Posts Categorized: reviews

Riverdale Recaps – When a Stranger Calls (Season 2: Episode 5)

November 12, 2017 reviews, tv shows 0

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This is a weekly recap/discussion post of the newest Riverdale episodes brought to you by my friend Bianca and yours truly. Join us for fun discussions and theories!


This is obviously full of spoilers, so don’t read it on if you haven’t watched it yet or you don’t mind spoilers.

Recap

Vlora: First, the most important thing that happened in this episode: we’ve confirmed that Sweetpea is actually called Sweetpea, and it wasn’t just a random one-time nickname.
Bianca: I don’t actually care that much about Sweetpea, but you seem to care a lot!
Vlora: I just think it’s hilarious that this supposedly dangerous guy from a renowned gang chooses to go by Sweetpea. But then the only other nickname I can remember is Tall Boy, which is just the most non-descriptive, boring name anyone could have, so I guess the Serpents just aren’t great at nicknames.
Bianca: I mean they actually call Jugheads sister Jellybean!
Vlora: And I mean then there’s Jughead himself. We’re used to it now, but what the hell kind of name is that anyway.
Bianca: His real name isn’t better so we can just stick with Jughead.


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Riverdale Recaps – The Town That Dreaded Sundown (Season 2: Episode 4)

November 6, 2017 reviews, tv shows 6

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This is a weekly recap/discussion post of the newest Riverdale episodes brought to you by my friend Bianca and yours truly. Join us for fun discussions and theories!


This is obviously full of spoilers, so don’t read it on if you haven’t watched it yet or you don’t mind spoilers.

This week is going to be a little different. My wifi’s been broken for more than a week (I’ve taken refuge at a friend’s place now to escape the Dark Ages), so we couldn’t do our normal conversation-thingy like we usually do. Nevertheless, we couldn’t abandon you, so we found a different solution and each did our own thing. Next week should hopefully be back to normal!

Recap

Bianca:

New week, new Riverdale and again things happened. But let’s start from the beginning. Jughead must be the most overdramatic narrator ever. Is he still writing his novel (I thought that was only about Jason’s murder?)? And that librarian lady was so creepy and scary (I don’t trust anyone anymore!!).

Vlora: There’s no particular point for this gif, I just figured some people might appreciate it.



But more about what actually happened in this episode; Archie is definitely in trouble. He is legit going out of his mind. What is he thinking? And of course he can’t get rid of the video anymore (the perks of the internet duh!). In this episode Archie kind of reminded me of Harry in Prisoner of Azkaban where he is always like “Sirius Black betrayed my parents, I am going to find him and I am going to kill him”. I am really glad we got rid of that gun though. I am not sure what else could have happened with Archie being in the state he is in. He should also keep away from the serpents. That ‘gang fight’ they had was seriously not just a little beat up. Anyway, the serpents were especially dark this episode. Did that one guy actually call the Black Hood a hero? Is he aware that he is killing and shooting at teenagers?


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Riverdale Recaps – The Watcher in the Woods (Season 2: Episode 3)

October 31, 2017 reviews, tv shows 2

riverdale recaps graphic

This is a weekly recap/discussion post of the newest Riverdale episodes brought to you by my friend Bianca and yours truly. Join us for fun discussions and theories!

This is obviously full of spoilers, so don’t read it on if you haven’t watched it yet or you don’t mind spoilers.

Recap

Vlora: Welcome to episode three! A lot happened this week, so let’s dive straight in.
Bianca: How did Moose and Mitch survive??? How? I mean I would except the ‘Moose shielding Mitch’ but Moose looked way too good for being shot multiple times. Fred got shot once and still looks worse after being out of hospital for a while.
Vlora: I thought they were dead for sure. I mean the hooded guy shot them at really close range. Is he just a seriously incompetent killer?? Maybe they don’t need to be as afraid of him as they are? ALSO, your theory was right!!! The killer is going after “sinners”.
Bianca: That was the best moment! I was internally yelling “That’s my theory!!!”
Vlora: Yeah, I figured you’d be feeling vindicated when I watched it. I’m proud of you.
Bianca: Thanks! Let’s go on and talk about Kevin. He really got the spotlight in this episode.
Vlora: Oh man, Kevin. He was really important this episode, and I’m glad they’re using his character a little more. He was making a lot of bad choices, but I really liked that we got to see why and that moment he had with his dad at the end was quite touching.


