Book Review: November 9

November 9She’s not the kind of girl you choose your battles for. She’s the kind of girl you fight to the death for.

November 9 is a novel written by Colleen Hoover about two people who meet and have an undeniable chemistry, but one is moving across the country that night, so they decide to meet up every year on that same date until they turn 23. Of course there is a plot twist about honesty and whether it has all been real or scripted.

I had been anticipating this novel for a while, because I am a Colleen Hoover fan and enjoy majority of her books. This one was no different. I have to say that November 9 started out really strong. The day I started reading it, I couldn’t stop, and read like 150 pages or so, but two-thirds into the book, I started to get a little bored. I didn’t really like where it was headed, but it came around and had a good ending.

The two main characters were Ben and Fallon. I have to say that I totally adored Ben. He seemed spontaneous and adorable and sweet and like he had a lot more under the surface than you would originally expect. Fallon had her issues, but she had every right to have them. I liked that she was self-conscious and was lacking confidence, because that made her more relatable and likable, because if she was perfectly fine (given her condition) then I don’t think I would have continued reading the book.

Ben and Fallon’s relationship through the first half of the book was absolutely addicting. They were funny and raw and full of emotion. Ben taught Fallon so much about how to love herself and let go of all that happened to her. The seeing each other once a year thing was an interesting perk of the book, but I can’t imagine having to go through that.

As much as I loved their story, I was not so into the plot twist. I know every story has to have some kind of conflict, but it felt a little too convenient. Although I didn’t guess it beforehand, I still felt that it was so extremely far-fetched (not that the whole book wasn’t, buuuut). It was just one of those instances where everything that could go wrong did go wrong with these two characters and that gets on my nerves, because it isn’t plausible. The chances are too great, but it is a book.

Granted, November 9 does redeem itself and I was smiling by the end, but it took a lot to make it through the rough conflict pages. Definitely a good story though. Not my favorite by a long shot, but worth reading!

Movie Review: Concussion

concussionConcussion turned out to be a huge disappointment. I had such high hopes for this movie that is based on true events, but it did not live up to what I thought it was going to be.

So the plot surrounds Dr. Omalu, who discovers what happens to the brain of football players who are struck over and over again throughout their lives. It had something to do with the human anatomy and the force in which they are hit. He ends up getting a lot of scrutiny and crap for his findings since football is practically a way of life in America.

I was under the impression that this movie was going to be more about the battle of getting the NFL to accept his findings, but they only touched on that a little bit. It was more of a documentary that was seriously dramatized about his life. Sure, it was interesting, just not what I thought I was going to see. I expected a trial or some sort of fight, but that is not really what I got out of it.

Will Smith gave an outstanding performance though! His accent was impeccable and he really seemed to embody that of a man who had passion for what he discovered and only wanted to make a change.

I just felt there was really something missing from this movie. It is not awful by any means and the beginning is really great, but somewhere it just takes a different turn and I was not a huge fan. I also thought there was going to be a bit more football or explanation or fight…. I just felt it needed more.

Book Review: The Next Thing on My List

next thing on my listThe Next Thing on My List is a story written by Jill Smolinski about June, a woman who is involved in a car accident where her passenger, Marissa, died. June finds herself in possession of a list of twenty items Marissa wanted to complete before her 25th birthday. So June sets out to complete this list in Marissa’s memory.

This book was a steal, because I found it in the clearance section for only a $1. This story was such a delight to read. I am a huge fan of lists and dreaming of adventure, so by getting to be a fly on the wall of someone completing a list of hopes and dreams was just what I needed to start the new year.

The list was really great! I really want to steal a few off of there, but without spoiling the whole thing, a few were ride in a helicopter, watch a sunrise, and run a 5K. Very simple and overused, but let’s admit that a lot of us might even have those on our lists.

The story had great progression and one-dimensional characters, but it was lots of fun. It was definitely chick-lit, so it was not profound by any means, but gave way to a few laughs and smirks. June has lots of funny thoughts that I could relate to. It was also a fairly quick read being a mere 288 pages, but the story wasn’t too long or too short. It was the perfect length. Also be warned it is a bit predictable, but enjoyable all the same.

Movie Review: Sisters

Sisters“We need a little less Forever 21 and a little more Suddenly 42.”

