Review: Skin Privilege – Karin Slaughter

skin privilege

Grant County #6

SYNOPSIS: Sara Linton–resident medical examiner/pediatrician in Grant County, Georgia, –has plenty of hardship to deal with, including defending herself in a heartbreaking malpractice suit. So when her husband, Police chief Jeffery Tolliver, learns that his friend and coworker detective Lena Adams has been arrested for murder and needs Sara’s help, she is not sure she can handle the pressure of it all.

But soon Sara and Jeffery are sitting through evidence, peeling back the layers of a mystery that grows darker by the day–until an intricate web of betrayal and vengeance begins to unravel. And suddenly the lives of Sara, Lena, and Jeffery are hanging by the slenderest of threads. – via Goodreads

GRADE 9Okay, just to clarify, this book is also known as Beyond Reach. You know, pesky publishers giving different UK/US titles. Moving right on. This book is amazing. Granted, it is told out of sequence and that might throw a few people (confuse them, that is, not put them off), but it is told precisely like it needs to be to convey the correct feeling and message. The book is highly emotional, what with Lena fighting past demons and the desperation of saving her uncle.

Then there is Jeffrey and Sara and their quest to adopt a child and start their very own family. This book is phenomenal, with a good story. You feel a part of it, the disjointed feel and not knowing what the hell is going on, so you totally understand how Jeffrey and Sara are feeling. Sara seems to be lacking a lot of her usual fiery self here, which is to be expected, too, what with her personal drama. I am really glad her and Jeffrey are married again though, they really work together. Ick, Ethan Green makes an appearance once more, and let me tell you, he is still a hateful animal, and totally ramps up the tension in this.

Man, Slaughter really went for some things in this book, some sore topics were breached, and, as always, the characters remained true to themselves and developed all the more. I was horrified to read that Hank had gone back to his old, junkie ways, as I have always viewed him as a much stronger character. I maintain Slaughter has fantastic characters, they are so well written that you get super attached to them all, and so feel for them throughout their trials, tribulations and joys.

The writing is, as to be expected, great, the story is solid, the events spine-tingling. The book draws you in completely and you go along with all the characters, seeing how the latest drama in their lives comes together and how it all fits, and what they will do. I thoroughly enjoy this book, and still think it a really solid conclusion to this series.

SPOILER: Goodness gracious me, but that ending :/ It totally crushed me, and yet I also thought it to be a ballsy move from the author. Well played Slaughter, well played. Now let me deal with my depression for a few days again and then I will move on with my life. Again. 


The Originals: Season 1 (2013 – 2014)

the originals season one cover


What I liked:

  • So. Much. Klaus. I am a huge Klaus fan, and I was from the moment we met him in The Vampire Diaries. He’s just bad to the bone, really, and so unapologetic about it. He is what he is, and he doesn’t care who you are.
  • Elijah. Again, I have always like this Original. He is so honourable, has amazing suits, always looks good, speaks beautifully and has such a dignified air about him that you cannot help but respect him. On the flip side, do not get on his bad side. Like holy wow, the man is brutal as heck.
  • Being able to manage the stories of witches, werewolves, and vampires. New Orleans, man, was the best setting for this, because there are a ton of each of the supernatural beings, and it doesn’t seem out of place in New Orleans.
  • Glimpses of the Mikaelson past. Seriously, having been around for centuries means that there is history to tell.
  • Elijah and Hayley and all their back and forth. Yes. This couple? I think they are great. I just want Elijah to be happy, and he is so into Hayley, and being the man of honour that he is? Man, it’ll just be fantastic.originals season 1 elijah and hayleyoriginals season 1 hayley and elijah
  • The warring between Marcel and Klaus. Really, to see where Marcel came from, the relationship between him and Klaus, and how things have gotten? Oh my.
  • Father Kieran. I actually really like this character – I was a bit worried when there was the requisite priestly character for this type of thing, but it worked quite well.
  • The story arc of the wolves. I like that they are actually quite important here, not just a side plot to the vampires. The Originals has managed to successfully involve all these factions, and really well, too.
  • The relationships between characters is great. Elijah and Klaus, Klaus and Marcel, Marcel and Davina, Davina and Josh, Cami and Klaus… there are just so many and they all work exceptionally well.

