Listen Up: Daisy Jones and the Six are Gonna Rock Your World!

 

daisy jones and the six

music for daisy jones intro.png
audiobook2Verse 1

Before we get into anything, I have to say that again, the audiobook is the way to go for this one. With the multiple narrators, all putting in powerful performances, this the best way to experience the story by far.

Chorus

What I loved instantly about this book is how immersive it feels. There’s something sultry and sexy about the voices that carries you away; their words are both natural and yet carry a distinct beauty. Incorporating lyrics that feed into the narrative, we get a sense that the characters are riffing through their stories, bringing the reader into their world. It’s especially cool that this is about a time period most authors won’t touch. We’re all rewarded with a big, bold, splashy title. And, thanks to Reid’s mastery, no one could say it doesn’t feel real.

Verse 2

Even better, Reid really comes into her own when she’s describing art. She has a true gift for making it feel like this band not only existed, but that you would have committed a major crime to go see them back in the day. Significantly however, this book doesn’t just leave you with the allure of the music scene. No, it goes deeper, bearing the darker undertones to the world. Daisy Jones doesn’t gloss over the hard topics. There’s a grittiness to this history and Reid doesn’t skirt around it.

Chorus

What I loved so much as well as how the character portraits are drawn. The character of Daisy in particular goes beyond the usual, coming close to an enigma, dancing near the poor little rich girl stereotype and achieving cult-like status all at once. For the record: Daisy can be a jerk. She has a long list of negative traits, which compliment the other members of the band (who are all equally imperfect). Their egos did sometimes get in the way of my enjoyment and I will admit I wouldn’t like any of these people in real life. AND YET, that’s just it- they felt like people to me. No one could say they don’t feel real.

Verse 3

I also appreciated the way the contradicting stories gave a sense of where the lines blurred. Either the characters were so into their own stories that they didn’t notice what was happening around them or the memories had shifted to suit a narrative. It is as the narrator says at the start: truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Chorus

What I loved as well were the messages embedded in the plot. It tells of the importance of earning things for yourself, of redemption and of love. While it begins in a dark place, it builds to an inspirational crescendo. I’ve barely scratched the surface of the stories here, as so many struck a chord. Reid is such a talented writer that the only downside to listening to the audiobook was I *wish I could’ve written down more quotes*. It’s those wonderful lines that sneak up on your soul and make it feel real.

***BRIDGE***

I will say certain aspects were pretty predictable. The ending isn’t exciting or explosive or loud- BUT what is remarkable is how Reid turns the sadness around into a poignant final note. And, I can also say that if you listen to the audiobook your in for a treat as the story plays out…

Chorus

What I love most about this book is how I feel like listening to it all over again. Perhaps it is not the perfect book, but for me, the main thing is that it feels real.

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

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So have you read this? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!

Monkey at the Movies: TV Roundup!

monkey at the movies 2

Don’t worry, for all of you who are afraid of more Game of Thrones rants, I’m pressing the big PAUSE button on that! Instead, I wanted to talk about some shows I’ve watched in the last few months that I actually liked. Now, it takes quite a bit for me to finish a series/continue watching a programme these days (I’m a serial TV show quitter) so it’s no surprise that what I did finish got *all the bananas* from me! Starting with…

The Last Kingdom (Series 3)– once again, I am half monkey, half Dane! It’s no secret after my post last year how much I FRICKIN LOVE THIS SHOW! It is an excellent example of an adaptation done well. Still, I managed to forget how much this packs in. The story is both eventful and emotional and just keeps getting better and better! Certain promises from the writer in earlier seasons (though not all) are delivered with fatal blows. *This* is exactly how you give the audience what they want; this is the best example of set up and payoff in TV right now. It was even more twisty and exciting than the first two series- and that’s saying something, given how much I loved those too! Once again, the characters are amazing and worth getting invested in. I especially love that Uhtred doesn’t always do the right thing- he’s smart, but impulsive, and he often pays the price for that. It does wrap things up rather well, implying there wasn’t going to be another series- but luckily for us, it’s been renewed and there is plenty of room to continue. Forgive my boundless enthusiasm, but this is the kind of show that makes me squee every time! The only *frankly appalling* thing about the Last Kingdom is that every season comes to an end and I WANT MORE. No doubt I’ll be renewing my Netflix subscription just in time for season 4 😉

