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Wrap-Up: July 2018

  • The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne (★★★★★)
  • Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange (★★★☆☆)
  • The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray by Chris Wooding (★★★☆☆)
  • Illusion by Paula Volsky (★★★★☆)
  • The Royal Art of Poison by Eleanor Herman (★★★★☆)

MONTHLY TOTAL: 5
YEARLY SO FAR: 59

When July started, I had two very specific reading goals:

  1. Do not read too much.
  2. Do not read YA.

My first goal came after I felt overwhelmed with reading these past few months. I felt like I was reading way too much, not giving myself enough time to savor books, and it was beginning to feel kind of like a job. I also was not giving myself time to explore my other interests, namely television or lying around listlessly (yes, that counts). So, for this month, I would only read when commuting and when I really, really wanted to, not when I felt like I had to. Giving myself that space to breathe was wonderful. (Then again, two of these books were over five hundred pages long, and one was nearly seven hundred, so…yeah.)

My second goal came on the heels of last month, where seven out of the ten books I read were YA. I was starting to feel really frustrated with the various tropes present in YA fantasy in particular, the same old recycled plots…they all just started to feel very stale. But YA fantasy is my comfort genre, and I never want to reach a point where I never reach for it at all! So I decided it might be a good idea to take a break until I start to miss it again. This will also give me a chance to explore more books in different genres, which I did this month!

I am currently reading:

Last weekend I read like…thirty more pages of Jane Eyre (*sobs*). I’m getting there! I’m going to force myself to finish in August because this is getting out of hand. I’ve been reading this book since March. Unbelievable. A Place For Us is not as good as I was expecting it to be – I don’t hate it, but I probably won’t finish it as quickly as I want to. Not That Bad is so far as fantastic as I knew it would be, and I’m having to slow myself down in reading it so I can savor it (and so I don’t get all the essays mixed up in my head!).

Mini Life Update: July was a happy month, mainly because I was the recipient of two scholarships that will help me pay for grad school! This is just…incredible because not only are the scholarships prestigious but they just lifted a huge financial burden off my shoulders. I will also get paid trips to Seattle, DC, and an as-of-yet unknown location!

Currently I’m super busy with my summer class, which is ridiculously fast-paced, and I’m putting the finishing touches on my Fulbright application, which is due September 7th. I’m also preparing to enter #DVpit in October! My manuscript is pretty much finished; it needs one more full revision and it’ll be good to go. I’ve written a query letter and am starting to work on Twitter pitches. I want to be done with all this stuff before September, because I’m going to be heading to Egypt for two weeks!

Mini TV Update: I caught up on second season of Daredevil and will probably watch either The Punisher or the second season of Jessica Jones next. I’m also looking forward to the second season of Harlots, which was one of my favorite shows last year; it’s airing on Hulu right now but I think I’m going to wait until it’s all aired so I can binge it like I did the first season. I also want to catch up on the latest seasons of iZombie (which is so far not great), Supernatural (which is pretty awful this season), Agents of Shield, and The Fosters (it’s the last season, unfortunately). I’m also watching The Bold Type, which is the perfect summer show.

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Episode Review: Supernatural 11×22 & 11×23

My beautiful, terrible, trash show. When will I be free of you?

These episodes continued to emphasize the dynamic of Lucifer and God as just a regular ol’ Pop and disgruntled teen. Ridiculous though it may have been, I can’t deny it was amusing to watch Sam and Dean try to work things out between the pair of them. Lucifer holing himself up in “his room” and blasting rock music was a hilarious scene.

Sadly, this episode introduced a super cool and interesting black witch, Clia, only to kill her off. Her conversation with Rowena (the first time this show has passed the Bechdel test in a long, long time) was one of the most engaging and well-written parts of the episode. It’s my own fault that I keep getting my hopes up for this show to actually step outside the box and engage with some diversity. That’s my bad. I need to lower my expectations. Continue reading “Episode Review: Supernatural 11×22 & 11×23”

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Episode Review: Supernatural 11×21

This episode tried to dig deep into a huge theological question.

Upon meeting God, Sam, ever the fanboy, rambles on and wonders whether his prayers “got lost in the spam.” Meanwhile, Dean broods in the corner, then confronts God about where the hell he’s been for the thousands of years humans have been suffering horribly. It’s the question all of us would want to ask of God, and the show chose to go with “over-parenting is enabling,” the answer that the Abrahamic religions have been touting for years.

It’s not a good look for God, and it’s certainly not a sympathetic answer for Chuck. Given the way he was presented throughout the rest of the episode, it makes me wonder what the writers are going for with regards to his characterization. He is normalized to the point of mockery, any cosmic greatness stripped from him as he sits in tube socks and boxers munching on unhealthy snacks. At that point, is he still the God of legend? When does God stop being “God”? Isn’t God’s greatness in his inscrutability? Shouldn’t he be untouchable? A being so great (not kind or good or beautiful, but great, awesome in his power) that humans can’t handle his presence? Continue reading “Episode Review: Supernatural 11×21”

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Episode Review: Supernatural 11×20

You know how the cardinal rule of writing is “Don’t put God in the story”? You know, literal deus ex machina and all that jazz? Because once you put God in the story, everything kind of becomes redundant. If God could just fix everything, why doesn’t he? What is the point of anything if there is a God?

I’m going to need some more material before I come to a conclusion about how I feel about Supernatural literally putting a face to God. My preliminary feeling is that they’ve done it as well as they could have, if they absolutely had to do it. I mean, if you’re going to put God in your story, you may as well make him a deist. Continue reading “Episode Review: Supernatural 11×20”

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Episode Review: Supernatural 11×19

This episode was a Creature of the Week, which is my favorite kind, and when Supernatural is at its best, in my opinion (I’ll get into how much I hate The Darkness plot in another review, I’m sure).

The episode begins with two young boys, who we quickly discover are a pair of brothers. Jessy, the younger brother is gay, and is warned by his older brother Matty not to make this known to the townspeople. The brothers share a heartwarming moment, reminiscent of Sam and Dean’s youth (which was likely the intent), and Matty promises Jessy that as soon as he turns eighteen, he’ll whisk them out of their conservative Colorado town.

I guess I should have known it wasn’t going to end well. Continue reading “Episode Review: Supernatural 11×19”