What I didn’t like:

  • In The Vampire Diaries, in season two, Elijah was against Klaus because he was convinced that Klaus had killed off their whole family, and then Klaus brokered a deal to give the Mikaelson family to Elijah/reunite them, if he helped him. It was then revealed that the family had merely been daggered and lying in coffins. It was big news to Elijah. However, in The Originals, there are daggerings happening left, right, and centre, and it is well known knowledge that Klaus daggers the siblings that peeve him to teach them a lesson. I was not a fan of the inconsistency.
  • Davina actually irritates the hell out of me at the moment. She is so… she’s such a bloody child, and whiny. Get your things together sweetie, such is life!
  • Rebekah still irritates me. Not as bad as before, what with getting to spend more time with her, but enough to peeve me still. I guess we will have to wait and see how all this goes.
  • Francesca. Oh. My. Gosh. You can just tell she is trouble from the off, and what an ugly chick to boot, too. What an ego she has, too! Wow!

originals season 1 klaus

Okay, so I ended up watching this because I finished all The Vampire Diaries and was all sad cause I was so hooked. Naturally, I turned to The Originals because you all know I love my Klausie. And Eljah. A lot. So I was, of course, willing to watch a show where they were the central leads. Of course I was. I wasn’t going to look down my nose at an opportunity to see as much Klaus as possible, as well as Elijah and his gorgeous suits, phenomenal poise, and stunning vocabulary. Seeking this out was well enough, as The Originals happens to be a really good spin off series, which is rare.

The plots are well developed, the characters have depth (even if it takes time to reveal them), the show ties in nicely to The Vampire Diaries, but only briefly and quickly, so you can easily watch this without the former, and the pacing is cool. The first few episodes fumble a little, as is to be expected, but as soon as the ball is rolling, we are on a fantastic mission here. It was interesting to see how Klaus’s opinion of Hayley and her pregnancy changed as the season continued, and it showed an extremely hidden side of him. Elijah, too, stepped up and showed another side to him, which I love. The man has impeccable taste and is a man of honour, integrity, and his word mean everything. He is super polished. However, under all that, he is a brute of note.

Klaus taking on Marcel for the city was interesting, too, because they both want such different things out of the whole deal. The story arc of the witches, their oppression, and then eventual completing of the Harvest was great, and resurrecting the fallen. I thought it was crushing to see how Rebekah had brought their father, Mikael, to New Orleans all those years ago to run Klaus out of town so she and Marcel could be together, because it is a really sad thing that Klaus is painted terrible and treacherous (he is), but nobody examines what happens before all these things.

originals season 1 elijah witches

Another thing I love? The chaste relationship between Elijah and Hayley. I am quite taken with it, and the tension between them is driving me wild. Let’s not forget the Camille side of things – I actually don’t particularly enjoy her character, I find her flat and needy. Also, the jumping between Marcel and Klaus is silly, and I don’t feel that her and Klaus click at all. I just wish it would work out. I particularly enjoy all the politics going on here, and the history of the Mikaelson family is compelling. New Orleans is the perfect setting for all the power plays and all the magical factions coming together. It is really good.

And that final episode? The dramatics! The intensity! The blood, rage, and anger? Eeeeeeep! As if I didn’t dislike papa Mikael enough, seeing more of his history, what he did to his kids, and especially Klaus? Never, ever going to like him now. UGH. I am a really big fan of seeing the Mikaelson history, as well as delving into their exceptionally messy family ties. For reals. Also, Mikael returning in the end? This could get absolutely fascinating.

The Originals is a really solid series with great characters and interesting stories. It is quite well written and really well acted. No time is wasted getting into the story, and I like that. The Mikaelson family is fascinating, and watching the broken dynamics of it is engrossing, and to see how all the relationships between characters tie in together is great. Truly well worth the watch!

originals season 1 klaus and rebekah

Review: Deadly Recall – T.R. Ragan

Jessie Cole #2

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. 