Umbrella Academy (Series 1)– this was one hell of a wacky, fun, bonkers ride- and I loved every minute of it! I don’t even know where to start with this show. The moment I knew I *had to* watch this series was when I saw the dance like no one is watching clip on Youtube. It so aptly sums up what makes this show so bloody marvellous- the humour, the poignant emotion and the characters. My goodness- the characters! They are so fabulously original and I think everyone can find someone to root for here- my favourites were poor old Klaus and dubious Diego. Oh and 5 is awesome!  From the hilarious script, to the brilliant soundtrack and world-ending plot- this is definitely one of Netflix’s best new additions. Definitely worth checking out if you like superheroes/are looking for something a little bit very different.

The Good Place (Series 3)– this is another show I’ve mentioned on my blog before. I discovered it through Kat’s amazing blog and I REGRET NOTHING. I will freely admit it’s not as good as the first season, or even the second, but it is always worth a watch regardless. Super thought-provoking and funny, this is one of those rare shows *everyone* (and I do mean EVERYONE) can get something out of- and I don’t say that lightly. I’ve seen people of all different backgrounds and beliefs coming together over this philosophical sit com- and that is quite the testament to what a work of genius it is. I’m also incredibly proud of myself because I figured out the twist for this season 😉

Angel (Series 1-2)– this might come as a bit of a *shocker* but I haven’t actually seen this before- despite rewatching Buffy many times. I know, I know, I should’ve given it a chance sooner, but I never cared much for the character of Angel or had much interest in the (seemingly) minor ways it linked up with Buffy. Well, I stand completely corrected. This show is great! It ended up being super emotional, action-packed and with fab characters! All those people you think “eh what do I care about them?” after they leave Sunnydale, suddenly get a new lease of life in LA. I really liked the evil law firm as Big Bad as well (and the minor antagonists along the way totally work!). I’m glad I finally watched this and look forward to sinking my teeth into series three!

So, have you seen any of these? Do you plan to? And have you watched any amazing TV lately? Let me know in the comments!

Limitless Praise for Limited Wish!

*Received from Netgalley in exchange for review, but the infinite gushing is all me*

 

Well hello there! No, you’re not getting déjà vu, I am wearing the same outfit that I did when I reviewed One Word Kill, but that’s not cos I time travelled from an alternate reality, it’s cos I’m here to review the sequel! (plus I didn’t want it to go to waste 😉)

Reading the recap, I was immediately reminded how complex Lawrence’s creation is. With more time travelling fun, this sequel has the added benefit of dual timelines, hinging on multiple choices.

From the outset, there were even more laugh out loud moments and perfectly balanced descriptions. Each sentence had a careful equilibrium, making me appreciate the writing in new ways. With unbelievable skill, Lawrence showed us maths through the eyes of the protagonist, making it more beautiful than I ever could have imagined.

This all works to create a world that is both vivid and a little mind-boggling. What I especially like about it is the way there’s a supernatural strangeness to the story. And of course, I love the characters that populate this world.

I was blown away by the characterisation here. For instance, when Sam introduces himself as Sir Algeron, we instantly know what he is about. All of them are made from an intelligent blend of chaotic and orderly traits, making sense on the surface and yet having enough incongruities so that they feel astoundingly realistic.

