Sunday, December 31

Best of December!

Here are our bests of December! Expect to see our Bests of 2023 very, very soon! :D 

Best Movie of the Month:

"Not epic, but pretty cool."

Carole - Barbie (2023)
"This was a lot of fun!"

Best Book of the Month:

"This had me feeling everything. It has a lot of meaning and messages you can take from it."

"I finally understood the ending too after speaking with an Australian lol."

Best TV show of the Month:

Blodeuedd - Hilda (s3) & Wrexham (s2)
"I was watching Hilda. Love it.
And welcome to Wrexham. The 2nd season was thrilling"

"This show is SO good. I can't wait to start season 3!"

Best Cover of the Month:

Carole's pick - "So dang pretty! Xmas-y and I love her outfit. Gorgeous."

Blodeuedd's pick - "Best cover. Simple yet pretty"

Saturday, December 30

Book Review: The Traitor's Wife by Allison Pataki

Author: Allison Pataki
Title: The Traitor's Wife
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Paperback
Pages: 496
Published: January 1, 2014
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Used Book Store)

A riveting historical novel about Peggy Shippen Arnold, the cunning wife of Benedict Arnold and mastermind behind America's most infamous act of treason . . .
Everyone knows Benedict Arnold--the Revolutionary War general who betrayed America and fled to the British--as history's most notorious turncoat. Many know Arnold's co-conspirator, Major John Andre, who was apprehended with Arnold's documents in his boots and hanged at the orders of General George Washington. But few know of the integral third character in the plot: a charming young woman who not only contributed to the betrayal but orchestrated it.

Socialite Peggy Shippen is half Benedict Arnold's age when she seduces the war hero during his stint as military commander of Philadelphia. Blinded by his young bride's beauty and wit, Arnold does not realize that she harbors a secret: loyalty to the British. Nor does he know that she hides a past romance with the handsome British spy John Andre. Peggy watches as her husband, crippled from battle wounds and in debt from years of service to the colonies, grows ever more disillusioned with his hero, Washington, and the American cause. Together with her former love and her disaffected husband, Peggy hatches the plot to deliver West Point to the British and, in exchange, win fame and fortune for herself and Arnold.

Told from the perspective of Peggy's maid, whose faith in the new nation inspires her to intervene in her mistress's affairs even when it could cost her everything, The Traitor's Wife brings these infamous figures to life, illuminating the sordid details and the love triangle that nearly destroyed the American fight for freedom.

Well.....last book of 2023. Wild that. 

This tale follows Clara who was the maid of the infamous Peggy who would go on to marry Benedict Arnold. Clara would go on to watch Peggy be seduced by John Andre, seducing Benedict, and then betraying the American cause. 

I simply LOVED that we see everything through Clara's eyes. After her grandma dies she is left with little options, but luckily she lands a job with Peggy and her family. It was interesting to see everything play out from this perspective. I even loved seeing Clara fall in love too. It was nice. wanted to slap the shit out of Peggy. She is a little brat and everyone was so charmed and fooled. It would've been fitting if she stayed with John....they are both charming snakes that people simply fell in love with. No spoiler here since it's history, even the jailers of John ended up feeling bad when they had to hang him. Wild, man...wild. Peggy was OBVIOUSLY a part of their plans, but she was able to charm Washington, Hamilton, and the rest, and the believed her stunts. However, what a wonderful villainous character to follow and watch. I truly feel the author did a wonderful job portraying this lady.

This was for sure a book I had a hard time putting down after the drama started. The beginning took a minute but you could tell all the pieces on the board were being set for some intrigue and drama. Yessssss as Kronk would say....

All-in-all what a nice way to ending my 2023 reading chapter. This was excellent and I enjoyed it. It had it, drama, intrigue, and hint of comedy (Peggy is ridiculous). 5 stars from me. 


- #12 TBR Pile Reading (yayy all done)

Thursday, December 28

Audiobook Review: Pericles and Aspasia by Yvonne Korshak

Author: Yvonne Korshak
Narrator: Alan Adelberg
Title: Pericles and Aspasia
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Format: Audiobook
Published: October 4, 2022
Where I got It: Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion

Two lovers crest the wave of the golden age of Pericles, statesman and general, and Aspasia, his courtesan, a philosopher's daughter, and a brilliant woman in her own right. In a world of hierarchies, he is at the top when she arrives as little more than flotsam cast up on Athenian shores. Their love transcends social sanctions, enduring and deepening despite the grave threat it presents to Pericles' reputation as a leader of the Athenian democracy.