Sisters is a movie starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler about two sisters (obviously) who come together to clean out their childhood home after their parents decide to sell it and end up having one final party….

This movie is exactly what you bargain for going in. With two of the funniest females alive as the headlining actors, you expect the cheap laughs and the best parts being in the trailer, but this movie has a little bit of sentiment in the end.

Tina and Amy are absolutely wonderful!! Their chemistry was undeniable and I wanted to be one of their friends. I think Tina stole the show, because she was just cracking me up with the “cool” act she had going on as the more happenin’ sister, but both had fantastic, ridiculous characters that they brought to life.

It was a little sad how much I related to Amy’s character of being the responsible, never-been-crazy-ever lifestyle. I just died as I counted how many times I was able to say “oh my gosh I would totally do that” when her character would do or say something. I feel for all the girls out there like that.

But of course in the end, they realized each others value and all is well with the world. So it was not an amazing movie with any kind of profound moments, but it had lots of laughs and crude humor that no one likes to admit they enjoy.

Movie Review: Star Wars The Force Awakens

Star Wars 7OMG! OMG! OMG!

I have seen this movie twice now and it is still blowing my mind. I did not expect this movie to be good, much less amazing, but it took my expectations and threw them across the room. The characters were dynamic, the plot had so much potential, and it was funny!

BEWARE THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS!

By far my favorite part was the new droid they introduced called BB 8. He (I assume) is adorable and one of a kind! His personality shined through and had the cutest moments that I could not help but smile at. I really want a BB 8 to follow me around, because he was just too cute! Definitely a great addition.

Rey and Finn were also fantastic! I was not sure how it was going to go having two new main characters, but I really liked them both and cannot wait to learn more about who they are. I think Rey is Luke’s daughter, but what I cannot figure out why he would have left her there on that awful planet to fend for herself. Finn is interesting, because he is an ex-stormtrooper, but seeing him really feel puts a whole new spin on the life of a stormtrooper.

Bringing back Han, Leia, and Luke was done wonderfully. I was not sure how they were going to pull that off and was a bit skeptical, but I felt they had just the right amount of screen time. Han Solo played a bigger role than I was expecting, but it felt right. There was only one scene that I felt could have been left out, but the way he interacted with everyone, he was right back where he belonged.

I do not really like the new villain, Kylo Ren. I thought he was fairly pathetic and a good Darth Vader knock off. I know some people really like him, but I did not understand him. He has no reason to be evil like Anakin did. Anakin grew up a slave with only a mother on a horrible sandy planet then his mother died… seriously he had tons of reasons to be angry and mad and pissed, but Ben aka Kylo Ren had a loving family who only wanted the best for him. Boo-hoo. Also he kept having to ask Darth Vader’s old helmet to remind him of the power of the dark side, because the good side pull was so strong… um you need some help!

Overall it was incredible and I think I might be seeing it again lol! So go see it even if you are not a Star Wars fan… you will want to become one! 😀

Movie Review: Remember Me

Remember MeThis movie was weird and I do not really think it had a plot. Honestly, I am not entirely sure how I feel about it.

I am not much of a Robert Pattinson fan. I do not think he can act in any way other than the way he did in Twilight. Although that spacey, dramatic thing sort of worked for that role, I felt it was annoying in this one. I felt like I was watching Edward in a movie named Tyler instead of a different character.

Tyler, in general, did not really spark any emotions from me. I found him to be creepy and dirty rather than romantic or misunderstood. I feel like so many parts of his past that made him into who he was were not very well explained, so the gaps made it hard for me to follow and understand his character. I got that he was lost and upset, but I do not know… I just did not really get it.

I did love the little sister, Caroline! She was absolutely adorable and I understood her character completely. She was definitely misunderstood and in a weird position having lost her oldest brother, having an estranged father, and just being different than her classmates. The scene where she goes to the birthday party was heartbreaking, but I will say that Tyler’s relationship with her was incredibly sweet and endearing.

The movie took a strange turn at the end. VERY UNEXPECTED ENDING that did not make much sense. It was so sudden (which might have been the point), but I do not know. I felt something was missing. So much left unexplained.

In the beginning, I thought the movie was going to be about the girl, Ally, but then once it got going it seemed to be all about him. Then I thought it was going to be about both of them, but it just jumped around a lot with nothing super concrete. It was dark and dramatic, but I did not get the romantic feel. I felt all of it was very rushed.

