Ranking Marvel Movies!

monkey at the marvel movies

Alrighty- I’ve finally come to the end of MARVEL PHASE 3. And I think it’s safe to say, after all my endeavours in this field that while I may not be a comic book expert, I am most definitely a connoisseur of superhero movies 😉 And to prove just how much of a boffin I have become, I figured now would be the best time to… piss everyone off by sharing my personal rankings for the movies 😉 Okay, obviously I think you all know that these are my personal opinions and not indicative of how good they are (except the one at the bottom- it’s definitely the worst- you can fight me on that 😉) but just in case you don’t *shocking* disclaimer: this is entirely subjective, informed by my own ratings and based on which ones I’d most like to see again. Without further ado, here are the Marvel movies ranked from “ugh I hate it” to “yayyyy let’s rewatch it”:

 

incredible hulk

Hulkmy rating: 2/5 bananas– there were actually parts of this (like Norton’s performance) that meant this movie had some real potential… it’s never lived up to that potential though and it’s a lousy movie I’m afraid.

captain marvel

Captain Marvel my rating: 2 bananas– I just have zero desire to watch this again or see anything with this non-descript character in it. An utterly forgettable movie.

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Iron Man 2my rating: 2.5 bananas– I seriously struggle to remember this movie. It wasn’t good. At all. But one thing it has over the two below it is that it has Downey Jr’s Iron Man.

iron man 3

Iron Man 3my rating: 2.5 bananas– another poor instalment in the Iron Man franchise #sorrynotsorry

doctor strange

Doctor strangemy rating: 3 bananas– I didn’t think much of this movie either- but at least I had a good time while I was watching it, which is more than I can say for the ones I’ve ranked lower.

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Avengers Age of Ultronmy rating: 3 bananas– this is my least favourite Avengers movie. I found the structure messier than the other two and I didn’t enjoy watching it much.

ant man and the wasp

Ant Man and the Waspmy rating: 4 bananas– I mean, I had no problems with this movie, but I don’t really want to rewatch it?

thor the dark world

Thor: the Dark Worldmy rating: 3.5 bananas– okay, I’ve had fun every time I’ve watched this, but that doesn’t make it a good movie. It’s the kind of shovel-popcorn-in-your-mouth-till-your-sick movie- I may be happy at the time but I’m gonna regret it after.

thor

Thormy rating: 4 bananas– this was a great attempt at making a superhero movie with some really deep themes (I say attempt, cos as entertaining as it all is, there are some serious vulnerabilities you could smash to bits with Thor’s hammer).

ant man

Ant Manmy rating: 4 bananas– this movie surprised me as an origin story and turned out to be pretty awesome.

thor ragnarok

Thor Ragnarokmy rating: 2.5 bananas– I had legit NO IDEA where to rank this one?!? I didn’t entirely enjoy this for lots of reasons and my rating and review reflected that- but on reflection, I’d kinda be happier rewatching it than some of the other movies on the list. It’s a bit different to some of the origin stories, a bit funnier than some of the others and has some interesting character (*coughs* Loki *cough cough*)

captain america civil war

Captain America Civil Warmy rating: 3.5 bananas– I actually gave this a lower rating than the last three, but it’s a better movie. Plus, it had Spider Man- and, as you’re about to see, I have a soft spot for the old webslinger!

spider man far from home

Spider Man Far From Homemy rating: 4 bananas– what did I tell you? Of course, this was gonna rank highly for me, just by virtue of having Holland’s Spider Man. Granted, it’s not the best instalment for the character and there were aspects I wasn’t keen on… buuut it made me laugh out loud and I’d happily rewatch it (well, just as long as I don’t have to watch those end credits again!)

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Spider Man Homecomingmy rating 4.5 bananas– this was a seriously fun Spider Man movie. No, I don’t think it’s the best Spider Man movie ever- but it gets pretty darn close.

iron man

Iron Manmy rating: 4.5 bananas– I reckon I’d get called a fake fan if I put Stark’s opening movie any lower on the list 😉 Downey Junior’s performance was incredible and he really did a lot to prove that Tony Stark does indeed have a heart!

avengers infinity war

Avengers Infinity Warmy rating: 4.5 bananas– I did enjoy this film, but the reason it’s a little lower on the list than some might expect is cos I really do feel, even after watching Endgame, that this is a lot of setup and incomplete on its own.

black panther

Black Panthermy rating: 5 bananas– yep, told you I was a sucker for origin movies. I did warn you. I had a real fight with myself over where to put this on the list cos I had a helluva time watching it, but ultimately there’s a few movies I’d rather rewatch.

