sagal, and the Green Bay Packers, just to name a few.There were so many great parts, and among the best was the finale at the world championships where the film moved my movie companion to tears! Love it or hate it, but really just love it. If you’re a fan of the first film, you won’t be disappointed in the second. I know I wasn’t.
June 9, 2015

The Great Gatsby By F. Scott FitzgeraldReviewed by Miranda BoyerWhen I was in high school while everyone was reading The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald,<br /><br /><br /> my English teacher preferred Lord of the<br /><br /><br /> Flies. Utterly grossed out by the animalistic tale, at the time, I used to<br /><br /><br /> wonder why I couldn’t have been assigned “the jazz age” novel instead?! In a letter to a friend Fitzgerald once wrote, “That’s the<br /><br /><br /> whole burden of the novel – the loss of those illusions that give such color to<br /><br /><br /> the world that you don’t care whether things are true or false so long as they<br /><br /><br /> partake of the magical glory.” I don’t think that I could say it any better<br /><br /><br /> myself. The weight of this book teeters on regrets and illusion.I’m sure many of you have seen the seductive jazzy side of Gatsby as<br /><br /><br /> represented by the great Baz Luhrmann a few years ago. Being a huge Luhrmann<br /><br /><br /> fan myself I didn’t miss it. Only then did I understand what I was missing out<br /><br /><br /> on by not having read the book. The draw of Gatsby only intensifies within its<br /><br /><br /> text, a mere 60,000 words long. This tragic love story is a prose-poem and<br /><br /><br /> ultimately a elegy to Fitzgerald’s own lost love. This book is a hymn about the<br /><br /><br /> anxieties of the American dream in a postwar trauma jazzy riff. Add in a<br /><br /><br /> dribble of prohibition, bootlegging and top it off with the beginnings of<br /><br /><br /> celebrity culture and it’s no wonder this book has remained on the top 100 must<br /><br /><br /> read books of all time year after year. Fitzgerald captured the essence of a<br /><br /><br /> time when flappers and gin and “the beautiful and the dammed” were symbols of a<br /><br /><br /> carefree madness of that time. While Tom and Daisy are, shall I say more shallow then<br /><br /><br /> substance and void of emotional growth, Gatsby was on a quixotic quest to find<br /><br /><br /> true love. His “capacity for hope” made him, in my eyes, the embodiment of a<br /><br /><br /> hopeless romantic. Gatsby displays genuine feelings for both Nick and Daisy.<br /><br /><br /> But he risked everything for one dream. He operates on the fringe of society<br /><br /><br /> but never intentionally goes out of his way to hurt someone. Above all else, he<br /><br /><br /> is guilty of being human. </p><br /><br /> <p>People are wrong when they say that this book is<br /><br /><br /> about the roaring twenties. Yes it takes place in a time that seems to be lost<br /><br /><br /> to us now. But The Great Gatsby is<br /><br /><br /> about love and the extremes that one man was willing to go to because of it. </p><br /><br /> <p>
The Great Gatsby
By F. Scott Fitzgerald
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
When I was in high school while everyone was reading The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, my English teacher preferred Lord of the Flies. Utterly grossed out by the animalistic tale, at the time, I used to wonder why I couldn’t have been assigned “the jazz age” novel instead?!
In a letter to a friend Fitzgerald once wrote, “That’s the whole burden of the novel – the loss of those illusions that give such color to the world that you don’t care whether things are true or false so long as they partake of the magical glory.” I don’t think that I could say it any better myself. The weight of this book teeters on regrets and illusion.I’m sure many of you have seen the seductive jazzy side of Gatsby as represented by the great Baz Luhrmann a few years ago. Being a huge Luhrmann fan myself I didn’t miss it. Only then did I understand what I was missing out on by not having read the book. The draw of Gatsby only intensifies within its text, a mere 60,000 words long. This tragic love story is a prose-poem and ultimately a elegy to Fitzgerald’s own lost love. This book is a hymn about the anxieties of the American dream in a postwar trauma jazzy riff. Add in a dribble of prohibition, bootlegging and top it off with the beginnings of celebrity culture and it’s no wonder this book has remained on the top 100 must read books of all time year after year. Fitzgerald captured the essence of a time when flappers and gin and “the beautiful and the dammed” were symbols of a carefree madness of that time.
While Tom and Daisy are, shall I say more shallow then substance and void of emotional growth, Gatsby was on a quixotic quest to find true love. His “capacity for hope” made him, in my eyes, the embodiment of a hopeless romantic. Gatsby displays genuine feelings for both Nick and Daisy. But he risked everything for one dream. He operates on the fringe of society but never intentionally goes out of his way to hurt someone. Above all else, he is guilty of being human.
People are wrong when they say that this book is about the roaring twenties. Yes it takes place in a time that seems to be lost to us now. But The Great Gatsby is about love and the extremes that one man was willing to go to because of it.
May 30, 2015

The Age of Adaline Review by Miranda Boyer After a near-fatal accident in the 1930s our Heroin, Adaline<br /><br /><br /> Bowman (Blake Lively) is magically, or medically as the narrator would have us<br /><br /><br /> believe, transformed by death, snow, and a lightning storm. She will never age<br /><br /><br /> a day older then her presently twenty-nine year old self is. Fast forward 80ish<br /><br /><br /> years to the present day, Adaline works in a library and is packing to move<br /><br /><br /> again. Every ten years like clockwork for her own safety and to avoid any<br /><br /><br /> suspicion, she changes her name, job, and location. The Age Of Adaline<br /><br /><br /> is told through an almost documentary style with flashbacks and a narrator.<br /><br /><br /> Adaline long ago gave up on love and the idea of growing old with someone. She<br /><br /><br /> doesn’t have the ability to trust her truth with anyone outside of her<br /><br /><br /> daughter, who looks more like a grandmother. All that changes on New Year’s Eve 2014 when She meets Ellis<br /><br /><br /> (Charlie Huisman) leaving a party in an elevator. The chemistry between these<br /><br /><br /> two is undeniable. Near the second half of the film, there is a small but<br /><br /><br /> emotionally powerful performance by Harrison Ford. Although I’ve heard otherwise, I believe that Lively did a<br /><br /><br /> beautiful job portraying a women with over a hundred years. She’s a little<br /><br /><br /> aristocratic and some of her references to younger years imply this truth. This<br /><br /><br /> film was free of violence, death, and graphic sex making this romantic fantasy<br /><br /><br /> a beautiful refreshing win.
The Age of Adaline
Review by Miranda Boyer
After a near-fatal accident in the 1930s our Heroin, Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) is magically, or medically as the narrator would have us believe, transformed by death, snow, and a lightning storm. She will never age a day older then her presently twenty-nine year old self is. Fast forward 80ish years to the present day, Adaline works in a library and is packing to move again. Every ten years like clockwork for her own safety and to avoid any suspicion, she changes her name, job, and location.
The Age Of Adaline is told through an almost documentary style with flashbacks and a narrator. Adaline long ago gave up on love and the idea of growing old with someone. She doesn’t have the ability to trust her truth with anyone outside of her daughter, who looks more like a grandmother.All that changes on New Year’s Eve 2014 when She meets Ellis (Charlie Huisman) leaving a party in an elevator. The chemistry between these two is undeniable. Near the second half of the film, there is a small but emotionally powerful performance by Harrison Ford.
Although I’ve heard otherwise, I believe that Lively did a beautiful job portraying a women with over a hundred years. She’s a little aristocratic and some of her references to younger years imply this truth. This film was free of violence, death, and graphic sex making this romantic fantasy a beautiful refreshing win.
May 26, 2015

Orange is The New Black By Piper Kerman Reviewed By Miranda BoyerIn anticipation of the third season release of Orange is The New Black on Netflix next<br /><br /><br /> month, I decided it was time to (re)read / finish OITNB. I’d started it a year<br /><br /><br /> ago on a road trip set it down once I arrived at my destination and forgot to<br /><br /><br /> pick it back up. Now I know that doesn’t bode well for this book but rest<br /><br /><br /> assured, it was well worth the read. I watched the TV show Orange is The New Black on the<br /><br /><br /> recommendation of a trusted friend and while it isn’t a show for everyone and<br /><br /><br /> definitely not the underage, personally I loved it. I found it charming, the<br /><br /><br /> characters memorable, and the personal stories very compelling. I was a little<br /><br /><br /> less impressed with season two but season one and I are old friends at this<br /><br /><br /> point and I am wholeheartedly awaiting season three in just a few short weeks. The book, Orange is<br /><br /><br /> The New Black deals with a somewhat sensitive subject matter and is the<br /><br /><br /> biographical account of a thirteen-month stay in a woman’s correctional<br /><br /><br /> facility by the author. There are many things to be said about this book and<br /><br /><br /> not in the least, is that it sheds light on what it is like to be a number in<br /><br /><br /> the prison system today. This book is un-shamefully from the perspective of our<br /><br /><br /> main character who, by all accounts was/is an upper middle class, well educated<br /><br /><br /> women. Right out of college Piper Kerman fell in love with a woman who<br /><br /><br /> introduced her to excitement, adventure, and the perks of living with a<br /><br /><br /> criminal. One mistake, one time, more than ten years before, landed Piper<br /><br /><br /> in a detention facility.  For those of you who don’t know, I have a BA in Criminal<br /><br /><br /> Justice and at one point in time I had every intention of going to law school<br /><br /><br /> in an attempt to pave the way for me to address prison reform. It’s a hot<br /><br /><br /> button of mine and there are some days that I wonder what would happen if I<br /><br /><br /> hadn’t changed careers or if I changed back tomorrow. Don’t mistake my words for condoning crime in any way shape<br /><br /><br /> or form. However, the system as it is presently, is broken. Here is a story of<br /><br /><br /> woman who changed her whole life. Recognized that the path she was traveling<br /><br /><br /> was flawed. There is a great quote near the end of the book where Piper writes,<br /><br /><br /> “What is the point, what is the reason,<br /><br /><br /> to lock people away for years, when it seems to mean so very little, even to<br /><br /><br /> the jailers who hold the key? How can a prisoner understand their punishment to<br /><br /><br /> have been worthwhile to anyone, when it’s dealt with in a way so offhand and<br /><br /><br /> indifferent?”  When someone as educated and self-aware as the author shows<br /><br /><br /> us through her eyes how living in a facility doing, for all intents and<br /><br /><br /> purposes, hard time, what it was like for her. It makes it easier to see what<br /><br /><br /> it is like for those who are locked away without a support system for years<br /><br /><br /> instead of months. There’s another line in the book that puts mental illness<br /><br /><br /> into perspective. “The twice-daily pill line in Danbury was always long, snaking out<br /><br /><br /> of the medical office into the hall. Some women were helped enormously by the<br /><br /><br /> medication they took, but some of them seemed zombified, doped to the gills.<br /><br /><br /> Those women scared me; what would happen when they hit the streets and no<br /><br /><br /> longer could go to pill line?” We<br /><br /><br /> know what happens. Recidivism, that’s what happens. Without knowing where to<br /><br /><br /> find help and guidance on how to re-enter and function in society, it becomes<br /><br /><br /> blaringly obvious why within one year 56.7 percent of former inmates will be re-incarcerated;<br /><br /><br /> within three years time 67.8 percent of the original number will be re-incarcerated;<br /><br /><br /> and lastly, within five years more then 76.6 percent of those former inmates<br /><br /><br /> will be re-incarcerated. Leaving a painstakingly small 23.4 percent of former<br /><br /><br /> inmates to have changed their lives for the better after their stay. Broken<br /><br /><br /> doesn’t begin to describe our system. Let me step off my<br /><br /><br /> soapbox.At the end of the day<br /><br /><br /> this is a memoir about what prison did to a healthy, sane woman. We get to read<br /><br /><br /> her engaging, grammatically correct story and go on a psychological journey<br /><br /><br /> with her. Even though she exited relatively unscathed when compared to others,<br /><br /><br /> her experience is no less invaluable. It is the duty of the reader to flex<br /><br /><br /> those mental muscles and draw connections like, what if piper wasn’t so lucky.<br /><br /><br /> As an educated woman, I can relate to her story. I can easily put myself in her<br /><br /><br /> shoes. That is the power that this book has. It makes it easy for people who<br /><br /><br /> wouldn’t in a million years think that they could ever see themselves in<br /><br /><br /> prison, understand how easy it would be to land on the other side of the coin.
Orange is The New Black
By Piper Kerman
Reviewed By Miranda Boyer
In anticipation of the third season release of Orange is The New Black on Netflix next month, I decided it was time to (re)read / finish OITNB. I’d started it a year ago on a road trip set it down once I arrived at my destination and forgot to pick it back up. Now I know that doesn’t bode well for this book but rest assured, it was well worth the read.
I watched the TV show Orange is The New Black on the recommendation of a trusted friend and while it isn’t a show for everyone and definitely not the underage, personally I loved it. I found it charming, the characters memorable, and the personal stories very compelling. I was a little less impressed with season two but season one and I are old friends at this point and I am wholeheartedly awaiting season three in just a few short weeks.
The book, Orange is The New Black deals with a somewhat sensitive subject matter and is the biographical account of a thirteen-month stay in a woman’s correctional facility by the author. There are many things to be said about this book and not in the least, is that it sheds light on what it is like to be a number in the prison system today. This book is un-shamefully from the perspective of our main character who, by all accounts was/is an upper middle class, well educated women. Right out of college Piper Kerman fell in love with a woman who introduced her to excitement, adventure, and the perks of living with a criminal. One mistake, one time, more than ten years before, landed Piper in a detention facility.
For those of you who don’t know, I have a BA in Criminal Justice and at one point in time I had every intention of going to law school in an attempt to pave the way for me to address prison reform. It’s a hot button of mine and there are some days that I wonder what would happen if I hadn’t changed careers or if I changed back tomorrow.
Don’t mistake my words for condoning crime in any way shape or form. However, the system as it is presently, is broken. Here is a story of woman who changed her whole life. Recognized that the path she was traveling was flawed. There is a great quote near the end of the book where Piper writes, “What is the point, what is the reason, to lock people away for years, when it seems to mean so very little, even to the jailers who hold the key? How can a prisoner understand their punishment to have been worthwhile to anyone, when it’s dealt with in a way so offhand and indifferent?”
When someone as educated and self-aware as the author shows us through her eyes how living in a facility doing, for all intents and purposes, hard time, what it was like for her. It makes it easier to see what it is like for those who are locked away without a support system for years instead of months.
There’s another line in the book that puts mental illness into perspective. “The twice-daily pill line in Danbury was always long, snaking out of the medical office into the hall. Some women were helped enormously by the medication they took, but some of them seemed zombified, doped to the gills. Those women scared me; what would happen when they hit the streets and no longer could go to pill line?” We know what happens. Recidivism, that’s what happens. Without knowing where to find help and guidance on how to re-enter and function in society, it becomes glaringly obvious why within one year 56.7 percent of former inmates will be re-incarcerated; within three years time 67.8 percent of the original number will be re-incarcerated; and lastly, within five years more then 76.6 percent of those former inmates will be re-incarcerated. Leaving a painstakingly small 23.4 percent of former inmates to have changed their lives for the better after their stay. Broken doesn’t begin to describe our system.
Let me step off my soapbox.
At the end of the day this is a memoir about what prison did to a healthy, sane woman. We get to read her engaging, grammatically correct story and go on a psychological journey with her. Even though she exited relatively unscathed when compared to others, her experience is no less invaluable. It is the duty of the reader to flex those mental muscles and draw connections like, what if piper wasn’t so lucky. As an educated woman, I can relate to her story. I can easily put myself in her shoes. That is the power that this book has. It makes it easy for people who wouldn’t in a million years think that they could ever see themselves in prison, understand how easy it would be to land on the other side of the coin.
May 25, 2015

CROSSED By Ally CondieReviewed by Miranda BoyerCrossed picks up<br /><br /><br /> where Matched ends. If you’ve not<br /><br /><br /> read the first book, follow my link to the first review. There will be some<br /><br /><br /> spoilers. You’ve all been warned. If you remember, Ky was sent away to the Outer Provinces at<br /><br /><br /> the end of the last book. Cassia is currently stationed at an all girls work<br /><br /><br /> camp in an attempt to get to as close to the Outer Provinces as she can, so she<br /><br /><br /> can escape and find Ky. Ky on the other hand is stuck in the Outer Provinces<br /><br /><br /> trying to escape and find his way back to the society to be with Cassia. We<br /><br /><br /> learn about the rebellion to the Society called the Rising.  And although Cassia is certain that the Rising<br /><br /><br /> will be their savior, I’m with Ky in my distrust. In this book the point of view switched back and forth from<br /><br /><br /> Ky to Cassia unlike Matched where Cassia narrated the whole book. At first I<br /><br /><br /> thought this worked well, I could, without much effort, tell who was who and<br /><br /><br /> for the first time get inside of Ky’s head. But as the book progressed and when<br /><br /><br /> our two leads met up, it became harder and harder to distinguish whose view I was<br /><br /><br /> reading. Even making me flip back to the chapter start to double check.There are some new characters in this book as well. Indie is the first and<br /><br /><br /> although I don’t trust her, like at all, I do appreciate her pluckiness. Eli,<br /><br /><br /> who reminds both Ky and Cassia of her younger brother Bram, is sweet and holds<br /><br /><br /> some innocence for the group of traveling teens. But let’s talk for a moment about the book… Oh Condie… What<br /><br /><br /> have you done?!  In Matched the writing felt like poetry not prose. In Crossed despite the fact that the book<br /><br /><br /> was filled with “poetry” it all felt like prose. This book moved much slower,<br /><br /><br /> less action, and ultimately felt like our characters spent the book gathering<br /><br /><br /> their thoughts. I felt that the end of the book was rushed. We spent an<br /><br /><br /> entire book escaping the society only to have Cassia returned to Central<br /><br /><br /> without being told a lick of how. I hope that there are flashbacks in book<br /><br /><br /> three to shed light on this experience. We still know next to nothing about who<br /><br /><br /> is behind the Society, the Farmers, and the Rising. Are the Rising even good<br /><br /><br /> people? I feel that by book two there should have been more information and<br /><br /><br /> instead it leaves me with more questions. Like who is doing the firing at the<br /><br /><br /> camps on the decoys? Is it the Rising or maybe the Society? Or is it some other<br /><br /><br /> unknown enemy? What about all the poisoned water? I really want to like this book as much as I enjoyed Matched but it just didn’t happen. There<br /><br /><br /> was a much tighter plot and far more romantic suspense in the first book. The<br /><br /><br /> society even had a face in the first book while all this was lacking in the<br /><br /><br /> second. Crossed was simply put,<br /><br /><br /> slower. There were obstacles that each character had to face and overcome but there<br /><br /><br /> was never that gripping moment of heightened anxiety that hooks you into the<br /><br /><br /> story and never lets go.I believe that Condie is a talented writer who has the ability to write poetry.<br /><br /><br /> Unfortunately for me, Crossed wasn’t<br /><br /><br /> it. I will eventually read the last book in this series, which is called Reached.<br /><br /><br /> I do hope that that spark returns to the last book, because when Condie<br /><br /><br /> gets it, she gets it.
CROSSED By Ally Condie
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
Crossed picks up where Matched ends. If you’ve not read the first book, follow my link to the first review. There will be some spoilers. You’ve all been warned.If you remember, Ky was sent away to the Outer Provinces at the end of the last book. Cassia is currently stationed at an all girls work camp in an attempt to get to as close to the Outer Provinces as she can, so she can escape and find Ky. Ky on the other hand is stuck in the Outer Provinces trying to escape and find his way back to the society to be with Cassia. We learn about the rebellion to the Society called the Rising.  And although Cassia is certain that the Rising will be their savior, I’m with Ky in my distrust.In this book the point of view switched back and forth from Ky to Cassia unlike Matched where Cassia narrated the whole book. At first I thought this worked well, I could, without much effort, tell who was who and for the first time get inside of Ky’s head. But as the book progressed and when our two leads met up, it became harder and harder to distinguish whose view I was reading. Even making me flip back to the chapter start to double check.
There are some new characters in this book as well. Indie is the first and although I don’t trust her, like at all, I do appreciate her pluckiness. Eli, who reminds both Ky and Cassia of her younger brother Bram, is sweet and holds some innocence for the group of traveling teens.
But let’s talk for a moment about the book… Oh Condie… What have you done?!  In Matched the writing felt like poetry not prose. In Crossed despite the fact that the book was filled with “poetry” it all felt like prose. This book moved much slower, less action, and ultimately felt like our characters spent the book gathering their thoughts.
I felt that the end of the book was rushed. We spent an entire book escaping the society only to have Cassia returned to Central without being told a lick of how. I hope that there are flashbacks in book three to shed light on this experience. We still know next to nothing about who is behind the Society, the Farmers, and the Rising. Are the Rising even good people? I feel that by book two there should have been more information and instead it leaves me with more questions. Like who is doing the firing at the camps on the decoys? Is it the Rising or maybe the Society? Or is it some other unknown enemy? What about all the poisoned water?
I really want to like this book as much as I enjoyed Matched but it just didn’t happen. There was a much tighter plot and far more romantic suspense in the first book. The society even had a face in the first book while all this was lacking in the second. Crossed was simply put, slower. There were obstacles that each character had to face and overcome but there was never that gripping moment of heightened anxiety that hooks you into the story and never lets go.
I believe that Condie is a talented writer who has the ability to write poetry. Unfortunately for me, Crossed wasn’t it. I will eventually read the last book in this series, which is called Reached. I do hope that that spark returns to the last book, because when Condie gets it, she gets it.
May 11, 2015

