Books and Movies That Needed Sequels and the Ones That Didn’t

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Or rather, The Topic That Made Me Realize I Read Mostly Series.

The Books:

Uprooted by Naomi Novik because I loved the characters and world.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson because I want to know more about Melinda’s healing process.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon because I think it would be interesting to see Maddy adjust to her new life and to see what happens to her mother.

The Movies:

Elf because 1) this is my favorite Christmas movie of all time and 2) I’m sure Buddy would have more ridiculous adventures, especially since he has a kid.

The Breakfast Club because what happens to their friendship AFTER their detention?!

 

The Sequels That Didn’t Need To Happen

The Books:

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee because 1) this was never meant to be published and 2) I don’t like what happens with Atticus.

Mockingjay by Susan Collins because of all the crap that went down and the fact that this series would have been better as a duology.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas because this felt like a bunch of filler and I got my fill after A Court of Mist and Fury.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child  by J.K Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany because it was essentially glorified fanfiction and IS NOT CANNON.

The Movies

Unpopular Opinion: Every modern superhero movie remake, sequel, etc. Seriously. I’m sick of them.

 

The Book I’m Trudging Through

the-hangmans-daughter

A few weeks ago, I finished the my first book in months. Unfortunately, I hated it (see my review here). Now I’m on book three, and I read maybe 70 pages last week.

I just couldn’t find the motivation to read.

I was tired, and honestly, I wanted to do something more mind numbing. So instead of reading, I played Breath of the Wild and The Sims 4. Granted, I was also feeling a little under the weather, but whatever.

Anyway, I’ve been reading The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Potzsch and it totally seemed like something I’d love. Essentially, a boy turns up dead and the townspeople accuse a midwife of witchcraft. And honestly, there’s nothing wrong with the book. So far, it seems well-written and the characters seem well-developed.

But it just isn’t “doing it” for me right now. And yet I can’t help but feel guilty for wanting to put it down and move onto something else. Most of this stems from the fact that I have been struggling to finish books lately. I haven’t read a book that I’m truly “in the mood for” in a long time, and it’s frustrating because I know I’m the problem. I’m being too picky.

But I think I’m going to move on for now. I think I’ll pick up the book that interests me most, read it, and come back later. After all, isn’t the goal to read something you enjoy?

Anyway, is anyone else having the same struggle as me? Is there a book that has gotten you out of a slump before? Let me know in the comments below!

Let’s Discuss: My Problem With Book Hauls

What are your thoughts on book hauls? Agree or disagree? Love ’em, hate ’em? Let me know in the comments below!

When I first started blogging, I loved a good book haul. I loved looking at those beautiful new (or used) books and perusing the titles. But now, I won’t even click on a book haul post.

So what changed?

Last summer, I decided I wanted to become a minimalist. This didn’t really work for me, but I did learn a few things. I learned to put more thought into what I buy: was this something I really needed or would it bring me joy (thanks, Marie Kondo)? I learned to let go of things I no longer needed. I learned that the amount I had didn’t matter nor did it lend to happiness.

I also realized that I was an impulsive shopper and that for me, book haul posts were essentially nudges towards impulsive buying. Instead of going to the bookstore for one or two books, I found myself buying five to ten. And honestly, these weren’t even books I had really wanted. They were books I thought might be interesting to read or had cool covers. But more often than not, these were books I wouldn’t read.

And I have to wonder: am I the only person who experiences this? Surely, I can’t be. Because underneath it all, a haul post of any kind encourages consumerism. It places value on material possessions.

But there isn’t  anything wrong with a book haul: I’d rather see people show off book collections than cars or money. And I appreciate the message that reading is worth our time and money. Furthermore, I don’t always see book hauls where the books are sparkly and new. I see some where they were bought second hand, and  I appreciate a good deal and the idea of reusing instead of wasting.

I guess at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. People post hauls, and others like them. As for me, I simply can’t handle the temptation.

 

WWW Wednesday, #2

Hosted by Taking on a World of Words

Let me know if you’ve read or are thinking about reading any of these in the comments below:). 

Currently Reading:

the-hangmans-daughter

The Hangman’s Daugther by Oliver Potzch

Magdalena, the clever and headstrong daughter of Bavarian hangman Jakob Kuisl, lives with her father outside the village walls and is destined to be married off to another hangman’s son—except that the town physician’s son is hopelessly in love with her. And her father’s wisdom and empathy are as unusual as his despised profession. It is 1659, the Thirty Years’ War has finally ended, and there hasn’t been a witchcraft mania in decades. But now, a drowning and gruesomely injured boy, tattooed with the mark of a witch, is pulled from a river and the villagers suspect the local midwife, Martha Stechlin.

