My reading this month looks a little sparse, but in addition to the books below, I also impulsively reread the Ellie Sweet series by Stephanie Morrill. I was so worried I wouldn't enjoy it as much as I did when I was a wee baby writer and reader, but I thoroughly enjoyed both books! Of course there were some aspects I was able to notice and criticize with a more mature eye, but I still loved them. It was the exact cozy nostalgic feeling I needed this month.
Books I Read
This is an imaginative new way of looking at the Cinderella fairytale and I'm here for it. You should know though that while there some some spooky/creepy aspects to this book, it's not the horror/gothic tale you might be expecting based off of the title, cover, and plot description. I was definitely expecting something slightly different, and while I didn't mind what I got instead, it was still jarring. This book is closer to a dystopian story than a horror one. But it was still really cool! I loved the concept, it read quickly, and the lesbianssss. Sophia is the perfect dystopian heroine, but Constance really stole the show. She is the epitome of the "girls with sharp knives and tongues" trope and I loved it. The ending/wrap-up of the whole story did feel a little too neat (especially when the story gives every opportunity for something grittier), but it was a solid book overall.
Movies I Watched
I know I shouldn't compare "Us" to "Get Out," but I couldn't help doing so a little bit when I watched. I think since "Get Out" was so good, it made "Us" pale in comparison. "Us" was a really good horror movie with excellent acting and creepy scenarios. I freaking loved Gabe too; he was the perfect light-hearted addition to an otherwise dark film. The thing that kept me from giving it the full five stars is that I was really confused by a lot of the doppelganger concept. There were several info-dumpy monologues from those creatures and yet I felt like I didn't learn anything from them. And not every Jordan Peele movie has to have a clear "message" or some sort of strong symbolic theme, but this movie clearly tried to have one, and I couldn't figure out what it was. It felt like they tried to cram too many messages into one movie but they didn't flesh out any of them enough to have one shine through. It fell flat for me because of it. If you're going to go for a metaphor, go for it. But don't try to have fifteen themes in one two-hour movie. If I hadn't watched "Get Out" first though, I think I would've loved this one even more. And even though this entire paragraph was about what I didn't get, I'll finish by saying I did really enjoy it! It was an excellent movie and I would recommend it to anyone looking for new horror films.
I was expecting to hate this but it was actually so good. 😂 The concept is so bizarre, but this movie didn't take itself seriously at all. It was so funny! The characters and acting are fantastic and I loved rooting for the heroine because despite getting thrown into this weird-ass situation without any warning, she wasted no time in acting and being as resourceful as possible to survive. She didn't make any of the classic horror movie mistakes by acting stupid and getting herself backed into corners and she didn't waste time whining (even when a little bit of whining was completely warranted). I loved that while the characters were creepy and unhinged they were also goofy. This whole story was like a parody on supernatural horror plots. I would definitely recommend it.
This was another hilarious, goofy horror film that didn't take itself seriously, but it was like the redneck version (in stark contrast to the rich socialite version of "Ready or Not"). The over-the-topness of it all was funny and ridiculous, it just wasn't my cup of tea enough to give it a higher rating. I much preferred the dry satire and the characters in "Ready or Not" to the goofiness of this one.
I liked "Saw" better than "Saw 2" just because I felt like more creativity was utilized in the first one in regards to the setting and the newness of the concept. But this one was still excellent: great traps and an excellent twist at the end.
Though the effects in this one were disgusting (in a good way), I wasn't as big a fan of this sequel. I much prefer the conflict that comes from multiple people going through a house/location with traps together than following a single character through several traps. The plot twist at the end was just as good as the other twists, but I didn't enjoy the John/medical storyline as much. It weakened the tension for me.
Great indie flick! Excellent characters, simple concept, lots of humor and heart. I predicted a lot of what was going to happen, which was why I had to drop the rating a little, but I really enjoyed it. Check it out on Netflix if you want something short and sweet.
My least favorite installment in the series so far. Not a terrible movie, just confusing and weaker than the rest. John has like a bazillion tragic backstories and at this point they're just . . . unnecessary. And the twist at the end/the timeline of events was so confusing. Not to mention that we're given a set of almost entirely new characters and I wasn't a huge fan of most of them. This sequel had a very different feeling from the rest of the "Saw" movies; it was more of a cop/detective story than a true Jigsaw trap.
Obsessions I Acquired
The "Serial" podcast - For as much as I love detective shows, I can't believe I didn't get into true crime podcasts earlier! Some of my writer friends recommended a bunch of different podcasts to me, so I'm excited to check them all out.
Quotes I Wrote
My Josie Jones book is quickly turning into a plot-less story filled with quirky characters who sit around and crack sarcastic jokes all day. Which is how all of my first drafts turn out. Ah, the joys of drafting contemporaries . . . At least I get fun passages like this every so often:
“So, my love life’s a mess,” I said.
I took a short pause to see what they’d say—hopefully something encouraging and supportive—but Dad just kept stirring the onions and garlic in a saucepan. Mom gave me a look that said, “Of course. Go on.”
Great. Thank you. Real supportive, guys.
“And I kind of, maybe, just possibly invited both girls I like to this huge end-of-summer party that’s supposed to be bombastic and amazing and that’s in like two months and I’ve done absolutely zero planning.”
“Sounds like you’ve gotten yourself into a pickle,” Mom said.
“A pickle? Mom, can you not be a boomer for like two seconds.”
Mom gasped dramatically. “Hey, I resent that. I’m a proud Gen-Xer.”
“Yeah, we’re hip,” Dad said, smirking as he bumped his literal hip with Mom’s.
Again. Real helpful. Thank you both oh-so-much.
Pictures of the Month
|Messing around during Kids On Bikes|
|I finished the "Go Teen Writers" 100-for-100 challenge! So naturally I had to celebrate with peach cobbler and a pumpkin spice latte.|
|Distanced backyard Domino's and "Supernatural" date! My brother can say what he wants, but Domino's is clearly the superior pizza chain . . .|
|Doing dramaturgy work outside.|
|I was having a bad day, so Josh surprised me with a peanut butter and chocolate smiley face creation.|
|Printed out my Angel of the Underworld manuscript so I can go to town with my highlighters and colored pens. I'm about 100 pages in and oof, it definitely needs some work . . .|
|Josh, Max, and I have all been zooming while we watch "Saw" together, and inevitably our names end up being something ridiculous.|
|I got new glasses! Finally! I can see!|
|Distanced Five Guys picnic date!|
|A friend of ours is doing outdoor dance lessons so we can stay masked and distanced! It's been so much fun!|
|Discord movie night with my friends Hope and Toni!|
|And now for Scout pictures!|
|She's a little dramatic after getting a bath.|
How was your September? Leave a comment!