Inside Out by Maria V. SnyderReviewed By Miranda Boyer I’ve been a fan of Maria V. Snyder since I read her Poison Study<br /><br /><br /> series a few years ago. I heard that MVS actually dreamt the entirety of Inside Out one night. She’d never done<br /><br /><br /> it before or again since. I think that there is something special about books<br /><br /><br /> that come from dreams.  I’ve wanted to<br /><br /><br /> read Inside Out for roughly the last<br /><br /><br /> five years. Finely the time has come!!! I’ll start by saying that I’m not a big fan of the info<br /><br /><br /> drop. The first couple of chapters were just that and I nearly put the book<br /><br /><br /> down and walked away. I find it to be a huge put off; I’d rather learn about<br /><br /><br /> the world slower and as the story unfolds. Unfortunately this was not the case.<br /><br /><br /> HOWEVER, once I got past this, the story was quite good. In fact I found myself<br /><br /><br /> welling up a time because the world the MVS created was detailed not to mention<br /><br /><br /> original and of course, moving world. Trella, our main character, is the Queen of the Pipes. She<br /><br /><br /> is able to climb into the tight places no one else could dream of getting to,<br /><br /><br /> not her fellow scrubs or the exalted upper level inhabitants who control the<br /><br /><br /> whole of Inside. There are systems and rules leaving everyone barely holding<br /><br /><br /> onto the harsh environment they are forced to live in. Trella doesn’t have many<br /><br /><br /> friends; in fact she has one: Cog. When Cog introduces Trella to a man who says<br /><br /><br /> he has access to information on a way out of Inside, Trella takes a chance to<br /><br /><br /> prove that Getaway exists. What she never expected was for both the Uppers and<br /><br /><br /> the Scrubs to band together behind her and fight for a chance at a better life.<br /><br /><br /> I was impressed with the twist near the end, when we find<br /><br /><br /> out if Getaway actually exists or not. I was glad to find that the whole book<br /><br /><br /> had a series of twists and unexpected outcomes, keeping me guessing. I enjoy<br /><br /><br /> being surprised and this book was filled with them. I’m excited to read the next book in this series Outside In! I hope there is more Sheepy!<br /><br /><br />
Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
Reviewed By Miranda Boyer
I’ve been a fan of Maria V. Snyder since I read her Poison Study series a few years ago. I heard that MVS actually dreamt the entirety of Inside Out one night. She’d never done it before or again since. I think that there is something special about books that come from dreams.  I’ve wanted to read Inside Out for roughly the last five years. Finely the time has come!!!
I’ll start by saying that I’m not a big fan of the info drop. The first couple of chapters were just that and I nearly put the book down and walked away. I find it to be a huge put off; I’d rather learn about the world slower and as the story unfolds. Unfortunately this was not the case. HOWEVER, once I got past this, the story was quite good. In fact I found myself welling up a time because the world the MVS created was detailed not to mention original and of course, moving world.
Trella, our main character, is the Queen of the Pipes. She is able to climb into the tight places no one else could dream of getting to, not her fellow scrubs or the exalted upper level inhabitants who control the whole of Inside. There are systems and rules leaving everyone barely holding onto the harsh environment they are forced to live in. Trella doesn’t have many friends; in fact she has one: Cog. When Cog introduces Trella to a man who says he has access to information on a way out of Inside, Trella takes a chance to prove that Getaway exists. What she never expected was for both the Uppers and the Scrubs to band together behind her and fight for a chance at a better life.
I was impressed with the twist near the end, when we find out if Getaway actually exists or not. I was glad to find that the whole book had a series of twists and unexpected outcomes, keeping me guessing. I enjoy being surprised and this book was filled with them.
I’m excited to read the next book in this series Outside In! I hope there is more Sheepy!
May 4, 2015

Indexing by Seanan McGuireReviewed by Miranda BoyerIndexing was first<br /><br /><br /> released as pat of the Kindle Serial collection and distributed in bi-weekly<br /><br /><br /> installments to subscribers. Prior to reading this book, I hadn’t even heard of<br /><br /><br /> such a thing outside of the 19th century, but I’m most definitely<br /><br /><br /> intrigued by it. So of course I went to the trusty Googles to find out all<br /><br /><br /> about how the Kindle Serial program works. Did you know that parts are<br /><br /><br /> published as the author writes the book. So for example the beginning of the<br /><br /><br /> book is passed out to readers far before the author ever writes the last<br /><br /><br /> chapter. I think that this is a really important fact to know when reading this<br /><br /><br /> book, even in paperback format like I did. In the back of your mind, you should<br /><br /><br /> remember that the author couldn’t change something that has been done earlier.<br /><br /><br /> Sometimes books go ways we didn’t anticipate, speaking as an author myself.<br /><br /><br /> Personally, I’m super impressed by this and I feel wholeheartedly that McGuire<br /><br /><br /> did it well. Indexing is like a<br /><br /><br /> cop show, only the bad guys are fairytale characters, and the good guys are<br /><br /><br /> fairytale characters and every story is as dark as they come. Instead of a<br /><br /><br /> sleeping beauty pricking her finger and going to sleep and taking the whole kingdom<br /><br /><br /> with her for one-hundred years until prince charming comes along – the sleeping<br /><br /><br /> beauty pricks her finger and quickly passes around a mutated version of H1N1<br /><br /><br /> that puts an entire hospital to sleep and unlike in fairytales, we can’t sleep<br /><br /><br /> for one-hundred years without dying. The field team for the ATI management<br /><br /><br /> burro, a highly classified government agency that covers up fairytales in our<br /><br /><br /> very real world, is made up of a Snow White, an Evil Step Sister, a Pied Piper,<br /><br /><br /> and a shoemaker. Making this one of the most unique cop drama’s I’ve ever read.<br /><br /><br /> Some of the stories have more common reoccurrences then<br /><br /><br /> others, but I saw this as a direct correlation between popularity in our<br /><br /><br /> culture, since story told has the possibility of being taken over by the<br /><br /><br /> narrative that attempts to control everyone often changing with the culture as<br /><br /><br /> it grows. Be careful not to mistake Indexing, as I did, for a fairytale, it isn’t. Not really. What it is<br /><br /><br /> is a story about maliciously evil narratives. McGuire (who also uses the name<br /><br /><br /> Mira Grant) uses the concept of archetypes and builds upon them with her vast<br /><br /><br /> knowledge of fairytales, using the combination of her impeccable imagination to<br /><br /><br /> turn well-known stories into something brand new. There is a clear amount of<br /><br /><br /> knowledge not to mention humor creating one of the most clever and imaginative books<br /><br /><br /> that pushes the boundaries of its genre. I enjoyed Indexing a great deal more then I anticipated. Have you read it?<br /><br /><br /> What were your thoughts?
Indexing by Seanan McGuire
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
Indexing was first released as pat of the Kindle Serial collection and distributed in bi-weekly installments to subscribers. Prior to reading this book, I hadn’t even heard of such a thing outside of the 19th century, but I’m most definitely intrigued by it. So of course I went to the trusty Googles to find out all about how the Kindle Serial program works. Did you know that parts are published as the author writes the book. So for example the beginning of the book is passed out to readers far before the author ever writes the last chapter. I think that this is a really important fact to know when reading this book, even in paperback format like I did. In the back of your mind, you should remember that the author couldn’t change something that has been done earlier. Sometimes books go ways we didn’t anticipate, speaking as an author myself. Personally, I’m super impressed by this and I feel wholeheartedly that McGuire did it well.
Indexing is like a cop show, only the bad guys are fairytale characters, and the good guys are fairytale characters and every story is as dark as they come. Instead of a sleeping beauty pricking her finger and going to sleep and taking the whole kingdom with her for one-hundred years until prince charming comes along – the sleeping beauty pricks her finger and quickly passes around a mutated version of H1N1 that puts an entire hospital to sleep and unlike in fairytales, we can’t sleep for one-hundred years without dying. The field team for the ATI management burro, a highly classified government agency that covers up fairytales in our very real world, is made up of a Snow White, an Evil Step Sister, a Pied Piper, and a shoemaker. Making this one of the most unique cop drama’s I’ve ever read.
Some of the stories have more common re-occurrences then others, but I saw this as a direct correlation between popularity in our culture, since story told has the possibility of being taken over by the narrative that attempts to control everyone often changing with the culture as it grows.
Be careful not to mistake Indexing, as I did, for a fairytale, it isn’t. Not really. What it is is a story about maliciously evil narratives. McGuire (who also uses the name Mira Grant) uses the concept of archetypes and builds upon them with her vast knowledge of fairytales, using the combination of her impeccable imagination to turn well-known stories into something brand new. There is a clear amount of knowledge not to mention humor creating one of the most clever and imaginative books that pushes the boundaries of its genre. I enjoyed Indexing a great deal more then I anticipated. Have you read it? What were your thoughts?
May 2, 2015

Cinder by Merissa MeyerReviewed by Miranda Boyer I don’t know how long I’ve had a copy of Cinder on my tablet<br /><br /><br /> for – months, maybe even a year. A few weeks ago I was perusing the<br /><br /><br /> Kindle-Audible discount books (If you own the kindle version the audible version<br /><br /><br /> often drops between one and five dollars). I picked out a couple that I’d<br /><br /><br /> wanted to read and downloaded the audio files. I always listen to a book when<br /><br /><br /> I’m driving, cooking, cleaning and then read something else when I’m not<br /><br /><br /> multi-tasking. Cyborgs, future technologies, and Cinderella, how could I pass<br /><br /><br /> this one up? Before I even go into the story, this has to be said: Rebecca Soler, the<br /><br /><br /> narrator for the audio book was EPIC. Everyone had a unique voice and so much<br /><br /><br /> life. She brought the story to life in a way that most people couldn’t come<br /><br /><br /> close to doing. The only other good audio book I’ve listened this year at this<br /><br /><br /> EPIC scale was Ready Player One by<br /><br /><br /> Wil Wheaton. Rebecca Soler could give Wil a run for his money. Okay, that being<br /><br /><br /> said. Cinder is a cyborg mechanic in New Beijing in a futuristic China more then<br /><br /><br /> hundred years after world war four has ended. There is a world of new<br /><br /><br /> technology in addition to governmental intrigue, there is a new dominating<br /><br /><br /> species threatening the lives of Earthens, the Lunars. Cinder meets prince Kai,<br /><br /><br /> when he comes to her for help repairing his android. Quickly the plot thickens<br /><br /><br /> as we learn that he may have to marry the evil magical Queen Lavana to avoid a<br /><br /><br /> war between Earth and the Lunars. On the whole, world building isn’t a draw for me as a reader. This book made me<br /><br /><br /> question my former stance though, as it was beautiful and engrossing. I’ve said<br /><br /><br /> it before, and I’ll say it again. I’m a sucker for a fairytale rewrite and this<br /><br /><br /> book was no exception. I enjoyed the twists from the typical Cinderella story<br /><br /><br /> making Cinder so special. Unfortunately this book is only the first in an ongoing series<br /><br /><br /> and the ending leaves us wondering what will happen to our heroin Cinder. I’m<br /><br /><br /> always torn when a book leaves in the middle like this one does, I have no<br /><br /><br /> doubts about picking up a copy of book two, Scarlet<br /><br /><br /> some day soon. I’m even inclined to buy the audio version so that I can<br /><br /><br /> enjoy Soler’s performance. I’m sure that it will be just as good as the first.  
Cinder by Merissa Meyer
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
I don’t know how long I’ve had a copy of Cinder on my tablet for – months, maybe even a year. A few weeks ago I was perusing the Kindle-Audible discount books (If you own the kindle version the audible version often drops between one and five dollars). I picked out a couple that I’d wanted to read and downloaded the audio files. I always listen to a book when I’m driving, cooking, cleaning and then read something else when I’m not multi-tasking. Cyborgs, future technologies, and Cinderella, how could I pass this one up?
Before I even go into the story, this has to be said: Rebecca Soler, the narrator for the audio book was EPIC. Everyone had a unique voice and so much life. She brought the story to life in a way that most people couldn’t come close to doing. The only other good audio book I’ve listened this year at this EPIC scale was Ready Player One by Wil Wheaton. Rebecca Soler could give Wil a run for his money. Okay, that being said.Cinder is a cyborg mechanic in New Beijing in a futuristic China more then hundred years after world war four has ended. There is a world of new technology in addition to governmental intrigue, there is a new dominating species threatening the lives of Earthens, the Lunars. Cinder meets prince Kai, when he comes to her for help repairing his android. Quickly the plot thickens as we learn that he may have to marry the evil magical Queen Lavana to avoid a war between Earth and the Lunars.
On the whole, world building isn’t a draw for me as a reader. This book made me question my former stance though, as it was beautiful and engrossing. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I’m a sucker for a fairytale rewrite and this book was no exception. I enjoyed the twists from the typical Cinderella story making Cinder so special.
Unfortunately this book is only the first in an ongoing series and the ending leaves us wondering what will happen to our heroin Cinder. I’m always torn when a book leaves in the middle like this one does, I have no doubts about picking up a copy of book two, Scarlet some day soon. I’m even inclined to buy the audio version so that I can enjoy Soler’s performance. I’m sure that it will be just as good as the first.
April 24, 2015

The Never Prayer By Aaron Michael RitcheyReviewed by Miranda Boyer There are some books that will challenge any preconceived<br /><br /><br /> notions about what a YA novel should<br /><br /><br /> be. The Never Prayer by Aaron Michael<br /><br /><br /> Ritchey does just that. I’m a new fan of Ritchey’s and after being thrilled<br /><br /><br /> with his upcoming release Elizabeth’s<br /><br /><br /> Midnight, I knew I would have to get my hands on his other books as well.<br /><br /><br /> The first one I bought was The Never<br /><br /><br /> Prayer. The Never Prayer is<br /><br /><br /> about hope in world where despair lurks around every corner. It’s about atheist<br /><br /><br /> angel and a demon, whose battle on earth comes to life in a small town. It’s<br /><br /><br /> about a girl, Lena, and her young brother who find themselves caught in the<br /><br /><br /> middle of a game between good and evil. Lena is barely keeping her life<br /><br /><br /> together, scraping by month-to-month covering rent with her emotionally broken<br /><br /><br /> aunt and three year old brother, after tragic accident claims the lives of both<br /><br /><br /> of her parents. The supernatural aspects are softy introduced, so many, many feathers,<br /><br /><br /> leading up to an all out rooftop war. Ritchey manages to convey an emotional tone that captures<br /><br /><br /> the feeling of loneliness and despair that many of us have experienced in our<br /><br /><br /> lives. The shift to a release of these emotions is so moving, even bringing a<br /><br /><br /> tear to my eye. Ritchey’s characters are detailed and multidimensional. It is easy<br /><br /><br /> to feel the desperation associated with being trapped in a small town, the<br /><br /><br /> worry that you’ll never climb you way out. Maybe it is because I grew up in a<br /><br /><br /> small town, or maybe it is because Ritchey captures it so well. In this<br /><br /><br /> reviewer’s opinion, it’s the later. Ritchey is both smooth at compelling prose and storytelling,<br /><br /><br /> a rare combination in my experience. I was thrilled with this book and I look<br /><br /><br /> forward to hunting down copies of his other work. I might sound like a broken<br /><br /><br /> record, if I haven’t said it enough already, go out and buy this authors book<br /><br /><br /> today. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
The Never Prayer By Aaron Michael Ritchey
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
There are some books that will challenge any preconceived notions about what a YA novel should be. The Never Prayer by Aaron Michael Ritchey does just that. I’m a new fan of Ritchey’s and after being thrilled with his upcoming release Elizabeth’s Midnight, I knew I would have to get my hands on his other books as well. The first one I bought was The Never Prayer.
The Never Prayer is about hope in world where despair lurks around every corner. It’s about atheist angel and a demon, whose battle on earth comes to life in a small town. It’s about a girl, Lena, and her young brother who find themselves caught in the middle of a game between good and evil. Lena is barely keeping her life together, scraping by month-to-month covering rent with her emotionally broken aunt and three year old brother, after tragic accident claims the lives of both of her parents. The supernatural aspects are softy introduced, so many, many feathers, leading up to an all out rooftop war.
Ritchey manages to convey an emotional tone that captures the feeling of loneliness and despair that many of us have experienced in our lives. The shift to a release of these emotions is so moving, even bringing a tear to my eye. Ritchey’s characters are detailed and multidimensional. It is easy to feel the desperation associated with being trapped in a small town, the worry that you’ll never climb you way out. Maybe it is because I grew up in a small town, or maybe it is because Ritchey captures it so well. In this reviewer’s opinion, it’s the later.
Ritchey is both smooth at compelling prose and storytelling, a rare combination in my experience. I was thrilled with this book and I look forward to hunting down copies of his other work. I might sound like a broken record, if I haven’t said it enough already, go out and buy this authors book today. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
April 19, 2015

</p><br /><br /> <p>Elizabeth’s Midnight by Aaron Michael Ritchey</p><br /><br /> <p>Reviewed by Miranda Boyer</p><br /><br /> <p>I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to read<br /><br /><br /> Elizabeth’s Midnight before it hits the streets on the 7th of May.<br /><br /><br /> Every spare opportunity I’ve had this past week has been spent with my noise to<br /><br /><br /> the page reading this well written beauty. Wondering if Elizabeth Meyers will<br /><br /><br /> find all the answers she’s been looking for. </p><br /><br /> <p>Elizabeth’s Midnight<br /><br /><br /> is an enchanting coming of age story where adventure and magic collide griping<br /><br /><br /> at your heart until the very last page. For Beth Meyers the world has not been<br /><br /><br /> so kind. She has horrible mother and two petty sisters. Her only solace is<br /><br /><br /> reading to her catatonic grandmother when she is not drawing the characters<br /><br /><br /> faces inside of her novels. Until one day, when everything changes. Elizabeth’s<br /><br /><br /> Grandma May wakes up with a story of Princes from magical lands, World War II<br /><br /><br /> Nazis and the desperate need to get to France before Midnight on Halloween. For<br /><br /><br /> the first time in her life, Elizabeth will face her fears, defy her mother and<br /><br /><br /> sneak away to France with her grandmother, fall in love, and discover weather<br /><br /><br /> or not her grandmother was telling the truth. </p><br /><br /> <p>From the very beginning it is easy to relate to Beth’s<br /><br /><br /> insecurity’s about life. At some point or another, Beth embodies everything we<br /><br /><br /> hate about ourselves. Fear and loathing at it’s finest.  By the end of the book, I was charmed by<br /><br /><br /> Elizabeth’s passion for adventure and her willingness to stick everything out<br /><br /><br /> to the very end. She found her voice and embraced her inner dragon and let it<br /><br /><br /> roar. </p><br /><br /> <p>Aaron Michael Ritchey is the author of two other books, Live Long the Suicide King, and The Never Prayer. I just picked up a<br /><br /><br /> copy of the later myself and am anxious to read it. I can’t recommend Elizabeth’s Midnight enough. It is a<br /><br /><br /> charming story about a girl who learns to accept who she is and embrace life to<br /><br /><br /> the fullest. If you are fan of magic, fairytales, or adventure then I recommend<br /><br /><br /> picking up a copy of Elizabeth’s Midnight this May!

Elizabeth’s Midnight by Aaron Michael Ritchey

Reviewed by Miranda Boyer

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to read Elizabeth’s Midnight before it hits the streets on the 7th of May. Every spare opportunity I’ve had this past week has been spent with my noise to the page reading this well written beauty. Wondering if Elizabeth Meyers will find all the answers she’s been looking for.

Elizabeth’s Midnight is an enchanting coming of age story where adventure and magic collide griping at your heart until the very last page. For Beth Meyers the world has not been so kind. She has horrible mother and two petty sisters. Her only solace is reading to her catatonic grandmother when she is not drawing the characters faces inside of her novels. Until one day, when everything changes. Elizabeth’s Grandma May wakes up with a story of Princes from magical lands, World War II Nazis and the desperate need to get to France before Midnight on Halloween. For the first time in her life, Elizabeth will face her fears, defy her mother and sneak away to France with her grandmother, fall in love, and discover weather or not her grandmother was telling the truth.

From the very beginning it is easy to relate to Beth’s insecurity’s about life. At some point or another, Beth embodies everything we hate about ourselves. Fear and loathing at it’s finest. By the end of the book, I was charmed by Elizabeth’s passion for adventure and her willingness to stick everything out to the very end. She found her voice and embraced her inner dragon and let it roar.

Aaron Michael Ritchey is the author of two other books, Live Long the Suicide King, and The Never Prayer. I just picked up a copy of the later myself and am anxious to read it. I can’t recommend Elizabeth’s Midnight enough. It is a charming story about a girl who learns to accept who she is and embrace life to the fullest. If you are fan of magic, fairytales, or adventure then I recommend picking up a copy of Elizabeth’s Midnight this May!

April 12, 2015

Cinderella (2015)Reviewed by Miranda BoyerAt this point in the game, I’m going to assume that everyone<br /><br /><br /> is familiar with the 1950 Disney classic Cinderella.<br /><br /><br /> Now picture for a moment that there was a live action version of this<br /><br /><br /> animation. Might I introduce Cinderella<br /><br /><br /> 2015.  It’s the story of a young orphan<br /><br /><br /> girl Ella (Lily James) who is forced to live with her evil stepmother (Cate Blanchett)<br /><br /><br /> and her wretched stepsisters (Holliday Grainger and Sophie McShera). There is a<br /><br /><br /> royal ball where all the maidens in the land are invited, only Ella is<br /><br /><br /> forbidden from attending said ball where the dashing prince Kit (Richard<br /><br /><br /> Madden) has the opportunity to cherry pick the kingdom’s future queen.<br /><br /><br /> Preferably before his father (Derek Jacobi) passes away. I was a little surprised to find that the story followed the<br /><br /><br /> original in every important way. Meaning, among the fanciful mice and the fun<br /><br /><br /> action sequence when the clock strikes midnight, there wasn’t any nods to<br /><br /><br /> various pop-culture references, or winks at the audience. There wasn’t even<br /><br /><br /> some hidden girl-power message.  This was<br /><br /><br /> through and through a remake of a fairy tale where the romance of being swept<br /><br /><br /> off your feet by someone you don’t know well is indeed the ending. Cinderella, as I overheard someone say,<br /><br /><br /> might be the most politically incorrect film of the year. Although it is worth point out that Cinderella does<br /><br /><br /> withstand a battery of hate and she does so with grace and forgiveness never<br /><br /><br /> once becoming malicious or vengeful. She rises above the petty jealousies from<br /><br /><br /> her stepmother and stepsisters, and becomes a stronger person for it.  So even if it doesn’t send the best message<br /><br /><br /> to little girls, there is still all the kindness and gracefulness worth<br /><br /><br /> mentioning. Her kindness even rubs of on the Prince, and eventually we can see<br /><br /><br /> that affecting the entirety of the kingdom. The costumes were breathtaking and deserve special mention.<br /><br /><br /> From beginning to end, there was a never-ending parade of beauty. Cate<br /><br /><br /> Blanchett as the Stepmother and Helena Bonham Carter, as the Fairy Godmother<br /><br /><br /> were also worth mentioning, due to their particular brand of greatness. At the end of the day, I’m a sucker for fairytales. I grew<br /><br /><br /> up watching all of the classic Disney movies and later grew up reading the<br /><br /><br /> darker and original Brother Grimm and Hans Christen Anderson’s fairytales. I<br /><br /><br /> enjoyed this remake for what it was, a visual buffet of stunning costumes and<br /><br /><br /> effects for both the young and the young at heart.
Cinderella (2015)
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
At this point in the game, I’m going to assume that everyone is familiar with the 1950 Disney classic Cinderella. Now picture for a moment that there was a live action version of this animation. Might I introduce Cinderella 2015.  It’s the story of a young orphan girl Ella (Lily James) who is forced to live with her evil stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and her wretched stepsisters (Holliday Grainger and Sophie McShera).There is a royal ball where all the maidens in the land are invited, only Ella is forbidden from attending said ball where the dashing prince Kit (Richard Madden) has the opportunity to cherry pick the kingdom’s future queen. Preferably before his father (Derek Jacobi) passes away.
I was a little surprised to find that the story followed the original in every important way. Meaning, among the fanciful mice and the fun action sequence when the clock strikes midnight, there wasn’t any nods to various pop-culture references, or winks at the audience. There wasn’t even some hidden girl-power message.  This was through and through a remake of a fairy tale where the romance of being swept off your feet by someone you don’t know well is indeed the ending. Cinderella, as I overheard someone say, might be the most politically incorrect film of the year.
Although it is worth point out that Cinderella does withstand a battery of hate and she does so with grace and forgiveness never once becoming malicious or vengeful. She rises above the petty jealousies from her stepmother and stepsisters, and becomes a stronger person for it.  So even if it doesn’t send the best message to little girls, there is still all the kindness and gracefulness worth mentioning. Her kindness even rubs of on the Prince, and eventually we can see that affecting the entirety of the kingdom.
The costumes were breathtaking and deserve special mention. From beginning to end, there was a never-ending parade of beauty. Cate Blanchett as the Stepmother and Helena Bonham Carter, as the Fairy Godmother were also worth mentioning, due to their particular brand of greatness.
At the end of the day, I’m a sucker for fairytales. I grew up watching all of the classic Disney movies and later grew up reading the darker and original Brother Grimm and Hans Christen Anderson’s fairytales. I enjoyed this remake for what it was, a visual buffet of stunning costumes and effects for both the young and the young at heart.
April 12, 2015

