Friday, March 4, 2016

February Wrap-Up

Books I Read

Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

4/5

I'm not exactly sure how to begin to describe the story. For a couple days I kept switching my rating from 3.5 to 4 and back to 3.5 again. This book was odd in both ways that made me like it but also not sure what to think of it. There were times I'd get lost in beautiful writing and characters that leapt off the page, and other times I was just confused and bored and wondering if I'd continue. It had a style similar to We Were Liars, but it lacked the rawness. It was both simplistic and complicated, but all of those tangling chapters and plot lines left me feeling just kind of...empty. Like the story won't stay with me a month later. But after letting all of these feelings sit, I'm giving this a firm four stars. The story was actually very unique and whimsical and the annoyances I had with it were minor compared to the rest.

Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate

DNF


The cover was so enticing I thought I'd take a chance and go into it blind to see what I thought. I didn't really know what to expect as I hadn't heard anything else about it, but I was pretty disappointed right away. It was a lot of high school girl drama. I can't stand that sort of thing, nor can I relate to it. The whole seven deadly sins premise was intriguing, but it wasn't enough to carry me through the story. That's not to say someone else won't enjoy it, but it wasn't my kind of book.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell 

4/5

Where to begin with this book?! Despite the distracting similarities to Harry Potter (although that really only lasted for the first 100 pages or so), I loved the story! It was a magic school with a unique twist, once you got past the beginning. I loved Simon and Baz as strong protagonists with depth and personality. Everything Rainbow Rowell touches turns to gold, so I'm not surprised that I loved this, too. This book is a must for fans of her YA book Fangirl, but anyone who's a fan of YA fantasy or Harry Potter can and should read it! Although I do definitely recommend reading Fangirl first to give it some context.

Movies I Watched

"The Music Man"

3/5

This movie was full of life and lightheartedness. The scenes always had bright colors and music you could dance to, and a very simple plot. All of that I liked. It was one of the cornier musicals I'd seen, though a few parts did make me giggle. But the main characters just did not strike me as a good fit for each other. They had absolutely no chemistry. It's a fun movie for the family, but be warned, the songs will stay stuck in your head for a long time! Read my review HERE.

"The Sixth Sense"

5/5

Oh my gosh, this entire movie was brilliant. I especially appreciated the paranormal eerie vibe and creep factor being a "Supernatural" fan, but it was the plot twists that really made it. That and the amazing acting from Haley Joel Osment. It's hard to talk too much about it without giving anything away, but take my word for it and go watch it if you haven't already!

"Hercules"

4/5

My favorite part of "Hercules" were the characters. They all had their funny moments, villain included, and personalities that felt more unique rather than a copy of other Disney characters. My favorite character was Hades, just because he was an antagonist that cracked me up, like Lucifer from "Supernatural." Read my review HERE.

"The Bourne Identity"

4/5

I definitely recommend this movie, as well as its sequels, to fans of "James Bond." I love espionage shows and movies, and this one kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Plus, Matt Damon was perfect for this role.

"Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark" 

3.5/5

I'm glad I finally saw an Indiana Jones movie! For a film made so long ago, the effects and acting were actually pretty good. It was exciting and funny at times and all around a fun couple of hours.

"Tarzan"

4/5

The best part of "Tarzan" was the overall story. It wasn't your usual Disney "quest for something" plot, but a more interesting approach to bridging two different worlds. I liked the different relationships between all of the characters as well as being pleasantly surprised about what would happen next. I've seen most of these Disney movies before, but it's been so long since I've seen them, I didn't remember everything about them. However, with the others, it was fairly easy to predict what the next plot twist would be. I didn't feel like that with "Tarzan." Read my review HERE.

"Brooklyn"

4/5

I'd only seen Soarise (pronounced "soar-sha," if you can believe it) Ronan in "The Host," which was a pretty good adaptation, but nothing to scream about, so I was really excited to see her in something else. The overall plot of the movie was really simple, but enjoyable. I liked the characters (especially Tony and his little brother) and anytime Irish accents are involved, it's bound to be that much better. This was a great Indie film.

"The Lion King" 

4/5

I loved the music in "The Lion King" best. It was catchy, fun, but avoided most of the normal cheese that you can expect in a Disney movie. My favorite songs were "Hakuna Matata" and "Can You Feel the Love Tonight." Read my review HERE.

"The Book of Life" 

5/5

How had I not heard about this before?! It's a fantastic animated movie and definitely didn't get enough attention when it came out, seeing as I'd only seen maybe one teaser trailer. The whole thing is beautifully done, very colorful, and has great music. The story was unique, I was giggling throughout most of it, and I loved getting to learn more about Mexican culture.

"The Bourne Supremacy"

4/5

(See above: "The Bourne Identity")

"50 First Dates"

4/5

This was a super cute and fun movie. I'm a big fan of any story that tackles a memory or dream theme in a unique way, and pairing that with a romantic comedy turned out really well. I laughed several times and the characters were sweet.

"Waking Ned Devine"

3.5/5

Oh, this was sooo quirky. In a good way for sure. The dry Irish humor fit perfectly with the simple and yet ridiculous plot of the movie. Every time you thought you knew what was going to happen, it turned out just a little differently. I really liked it.

Quotes I Wrote

“Astrid—” She started in that tone of hers, the one that meant she was about to argue.
“There’s no time, just phone her!”
A pause, then, “Don’t do anything stupid, all right?”
I almost smirked as I glanced sideways at her. “That’s why you’re here.”
-Ms. Holmes

“We have to go.” I hoisted up my skirts without a thought and pulled the gun free, storming out of the room. “He can't have gone far.”
“Astrid—”
“I'm going with or without you!” Was the last thing I called out before flinging the front door open and flying through it.
Even from outside, I thought I heard Dawn mutter another swear that would've had Mr. Hudson in a tizzy about “harsh language.”
-Ms. Holmes

Obsessions I Acquired

No new obsessions this month, although I have been learning how to sign different songs in ASL, which has been fun. I can sign along to most of "Call Me Maybe" as well as "Shake It Off." :)

Picture of the Month

Chocolate chip pancakes from Valentine's Day.
How was your February?

3 People Made Me Happy By Commenting! :D:

Boquinha said...

Yet another fun wrap-up post! I kind of like when after I sit for a while with a film or movie (like you mentioned in your first book review), I gain a different perspective or feeling about it. Sometimes I entirely change my mind about it. It's kind of exhilarating! I'd love to see you sign those songs sometime. Sounds fun. Those pancakes were so cute and delicious. Thanks again!

The Magic Violinist said...

@Boquinha Yes, that's why I often don't rate a movie until a day or two after I've seen it. :) It's also why I read a couple Goodreads reviews of every book I finish. It's very fun! I try to sign along when listening to it now, but I'm not nearly fast enough yet.

Taylor Lynn said...

I think Tarzan is probably my favorite Disney movie. My sisters and I actually watched the whole thing last fall for the first time in years, and I absolutely LOVE it! It's got such a fantastic storyline and the soundtrack is probably the best of any Disney movie, seriously. Also, Jane is fantastic. 6/5 stars. ;) (I should totally rewatch Hercules again, too. I remember hardly anything (if anything at all) about it!)

Also, it's interesting to hear what you thought of Wink Poppy Midnight. I've seen it floating around a lot and I decided to finally add it to my to-read list because beautiful writing + unique plot sound like my jam, but it's good to have another opinion.