Movies

Dumbo is the Cutest Movie Character Ever

Dumbo

Dumbo

Directed By: Tim Burton

The one thing I was sure about this movie was it would make me cry. I teared up in the bloody trailers! And boy those big adorable eyes!

His mom!

I cried like fifteen times in this movie. Dumbo was the cutest thing ever. The humans left a lot to be desired but that’s usually the case.

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Books

The Mermaid is Beside the Point

the mermaid and mrs. hancock

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock

By: Imogen Hermes Gowar

Grade: A-

It seemed like there were a million books about the sea or some creature in it this summer but I knew I wanted to read this one ages ago. It’s an adult novel about a merchant in 1700’s London whose Captain sells his ship for a mermaid corpse. (He takes it a hell of a lot better than most people would by the way.) And how his life intersects with a courtesan trying to manage a better position for herself.

Mermaids and courtesans seemed like a great combination.

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Books

Read Me in the Spring Time!

spring flowers

I’m not one for TBR’s of any kind but the last couple of weeks I’ve been in a very Spring mood and looking at some of the books I’ve been amassing there are a couple that just jump out at me, cover wise especially, like their singing, “I want to be read in the Spring!”

So below are some of the books I’m planning on reading and hopefully you can find some suggestions for good reads for the next couple of weeks!

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Books

The Astonishing Color of After is Lovely

The Astonishing Color of After

The Astonishing Color of After

By: Emily X.R. Pan

Grade: A

On an otherwise good and regular day of high school Leigh returns home to find her mother, whose been suffering from depression, has taken her own life. Lost in grief and shock she soon comes to believe that her mother is visiting her in the form of a bird spurring her to go to Taiwan and meet her grandparents for the first time.

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Books, Other

Owlcrate October: Find Me in the Forest!

Owlcrate October

This months theme was Find Me In The Forest! Once again I was completely wrong about the book (I have to stop guessing) but hey it was a good box anyway. Not very Halloweeny but still.

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Books

Vassa In The Night

vassa

Vassa in the Night

Author: Sarah Porter

Grade: A

The night’s are never ending. Her stepsister is driving her crazy. The magic talking doll she keeps secret has sticky fingers that are getting her into trouble. So when the idea of taking a midnight stroll to the local convenience store, where shoplifters happen to get beheaded, comes up Vassa actually jumps at the chance. It’s there that things get even weirder.

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Books

A Tyranny of Petticoats

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A Tyranny of Petticoats

Edited By: Jessica Spotswood

Genre: Anthology

Grade: A

You can pretty much find a story for anyone in this collection. The stories span about a three hundred year history of time and the authors include people like Marie Lu and Marissa Meyer amongst others. (I’ll admit sometimes I pick up anthologies and I’ve only heard of one of two of the authors or I’ve heard of them but never read anything by them so it was nice to have some very familiar among the new.)

The women in these stories are pirates, bank robbers, business women, radicals and others all of them just trying to survive and find their places in the worlds changing and shifting around them.

I don’t think there’s a story that I didn’t enjoy although some of my favorites included; The Red Raven Ball by Caroline Tung Richmond, The Legendary Garrett Girls by Y.S. Lee (both of which could be longer stories or movies!) and El Destinos by Leslye Walton. In fact  one of the downsides of a collection like this is I could have read quite a few of these as longer stories or books and been happy with them. Sometimes you want more!

The stories are more “based on” certain eras and women. In fact I was surprised by several of the stories having a hefty dose of myth and “magical realism.” That’s an expectations game however. On my part I was expecting something else of the book as a whole. Though it did seem a little odd to have stories about ghosts and the three sisters, who I think were supposed to be the fates, mixed in with super realistic stories like the protests at the 1968 Democratic convention.

Still, the writing was mostly excellent in all the stories. The characters were fun and left an impression in more cases than not and even better in many instances it left me wanting to know more about the time period the stories were set in.

Recommend: Yes.  Just keep in mind this is not going to be a straight historical read and that the two stories in the beginning are kind of downers but otherwise I look at it as a wild adventure through pieces of history with some memorable female characters!

Books

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

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The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

Author: Leslye Walton

Genre: Magical Realism/Special Youth

Grade: A

When she is born to a heartbroken mother Ava Lavender has a beautiful and unexplained set of wings. Her twin brother, who no one expected, doesn’t speak until it’s necessary and has a gift for multiple languages. This is a bit of a weird family going all the way back to her grandmother who quite literally has dead family members still in her life.

Nothing’s ever been easy for these people.

This is a beautifully written book. It’s one of the things that first attracted me to it. Reviewers were talking about how Walton spins the “magic” and makes the “fantastical elements” blend in so seamlessly that you don’t even think they’re out of place. And it’s true. The writing just flies especially when Ava finally takes over the narrative because I found it easier to connect with her than her mother or grandmother.

The thing is about halfway through this book you know something bad is coming and considering the character that’s introduced you can pretty much guess what it’s going to be. I found I was reading it partly for the story but mostly because I just wanted to get it over with and see if everyone I cared about survived it.

I won’t say.

Take away the magic elements and the beautiful language and it’s actually a rather dark and violent book. Now I do think the end really saved it for me. There’s catharsis and, I think, the sense of truly starting over for this poor family.

TW: Suicide, Murder, & Violent Assault

Recommend: Yes. The lovely writing and the story of Ava herself really made this book for me despite some of the darker elements.