movies wrap up · The movie Journal

The Movie Journal: July 2018

The Movie Journal

The Movie Journal is a feature where I keep track of the movies I watch in 2018 and my thoughts about them. Here are the movies I watched in July:

Get Out (4,3 stars) 

A young African-American visits his white girlfriend’s parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him eventually reaches a boiling point.

  • Directed & Written by: Jordan Peele
  • CastDaniel KaluuyaAllison WilliamsBradley Whitford

I went into this movie having no idea what the plot actually was and I was not expecting what happened. Jordan Peele finds a way to use this generic horror movie plot to make a thought provoking movie full with social commentary. Also, the acting in this movie is fantastic and there’s this tension that builds through the entire film that kept me at the edge of my sit.

El Bar (4 stars) 

In bustling downtown Madrid, a loud gunshot and two mysterious deaths trap a motley assortment of common urbanites in a decrepit central bar, while paranoia and suspicion force the terrified regulars to turn on each other.

  • Directed by: Álex de la Iglesia
  • Written by:  Jorge GuerricaechevarríaÁlex de la Iglesia
  • Cast:  Blanca SuárezMario CasasCarmen Machi

This movie is entertaining and funny. The acting is really good, even if the characters are a bit like caricatures. There’s a very big plothole at one point in the movie, but I was able to ignore that for the most part. Honestly, it’s just a fun movie to watch and it manages to puts human behaviour under the microscope in a very smart and captivating way.

Table 19 (4,2 stars) 

Eloise, having been relieved of maid of honor duties after being unceremoniously dumped by the best man via text, decides to attend the wedding anyway, only to find herself seated with five fellow unwanted guests at the dreaded Table 19. 

  • Directed & Written by:  Jeffrey Blitz
  • Cast: Anna KendrickLisa KudrowCraig Robinson

I’m huge fan of movies that are heartfelt comedies with an ensemble cast, so I really enjoyed this one. Also, I love almost anything Anna Kendrick is in, so that help as well. This movie has likable characters, solid performances by the cast, there’s a surprising twist revealed maybe a little less than halfway through the movie that worked really well, and all that makes a charming movie that manages at times to have a real emotional weight.

Jurassic World 2: Fallen Kingdom (4,2 stars) 

When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event.

  • Directed by:  J.A. Bayona
  • Written by: Derek ConnollyColin Trevorrow
  • Cast: Chris PrattBryce Dallas HowardRafe Spall

This is a very entertaining movie, one of my favorite things is that they left the tension build up before the dynosaurs showed up a couple times and it worked really well to convey the scariness of the situation. It’s a fun movie to watch but that’s about it, perfect if you want a family friendly ,enjoyable movie. It had a chance to be a smarter movie with the “do we save the dynosaurs from extintion or not” question, it could have been an exploration of ethics and the responsabilities of humans towards other species, and while that was mentioned, the movie really didn’t go there.

Have you watched any of the movies I mentioned? Did you enjoy them? Do you want to watch any of them? Let me know in the comments! 

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bookish list

5 Books with Amazing Female Friendships

5 books with amazing female friendshipsThe other day I was reading Cait’s post  Should YA Books Focus On Friendship More? (FT. 10 Friendships I Freaking Adore) and it got me thinking that we do need more books with amazing friendships, but I especially would like to see more books with female friendship. I have always thought that if we want more books with certain elements, we need to promote the books that already exist that include those elements, so I went throught the books I have read in 2018 and selected my 5 favorite books with amazing female frienships and here they are:

The Pros of Cons The Pros of Cons by Alison Cherry, Lindsay Ribar & Michelle Schusterman

This is about 3 girls that meet when they are in the same hotel for 3 different cons: a Percussion convention, a fandoms convention and a taxidermy conventionsThese 3 girls meet and help each other through heartbreak, friendship problems & family drama. They are supportive, understanding and wonderful to each other. I almost cried happy tears because there friendship was so heartwarming.

Genre: Contemporary, YA (2018 release)

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal 

This is about a woman named Nikki, who takes a job teaching “creative writing” at the community center of London’s Punjabi community. Her students turn out to be Punjabi widows, that have a wealth of fantasies and memories, so Nikki helps them express their untold erotic stories. The friendship in this book between Nikki and the group of widows is amazing because they are so different from one another, they are all Punjabi but Nikki was raised in a less traditional way,  she has a completely different way of seeing things, so there are awkward moments and clashes. At the end, all these women grow and change thanks to their friendship, they learn about themselves and step out of their comfort zone.

Genre: Romance/Contemporary, Adult (2017 release)

the way you make me feel The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo 

This book is about a girl named Clara, who lives for pranks and disruption, until she takes one joke too far and her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck alongside her uptight classmate Rose. This is an enemies to friends story, where two very different girls are forced to get to know each other and they realise that maybe there’s more than what they had seen in the other. Clara and Rose’s friendship shows that real friends help you grow, challenge you to be better, support you and help you see how amazing you are.