The novel unfolds against the background of the arts and history of the Golden Age, seen through the eyes of two individuals who lent their particular brilliance to make it "golden": Pericles, the great orator and visionary of democracy, and its most influential woman, Aspasia. Their story takes them from the Agora-Athens' marketplace to the Acropolis, from the raunchy Athenian Port Piraeus mercantile across the Aegean Sea to East Greece. Pericles and Aspasia—together and apart—navigate treacherous paths from venal calculations to impassioned philosophical inquiry, from high-stakes sea battles to the passions of family life.

Pericles and Aspasia engages issues that are vital today—the paradoxes of democracy, the tensions of hierarchy, the ironies of gender, and others—but this novel is immersed in classical the city, its sunshine, its physical presence, its people, and their struggles and aspirations.

It feels nice jumping back into ancient times! I love a good historical fiction set in Ancient Greece or Rome. Always a blast. 

Here we follow Pericles and Aspasia and their romance. Pericles is a well-respected statesman while Aspasia was taken from her home has become a courtesan. The two meet and fall in love. This love could ruin Pericles' reputation and make him question many laws and societal norms. 

Throughout my journey of learning about Ancient Greece the name Pericles has been mentioned more than once. He was pretty prominent in his time. I'll admit...I don't recall the name Aspasia as much. I'm sure she was mentioned, but never really dwelled upon. After reading this, I went on a journey to learn some more about her. Her history isn't really known. They don't even know if she ever became Pericles' wife or whatnot. She is a mystery. That is interesting and a little bit sad. Heck, we can't even be sure of Pericles' first wife's name! Sad that these women are barely remembered. 

I enjoyed this story quite a bit.I loved reading both his POV and her POV. I'm glad we got to see both sides of the story. I, especially, loved seeing Aspasia's story. I know we can only guess, but I loved the origin story the author gave her. It was fitting and seemed so right. 

There are a few spots of info-dumping, but I found sometimes it was necessary for the story/scene at hand. Sometimes the info-dumping was a hair too much. 

This was a pretty hefty book and it worked! To be honest? I didn't want it to end. I wanted to see more. No spoilers, but there is more to the story and I would've loved an epilogue of sorts! The ending ended well, but I'm greedy and wanted more...especially of Aspasia. I loved her while Pericles...I liked him....but I wanted to kick him sometimes too. 

The narrator was fantastic. I feel like I have heard his voice before but when I looked up other books he has done I don't recall those books. But yes, his voice was fitting and he did a good job even with the female voices. A lot of the female voices were similar to each other, but he did good. Luckily there weren't a lot of women running around so that made the job easier I suppose. 

All-in-all I did enjoy this. Some info-dumping that was a bit too much, but it was easy to wade through that, and still like the story. The narrator was fantastic and fit. If you like historical fiction about Ancient Greece I fully recommend this one. It was a good one! 4 stars from me. 

- #61 for Audiobook Challenge

Wednesday, December 27

2-in-1 Audio Reviews: The Mint Julep Murders & The Ghost of Christmas Past

Angie Fox
Narrator: Tavia Gilbertt
Title: The Mint Julep Murders
Series: Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries #8
Genre: Cozy mystery, Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery, Thriller, UF, & Romance
Format: Audiobook
Published: April 25, 2019
Where I got It: Audible

For Southern girl Verity Long, friendship means sitting down to stories and sweet tea on the front porch. For her gangster ghost housemate, it means dragging Verity out to a remote haunted asylum during a raging thunderstorm to do a favor for a long-dead mob boss.

But Verity is always ready to help out a friend, even one as eternally eccentric as Frankie. And in the case of Mint Julep Manor, the stakes are too high to refuse. The criminally insane mob boss holds a secret to Frankie’s past, one that might set Frankie free. Do the favor—survive the favor—and they might change Frankie’s afterlife for good. Fail, and they might never leave the asylum.

Yayy! Back to our gal! 

Verity Long is being dragged out to a remote haunted asylum during a bad storm. She is willing to help, but something seems not right about the house, the ghostly patients, and ghostly staff. Doing a favor for Frankie may be her last. 

