Thursday, June 1, 2017

May Wrap-Up

Books I Read

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jaqueline Woodson

3.5/5

This had lovely writing! Every page was simple and beautiful. The story it told was a little hard to follow, though, since there were so many characters introduced quickly. There were also chapters that jumped back in time, making it more confusing. Overall, I really liked reading about Jackie growing up and learning she loved writing.

A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman

5/5

It was a little slow to start, so I was skeptical at first, but I loved it! It was funny and made me cry at the end and I loved the characters, even grumpy old Ove. If you've seen "St. Vincent," it reminded me a lot of that, except I liked this book better.

Alex & Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz

3.5/5

Imagine Pride & Prejudice except with Hamilton and the Schuyler sisters. It was fluffy and romantic and fun to read, but it was also really slow at times when there was no reason to be. There were plenty of chances for far more exciting chapters, but instead we got detailed descriptions about the gowns Angelica and Peggy wore. Clearly it was written at the perfect time to capitalize on the "Hamilton" craze, which I didn't mind, but that meant I was disappointed by Angelica's portrayal in particular. Everything I've read about her relationship with Hamilton, especially from the Ron Chernow biography, said that she and Hamilton shared an intense sibling-like bond due to their passionate natures and razor-sharp wit. In Alex & Eliza, though, Angelica comes off as rude, snotty, and mean. Hamilton and Eliza did come off exactly how I imagined they would, though, which made up for it.

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham

3.5/5

This is supposed to be a fictional book, but I'm pretty sure more than some of it could have been autobiographical. Franny reminded me tons of Lauren Graham, which meant I really liked her! There was never a dull moment, either, and though I didn't like a lot of the other characters, I was interested by them. The notes on the calendar that broke up some of the chapters were fun to look at, too, but the handwriting was almost illegible at times, which detracted from the cutesy aspect of it. I won't give anything away, but what was that ending. I love ambiguous endings, but this one felt less ambiguous and more unfinished. I had to take a minute to reread some of it because I was sure I missed something. I'm still a little confused, but I'd still recommend reading it for the rest of the story.

Animal Farm by George Orwell

3/5

Despite the fact that I could barely keep up with the characters (there were so many animals omg), this was super clever. It was the perfect portrayal of a rebellion gone wrong that ultimately leads to a dictator rising to power. Some of it was slow or hard to follow, but I liked it more than I thought I would.

Movies I Watched

"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2"

4/5

Baby Groot did not disappoint. He totally stole the show with how adorable he was. And this movie was even funnier than the first! Even if some of it was predictable (wow, I had no idea that guy would be evil, gosh, what a plot twist . . .), I enjoyed it. It was full of humor and heart.

"Doubt"

4/5

This followed the play pretty closely, which I liked, and Meryl Streep was the perfect choice for Sister Aloysius. Amy Adams played Sister James a little differently than I pictured her, but it wasn't bad. And I'm so glad they kept the ending the same, because I really liked how much it made you think and come to your own conclusions.

Picture of the Month 

My mom and I went to see "Waitress" on Broadway. Sara Bareilles was perfect and the show was so fun! Tons of the cast came out for autographs afterwards.
Selfies at the beach.
My friend Dana came over to goof off with me, hence the weird selfie in the upper left corner.
How was your May?

12 People Made Me Happy By Commenting! :D:

abigail lennah said...

I'M CRYING YOU SAW WAITRESS (with Sara Bareilles, aka the QUEEN*). I AM DECEASED.

xoxo Abigail Lennah (aka Morning)
*Sara Bareilles >>>> Beyonce and so help me fight me.

The Magic Violinist said...

@Abigail

I still don't quite believe it. She was so great! Of course her singing was perfect, but she was a fantastic actress as well. :)

Jesse Porter said...

Animal Farm

One of the unfortunate aspects of "Animal Farm" was that Orwell, while forced to face the facts about Russia in the aftermath of the revolution, never quite released his enamoration with Communism, thus was of two minds muddying the ending of his parable. He was not the only one not able to see the fundamental flaws the system. Perhaps his criticism, cloaked in agrarianism, was intended to deflect rejection of communism outright in light of Marx and Engles's concentration on industrial capitalism.

Rain said...

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 WAS AMAZING. I loved Baby Groot too, but Gamora is my favourite character. :)

Jimmy said...

I can only comment on two items because I need to read more, watch more movies, and get to Broadway more.

Doubt was great. And it did what it intended to do with the ending because after we saw it, Joy and I completely disagreed on whether or not the priest was guilty. (He wasn't.)

Animal Farm. I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would, too. Still relevant. Jesse's comment above is interesting. I did not realize that Orwell was enamored with Communism. Perhaps I missed something. I thought it was pretty clear that his message pro capitalism all the way. It's been several years since I read it.

You didn't name this play, but I thought I'd share anyway. Our family saw a local production of Mary Poppins on Saturday and I left thinking wow Mary Poppins has so many great songs. After watching Step In Time on youtube from the actual Broadway production, I'd love to see it on a bigger stage in a more state-of-the-art venue. What we saw here was great though. I was proud of our local talent.


The Magic Violinist said...

@Jesse Porter

Wow, that's really interesting. I had no idea George Orwell thought that. It definitely wasn't clear in the book. Fascinating!

@Rain

Right?! And Gamora is fantastic. She kicks butt and she's sarcastic.

@Jimmy

Those all sound like good things to have on your to-do list. ;)

Ooh, it's always fun to see how split people are on that issue. I totally thought he was guilty, but some of my classmates in my theater class didn't think he was at all.

"Mary Poppins" is great. Every time I watch it, I remember how much more I like it than I thought I did. I'm really excited for the "Mary Poppins Returns" movie. :)

Emma said...

I've watched the movie for 'A Man Called Ove' and love love loved it! I've been really meaning to read the book that it was based on, so it's great to hear you liked it! Also, I agree with Animal Farm. There was... a large mob of animals and they were very hard to keep up with.

Aaah awesome you got to see Waitress! My friend has been urging me to listen to the soundtrack for ages, but I haven't yet, eep. Also your dog/that dog at the beach is so photogenic haha!

The Magic Violinist said...

@Emma

Ooh, that's good news about the movie then! I'm super excited to watch it. Oh, for sure. Especially at the beginning when you get ten different animals thrown at you in a single page.

Eee, yes, you have to listen to it! It's so fun and sweet. Hehe, Scout is very photogenic when she actually decides to look at the camera. ;)

Boquinha said...

Fun post. I loved Ove, too. And we need to discuss the ending of Someday, Someday, Maybe, because I don't remember it. :P

Waitress is very special to me and I love it for so many reasons. What a delightful musical! I loved spending the day in NYC and seeing it with you. <3

The Magic Violinist said...

@Boquinha

Ha, maybe the ending wasn't very memorable. :P But yes, we should.

It'd be hard to get sick of the music. That's one I can revisit over and over again. So much fun!

Heather said...

I enjoyed Brown Girl Dreaming, too! I listened to it in my car last year. I was interested by the biographical elements, even though some areas I felt were confusing, too. I should maybe try Animal Farm again, now that I have a greater understanding of the world (ish). And I'm glad you liked Guardians of the Galaxy V.2! I haven't seen it yet, but I am curious. :)

The Magic Violinist said...

@Heather

Ooh, there's an audiobook? Did the poetry translate well in that format? Sometimes poems sound really cool read aloud, but I thought this book had a lot of interesting visual formatting.

You should! I enjoyed it, and I usually like classics better the second (or third) time I read them because I get something new out of it once I'm older.