All posts by Kelly

One Good Scare

We’re getting close to Halloween, which is my favorite holiday. And so, as is usually the case but especially now, all I want to watch are horror movies. 

If this is true for you, too, here are some great horror movies I’ve seen recently. 

1) Happy Death Day. This isn’t scary at all but is really fun. (College girl keeps reliving the day of her murder; maybe the only way to change her fate is to learn who’s trying to kill her and why.)

2) The Autopsy of Jane Doe. This is one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen. (Mortician and his son try to learn what killed a girl, whose body was found at the site of a triple homicide.)

3) Annabelle: Creation. This is fun and creepy. AND it’s out on DVD on Tuesday! This is the prequel to the prequel about the cursed doll from The Conjuring. And it’s even better than the first one (low bar). 

4) Cult of Chucky. Like Happy Death Day, this is insanely fun and not at all scary. And it’s so much better than any seventh horror movie installment has any right to be. I’m very excited to see where the series goes from here. 

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Cybils Roundup

Thanks to jury duty, I had plenty of time to read last week (I wasn’t put on a trial, thank goodness, but was there from 8-3:15 or so). 

I read Autoboyography by Christina Lauren (so cute and fun) and Far From the Tree by Robin Benway (just a really great book) and if you are also stuck at jury duty, I would recommend those books keep you company. 

The great thing about being a Cybils judge is that there are so many great books. The bad thing is that now blogging them is seeming like a pretty insurmountable task. 

Genuine Fraud

Finished Genuine Fraud by e. lockhart. 

This story is told in reverse; each chapter moves back in time. With the last chapter, we catch up to where the story began and then we learn everything (I think). You’ll be happier if you don’t know what it’s about going in. 

That was basically all I knew going in and that meant that all the book’s surprises were intact. (I also knew, from reading We Were Liars, that I should try and not make any assumptions about what I was told as the narrative progressed and that is a hard thing to do.)

e. lockhart continues to prove that she is masterful at YA thrillers, although I’m not sure it’s really fair to classify this as that. Although I also don’t know what else you’d call it. 

At any rate, while I try and parse out genre distinctions, you should just read this book before it DOES get spoiled for you. 

Little Monsters

Finished Little Monsters by Kara Thomas. 

Kacey, Bailey and Jade are best friends. Except now Bailey is missing and Jade and Kacey aren’t really talking…and Kacey keeps finding stuff (Bailey’s phone; a blood smear at the local haunted spot). Know who the police don’t trust? Teenage Jessica Fletcher. 

There is a lot more going on (sad backstory, local urban legend, way more) and this book is seriously amazing. It’s 322 pages, according to my Kindle, but I raced through it like it was a short story. 

Everything caught me off guard but also made perfect sense. Like, of COURSE that’s what happened. 

This book is insanely entertaining but there’s also a lot there. Recommended. 

All the Movies!

This is probably the best week of movies since I got my MoviePass. 

On Thursday, Philip and I saw Marshall (the Thurgood Marshall biopic) and it was fantastic. I didn’t know much about him (other than he was a Supreme Court justice and successfully argued Brown vs. the Board of Education AND is the name behind our airport, even though it’s usually just called BWI) and so this movie was totally unfamiliar to me. The cast is amazing (especially Chadwick Boseman, who played Thurgood Marshall, and Sterling K. Brown, who played the defendant) and it’s just a great movie. 

On Saturday, Philip and I saw Blade Runner 2049. I still haven’t seen the original but was able to follow this one with no problem. I’m not sure how much I really liked it, per se, but it’s a great movie and I respect what the filmmaker was doing. I definitely want to watch it again. 

Sunday, I saw Happy Death Day. It looked totally ridiculous in the trailers but is actually incredibly fun. My cousin said it’s the best horror film he’s seen in theaters this year, and I have to agree. 

Optimists Die First

Finished Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen.

Summary (from Goodreads):

Life ahead: Proceed with caution.

Sixteen-year-old Petula De Wilde is anything but wild. A family tragedy has made her shut herself off from the world. Once a crafting fiend with a happy life, Petula now sees danger in everything, from airplanes to ground beef.

The worst part of her week is her comically lame mandatory art therapy class. She has nothing in common with this small band of teenage misfits, except that they all carry their own burden of guilt.

When Jacob joins their ranks, he seems so normal and confident. Petula wants nothing to do with him, or his prosthetic arm. But when they’re forced to collaborate on a unique school project, she slowly opens up, and he inspires her to face her fears.

Until a hidden truth threatens to derail everything.”

I really enjoyed this story–it’s very short and is also very serious.  Yes, there are a ton of funny parts, but it also deals with a group of kids who all are dealing with things that they shouldn’t have to face until they’re older.  In a lot of ways, this book absolutely broke my heart.  (Although again, it’s also really funny.)

Even though this is really short, it never felt rushed…but I wish I had gotten to spend more time with these characters.

This is an excellent book, especially when you consider that it’s a debut novel.  Recommended.

Weekend Update

What I’m reading: Lots of Cybils books! Basically every review you see for the rest of the year will be a Cybils book probably. 

What I’m watching: EVERYTHING BUT TV. I’m behind on every show except This is Us and The Mindy Project, but I hope to catch up soon. Movie-wise, though, I’m golden. Still taking advantage of MoviePass and also trying to watch a bunch of horror movies (tis the season!). 

Eliza and Her Monsters

Finished Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia. I received a copy for review. 

In real life, Eliza is nothing special. She’s super quiet and her friends are all online. On the internet, though, she’s LadyConstellation. Her web comic has millions of fans (not an exaggeration) and she makes enough money to put herself through college. And then she meets Wallace. He writes fanfiction and is a huge fan of LadyConstellation’s. Eliza isn’t sure how to tell him who she actually is. 

This book is amazing! The premise is fantastic and the execution is even better. It deals with fandom, which I love, but also with mental illness (in a variety of ways). 

I also love the fact that it dealt with the ways it’s so easy to misunderstand people. Eliza feels misunderstood in a lot of ways (her family doesn’t really get what she does) but never really realizes she’s doing it back. When she DOES see how she ignores her brothers, it was one of the most powerful part of the book for me.

This is such an intense but also lovely novel. I hope you love it like I do. Recommended.  

Turtles All the Way Down

Finished Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. 

Aza is consumed by anxiety. There are the more rational fears, yes, but also irrational ones (she keeps becoming convinced she will die of this weird, super-rare bacterial infection). And then she meets this boy and gets involved with his father’s disappearance after defrauding the company he runs. It’s about so much more than that, of course, but those are the broadest strokes. 

I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for this book, and I have. (It’s been six years since The Fault in Our Stars.) It was worth the wait but it may kill me if I have to wait six more years for the next one. 

This book is seriously everything but what I want to say the most is this: Aza is seriously messed up and afraid of kind of ridiculous things but she is loved anyway. No one demands she change and when people are upset about the way she is, it’s because they see what it’s doing to her and it makes them sad. It’s hard to see things like that when you’re in the middle of your own spirals but it’s true for Aza and it’s true for me and it’s true for everyone. 

I think this may be my new favorite of his. Highly recommended.