Genre: Contemporary, YA (2018 release)

we are okay

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

This book is about Marin, who hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel.  Now, months later, Mabel is coming to visit and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid.  I included this one on this list, because even when Marin and Mabel were romantically involved at some point, this book is about two friends finding their way to each other. Also, we get to see Marin understand that she can let Mabel be there for her when things get hard, she doesn’t have to go through it alone.

Genre: Contemporary, YA (2017 release)

marriage of inconvenience Marriage of Incovenience by Penny Read (Knitting in the City #7) 

This is the last book in the Knitting in the City series, which is a romance series about 7 woman that are friends and have a knitting group and in each book one of them finds love. But honestly, the most wonderful thing about this series is the friendship between these women. They are so different from one another, but that makes their dynamic hilarious.  They are supportive and undertanding, they would do anything for each other and they are there for each other when things get hard. Seeing their friendship grow and change in each book is amazing.

Genre: Romance, Adult (2018 release)

What books have you read lately with amazing female friendships? What are your favorite female friendships of all time? Let me know in the comments! 

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wrap up

July 2018 Wrap Up ( including what I read for the #7in7Readathon)

monthly-wrap-up-1

Life Update 

I RECEIVED GREAT NEWS!!! Ok, I’m gonna stop screaming now, but it’s just that I’m so excited. Last month in my life update I said that I hadn’t gotten the scholarship that I applied to. BUT actually, I was told half way through july that I did get the scholarship. I’m going to Spain in less than 2 months to get my Master’s Degree, I’ll be living there for a year and I couldn’t be happier. So, I have been running around trying to get all the paperwork and everything else ready, which means my anxiety has been a bit out of control, but I’m still really excited.

What I Read 

Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan (4,2 stars): The first half  was amazing, I was at the edge of my sit and I couldn’t stop reading because I wanted to know what was happening to Susannah. The part of the recovery was slower but still really interesting, and then the last 10% of this was too focused on medical facts. Overall, a fascinating and honest  book.

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by  Balli Kaur Jaswal (4,3 stars): I loved the characters in this, the relationships between them, the premise, the themes it addressed in terms of gender and religion. I LOVED THIS! It was funny, it was heartfelt and I think it will be one of my favorite books at the end of the year.

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata (3 stars): This has a very peculiar main character, there’s almost no plot and it’s entirely character driven, but there’s not that much character development. It’s an interesting read, but not enjoyable.

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray (4,2 stars): I really liked the mystery in this one and the spooky vibes. Evie annoyed me a little bit in this book, but I loved the rest of the characters. My ship tried to sail in this one, but I don’t know if it’s gonna make it or not, which worries me a bit. I loved the ending, I think it’s the perfect set up for the next book.

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant (4,6 stars): One of the best books I have read this year, it’s a very complex and scientific look at mermaids and it’s so SCARY! I’m not kidding this is horror sci-fi, which I had never read, and I was so scared that I had an anxiety attack at one point. Anyway, my only issue is that the second half gets a bit too scientific and I didn’t quite understand some things.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (4,4 stars): Loved the secluded setting, there were several mysteries at the time, which kept me guessing, and it was so intriguing. (Review)

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (4 stars): I loved the secluded setting, the methodical way in which the murder is investigated and the very surprising ending. (Review)

Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie (3,6 stars): I didn’t guess the ending of this one, because I thought my guess was too obvious, but at the end I was right.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie (3,4 stars): This has an annoying narrator, but I really enjoyed that there were lot of viable suspects. I found the ending logical but not satisfying. (Review)

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (4 stars): this book has one of the best endings to a mystery that I have ever read, it’s so shocking. (review)

Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie (3,8 stars): I really liked that this has a few different perspectives, which gives more information about the murder,  I liked  the twist at the end, even if it was a bit far fetched. (Review)

#7in7Readathon Wrap Up 

I managed to read 7 book in 7 days and also I was able to finish all the challenges! It was a great readathon to be a part of and I met amazing people on twitter because of it.

The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night by Jen Campbell (4 stars):  I really enjoyed this short story collection, they were all beautifully written. (Review)

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (4 stars): I’m not a fan of graphic novels, but this one was so good, it almost made me cry.

Love & Misadventure by Lang Leav  (2 stars): There were only 5 poems that I actually liked in this collection, the rest were those poems that are one sentence and that’s it and they were just not for me.

Cóndores no Entierran Todos los Días by Gustavo Álvarez Gardeazabal  (4 stars):  This book is set in my hometown and reading it was a unique and meaningful experience, especially, because it’s historical fiction and my grandma actually knew some of the people in it.

The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie (3,6 stars): I didn’t enjoy this one as much, it was really slow and there were no clues or information for Piroit to solve the crimes until almost the very end. I did like the reveal of who the murderer was.