Always a lot of fun and this one for sure a lot of fun. Love Verity and love Frankie. This one made me sad though...those poor patients. Ugh the asylum life was not a good life. 

The big reveal had me all "WHAT?" It was a nice twist and turn and it was good. Curious to see if there will be something big heading our way. I have a feeling. That baddie was certainly a good baddie. 

The narrator was great as per normal. 

What else to say? It was good. I don't want to spoil anything.

4 stars from me. 

Angie Fox
Narrator: Tavia Gilbertt
Title: The Ghost of Christmas Past
Series: Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries #8.5
Genre: Cozy mystery, Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery, Thriller, UF, & Romance
Format: Audiobook
Published: November 29, 2019
Where I got It: Audible

Verity Long is ready to deck the halls, jingle some bells, and maybe, just maybe have a merry Christmas with her boyfriend’s stuffy family. Truly, if she doesn’t extend the proverbial olive branch to the overbearing Wydells, she’s afraid she’ll hit them over the head with it.

But when her boyfriend’s mother pulls a shocking stunt, Verity finds herself with a big decision to make. And if that’s not enough, there’s an unexpected guest at her door. It’s the ghost of the woman who helped rescue Verity’s pet skunk three years ago that very night. And now she’s there to change Verity’s life as well..

Decided to re-read this little gem for the holidays! Plus....why not? I need the numbers and this is a short!

After the events of the last story, Verity is ready to sit back and relax. Deck the halls and so forth. However, she snaps at Mama Wydell and is super done and just wants to stay home. However, she will have an unexpected guest at her door and she will be forced to see the past, present, and future before she makes any big life decisions. 

I'm still proud of Verity for standing up to that MIL! However, I get where the ghosts are coming from. Yes, have your boundaries and don't let people treat you like dirt BUT you need to be kind. *grumbles* Fiooooonnnneeee. 

But yes, this was good and a nice little break from "big" adventures. You will want to have read book 8 and maybe book 1 or 2 before reading this. I did fine when I first read it a while back (yes out of order because I'm an idiot sometimes) but it meant more after reading book 8. 

Narrator is the same and amazing. 

In the end, this was really good and I LOVE this series. 

4 stars. 

- #59 & 60 for Audiobook Challenge

Tuesday, December 26

Book Review: Twelve Dates of Christmas by Charlee James

Author: Charlee James
Title: Twelve Dates of Christmas
Series: Northampton Hearts #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Holiday
Format: ebook
Pages: 200
Published: November 1, 2021
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Amazon)

She’s fallen for her own fantasy…will a real future with him be enough?

Bored by years of underwhelming dating experiences, copywriter Grace McGovern combines her love of Christmas and her longing for romance into the ultimate romance novel—where the heroine is swept off her feet one Christmas by tender, thoughtful, romantic…and utterly unrealistic dates. When Grace has a chance meeting with an attractive man, she’s charmed by their conversation and fun dates…until warning bells jingle. He couldn’t be taking cues from her book, could he?

Engineer Owen Ellis has always been more comfortable with computers and coding than with women. After claiming he was boring and unromantic, his last girlfriend’s bitter parting gift was a cheesy romance book hurled at his head. When he meets a woman whose warm smile and conversation intrigue him, Owen is ready to try again but knows he needs to up his game. What’s the harm in borrowing a few ideas?

Can the Christmas magic last forever, or will their relationship dissolve into another ho-hum holiday fling?

Another Amazon freebie! Let's goooo!

Here we follow Grace and Owen. Years ago, after too many underwhelming dates, decided to write her very own Christmas romance. The characters went on 12 amazing and slightly unrealistic dates. Years go by and Grace is ready to move on from her book and find someone to spend her life with...enter in Owen. Owen is an engineer who's always been more comfortable with computers and coding. Dating has always been rough for him. His ex left him because he was boring and unromantic. His ex's last gift to him was a cheesy romance book. When he meets Grace he decides he needs to up his game and give Grace the best 12 dates ever. 

This was simply adorable. I loved Grace and I loved Owen. They are both good eggs who deserve all the love in the world. This is perfect for the holidays and made me want to try out one or two of the dates from the list! Very cute ideas and cute dates. 