Home Reviewed by Miranda BoyerBy the end of the movie Home,<br /><br /><br /> created by the masterminds at DreamWorks Animation, I felt warm and fuzzy. Home is about the most colorful and benign<br /><br /><br /> alien invasion ever and what friendship and family really mean. The invaders of Earth are the Boov,<br /><br /><br /> whose color changes from their natural shade of purple depending on their current<br /><br /><br /> emotional state. They generally shy away from any and all confrontation and the<br /><br /><br /> rule of thumb is to run away from danger. Meet Oh. His vocals are played by the<br /><br /><br /> hysterical Jim Parsons from television’s The<br /><br /><br /> Big Bang Theory. Oh is a multi-legged Boov who encounters on his journey<br /><br /><br /> the human girl Tip, voiced by Rihanna. Tip is searching for her mother<br /><br /><br /> (Jennifer Lopez, The Boy Next Door), who was taken by the Boov. Most of the humans were relocated<br /><br /><br /> to Australia while the Boov invaded the rest of the planet. Oh has a mission of<br /><br /><br /> his own, to stop an Evite to his house warming party from being sent out to the<br /><br /><br /> Boov’s enemies; but he agrees to help Tip in her search for her mother.  We get to watch a beautiful friendship<br /><br /><br /> blossom.  There are some big themes in this<br /><br /><br /> movie; the number one is about not judging something or assuming anything about<br /><br /><br /> someone or something unfamiliar to you until you understand it better. The Boov<br /><br /><br /> believe that humans are a lower-functioning species and that they are in fact<br /><br /><br /> doing the human race a favor by invading. Captain Smek (Steve Martin), of the<br /><br /><br /> Boov, has convinced them all that they can bring new technology and in fact<br /><br /><br /> save humans from themselves. Home might<br /><br /><br /> have an underlining theme about immigrants and stereotypes, as neither race<br /><br /><br /> turn out to be as the other imagines. It is most certainly open to<br /><br /><br /> interpretation. I have no doubt that that when watched, Home will be seen as a fun adventure where friendship and family<br /><br /><br /> win out above all other things. Home<br /><br /><br /> is based on The True<br /><br /><br /> Meaning of Smekday, a middle grade book by Adam Rex. Based on my viewing, I<br /><br /><br /> would assume that the soundtrack, with songs by Lopez and Rihanna, is just as<br /><br /><br /> fun.<br /><br /><br /> I enjoyed tis family friendly film and I have no doubt my niece and nephews<br /><br /><br /> will love as well. Did you see Home,<br /><br /><br /> let me know your thoughts.
Home
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
By the end of the movie Home, created by the masterminds at DreamWorks Animation, I felt warm and fuzzy. Home is about the most colorful and benign alien invasion ever and what friendship and family really mean.
The invaders of Earth are the Boov, whose color changes from their natural shade of purple depending on their current emotional state. They generally shy away from any and all confrontation and the rule of thumb is to run away from danger.Meet Oh. His vocals are played by the hysterical Jim Parsons from television’s The Big Bang Theory. Oh is a multi-legged Boov who encounters on his journey the human girl Tip, voiced by Rihanna. Tip is searching for her mother (Jennifer Lopez, The Boy Next Door), who was taken by the Boov. Most of the humans were relocated to Australia while the Boov invaded the rest of the planet. Oh has a mission of his own, to stop an Evite to his house warming party from being sent out to the Boov’s enemies; but he agrees to help Tip in her search for her mother.  We get to watch a beautiful friendship blossom.
There are some big themes in this movie; the number one is about not judging something or assuming anything about someone or something unfamiliar to you until you understand it better. The Boov believe that humans are a lower-functioning species and that they are in fact doing the human race a favor by invading. Captain Smek (Steve Martin), of the Boov, has convinced them all that they can bring new technology and in fact save humans from themselves. Home might have an underlining theme about immigrants and stereotypes, as neither race turn out to be as the other imagines. It is most certainly open to interpretation. I have no doubt that that when watched, Home will be seen as a fun adventure where friendship and family win out above all other things.
Home is based on The True Meaning of Smekday, a middle grade book by Adam Rex. Based on my viewing, I would assume that the soundtrack, with songs by Lopez and Rihanna, is just as fun.
I enjoyed tis family friendly film and I have no doubt my niece and nephews will love as well. Did you see Home, let me know your thoughts.
April 12, 2015

Furious 7Reviewed by Miranda BoyerI read a figure today that said 230 cars were harmed in the<br /><br /><br /> filming of Furious 7. I couldn’t<br /><br /><br /> decide if it was an attempt at being facetious or not, but the number was still<br /><br /><br /> startling! Anyone who knows me well can testify to the fact that I’ve been a<br /><br /><br /> die-hard FF fan since the first film back in 2001. I’m a gal with a soft spot<br /><br /><br /> for fast cars and explosions. I swoon over the muscle…cars and I can’t get<br /><br /><br /> enough.  Furious 7 was far<br /><br /><br /> from disappointing. I know there has been some talk about weather or not the<br /><br /><br /> film was actually good. As a FF fan myself, I have to say that it was among the<br /><br /><br /> best. I was glad to finely see reference to Tokyo Drift and even an appearance<br /><br /><br /> by Lucas Black. I think we officially know where Drift is in the lineup.<br /><br /><br /> Although I guess this means that we won’t be seeing Han (Sung Kang) anymore. Han<br /><br /><br /> has always been second in my mind only to Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel). Furious 7 had me<br /><br /><br /> saying, what was that gravity thing about again? There are more explosives and<br /><br /><br /> stunts then any FF movie before, taking 7 to a whole different level. This film<br /><br /><br /> will have you questioning everything you know about physics and I recommend just<br /><br /><br /> opening a window and letting it all go. Enjoy the ride (pun intended). On November 30, 2013 my heart broke. I’ve never held any<br /><br /><br /> special fascination with Paul Walker outside of these movies; in fact, I’d be<br /><br /><br /> hard pressed to name another film that he’s in. But the chemistry between this<br /><br /><br /> particular group of actors, the relationships and family ties they’ve formed<br /><br /><br /> over the last near fifteen years while making this franchise pours out on<br /><br /><br /> screen; it always has. I was heart broken that I’d never see the whole team<br /><br /><br /> again. I guess that old saying is true, you never really know what you have<br /><br /><br /> until its gone. There is a lot of dialogue about family and loss that hits a<br /><br /><br /> note home in this film. The ending had a transition into a beautiful memorial<br /><br /><br /> for Paul Walker, and I couldn’t help but get a little choked up. Despite this<br /><br /><br /> great loss, I have a feeling that that this isn’t the end for this team. They<br /><br /><br /> still have a few miles to go yet.
Furious 7
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
I read a figure today that said 230 cars were harmed in the filming of Furious 7. I couldn’t decide if it was an attempt at being facetious or not, but the number was still startling! Anyone who knows me well can testify to the fact that I’ve been a die-hard FF fan since the first film back in 2001. I’m a gal with a soft spot for fast cars and explosions. I swoon over the muscle…cars and I can’t get enough.Furious 7 was far from disappointing. I know there has been some talk about weather or not the film was actually good. As a FF fan myself, I have to say that it was among the best. I was glad to finely see reference to Tokyo Drift and even an appearance by Lucas Black. I think we officially know where Drift is in the lineup. Although I guess this means that we won’t be seeing Han (Sung Kang) anymore. Han has always been second in my mind only to Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel).
Furious 7 had me saying, what was that gravity thing about again? There are more explosives and stunts then any FF movie before, taking 7 to a whole different level. This film will have you questioning everything you know about physics and I recommend just opening a window and letting it all go. Enjoy the ride (pun intended).On November 30, 2013 my heart broke. I’ve never held any special fascination with Paul Walker outside of these movies; in fact, I’d be hard pressed to name another film that he’s in. But the chemistry between this particular group of actors, the relationships and family ties they’ve formed over the last near fifteen years while making this franchise pours out on screen; it always has. I was heart broken that I’d never see the whole team again. I guess that old saying is true, you never really know what you have until its gone. There is a lot of dialogue about family and loss that hits a note home in this film. The ending had a transition into a beautiful memorial for Paul Walker, and I couldn’t help but get a little choked up. Despite this great loss, I have a feeling that that this isn’t the end for this team. They still have a few miles to go yet.
April 8, 2015

“Ready Player One” By Ernest ClineReviewed by Miranda BoyerI picked up a copy of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One in an audio version last year, for one fact alone:<br /><br /><br /> Wil Wheaton was the narrator, and we all know that I have a soft spot for<br /><br /><br /> anything Wil has had his hands in. I figured that even if the book was bad, it<br /><br /><br /> might still be a win. Ready Player One is littered with<br /><br /><br /> references to ‘80s pop-culture, virtual reality, video games, an array of geek<br /><br /><br /> heroes, and enough cult items to keep your interest far past the first read.<br /><br /><br /> It’s been a little over six months since I read it last and I can personally<br /><br /><br /> testify to this fact. But don’t skip the rest of this article if you’re not<br /><br /><br /> overly geeky, Cline is able to maneuver this ultimate nerdgasm into an<br /><br /><br /> accessible narrative that even you, my dear un-nerdy friend, will enjoy. Ready Player One<br /><br /><br /> takes place in they ear 2045 where the world is obsessed with 1980s trivia.<br /><br /><br /> After a billionaire inventor, James Halliday, died he leaves his wealth to<br /><br /><br /> whoever is the first to solve a series of ‘80s related riddles and puzzles<br /><br /><br /> called Anorak’s Invitation. The world’s<br /><br /><br /> resources have depleted and Earth has grown so grim that most of the world<br /><br /><br /> jumps at the opportunity to have a life inside of a massive multiplayer online<br /><br /><br /> virtual reality videogame called the OASIS, invented by Halliday himself. Our<br /><br /><br /> main characters spend most of their time as avatars, inside of this role<br /><br /><br /> playing game, attempting to solve the riddles Halliday left.  Wade Watts, our eighteen-year-old narrator, is a nobody in<br /><br /><br /> the real world. In fact he lives in a trailer stack with more then fifteen<br /><br /><br /> other people and escapes to an abandoned van to become his online persona<br /><br /><br /> Parzival. Parzival is the first person to crack the riddle of Anorak’s<br /><br /><br /> Invitation leading him on a quest for Halliday’s Easter Egg. This hunt is<br /><br /><br /> thrilling and the 80s references push the story forward giving the book a rich<br /><br /><br /> texture. The characters are engaging; the descriptions inside the OASIS are<br /><br /><br /> vivid enough to make me feel like I’m there with Parzival. This is by far, one of my favorite books to come out of the<br /><br /><br /> last few years. It is unlike anything I’ve read before or since. I’m now<br /><br /><br /> counting down the days until the rumored second novel comes out. I’ve even<br /><br /><br /> heard that Steven Spielberg has signed on as director for the film version of<br /><br /><br /> this fantasy world. I’m not sure how they’ll pull it off, but have no doubt<br /><br /><br /> I’ll be first in line. Did you read Ready<br /><br /><br /> Player One? What were your thoughts?
“Ready Player One”
By Ernest Cline
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
I picked up a copy of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One in an audio version last year, for one fact alone: Wil Wheaton was the narrator, and we all know that I have a soft spot for anything Wil has had his hands in. I figured that even if the book was bad, it might still be a win.

Ready Player One is littered with references to ‘80s pop-culture, virtual reality, video games, an array of geek heroes, and enough cult items to keep your interest far past the first read. It’s been a little over six months since I read it last and I can personally testify to this fact. But don’t skip the rest of this article if you’re not overly geeky, Cline is able to maneuver this ultimate nerdgasm into an accessible narrative that even you, my dear un-nerdy friend, will enjoy.
Ready Player One takes place in they ear 2045 where the world is obsessed with 1980s trivia. After a billionaire inventor, James Halliday, died he leaves his wealth to whoever is the first to solve a series of ‘80s related riddles and puzzles called Anorak’s Invitation. The world’s resources have depleted and Earth has grown so grim that most of the world jumps at the opportunity to have a life inside of a massive multiplayer online virtual reality video game called the OASIS, invented by Halliday himself. Our main characters spend most of their time as avatars, inside of this role playing game, attempting to solve the riddles Halliday left.Wade Watts, our eighteen-year-old narrator, is a nobody in the real world. In fact he lives in a trailer stack with more then fifteen other people and escapes to an abandoned van to become his online persona Parzival.
Parzival is the first person to crack the riddle of Anorak’s Invitation leading him on a quest for Halliday’s Easter Egg. This hunt is thrilling and the 80s references push the story forward giving the book a rich texture. The characters are engaging; the descriptions inside the OASIS are vivid enough to make me feel like I’m there with Parzival.
This is by far, one of my favorite books to come out of the last few years. It is unlike anything I’ve read before or since. I’m now counting down the days until the rumored second novel comes out. I’ve even heard that Steven Spielberg has signed on as director for the film version of this fantasy world. I’m not sure how they’ll pull it off, but have no doubt I’ll be first in line. Did you read Ready Player One? What were your thoughts?
April 1, 2015

A Quick Bite by Lindsey SandsReview by Miranda BoyerI read A Quick Bite<br /><br /><br /> after hearing a number of wonderful things about Lindsey Sand’s Vampire series.<br /><br /><br /> Each book in the series stands alone but the many characters mingle throughout<br /><br /><br /> the books each focusing on someone new. I’d decided that if I was going to read<br /><br /><br /> one or two, why not start at the beginning. This series of vampire books are meant to be comedies,<br /><br /><br /> although I wouldn’t have guessed from reading this book alone. A Quick Bite was decently written (although<br /><br /><br /> not my favorite) and most definitely a different take on the vampire genre;<br /><br /><br /> tying in the Lost City of Atlantis was a nice twist. That aside, it read like<br /><br /><br /> bad case of Stockholm syndrome.I forgot while reading this book that it was supposed to be<br /><br /><br /> a comedy and found myself cringing more then a few times at the language and<br /><br /><br /> random situations the main characters found themselves in. The plot was lacking<br /><br /><br /> and what little plot there was, was quite predictable. If it wasn’t for the<br /><br /><br /> fact that I prefer not to leave books hanging, I may not have ever finished<br /><br /><br /> this one. On the plus side, I’ve heard that the series does get better<br /><br /><br /> and at 22 books long, I would hope that is the case. Maybe skip this one and<br /><br /><br /> move on to book two. You’re really not missing much. Once you’ve fallen in love<br /><br /><br /> with three or four then come back to A<br /><br /><br /> Quick Bite and read it with the knowledge that it might be Sand’s weakest<br /><br /><br /> work. I’m guessing that you’ll be glad you took my advice on this one.
A Quick Bite
by Lindsey Sands
Review by Miranda Boyer
I read A Quick Bite after hearing a number of wonderful things about Lindsey Sand’s Vampire series. Each book in the series stands alone but the many characters mingle throughout the books each focusing on someone new. I’d decided that if I was going to read one or two, why not start at the beginning.
This series of vampire books are meant to be comedies, although I wouldn’t have guessed from reading this book alone. A Quick Bite was decently written (although not my favorite) and most definitely a different take on the vampire genre; tying in the Lost City of Atlantis was a nice twist. That aside, it read like bad case of Stockholm syndrome.
I forgot while reading this book that it was supposed to be a comedy and found myself cringing more then a few times at the language and random situations the main characters found themselves in. The plot was lacking and what little plot there was, was quite predictable. If it wasn’t for the fact that I prefer not to leave books hanging, I may not have ever finished this one.On the plus side, I’ve heard that the series does get better and at 22 books long, I would hope that is the case. Maybe skip this one and move on to book two. You’re really not missing much. Once you’ve fallen in love with three or four then come back to A Quick Bite and read it with the knowledge that it might be Sand’s weakest work. I’m guessing that you’ll be glad you took my advice on this one.
March 31, 2015

Click 98.9 Acoustic Lounge - Oh HoneyReview by Miranda BoyerI was lucky enough to score a free VIP ticket to a private<br /><br /><br /> meet and greet with the band Oh Honey<br /><br /><br /> this afternoon with Click 98.9’s Acoustic Lounge. Oh Honey is an American folk-pop band from Brooklyn, New York. The<br /><br /><br /> Singer-Songwriters Mitchy Collins and Danielle Bouchard and their touring<br /><br /><br /> drummer Robbie Ernst played a beautiful set of indie pop-folk music at the Hard<br /><br /><br /> Rock Café in Seattle. First off I have to say that this was the most intimate concert<br /><br /><br /> I’ve ever been to. The Acoustic Lounge concert tickets must be won on the<br /><br /><br /> radio, and while being caller 20 isn’t easy, it is worth every frantic moment<br /><br /><br /> spent dialing. When we first arrived at the Hard Rock, we were greeted at<br /><br /><br /> the door escorted to the bar where we ordered drinks while we waited for the<br /><br /><br /> show to begin. In short time someone from Click came down and gave us our VIP<br /><br /><br /> tickets while checking our name against their list of winners. Within a few minutes<br /><br /><br /> of the start time we were all escorted to the private bar on the second floor<br /><br /><br /> where a stage was ready for the band. Brad the radio host started the show by<br /><br /><br /> giving some introductions, and letting us know what is going to happen. Then Oh Honey took the stage! They were<br /><br /><br /> delightful and the whole bar was moving to the music. There really weren’t that<br /><br /><br /> many of us, when I say private I mean less then 30 people. When the band<br /><br /><br /> finished up, everyone had the opportunity to get a photograph with the band and<br /><br /><br /> an autograph. We were served a nice helping of appetizers, which consisted of pulled<br /><br /><br /> pork sliders, Santa Fe Spring rolls, and Spicy chicken strips. From the very beginning of the event we were treated with<br /><br /><br /> the utmost respect. I didn’t know what to expect from a radio show but I<br /><br /><br /> couldn’t have higher praise for it. It was only about an hour and a half of my<br /><br /><br /> day but it was well spent. If you ever get the opportunity to go to one of<br /><br /><br /> their tapings, I can’t encourage you enough to say yes.
Click 98.9 Acoustic Lounge – Oh Honey
Review by Miranda Boyer
I was lucky enough to score a free VIP ticket to a private meet and greet with the band Oh Honey this afternoon with Click 98.9’s Acoustic Lounge. Oh Honey is an American folk-pop band from Brooklyn, New York. The Singer-Songwriters Mitchy Collins and Danielle Bouchard and their touring drummer Robbie Ernst played a beautiful set of indie pop-folk music at the Hard Rock Café in Seattle.
First off I have to say that this was the most intimate concert I’ve ever been to. The Acoustic Lounge concert tickets must be won on the radio, and while being caller 20 isn’t easy, it is worth every frantic moment spent dialing.
When we first arrived at the Hard Rock, we were greeted at the door escorted to the bar where we ordered drinks while we waited for the show to begin. In short time someone from Click came down and gave us our VIP tickets while checking our name against their list of winners. Within a few minutes of the start time we were all escorted to the private bar on the second floor where a stage was ready for the band. Brad the radio host started the show by giving some introductions, and letting us know what is going to happen. Then Oh Honey took the stage! They were delightful and the whole bar was moving to the music. There really weren’t that many of us, when I say private I mean less then 30 people. When the band finished up, everyone had the opportunity to get a photograph with the band and an autograph. We were served a nice helping of appetizers, which consisted of pulled pork sliders, Santa Fe Spring rolls, and Spicy chicken strips.

From the very beginning of the event we were treated with the utmost respect. I didn’t know what to expect from a radio show but I couldn’t have higher praise for it. It was only about an hour and a half of my day but it was well spent. If you ever get the opportunity to go to one of their tapings, I can’t encourage you enough to say yes.

