Saturday, February 6, 2016

January Wrap-Up

Books I Read

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

3.5/5

It's a fun read, especially great for a gray day when you're stuck inside with a blanket and a book. But definitely read it for the plot and not so much the characters, since the only one I really liked was Charlotte. You can read my review HERE.

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

5/5

LOVE LOVE LOVE. This book was absolutely brilliant. It's one of the best graphic novels I've read in a while. If you're a fan of "Megamind," Dungeons & Dragons, and quick reads that will make you giggle, pick this one up.

Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver

4/5

I'd read the Delirium series a while ago, so I was excited to see how it compared. I thought her writing was fabulous in this one. The friendship between the main characters was sweet, and the whole plot reminded me a little of Cinderella, except with a more paranormal magical theme. You can read my review HERE.

Winter by Marissa Meyer 

5/5

Holy banana nut muffins, HOW CAN I EVEN. Marissa Meyer couldn't have possibly made this conclusion to her absolutely fantastic series any better. The action was nearly nonstop, all of the ships were totally adorable (especially Thress--if it were possible to hug a ship, I'd hug them), and the ending was perfect. I DEMAND A TV SERIES ADAPTATION.

Movies I Watched

"Kiki's Delivery Service"

3/5

Cute, fun, and whimsical. Out of all the anime movies I've seen, this is one of the better ones.

"Serenity"

5/5

Great ending to the TV series! Although there were more than a few times where I was totally taken by surprise with the plot twists. I wish the show lasted longer than it did, I would've been more than happy to binge-watch the Firefly gang.

"Ghostbusters"

3/5

Oh so cheesy, but it's a fun movie. The whole team reminded me of a slightly more professional version of the "Ghostfacers" from "Supernatural." I'm glad I saw it with the new female version coming out!

"Monty Python and the Holy Grail"

4/5

I loved it! I knew a lot of the references already thanks to the internet, but it's fun to have context now. Dry British humor is a favorite of mine, and this movie had plenty of it, along with plenty of ridiculousness.

"Sense & Sensibility"

 3.5/5

After a while, all of the Jane Austen stories start to sound the same to me, but I always enjoy them. The cast was great, and the story still had a few surprising twists and turns. It was a little strange to see Alan Rickman in such a different role, but he was fantastic as always.

"Moulin Rouge"

5/5

Oh. My. Gosh. This movie is nuts. It took me a good twenty minutes to figure out what the heck was going on, but I loved all of it. The music is really what made it, and the story, the production, everything was bombastic. I highly recommend it.

"Skyfall"

4/5

Another great Bond film! I won't give anything away, but there was one part in particular I totally didn't see coming at all. I haven't seen any other actors as James Bond, but Daniel Craig is definitely exactly how I imagined the character would be. The villain this time was super fun to watch just because of how insane he was.

Quotes I Wrote

Mr. Hudson had somehow managed to produce bandages out of thin air, because he wrapped my hands now, the stinging dulled by the effects of the injection coursing through my blood now. He wouldn't look at me. I think because it hurt too much. “Ms. Holmes, you try to block out your past with these things. But it doesn't work. It's a temporary solution to a more permanent problem. You have to face this kind of pain head on. It's what will keep you alive, keep you human.”
“I don't want it,” I whined, and curled up in a tighter ball on the floor. I knew I sounded exactly like a child, but I didn't have the energy to care. “Why do people bother with it?”
Mr. Hudson sighed heavily and put his hand on my shoulder, squeezing gently. “Because the love that came before makes it worth it.”
“Memories,” I whispered, eyes burning, but years of repressing them seemed to make it impossible to let them fall. “That's all I've got.”
“You can't bring her back.”
“Then what can I do?” I snapped.
“What you always do.” Mr. Hudson leaned to the side to pick up the sketchbook I'd flung across the room in my rage. Several of the pages were barely hanging on, mostly torn from the binding. He set it by my side, but I didn't take it. “Use that brain of yours and get to work.”
--Ms. Holmes

“Ms. Holmes?” Came Mr. Hudson's voice. He knocked on the door, though he didn't wait for my answer before he opened it. He came bearing tea. Of course he did. We were English, after all. How else would one deal with a difficult situation?
--Ms. Holmes