SYNOPSIS: When you search for the missing, there’s no telling what you’ll find. PI Jessie Cole learned that painful truth firsthand when her sister disappeared. Now a new case will test Jessie and Ben once again.

Owen Shepard, the public face of one of the country’s biggest health insurance companies, has become the target of a vengeful father. The man blames Shepard for his child’s death and plans to make the CEO know what it’s like to live with a broken heart—and watch others die. After killing two employees, the desperate father kidnaps Shepard’s daughter. Tasked with finding her, Jessie and crime reporter Ben Morrison are running out of time to save her.

Meanwhile, Ben is still seeking insight into the man he used to be before a car crash erased his memories. And each discovery is leading Jessie and him down a frightening road. What they find could scar both of them forever. – Goodreads

You know, I have read the majority of the Lizzy Gardner series, and I am really not a fan. It’s like… they are okay to read, but nothing special at all. When this series launched, I thought it would be worth giving it a shot, and I was actually impressed with Her Last Day. I didn’t expect to be, but I was. I am pleased to say that the second instalment in the Jessie Cole series is also a pretty good read.

There really are so many parallels between the Gardner books and the Cole books, but I honestly feel that the execution and characters are far better in the Cole books. Again, the pacing is a lot better in this. The book speeds by and is interesting throughout, not suffering from a lot of unnecessary bloat, and the multiple cases being dealt with are handled really well here, neither being forgotten or wasted away.

Zee returns in this book, and I am glad about that, as she is a character who is odd but I like her. Deadly Recall also gives us a bit more time to chew on Ben Morrison and who/what he is, as this book spends some more time digging into that. I really like this aspect, and I think Ragan is handling it really well.

Overall, Deadly Recall is a solid follow up to Her Last Day, and I am really interested to see where Ragan takes it from here. The book reads quickly, is interesting, and has characters that are more memorable than her other series. All in all, it works better, and is well worth the read if you are looking for a little something new to look into.

Review: Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

“We have to stop her here and now, and prevent Ragnarok, the end of everything! So I’m putting together a team.”
– Thor

SYNOPSIS: Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok, the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization, at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. – via IMDB

Well, it’s no real secret that I haven’t enjoyed a single Thor movie so far. They aren’t terrible (who am I kidding, what was that Dark World kak?!), they are just… wasted potential. Seriously, all that lore and everything to work with and we got the two movies we did? Oh well. However, then Taika Waitit directed Team Thor, and I had a renewed interest. The man’s brand of humour appeals to me, and the short made me laugh. We all know I love his other work, so how would it go when he took over the reigns of a massive Marvel production?

In a word? Great. Really. Waititi breathed life into an Avenger that really needed it. Two, actually, because one cannot forget the Hulk in this one. Hemsworth is way more comfortable than ever before in his return as the Son of Odin, and he works so well with Mark Ruffalo, so easy and comfortable. Jeff Goldblum has an absolute ball as  Grandmaster, and Tom Hiddleston is, as always, supremely entertaining as Loki. Hemsworth and Hiddleston play together well, too, and continue to impress us with their hilariously dysfunctional relationship.

The humour is, as I was hoping, top notch. It’s hilarious, and there were a few scenes my husband and I laughed so hard at we went back to rewatch them a few times (Thor’s explanation of the dirty snake trick Loki played on him when they were eight and Loki and Thor with their “get help” skit are prime examples). It truly had me laughing. I have to admit, Korg (Waititi) had me in stitches a few times, what a character!

Thor: Ragnarok is more than just silly entertainment and solid humour though, and it must be noted that the movie looks great and has some solid effects, which I enjoyed a lot. The colours I truly loved, as it just fit the whole vibe of the movie. The soundtrack, too, works all the way through. This is not to say that the movie is without flaws. I, for once, could have done without the whole Doctor Strange bit, as I seriously felt it did not advance the narrative in any way, and was just there to fill time. I was also not a particular fan of Tessa Thompson in this, though eventually you warm up to her a little more.