Jakob Kuisl is charged with extracting a confession from her and torturing her until he gets one. Convinced she is innocent, he, Magdalena, and her would-be suitor race against the clock to find the true killer. Approaching Walpurgisnacht, when witches are believed to dance in the forest and mate with the devil, another tattooed orphan is found dead and the town becomes frenzied. More than one person has spotted what looks like the devil—a man with a hand made only of bones. The hangman, his daughter, and the doctor’s son face a terrifying and very real enemy.

GoodReads.com

Why This Book? Honestly, it’s so different from what I normally would read, and yet it hits on many of the things I want to read. And honestly, the first chapter had me hooked. Hopefully it keeps up the pace!

 

Recently Read: 

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

A very young woman’s first job: governess for two weirdly beautiful, strangely distant, oddly silent children, Miles and Flora, at a forlorn estate…An estate haunted by a beckoning evil.

Half-seen figures who glare from dark towers and dusty windows- silent, foul phantoms who, day by day, night by night, come closer, ever closer. With growing horror, the helpless governess realizes the fiendish creatures want the children, seeking to corrupt their bodies, possess their minds, own their souls…

But worse-much worse- the governess discovers that Miles and Flora have no terror of the lurking evil.

For they want the walking dead as badly as the dead want them.

 

From GoodReads.com

 

Reading Next:

the wicked deep

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

GoodReads.com

 

Ten Characters I’d Switch Places With

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Hermione Granger because I have been waiting for my Hogwarts letter for well over a decade.

Feyre because I love Rhys so much.

Agnieszka because not only is the Dragon an interesting character, but I honestly just want magic.

Robin Ellacott because who hasn’t fantasized about being a detective?

Celia because the Night Circus just seemed s spectacular.

Daisy because I wouldn’t make the same mistakes she did.

Gemma because A Great And Terrible Beauty was my favorite book as a tween.

Jane because not only do I love the story, but I love Mr. Rochester too.

The (Next) Haunting of Hill House: Turn of the Screw by Henry James

the-turn-of-the-screw

Title: The Turn of the Screw

Author: Henry James

Genre: Fiction, Horror

Pages: 120

Format: eBook

Other: Amazon, GoodReads

Grade:   B(4/5)

Description (from GoodReads):

A very young woman’s first job: governess for two weirdly beautiful, strangely distant, oddly silent children, Miles and Flora, at a forlorn estate…An estate haunted by a beckoning evil.

Half-seen figures who glare from dark towers and dusty windows- silent, foul phantoms who, day by day, night by night, come closer, ever closer. With growing horror, the helpless governess realizes the fiendish creatures want the children, seeking to corrupt their bodies, possess their minds, own their souls…

But worse-much worse- the governess discovers that Miles and Flora have no terror of the lurking evil.

For they want the walking dead as badly as the dead want them.

Quick Review

  • Unsettling and dark– the perfect setup for season two of Hill House
  • Complex writing style that is consistent with the time period in which it was written
  • Characters could use some more development
The Turn of the Screw Photo

Detailed Review

A young governess accepts a position at a Bly Manor with two orphan children as her charges. At first, everything seems perfect: the manor is stately and the children are beautiful and pure. But soon she discovers there’s something more sinister lurking in Bly Manor’s shadows. 

If you’re as obsessed with Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House, then you know Netflix recently announced that there would be a second season. However, we won’t be revisiting Hill House. Instead, the teaser suggests a new setting: Bly Manor. Anyway, if you weren’t obsessed or haven’t watched the first season, here’s the trailer:

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/G9OzG53VwIk

Anyway, that teaser is the reason I picked up this book because I don’t think I can handle waiting until 2020. After all, The Haunting of Hill House essentially destroyed television for me because nothing has measured up since. 

That said, I understand why the creators chose The Turn of the Screw as their inspiration for the next season. It has the same ominous feeling that The Haunting of Hill House had, and I think they can easily turn it into a successful first season. I don’t expect it to be true to the book because apparently season one wasn’t (no, I haven’t read it). But the base material is strong. 

As for the book, I found the story fascinating. I enjoyed the weirdness of it, and I enjoyed piecing everything together with the governess. 

A fair warning though: the language can be quite difficult. The Turn of the Screw was written in the 1800’s and the writing is naturally a reflection of that. The sentences are long and sometimes the diction is odd for the modern reader. However, I adjusted and was able to read the novella rather easily. Despite this, there was a beauty and charm to the writing, one that I feel has been lost over time. 

As for the characters, I hope there’s more development in the show. Because this book is short, there’s hardly time to truly delve into the characters histories and personalities and all that. There were times when I felt it rather difficult to connect to the governess, though I suppose it might be because we’re more than a century apart. 

But overall, I enjoyed the book. It was unsettling and creepy and can it be 2020 already?

The Weekly Wrap, #4

What I’ve Been Reading

Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon. Review.

  • What it was about: Olivia Twist, a well-to-do lady, meets a boy from her past but he doesn’t know she’s his old pal Ollie.
  • Initial Thoughts: It was awful. I hated it.

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. Finished. Review pending.