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Captain America: The First Avengermy rating: 5 bananas– errmmm so I really like Captain America? I know a lot of people will wonder why this is so high, but for me, as a fan of origin stories and this hero, it’s one I love to rewatch.

avengers

Avengers Assemblemy rating: 4.5 bananas– yeah, this might be a little dated, but it has a great premise, good cast dynamics and a fantastic villain. For me, this will always be an epic superhero movie.

guardians of the galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxymy rating: 4.5 bananas– this is possibly the most fun movie in the franchise. It’s like the best kind of music- it’s the kind of film I’d gladly put on repeat 😀

guardians of the galaxy vol 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2my rating: 5 bananas– woweee this one really hit me in the *feels*- speaking of emotional movies…

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Avengers Endgamemy rating: 4.5 bananas– this was a great movie- period. It rounded off so many storylines in the perfect way and did not pull its punches. A very satisfying conclusion to the saga.

captain america the winter soldier

Captain America Winter Soldiermy rating: 5 bananas– this is hands down my favourite. Partly for all the “aww poor Bucky” moments, but mostly cos every time I watch it I’m completely absorbed by it!

 So do you agree or (more likely) disagree with my rankings? What’s your favourite and least favourite? Let me know in the comments!

 

Bloggers who deserve more attention #5

 

orangutan list

It’s time again for another post celebrating just some of the lovely people on the blogosphere! Before I got started, I just wanted to thank everyone who nominated me for the Blogger Awards- I didn’t see many of the posts, cos I was taking time off last month, but I’m super grateful and it means a lot to me! (especially when I saw the other wonderful people who were nominated- my word- I hope you’re following all of them already!) Which brings me to the first blog recommendation…

May@Forever and Everly– May’s an incredible young blogger, who’s been hosting the award this year and deserves a follow for all the hard work she’s been putting in. In case that wasn’t enough, I started checking out her content because of that and I’ve kinda (definitely) got addicted to reading her content. Her posts are brimming with personality and were so entertaining- so I urge you all to go and get as hooked as I have!

Jenna @Bookmark Your Thoughts– Jenna’s one of my favourite people on here because she’s such a sweetheart- she’s always super friendly and happy to share the love. She does lots of memes, tags and reviews- all written in her outgoing and fun style. I also happen to like her aesthetic and it doesn’t hurt that I love her taste 😉

Daley Downing– Daley’s not only an indie author, she covers interesting discussions on topics most people don’t cover. Most recently, I liked her excellent post on the positive aspects of negative reviews. Whether it’s reviews or anything else, I always appreciate her unique take.  

Xandra @Starry Sky Books– a delightful, newer blog, Starry Sky Books is the place to go for fresh ideas- like her “discussions I’d like to read from you” and other helpful posts. Xandra’s also super friendly and interacts loads!

Lindsay @Slow to the Party– my goodness, Lindsay writes some of the most articulate and entertaining reviews I’ve ever read! They’re not only super thorough, they’re lively and witty. She’s really at the top of her game. I especially liked her take on Sally Rooney. And her list on childhood faves really took me back too.

Emme @A Literary Latte– Ahh I love the discussions on literary latte- especially her post on bookish guilt– so relatable! It also goes a long way (with me) that she’s a Ravenclaw 😉

Anna @My Bookish Dreams– I’ve been following Anna for a while and for good reason! Her reviews are always stellar, her tags are on point and I like her blog design. But it’s not just her bookish content that’s brilliant- she freely covers all her passions- from BTS to Good Omens! 

Jennifer @Out of Babel– Jennifer’s blog is a new discovery for me and I frickin’ love it!! (and her!) Her arguments are well thought out and researched- covering a range of topics from psychology, history, books, religion etc! I’ve learnt a lot from her history posts already, but especially liked her post on why religion in fiction is so hard to handle. It was a truly nuanced discussion, fairly examining both sides, and shows what a freethinker she is!

Yesha @Books Tea and Paperbacks– Yesha not only participates in lots of blog tours, writes comprehensive reviews and reads loads of books- she somehow manages to be really active on the blogosphere as well. I don’t know how she does it all and I’m ridiculously impressed!  

Kristin Kraves– I’ve always thought Kristin has such sophisticated taste- reading lots of contemporary and literary fiction and classics (among others). What’s more, her *fab* lists make this the place to go to curb all your cravings.

Bloggers Who Deserve More Attention #1

Bloggers Who Deserve More Attention #2

Bloggers Who Deserve More Attention #3

Bloggers Who Deserve More Attention #4

Social Media Tag

 Obviously there are loads more bloggers who deserve *all the attention*- so who do you think I should be looking out for? And do you know any of these bloggers? Will you be checking them out? Let me know in the comments!