“What in the hell are you doing?” I gasped when I walked into the living room and saw the disaster before me.
The entire area was clean. Spotless. Every paper out of place, stacked into neat piles, coats hung up on the rack. It looked like he'd recruited a bloody armada of cleaning ladies.
“What does it look like?” Mr. Hudson said impatiently, adjusting the items on the fireplace so he could do another sweep with the duster. A cloud of gray flecks flew up, catching the light coming in from the window. “I'm dusting.”
“No, you're cleaning.” I spat out the word like a filthy swear, rushing over to look at the piles. “And—dear god. You've organized?!”
Mr. Hudson nodded, lips twitching ever so slightly in amusement. “The papers are alphabetically, sketchbooks by date.”
“How dare you.”
--Ms. Holmes

So Faye Moriarty had struck again.
How stupid I’d been not to consider her as a possibility right away. Not even iron doors could hold her forever, that much I knew. Because she was clever. Mad. An insane, dangerous, genius criminal.
And with just a few twists of fate, she could’ve been me.
I could’ve been her.
--Ms. Holmes 

Clicking a bullet into place, I held the gun with steady hands and aimed for her heart. “I’ll ask you one more time, where is he?”
Faye’s lips twitched, as if a laugh were bubbling up and it took every bit of her energy and concentration not to let it out. “Oh, my dear detective. You won’t shoot me.”
I raised my eyebrows. “What makes you so sure of that?”
She took a step closer, and another, until the barrel of the gun pressed right up against her chest. I inhaled sharply, held my breath.
“Because you’re me,” she whispered. She lifted one of her long, slender fingers, pressed the tip of her fingernail against my chin to tilt it up. I shuddered. “And though it’s going to fail, I know you have plans for me. Big plans, bombastic plans. Just as I have plans for you.”
--Ms. Holmes

God, this is impossible!” I raged three days after my return, throwing the pages into the air.
“You’re overthinking it,” Dawn said without even looking up from her cup of tea and the newspaper. She was the picturesque of calm whilst I clawed at the walls and tore down every paper I’d pinned up.
Dawn merely glanced sideways, continuing to stroke the cat that had curled up at her side. “Watch the pins, Astrid. Sir Mittens could choke.”
I muttered something about how it might be a good thing. Dawn threw a pencil at me.
--Ms. Holmes

“It just doesn’t make sense. What’s the most obvious place? Where would he hide? Where would Faye hide him? Are you going to help me with this or do I need to think of it all on my own?”
Dawn set the newspaper by her side and held up her hands in surrender. “Usually when I try to help you end up shushing me. I didn’t think you needed me for this.”
I blinked at her. “Of course I need you, you’re my partner. Even if you’re not a genius like I am, you help me think things through. Usually anything you think of is too dull and obvious to be true, but it looks like in this case that’s exactly what I need. I’m too well trained to be obvious, my mind goes right past those things to what’s important.”
“I don’t know whether to be flattered or insulted.”
“Maybe a bit of a both.”
“Good plan.”
--Ms. Holmes

“Why didn't you tell anyone?”
“No one listened.”
He folds his hands in his lap, unimpressed by my answer. It's the truth, though. But he knows that already. The light attached to the metal crown I wear is still green.
It was just a job; three years of watching her through that screen.
“And you killed her?”
I press my fingernails into my legs. “Yes.”
“Why?”
“I didn't have a choice.”
“You always have a choice.”
I pull against my restraints, cold metal digging into my chest, until I can rest my elbows on the table in order to lean closer to him. I am calm, even though inside I am fire.
“How much time do you have?”
He sets his NetScreen on the table and stares at me without blinking. “All the time in the world.”
“Then let me tell you a story.”
--So far untitled sci-fi story . . .

Obsessions I Acquired

Nothing this month, unless you count my continued obsession with "Castle." It just keeps getting better!! The meta humor and "Firefly" references and edge-of-your-seat mysteries keep you glued to the screen. My mom has even started watching bits here and there when she's in the same room as me just because it's so easy to get sucked into.

Oh wait, I lied! This song has been on repeat ever since I watched the "Castle" episode it was featured on. It's especially cool because one of the actors is actually singing in it.

Picture of the Month

A few of my writer friends I met at camp last year and I went to an Escape Room and it was awesome. And yes, that is me in a deerstalker.

How was your January?