There is a touch of drama near the end, which you know was coming. When Grace finally admits that she wrote the book....Owen didn't take it too well. I don't blame him. They both were in the wrong. Her for lying this whole time and the couple of things he said out of hurt. I'm so glad it didn't take long for them to move past it and realize they are meant to be.

Yessss, so this was simply perfect for the holidays! It made me want to go get some hot cocoa and relax. A very sweet love story between two people who really deserve all the love. I, for sure, recommend this. I'll stamp this with 5 stars. 

Monday, December 25

Book Review: Reindeer Runes by Danielle Garrett

Author: Danielle Garrett
Title: Reindeer Runes
Series: Winter Witches of Holiday Haven #2
Genre: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance
Format: ebook
Pages: 174
Published: November 11, 2020
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Amazon)

Lumi Northrop is a powerful guardian of the north--the North Star Reindeer Sanctuary, that is. When Rudolph vanishes the week before Christmas, Lumi is thrust from the peace and quiet of her family's farm, into the magical town of Holiday Haven to help find him. Lumi quickly discovers that Rudolph isn't the only local celebrity who's gone missing. Jack Frost is also MIA, just days before his coronation as the next Frost King. Teaming up with Corbin Frost, Jack's reclusive brother, Lumi finds more questions than answers. What she thinks is an odd coincidence quickly turns into something more sinister. With time running out for Rudolph and Jack, can Lumi use her powers to save the North Pole?

I picked this up last year but never got around to reading this during Xmas time. I decided to save it for this year. I've honestly not read that many Xmas books this December which is pretty strange for me. Mhmm. 

Here we follow Lumi who is a guardian of the North Star Reindeer Sanctuary. When Rudolph vanishes the week before Christmas, it is up to Lumi to help find him. Soon she will realize that Rudolph isn't the only local celebrity who has gone missing. Jack Frost is gone days before his coronation. She will have to team up with Corbin Frost to find them. 

This is the "2nd" book of the series, but you don't have to have had read book 1 in order to read this. The books really don't tie in together. It feels more like an anthology series if you will. I think later in this "series" some authors show back up with their characters. 

This was refreshing. It reminded me a little of that Jayne Frost series I read (I really should go back and read it again). Love the whole concept for sure. 

There was a huge lull in the middle, but I was able to battle through that and finish the story. The characters were fun and I liked the mystery.

Fun and Xmas-y...def what I needed. 

All-in-all, a nice mystery for the Xmas season. Minus the middle lull...this was a fun read. Cute reindeer, fun characters, and a good mystery. I'll give this 3 stars. 

Sunday, December 24

Book Review: Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire

Author: Gregory Maguire
Title: Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, & Retelling
Format: Paperback
Pages: 372
Published: October 6, 1999
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Flint Library Book Sale)

We have all heard the story of Cinderella, the beautiful child cast out to slave among the ashes. But what of her stepsisters, the homely pair exiled into ignominy by the fame of their lovely sibling? What fate befell those untouched by beauty ... and what curses accompanied Cinderella's looks?

Set against the backdrop of seventeenth-century Holland, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister tells the story of Iris, an unlikely heroine who finds herself swept from the lowly streets of Haarlem to a strange world of wealth, artifice, and ambition. Iris's path quickly becomes intertwined with that of Clara, the mysterious and unnaturally beautiful girl destined to become her sister. While Clara retreats to the cinders of the family hearth, Iris seeks out the shadowy secrets of her new household -- and the treacherous truth of her former life.

I'm trying SOOO hard to get through my TBR pile reading challenge. This is 11 out of 12! ONE MORE LEFT!

So here we have a retelling of the Ugly Stepsisters, Evil Stepmom, and Cindie. We all know the original story, but in this, we will see them all in 17th century Holland and in the point of view of Iris, one of the stepsisters, and their origin story. 

I struggled hardcore with this one. I was totally invested in the first 50 pages or so and then...I just stopped caring. I pushed through because 1) I wanted to be able to finish this and count it towards my challenge and 2) a small part of me wanted to see what would happen to the sisters and Clara (aka Cinderella). There was some mystery afoot. 

Sadly, this wasn't for me. I may try this again someday. I do plan on giving a second chance reading to at least one (or two) book(s) a year starting in 2024. I'm going to call it something like Carole's Second Chance or something clever and let people vote on what they want me to try again. 