This not only equates to a fascinating window into human nature, it also allows the reader to be fully immersed in the story. And what a fantastic story it is! There’s no middle book syndrome here, as we’re thrown straight back into the narrative. Remarkably, the ideas are just as sophisticated as the last. I particularly loved the idea of Nick being a “statistical anomaly” and the clever consequences that produced. I did guess who Eva was, but that didn’t subtract from my enjoyment in any way, though I will say I was more impressed by how D&D was entwined with the plot again! If you do pick this up, you can expect non-stop action and excitement. And, miraculously, Lawrence managed to pull all this off, whilst also managing to end on a sweet note yet again!

The sum total of all this is I enjoyed the heck out of this sequel!

Rating: 5/5 bananas

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So have you started the Impossible Times series? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!

*Every day I’m going to possess strangers and stalk you till you love me*

 

every day love story

So I watched the movie version of Every Day and *wowwww* I had thoughts on it- so rather than doing a review, which would inevitably get me in trouble with book-stans, I thought it would be more fun to do my own honest version of this “super progressive” horrible story- ya know, to get myself in EVEN MORE trouble with book stans 😉 For people that don’t know this book, the basic plot is that a spirit called A takes over a body every day- there’s a bunch of complicated rules for this, but all you really need to know is A can possess anyone in the same age category- which sounds like an okay premise… until you realise it’s YA so there *has to* be a love story. Cos of course. Now you can probably see the problems that might arise here- however for the sake of entertainment (and in case you can’t see the issue), I’ve decided to rewrite this with a relatively sane human being as the female lead (I know, that’s so out there, it’ll  almost make this story almost unbelievable). Enjoy! (or ya know, throw rocks in my general direction cos SATIRE IS EVIL!)

maleficent laughing

Day 1

“Oh hello there, I didn’t see you. Wait- why are you staring?”

“Because I am your boyfriend.”

There is a peculiar glint to his eye and glitter in his hair.

“Er, yeah, I know. What’s the matter with you? Did you dress up as Edward Cullen today?”

He smirks at me, like he knows something I don’t…

“Do you want to skip school?”

“Erm- what?”

“Is this what we usually do together?”

“You’re being weird.”

He bends his head to kiss me and I decide to just go with it- after all it wouldn’t be the first time and it seems like a better idea than talking at any rate. He stops and pulls away, gawking at me with peculiar intensity.

“Can I tell you a secret? I am not your boyfriend- see ya!”

His eyes roll into the back of his head. There’s a gurgling sound in his throat, like rattling chains. Then he looks up at me, the picture of innocence.

“Wh-what just happened?” he asks.

“You tell me,” I reply shakily.

But he does not have an answer.

Day 2

The barrista is giving me side-eye. She seems to gulp several times, perhaps on the words can I take your order… but then she does something unexpected.

“I have something to tell you,” she murmurs in my ear, her voice unnaturally hoarse, her eyes carrying a red glint.

I blink. “Do I know you?”

“You did yesterday.”

“Excuse me,” I say, but the weirdo is already walking away.

I can’t be sure- but I think I see glitter in her hair.

EdwardCullenSunlight

Are you scared yet?

Day 3

I was in Chemistry when it happens again.

“It’s me.”

The bloke in front of me has one of those forgettable faces- maybe that’s why he looks like a total stranger. Or maybe he’s another wacko. I hedge my bets by saying nothing.

“Let me formally introduce myself. My name’s A. I’m a spirit that jumps from body to body.”

“Righhhht,” I say, edging out of my seat.

He blocks my path.

“Oh I know you don’t recognise me. But that’s okay- I know you. I’ve been… seeing you around a lot lately.”

I half laugh. “Next you’ll be saying you’ve been watching me sleep.”

He stares at me pointedly, a red gleam in his gaze.

I kick him in the shin and flee- what else was I supposed to do?

Day 4

A is a girl today. And yes, I’ve decided to just go with the whole A thing- if I’m being punked it’ll make for better TV. Besides, there’s that whole red-eye thing.

“Do you have a type?” she/he/it says.

“I’m not attracted to you,” I reply flatly.

“Who cares! I’m attracted to you. Are you too up yourself to be with me?”

