Reviews

Movie Review: Opening Night

What would happen if Anthony Rapp‘s character from Rent grew up, sold out, and started teaching a high school drama class? Well, Opening Night would happen.  (more…)

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Movie Review: Good Kids

An indie coming-of-age movie, Good Kids follows four incredibly smart best friends as they spend the summer after graduation making up for all the fun they missed in high school, which basically amounts to drinking, drugs, and sex. A lot of it. (more…)

Movie Review: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

I finally got around to watching Birdman the other day, and I have very mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, the cinematography was beautiful, the acting was phenomenal, and it was all-around a well-made movie. The creativity and rigor that went into making it look like one continuous shot is definitely admirable, and it deserved most of the praise and awards it received.

On the other hand, the movie is self-important, pandering, and inexcusably pretentious.

Spoilers. (more…)

Movie Review: Pitch Perfect 3

I absolutely love the first two Pitch Perfect movies. I know they’re not quality cinematography or anything, but they’re cute, quirky, fun, and a whole host of other adjectives that make me love movies. Anna Kendrick is adorable, Skylar Astin is perfect, and the films are filled with off-beat humor and, of course, a cappella music.

Spoilers. (more…)

Book Review: Shades of Magic Trilogy

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What if there was not one London, but four? Kell is one of the last of the Antari, magicians able to travel between the Londons. He was born and raised in Red London, in service to the Maresh throne, and takes messages to the thrones of the other Londons. On the side, he smuggles artifacts from one London to the others, a highly illegal trade, and one that gets him into trouble after he smuggles something that’s more trouble than it’s worth: a magical artifact from Black London, the dead London.

I read these books because friends of mine loved them, and the entirety of the bookish part of the Internet is raving about them. I was less than impressed. Spoilers ahead. (more…)

Book Review: Windfall

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What would you do if you won the lottery? When Alice buys her best friend Teddy a lottery ticket for his eighteenth birthday as a gag gift, they find out that against all odds, it was a winner. A millions and millions of dollars winner. But of course everything comes with a price, and luck isn’t always good luck. Will the money be too much for their friendship to weather?

Spoilers. (more…)

On Political Correctness, Plausibility, and Really Bad YA

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I started reading How to Keep Rolling After a Fall, but I’m not going to finish it. It was bad on so many levels. It was poorly written and not very interesting, and the characters were mediocre and unlikable at best. But, the worst of it all is that the premise of this book isn’t even remotely plausible. Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads: (more…)

Double Book Review: The Promise of Amazing and The Secrets of Attraction

Both of these YA novels by Robin Constantine feature some of the same characters, and I read them one right after the other, so I’m just going to review them together, The Promise of Amazing first.

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Wren Caswell is an academically and socially average girl getting over a breakup and working at her parents’ medieval-times-type restaurant. Grayson Barrett was a star athlete and top of his class—until he got kicked out of his prep school for pimping term papers. Their paths cross one night when Wren saves Grayson from choking at a wedding, and they can’t seem to stay away from each other since. But will both their pasts (and the threat of their futures) let them be who they want to be? (more…)

Book Review: Tell Me Three Things

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After moving from Chicago to L.A. when her dad gets remarried, Jessie gets an anonymous email on the first day of school from someone claiming to be her Wood Valley High spirit guide. After deciding (mostly) that it’s not just an elaborate hoax, Jessie and her anonymous emailer (calling himself Somebody Nobody, or SN for short) develop a bond, and Jessie becomes obsessed with discovering his identity. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

Spoilers. (more…)

Book Review: Alex, Approximately

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Expert evader Bailey Rydell just moved across the country to live with her father in California. Her only consolation is her online best friend and fellow film buff, Alex, who not only serves as emotional support, but happens to live in the same coastal town she just moved to. Scared that he’s not all he seems online, she sets out to find him before telling him she’s there, instead meeting Porter Roth, a.k.a. her archnemesis. Porter works at the museum where she got a summer job, and makes her life miserable. He mocks her, argues with her… and makes her completely unable to concentrate on anything else. But as the summer unfolds, Bailey has to decide whether to keep chasing a potential online romance or to go with the one that’s right in front of her, in all his sarcastic, scarred glory. But Porter has a secret of his own: He’s Alex… approximately. (more…)