March 21, 2015

Jupiter Ascending Review by Miranda BoyerTwo nights in a row I found myself at the theatre; tonightwas a double flick. Maybe it was the fact that the first film I saw was shit,<br /><br /><br /> or maybe it was simply because I have a soft spot for science fiction and Channing<br /><br /><br /> Tatum. Either way I sort of fell head over heals for Lana and Andy Wachowski’s<br /><br /><br /> newest film Jupiter Ascending.<br /><br /><br /> They’ve never been accused of playing it safe with their unconventional<br /><br /><br /> approach to sci-fi. Jupiter Jones, played by the always-attractive Mila Kunis, is<br /><br /><br /> a Russian illegal housekeeper who discovers by way of a genetically bread<br /><br /><br /> half/man, half/wolf, half/bird-thing, played by a frequently half/naked<br /><br /><br /> Channing Tatum, that she is a genetically perfect reincarnation of an<br /><br /><br /> interstellar Queen. The original Queen had three spoiled shit-head children who<br /><br /><br /> are all vying for ownership of Earth, something that Jupiter herself has just<br /><br /><br /> inherited. Unfortunately for us, Earth is really a just one big commodity where<br /><br /><br /> humans are harvested for a sort of fountain of youth extract. Are you keeping up? Okay, so Eddie Redmayne (who I love so<br /><br /><br /> whole heartedly from The Theory of Everything) plays Balem Abrasax, Douglas<br /><br /><br /> Booth plays Titus Abrasax and Tuppence Middleton as Kalique Abrasax, make up<br /><br /><br /> the three siblings who are trying to either have Jupiter knocked off or (in a<br /><br /><br /> sick twist of events) married. The feminist in me doesn’t even care that<br /><br /><br /> Jupiter is a damsel in distress more then a few times. I tried to put myself in<br /><br /><br /> her place and with what little knowledge she does know, I don’t know that I<br /><br /><br /> would have made any other choices. After all we knew that Channing err… Cain<br /><br /><br /> would swoop in and save the day – shirtless preferably. If I’m being serious for a moment, this film should be up<br /><br /><br /> for an Oscar for Costume Design in the very least. There is a never-ending<br /><br /><br /> parade of amazing in this film. Between Kunis’ wedding gown and the costumes<br /><br /><br /> from the bureaucracy sequence, or the wide array of leatherwear, this film<br /><br /><br /> deserves some serious props to the costume geniuses that created this universe.<br /><br /><br /> There were more then a few nods to just about everything you<br /><br /><br /> can imagine in the sci-fi world, including Star Wars, Flash Gordon, A.I., Fifth<br /><br /><br /> Element, Men in Black, Signs and I’m sure like a hundred million other things<br /><br /><br /> that I couldn’t begin to name. There was a perfect moment when a spacecraft was<br /><br /><br /> lifting off from its hover position and as it flies away there’s a crop circle<br /><br /><br /> in the field. I was inwardly screaming “YES!” Did I mention the flying gravity<br /><br /><br /> (or is it anti-gravity) boots? Bottom line, this movie is over the top at times. But I<br /><br /><br /> guarantee that you’ve never seen anything like it before! I personally don’t<br /><br /><br /> feel that it got enough credit. I’d go see it again and not just for the pretty<br /><br /><br /> faces. Did you see Jupiter Ascending, what<br /><br /><br /> did you think?
Jupiter Ascending
Review by Miranda Boyer
Two nights in a row I found myself at the theatre; tonight was a double flick. Maybe it was the fact that the first film I saw was shit, or maybe it was simply because I have a soft spot for science fiction and Channing Tatum. Either way I sort of fell head over heals for Lana and Andy Wachowski’s newest film Jupiter Ascending. They’ve never been accused of playing it safe with their unconventional approach to sci-fi.Jupiter Jones, played by the always-attractive Mila Kunis, is a Russian illegal housekeeper who discovers by way of a genetically bread half/man, half/wolf, half/bird-thing, played by a frequently half/naked Channing Tatum, that she is a genetically perfect reincarnation of an interstellar Queen. The original Queen had three spoiled shit-head children who are all vying for ownership of Earth, something that Jupiter herself has just inherited. Unfortunately for us, Earth is really a just one big commodity where humans are harvested for a sort of fountain of youth extract.
Are you keeping up? Okay, so Eddie Redmayne (who I love so whole heartedly from The Theory of Everything) plays Balem Abrasax, Douglas Booth plays Titus Abrasax and Tuppence Middleton as Kalique Abrasax, make up the three siblings who are trying to either have Jupiter knocked off or (in a sick twist of events) married. The feminist in me doesn’t even care that Jupiter is a damsel in distress more then a few times. I tried to put myself in her place and with what little knowledge she does know, I don’t know that I would have made any other choices. After all we knew that Channing err… Cain would swoop in and save the day – shirtless preferably.
If I’m being serious for a moment, this film should be up for an Oscar for Costume Design in the very least. There is a never-ending parade of amazing in this film. Between Kunis’ wedding gown and the costumes from the bureaucracy sequence, or the wide array of leatherwear, this film deserves some serious props to the costume geniuses that created this universe.
There were more then a few nods to just about everything you can imagine in the sci-fi world, including Star Wars, Flash Gordon, A.I., Fifth Element, Men in Black, Signs and I’m sure like a hundred million other things that I couldn’t begin to name. There was a perfect moment when a spacecraft was lifting off from its hover position and as it flies away there’s a crop circle in the field. I was inwardly screaming “YES!” Did I mention the flying gravity (or is it anti-gravity) boots?
Bottom line, this movie is over the top at times. But I guarantee that you’ve never seen anything like it before! I personally don’t feel that it got enough credit. I’d go see it again and not just for the pretty faces. Did you see Jupiter Ascending, what did you think?
</p><br /><br /> <p>Insurgent </p><br /><br /> <p>Reviewed by Miranda Boyer</p><br /><br /> <p>When I read this book series, Divergent, I was deeply torn between a woman who was more of a bad<br /><br /><br /> ass then I could ever dream of being, and a women who was so broken she felt<br /><br /><br /> unlovable, unforgivable and more often then I’m sure some of us would like to<br /><br /><br /> admit, completely relatable. Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) is simultaneously<br /><br /><br /> both of these women. She pulled at my very human heartstrings and I fell in<br /><br /><br /> love with her story.There is a moment near the beginning of this follow up film<br /><br /><br /> to last years block buster, when Tris and Four (Theo James) are ready to fight<br /><br /><br /> a group of fractionless foe on a train. The shear anger is palpable on Tris.<br /><br /><br /> She closes her eyes, centers herself and just like that, is taking on a train<br /><br /><br /> of baddies without a second beat. Moments like this remind me that Shailene<br /><br /><br /> Woodley has come a long way from her early days on Secret Life of the American Teenager, to the kick ass - ask<br /><br /><br /> questions later - character she plays in Insurgent.</p><br /><br /> <p>Insurgent picks up<br /><br /><br /> at the very end of Divergent leaving<br /><br /><br /> no room for questions about time laps. I was pleasantly surprised with this<br /><br /><br /> book to movie adaptation. While I know going into such movies that there must<br /><br /><br /> be cuts, I wasn’t overly surprised at anything left out or changed for the sake<br /><br /><br /> of forward momentum. I’m sure that there are some purists out there that will<br /><br /><br /> argue otherwise, but I’m a realist at heart and I can understand that from book<br /><br /><br /> to screen some changes must occur. I could spoil all of the goods for you, but<br /><br /><br /> since I saw this on a rare opening night, I’ll save them and let you watch it<br /><br /><br /> for yourself. It has been a little over a year since I read this series myself,<br /><br /><br /> but it still felt fresh enough to say with conviction that this movie justified<br /><br /><br /> it well.<br /><br /><br /> The cinematography was raised a notch, if you can believe it. They manage to<br /><br /><br /> take this to the next level, using the simulations as an opportunity to blend<br /><br /><br /> the surreal with the real leaving the audience stunned and wondering what’s<br /><br /><br /> next. </p><br /><br /> <p>There was one moment that I feel the need to mention. I was<br /><br /><br /> laughing out loud, annoying my fellow moviegoers, when a perfect moment took<br /><br /><br /> place tonight. Theo James, who plays the love interest of Woodley’s, Four, in Divergent and this film Insurgent; Miles Teller, who plays Peter<br /><br /><br /> in this film and Woodley’s love interest in The<br /><br /><br /> Spectacular Now; and lastly Ansel Elgort, who plays Caleb in this film but<br /><br /><br /> also plays a love interest of Woodley’s in The<br /><br /><br /> Fault in Our Stars – were all on screen in one perfect shot with Woodley<br /><br /><br /> herself making for a beautiful moment. I wonder if this was a nod to each of<br /><br /><br /> their work, and a moment for fans like myself to get excited about. Or perhaps it<br /><br /><br /> was simply cinematic serendipity; either way, I’ll take it. </p><br /><br /> <p>At the end of the day, I enjoyed this film a lot and will no<br /><br /><br /> doubt add it to my collection when it comes out on BluRay later this year. Did<br /><br /><br /> you watch Insurgent yet, what were<br /><br /><br /> your thoughts?

Insurgent

Reviewed by Miranda Boyer

When I read this book series, Divergent, I was deeply torn between a woman who was more of a bad ass then I could ever dream of being, and a women who was so broken she felt unlovable, unforgivable and more often then I’m sure some of us would like to admit, completely relatable. Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) is simultaneously both of these women. She pulled at my very human heartstrings and I fell in love with her story.

There is a moment near the beginning of this follow up film to last years block buster, when Tris and Four (Theo James) are ready to fight a group of fractionless foe on a train. The shear anger is palpable on Tris. She closes her eyes, centers herself and just like that, is taking on a train of baddies without a second beat. Moments like this remind me that Shailene Woodley has come a long way from her early days on Secret Life of the American Teenager, to the kick ass – ask questions later – character she plays in Insurgent.

Insurgent picks up at the very end of Divergent leaving no room for questions about time laps. I was pleasantly surprised with this book to movie adaptation. While I know going into such movies that there must be cuts, I wasn’t overly surprised at anything left out or changed for the sake of forward momentum. I’m sure that there are some purists out there that will argue otherwise, but I’m a realist at heart and I can understand that from book to screen some changes must occur. I could spoil all of the goods for you, but since I saw this on a rare opening night, I’ll save them and let you watch it for yourself. It has been a little over a year since I read this series myself, but it still felt fresh enough to say with conviction that this movie justified it well.

The cinematography was raised a notch, if you can believe it. They manage to take this to the next level, using the simulations as an opportunity to blend the surreal with the real leaving the audience stunned and wondering what’s next.

There was one moment that I feel the need to mention. I was laughing out loud, annoying my fellow moviegoers, when a perfect moment took place tonight. Theo James, who plays the love interest of Woodley’s, Four, in Divergent and this film Insurgent; Miles Teller, who plays Peter in this film and Woodley’s love interest in The Spectacular Now; and lastly Ansel Elgort, who plays Caleb in this film but also plays a love interest of Woodley’s in The Fault in Our Stars – were all on screen in one perfect shot with Woodley herself making for a beautiful moment. I wonder if this was a nod to each of their work, and a moment for fans like myself to get excited about. Or perhaps it was simply cinematic serendipity; either way, I’ll take it.

At the end of the day, I enjoyed this film a lot and will no doubt add it to my collection when it comes out on BluRay later this year. Did you watch Insurgent yet, what were your thoughts?

March 19, 2015

</p><br /><br /> <p>iZOMBiE “Pilot” </p><br /><br /> <p>Reviewed by Miranda Boyer </p><br /><br /> <p>When I heard about iZOMBiE<br /><br /><br /> I sort of rolled my eyes at the prospect of yet one more zombie tail. Then I<br /><br /><br /> instantly shrugged it off and decided I would watch it. After all, I’m sort of<br /><br /><br /> a sucker for a new spin on an old story, particularly when I heard who was<br /><br /><br /> involved in the making. Veronica Mars<br /><br /><br /> creator Rob Thomas tells a new story of the undead. A story that is funny,<br /><br /><br /> maybe even a little campy, and full of feels. </p><br /><br /> <p>Since I’ve recently finished reading Warm Bodies, I couldn’t<br /><br /><br /> help but draw a few similarities between the zombie attributes. When either R<br /><br /><br /> (Warm Bodies) or Liv (iZOMBiE) eat brains they get flashes of<br /><br /><br /> what that persons life was. There is a more human side to the zombies, while in<br /><br /><br /> both universes they can be horrifically violent as well. </p><br /><br /> <p>iZOMBiE is loosely based on the comic<br /><br /><br /> book series by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred, and is a story about a driven<br /><br /><br /> doctor named Liv (Rose Mclver) who was infected by the undead and finds her<br /><br /><br /> life coming to a halt. Liv copes with her “affliction” and the growing<br /><br /><br /> disconnection from her family and friends. She now works for the coroner’s<br /><br /><br /> office where she has an ample supply of brains and with her brain inherited<br /><br /><br /> knowledge she helps to solve crimes. </p><br /><br /> <p>If this show makes it, and I hope it does, Rose Mclver is going<br /><br /><br /> to be the reason. She is easy to watch and nails the deadpan comedy in such a<br /><br /><br /> way that everyone will have no choice but to keep watching. In the pilot we<br /><br /><br /> meet an array of new cast, something that feels heavy for the first episode,<br /><br /><br /> but should ease as the show continues. There is a lot of story to tell and I’ve<br /><br /><br /> no doubt that Rob Thomas will do it well. </p><br /><br /> <p>What I appreciated most about this show was how fun it was.<br /><br /><br /> Between the comic book nods, to the flashbacks, the filming was beautiful. I’m<br /><br /><br /> not sure if were seeing anything that new, but a crime show with a zombie twist<br /><br /><br /> is something I’ll happily watch.</p><br /><br /> <p>What did you think of iZOMBiE?  </p><br /><br /> <p>

iZOMBiE “Pilot”

Reviewed by Miranda Boyer

When I heard about iZOMBiE I sort of rolled my eyes at the prospect of yet one more zombie tail. Then I instantly shrugged it off and decided I would watch it. After all, I’m sort of a sucker for a new spin on an old story, particularly when I heard who was involved in the making. Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas tells a new story of the undead. A story that is funny, maybe even a little campy, and full of feels.

Since I’ve recently finished reading Warm Bodies, I couldn’t help but draw a few similarities between the zombie attributes. When either R (Warm Bodies) or Liv (iZOMBiE) eat brains they get flashes of what that persons life was. There is a more human side to the zombies, while in both universes they can be horrifically violent as well.

iZOMBiE is loosely based on the comic book series by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred, and is a story about a driven doctor named Liv (Rose Mclver) who was infected by the undead and finds her life coming to a halt. Liv copes with her “affliction” and the growing disconnection from her family and friends. She now works for the coroner’s office where she has an ample supply of brains and with her brain inherited knowledge she helps to solve crimes.

If this show makes it, and I hope it does, Rose Mclver is going to be the reason. She is easy to watch and nails the deadpan comedy in such a way that everyone will have no choice but to keep watching. In the pilot we meet an array of new cast, something that feels heavy for the first episode, but should ease as the show continues. There is a lot of story to tell and I’ve no doubt that Rob Thomas will do it well.

What I appreciated most about this show was how fun it was. Between the comic book nods, to the flashbacks, the filming was beautiful. I’m not sure if were seeing anything that new, but a crime show with a zombie twist is something I’ll happily watch.

March 18, 2015

Matched by Ally CondieReviewed by Miranda BoyerI’m a firm believer that 99% of the time, reading a book is<br /><br /><br /> better then watching the movie. However I still enjoy the movies; I just want<br /><br /><br /> to enjoy the book first. So when I was going through the list of books to<br /><br /><br /> movies this year I took note of some titles that sounded interesting. Let me<br /><br /><br /> introduce Matched by Ally Condie. Matched is about a<br /><br /><br /> dystopian society very reminiscent of other dystopian societies (i.e. The giver, Divergent just to name a<br /><br /><br /> couple). What makes this one unique is that ‘the society’ is breeding out bad<br /><br /><br /> habits, genes, and breeding in strength, intelligence, and submission to<br /><br /><br /> authority. Those who do not fall into their categories are given infractions,<br /><br /><br /> and their families are shamed. This story told through the first person eyes of<br /><br /><br /> young 17 year old Cassia. We meet her on the day of her Matching ceremony,<br /><br /><br /> where she will be matched with her mate. In four years time they will be<br /><br /><br /> married and will go on to live ‘a good life’. A life without choice or<br /><br /><br /> freedoms, and on her 80th birthday, she will die; as everyone does.<br /><br /><br /> She is matched with her best friend Xander but much to her surprise when she<br /><br /><br /> goes to look at a micro-card with his information on it, a picture of Ky comes<br /><br /><br /> up. Ky is another childhood friend of hers. She is told it was a mistake; she<br /><br /><br /> cannot love Ky or be with him, no one can. “It is one thing to make a choice<br /><br /><br /> and it is another thing to never have the chance.” This book was simple, and easy to read. The ideas aren’t all<br /><br /><br /> that new, there hasn’t been a moment where surprise, shock, or dismay took<br /><br /><br /> over. But what I loved about it was the way it was written. Condie goes to<br /><br /><br /> great lengths to express emotion and love; she does so, beautifully. There were<br /><br /><br /> many great quotes that I enjoyed and they even made me pause to take note. “Growing apart does not change the<br /><br /><br /> fact that for years our roots grew side by side.” How many us can relate to<br /><br /><br /> this? This is a fact of life, and Condie illustrates it well with her words.<br /><br /><br /> The whole book is written this way, and this is what I loved so much about it.<br /><br /><br /> She writes with great flair and emotion, bottling it up for her readers to gulp<br /><br /><br /> down. In the end, I enjoyed Matched a lot more then I expected to. I<br /><br /><br /> look forward to reading the second book in the series when it comes in the mail<br /><br /><br /> next week. Until then I will remember this: Do not go gentle into that good night; Old age should burn and rave at<br /><br /><br /> close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light – Dylan Thomas
Matched by Ally Condie
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
I’m a firm believer that 99% of the time, reading a book is better then watching the movie. However I still enjoy the movies; I just want to enjoy the book first. So when I was going through the list of books to movies this year I took note of some titles that sounded interesting. Let me introduce Matched by Ally Condie.
Matched is about a dystopian society very reminiscent of other dystopian societies (i.e. The giver, Divergent just to name a couple). What makes this one unique is that ‘the society’ is breeding out bad habits, genes, and breeding in strength, intelligence, and submission to authority. Those who do not fall into their categories are given infractions, and their families are shamed. This story told through the first person eyes of young 17 year old Cassia. We meet her on the day of her Matching ceremony, where she will be matched with her mate. In four years time they will be married and will go on to live ‘a good life’. A life without choice or freedoms, and on her 80th birthday, she will die; as everyone does. She is matched with her best friend Xander but much to her surprise when she goes to look at a micro-card with his information on it, a picture of Ky comes up. Ky is another childhood friend of hers. She is told it was a mistake; she cannot love Ky or be with him, no one can. “It is one thing to make a choice and it is another thing to never have the chance.”
This book was simple, and easy to read. The ideas aren’t all that new, there hasn’t been a moment where surprise, shock, or dismay took over. But what I loved about it was the way it was written. Condie goes to great lengths to express emotion and love; she does so, beautifully. There were many great quotes that I enjoyed and they even made me pause to take note.
“Growing apart does not change the fact that for years our roots grew side by side.” How many us can relate to this? This is a fact of life, and Condie illustrates it well with her words. The whole book is written this way, and this is what I loved so much about it. She writes with great flair and emotion, bottling it up for her readers to gulp down.
In the end, I enjoyed Matched a lot more then I expected to. I look forward to reading the second book in the series when it comes in the mail next week. Until then I will remember this: Do not go gentle into that good night; Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light – Dylan Thomas
March 17, 2015

The 100Reviewed by Miranda BoyerI’ve just finished watching the first season of The 100 – Thank you Netflix! (I swearthey should be paying me for every time I name drop) I watched this on the<br /><br /><br /> recommendation of several people who’ve as of late found themselves captivated<br /><br /><br /> by the well-constructed universe of The<br /><br /><br /> 100. The show is set 97 years after a nuclear apocalypse seemingly wiped<br /><br /><br /> out all life on Earth. The show begins onboard a large space station called the<br /><br /><br /> Ark, once multiple separate stations from many different countries, they came<br /><br /><br /> together creating a unified face of what is believed to be the last of the<br /><br /><br /> human race. The three or four thousand people are the decedents of the roughly<br /><br /><br /> 600 people who were lucky enough to be in outer space when the nuclear war<br /><br /><br /> happened. When we meet the survivors onboard the Ark, we learn that<br /><br /><br /> the resources are at their limits. This has created a vicious society where<br /><br /><br /> crime of any kind is punishable by death for everyone 18 and over; they are<br /><br /><br /> ‘floated’ in space. Juvenile delinquent’s are locked up until their 18th<br /><br /><br /> birthdays. Those in authority positions decide that it is time to test whether<br /><br /><br /> or not Earth is sustainable again, the 100 locked up juveniles of all ages are<br /><br /><br /> sent down to earth. Chancellor Jaha (Isaiah Washington) tells the 100 in a video,<br /><br /><br /> “Frankly we’re sending you because your crimes have made you expendable.” What<br /><br /><br /> will the 100 find on earth? What will those left on the Ark do to survive, as<br /><br /><br /> commodities like air and food are running thin. Welcome to The 100. While watching this gloriously gut wrenching show, I find<br /><br /><br /> myself drawing parallels to a number of things. In some ways it is very Hunger Games like. Children fight to<br /><br /><br /> death for survival. In other ways it is like a retelling of immigrants to<br /><br /><br /> America conquering of the Native Americans in what is now known as the United<br /><br /><br /> States. It’s a sad and bloodied past and in a lot of ways there are<br /><br /><br /> similarities in this show. The violence between the Native Grounders and the<br /><br /><br /> Sky people are all too familiar. As one character Clark asks, are they doomed<br /><br /><br /> to repeat their past or can they start new. The world that has been created is an impressively dark and<br /><br /><br /> edgy, I’m excited to see where it goes in season two. In the cliffhanger<br /><br /><br /> finally I think we’ve just been introduced to the Mountain Men. They have guns<br /><br /><br /> and white rooms, I’m beyond excited to watch this series grow. The first season<br /><br /><br /> is a mere 13 episodes, that’s like a really long weekend. Have you seen The 100<br /><br /><br /> yet? What did you think? Send me your comments!
The 100
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
I’ve just finished watching the first season of The 100 – Thank you Netflix! (I swear they should be paying me for every time I name drop) I watched this on the recommendation of several people who’ve as of late found themselves captivated by the well-constructed universe of The 100. The show is set 97 years after a nuclear apocalypse seemingly wiped out all life on Earth. The show begins on board a large space station called the Ark, once multiple separate stations from many different countries, they came together creating a unified face of what is believed to be the last of the human race. The three or four thousand people are the decedents of the roughly 600 people who were lucky enough to be in outer space when the nuclear war happened.
When we meet the survivors on board the Ark, we learn that the resources are at their limits. This has created a vicious society where crime of any kind is punishable by death for everyone 18 and over; they are ‘floated’ in space. Juvenile delinquent’s are locked up until their 18th birthdays. Those in authority positions decide that it is time to test whether or not Earth is sustainable again, the 100 locked up juveniles of all ages are sent down to earth. Chancellor Jaha (Isaiah Washington) tells the 100 in a video, “Frankly we’re sending you because your crimes have made you expendable.” What will the 100 find on earth? What will those left on the Ark do to survive, as commodities like air and food are running thin. Welcome to The 100.
While watching this gloriously gut wrenching show, I find myself drawing parallels to a number of things. In some ways it is very Hunger Games like. Children fight to death for survival. In other ways it is like a retelling of immigrants to America conquering of the Native Americans in what is now known as the United States. It’s a sad and bloodied past and in a lot of ways there are similarities in this show. The violence between the Native Grounders and the Sky people are all too familiar. As one character Clark asks, are they doomed to repeat their past or can they start new.
The world that has been created is an impressively dark and edgy, I’m excited to see where it goes in season two. In the cliffhanger finally I think we’ve just been introduced to the Mountain Men. They have guns and white rooms, I’m beyond excited to watch this series grow. The first season is a mere 13 episodes, that’s like a really long weekend.Have you seen The 100 yet? What did you think? Send me your comments!
March 10, 2015