But yes, I didn't vibe with this book. It seemed to drag on and on and on forever. I was just itching to see things happen, but it took so long. 

One thing I will say is that I truly appreciated the new setting of Holland. I also LOVED the fact that the author intertwined the Tulip mania. Nice touch. 

Overall, not for me. Some nice little things here and there so maybe I'll try it again someday. I'll give this 2 stars. Not for me sadly. 

- #11 TBR Pile Reading

Saturday, December 23

Saturday Movie: Christmas as Usual (2023)

This month we decided to review 'Christmas as Usual'. 

Blodeuedd is in red and Carole is in green. BE WARNED! There are mini baby spoilers sprinkled throughout our chatting. 

Title: Christmas as Usual (Så var det jul igjen)
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Released: 2023
Rating: TV-14
Site: Netflix 

Thea is going to her rural hometown to celebrate a classic Norwegian Christmas with her family, but this year she's bringing along Jashan, her Indian boyfriend, which will put everyone's preconceived beliefs and traditions on their heads.

Click here for the trailer. 

Yayy Xmas movie!!!!

I have been watching a few ;) Gotta get some in before the big day

I’ll be honest….that was the only one I have watched this year. I have been baaaaad. 

What! Carole, that is crazy! I am watching one right now!

I’ve only read like 3 or 4 books too. That is sooooo weird for me. I guess I’m not feeling the Xmas joy, BUT that movie did make me want to watch more.

I hear you, it´s hard getting into the spirit of things. But ok, we chose a Norwegian xmas movie, let´s do it

I’m excited for this one. It is a different take on Xmas and a different location than what we are used to. Normally these Xmas movies take place in the US or UK. Soo I was excited for a fresh setting. 

Well for me it was more like my backyard, but it was fun not for it to be a US or Uk setting ;D

Yes. It was nice. 

But honestly, I am all with Jashan on this one, damn it, Xmas cult people!

Yes. I am for sure with Jashan. The only thing I was cringe about him was when he was pretty much SCREAMING outside on the phone. Like, dude! But other than that? Eeesh. I’m surprised he would want to stay. I would want to leave like day 1. After thinking about it….I do understand why they wanted to keep Xmas precisely the same. They were still grieving the dad. 

Yes, I get it, but everyone was walking on eggshells and it was doomed to all fall apart. And yes Jashan screaming on the phone was beyond cringe. But poor guy, why was everyone so weird about him being from India? Like omg there are actually people in Norway that are not blonde and Norwegian. It was like they had never seen anyone else in their life. And why did she not want to tell anyone about them getting married? I just did not get it

It really was weird. The little girl didn’t care at all. Are they super remote and never travel to the city? The mom had it stuck in her head SO bad that she wanted her daughter to date the neighbor. I was stunned by them being stunned he was Indian. 

I was stunned by that too! And I think they said Telemark so that is in the south. Pretty sure when she went to the airport she went to Oslo. So nope not even in the middle of anywhere. Close to the capital instead. Also, I really disliked…omg I even forgot her name! Like how they went skiing, poor guy, poor guy! Either you let him stay home or you take that poor guy for like a 30-min ski trip. Not on a day trip

For real. I have never skied personally so I could only imagine his pain AND he was so nice. I would’ve been pissed. He was just so nice and they treated him like crap. The sister-in-law and little girl were the nicest to him. They seemed to actually try. 

When I said 30 min that is just him trying to like stand, lol, so yes this blew my mind that they made a newbie go on a freaking hour-long trip. Skiing is hard for the muscles. The other traditions, well those I understood. Church, sure, not that I would go, but I guess they are more traditional in their atheism. Church is surely nice on xmas. 

I’m glad they didn’t get mad about the dinner. Gah. Jashan deserves all the love. I’m glad they all did the big gesture at the end because they all did him so dirty. 