  • What it was about: A young woman accepts her first job as the governess for two  children, Flora and Miles at a haunted manor.
  • Initial Thoughts: The language is what you would expect from a book published in the 1800s. However, I think it’ll make a great basis for the next season of The Haunting of Hill House (The Haunting of Bly Manor).

What I Wrote

What I Liked

What I Did

1. I worked at a few different schools, including my favorite.

2. I ate at a restaurant called Devine Pastabilities. They serve pasta in a sub roll. Sounds weird, but it was deliciously unhealthy.

3.  I took my dog to the dog park and on a hike. She had a blast!

Tempting New Releases, #15

Are any of these on your list? Let me know in the comments below :).

SPECTACLE BY JODIE LYNN ZDROK

Description (Amazon):

Spectacle is a YA murder mystery from debut author Jodie Lynn Zdrok in which a young reporter must use her supernatural visions to help track down a killer targeting the young women of Paris.

Paris, 1887.

Sixteen-year-old Nathalie Baudin writes the daily morgue column for Le Petit Journal. Her job is to summarize each day’s new arrivals, a task she finds both fascinating and routine. That is, until the day she has a vision of the newest body, a young woman, being murdered―from the perspective of the murderer himself.

When the body of another woman is retrieved from the Seine days later, Paris begins to buzz with rumors that this victim may not be the last. Nathalie’s search for answers sends her down a long, twisty road involving her mentally ill aunt, a brilliant but deluded scientist, and eventually into the Parisian Catacombs. As the killer continues to haunt the streets of Paris, it becomes clear that Nathalie’s strange new ability may make her the only one who can discover the killer’s identity–and she’ll have to do it before she becomes a target herself.

Why I want to read it: Sounds interesting. I like historical fiction, especially when the main character is a woman, especially when she doesn’t conform to society’s expectations of her. I also love supernatural fiction and mysteries.

THE PAST AND OTHER THINGS THAT SHOULD STAY BURIED BY SHAUN DAVID HUTCHINSON

Description (Amazon):

A good friend will bury your body, a best friend will dig you back up.

Dino doesn’t mind spending time with the dead. His parents own a funeral home, and death is literally the family business. He’s just not used to them talking back. Until Dino’s ex-best friend July dies suddenly—and then comes back to life. Except not exactly. Somehow July is not quite alive, and not quite dead.

As Dino and July attempt to figure out what’s happening, they must also confront why and how their friendship ended so badly, and what they have left to understand about themselves, each other, and all those grand mysteries of life.

Why I want to read it:  Honestly, it just sounds wonderfully strange.

WATCH US RISE BY RENEE WATSON & ELLEN HAGAN

Description (Amazon): 

Jasmine and Chelsea are best friends on a mission–they’re sick of the way women are treated even at their progressive NYC high school, so they decide to start a Women’s Rights Club. They post their work online–poems, essays, videos of Chelsea performing her poetry, and Jasmine’s response to the racial microaggressions she experiences–and soon they go viral. But with such positive support, the club is also targeted by trolls. When things escalate in real life, the principal shuts the club down. Not willing to be silenced, Jasmine and Chelsea will risk everything for their voices–and those of other young women–to be heard.
These two dynamic, creative young women stand up and speak out in a novel that features their compelling art and poetry along with powerful personal journeys that will inspire readers and budding poets, feminists, and activists.

Why I want to read it: I’m honestly a little iffy about this one. On the one hand, I love books about empowerment. On the other hand, this could also come across as being too preachy and trendy. I feel like it could go either way.

Let’s Discuss: Politically Motivated Lit

Literature has always been a reflection of its time, a response to the author’s world. There was Charles Dickens who helped expose the wrongs of child labor through Oliver Twist. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee explored to issue of racial injustice. Arthur Miller’s The Crucible was a response to McCarthyism. These authors wrote books that were politically motivated, yet they are all books I love.

However, I find myself annoyed with politically motivated books today. Even though I loved The Hate U Give, I felt like parts of it were too preachy. And while reading This Is Where It Ends (a book about a school shooting), I felt like it used both tragedy and the political climate to make a sale.

But what I find interesting is that I have more patience for politically motivated works in classic literature than I do in modern literature. Perhaps it’s because I feel so separated from the politics in classic literature–I wasn’t even alive during the time they were published. Perhaps it’s also my general aversion towards politics. After all, I’m definitely the type to zone out and remain silent in political discussions. Or perhaps the authors we remember are the ones who did it better.

Or maybe I feel overstimulated because we live in a world dominated by social media and political commentary, so I want my books to be an escape from the “real world”.

But then, there’s a part of me that thinks it’s actually quite difficult to write a book concerning a political issue without it being “preachy” or an attempt to make money off of a real problem. There’s this fine line that I feel like many current authors are falling off of. Or at least, they’re tripping here and there.

Anyway, I’m interested in hearing your thoughts. Do you read books that are more politically centered? Do you avoid them? Why/why not? Sound off in the comments below :).