Giveaway Winners Announcement!

celebration monkey

Just a quick post to announce the winners of my giveaway (before I totally forget). Massive *CONGRATULATIONS* to… Briana @Pages Unbound and Roberta @Offbeat YA

pages unbound

Briana runs an incredible blog, alongside Krysta, over at Pages Unbound. You might have heard me rave over the years about how good their blog is- because it’s amazing! Their discussions are always fascinating- covering a wide range of topics, but most notably on classics and libraries. And their reviews are top quality, on all sorts of genres, from MG to YA to classics and even non-fiction!

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Roberta has been such a lovely person to get to know- she’s super friendly- which you’re sure to notice from her terrific series “tooting your trumpet”, where she shares posts from around the blogosphere. Her reviews are so in-depth and compelling as well!

So what are you waiting for? You *need* to check them out right now!!

5000 followers freak out and giveaway!

So this absolutely bananas thing happened and I’m just lost for words: somehow I hit 5000 followers?! I mean, I’m kinda supposed to come up with things to say for everything and all I’ve got ?!?!??!?!?HJDFJHDH????!… which roughly translates to OH-MY-GAWD-THIS-IS-CRAZY-I-AM-ETERNALLY-GRATEFUL!!!!

eternally grateful aliens.png

This all down to you guys being so wonderful and as a thank you I’ve decided to host a quick giveaway, where two of you lovely people can win a book of your choosing worth upto £15 on Bookdepository. That’s right- two winners! To enter, just click on the link below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will run from now until the 4th of August and the winners contacted shortly after. It is open to anyone who lives in a country where book depository can deliver to (all other terms and conditions are available on rafflecopter)

I guess all that’s left to say is good luck and another MASSIVE THANK YOU!

orangutan thank you

Monthly Monkey Mini Reviews – June

monthly mini reviews version 2

Hello all! I think I’m becoming a bit of an old record lately, recounting how busy I’ve been every month, explaining why I’m playing catch up and *yada yada yada*… Rather than dancing to that tune again, I’ll skip all that and just say if you’re interested in my adventures offline you can check out this post 😉 For everyone else, we can just get straight to the books, cos there’s a lot of them!

devil's thief

The Devil’s Thief– I am haunted by my disappointment for this book. It’s the kind of book I quite enjoyed reading, but look back on with irritation. Because it could’ve been so good! Following its powerful predecessor, this had a bold opening, with stunning prose, thus assuring me I was in for a treat. And yet somehow it didn’t manage to fulfil the promise. While there was some entertaining action throughout, the structure was ultimately more disjointed than The Last Magician and I didn’t feel as connected to it. There was far too much squabbling and I didn’t care for the characters as I should. I also felt that the romantic problems were repetitive and pointless- maybe because I’d just watched a video on the rule of three- or maybe because there’s only so many times you can read that Esta is *a strong woman* and Harte is *too old fashioned* (what with him being from a different time period and all). Problem is, this was not helped by the fact that Esta literally wasn’t listening to the fact Harte was possessed!! I’m honestly unsure about whether I should continue with this series now- despite the fact the twist at the end was decent and I’d kinda like to see how it all works out. It would be really great if someone could pop back from the future and let me know if it’s worth it 😉

Rating: 3½/5 bananas

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emergency contact

Emergency Contact- do you know that feeling where you pick up a book and instantly know it’s not for you? Well I had that with this book. The second I’d started reading I knew. But I’d waited in a queue to read it on overdrive and now I had the (albeit not physical) copy, I was determined to finish it dammit! Annnd it was totally not worth it. I *hated* the writing style straight away- it felt like it was trying too darn hard to be down with the kids. And there was SO MUCH virtue signalling. Such as: “Never mind the karma of a total non-Jew stealing a book about the Jewish holocaust from a Jewish person.” Everything. Is. Wrong. With. That. Sentence. I can’t even will myself to dissect it. Or the time when she expresses her thoughts on Memoirs of a Geisha: “a book Penny adored until she discovered some rando white guy had written it”. Wow, stunning and brave 😉 I found Penny insufferably unlikeable and ergo did not have much interest in the plot/romance/much of anything to do with this. This is not to trash the book- I just think you can figure out within the first sentence/page/chapter whether this is for you or not. That’s definitely something I should have done. Moral of the story: I need to DNF more! Needless to say, I have not learnt that lesson quite yet 😉

Rating: 1½/5 bananas

hand-drawn-banana half-a-hand-drawn-banana

a separate peace

A Separate Peace– “it’s an American classic”, I was sneeringly told by the person that recommended it. Now, that may very well have prejudiced me against the book, but I will still say I am not quite sure why it is considered an American classic. I never connected with the dry writing style; I thought the story lacked a certain punchiness. And this all culminated in a dull and unearned ending. Finny was, admittedly, an interesting character- it was just a shame he wasn’t explored as fully as he could have been. There were also some interesting ideas here- it was again a pity that they amounted to very little in the eyes of this reader, since they were conveyed in a textbook-style telling instead of showing. Most notably, telling me a moral at the end, without demonstrating it throughout the story feels cheap and pointless. Personally, I found this book a bit of a waste of time, though there was potential in it.