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Riverdale Recaps – Nighthawks (Season 2: Episode 2)

October 24, 2017 reviews, tv shows 0

Welcome to our second weekly installment of Riverdale Recaps. As promised last week, my friend Bianca and I will be here to discuss the newest episode every week this season. Episode 2 wasn’t quite as emotional as the season premiere, but we still found some interesting things to talk about. Enjoy!

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Recap

Vlora: Let’s get started!
Bianca: First and most important: Betty sporting a high bun! Where did the ponytail go?
Vlora: I have to admit I didn’t even notice, but I’m sure it’s very relevant to the storyline.
Bianca: Very relevant indeed!
Vlora: It is her signature style.
Bianca: Talking about Betty, she again was trying to save everyone and everything around her. Get a break girl, you can’t save the whole world. Also Archie and Veronica’s relationship kind of depends on Betty being their communicator.
Vlora: She did kind of save Pop’s, but, as Alice so unsupportively pointed out, she also somehow made it a place for drug deals?? And Archie and Veronica really need to learn to check in with each other without Betty telling them to.


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The Long Ride Home

October 21, 2017 books, reviews 0

I saw this book on netgalley, and you know I’m a sucker for roadtrip books, so obviously I had to request it. I was expecting a poignant book about life, loss and roadtrip fun, but I was a little disappointed. I enjoyed some aspects of the book, but overall this was not entirely for me.

the long ride home by tawni waters cover

After the loss of her mother, Harley can barely handle her grief. But the start of summer marks new beginnings, and Harley leaves for a cross-country road trip to scatter her mother’s ashes with Dean, her friend (with benefits). The two ride by motorcycle, reconnecting with people who knew her mother along the way.

But it’s not long before Harley realizes she’s pregnant…with Dean’s child. And as Harley learns that her mother faced similar choices during her own pregnancy, Harley must come to terms with her mother’s past to make a difficult decision about her own future.

I received a free review copy of this book (thanks Sourcebooks Fire!). This does not influence my opinion in any way.
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Riverdale Recaps – A Kiss Before Dying (Season 2: Episode 1)

October 18, 2017 fun, miscellaneous, reviews, tv shows 0

Riverdale is back for a new season! It isn’t the best or most logical show around, but it’s certainly one of the more entertaining ones. Season 2 just started airing and guys, I am hooked. I love the characters, which is a huge factor for me when watching a show, and the storyline keeps you guessing. It’s basically Twin Peaks: High School Edition and since the actual Twin Peaks bored me (the book was great though), an edition with more easy drama and likeable characters is just perfect for me. It’s super cheesy and stylized, but it’s so aware of it that it becomes art.

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Since I enjoy Riverdale so much, I decided you’ll get weekly recaps on the blog! I’ve enlisted the help of my friend Bianca, who you already know from Monday’s post. We’re both avid Riverdale watchers and love discussing the newest episode when it airs, so I figured why not take it to the blog. One of the most entertaining things about this show is coming up with theories about what’s happening and judging the characters for their actions, so maybe some of you would like to join in the comment section! Also, this is partially inspired by Shannon‘s The 100 recaps.

Since this is a recap, there will obviously be SPOILERS. Don’t read unless you’ve watched it, or you don’t mind spoilers.
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Review: Under Rose-Tainted Skies (Shattering Stigmas)

October 13, 2017 books, reviews 7

This is the last Shattering Stigmas post before the wrap-up on my blog, and it comes from yours truly. We’ve had some great recommendations these past two weeks, so I thought it was time for a review! I was inspired to read Under Rose-Tainted Skies during Shattering Stigmas, and it came highly recommended by my blogging friends. I’m happy to say I’ve finished it in time to share this review with you.

Shattering Stigmas graphic

Shattering Stigmas is a two-week blogging event focused on mental health in literature and mental health generally – check back for guest posts, reviews and discussions around mental health.


under rose tainted skies cover

At seventeen, Norah has accepted that the four walls of her house delineate her life. She knows that fearing everything from inland tsunamis to odd numbers is irrational, but her mind insists the world outside is too big, too dangerous. So she stays safe inside, watching others’ lives through her windows and social media feed.