8 People Made Me Happy By Commenting! :D:

Carly said...

I checked out Nimona from my local library, but never really got around to reading it... I suspect it's time for me to give it a second chance!
I JUST FINISHED WINTER TOO. WE MUST DISCUSS. I just posted a review on my blog, so I hope to be able to chat with you about all the amazing details there! :D
Kiki's Delivery Service was my childhood. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it! Have you watched any other Studio Ghibli movies yet?
OH MY GOSH. I HAVE MET ANOTHER FIREFLY WATCHER. I just started the series a couple days ago and I can tell that I'm already way too invested. Kaylee and Simon forever!
Oh my... your WIPs sound so good! I'm very intrigued about the untitled sci-fi story...
I've never been to an Escape Room before! It sounds list so much fun. I know a few people that have gone to one before. The closest I've gotten to one is being in a Murder Mystery which I have to say is very tough competition in terms of awesomeness, but we'll see...

Geraldine said...

Seems like January has been such a good month for you in terms of reading!
AND OMG A CASTLE FAN?? :D
IM GLAD YOU LIKE ITTT <3 it's my favourite TV show haha and it's the only one I ever bother watching on time ...xD

Siths and Jedis said...

"Castle." "Castle." "Castle." You have been watching that for days! You seem to really enjoy it, but really . . . I mean, you are watching it as I make this comment. Great post overall. I liked Liesl and Poe too!

Lara Liz said...

GAH THOSE QUOTES ARE AMAZING I NEED MS. HOLMES APPROXIMATELY NOW. Seriously. Mr. Hudson is incredibly nice - I just want to give him a hug - and yes to the whole tea thing. I might be an English person who doesn't like tea (shock horror) but Astrid would definitely appreciate such a beverage, if she's anything like Sherlock.

I'm also super intrigued by A Study in Charlotte. So thanks for the Sherlock fix!

Boquinha said...

Love the quotes!! I love these sneak peeks into your novels and WIPs!

Castle! OMG, Castle! I can't even . . .

I need to read Nimona.

The Magic Violinist said...

@Carly Yes, definitely! You won't regret it!

EEE, PLEASE, LET'S DISCUSS. I'll have to check it out!

So far I've seen "Howl's Moving Castle" and "My Neighbor Totoro," but I know my brother wants me to see more. He's a huuuge Anime fan.

It's addictive, for sure! I'm sad there was only one season. Nathan Fillion just manages to play awesome characters wherever he goes.

Thank you! :) Haha, I am, too, considering I basically have no outline for it yet . . .

Ooh, Murder Mysteries are so much fun! I went to one at the Renaissance Faire where I work and had a blast. :) I'm sure an Escape Room will be right up your alley.

@Geraldine It so was. I'm hoping that continues for a while! *crosses fingers*

I'm so addicted, it's not even funny. xD I even got my mom (sort of) sucked into it. Now I only have to wait for the library to get season 7 in so I can watch it. THAT CLIFFHANGER. *shakes fist at the TV*

@Lara Liz THIS MAKES MY DAY, YOU HAVE NO IDEA. I want to give Mr. Hudson a hug, too, especially since Astrid usually flat-out refuses. xD I used to hate tea, but I've grown to appreciate it more and more, especially with my fascination with anything British.

You should definitely pick it up sometime!

@Boquinha Thank you! :)

Hehehe, aren't you glad you got sucked into it? ;)

Yes, yes you do.

Taylor Lynn said...

I think Liesl & Po is the only book off of that list I've read, but I remember it being quite cute--and yes, very Cinderella-esque! And as for your quotes, these are awesome; the ones from Ms. Holmes are intriguing (and the one with the dusting is funny!), and I enjoyed reading them! (Also, Astrid is a fabulous character name. I like it almost as much as I like Agnes, which, if I decide to have kids someday, is what I might consider naming one of them. Because OLD-FASHIONED CUTENESS. Ahem.)

The Magic Violinist said...

@Taylor Lynn It was very cute! :) I love fairytale retellings, and that one just reminded me so much of one. Thank you! I try to add a fair bit of snark in between the drama that is a Sherlock Holmes story. (Thanks so much!! I LOVE her name. And Agnes is a great name! I think I love it even more because of "Despicable Me," which if you haven't seen, you should. xD You'll love her character.)