Rating: 2/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

otherworld

Otherworld– another in a string of bad books. However, the positive side of this one is I DNF’d it! That’s right! I finally learnt my lesson! Why was this the straw that broke this monkey’s back? Well, there’s a long list of reasons- not least that it felt like reading a string of clichés and recycled ideas. This was Ready Player One, only without the great voice and stand-out characters. The protagonist had ZERO personality (no, having a “kishka” does not count- it just makes you a racial stereotype- so thanks for that I guess?) We’re told over and over that the Otherworld is a *fabulous* place, but I never felt it shown in the flat descriptions. Perhaps if I hadn’t had a string of meh reads this month I would have been more inclined to finish it- but life is too short and I had little hope of it improving. Based on what I’d read so far, I gave it:

Rating: 1/5 bananas

hand-drawn-banana

beautiful disaster

Beautiful Disaster– well the clue is in the title I guess 😉 Just so damn ugly and petty- though perhaps not as terrible as I was led to expect (although I do think a lot of the love interest’s behaviours wouldn’t fly today). Oh and heads up, the people in this all suck. Strangely, that wasn’t my biggest issue though. What actually spoiled this book for me is the weird structure- there are so many time jumps and issues with pacing. At points the characters would be in the middle of some crucial interlude in their lives, only to skip a few weeks. For me, this was incredibly jarring.

Rating: 2/5 bananas

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panic

Panic– Lauren Oliver to the rescue! I am always assured that when I pick up one of Oliver’s books I’m going to be rewarded with a wonderfully written, interesting concept, entertaining read- and this was no exception! This was a thrill a minute and I really liked how the idea was handled. I also found the characters engaging enough and the twist solid. While this may not be her best book, I still enjoyed it and would recommend if you like her work.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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dark matter

Dark Matter– this was by far one of the best books I read all month. From the intriguing opening, this had a fast-paced intensity that made it hard for me to keep my breath. There are some creepy turns to this and it works out as a fascinating thought experiment. What I liked most about it was how Jason consistently chose to be the best version of himself (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve read it 😉 ) This was an absolutely wild ride, an exhilarating journey, with a bonkers ending- in the best kind of way!

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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AlwaysNever_BOM_4p.indd

Always Never Yours– this had both a unique and typical plot- which completely works in its favour. Often in YA contemporaries, whatever the characters are studying in school has some sort of bearing on the plot. But it’s usually rather a disappointment. How many times will we see a character studying Romeo and Juliet, for instance, only to be swept off their feet by someone they can’t have? This is always especially funny in a high school when they’re being all *melodramatic* high school about their performances and trying to fit in all 5 acts (when even professionals know to cut for time lol). Now, while I won’t say this was wholly original in that regard, it did miraculously flip the script a little by exploring the role of Rosalind. Even if the character of Megan sometimes made very little sense to me, I did appreciate this fresh take, especially as it allowed for the mc grow in courage, learning to take the lead, instead of always waiting in the wings. It was just a shame that (because of weirdly inexplicable girl rules?) she had to forgive a friend who betrayed her by the end of the story. For me personally, the protagonist was too nice in this regard, sacrificing her character development to be treated like a doormat. Frankly, I’m struggling not to rant about how all cheats are skeez-bags, so I’ll just skip to the fact that at least I enjoyed the mc’s romance and leave it at that.

Rating: 3½/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana half-a-hand-drawn-banana

death comes to pemberley

audiobook2Death Comes to Pemberley– if I had to describe this in a couple of words, I’d sum it up as enjoyable fanfic. I won’t be pretending this is in any way highbrow, when in fact, it is so very, very silly. Personally, the sole reason I picked this up was that I’ve been in the mood for a lot of Austen lately and can’t seem to get enough of what actually exists in canon (anyone fancy building a time machine and fetching Austen from the past so she can write at least one more book?). So, naturally, what was I to do but check out a murder mystery set in Austenland? 😉 Nonetheless, one of its biggest failings is not that it insists on putting the characters of Pride and Prejudice in the most ludicrous of circumstances, but that it recaps the original so frequently and unnecessarily that the point is a little laboured. I confess, I have very little knowledge of fanfic, so perhaps someone can answer in the comments if characters excessively recalling the events of their past is a common theme in the genre? Regardless, I did have a bizarrely enjoyable time with this, mostly thanks to the atmospheric hold of the author and the rather pleasant reading from the audiobook narrator.