But when Luke arrives on her doorstep, he doesn’t see a girl defined by medical terms and mental health. Instead, he sees a girl who is funny, smart, and brave. And Norah likes what he sees.

Their friendship turns deeper, but Norah knows Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can walk beneath the open sky. One who is unafraid of kissing. One who isn’t so screwed up. Can she let him go for his own good—or can Norah learn to see herself through Luke’s eyes?

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When Dimple Met Rishi

July 24, 2017 books, reviews 3


Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

I kept hearing about this book, so now that it’s finally out I had to buy it. I wasn’t disappointed! When Dimple met Rishi is perfect when you’re in the mood for a cute YA romance. It has likeable but realistic(ish) characters, and a romance you’ll root for.
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Scoring Wilder – Soccer and Romance

July 17, 2017 books, reviews 0


What started out as a joke— seduce Coach Wilder—soon became a goal she had to score.

With Olympic tryouts on the horizon, the last thing nineteen-year-old Kinsley Bryant needs to add to her plate is Liam Wilder. He’s a professional soccer player, America’s favorite bad-boy, and has all the qualities of a skilled panty-dropper.

• A face that makes girls weep – check.
• Abs that can shred Parmesan cheese (the expensive kind) – check.
• Enough confidence to shift the earth’s gravitational pull – double check.

Not to mention Liam is strictly off limits . Forbidden. Her coaches have made that perfectly clear. (i.e. “Score with Coach Wilder anywhere other than the field and you’ll be cut from the team faster than you can count his tattoos.”) But that just makes him all the more enticing…Besides, Kinsley’s already counted the visible ones, and she is not one to leave a project unfinished.

Kinsley tries to play the game her way as they navigate through forbidden territory, but Liam is determined to teach her a whole new definition for the term “team bonding.”

As you can see by the naked guy on the cover above, I have once again ventured into the dark abyss of New Adult after devouring Elle Kennedy’s books last year. This time it snuck up on me. I recently read Catching Jordan and Coming Up for Air, both of which are excellently cute books about sports, friendship and romance. So naturally after finishing them, I was on the lookout for more books featuring female athletes (I’ve discovered I like reading about sports, I just don’t want to do them myself). I found Scoring Wilder on a goodreads list and it had a high rating, so I figured I’ll keep an open mind and try it. Unfortunately, this book lacked the hilarity of the Off-Campus series, and didn’t make up for it in other areas.
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Wanderlost – A Trip Around Europe

July 13, 2017 books, reviews 10

wanderlost cover

Not all those who wander are lost, but Aubree Sadler most definitely is on this novel’s whirlwind trip through Europe.

Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe.

Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story.

But her relationship with Sam is threatening to ruin her relationship with her sister, and she feels like she’s letting both of them down. Aubree knows this trip may show her who she really is—she just hopes she likes where she ends up.
– from goodreads

I’ve been wanting to read this book for ages. A trip around Europe? High ratings by my bookish friends? Yes, please. This had all the signs of a great summer book, so I decided to finally give it a try. I wasn’t exactly disappointed, but I wasn’t as in love with it as I thought I would be either.
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Small Admissions

July 6, 2017 books, reviews 2

book cover small admissions

One admission can change your life…forever.

When ambitious grad student Kate Pearson’s handsome French “almost fiancé” ditches her, she definitely does not roll with the punches, despite the best efforts of family and friends. It seems that nothing will get Kate out of pajamas and back into the world.

Miraculously, one cringe-worthy job interview leads to a position in the admissions department at the revered Hudson Day School. Kate’s instantly thrown into a highly competitive and occasionally absurd culture, where she interviews all types of children: suitable, wildly unsuitable, charming, loathsome, ingratiating, or spoiled beyond all measure. And then there are the Park Avenue parents who refuse to take no for an answer.

As Kate begins to learn there’s no room for self-pity or nonsense during the height of admissions season or life itself, her sister and friends find themselves keeping secrets, dropping bombshells, and arguing with each other about how to keep Kate on her feet. Meanwhile, Kate seems to be doing very nicely, thank you, and is even beginning to find out that her broken heart is very much on the mend. Welcome to the world of Small Admissions.