Not entirely bad, just not what I was expecting. I would not necessarily recommend that you see it, because I was not wowed by it in the least, but I guess it gets you thinking. Maybe I was just not the right audience.

Music Review: Wildest Dreams

Say you’ll remember me
Standing in a nice dress,
Staring at the sunset

Can we take a second to talk about Taylor Swift’s latest radio phenomenon. She releases a record and then every few months the radio chooses a song off that record and plays it over and over and over again until we all hate it. The song they chose for December seems to be Wildest Dreams.

I find Wildest Dreams to be extremely catchy, so I am not quite tired of it yet. One of my favorite parts of the song is how in the beginning, the background music is deep and resonates as a strong heartbeat. The heartbeat continues throughout the song, but it gets fainter, because the louder background music comes in, but the heartbeat definitely draws me to the song.

He’s so tall and handsome as hell
He’s so bad but he does it so well

This song flows off the tongue pretty well, I think. The lyrics are very fluid and the words chosen to describe him are too good. I can picture my own version of this guy in my head and that makes the song much more realistic. From the very beginning you get the sense that he is a bad idea, because she claims that Heaven won’t be able to help her, but of course, she goes for him anyway.

I said, “No one has to know what we do, “
His hands are in my hair, his clothes are in my room

I will say that this song is a bit more risque than her previous songs. She paints a picture of the acts they are doing… being tangled up, hands in her hair, his clothes in her room; not to mention that all this is in secret and no one has to know. I do not mind these lyrics, because I am an adult and understand, but it is slightly concerning, because of her extremely young fanbase.

I can see the end as it begins

This line really pushes the wrong buttons for me. I am one of those Taylor Swift (dare I say fan) listeners, who finds her to be a bit whiny when it comes to men. Most of her recent songs are about breakups and relationships not working out, so lyrics claiming that she went into this “relationship” knowing it was not going to work out really frustrates me. I find it hard to feel sorry for her or relate when she says things like this. If you know he is bad news or that it will not work out, why even continue. I find that very irritating!

Now as for the video…. why are they on a movie set in the sahara? That is not at all what I got from the song lol, yet she does like to go over the top on her videos. And why is she wearing a wig? And why is it set in the 20’s or 40’s or whatever? Honestly, I was not really into the video. So she has an affair with her co-star while filming their movie. Not exactly an original storyline, but oh well.

Say you’ll remember me

Movie Review: Home Alone

You can be too old for a lot of things, but you’re never too old to be afraid.

home aloneHome Alone is one of those iconic holiday films and happens to be one of my favorites! I think the story is just brilliant and so much fun. As much as I enjoy the famous “protect this house” scenes where Kevin faces off against The Wet Bandits, I really like the scenes with him and the misunderstood old man from across the street. Between all the fun and mischief, there is much to be said about family.

I have seen this movie quite a few times and as a kid I had never paid much attention to the old guy, Marley. It was not until a couple years ago I realized the significance of their relationship. There are rumors about Marley just because he looks a little sketch, but turns out he is a sweet heart. The scene where they are in the church is so touching. The love of an old man mixed with the innocence of a child is too perfect. Their conversation makes you smile, because it is sweet, but so true. The way they sum up their relationship makes you want to go make things right with everyone you know.

Why the hell did you take your shoes off?

Why the hell are you dressed like a chicken?

The Wet Bandits are so stupid yet determined, you cannot help but laugh at them. They are so weird and peculiar, but I give them points for not giving up as they went through Kevin’s funhouse, as they call it. Kevin was absolutely adorable as he faced his fear and defended his house. I think the traps he set were so creative and just shows the extent of a child’s imagination. My favorite traps were probably the blowtorch and the ornaments under the window, but the tarantula is a nice surprise.

I think the takeaway from this movie is to remember that even though our families can be so frustrating and annoying and downright mean at times, that they still mean something to us deep down. Sometimes we think that it would be easier if they were not around or if we just disappeared, but I do not think we would feel the same once they were really not there. Just remember that the holidays stress most people out, so give some leeway and love!

If you have not seen this movie, I strongly encourage that you do, because you are missing out and don’t forget to keep the change ya filthy animals!