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion Reviewed by Miranda BoyerI was in the midst of my finals and in dire need of something light and fun to read. Lucky for me Audible had a sale a couple of weeks ago and I bought a handful of books for $5 each! I can’t speak for the<br /><br /><br /> rest of the world, but I love to have an audiobook on standby for when I’m<br /><br /><br /> driving, doing dishes, or even just relaxing. Since I’m a sucker for a book on<br /><br /><br /> sale, in any way, shape, or form, I have an endless supply of options to pick<br /><br /><br /> from. Visually speaking, Isaac Marion’s book Warm Bodies is a mental delight. It’s a quick read, sitting at a<br /><br /><br /> mere 240 pages it made for a wonderful zombalishious snack. I have to give a<br /><br /><br /> nod to my fellow Seattle author. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t more then a<br /><br /><br /> little excited to meet him at Emerald City Comic Con later this month. The book was well written, but more then that it was fresh.<br /><br /><br /> The main character, R, is a zombie and as the reader we get to experience the<br /><br /><br /> world from his point of view. The book grows in consciousness as R does. I<br /><br /><br /> can’t say if it was intentional or not, but the descriptions, and artistry of<br /><br /><br /> Marion’s writing grows to a climax right along with R’s own transformation from<br /><br /><br /> zombie to human. I’ve often wondered if it is possible to care passionately for<br /><br /><br /> something that contemporary mythos deem a monstrosity, and the resounding<br /><br /><br /> answer is yes. Marion has created a mesmerizing evolution of a being, bringing<br /><br /><br /> together both the mob mentality of your typical zombie movie and the genital<br /><br /><br /> romance of first love. Who would have thought it was possible?! I enjoyed this book very much and I look forward to watching<br /><br /><br /> the movie later this week! Did you read Warm<br /><br /><br /> Bodies? What were your thoughts?
Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
I was in the midst of my finals and in dire need of something light and fun to read. Lucky for me Audible had a sale a couple of weeks ago and I bought a handful of books for $5 each! I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but I love to have an audiobook on standby for when I’m driving, doing dishes, or even just relaxing. Since I’m a sucker for a book on sale, in any way, shape, or form, I have an endless supply of options to pick from.
Visually speaking, Isaac Marion’s book Warm Bodies is a mental delight. It’s a quick read, sitting at a mere 240 pages it made for a wonderful zombalishious snack. I have to give a nod to my fellow Seattle author. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t more then a little excited to meet him at Emerald City Comic Con later this month.
The book was well written, but more then that it was fresh. The main character, R, is a zombie and as the reader we get to experience the world from his point of view. The book grows in consciousness as R does. I can’t say if it was intentional or not, but the descriptions, and artistry of Marion’s writing grows to a climax right along with R’s own transformation from zombie to human.
I’ve often wondered if it is possible to care passionately for something that contemporary mythos deem a monstrosity, and the resounding answer is yes. Marion has created a mesmerizing evolution of a being, bringing together both the mob mentality of your typical zombie movie and the genital romance of first love. Who would have thought it was possible?!
I enjoyed this book very much and I look forward to watching the movie later this week! Did you read Warm Bodies? What were your thoughts?
March 5, 2015

3024AD: Short Stories Series One By D.E.S. RichardReviewed By Miranda BoyerI came into a copy of 3024AD:<br /><br /><br /> Short Stories Series One through my friend Steve. He get’s books and the such to review over but doesn’t always have time. I was asked to do a little reviewing and I happily jumped at the opportunity! Steve’s website is<br /><br /><br /> www.TheSteveStrout.com and it’s a great nerdy buffet for all levels of geek. I highly<br /><br /><br /> recommend you check it if you get a chance!</p><br /><br /> <p>Admittedly I didn’t make it through more then a handful of<br /><br /><br /> these shorts before I had to set the book aside. The author, D.E.S. Richard, is<br /><br /><br /> trying to do something wonderful with his science fiction romp but<br /><br /><br /> unfortunately it just falls a little flat. The need for an editor was present,<br /><br /><br /> although compared to most self-published books, there weren’t nearly as many<br /><br /><br /> mistakes as there could have been. The writing is for the most part, technically sound. The<br /><br /><br /> largest critique I have is really about the way Richard writes. He is telling a<br /><br /><br /> story instead of showing us. As Mark Twain once said, “Don’t say the old lady<br /><br /><br /> screamed, bring her on and let her scream.” Or as Anton Chekov said, “Don’t<br /><br /><br /> tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”<br /><br /><br /> Unfortunately for the reader Richard fails at this and the writing becomes<br /><br /><br /> tedious at times. I feel like Richard could have taken more time with the<br /><br /><br /> stories and turned them into something so much more amazing. The ideas are<br /><br /><br /> there, but the execution misses the mark. There are too many gaps in the information<br /><br /><br /> and ultimately in this situation the flaws in the writing overshadow the story.<br /><br /><br /> If it were me, I probably wouldn’t have billed this as a series, it makes the<br /><br /><br /> title a bit cumbersome.</p><br /><br /> <p>Tell me what you thought about 3024AD: Short Stories Series One.
3024AD: Short Stories Series One
By D.E.S. Richard
Reviewed By Miranda Boyer
I came into a copy of 3024AD: Short Stories Series One through my friend Steve. He get’s books and the such to review over but doesn’t always have time. I was asked to do a little reviewing and I happily jumped at the opportunity! Steve’s website is www.TheSteveStrout.com and it’s a great nerdy buffet for all levels of geek. I highly recommend you check it if you get a chance.
Admittedly I didn’t make it through more then a handful of these shorts before I had to set the book aside. The author, D.E.S. Richard, is trying to do something wonderful with his science fiction romp but unfortunately it just falls a little flat. The need for an editor was present, although compared to most self-published books, there weren’t nearly as many mistakes as there could have been. The writing is for the most part, technically sound. The largest critique I have is really about the way Richard writes. He is telling a story instead of showing us. As Mark Twain once said, “Don’t say the old lady screamed, bring her on and let her scream.” Or as Anton Chekov said, “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” Unfortunately for the reader Richard fails at this and the writing becomes tedious at times. I feel like Richard could have taken more time with the stories and turned them into something so much more amazing. The ideas are there, but the execution misses the mark. There are too many gaps in the information and ultimately in this situation the flaws in the writing overshadow the story. If it were me, I probably wouldn’t have billed this as a series, it makes the title a bit cumbersome.Tell me what you thought about 3024AD: Short Stories Series One.
March 3, 2015

Last Man on EarthReview by Miranda BoyerThis evening I decided to try something new on for a change<br /><br /><br /> and I watched Fox’s extremely creative and ridiculously entertaining new series<br /><br /><br /> Last Man on Earth. I laughed for more<br /><br /><br /> then an hour at this truly impressive new show. Will Forte’s new creation directed by Christopher Miller and<br /><br /><br /> Phil Lord, is about “an average guy who loved his family and hated his job,”<br /><br /><br /> but somehow is (presumably) the last surviving man of a world ending virus in<br /><br /><br /> the year 2020. While the details are still new and we don’t know why Phil<br /><br /><br /> (Forte) survived, as this series is in it’s infancy, I’m looking forward to<br /><br /><br /> next week. If you were the last man or woman on earth, what would you do? Phil visits every state looking for another human leaving<br /><br /><br /> various graffiti stating “Alive in Tucson” on various signage in hopes that<br /><br /><br /> another person, preferably a woman, will find him. While a post-apocalyptic<br /><br /><br /> world has been done hundreds of times, it’s never been done like this. Phil<br /><br /><br /> tries something new every day, things I only dream about doing. One day he<br /><br /><br /> crashes cars into one another in an attempt to blow them up. He’s stolen<br /><br /><br /> (although if there are no people maybe stolen is a little harsh) some of the<br /><br /><br /> world’s greatest paintings and even took a T-rex scull from, I can only assume,<br /><br /><br /> a natural history museum. Phil understandably drinks copious amounts of<br /><br /><br /> alcohol. Whether that’s a ten thousand dollar bottle of wine with can cheese or<br /><br /><br /> from his own margarita pool. Have I even mentioned the giant Jenga game? There<br /><br /><br /> are no rules, and there is an endless amount of time. The stunts drive the narrative sometimes playing out in<br /><br /><br /> detail and other times they are quick cuts of carnage. There is no question<br /><br /><br /> that Phil has been to the White House and taken a few things. The visual jokes<br /><br /><br /> come at us at a non-stop fast and glorious pace.  There are some moments when I was watching Phil and I<br /><br /><br /> stopped (as gross as some of it might be) I thought to myself, yep… A toilet<br /><br /><br /> pool is a good idea. Unlike Phil, if I’d caused that much destruction, I<br /><br /><br /> probably would have simply moved on to another house. There are so many surprises that I could tell you about in The Last Man on Earth but I would hate<br /><br /><br /> to ruin all the fun. I hope that this visual buffet keeps coming for a long<br /><br /><br /> while.
Last Man on Earth
Review by Miranda Boyer
This evening I decided to try something new on for a change and I watched Fox’s extremely creative and ridiculously entertaining new series Last Man on Earth. I laughed for more then an hour at this truly impressive new show.
Will Forte’s new creation directed by Christopher Miller and Phil Lord, is about “an average guy who loved his family and hated his job,” but somehow is (presumably) the last surviving man of a world ending virus in the year 2020. While the details are still new and we don’t know why Phil (Forte) survived, as this series is in it’s infancy, I’m looking forward to next week. If you were the last man or woman on earth, what would you do?
Phil visits every state looking for another human leaving various graffiti stating “Alive in Tucson” on various signage in hopes that another person, preferably a woman, will find him. While a post-apocalyptic world has been done hundreds of times, it’s never been done like this. Phil tries something new every day, things I only dream about doing. One day he crashes cars into one another in an attempt to blow them up. He’s stolen (although if there are no people maybe stolen is a little harsh) some of the world’s greatest paintings and even took a T-rex scull from, I can only assume, a natural history museum. Phil understandably drinks copious amounts of alcohol. Whether that’s a ten thousand dollar bottle of wine with can cheese or from his own margarita pool. Have I even mentioned the giant Jenga game? There are no rules, and there is an endless amount of time.
The stunts drive the narrative sometimes playing out in detail and other times they are quick cuts of carnage. There is no question that Phil has been to the White House and taken a few things. The visual jokes come at us at a non-stop fast and glorious pace.
There are some moments when I was watching Phil and I stopped (as gross as some of it might be) I thought to myself, yep… A toilet pool is a good idea. Unlike Phil, if I’d caused that much destruction, I probably would have simply moved on to another house.
There are so many surprises that I could tell you about in The Last Man on Earth but I would hate to ruin all the fun. I hope that this visual buffet keeps coming for a long while.
February 28, 2015

Project AlmanacReviewed By Miranda Boyer<br /><br /><br /> I haven’t felt this sick from a movie since the Blair Witch Project. The entire<br /><br /><br /> movie is filmed via found footage film style or as I like to<br /><br /><br /> call it handy-cam. The sad thing was that the acting wasn’t bad, the story<br /><br /><br /> wasn’t lacking, and I really think it would have been twenty times more<br /><br /><br /> enjoyable had it been filmed in a more traditional way. I regretted buying a<br /><br /><br /> ticket two minutes in. It’s been a couple of hours now and my head is still<br /><br /><br /> reeling. I can understand budget limitations, and the advantages that the found footage film style has over a more traditional method<br /><br /><br /> to move the story along. This being said, I know I will never buy or watch this<br /><br /><br /> film again. Which is a little depressing, as I enjoyed the story immensely. The<br /><br /><br /> Director, Dean Israelite, offered a fresh contribution to the time travel<br /><br /><br /> genera in how violent the act of traveling actually is. There were nods to<br /><br /><br /> various time travel movies as well. As a science fiction lover myself, I<br /><br /><br /> greatly appreciated this.If you could hopscotch through the last decade what would you do? These<br /><br /><br /> teenagers go to Chicago’s Lollapalooza from the previous summer, win the<br /><br /><br /> lottery, and fix their various educational mistakes. All of this seems to be<br /><br /><br /> working well for them until their reality starts to slowly fall apart. As luck<br /><br /><br /> would have it, they caused more destruction then anticipated. Every time the<br /><br /><br /> ringleader tried to fix the problems he would only create more. Their timeline<br /><br /><br /> only growing more and more complicated as the story unravels and falls apart.<br /><br /><br /> This was a fresh twist on genius teenagers who time travel sort of flick. There<br /><br /><br /> were laugh out loud moments and even more then a couple of times I was rooting<br /><br /><br /> for the characters, emotionally investing. Each of them was committed to their<br /><br /><br /> roles. I could appreciate even the subtle relationship growth between the<br /><br /><br /> supporting characters. As for the flaws, supposedly this was<br /><br /><br /> filmed on a 10-year-old camera where it defies logic and technology picking up<br /><br /><br /> conversations at such a large distance; that would clearly require more<br /><br /><br /> equipment. This was one of a couple of plot holes. There were a couple, but as<br /><br /><br /> far as the story goes, I’m still voting that this was well done. In the end,<br /><br /><br /> the filming choices make this movie extremely hard to recommend. Did you<br /><br /><br /> stomach your way through? What were your thought?
Project Almanac
Reviewed By Miranda Boyer
I haven’t felt this sick from a movie since the Blair Witch Project. The entire movie is filmed via found footage film style or as I like to call it handy-cam. The sad thing was that the acting wasn’t bad, the story wasn’t lacking, and I really think it would have been twenty times more enjoyable had it been filmed in a more traditional way. I regretted buying a ticket two minutes in. It’s been a couple of hours now and my head is still reeling. I can understand budget limitations, and the advantages that the found footage film style has over a more traditional method to move the story along. This being said, I know I will never buy or watch this film again. Which is a little depressing, as I enjoyed the story immensely. The Director, Dean Israelite, offered a fresh contribution to the time travel genera in how violent the act of traveling actually is. There were nods to various time travel movies as well. As a science fiction lover myself, I greatly appreciated this.If you could hopscotch through the last decade what would you do? These teenagers go to Chicago’s Lollapalooza from the previous summer, win the lottery, and fix their various educational mistakes. All of this seems to be working well for them until their reality starts to slowly fall apart. As luck would have it, they caused more destruction then anticipated. Every time the ringleader tried to fix the problems he would only create more. Their timeline only growing more and more complicated as the story unravels and falls apart.
This was a fresh twist on genius teenagers who time travel sort of flick. There were laugh out loud moments and even more then a couple of times I was rooting for the characters, emotionally investing. Each of them was committed to their roles. I could appreciate even the subtle relationship growth between the supporting characters.
As for the flaws, supposedly this was filmed on a 10-year-old camera where it defies logic and technology picking up conversations at such a large distance; that would clearly require more equipment. This was one of a couple of plot holes. There were a couple, but as far as the story goes, I’m still voting that this was well done. In the end, the filming choices make this movie extremely hard to recommend. Did you stomach your way through? What were your thought?
February 28, 2015

</p><br /><br /> <p>The Boy Next Door</p><br /><br /> <p>Reviewed By Miranda Boyer </p><br /><br /> <p>The Boy Next Door plays<br /><br /><br /> out like a reverse gender Fatal<br /><br /><br /> Attraction. It is an erotic psychological thriller that explores a<br /><br /><br /> forbidden attraction between a student and a teacher. Only in this case that student is a crazy heavy-handed psychopath.<br /><br /><br /> I mean it should have been a neon crazy sign when Ryan Guzman’s character gives<br /><br /><br /> Jennifer Lopez’s a “first edition” of the Iliad. I don’t know many high school<br /><br /><br /> students’ who can even tell you what the Iliad is about let alone spot such a<br /><br /><br /> fine book at a yard sale. I mean who wouldn’t want a 3,000-year old book.<br /><br /><br /> Either that or that the script had a bad fact checker. But details, details<br /><br /><br /> right? </p><br /><br /> <p>The film had me thinking about Fifty Shades of Gray, however odd that might sound. I found myself<br /><br /><br /> wondering if they were trying to ride the fifty’s waves. Then I found myself<br /><br /><br /> wondering if I could tell the difference between Lopez’s ass and the body<br /><br /><br /> double’s. </p><br /><br /> <p>I actually enjoyed more of this movie then I would like to<br /><br /><br /> admit to. However, I’m nearly certain it wasn’t for the intended purposes. The<br /><br /><br /> acting was over top at times, and the story had some holes. There was a part in<br /><br /><br /> the last fifteen minutes that was very reminiscent of Evil Dead. I don’t think that was the intention, but squished<br /><br /><br /> eyeball has a way of making me think about anything other then what I was<br /><br /><br /> supposed to be mentally submerged in.  </p><br /><br /> <p>What were your thoughts on it? Good? Bad? Or just plain<br /><br /><br /> ugly?

The Boy Next Door

Reviewed By Miranda Boyer

The Boy Next Door plays out like a reverse gender Fatal Attraction. It is an erotic psychological thriller that explores a forbidden attraction between a student and a teacher. Only in this case that student is a crazy heavy-handed psychopath. I mean it should have been a neon crazy sign when Ryan Guzman’s character gives Jennifer Lopez’s a “first edition” of the Iliad. I don’t know many high school students’ who can even tell you what the Iliad is about let alone spot such a fine book at a yard sale. I mean who wouldn’t want a 3,000-year old book. Either that or that the script had a bad fact checker. But details, details right?

The film had me thinking about Fifty Shades of Gray, however odd that might sound. I found myself wondering if they were trying to ride the fifty’s waves. Then I found myself wondering if I could tell the difference between Lopez’s ass and the body double’s.

I actually enjoyed more of this movie then I would like to admit to. However, I’m nearly certain it wasn’t for the intended purposes. The acting was over top at times, and the story had some holes. There was a part in the last fifteen minutes that was very reminiscent of Evil Dead. I don’t think that was the intention, but squished eyeball has a way of making me think about anything other then what I was supposed to be mentally submerged in.

What were your thoughts on it? Good? Bad? Or just plain ugly?

February 27, 2015

Growing up I was always sort of a daddy’s girl. What little<br /><br /><br /> girl isn’t? My dad was superman in my eyes, in a lot of ways he still is. He<br /><br /><br /> would tell me stories and I would give him points of take off. They were<br /><br /><br /> endless and always magical. I wanted to watch whatever TV he was watching. I<br /><br /><br /> wanted to grow a mustache and be a daddy when I grew up just like him. From an early age, we bonded over movies and fiction. Today,<br /><br /><br /> at near thirty my father and I are writing a novel together, still bonding over<br /><br /><br /> our common love of make believe. Dad always loved spaghetti westerns, still<br /><br /><br /> does much to my distain. And while I would sit through them, for his sake, I<br /><br /><br /> really never loved them. I often would “hear” my mother calling and would<br /><br /><br /> disappear for a while only to come back right at the end, catch his smiling<br /><br /><br /> face and know at least he enjoyed it. Enter Star Trek. For the first time, other then our obvious<br /><br /><br /> mutual love for My Little Pony and Uncle Buck, we found something that we both<br /><br /><br /> could watch and talk about for hours. It was shortly followed up by Star Wars<br /><br /><br /> and Star Trek Next Generation, where I met my first ever crush (Wil Wheaton)<br /><br /><br /> and any and every science fiction movie my father loved. Even when I was young I can remember thinking that Captain<br /><br /><br /> Kirk was a pretentious prick, although I might not have had the proper words.<br /><br /><br /> When I saw him at Emerald City Comic Con a couple of years ago, I ended up<br /><br /><br /> leaving half way through his self righteous speech. I really couldn’t stand<br /><br /><br /> listing to the guy. Dad of course stayed, I have to give him credit, although<br /><br /><br /> he agrees with me, I think he was just hoping he would get better. Leonard<br /><br /><br /> Nimoy was my favorite. Why wouldn’t he be? I distinctly remember thinking in my<br /><br /><br /> child naiveté that this man, with pointy ears was different but still in the<br /><br /><br /> center. I always felt like a bit of an outcast and in a lot of ways I drew lines<br /><br /><br /> of commonality between us. Despite the fact that Leonard Nimoy wrote an<br /><br /><br /> autobiography entitled I Am Not Spock,<br /><br /><br /> in my eyes he will always be Spock. In 2009, when J.J. Abrams’ Star Terk came out, I was the<br /><br /><br /> first in line. That moment when Leonard Nimoy is on screen and the two Spocks<br /><br /><br /> are face to face, nothing beats it in my mind. In fact, I can give one little<br /><br /><br /> spoiler about my own novel, that moment is referenced in it and shall live on<br /><br /><br /> in my fictional world as well. I attribute heroes like Leonard Nimoy for saving<br /><br /><br /> me from a life filled with spaghetti westerns. Thank you for adventure, thank<br /><br /><br /> you for being someone to bond over with my father. May you live long in the<br /><br /><br /> next life and forever prosper.
Growing up I was always sort of a daddy’s girl. What little girl isn’t? My dad was superman in my eyes, in a lot of ways he still is. He would tell me stories and I would give him points of take off. They were endless and always magical. I wanted to watch whatever TV he was watching. I wanted to grow a mustache and be a daddy when I grew up just like him.From an early age, we bonded over movies and fiction. Today, at near thirty my father and I are writing a novel together, still bonding over our common love of make believe. Dad always loved spaghetti westerns, still does much to my distain. And while I would sit through them, for his sake, I really never loved them. I often would “hear” my mother calling and would disappear for a while only to come back right at the end, catch his smiling face and know at least he enjoyed it.
Enter Star Trek. For the first time, other then our obvious mutual love for My Little Pony and Uncle Buck, we found something that we both could watch and talk about for hours. It was shortly followed up by Star Wars and Star Trek Next Generation, where I met my first ever crush (Wil Wheaton) and any and every science fiction movie my father loved.
Even when I was young I can remember thinking that Captain Kirk was a pretentious prick, although I might not have had the proper words. When I saw him at Emerald City Comic Con a couple of years ago, I ended up leaving half way through his self righteous speech. I really couldn’t stand listing to the guy. Dad of course stayed, I have to give him credit, although he agrees with me, I think he was just hoping he would get better. Leonard Nimoy was my favorite. Why wouldn’t he be? I distinctly remember thinking in my child naiveté that this man, with pointy ears was different but still in the center. I always felt like a bit of an outcast and in a lot of ways I drew lines of commonality between us. Despite the fact that Leonard Nimoy wrote an autobiography entitled I Am Not Spock, in my eyes he will always be Spock.In 2009, when J.J. Abrams’ Star Terk came out, I was the first in line. That moment when Leonard Nimoy is on screen and the two Spocks are face to face, nothing beats it in my mind. In fact, I can give one little spoiler about my own novel, that moment is referenced in it and shall live on in my fictional world as well. I attribute heroes like Leonard Nimoy for saving me from a life filled with spaghetti westerns. Thank you for adventure, thank you for being someone to bond over with my father. May you live long in the next life and forever prosper.
February 24, 2015

Black Mirror I’ll be thirty next week and I can definitively say I was born into the last generation of people who can remember a time before technology was at our fingertips. We’ve come to a point in time where technology has seeped its way into every nook and crevice of our lives. It is incredible<br /><br /><br /> the things that we do today that only five or six years ago would have made no<br /><br /><br /> sense. When I wake up the first thing I do is check my Tumblr, Facebook, and<br /><br /><br /> Twitter accounts. I feel lucky most days that I don’t play video games, for I<br /><br /><br /> know without a question I would be sucked into playing a game where I would<br /><br /><br /> allow a machine to judge my singing or dancing, only to find me sorely lacking.<br /><br /><br /> If technology is a drug, and I myself am addicted, then what do the<br /><br /><br /> repercussions and side-effects look like? Let me introduce Black Mirror. When I heard about Black<br /><br /><br /> Mirror I knew right away that I was going to love this show. I quickly<br /><br /><br /> added it to my Netflix queue and this evening I excitedly picked a random<br /><br /><br /> episode to watch. I started with Season 2 Episode 1 entitled Be Right Back. I’ve since moved on to<br /><br /><br /> Season 1 Episode 2 Fifteen Million Merits,<br /><br /><br /> and I already know it’s going to be a long night. The show is an anthology series that features suspenseful,<br /><br /><br /> and often dark sometimes-satirical themes of speculative fiction. In the vain<br /><br /><br /> of The Twilight Zone, Black Mirror is a dystopian drama in a you-take-the-red-pill-you-stay-in-wonderland-and-I-show-you-how-deep-the-rabbit-hole-goes<br /><br /><br /> sort of way. Black Mirror left me<br /><br /><br /> entangled in a digitally inventive world and dying for more. The show currently consists of six on-hour episodes spanning<br /><br /><br /> two seasons. Each episode contains an entirely new cast and story. In the episode Be<br /><br /><br /> Right Back, with the help of technology, photos, posts, and video on social<br /><br /><br /> media, a women builds a golem of her dead husband. I’m a multitasker at heart, often unable to only sit and<br /><br /><br /> watch a show. I find myself doing any number of other things while enjoying<br /><br /><br /> television. Black Mirror’s haunting<br /><br /><br /> story sucked me in so completely that within fifteen minutes I couldn’t look<br /><br /><br /> away; and that was only one episode! I’m watching Fifteen<br /><br /><br /> Million Merits now; an episode where citizens are forced to earn merits by<br /><br /><br /> riding exercise bikes that power the world and by watching overly sexualized advertisements.<br /><br /><br /> Their only hope is to become apart of a reality game show.  I had to pause it to finish my thoughts, as I can’t stand<br /><br /><br /> the idea of missing even a little of this show. Black Mirror – named so, due to the way our screens appear when<br /><br /><br /> they are powered down – is equal parts wonder and horror landing somewhere<br /><br /><br /> between the world we know and one tyrannized by Skynet. I can’t get enough! Have you seen Black Mirror? What did you think?
Black Mirror
I’ll be thirty next week and I can definitively say I was born into the last generation of people who can remember a time before technology was at our fingertips. We’ve come to a point in time where technology has seeped its way into every nook and crevice of our lives. It is incredible the things that we do today that only five or six years ago would have made no sense. When I wake up the first thing I do is check my Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. I feel lucky most days that I don’t play video games, for I know without a question I would be sucked into playing a game where I would allow a machine to judge my singing or dancing, only to find me sorely lacking. If technology is a drug, and I myself am addicted, then what do the repercussions and side-effects look like? Let me introduce Black Mirror.
When I heard about Black Mirror I knew right away that I was going to love this show. I quickly added it to my Netflix queue and this evening I excitedly picked a random episode to watch. I started with Season 2 Episode 1 entitled Be Right Back. I’ve since moved on to Season 1 Episode 2 Fifteen Million Merits, and I already know it’s going to be a long night.The show is an anthology series that features suspenseful, and often dark sometimes-satirical themes of speculative fiction. In the vain of The Twilight Zone, Black Mirror is a dystopian drama in a you-take-the-red-pill-you-stay-in-wonderland-and-I-show-you-how-deep-the-rabbit-hole-goes sort of way. Black Mirror left me entangled in a digitally inventive world and dying for more.
The show currently consists of six on-hour episodes spanning two seasons. Each episode contains an entirely new cast and story.In the episode Be Right Back, with the help of technology, photos, posts, and video on social media, a women builds a golem of her dead husband.

image

 I’m a multitasker at heart, often unable to only sit and watch a show. I find myself doing any number of other things while enjoying television. Black Mirror’s haunting story sucked me in so completely that within fifteen minutes I couldn’t look away; and that was only one episode!

