Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts: YA Edition

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).

  1.  Finished John Green’s new novel, Turtles All the Way Down, last night and I’m having mixed reactions to it.  On the one hand, the way Green puts us inside the head of his OCD character makes it a compelling, fascinating read.  On the other, it feels like a  YA novel where the teens are far too precocious and witty for their own good.
  2. oneofusFinally closing in on the end of the audiobook of One of Us Is Lying.  It’s entertaining enough, but I’ve got some issues with parts of it.  If you’re not familiar with it, the premise is that five kids walk into detention and only four walk out.  One kid dies from an allergic reaction to peanut oil and the other four are left looking like suspects.  Told from shifting first-person perspectives of the four surviving students (each one out of a John Hughes movie), I can’t help but get a bit frustrated at the adults in the novel, especially the police.  They’re fairly ineffective and seem to not be investigating anything beyond our four suspects for long stretches of the story.  Meanwhile, our suspects band together and start to Scooby Doo what’s really happened and happening.  I wonder if the audiobook with its ten-hour runtime is contributing to this.
  3. I see that One of Us Is Lying has been optioned as a tv-show.  I think it would work as a single-season mystery.
  4. Finally starting to get over the cold that Shortcake brought home from daycare.  It’s not been fun.  I hate taking prednisone because I feel like I’m about to bust out my skin and then I have insomnia.  I sometimes wonder if the cure is worse than the disease.
  5. The Vols need a new head football coach.  I like Butch Jones, but after Saturday’s debacle, I can’t see how he stays.  Nice guy who is going to get fired. That said, I do NOT want Lane Kiffin to come back like a subset of Vols’ fans want.  He’s a violation waiting to happen and he dumped us in the middle of the night to jet for USC.  I can forgive, but I won’t forget.
  6. After a week off from exercise due to illness, I got out and ran for the first time yesterday.  And it was glorious. Great weather for it.  Alas, my phone reset in the middle of my run, meaning that RunKeeper didn’t track the whole activity, thus bringing up the age-old dilemma of “If I ran but RunKeeper didn’t track it, did I really run?”
  7. So many shows I want to catch up on, so little time.  Seriously, I need to make a list and just starting being intentional about what I watch and catch up on.  First up may be finishing Stranger Things season so I can watch season two when it drops next week.  I’ve also got to find time for Bosch, The Man in the High Castle, most of the Netflix Marvel shows that aren’t centered on Daredevil and 13 Reasons Why.  And this list doesn’t include Game of Thrones (I stopped in season four)!
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Star Trek: Discovery: Choose Your Pain

MV5BMGI3MmY1NWMtY2IxOC00MWEzLTg4OTMtNGE1ZGM3YmRmZTVlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzQ0MDUyMzg@._V1_With “Choose Your Pain,” Discovery begins to dig a little deeper into its characters and some interesting questions surrounding the exploration of the final frontier.

While being held prisoner by the Klingons, Lorca is called out by Harcourt Fenton Mudd (better known as Harry in a call back to the original series) over Starfleet’s perceived arrogance at heading out into the final frontier and expecting the rest of the universe to be fine with it.  Mudd argues that Starfleet failed to take into account how parties that weren’t Starfleet officers might react to this – from the humans who already had business in space to the various alien races that humanity would encounter during its exploration of the final frontier.  In some ways, Mudd’s argument echoes the concerns the Vulcan’s had about turning humanity lose into the stars without some kind of guidance or training wheels that we saw repeatedly on Enterprise.  And, on some level, Mudd has some valid points, whether it’s the fact that Lorca destroyed his own ship or that Starfleet has started a war with the Klingons that is having a huge impact on the rest of the galaxy.  It certainly has had an impact on Mudd himself, though a lot of what let Mudd to that cell is his own doing. Continue reading

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Review: Breaking Bad 101 by Alan Sepinwall

Breaking Bad 101: The Complete Critical CompanionLooking back, I wish I could say I was on board with Breaking Bad from the beginning.

Lured by the potential of a former X-Files writer, I tuned into the first installment and let the first season stack up on my DVR – only to delete it when the DVR got full.

I didn’t quite connect with what Vince Gilligan and company were trying to do in season one. But with seasons two and three generating such a huge buzz, I decided to give the show another try. Like the product at the center of this show, I was hooked, binging all of season three in the weekend leading up to the debut of season four and then breathlessly waiting each new installment as they aired. Continue reading

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TV Round-Up: Star Trek: Discovery & The Flash

Star Trek: Discovery: The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry

discovery41After three episodes of laying the ground-work for Discovery, the fourth episode finally settles in and begins to delve a little deeper into the characters and situation.  It makes for a fascinating hour and one that is this series’ best and most Trek-like so far.

As with “The Devil in the Dark from TOS, Discovery finds out that just because a creature looks and acts like a monster from our point of view, that doesn’t necessarily make it the case.  The tardigrade isn’t blindly attacking people or killing indiscremently.  Like the Horta, its attack response is done in self-defense.   The crew of the Glenn attempted to use the creature serve as a navigator for the spore drive with not disastrous results (though I wonder how much of the twisted alien bodies we saw on the Glenn comes from using the drive without the creature as a navigator and falling into some type of star or anomaly like Discovery does on its first attempt).  The creature lashes out when attacked or in danger but is fairly docile when allowed to feed on the spores.  Apparently, the creature and the spores can somehow connect to warp around the galaxy in the blink of an eye. Continue reading

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Top Ten Tuesday: Fall Themed Book Covers

top-ten-tues-halloween

While our weather hasn’t turned much cooler yet, fall is finally here!  To celebrate the return of my favorite season, Top Ten Tuesday this week (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish) is all about book covers that reflect the season.

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Audiobook Review: Fast Girl by Suzy Favor Hamilton

Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running from MadnessThe best DVD commentaries come when the participants have had an opportunity to perspective thank to the passage of time. It allows for a more honest assessment of what worked, what didn’t work and what could or should have done differently.

Listening to Suzy Favor Hamilton’s Fast Girl, I kept feeling like I wish she’d allowed a little more time to pass before penning (or in this case ghost-writing) her autobiography. Hamilton spends large chunks of the book focusing on the highs she got from first competitive running and later as a high-end escort in Las Vegas and very little (if any time) focusing on the lessons she learned from these experiences or the consequences and/or impact on her life and the lives of her family and friends. While the salacious details of her year as one of the top escorts in Vegas may sell a few books, I walked away from this book feeling like Hamilton left a lot of unexamined issues and questions on the table. Continue reading

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Review: Bless Her Heart by Sally Kilpatrick

Bless Her HeartPosey Love hates three little words. Every time someone says, “Bless your heart,” Posey sees red.

But who could blame her? Her life hasn’t exactly turned out the way she pictured it would. After a decade of marriage, Posey hoped to be raising a child with her pastor husband. Still aching each month as she hopes for a positive instead of a negative indicator on a pregnancy test, Posey finds her world turned upside down when her husband absconds with another woman and leaves her with a repossessed car and a pile of outstanding debt.

Moving back in with her mom, Posey decides that she’ll “give up” going to church for the Lenten season and follow her younger sister’s advice to experience each of the seven Deadly sins during those forty days. Continue reading

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