-from goodreads

I got an ARC of this book so long ago that I don’t really want to look up how long it’s been exactly. It sounded like something light and fun, but it wasn’t until I was in Spain recently that I finally got around to reading it. It wasn’t quite what I expected, but not necessarily in a bad way.
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Essay Writing: Online Resources for University Research

March 7, 2017 miscellaneous, recs, reviews 2

This post is probably completely irrelevant to anyone who reads my blog on any sort of regular basis, but maybe someone will be redirected here by a random Google search. As you may know if you’ve been reading my blog for a while (which you probably haven’t for the aforementioned reason), I’m a student. Having to Write an Essay is a constant state of anxiety for me. I’m not saying my essays are perfect (I feel like they would be much more entertaining if I could use my authentic writing style, but apparently informal writing and mediocre jokes are frowned upon in the academic world), but I did manage to get my B.A. last summer, so I must be doing something right. Obviously this qualifies me to share my wise knowledge with you.

Disclaimer: I am not actually any sort of expert or authority on this, so if you mess up your essay don’t point to me.


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Book Review: Passenger

February 17, 2017 books, reviews 4

passenger cover alexandra bracken review on reviews and cake blog

I ordered this book way back when it first came out – in hardcover no less – because I liked The Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken. I only just got around to reading it, and I’m not quite as enthusiastic about this series debut as I was about her other work.
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Review: Illuminae

January 5, 2017 books, reviews 12

Illuminae book cover

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

– from goodreads

I had high expectations in this book, and they were not disappointed. I’m so late to the party that the sequel is already out (which is a plus, because this way I don’t have to wait to read it), but that only means that I’ve read about how great and unique this book is ever since it’s been published. I’m often wary of books that are hyped this much, but I had a good feeling with this one. YA scifi? Megalomaniac AIs? Invasions? What could go wrong.
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The Glittering Court

October 30, 2016 books, reviews 4

the glittering court by richelle mead cover

Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

– from goodreads (shortened)

This book’s been on my radar for a while, because I’ve read almost all of Richelle Mead’s books, but I only now got around to reading it. I was a little put off at first, because something about the writing style seemed fairly different to other Richelle Mead books (more… simplistic maybe?), but part of it may have been that I’m more used to third person than first. I gave it a chance though, and I ended up really enjoying the book!
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It’s Not Me, It’s You

June 26, 2016 books, reviews 2

cover of it's not me it's you by mhairi mcfarlane

An achingly funny story about how to be your own hero when life pulls the rug out from under your feet. From the author of the bestselling YOU HAD ME AT HELLO

Delia Moss isn’t quite sure where she went wrong.

When she proposed and discovered her boyfriend was sleeping with someone else – she thought it was her fault.

When she realised life would never be the same again – she thought it was her fault.

And when he wanted her back life nothing had changed – Delia started to wonder if perhaps she was not to blame…

From Newcastle to London and back again, with dodgy jobs, eccentric bosses and annoyingly handsome journalists thrown in, Delia must find out where her old self went – and if she can ever get her back.

– from goodreads

I’ve become very reliant on goodreads and my fellow bloggers’ reviews the past few years. I can usually tell whether I’ll like a book by a combination of my own interest in the blurb and whether the people who have a similar taste in books liked it. Every once in a while, however, I’ll still pop into a bookstore and just buy whatever looks good. This was one of those cases. I absolutely loved the cover and the title and it sounded like a light, fun read.

The weird thing is, it’s been lying around on my shelf for ages and then a few weeks after I decided to move to Newcastle I pick it up – only to realize that it’s (partly) set in Newcastle! I’ve literally never read a book set there. I can’t even remember a book that mentioned the city to be honest. It seemed a good omen, and I did, in fact, really end up liking the book.
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This Savage Song

June 22, 2016 books, reviews 4

this savage song cover

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

– from goodreads

It’s time for another V.E. Schwab book! I’m basically counting down the days until A Conjuring of Light comes out (I mean… not actually counting, that would involve math), so I was delighted to have something to tide me over until then. I have to admit, I’m not as enchanted with this world as I am with the Shades of Magic one, but I really like V.E. Schwab’s writing style, so it was still fun to read.
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Here Comes Drama

June 14, 2016 books, reviews 11

Gena/Finn cover

The story follows the unlikely friendship of two young women forged via fan fiction and message boards, and is told entirely in texts, chats, and blog posts.