I’m watching Fifteen Million Merits now; an episode where citizens are forced to earn merits by riding exercise bikes that power the world and by watching overly sexualized advertisements. Their only hope is to become apart of a reality game show.

image

 I had to pause it to finish my thoughts, as I can’t stand the idea of missing even a little of this show. Black Mirror – named so, due to the way our screens appear when they are powered down – is equal parts wonder and horror landing somewhere between the world we know and one tyrannized by Skynet.

image

I can’t get enough! Have you seen Black Mirror? What did you think?

February 22, 2015

Admittedly I don’t have cable, which leaves me with the interwebs or what Hulu has to offer. Sadly this doesn’t include the Oscars. So I went to the Google this evening and was delighted with so many things!<br /><br /><br /> Starting with the incredible win by Eddie Redmayne for Best Actor! I<br /><br /><br /> can’t<br /><br /><br /> think of a better or more humble winner dedicating his win to all who<br /><br /><br /> battle<br /><br /><br /> ALS.  Congrats Eddie!Second best moment I came across was Patricia Arquette,<br /><br /><br /> using her three minutes to accept her Oscar, as an opportunity to address the<br /><br /><br /> world with a speech about equal pay for Women! There was strong sentiments of<br /><br /><br /> support from Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez #askhermore Ask women about more then just their dress! Change needs to<br /><br /><br /> happen, and where better to start then having the women in film stand up and<br /><br /><br /> say enough is enough. I generally don’t watch any red carpet coverage, as it is<br /><br /><br /> only ever about who’s wearing what. Since fashion has never been my thing, I<br /><br /><br /> see little point to allocating time. But the fourth video I watched was a moment<br /><br /><br /> on the red carpet with the extremely talented Reese Witherspoon. She took that<br /><br /><br /> time to talk about the Pacific Crest Trail. I was surprised when the<br /><br /><br /> interviewer didn’t ask about the dress. SHOCKER! Instead she said #askhermore.<br /><br /><br /> I couldn’t be more supportive of these role models who stand up in support of<br /><br /><br /> women everywhere. Stop asking women sexist questions about what they wear to<br /><br /><br /> cover the body their brains are stored in. The idea is to ask about what causes<br /><br /><br /> she supports, the risks she takes, her accomplishments, what changes does she<br /><br /><br /> want to make, what characters she wants to play. Lets ask about women’s stories<br /><br /><br /> and not what they wear. Lastly I watched a little video of what I can only assume<br /><br /><br /> was the introduction. A hysterical song preformed by Neil Patrick Harris, Anna<br /><br /><br /> Kendrick, and Jack black about Moving<br /><br /><br /> Pictures, various hot and not-so-hot films over the last 70 something years, critics, and<br /><br /><br /> all of the naysayers. I thought it was beautiful! I enjoyed my glimpse in the world of glitz and glam. What were your favorite moments?  
Admittedly I don’t have cable, which leaves me with the interwebs or what Hulu has to offer. Sadly this doesn’t include the Oscars. So I went to the Google this evening and was delighted with so many things! Starting with the incredible win by Eddie Redmayne for Best Actor! I can’t think of a better or more humble winner dedicating his win to all who battle ALS.  Congrats Eddie!

image

Second best moment I came across was Patricia Arquette, using her three minutes to accept her Oscar, as an opportunity to address the world with a speech about equal pay for Women! There was strong sentiments of support from Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez #askhermore

image

Ask women about more then just their dress! Change needs to happen, and where better to start then having the women in film stand up and say enough is enough. I generally don’t watch any red carpet coverage, as it is only ever about who’s wearing what. Since fashion has never been my thing, I see little point to allocating time. But the fourth video I watched was a moment on the red carpet with the extremely talented Reese Witherspoon. She took that time to talk about the Pacific Crest Trail. I was surprised when the interviewer didn’t ask about the dress. SHOCKER! Instead she said #askhermore. I couldn’t be more supportive of these role models who stand up in support of women everywhere. Stop asking women sexist questions about what they wear to cover the body their brains are stored in. The idea is to ask about what causes she supports, the risks she takes, her accomplishments, what changes does she want to make, what characters she wants to play. Lets ask about women’s stories and not what they wear.

image

Lastly I watched a little video of what I can only assume was the introduction. A hysterical song preformed by Neil Patrick Harris, Anna Kendrick, and Jack black about Moving Pictures, various hot and not-so-hot films over the last 70 something years, critics, and all of the naysayers. I thought it was beautiful!

image

I enjoyed my glimpse in the world of glitz and glam. What were your favorite moments?

February 15, 2015

Into The Woods Review By Miranda BoyerI was back to a normal empty theatre this evening to watch Into The Woods. If Once Upon A Time had a baby with Wicked that baby would be IntoThe Woods. It was dark yet comedic and undoubtedly start studded. The many<br /><br /><br /> fairytale stories were interconnected and it had a beautiful score. This film<br /><br /><br /> nearly crosses the threshold of Hollywood onto Broadway, intertwining classic<br /><br /><br /> fairytales including Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella and<br /><br /><br /> Rapunzel. In this story, the Woods<br /><br /><br /> are a metaphor for life. Every<br /><br /><br /> character wants something they can’t have. Prince Charming wants the one girl<br /><br /><br /> who ran away from him, the one girl who said no. Charming convinced himself<br /><br /><br /> that he can be faithful, if he could just be with her. The Baker and his wife<br /><br /><br /> want a child. They go on a quest and when they finally have a son, they are<br /><br /><br /> super quick to leave him in the arms of a stranger. Red Ridding Hood wants<br /><br /><br /> adventure, until she loses everything as a result. The Witch wants her youth<br /><br /><br /> but when she gets it she looses her magic and wishes her hideous self back. The<br /><br /><br /> grass is always greener on the other side. The film was beautifully sung, the costumes were<br /><br /><br /> breathtaking, and the cinematography was epic. So it bears the question, was it<br /><br /><br /> great? Not particularly. Did I enjoy it? Yes, mostly. There were moments that<br /><br /><br /> had me laughing. For example there are two princes singing about how their<br /><br /><br /> individual “anguish” over love is worse then anyone else’s. It was over the top<br /><br /><br /> melodramatic and I was giggling through the whole song. Those three minutes<br /><br /><br /> alone were worth watching this film.  At times Into The<br /><br /><br /> Woods moved slowly. There were definitely three ‘acts’ like a play. I<br /><br /><br /> appreciated the last one the most, every last dark bit of it. The second was<br /><br /><br /> nearly a climatic end, however if the film had ended there, there would have<br /><br /><br /> been little point to the movie. I was relieved when it all went downhill at the<br /><br /><br /> end; suddenly there was a moral to the story. This was a beautiful film, but I wouldn’t count on it keeping<br /><br /><br /> your child’s attention. While it only has a PG rating, it isn’t necessarily<br /><br /><br /> something I would show off to a small child, as I mentioned it gets a little<br /><br /><br /> dark. If you want to be captivated by the cinematography, go catch it in the<br /><br /><br /> theatre while you still can; if you care a little less about that sort of thing<br /><br /><br /> than red box it in a few weeks. What did you think of Into<br /><br /><br /> The Woods? Email me your comments and I’ll post them below!
Into The Woods Review
By Miranda Boyer
I was back to a normal empty theatre this evening to watch Into The Woods. If Once Upon A Time had a baby with Wicked that baby would be Into The Woods. It was dark yet comedic and undoubtedly start studded. The many fairytale stories were interconnected and it had a beautiful score. This film nearly crosses the threshold of Hollywood onto Broadway, intertwining classic fairytales including Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella and Rapunzel.
In this story, the Woods are a metaphor for life. Every character wants something they can’t have. Prince Charming wants the one girl who ran away from him, the one girl who said no. Charming convinced himself that he can be faithful, if he could just be with her. The Baker and his wife want a child. They go on a quest and when they finally have a son, they are super quick to leave him in the arms of a stranger. Red Ridding Hood wants adventure, until she loses everything as a result. The Witch wants her youth but when she gets it she looses her magic and wishes her hideous self back. The grass is always greener on the other side.
The film was beautifully sung, the costumes were breathtaking, and the cinematography was epic. So it bears the question, was it great? Not particularly. Did I enjoy it? Yes, mostly. There were moments that had me laughing. For example there are two princes singing about how their individual “anguish” over love is worse then anyone else’s. It was over the top melodramatic and I was giggling through the whole song. Those three minutes alone were worth watching this film.
At times Into The Woods moved slowly. There were definitely three ‘acts’ like a play. I appreciated the last one the most, every last dark bit of it. The second was nearly a climatic end, however if the film had ended there, there would have been little point to the movie. I was relieved when it all went downhill at the end; suddenly there was a moral to the story.
This was a beautiful film, but I wouldn’t count on it keeping your child’s attention. While it only has a PG rating, it isn’t necessarily something I would show off to a small child, as I mentioned it gets a little dark. If you want to be captivated by the cinematography, go catch it in the theatre while you still can; if you care a little less about that sort of thing than red box it in a few weeks.What did you think of Into The Woods? Email me your comments and I’ll post them below!

February 14, 2015

</p><br /><br /> <p>50 Shades of Gray – Movie/Book Review </p><br /><br /> <p>By Miranda Boyer</p><br /><br /> <p>I read this book about two and a half years ago, at the<br /><br /><br /> request of a dear friend of mine who wasn’t sure if what she was feeling about<br /><br /><br /> it was “aloud”. This alone prompted me to read the book. Whatever it held, it<br /><br /><br /> was enough for my friend to question if it was “normal” to be physically turned<br /><br /><br /> on by what was written. I really had no idea what I was in store for and it has<br /><br /><br /> been an interesting ride to say the least. </p><br /><br /> <p>In my opinion 50<br /><br /><br /> Shades of Grey has been an intriguing debate because for the first time, on<br /><br /><br /> a large global scale, a book gave women an outlet to connect with their erotic<br /><br /><br /> selves and work out the complexity of erotic desires. Societal norms dictate<br /><br /><br /> that women should have little interest in sex, they don’t masturbate, and in<br /><br /><br /> regards to fantasies, well we just don’t talk about them. 50 Shades of Grey gave women permission to view their erotic<br /><br /><br /> fantasies as normal. When it comes to<br /><br /><br /> women, the idea of forced seduction means never truly being hurt; the only pain<br /><br /><br /> received is solely in the interest of more pleasure. When she is being told<br /><br /><br /> what to do, she no longer has to think about caring for someone (another ingrained<br /><br /><br /> norm) instead the focus becomes exclusively about her own pleasure. More then<br /><br /><br /> all this, 50 Shades of Grey made way<br /><br /><br /> to simply talk about this in an open forum such as book clubs, and over coffee<br /><br /><br /> instead of behind closed doors. </p><br /><br /> <p>Was it any good? Well that’s an entirely different debate.<br /><br /><br /> The book was very simply written. It flowed with ease and main character,<br /><br /><br /> Anastasia, could be anyone making her very relatable. Christian, is the<br /><br /><br /> embodiment of every female fantasy; he is the bad boy thrill seeker with a billion<br /><br /><br /> dollars to blow on the girl of his choosing. He chose plain Jane girl next<br /><br /><br /> door. There is endless appeal to the masses for these reasons alone. The movie<br /><br /><br /> did a good job at embodying these characters, however cheesy it felt at times.<br /><br /><br /> It is no doubt a movie that is better if you’ve read the book; I’m sure fitting<br /><br /><br /> 400 pages into 2 hours wasn’t easy. Needless to say they cut a lot out. One<br /><br /><br /> thing I felt could have been depicted better was the bickering between the two<br /><br /><br /> main characters. It was almost charming in the book, and in the movie Ana felt<br /><br /><br /> more like a pushover until the end when she finely stands up for herself. I<br /><br /><br /> also thought it was interesting that neither<br /><br /><br /> character ever had an orgasm in the movie. It was more then implied, but never<br /><br /><br /> actually shown. I’m sure that there is some theory out there about it but I’ve<br /><br /><br /> not really given it anymore thought then this. </p><br /><br /> <p>My biggest complaint about both the book and the movie,<br /><br /><br /> there was NO plot. There was nothing except sex. Which is what it is,<br /><br /><br /> regardless of if you take it or leave it, but I wanted more plot. As for the<br /><br /><br /> debates about whether or not there was abuse and what that says to the world,<br /><br /><br /> I’m going to refrain. I think that there are typically two sides to that fence,<br /><br /><br /> and the view you have will largely depend on if you fantasize about anything<br /><br /><br /> that this book has to offer. I can see how it could be a trigger for some<br /><br /><br /> people and how others simply cannot understand. It is what it is, and clearly<br /><br /><br /> not a book / movie for everyone. </p><br /><br /> <p>I would suggest waiting to either rent this film or at least<br /><br /><br /> till the theatres clear out a bit more. I broke my rule and went on opening<br /><br /><br /> night; we were drowning in commentary from the peanut gallery in a very packed<br /><br /><br /> theatre. Note to self, go early to find seating next time you see a new movie.</p><br /><br /> <p>At the end of the day, this is all simply one person’s<br /><br /><br /> opinion. What did you think of the book or movie? Let me know in the comments<br /><br /><br /> below!

50 Shades of Gray – Movie/Book Review

By Miranda Boyer

I read this book about two and a half years ago, at the request of a dear friend of mine who wasn’t sure if what she was feeling about it was “aloud”. This alone prompted me to read the book. Whatever it held, it was enough for my friend to question if it was “normal” to be physically turned on by what was written. I really had no idea what I was in store for and it has been an interesting ride to say the least.

In my opinion 50 Shades of Grey has been an intriguing debate because for the first time, on a large global scale, a book gave women an outlet to connect with their erotic selves and work out the complexity of erotic desires. Societal norms dictate that women should have little interest in sex, they don’t masturbate, and in regards to fantasies, well we just don’t talk about them. 50 Shades of Grey gave women permission to view their erotic fantasies as normal. When it comes to women, the idea of forced seduction means never truly being hurt; the only pain received is solely in the interest of more pleasure. When she is being told what to do, she no longer has to think about caring for someone (another ingrained norm) instead the focus becomes exclusively about her own pleasure. More then all this, 50 Shades of Grey made way to simply talk about this in an open forum such as book clubs, and over coffee instead of behind closed doors.

Was it any good? Well that’s an entirely different debate. The book was very simply written. It flowed with ease and main character, Anastasia, could be anyone making her very relatable. Christian, is the embodiment of every female fantasy; he is the bad boy thrill seeker with a billion dollars to blow on the girl of his choosing. He chose plain Jane girl next door. There is endless appeal to the masses for these reasons alone. The movie did a good job at embodying these characters, however cheesy it felt at times. It is no doubt a movie that is better if you’ve read the book; I’m sure fitting 400 pages into 2 hours wasn’t easy. Needless to say they cut a lot out. One thing I felt could have been depicted better was the bickering between the two main characters. It was almost charming in the book, and in the movie Ana felt more like a pushover until the end when she finely stands up for herself. I also thought it was interesting that neither character ever had an orgasm in the movie. It was more then implied, but never actually shown. I’m sure that there is some theory out there about it but I’ve not really given it anymore thought then this.

My biggest complaint about both the book and the movie, there was NO plot. There was nothing except sex. Which is what it is, regardless of if you take it or leave it, but I wanted more plot. As for the debates about whether or not there was abuse and what that says to the world, I’m going to refrain. I think that there are typically two sides to that fence, and the view you have will largely depend on if you fantasize about anything that this book has to offer. I can see how it could be a trigger for some people and how others simply cannot understand. It is what it is, and clearly not a book / movie for everyone.

I would suggest waiting to either rent this film or at least till the theatres clear out a bit more. I broke my rule and went on opening night; we were drowning in commentary from the peanut gallery in a very packed theatre. Note to self, go early to find seating next time you see a new movie.

At the end of the day, this is all simply one person’s opinion. What did you think of the book or movie? Let me know in the comments below!