I roll my eyes so far back into my head I feel I must look like the scary one. If only.

eye roll

Day 5

A does not bother me today. Thank god.

Day 6

“I’m sorry I wasn’t around yesterday, the kid I was in was having a lung operation. Wait- why are you running away again?”  

Day 7

I track down one of A’s victims. It was all over the local news: boy wakes up in ditch and claims he was possessed by a demon. They’re saying he’s crazy, looking for attention. I know the truth.

“I think he might have been the devil,” the boy whispers.

“You’re probably right,” I reply incautiously- then look around. I grab a pen and scribble a note in case it’s listening: “It’s stalking me! Send help!”

Day 8

“Do you not like me cos I’m fat today?”

Day 9

“Do you not like nose rings? At least I have a great butt!”

Day 10
ali g

Day 11

“BIGOT!!!!”

Day 12

It’s inside me. I watch from behind my eyes as A stares at my naked form in the mirror. I am helpless, exposed, furious. Perhaps it feels it too. A opens my mouth and screams:

“WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME!”

Mum comes upstairs.

“Sorry, I’m not available to chat right now,” A hisses with my stolen tongue and slams the door in her face.

Boy, am I going to pay for that later.

Day 13

“Look I’m sorry I landed you in a psych ward. I may have taken things too far.”

“It’s okay,” I say, even though my hands won’t sit still. “I’ve spoken to someone about… you.”

“Is this the part where you tell me you never want to see me again?”

I close my eyes, remember what the priest told me and repeat it word for word: “I’m asexual,” I say with as much confidence as I can muster.

The shock is visible on the demon’s face; the red glint and glitter instantly begin to fade.

“Forgive me, I should have a-s-k-k-k…”

But it’s too late. I’ve said the magic words. The gender-bending demon is banished by the supreme power of progressive top trumps. The end!  

curtsey

NB this isn’t a critique of the book cos I haven’t read it and NOT GONNA READ IT- even if you pinky swear it’s better than the adaptation. And, having read reviews, both the book and movie seem to believe that having the protagonist say “but you stalked me and kissed me against my will” somehow makes it a-okay. Sorry, no. Pointing out a problem doesn’t fix it. Ultimately, the creepy spirit violated many, many people’s consent. And no amount of pointing that out is gonna erase it. If you love this book, then fine, I’m sure I won’t convince you otherwise- but, yeesh, this went so far over the line for me. I’ll get off my soapbox now 😉

Sadie: Some Stories Just Need to be Heard

 

audiobook2

EPISODE 1

[Soundtrack plays]

Orangutan Librarian:

I’m not much for audiobooks- I’ve rarely given them a chance and mostly only used them to squeeze in some non fic I wouldn’t otherwise read… until now.

sadie

Sometimes a book comes along and it completely changes your perception of things. It makes you open your eyes and your ears and wake up. Sadie did that for me in more ways than one.

The story itself is hard to listen to. There is no way around that fact. It’s the story of missing girls- a disappearance layered on top of a murder mystery. Of course, I was aware while listening that this was not a true story, but what struck me was that it all too easily could have been. And that, to me, is why this is such an important book. It strikes at the reality for too many girls; it brings such an important topic to light (and to life).

Often, when I’m listening to a book, I’ll want to speed up the book, so I cram in as much as possible, as fast as I can- but I didn’t do that here. I wanted to savour every moment of this agonising, engrossing, devastating story. To engage with this is like witnessing a train crash- you know it will have a horrible outcome, but you can’t tear yourself away.

The tension is made even greater thanks to the inclusion of Sadie’s story. Flashing back in time, before the podcast takes place, we hear Sadie talking in her authentically teen voice. In stark contrast to the radio show host, her words are stuttered and frayed and sharp around the edges. We don’t get a clear or concise narrative from her. It’s not an account polished up for the media. It’s every bit as raw and emotional as you’d expect.