Gena (short for Genevieve) and Finn (short for Stephanie) have little in common. Book-smart Gena is preparing to leave her posh boarding school for college; down-to-earth Finn is a twenty-something struggling to make ends meet in the big city. Gena’s romantic life is a series of reluctant one-night-stands; Finn is making a go of it with long-term boyfriend Charlie. But they share a passion for Up Below, a buddy cop TV show with a cult fan following. Gena is a darling of the fangirl scene, keeping a popular blog and writing fan fiction. Finn’s online life is a secret, even from Charlie. The pair spark an unlikely online friendship that deepens quickly (so quickly it scares them both), and as their individual “real” lives begin to fall apart, they increasingly seek shelter online, and with each other.

– from Goodreads

I usually try to review without spoilers, but I’m not sure how to talk about what bothered me about this book without giving at least some spoilers, so be warned.

I had high hopes in this book – first of all it’s epistolary and you know I love me some epistolary books (there may actually be an event related to this on this blog at some point this year, but psssht). It’s also about fandom and people said at least the first half of it was feel good. I usually try not to spoiler myself before reading, but I knew that Gena and Finn wouldn’t end up together, so I didn’t have any wrong expectations about that. On paper, I should have loved this book, but I really didn’t. Let me tell you why.
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The Wolf of Wall Street

May 2, 2016 movies, reviews 1

movie mondays graphic

Movie Mondays is a series of reviews, discussions, and general movie talk. Get yourself some popcorn (or M&Ms if you’re like me), lean back in your seat, and enjoy the show.


Welcome to the first edition of Movie Mondays! I’ve been wanting to start this feature for about a year. I’m not sure what stopped me, but it might have been my laziness. See, it’s a point of pride for me to make a graphic when I introduce a new feature, even if it is a shitty one (and let’s face it, it usually is). I’m sure someone else is doing Movie Mondays, because the alliteration is just too good to pass up, but these are Movie Mondays on Reviews and Cake and what else are you going to do on a Monday?



I’ve been meaning to watch The Wolf of Wall Street for ages, but I missed it when it was in theaters and then it just sort of never happened. I finally sat down and watched it years later, and I have to say I’m a little disappointed. I think my biggest problem is that the movie is exactly what I expected, but not in a good way. There was nothing really new or innovative about it. Of course not every movie needs to be new or innovative, but if it isn’t, it needs to shine in other categories. But it doesn’t. Don’t get me wrong; the cinematography is very polished, the acting oscillates between adequate and great, and the story is okay. It looks as it should, but nothing surprised or moved me in any way. If your main character isn’t likeable, your story needs to be interesting, especially for a three hour movie.



I’m not going to give you a summary of the plot, because you’ve probably already heard about it and, really, there isn’t that much to talk about. Poor guy gets rich, is a complete douchebag, gets into legal troubles, and continues to be a douchebag. There’s a lot of nudity, sex and drug use in the movie. The point of this is to show the excess the characters live in, but… I got the point after the first few times. There’s one scene, in which Jordan Belfort – our main character – takes stronger drugs than even he is used to and we see the whole thing in vivid detail. This was the only scene that at least managed to kind of move me insofar that I felt pity for the character and admiration for the acting. There are no interesting female characters that get more than a minute or two of screen time. The character which the movie does focus on – Jordan Belfort – has no redeeming features. This would be fine if we at least got to understand him, but I never felt like I got more than a shallow insight into the inner workings of his mind.



The Wolf of Wall Street is not Scorsese’s best work – it’s not even Leonardo DiCaprio’s best work. It attempts to be a psychological profile of a man’s affair with greed, but never manages to get further than mediocre softporn. The movie’s only redeeming features are Matthew McConaughey (because Matthew McConaughey) and the fact that it does at least manage to evoke pity for the main character in one or two scenes. It takes itself far too seriously for something that adds nothing new to the discussion.

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Why You Should Read The Lunar Chronicles

April 12, 2016 books, reviews 14

I know everyone and their mum already read the Lunar Chronicles, but just in case you haven’t, I have compiled a handy list to convince you to drop everything and start reading them immediately. I resisted for a long time, because I was worried they’re overhyped, but when I finally picked them up, I enjoyed them a lot. Since I already reviewed them on Goodreads, I’m doing this instead. Veeery mild spoilers ahead.


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