February 1, 2015

Dead Ever After by Charlaine HarrisThere are many things I could say right now, and not all of<br /><br /><br /> them good, but not all of them bad. I’ve been reading this book series for so<br /><br /><br /> many years with the knowledge the some day it would all come to a crashing end.<br /><br /><br /> I just didn’t anticipate the actual crashing part. Where to start where to<br /><br /><br /> start…The Good: As much<br /><br /><br /> of an Eric supporter as I am, if I was being honest with myself, I knew deep<br /><br /><br /> down it would never work out between them. Being with Eric would mean<br /><br /><br /> compromising so many things about her, and at the end of the day, no one wants<br /><br /><br /> that for the lead character you’ve been rooting for, for years give up on<br /><br /><br /> things that make her so fundamentally who she is. If you’ve been a devote<br /><br /><br /> reader, you can’t actually deny that Sookie LOVES the sun, and someday wants a<br /><br /><br /> family. These are valid choices. Not my personal ones but I can respect them.<br /><br /><br /> So I guess I’m not surprised with Harris’s choice in Sam, even if I’m not overtly<br /><br /><br /> happy about it. It was nice to see some loose ends tied up, even if some of them<br /><br /><br /> felt forced (more on that a little later). I was glad to see that if someone<br /><br /><br /> had to take over as the Sharif of area 5 that it was Pam. I’ve always liked<br /><br /><br /> her. The Bad: My<br /><br /><br /> thoughts are this: If your reader has been following a series till it’s 13th<br /><br /><br /> book there are some things that said reader knows. As a writer myself, I<br /><br /><br /> understand that it is important to reintroduce things to a reader near the<br /><br /><br /> beginning. But by the 253 page of the last book, I don’t need to be reminded<br /><br /><br /> that our main character is a telepath and that she got her gifts from her<br /><br /><br /> godfather who’s a demon. Give a girl some credit why don’t you! I found myself<br /><br /><br /> getting a bit frustrated with the extreme excessiveness of the repeat<br /><br /><br /> information. I couldn’t decide if it was filler, or if Harris simply forgot<br /><br /><br /> she’d told us 100 times. I was disappointed in the depiction of Eric in this (as well<br /><br /><br /> as the former) book. He is such a strong character; he gets what he wants,<br /><br /><br /> always. This doesn’t imply he is good or bad, just that he is strong willed. It<br /><br /><br /> felt as though he rolled over into slavery. If you want to talk full circle on<br /><br /><br /> the deal, Eric’s maker had him as a sex slave for the first several hundred<br /><br /><br /> years of his life. Now after all his hard work and independence he’s in the<br /><br /><br /> same position again. It’s a little<br /><br /><br /> depressing actually. I just don’t feel that it was true to his character to be<br /><br /><br /> forced into that corner. The last is the language. I’ve argued about this in the past<br /><br /><br /> with regards to Sookie. She is definitely prefers not to curse or be obscene,<br /><br /><br /> and this is true to who she is, but when you get shot then saying things like shoot just don’t cut it. Again, this<br /><br /><br /> felt forced and not true to her character. Maybe I’m wrong, it wouldn’t be the<br /><br /><br /> first time, but I still found it annoying. The Ugly: Stop<br /><br /><br /> writing sexy time Ms. Harris. I don’t remember it always being as bad as this,<br /><br /><br /> but a new level of cringe worthy writing was presented in Dead Ever After. I don’t usually shy away from sexy time writing,<br /><br /><br /> and am known to enjoy it once in a while. But this was bad. So so so so bad.<br /><br /><br /> Just stop, please. This book felt a little preachy. We know from the get go<br /><br /><br /> that Sookie is a Christian, and the topic of religion has come up a time or<br /><br /><br /> two. But it has never felt something that was being forced on the reader, just<br /><br /><br /> mater of fact. I can’t say that for this book. I felt as though Harris was<br /><br /><br /> really trying to make sure that everyone knew Sookie was religious, even if she<br /><br /><br /> wasn’t good. This could fall under the repeat information rant but it nearly<br /><br /><br /> deserves it’s own. Other thoughts: I’ve<br /><br /><br /> said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m a huge Charlaine Harris fan. I really<br /><br /><br /> do love her books and I look forward to getting my hands on a copy of Midnight Crossroads. I don’t want to<br /><br /><br /> deter anyone from picking up this amazing series. Unfortunately I feel that<br /><br /><br /> this book was a bit of a let down for a final installment. It felt as though<br /><br /><br /> maybe the author was getting tired and trying to simply be done with Sookie.<br /><br /><br /> This makes me a bit sad. I will love this book series forever I have no doubt,<br /><br /><br /> but I might not read the last book again. I might just live in the beauty of<br /><br /><br /> the first eight or nine over and over and over. As should everyone else.
Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris
There are many things I could say right now, and not all of them good, but not all of them bad. I’ve been reading this book series for so many years with the knowledge the some day it would all come to a crashing end. I just didn’t anticipate the actual crashing part. Where to start where to start…
The Good: As much of an Eric supporter as I am, if I was being honest with myself, I knew deep down it would never work out between them. Being with Eric would mean compromising so many things about her, and at the end of the day, no one wants that for the lead character you’ve been rooting for, for years give up on things that make her so fundamentally who she is. If you’ve been a devote reader, you can’t actually deny that Sookie LOVES the sun, and someday wants a family. These are valid choices. Not my personal ones but I can respect them. So I guess I’m not surprised with Harris’s choice in Sam, even if I’m not overtly happy about it. It was nice to see some loose ends tied up, even if some of them felt forced (more on that a little later). I was glad to see that if someone had to take over as the Sharif of area 5 that it was Pam. I’ve always liked her.
The Bad: My thoughts are this: If your reader has been following a series till it’s 13th book there are some things that said reader knows. As a writer myself, I understand that it is important to reintroduce things to a reader near the beginning. But by the 253 page of the last book, I don’t need to be reminded that our main character is a telepath and that she got her gifts from her godfather who’s a demon. Give a girl some credit why don’t you! I found myself getting a bit frustrated with the extreme excessiveness of the repeat information. I couldn’t decide if it was filler, or if Harris simply forgot she’d told us 100 times.
I was disappointed in the depiction of Eric in this (as well as the former) book. He is such a strong character; he gets what he wants, always. This doesn’t imply he is good or bad, just that he is strong willed. It felt as though he rolled over into slavery. If you want to talk full circle on the deal, Eric’s maker had him as a sex slave for the first several hundred years of his life. Now after all his hard work and independence he’s in the same position again. It’s a little depressing actually. I just don’t feel that it was true to his character to be forced into that corner.
The last is the language. I’ve argued about this in the past with regards to Sookie. She is definitely prefers not to curse or be obscene, and this is true to who she is, but when you get shot then saying things like shoot just don’t cut it. Again, this felt forced and not true to her character. Maybe I’m wrong, it wouldn’t be the first time, but I still found it annoying.
The Ugly: Stop writing sexy time Ms. Harris. I don’t remember it always being as bad as this, but a new level of cringe worthy writing was presented in Dead Ever After. I don’t usually shy away from sexy time writing, and am known to enjoy it once in a while. But this was bad. So so so so bad. Just stop, please.
This book felt a little preachy. We know from the get go that Sookie is a Christian, and the topic of religion has come up a time or two. But it has never felt something that was being forced on the reader, just mater of fact. I can’t say that for this book. I felt as though Harris was really trying to make sure that everyone knew Sookie was religious, even if she wasn’t good. This could fall under the repeat information rant but it nearly deserves it’s own.
Other thoughts: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m a huge Charlaine Harris fan. I really do love her books and I look forward to getting my hands on a copy of Midnight Crossroads. I don’t want to deter anyone from picking up this amazing series. Unfortunately I feel that this book was a bit of a let down for a final installment. It felt as though maybe the author was getting tired and trying to simply be done with Sookie. This makes me a bit sad. I will love this book series forever I have no doubt, but I might not read the last book again. I might just live in the beauty of the first eight or nine over and over and over. As should everyone else.
January 30, 2015

The Pregnancy ProjectI’m sure right about now, you’re thinking to yourself, “oh<br /><br /><br /> no… Not another Lifetime movie….” Well, the thing is that I have a total and<br /><br /><br /> complete soft spot for Lifetime movies. Once you get past the generally bad<br /><br /><br /> acting there is a story. That story more often then not is based on someone’s<br /><br /><br /> actual life. That is the part I enjoy the most. Which brings me to The Pregnancy Project. In 2011, Gaby Rodriguez was in the top 5% of her class at Toppenish<br /><br /><br /> High School in Washington State. She was in many leadership positions,<br /><br /><br /> and participated in several clubs. For her senior project Rodriguez attached a<br /><br /><br /> faux baby bump under her clothes, and went about her life. For the next six<br /><br /><br /> months Rodriguez pretended to be pregnant as a social experiment. The only<br /><br /><br /> people who were in on the experiment were her mother, the principle, her<br /><br /><br /> faculty adviser, her best friend and the school board. When she was six months “pregnant”, with the help of her principle, Gaby was able to call<br /><br /><br /> an all school special assembly for her to do her project presentation. She felt<br /><br /><br /> that what she had experienced needed<br /><br /><br /> to be shared. During her project presentation, Rodriguez talked about teenage<br /><br /><br /> pregnancy. She talked about statistics, and how cruel fellow classmates,<br /><br /><br /> faculty members, and even her family had been. She had several students and<br /><br /><br /> faculty read from note cards quotes of what had been said too her and about<br /><br /><br /> her. Things like, “What a waist of a life” said by a teacher and “you might as<br /><br /><br /> well die” said by students. She discussed stereotyping and the emotional<br /><br /><br /> turmoil that she was put through. Then for the big reveal she pulled off the<br /><br /><br /> fake belly in front of the entire school and faculty explaining to everyone<br /><br /><br /> that she was not in fact pregnant, that the entire thing was a social experiment.While the dialog at times lacks a certain amount of luster,<br /><br /><br /> what Rodriguez set out to talk about came across loud and clear. By the end,<br /><br /><br /> even I was tearing up. Most interesting to me was, after a little research on<br /><br /><br /> this film, Rodriguez’s mother was pregnant for the first time at 14 years old.<br /><br /><br /> She had several subsequent children, each of who, with the exception of Gaby,<br /><br /><br /> were teenage parents. Rodriguez was told<br /><br /><br /> over and over that she should dump her boyfriend, because she would inevitably<br /><br /><br /> get pregnant just like the rest of her family. Rodriguez wanted to help those who do become pregnant or<br /><br /><br /> find themselves in a difficult situation understand that life doesn’t have to end. The horrible things that people say<br /><br /><br /> are only noises from the peanut gallery. There are options available and she<br /><br /><br /> wanted to make a difference. Rodriguez was able to show those around her the<br /><br /><br /> harm they caused by placing individuals into a box and labeling them before<br /><br /><br /> actually giving them a chance to live their life by their own choosing. Rodriguez<br /><br /><br /> had a bright future before the experiment; she was well loved and encouraged.<br /><br /><br /> When the world thought she was pregnant she described her life as being erased.<br /><br /><br /> No one thought she could go to college or get a job. No one thought that she<br /><br /><br /> could do anything but be a teenage mom. Regardless of the fact that she<br /><br /><br /> maintained her grades and academic commitments. The whole time she kept<br /><br /><br /> thinking about how easy it was for her to take the belly off at night, while<br /><br /><br /> other girls who were actually facing this life-changing event didn’t get too.<br /><br /><br /> But they still had to deal with the shaming and control alt delete on their lives.<br /><br /><br /> I was surprised to enjoy the Pregnancy Project as much as I did. It’s no Oscar worthy film, but<br /><br /><br /> it is worthy of a little attention. Rodriguez did a dangerous and difficult<br /><br /><br /> thing, and we can all learn from her actions. More then anything, I’m impressed<br /><br /><br /> with the real life Gaby Rodriguez.
The Pregnancy Project
I’m sure right about now, you’re thinking to yourself, “oh no… Not another Lifetime movie….” Well, the thing is that I have a total and complete soft spot for Lifetime movies. Once you get past the generally bad acting there is a story. That story more often then not is based on someone’s actual life. That is the part I enjoy the most. Which brings me to The Pregnancy Project.
In 2011, Gaby Rodriguez was in the top 5% of her class at Toppenish High School in Washington State. She was in many leadership positions, and participated in several clubs. For her senior project Rodriguez attached a faux baby bump under her clothes, and went about her life. For the next six months Rodriguez pretended to be pregnant as a social experiment. The only people who were in on the experiment were her mother, the principle, her faculty adviser, her best friend and the school board.
When she was six months “pregnant”, with the help of her principle, Gaby was able to call an all school special assembly for her to do her project presentation. She felt that what she had experienced needed to be shared. During her project presentation, Rodriguez talked about teenage pregnancy. She talked about statistics, and how cruel fellow classmates, faculty members, and even her family had been. She had several students and faculty read from note cards quotes of what had been said too her and about her. Things like, “What a waist of a life” said by a teacher and “you might as well die” said by students. She discussed stereotyping and the emotional turmoil that she was put through. Then for the big reveal she pulled off the fake belly in front of the entire school and faculty explaining to everyone that she was not in fact pregnant, that the entire thing was a social experiment.
While the dialog at times lacks a certain amount of luster, what Rodriguez set out to talk about came across loud and clear. By the end, even I was tearing up. Most interesting to me was, after a little research on this film, Rodriguez’s mother was pregnant for the first time at 14 years old. She had several subsequent children, each of who, with the exception of Gaby, were teenage parents. Rodriguez was told over and over that she should dump her boyfriend, because she would inevitably get pregnant just like the rest of her family.
Rodriguez wanted to help those who do become pregnant or find themselves in a difficult situation understand that life doesn’t have to end. The horrible things that people say are only noises from the peanut gallery. There are options available and she wanted to make a difference. Rodriguez was able to show those around her the harm they caused by placing individuals into a box and labeling them before actually giving them a chance to live their life by their own choosing. Rodriguez had a bright future before the experiment; she was well loved and encouraged. When the world thought she was pregnant she described her life as being erased. No one thought she could go to college or get a job. No one thought that she could do anything but be a teenage mom. Regardless of the fact that she maintained her grades and academic commitments. The whole time she kept thinking about how easy it was for her to take the belly off at night, while other girls who were actually facing this life-changing event didn’t get too. But they still had to deal with the shaming and control alt delete on their lives.
I was surprised to enjoy the Pregnancy Project as much as I did. It’s no Oscar worthy film, but it is worthy of a little attention. Rodriguez did a dangerous and difficult thing, and we can all learn from her actions. More then anything, I’m impressed with the real life Gaby Rodriguez.

January 27, 2015

The Interview<br /><br /><br /> Like most Americans, I’d heard of the movie The Interview but unlike that 10% of people who enjoy those types of movies, I had no real intention of watching it. That was until the entire hubbub about North Korea being sort of pissed off. That might be putting it lightly but I’m sure you get the jest by now. True to form, I waited to watch the movie. Not because of crowded theatres this time – as we all know it never really went to theatre – but because I knew it would be bad. The only thing that Kim Jong-un ensured was that every single person in America would want to watch the movie The Interview. I honestly wondered if this was some ploy by Hollywood to boost ratings. After having watched said movie, I have a feeling that it wouldn’t have done nearly as good without the extra hype. Thank you Kim.  Obama might be a monkey but you sir are a hot-headed fool.</p><br /><br /> <p>The Interview was at heart – and lets face it, as expected – a typical stoner comedy with an underlining semi-serious message. Did I laugh, no; but it did get a grin or two out of me. Maybe I needed to hit the pipe to enjoy this more thoroughly. It starts with a bad rape joke being sung by a 7 or 8-year-old girl. If that doesn’t set the tone… The film is filled with nonstop sledgehammer of jokes about things going in and out of rear ends. At the end of the day, The Interview was a goofy hit-and-miss farce. There was no political agenda. Had it not caused such an upheaval, I probably wouldn’t’ have even watched it.</p><br /><br /> <p>Tell me what you thought in the comments below!

The Interview

Like most Americans, I’d heard of the movie The Interview but unlike that 10% of people who enjoy those types of movies, I had no real intention of watching it. That was until the entire hubbub about North Korea being sort of pissed off. That might be putting it lightly but I’m sure you get the jest by now. True to form, I waited to watch the movie. Not because of crowded theatres this time – as we all know it never really went to theatre – but because I knew it would be bad. The only thing that Kim Jong-un ensured was that every single person in America would want to watch the movie The Interview. I honestly wondered if this was some ploy by Hollywood to boost ratings. After having watched said movie, I have a feeling that it wouldn’t have done nearly as good without the extra hype. Thank you Kim.  Obama might be a monkey but you sir are a hot-headed fool.

The Interview was at heart – and lets face it, as expected – a typical stoner comedy with an underlining semi-serious message. Did I laugh, no; but it did get a grin or two out of me. Maybe I needed to hit the pipe to enjoy this more thoroughly. It starts with a bad rape joke being sung by a 7 or 8-year-old girl. If that doesn’t set the tone… The film is filled with nonstop sledgehammer of jokes about things going in and out of rear ends. At the end of the day, The Interview was a goofy hit-and-miss farce. There was no political agenda. Had it not caused such an upheaval, I probably wouldn’t’ have even watched it.

Tell me what you thought in the comments below!

January 25, 2015

Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris</p><br /><br /> <p>It has been more then eight years since I first picked up the book Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris. Like many of you, I will read nearly anything put in front of me (maybe with the exception of a western). I was delighted – if not a little surprised – that this series was so wonderful. Not only was it an easy read, but it appeals to so many different people for just as many reasons. It wasn’t long before I’d convinced my dad to read the books as well – he is an avid science fiction lover- and now I had someone to share my delight with.  </p><br /><br /> <p>What I love most about the Sookie Stackhouse series is the plot development. Considering how only one book was released each year, Harris is a master at giving old information without the reader feeling like the book is being dumbed down. While I’ve read several of the books a half dozen times, I didn’t reread them this time around after not picking one up in more then three years. Happily, I didn’t feel lost or confused about anything. The development of characters and huge plots are over the course of many books. Often, we meet a character, or something happens and we never know how it resolves –if at all – until a couple of books later. There are never large time gaps –sometimes the next book picks up the following day or week – and it feels as though the reader has had the opportunity to share in Sookie’s life, instead of simply another adventure. It doesn’t mater how special someone is in the book; they all have to survive. They all work, pay bills, shower. It’s one of the things that makes each character relatable in one way or another.</p><br /><br /> <p>I’m sure there is the wise ass right now asking, if I loved the books so much then why did I put off reading the twelfth installment in the series especially when the last book has been out nearly a year now. The answer is simply this: Sometimes when something is so good, you want it to last, and never end. If I never got to the end, then that meant that somewhere there would always be more. I’ve come to terms with this in the past week and delved in. It was as delicious as southern comfort food.</p><br /><br /> <p>Many old favorites were back, even a short reprise of Bubba and Quinn –two of my longtime favorite side characters – but others seemed to be a little lacking in this book – i.e. Pam and Eric. Although there was lots of talk about Erik, there seems to be a distinct lack of him. I’m hoping, as it usually does, that this will work out in the final book Dead Ever After. Although by the end of a dead body escaped, I get the feeling that things will not end the way many long time readers (myself included) will want. I’m sure that Charlaine Harris will be true to her characters. Even though I would love to see more Eric, we all know that it won’t last.</p><br /><br /> <p>Although still not my favorite in the 13 book romp, it was still well worth the read. I can’t decide which I liked more: Dead to the World – I’m sure you know whom I’m voting for – or All Together Dead. If you haven’t read them before, now is as good of a time to start as any. You can pick up the first book from your local used bookstore. It’s 300 pages that can be gobbled up quicker then you can make a pecan pie!</p><br /><br /> <p>-Miranda

Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris

It has been more then eight years since I first picked up the book Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris. Like many of you, I will read nearly anything put in front of me (maybe with the exception of a western). I was delighted – if not a little surprised – that this series was so wonderful. Not only was it an easy read, but it appeals to so many different people for just as many reasons. It wasn’t long before I’d convinced my dad to read the books as well – he is an avid science fiction lover- and now I had someone to share my delight with.

What I love most about the Sookie Stackhouse series is the plot development. Considering how only one book was released each year, Harris is a master at giving old information without the reader feeling like the book is being dumbed down. While I’ve read several of the books a half dozen times, I didn’t reread them this time around after not picking one up in more then three years. Happily, I didn’t feel lost or confused about anything. The development of characters and huge plots are over the course of many books. Often, we meet a character, or something happens and we never know how it resolves –if at all – until a couple of books later. There are never large time gaps –sometimes the next book picks up the following day or week – and it feels as though the reader has had the opportunity to share in Sookie’s life, instead of simply another adventure. It doesn’t mater how special someone is in the book; they all have to survive. They all work, pay bills, shower. It’s one of the things that makes each character relatable in one way or another.

I’m sure there is the wise ass right now asking, if I loved the books so much then why did I put off reading the twelfth installment in the series especially when the last book has been out nearly a year now. The answer is simply this: Sometimes when something is so good, you want it to last, and never end. If I never got to the end, then that meant that somewhere there would always be more. I’ve come to terms with this in the past week and delved in. It was as delicious as southern comfort food.

Many old favorites were back, even a short reprise of Bubba and Quinn –two of my longtime favorite side characters – but others seemed to be a little lacking in this book – i.e. Pam and Eric. Although there was lots of talk about Erik, there seems to be a distinct lack of him. I’m hoping, as it usually does, that this will work out in the final book Dead Ever After. Although by the end of a dead body escaped, I get the feeling that things will not end the way many long time readers (myself included) will want. I’m sure that Charlaine Harris will be true to her characters. Even though I would love to see more Eric, we all know that it won’t last.

Although still not my favorite in the 13 book romp, it was still well worth the read. I can’t decide which I liked more: Dead to the World – I’m sure you know whom I’m voting for – or All Together Dead. If you haven’t read them before, now is as good of a time to start as any. You can pick up the first book from your local used bookstore. It’s 300 pages that can be gobbled up quicker then you can make a pecan pie!

January 18, 2015

Stephen King On Writing: A Memoir of the craft</p><br /><br /> <p>I think it is safe to say that there are few books written in the world, that when finished the reader knows without a shadow of doubt, that their life has changed. Maybe this is a bad assumption. Maybe that is the point of reading. With each page you can feel something shifting inside of you moving and growing. When those final pages are consumed and the book is set down, there is little question that the way you see something has forever changed. I believe this is the goal of a good writer. To change your reader, even just a little.</p><br /><br /> <p>“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dated, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, oaky? Getting happy.” – Stephen King</p><br /><br /> <p>Starting with his childhood and ending with the blue van and the man whom hit him in June of 1999, Stephen King opens up to his audience intimately. King weaves reflections on life and advice on writing culminating in this beautiful work of non-fiction. “One learns most clearly what not to do by reading bad prose…Good writing on the other hand, teaches the learning writer about style, graceful narrations, plot development, the creation of believable characters, and truth telling.” King states while hammering in the advice that in order to be a good writer, one must also be an avid reader. Advice I too preach. King doesn’t believe that a writer can be made, so much as a writer can be molded or formed, talents sharpened or strengthened. You either are or are not. I’m not inclined to disagree with him, however if you are then you’ll note that he makes it a point to remind you (often) that he’s okay with that.</p><br /><br /> <p>Throughout the book King talks about his relationship with horror novels, movies, and books. Where some of his best ideas came from and when he struggled the steps he took to break through the writer’s block. Something every writer has faced at some point or another, this writer being no exception. Despite the fact that this book is now more then fifteen years old, the advice hasn’t changed. I know that there isn’t a doubt in my mind that On Writing will influence my own writing for all the days to come. If you are an aspiring writer, or maybe just a lover of the written word, On Writing will be one of the most influential books you pick up.

Stephen King On Writing: A Memoir of the craft

I think it is safe to say that there are few books written in the world, that when finished the reader knows without a shadow of doubt, that their life has changed. Maybe this is a bad assumption. Maybe that is the point of reading. With each page you can feel something shifting inside of you moving and growing. When those final pages are consumed and the book is set down, there is little question that the way you see something has forever changed. I believe this is the goal of a good writer. To change your reader, even just a little.

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dated, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, oaky? Getting happy.” – Stephen King

Starting with his childhood and ending with the blue van and the man whom hit him in June of 1999, Stephen King opens up to his audience intimately. King weaves reflections on life and advice on writing culminating in this beautiful work of non-fiction. “One learns most clearly what not to do by reading bad prose…Good writing on the other hand, teaches the learning writer about style, graceful narrations, plot development, the creation of believable characters, and truth telling.” King states while hammering in the advice that in order to be a good writer, one must also be an avid reader. Advice I too preach. King doesn’t believe that a writer can be made, so much as a writer can be molded or formed, talents sharpened or strengthened. You either are or are not. I’m not inclined to disagree with him, however if you are then you’ll note that he makes it a point to remind you (often) that he’s okay with that.

Throughout the book King talks about his relationship with horror novels, movies, and books. Where some of his best ideas came from and when he struggled the steps he took to break through the writer’s block. Something every writer has faced at some point or another, this writer being no exception. Despite the fact that this book is now more then fifteen years old, the advice hasn’t changed. I know that there isn’t a doubt in my mind that On Writing will influence my own writing for all the days to come. If you are an aspiring writer, or maybe just a lover of the written word, On Writing will be one of the most influential books you pick up.