Thanks to the author’s brilliance, we get to the heart of this complex character and vivid images of the people she meets along the way. The different styles blend perfectly and this is what makes the audiobook so mind-blowingly good. Rather cleverly, this even included ads like a real podcast! For the first time on this blog (and probably not the last) I’d say it’s 100% worth trying the audiobook version. It’s an experience.

An experience that admittedly just about broke me. Because naturally I was sobbing by the end and I’ve been struggling to write the review because I tear up every time I think about it. It is worth every bit of the hype- and then some. Sadie is beautiful and sad and simply amazing. Read, or better still, listen to it.

Rating: 5/5 bananas

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So have you read this? Did it make you an emotional wreck like it did me? Let’s cry about it some more in the comments!

Untangling This Mortal Coil

this mortal coilPutting together a life-threatening virus, a YA heroine with the skills to fix said virus and adding a few emotional spanners into the works is nothing new. And yet in This Mortal Coil it makes for a refreshingly different story.

Thrown into the off-kilter world instantly by an elegantly surreal opening, this seemingly simple plot is transformed by expert writing and interesting twists. Not only is the world building believable, the post-apocalyptic apparition we’re presented with carries the reader far beyond the bounds of our reality.

With an intricate design and turns in every direction, I was thoroughly entertained throughout. I especially liked the conflicts between characters brewing behind the scenes. None of the relationships were straightforward and that made for some interesting developments.

The one thing I wasn’t in love with was the protagonist and I sadly struggled to connect to her. Funnily enough however, my trouble investing in her actually made a whole lot of sense by the narrative’s final twist and her character arc ended up being the best thing about the book! I swear I never could have seen that coming!

Ultimately, this was one helluva wild ride and I’m curious about where it’s heading!

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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So have you read this? Did you like it? Let me know in the comments!

How (not) to write a book review- for dummies! #likeaboss

(emphasis on the dummies part)

Okay so a while back I did a post about how (not to) criticise a book blogger. And now I thought it would be fun to do a connected post… this time on how to actually write a review! Disclaimer, I do believe in the “your blog, your rules” mantra (phrase courtesy of Drew), but I thought it would be entertaining to address some of the ways we as book bloggers *may make mistakes* (I know, shocker, we’re not all perfect deities incapable of blunders 😉). And if you think I’m letting myself off the hook, this will be a confession post of sorts, cos I’m gonna admit to doing a ton of these!

shocked face

  • spoilersNot putting any spoiler warnings- just lay on all the spoilers! No one will mind. In fact, the best thing to do is to put a helpful tag at the top that says, “this book contains” with all the spoilers. That way, no one will miss it!
  • Don’t tell people what it’s about (*coughs awkwardly*- yeahhhh I’ve done this- though, in fairness, I try to put a one line synopsis these days)
  • I will automatically tell you it’s good because: it’s my taste, it’s got diversity, it’s by a minority/woman/by another human being. In fact, I’m not going to tell any information about this book except give you a laundry list of worthy traits. This is not a review, this is an opportunity to virtue signal.
  • guiltUse lots and lots of exclamation points and ALL CAPS and bold and italicising (guilty as charged of all of these)
  • *Insert nitpicking rant about things that will interest no one but the reviewer or people that read said book and hold the identical opinion* (guilty again)
  • Say something disagreeable and then beg forgiveness immediately after (c’mon we all do it- it’s like a retroactive “no offence but…”)
  • Complain about the book for the entire review- but gotsta get those arcs, so give it 5* regardless! (to be fair, I’ve only ever seen this on booktube a while ago, but it grates on my nerves to this day)
  • guilty judgeJustify the rating to the point of absurdity. Just keep going and going and going- repeating all the points until the reader is exhausted and has no interest in what you have to say anymore (*ahem* yeahhh I have been known to waffle)

Annnnd that’s all I’ve got for now! I’m sure I’ve sufficiently offended plenty of people/exposed my failings to the world- so I’ll let you be the judge now- do you have any awkward blogging faults? Or is your blogging technique perfection? (in which case, TIPS PLEASE!!!)