All in all, I found Thor: Ragnarok to be a highly entertaining, funny film that just goes ahead and does what it wants, and it works so well. It doesn’t matter what you do/do not know about the MCU, you can still enjoy this regardless of.

JB & The Chop Do: Blair Witch (2016)

When the trailer for this movie first came out, I believe it was called “The Woods”,  made by the team that did “You’re Next” and “The Guest”, this looked nut-busting awesome and seemed like it would be a big winner. Then they called it Blair Witch and it went straight to streaming so…. hmmmm….. did anyone’s nuts bust here???

SYNOPSIS: After discovering a video showing what he believes to be his vanished sister Heather, James and a group of friends head to the forest believed to be inhabited by the Blair Witch. – via IMDB

The answer to that is a big, blue balls no for this wretched movie. What the FUCK? This was totally stupid from start to finish, I don’t know about JB but I wanted to kill all of the characters as well as the writer and director, and then they threw in of the worst fucking CGI creatures I’ve ever seen. Fuck you, man!

Who could have possibly thought that was a good move? Also – I think there was something going on with a spaceship. Or something. And some time travel. I think. I couldn’t have cared less.

You know the routine. A bunch of dopes go into the woods. They hear a bunch of shit noises. They go into an old house. They eat shit and die. Fucking suck it! I mean, I can’t even think of things to write… here’s that one pic again:

Are they trying to make us think that the Blair Witch is the stick figure thing?? Are they trying to insert THIS movie into the Ancient Aliens mythology?

I don’t know what to tell you but this movie is horseshit. I want to give another dearest thanks to The JB. Despite everything we’ve been through she’s still hanging in there with me. Surely things will get better for us, right??? Now – the real question is asked – are JB and I aliens from a distant time? Are we visiting from the past…. or the future?

Or is this an example of The Mandela Effect and you don’t remember things the way they happened………………………… ??

You know, I mistakenly thought that things couldn’t go further downhill with these movies than that Book of Shadows crap. I was sooooo wrong.

So, Wingard is a director that a lot of people fawn about. For me, outside of The Guest (of which I still have an indecent obsession), I am not totally in love. Him and Barrett aren’t bad, they are a little different, and I like that, but I don’t think they are like the Second Coming or anything. So I didn’t expect to hate this (shit, I even liked Death Note, though I will likely be butchered for even saying that), but I did. There. I said it.

Blair Witch is so fucking messy and upside down and stupid and cringy and NO. So much no. Initially I was really interested in the concept of Heather’s brother still wanting to know what happened to her all those years ago, and wanted to see what would happen. Instead we have icky dialogue, the characters I cared least about in the whole series, and then… the Witch/Spindly-Legged-Spider-Alien. Like… guys? Help?

There were a ton of throwbacks to the first movie littered throughout this one, and for the most part, those sections were handled rather well, which is odd considering how useless the rest of the movie was. And I am all for making a project yours, but this just… didn’t really fall in line as well as you would have hoped. We had alien witch things and outside light ups and arms in trees slapping people around, Prohibition tunnels, tents getting ripped up, and people being snapped like twigs. Uhm… sure.

So all of that makes it sound like a lot of crazy stuff was going on and that it was at least worth a watch, right? Wrong. If you take everything together and put it there, it looks like there was quite a bit to watch. In reality, there was a lot of bitching and moaning, crappy camera work, bland friendships, flat, generic characters and a whole lot of meh-ness all round. Seriously, I thought this would have been a little better. There are reviews I have read online that called this movie smart (!!!!!) and deft (!!!!!) and scary (!!!!!) and I am just wondering if we all even watched the same fucking movie. Because this movie is lame and heavy handed and soooooo drawn out and boring.

Needless to say peeps, I think the only movie you need to see in this series (if you haven’t seen any and if you want to see what it is all about) is The Blair Witch Project, even though it is screechy and low budget, it also comes across as the most sincere, and it was the movie that popularised the stupid found footage genre.