January 12, 2015

Lock In by John Scalzi</p><br /><br /> <p>When I drive in the car, cook dinner, do dishes, etc. I usually am listing to an audio book. Multi tasking at it’s best. If I’m being honest with my audience, and I always am, then you should know that the reason I chose to read John Scalzi’s Lock In wasn’t because of his popularity in the science fiction world or the fact that he has been a New York Times Best Seller. No, the reason I picked this book was because Wil Wheaton is one of the Narrators.  </p><br /><br /> <p>I have a long love affair with Wil Wheaton’s writing and much to my surprise I’ve recently come to learn that the triple threat also narrates books! So when I was looking for a new book to read, having previously been blown away by his narration of Ready Player One (Which I will no doubt re-read soon and tell you all about it), I came across Lock In.  </p><br /><br /> <p>Point number two for this book was that Amber Benson also Narrates another audio version. After having read it, I can tell you that there is no gender identity for the lead character whose name is simply Chris Shane. I would happily reread this book with Amber Benson as the Narrator, and I have no doubt it would be equally as exciting, in all new ways.</p><br /><br /> <p>Lock In takes place decades after a global flu killed 400 million people world wide leaving 1 percent to experience “locked in”. This unlucky 1 percent, also known as Hadens, are unable to move or respond to stimulus in any way but they are completely aware of what is going on.</p><br /><br /> <p>The world moves on and technology evolves. Humans interact and connect with computers in ways that were never dreamed possible. A virtual reality called The Agora was created. It’s a place where those who are locked-in can interact virtually with the world and visa verse. It should come as no surprise that the younger generation of Haden’s prefers to interact with the world this way.</p><br /><br /> <p>Android technology emerges in a from called a “threep” (a fun Star Wars reference), which houses the mind of someone locked-in virtually and allows the person to continue to have a life in the real world via a robotic body.</p><br /><br /> <p>Scientists discover that some rare survivors of Haden’s who were not locked-in can in fact allow those who experience lock-in to essentially rent their bodies to others, they’re called “Integrators”.</p><br /><br /> <p>Shane’s first day of work at the FBI involves investigating an incident with a dead body of an Integrator. This happens at the same time that Hadens are threatening to march on the nations capital after new legislation is passed that will take away funding that has been essential to Hadens for years.  </p><br /><br /> <p>There is a readily available amount of social commentary as Scalzi hits on the treatment of people with disabilities, the oppression of minorities, civil unrest, and the dangers of big business.</p><br /><br /> <p>On a whole Scalzi’s Lock In is an old-fashioned detective story set in a world where post-apocalyptic wasn’t an answer. The tech-born culture is incredibly in depth and believable. There is action and whit a plenty. I can really see this making a good film and I hope someday I have the privilege of writing a comparison between the two. Oh if a girl can only dream. </p><br /><br /> <p>

Lock In by John Scalzi

When I drive in the car, cook dinner, do dishes, etc. I usually am listing to an audio book. Multi tasking at it’s best. If I’m being honest with my audience, and I always am, then you should know that the reason I chose to read John Scalzi’s Lock In wasn’t because of his popularity in the science fiction world or the fact that he has been a New York Times Best Seller. No, the reason I picked this book was because Wil Wheaton is one of the Narrators.

I have a long love affair with Wil Wheaton’s writing and much to my surprise I’ve recently come to learn that the triple threat also narrates books! So when I was looking for a new book to read, having previously been blown away by his narration of Ready Player One (Which I will no doubt re-read soon and tell you all about it), I came across Lock In.

Point number two for this book was that Amber Benson also Narrates another audio version. After having read it, I can tell you that there is no gender identity for the lead character whose name is simply Chris Shane. I would happily reread this book with Amber Benson as the Narrator, and I have no doubt it would be equally as exciting, in all new ways.

Lock In takes place decades after a global flu killed 400 million people world wide leaving 1 percent to experience “locked in”. This unlucky 1 percent, also known as Hadens, are unable to move or respond to stimulus in any way but they are completely aware of what is going on.

The world moves on and technology evolves. Humans interact and connect with computers in ways that were never dreamed possible. A virtual reality called The Agora was created. It’s a place where those who are locked-in can interact virtually with the world and visa verse. It should come as no surprise that the younger generation of Haden’s prefers to interact with the world this way.

Android technology emerges in a from called a “threep” (a fun Star Wars reference), which houses the mind of someone locked-in virtually and allows the person to continue to have a life in the real world via a robotic body.

Scientists discover that some rare survivors of Haden’s who were not locked-in can in fact allow those who experience lock-in to essentially rent their bodies to others, they’re called “Integrators”.

Shane’s first day of work at the FBI involves investigating an incident with a dead body of an Integrator. This happens at the same time that Hadens are threatening to march on the nations capital after new legislation is passed that will take away funding that has been essential to Hadens for years.

There is a readily available amount of social commentary as Scalzi hits on the treatment of people with disabilities, the oppression of minorities, civil unrest, and the dangers of big business.

On a whole Scalzi’s Lock In is an old-fashioned detective story set in a world where post-apocalyptic wasn’t an answer. The tech-born culture is incredibly in depth and believable. There is action and whit a plenty. I can really see this making a good film and I hope someday I have the privilege of writing a comparison between the two. Oh if a girl can only dream.

January 9, 2015

Boyhood</p><br /><br /> <p>Boyhood is the type of film you would wait more then twelve years for. Richard Linklater’s film is a once in a generational look at what it’s like to grow up. Filmed over the course of 12 years (Taking place between 2002-2013) using the same cast, this is a story of simply growing up from the eyes of a young child named Mason (Played by Ellar Coltrane). The cast includes Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke as Mason’s parents and Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha.</p><br /><br /> <p>When I first heard about Boyhood I was instantly reminded of my all time favorite movies Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight (also staring Ethan Hawke). Each movie was filmed using the same cast and each was also roughly filmed nine years apart respectively. They are about human connection in a way that I had never seen before and up until tonight since.</p><br /><br /> <p>Boyhood is more then just a nostalgic time capsule; it is a truly intimate look at what it is like to live. Observed via a string of life’s milestones we see the growth and humanism in every character. Watching Arquette on the ground crying ripped at my heart. Listening to Hawke awkwardly give the sex talk to his daughter in a bowling ally was both endearing and relatable. I remember when my dad and I had a very similar talk in the parking lot of a horse ranch. The thing about this film is that more then feeling like you get to experience a very intimate portrait of a family, it reminds you of your own life. Watching the Mason and Samantha at a Harry Potter book release brought back memories of the Barns and Nobel party I went to once upon a time with my younger sisters.</p><br /><br /> <p>This film is like nothing ever made before, and is truly one of a kind. I didn’t realize that there was a near three-hour runtime before pressing play and I didn’t notice tell well after it ended.  As time passes, the film grows further and it gradually captivates the audience. It is clear that this cast also grows with film in so many ways. Boyhood is art pure and simple. I would be hard pressed to pick a better film for best movie of the year and quite possible of many years to come.

Boyhood

Boyhood is the type of film you would wait more then twelve years for. Richard Linklater’s film is a once in a generational look at what it’s like to grow up. Filmed over the course of 12 years (Taking place between 2002-2013) using the same cast, this is a story of simply growing up from the eyes of a young child named Mason (Played by Ellar Coltrane). The cast includes Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke as Mason’s parents and Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha.

When I first heard about Boyhood I was instantly reminded of my all time favorite movies Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight (also staring Ethan Hawke). Each movie was filmed using the same cast and each was also roughly filmed nine years apart respectively. They are about human connection in a way that I had never seen before and up until tonight since.

Boyhood is more then just a nostalgic time capsule; it is a truly intimate look at what it is like to live. Observed via a string of life’s milestones we see the growth and humanism in every character. Watching Arquette on the ground crying ripped at my heart. Listening to Hawke awkwardly give the sex talk to his daughter in a bowling ally was both endearing and relatable. I remember when my dad and I had a very similar talk in the parking lot of a horse ranch. The thing about this film is that more then feeling like you get to experience a very intimate portrait of a family, it reminds you of your own life. Watching the Mason and Samantha at a Harry Potter book release brought back memories of the Barns and Nobel party I went to once upon a time with my younger sisters.

This film is like nothing ever made before, and is truly one of a kind. I didn’t realize that there was a near three-hour runtime before pressing play and I didn’t notice tell well after it ended.  As time passes, the film grows further and it gradually captivates the audience. It is clear that this cast also grows with film in so many ways. Boyhood is art pure and simple. I would be hard pressed to pick a better film for best movie of the year and quite possible of many years to come.

January 9, 2015

What If?</p><br /><br /> <p> Take one loaf of French bread buttered and toast it in the oven. Take that bread and cut it lengthwise, then promptly hollowed out. In one side you fill with a jar of creamy peanut butter, the other side a jar of jam. Lastly fill the halves with one pound of bacon slices fried in oil until crispy. Slap the sides together and you have Fool’s Gold. If at the end of the movie What If the only thing you take away is how to make this monstrosity (also known as Elvis’ favorite sandwich) then I would say it was it was 102 minutes well spent.</p><br /><br /> <p> This charming little film severely flew under the radar and is well deserving of viewership. Wallace (aka Daniel Radcliffe) is a closet romantic that isn’t afraid to watch Princes Bride alone (we both know it’s one of the best films ever) and who has had an unfortunate bad string of relationships. He forms an instant connection with Chantry (Zoe Kazan). Those of us lucky enough to experience a connection like this know it is a once in a lifetime thing.  The on screen chemistry between Radcliffe and Kazan is palpable and the very reason that watching them banter is so enjoyable. Who knew Harry Potter could play such a romantic?! The couple is paired with Megan Park and Adam Driver as the ‘best friends’ who’ve made love and their relationship work despite the fact that you sort of expect them to fail throughout the film. The dialog is sharp and it quickly moves into the ranks of a favorite romantic comedy.</p><br /><br /> <p>What If you told her how you felt? What if you never told him you loved him too? What if being friends had its benefits? What if is not the formula you might expect. It is very reminiscent of 500 Days of Summer, and I for one can say I finished feeling refreshed and hopeful.

What If?

Take one loaf of French bread buttered and toast it in the oven. Take that bread and cut it lengthwise, then promptly hollowed out. In one side you fill with a jar of creamy peanut butter, the other side a jar of jam. Lastly fill the halves with one pound of bacon slices fried in oil until crispy. Slap the sides together and you have Fool’s Gold. If at the end of the movie What If the only thing you take away is how to make this monstrosity (also known as Elvis’ favorite sandwich) then I would say it was it was 102 minutes well spent.

This charming little film severely flew under the radar and is well deserving of viewership. Wallace (aka Daniel Radcliffe) is a closet romantic that isn’t afraid to watch Princes Bride alone (we both know it’s one of the best films ever) and who has had an unfortunate bad string of relationships. He forms an instant connection with Chantry (Zoe Kazan). Those of us lucky enough to experience a connection like this know it is a once in a lifetime thing.  The on screen chemistry between Radcliffe and Kazan is palpable and the very reason that watching them banter is so enjoyable. Who knew Harry Potter could play such a romantic?! The couple is paired with Megan Park and Adam Driver as the ‘best friends’ who’ve made love and their relationship work despite the fact that you sort of expect them to fail throughout the film. The dialog is sharp and it quickly moves into the ranks of a favorite romantic comedy.

What If you told her how you felt? What if you never told him you loved him too? What if being friends had its benefits? What if is not the formula you might expect. It is very reminiscent of 500 Days of Summer, and I for one can say I finished feeling refreshed and hopeful.

January 6, 2015

Internet Archive: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music & Wayback Machine

The Internet Archive

Until today, I didn’t even know what a petabyte was.  I had to Google it. Uncase, your wondering (much like my over the top technology terminology lacking self) 1 petabyte is the equivalent of 1,000 terabytes. If your not sure how much information is in a terabyte, 1 terabyte is equal to 1,000 gigabytes. The Internet Archive is compromised of more then TEN petabytes of information!

The mission of San Francisco based non-profit company is “universal access to all knowledge. The IA provides free public access to HUGE collections of digitized information including but not limited to websites, music, movies, old news clips, more 3 million public domain books, audio books and video games! I spent more then an hour today reliving my youth killing all of my party and then dying of dysentery on the Oregon Trail. I’m having serious third grade flashbacks at the moment of Alan Baily pulling my hair and the endless debates of which was better, Paint or the OT. Clearly OT for life!

It is easy to fall down the preverbal rabbit whole when surfing this website. The Movie section alone has just shy of seventeen thousand results. If you want to really play around there are more then ninety-one thousand results. This includes everything from the Internet Arcade featuring old school video games including Atari, Nintendo even N64. All the way in to the depths of obscurity with it’s Linux games. The possibilities are truly endless.

The book library portion is broken down into American, Canadian, European, etc. etc. etc. libraries. Really, it goes on and on and on. Don’t believe me, check it out for yourself! This just adds one more point on the reasons to own a tablet over an e-reader pro-con list (thank you iPad Mini). Never before have you had access to so many books on the go. Check out the Internet Archive today!

Cheers!

January 2, 2015

The Theory of Everything<br /><br /><br /> When I first heard about the movie, The Theory of Everything I literally had a bubble of excitement burst from my seams. A chill down my back when I watched the trailer and I’m honestly more surprised than you are that I waited nearly eight weeks to watch this glorious film in the theatre.<br /><br /><br /> Stephen Hawking was 21 years old when he was diagnosed with motor neuron disease (MND, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). His doctors told Hawking he only had 2 years to live. Stephen Hawking pioneered the study of black holes, became a bestselling author; and despite his many accomplishments, Hawking is well known for his wheelchair and robot voice.<br /><br /><br /> This is a story of a man who defied every scientific and personal expectation ever set upon him. This is about the love between Jane Wilde and Stephen Hawking. About the intimacy and patience between two lovers, who are both in their own right geniuses.<br /><br /><br /> If Eddie Redmayne doesn’t win best Actor for his portray of Hawking, then count the ballots again. This movie could be like every other film out there. Not to say it wasn’t amazing, because it was. Redmayne brings The Theory of Everything to an award worthy level. He manages to have both the charisma and intelligence to portray Hawking unlike anyone before him. Despite not being able to speak let alone move for the majority of the film, it is powerful and Redmayne turns one of the best performances of the year.  <br /><br /><br /> The Theory of Everything is witty, brilliant, and at times laugh out loud funny. This is a biopic worth watching. Even my movie companions this evening (who umm for lack of better wording, weren’t looking forward to the film) left the theatre pleasantly surprised at how beautiful the cinematography was, at how well Eddie Redmayne’s portail of Stephen Hawking was, and at how kindly the story was told.<br /><br /><br /> This film attempts to do more then just chronologically tell us a story about a famous physicist. The Theory of Everything paints a more intimate portrait of love and marriage and the compromises we make. Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox and Maxine Peake manage to not only show a very unique almost (dare I say) open four-way marriage, but to tell this very emotional story delicately. I didn’t leave the theatre hating any character or wishing that they had made different choices. No, instead I left understanding why each character made the decisions in life they did and I was moved by it. This was a more personal story about two friends who became lovers and stayed close friends despite everything that worked angst them. Stephen Hawking is one of my personal favorite people and so maybe this all comes out a little bias. Take two hours of your life and find out. I promise they won’t be wasted.<br /><br /><br /> “There should be no boundary to human endeavor, however bad life may seem, while there is life, there is hope” – Stephen Hawking

The Theory of Everything

When I first heard about the movie, The Theory of Everything I literally had a bubble of excitement burst from my seams. A chill down my back when I watched the trailer and I’m honestly more surprised than you are that I waited nearly eight weeks to watch this glorious film in the theatre.

Stephen Hawking was 21 years old when he was diagnosed with motor neuron disease (MND, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). His doctors told Hawking he only had 2 years to live. Stephen Hawking pioneered the study of black holes, became a bestselling author; and despite his many accomplishments, Hawking is well known for his wheelchair and robot voice.

This is a story of a man who defied every scientific and personal expectation ever set upon him. This is about the love between Jane Wilde and Stephen Hawking. About the intimacy and patience between two lovers, who are both in their own right geniuses.

If Eddie Redmayne doesn’t win best Actor for his portray of Hawking, then count the ballots again. This movie could be like every other film out there. Not to say it wasn’t amazing, because it was. Redmayne brings The Theory of Everything to an award worthy level. He manages to have both the charisma and intelligence to portray Hawking unlike anyone before him. Despite not being able to speak let alone move for the majority of the film, it is powerful and Redmayne turns one of the best performances of the year.

The Theory of Everything is witty, brilliant, and at times laugh out loud funny. This is a biopic worth watching. Even my movie companions this evening (who umm for lack of better wording, weren’t looking forward to the film) left the theatre pleasantly surprised at how beautiful the cinematography was, at how well Eddie Redmayne’s portail of Stephen Hawking was, and at how kindly the story was told.

This film attempts to do more then just chronologically tell us a story about a famous physicist. The Theory of Everything paints a more intimate portrait of love and marriage and the compromises we make. Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox and Maxine Peake manage to not only show a very unique almost (dare I say) open four-way marriage, but to tell this very emotional story delicately. I didn’t leave the theatre hating any character or wishing that they had made different choices. No, instead I left understanding why each character made the decisions in life they did and I was moved by it. This was a more personal story about two friends who became lovers and stayed close friends despite everything that worked angst them. Stephen Hawking is one of my personal favorite people and so maybe this all comes out a little bias. Take two hours of your life and find out. I promise they won’t be wasted.

“There should be no boundary to human endeavor, however bad life may seem, while there is life, there is hope” – Stephen Hawking

January 1, 2015

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)</p><br /><br /> <p>By Mindy Kaling</p><br /><br /> <p>Seriously, I’m going to start by saying that I just learned who Mindy Kaling was about a month ago. I was reading some random article about how there was this show that was hitting a no no topic on Fox. Of course the perv in me perked up and looked up the show: The Mindy Project. I’d seen the listing on my Hulu account but with a lengthy list of regular shows I usually only start new one’s in the off seasons. However, now I was interested. What is this show that was causing such a buzz? I have never laughed so much at TV as when I watch The Mindy Project. I’m talking out loud guttural laughing. I tend to be the chuckle on the inside type of person, but not when I’m watching this show. That being said, when I came across the book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)  by Mindy Kaling I picked it up right away.</p><br /><br /> <p>On a whole, I enjoy autobiographies. I enjoy people and I enjoy hearing about the parts of their lives that brought them to the place they are today. Some people are better at telling their stories then others. Mindy is in the former group. I found myself laughing and nodding my head along with her as she talks about the various parts of her life.</p><br /><br /> <p>The first “chapter” (although it is really broken down into several essays, don’t roll your eyes, trust me it’s worth the read.) Mindy paints a story of a little chubster girl who learned the hard way “bullies have no code of conduct.” More then her humiliating diving board incident or the secret friend she had in high school, what I love about this book is that Mindy isn’t afraid to be honest. Her chapter titled Failing at Everything in the Greatest City on Earth pretty much sums this point up. Life is hard, and no one who has made it in his or her careers got there blindly. They worked their asses off and sometimes took a few detours before making it.<br /><br /><br /> Do you remember hearing about the one hour comedy sketch Matt and Ben? I do, but I of course never saw it. Guess what, that was Mindy! I know I was just as shocked to find out myself. Mindy delights the reader with her tales of one hour writing sessions that eventually turned into Matt and Ben, later her flop move to LA and her eventual small writing gig on a mid season filler show called The Office. I’m going to say up front, I’ve never watched The Office. But after reading her book littered with witty observations on life, film, and shopping, I’m almost willing to give it a shot.</p><br /><br /> <p> Mindy isn’t afraid to go there and by there I mean there. Yes any there that could apply. She seemingly touches all topics and does so in voice that had me laughing out loud (need I say it again).</p><br /><br /> <p> Jennifer Weiner wrote this about the book and I couldn’t’ have said it better myself, so thank you for letting me steal it: “By the end of this book, you will want Mindy Kaling to be your best friend, and you will want her parents to adopt you. Since neither of these events is likely, or even possible, buy her book instead.” – Truth….

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

By Mindy Kaling

Seriously, I’m going to start by saying that I just learned who Mindy Kaling was about a month ago. I was reading some random article about how there was this show that was hitting a no no topic on Fox. Of course the perv in me perked up and looked up the show: The Mindy Project. I’d seen the listing on my Hulu account but with a lengthy list of regular shows I usually only start new one’s in the off seasons. However, now I was interested. What is this show that was causing such a buzz? I have never laughed so much at TV as when I watch The Mindy Project. I’m talking out loud guttural laughing. I tend to be the chuckle on the inside type of person, but not when I’m watching this show. That being said, when I came across the book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)  by Mindy Kaling I picked it up right away.

On a whole, I enjoy autobiographies. I enjoy people and I enjoy hearing about the parts of their lives that brought them to the place they are today. Some people are better at telling their stories then others. Mindy is in the former group. I found myself laughing and nodding my head along with her as she talks about the various parts of her life.

The first “chapter” (although it is really broken down into several essays, don’t roll your eyes, trust me it’s worth the read.) Mindy paints a story of a little chubster girl who learned the hard way “bullies have no code of conduct.” More then her humiliating diving board incident or the secret friend she had in high school, what I love about this book is that Mindy isn’t afraid to be honest. Her chapter titled Failing at Everything in the Greatest City on Earth pretty much sums this point up. Life is hard, and no one who has made it in his or her careers got there blindly. They worked their asses off and sometimes took a few detours before making it.
Do you remember hearing about the one hour comedy sketch Matt and Ben? I do, but I of course never saw it. Guess what, that was Mindy! I know I was just as shocked to find out myself. Mindy delights the reader with her tales of one hour writing sessions that eventually turned into Matt and Ben, later her flop move to LA and her eventual small writing gig on a mid season filler show called The Office. I’m going to say up front, I’ve never watched The Office. But after reading her book littered with witty observations on life, film, and shopping, I’m almost willing to give it a shot.

Mindy isn’t afraid to go there and by there I mean there. Yes any there that could apply. She seemingly touches all topics and does so in voice that had me laughing out loud (need I say it again).

Jennifer Weiner wrote this about the book and I couldn’t’ have said it better myself, so thank you for letting me steal it: “By the end of this book, you will want Mindy Kaling to be your best friend, and you will want her parents to adopt you. Since neither of these events is likely, or even possible, buy her book instead.” – Truth….

January 1, 2015

I feel the need to start this blog by saying that I live in a bubble. Often I hear about something so far after the fact that it isn’t relevant anymore. I watch new movies weeks after they’ve come out (emptier theatres that way) and I have a back log of books a mile long. With that being said, Welcome to Mirandom Reviews! I have a good friend to thank for help with the title (Cassandra you’re amazing!)<br /><br /><br /> I have been wanting to start this project for a while, without any actual solid plan about what I wanted to review. I debated about picking some really lengthily book or series and doing a play-by-play and in the end I decided that I really wanted to do it all without feeling like I was dragging any one thing out. I’m an avid reader and movie goer. If you follow my blog (mirandaboyer.tumblr.com) you will quickly learn all about some of my finer quarks and habits. On the top of that list is that I’m a writer. I’m currently working on my first novel and I’ve wanted another side project. Thus Mirandom Reviews was born. I will warn you now there will be spoilers! Unless you are just as behind as me with the world of books and movies, the spoilers probably won’t be an issue for you. Hopefully this will be a fun ongoing project that shapes into something wonderful!<br /><br /><br /> Cheers, Miranda

I feel the need to start this blog by saying that I live in a bubble. Often I hear about something so far after the fact that it isn’t relevant anymore. I watch new movies weeks after they’ve come out (emptier theatres that way) and I have a back log of books a mile long. With that being said, Welcome to Mirandom Reviews! I have a good friend to thank for help with the title (Cassandra you’re amazing!)

I have been wanting to start this project for a while, without any actual solid plan about what I wanted to review. I debated about picking some really lengthily book or series and doing a play-by-play and in the end I decided that I really wanted to do it all without feeling like I was dragging any one thing out. I’m an avid reader and movie goer. If you follow my blog (mirandaboyer.tumblr.com) you will quickly learn all about some of my finer quarks and habits. On the top of that list is that I’m a writer. I’m currently working on my first novel and I’ve wanted another side project. Thus Mirandom Reviews was born. I will warn you now there will be spoilers! Unless you are just as behind as me with the world of books and movies, the spoilers probably won’t be an issue for you. Hopefully this will be a fun ongoing project that shapes into something wonderful!

Cheers,

Miranda

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