I would have loved to taste that dinner. That I did get, how would we even get real Indian cuisine? It is all very fake. Like here if you want Chinese food, then the restaurant might actually be owned by someone who is Thai. He did diss our poor food that has no taste though. Lol

To be fair…I think he was pretty much done at that moment and super hurt. I think it was after the skiing and church scenes. Ooooo and her lies about the ex? Oof. Again, if I was Jashan I would’ve just feigned being sick or something. IDK. So awkward. BUT the ending was worth it. They all seemed to have talked and opened their hearts. I hope they make a second movie. I want to see them all go to India next ;) 

I did not get the mum there. Ok so they had shot glasses, but she was all no no?! And of course, it will go to the guy´s head. That´s like vodka there.
And why didn´t she just say he was her ex? She really was the problem all along. If she had just said it at the beginning then things would have gone more smoothly. I think the mum would have tried then too.

Honestly…all the problems were because of her. She didn’t tell anyone anything. She didn’t communicate. Maybe give Jashan a heads-up about the neighbor who’s an ex. Tell her mom and brother that Jashan is Indian. Tell Jashan some of the traditions AHEAD of time. That is what I would’ve done. She just stayed mum. I don’t get why she was so scared? I feel like the wedding is going to be a hot mess because she won’t stand up for herself or for the people she loves. 

I mean isn´t that one of the most important things you tell when you have met someone. Who he is, where is he from, job blah blah. To leave it out was pretty weird by her like she was ashamed. And then support the guy! The mother did not seem like a monster, dunno why the SIL was so scared too. Wearing things she does not want, and eating things she does not like. Hell, when I met my SO and moved forward, oh they know I do not like fish ;) Small things, not gonna fake loving that for the rest of my life.

No one in that family wanted to talk. I feel like the Dad was the only one that forced them to talk. Once he was gone….they just all bowed down to Mom to not upset her. Very strange family so no wonder why the girl was weird (why am I blanking on her name?) *Googles* THEA!! There it is. But yes, so freaking strange. I told my parents all about not only my partners I would bring home but my friends. That is just what you do. So weird.

Communication. It is important. I get that some families have a hard time with that, but come on. You took him home to Norway. They would assume it is a serious relationship then. It was not like she was one town over. Plane tickets cost money!

Yeaaaaaaaah. So this isn’t a feel-good Xmas movie. It actually has some depth and I can’t complain. Yes, there is a HEA, buut it wasn’t an easy journey…especially for poor Jashan. 

Still feeling the whole Xmas cult over it. Dressing up in bunad. Doing everything on the exact day. It could have been a horror movie. Think about it.

Yes, it was weird and very cult-like. Like really? You can’t change ANYTHING up for the newbie? The look of horror on her face when he made Indian food for Little Christmas (or whatever it was called) was like he murdered the neighbor. 

See my first thought was omg he has been using the food especially for xmas! But nah, it was just that they had to have their special dish on a special day. Weirdos

For real. I would’ve been mad that he used the food I needed, but that wasn’t the case. They were nice to “try” it but damn the dramatics of the spice was too much. I’m sure it wasn’t THAT spicy. I don’t think he would try and kill them. 

Like they never had spicy food before? We have all have had spicy food, I def know that water does not help. But I guess they do not know

It felt like they went back in time. Hahaha. Weird family man. I’m curious to see if they do a second movie….I want to watch that disaster too!

I am more stuck on this being a horror movie, they are saving him for the annual Xmas slaughter! Omg, that would have made so much sense!
But a 2nd would be fun

Hahahaha sacrifice him to the Christmas gods. 

We used to do that in the olden days. 

See? Thea is a time-traveler and Jashan is her next victim. 

All hail Oden and Thor. Here is the sacrifice for Yule. Then they eat his heart. Gory. And wait for the next year and who they will take now. No wonder the SIL was scared. She could be next!

That’s why the SIL keeps getting preggo. Hahahaha

Makes sense! Pretty sure the ex is the one killing the victims too. Pretty sketchy guy

DUDE thank you for bringing it up. He was creepy…esp when he was acting as Santa. 

Come sit on my lap! No, no man not cool. And everyone was all do it. No. 

If that was my partner sitting on their ex’s lap….I would’ve yeeted that ex out the window. Poor Jashan. 

The ex had it coming.

FOR real. 

Ok. I did like the movie, even in its absurdity. It would have made more sense if it was set like 40 years or something. But it was also based on a true story so I guess Norwegians are just pretty weird.

Maybe it is just this family. Like the SIL was normal-ish. She actually tried. IDK. Some people are weird and closed-minded so I guess even the absurdity can happen in our modern times? 