Thanks to everyone who stuck with us for yet another series and read, commented, and enjoyed our torture! We survived this franchise, too! The things we put ourselves through for fun and entertainment. But you know what? We secretly love it. And PSC, you are the bomb! I totally love working with you on all our projects, and I am so happy you were up for these, even if they were sketchy.

February Blind Spot Review: Sixteen Candles (1984)

“That’s why they call them crushes. If they were easy, they’d call ’em something else.”
– Jim Baker

SYNOPSIS: A girl’s “sweet” sixteenth birthday becomes anything but special, as she suffers from every embarrassment possible. – via IMDB

Alright, so we know that John Hughes is like super popular and all these things, and I have watched some but not all of his movies. I love The Breakfast Club while I completely loathe Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, so I was figured I should check out another one of his movies that I have heard so much about but never actually watched. Now I have. And, well… okay.

I wasn’t a fan of this. I didn’t hate it, and it had moments, and let me tell you, having your family forget your sixteenth seriously blows (true story, I actually know this feeling). Hughes captured the complete teenage-ness of Samantha and her life, and I think Molly Ringwald was totally the right choice to play sullen, sulky Samantha.

I have always heard a lot of bitching about a rapey angle of this between Jake and the Geek and Caroline, and let me tell you, now that I have watched it, I get it. That arc was so not cool. Basically like giving the girl away like she was a commodity, not caring what happened, all that. I don’t want to get into it too much, but just know that the whole situation was just not cool man. ICK.

John Cusack is adorable, as always, and I could totally have done with more of him. In fact, the most entertainment for me came from the interactions between Bryce, Cliff, and the Geek, even if at times they were a touch inappropriate. Then there was the silly but fun story line of Long Duk Dong. What an unexpectedly crazy character to make his way into this.

Anyway, I thought that Sixteen Candles to be an alright watch, maybe not the best of all time, but it wasn’t bad. There were aspects that I liked and aspects that I didn’t, and while it won’t be something I will be checking out again (probably), I don’t regret having ticked it off my watch list.

Review: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

“If you’re nothing without the suit, then you shouldn’t have it.”
– Tony Stark

SYNOPSIS: Peter Parker balances his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens with his superhero alter-ego Spider-Man, and finds himself on the trail of a new menace prowling the skies of New York City. – via IMDB

Okay, so I finally got to this. I was not super amped to hear there was going to be yet another Spider-Man, because seriously, how many different ones? So I didn’t rush to the cinema for this and didn’t lap up all the news, except that a lot of people said it was good and that Tom Holland is the best Spider-Man of all time. Well, uhm, no, actually. The movie is generic as all hell, and while Holland is good, Garfield still remains the Peter Parker/Spider-Man king to me. But we will get there.

I found this to be… so generic and forgettable and bland. Sorry, but I did, and I know this opinion probably won’t make me super popular among the “Marvel is King” crowd, but yeah. Okay, I know we didn’t get yet another origin story, and I am down with that and all, but I really don’t see the point of another Spider-Man movie just yet. Also, this movie is Tony Stark/Iron Man heavy, and instead of being a drawback (as it sometimes can, sometimes we just want to see the new movie), it actually helped a lot in this one, gave me something to look forward to. Tony and Pepper were what kept me watching, and I was thrilled to finally catch a glimpse of Pepper lately, it’s been too long.

Back to the movie… generic. The score wasn’t amazing, the movie was standard, it was overly long for what it was, it was annoying, Ned grated on me, too, and yeah, I don’t know, it was just totally unnecessary, in my opinion. I also didn’t like the new suit essentially being a Spider-Man one with the same inside engine type thing as the Iron Man suit and (seriously, Karen????) and so super tech heavy?! I didn’t really have fun with this, either. Most times you can at least have some mindless fun, but this just felt forced.

I don’t really have much to say about this except that it was passable. Yes, put together well and all that, it still doesn’t make it a good movie, and still a totally pointless affair for me. And no, I do not think Hollander is the best ever Spider-Man, but he is good.