Rating: 2½/5 bananas

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So have you read any of these? Did you like them? Let me know in the comments!

No Word of a Lie: Why I Not-So-Secretly Loved Truly Devious!

I’m honestly so excited to do this review today- but first I have to say a MASSIVE THANK YOU again to the lovely Jill Jemmett, who ever very kindly hosted a giveaway for getting 1000 followers! She’s an amazing book blogger with a whole host bookish content, from lists to book reviews, and I highly recommend checking her out!

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Now let’s crack this case (*ahem* book) wide open! Set in a boarding school, this is the story of Stevie Bell trying to uncover a cold case murder mystery. With this intriguing location, an entertaining plot and a colourful cast of characters, Maureen Johnson enters into a thrilling start to a series.

Though I was initially disappointed with Dotty in the opening, I was soon gripped by Stevie’s more compelling voice. Full of charm and humour this true crime YA story more than gets under your skin. When (as the blurb suggests) the murderer re-enters the crime scene decades later, the *creep factor* intensifies.

I really liked the intersection of these two mysteries. Plus, not only was there good anxiety rep here, but it also added to the story, amping up the tension significantly. Because of Stevie’s anxiety, the reader is left wondering who-what-where-when-why and scrambling for answers in the dark. Time and again, the narrative sends you of in (mis)direction, only to about turn and take you down another path. It made for an on-the-edge-of-your-seat experience!

There was an absolute addictive quality to Truly Devious for sure. Just so you know, though, *there is a massive cliffhanger*. Personally, since I knew this was a series going in, I figured as much before I started and didn’t expect to get many/all of the answers- but I will admit I STILL WANT MORE!!!! I think for that reason I’m gonna hold off getting the sequel until it’s closer to the third book’s release date- cos I’m already dying from the wait!

Other than that, the only downside of this book was the cartoonish politics (and you know my feelings about politics shoehorned into fiction anyway). Besides that, everything from the romance to the mini-mystery of this book to the leads for the sequel were killer!

4½/5 bananas

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Very excited to see where this goes, in the meantime, I’ll be hunting for clues…

orangutan mystery

So have you read this? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments! (also *lalalala* not listening if you want to talk about the second one 😉)

Bless me: Holy Sister is *Glorious*!

Hallelujah! Holy Sister is here and damn it delivered. *Look upon it in wonder*

Thank you so much to the author who sent me a copy in exchange for review!

The prologue shines, from the pov of an empath, meaning you can feel the intensity from the get-go. And that, my friends, is nothing- because there is so much more emotion to come!

From there the plot goes at breakneck speed, never letting up, dropping bombshell after bombshell. Hell, Holy Sister is jam-packed with action!! Flashing back and forth, from past to present, layer upon layer of intrigue is added. The twists and turns keep coming, the story gains a breathless-pace, until all I had left to say was: wow. Lawrence certainly knows how to write explosive endings- cos this is certainly a fantastic series finale.

It certainly helped that Nona Grey’s characterisation was wicked strong here. I loved the idea that Nona felt the loss of her shadow- it showed the high cost of magic and also gave her something to strive for. What I especially liked was the theme of learning to be a little more human, rather than superhuman, and the journey of a hero to perhaps live beyond their saga. I also appreciated how this arc was presented in contrast to Zole- the characters being two sides of the same coin and yet Nona is learning to embrace her demons, to be imperfect and to rely on others.

Which was wonderful, because this has always been a series about the threads that bind us. Sisterhood and friendship are strong motifs- but sharp characters like Glass cannot be forgotten- pulling the strings from behind the scenes. In a cast of vivid characters, she still manages to shine.

Beyond this, I loved the descriptions and enjoyed the acute aphorisms like “We are never more vulnerable than when we are giving chase”. It was an effortlessly quotable read and the world building felt so real (even if it’s the kind of all-out fantasy you can revel in 😉). I was awed by how complex the magic system was and carried away by the powerful atmosphere. All in all, it can come as no surprise that I gave this:

5/5 bananas

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Oh and I also couldn’t resist getting all dressed up in celebration of this series- although I’m not going to claim my costume is book accurate, I reckon I make a pretty killer nun! 😉

killer nun

So what do you think? Have you read this? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!