So true. Close-minded people and racists are everywhere. But I would have liked more of a cultural clash movie. Like him being all you guys are weird, and then they all tried to get along. Instead of this…whatever it was.

But I’m with you. I liked the movie. Slightly a mess with the cult, but it does have a good meaning. Be freakin’ nice and welcoming darnit!

And do not be a Thea! Hold on to the one you love and stand by them

Yes. Be open. Be nice. TALK. 

The end?

Yesss,  the end. Happy holidays!! Until 2024!

Friday, December 22

Movie Review: Barbie (2023)

Length: 1h 54m
Released: 2023
Genre:  Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
Rating: PG-13
Where I Got It: Vudu

Barbie suffers a crisis that leads her to question her world and her existence.

The moment this movie was about to come out the gals and I decided to have a gal's day viewing party. Took forever to get everyone together, but we finalllllly managed. 

Here we follow Barbie who has had the perfect life but she then suffers a crisis that will lead her to question her world and even existence.

Let me first say...this was slightly overrated. It is not the movie of the century or whatever people are saying. that out of the way. 

NOW, I did enjoy this A LOT. It was fun. It was interesting. It was funny. It had meaning. 

The songs were fun. The cast was great! 

The scene were the mom talks about life as a woman in this modern society had me wanting to clap. YAS. 

BUT I loved the subtle message that even in a perfect girl world, we need to be careful to not demote men and treat men like how we have been treated. It was nice. Poor Kens. 

Now...the ending was slightly underwhelming for me. Don't want to spoil anything, but I honestly feel that she should've done something else. It wasn't BAD, but I wanted other stuff to happen.

All-in-all, watch this movie if you need a good laugh with some meaning and LOTS of barbie references. Even Hubby enjoyed it. :)  The ending didn't hit me as much as I wanted, but it wasn't bad. I'll give this 4 stars. 

Thursday, December 21

Book Review: Royals, Rogues and Dragons Arise by Micah Swanson Harris

Author: Micah Swanson Harris
Title: Royals, Rogues and Dragons Arise!
Series: Agents of the Rune Stone Ring #3
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance, SciFi
Format: ebook
Pages: 622
Published: February 23, 2023
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Amazon)

Queen Freyja Ifguter takes the throne at last. But little bodes well for her new reign.Ice dragons are stirring in the east...nations conspire against her...And no one is safe as the vigilante Wurger Mendicant invades the palace itself!The masked man is her exiled lover, secretly returned to settle old scores but dangerously positioning himself as the sworn enemy of the queen, the woman dearer to him than life itself.Lust, love, and revenge drive the adventure as the Agents of the Rune Stone Ring trilogy reaches an action-filled finale that can also be enjoyed as a standalone novel

Been meaning to get started on this but you know how it gets when books pile up.

This is the finale of the adventure of Freyja and Ambrose! Freyja takes the throne at last, but little seems to be going right for her new reign. Ice dragons are stirring in the east, nations are conspiring against her, and now a vigilante is haunting the streets and the palace. Turns out the masked man is none other than her exiled lover, Ambrose, who has returned to settle a few scores. 

You can technically read this as a standalone. Any past references are explained enough to understand, but I truly feel you need to at least read book 2. Book 1 and book 2 ideally, but if you want to skip right to this one feel free! 

It was nice getting back to our characters and this world. About three or so years have passed since the ending of the previous book. There was a lot of stuff that needed to be settled and everything is coming to a head in this one. Poor Freyja....all she wanted was to be a queen and now that it is here it seems like everything is hanging on by a thread. I get why Ambrose wants revenge against those baddies BUT that puts Freyja in a bad spot especially if it is discovered that it is he who is the masked vigilante. 

This was pretty intense in some parts and I literally didn't want to stop reading. I flew through this in just a few sittings. Long time since I finished a long book that quickly! Normally long books are like a rough sip at a time, but this one I had to guzzle down. There weren't any lulls and the "slower" parts were important and still interesting. 

Awwww the ending was darling and simply perfect for all the adventures and dramas these characters had to go through. I loved it. 

In the end...I found myself really enjoying this one. I think it was my favorite of the series. The other two were good, but I liked this one the most I think. Just a hair more. But yes, if you like adventure and a good set of characters...I highly suggest this series. It is very in-depth but entertaining. I'll give this one a 5.