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie (3,6 stars): I really liked this one, I liked the reveal because I didn’t see it coming but it was really far fetched. I didn’t like what happened after the reveal of who the murderer was.

Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski: I had a hard time getting into this, but then I was so intrigued by the mystery and wanted to know what happened. I was so scared at one point because I was reading this alone in the middle of the night and it has a very spooky subplot. I wasn’t completely happy with the ending, but I enjoyed the book.

On the Blog

Here’s everything I posted this month on the blog:

Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Did you enjoy them? Do you want to read any of them?Tell me what happened in your life during July! What did you read? What did you post? 

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Review

Book Review: The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night by Jen Campbell

The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night

Title: The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night

Author: Jen Campbell

Publishing Date:  November 2nd 2017

Genres: Adult, Mystery

Pages: 212 pages

“Spirits in jam jars, mini-apocalypses, animal hearts and side shows.
A girl runs a coffin hotel on a remote island.
A boy is worried his sister has two souls.
A couple are rewriting the history of the world. 
And mermaids are on display at the local aquarium.

The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night is a collection of twelve haunting stories; modern fairy tales brimming with magic, outsiders and lost souls.”

Goodreads| Amazon 

I read this book for the 7 in 7 Readathon and, especifically, for the challenge to read a book outside my comfort zone. I don’t usually like anthologies and the stories in this one had magical elements, I have never read an anthology with this type of elements before, so those are the reasons I chose this for that challenge. I ended up really enjoying this book, it was really well written, I loved a few of the stories and I didn’t hate any of them, which is always a risk with anthologies. Here are my thoughts about each story:

Animals (3.8 stars): 

  • Beautiful & captivating writing
  • It’s thought provoking: it discusses love, abusive relationships, giving up too easily versus trying until everything turns ugly, & a loveless world versus a world obsessed with love.
  •  It was predictable in terms of the relationship between main character and Cora, but it had a surprising element at the end.
  • I could have used more details about the world in which this takes place.

Jacob (3,5 stars): 

  • This was a cute and simple story about a kid asking a bunch of question that seemed random but that were connected to a need of estability in a time where everything in his life was changing.
  • I’m amazed at Campbell’s ability to write in very different tones and styles. This is completely different from the first story.
  • The voice of the main character, who is a kid, is compelling.

Plum Pie. Zombie Green. Yellow Bee.Purple Monster (3,5 stars):

  • I liked the way this addressed disfigurement and bodily differences through a metaphor of characters that were part human and part plant.
  • But I didn’t find this as captivating as the others.
  • As with the first story, I could have used more details about the world in which this takes place.

In the night (3,2 stars):

  • It had funny bits and I really liked the narrator
  • It had a nostalgic feeling to it, but I didn’t necessarily understood the point it was trying to make or the meaning behind it.

Margaret and Mary and the End of the World (5 stars):

  • This story was heartbreaking and infuriating and the best one of the book
  • I loved the references to fairytales, art history and religion
  • It deals with heavy subjects like eating disorders and sexual assault

Little Deaths (3,2 stars):

  • This was way too short
  • Interesting concept revolving around ghosts
  • An intriguing way to look at death

The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night (5 stars):

  • This story is a conversation, an interesting – even if it seems random at first – conversation.
  • The ending is surprising and really good, and it left me feeling so sad.
  • It’s one of those stories that even if they are short, they pack a punch.

Pebbles (3,2 stars):

  • I liked the fact that it was a f/f story and that it features a celebration of pride.
  • Campbell was trying to say something about war in this nooks and, there was a very obvious point she was trying to make about how people romanticise war, but I could find a deeper meaning or maybe there wasn’t one.

Aunt Libby’s Coffin Hotel (4,2 stars):

  • The story had a cool concept about a hotel where people can come closer to death and spirits and prepare themselves for death and it’s basically a scam, that’s where the story begins.
  • It ended too abruptly. It was getting intriguing and creepy and then it ended
  • The way it dealt with the fear of death and what comes after dying, was really interesting.

Sea Devils (3,5 stars):

  • I think I don’t completely understand the relationship between the sea devils and the real devils of the story.
  • Maybe the point is that sometimes we think evil is in somethings or some places when it’s not, but we don’t see actual evil when it’s right in front of us.
  • It left me sad but it had a good ending.

Human Satellites (3 stars): 

  • The concept of this story was interesting, it’s about this thing that they find in space that it’s like a planet made of screens that play scenes from the past, the present and the future  and how people react to it.
  • I didn’t really understand the point of the story, I feel like the idea was  interesting but it lacked a bit of development. Maybe that’s just me not getting what the story was trying to say.
  • It was too short.

White Bright Hearts (3,2 stars): 

  • I liked the way it talked about being different and about bodily difference in particular.
  • This story was a bit all over the place, sometimes it jump from one thought to the other quite abruptly.
Overall rating: 4 stars 

Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it? Do you want to read it?

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