Monthly Wrap-Up + Halloween Costume | October 2017

Hello lovely people!

It’s that time of the month where we go through all the good (and maybe bad?) stuff that happened to us!

This is an easy way for everyone to check out posts that might intrigue them or have missed from us and share their thoughts with us. You can even get a glimpse at Trang’s Halloween costume below 😉

Feel free to share what you’ve been up to and talk to us! There’s no bad time for catching up or for fangirl/boy’ing! ❤

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Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

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“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.”

— Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

    I guess it was about time that I finally took a dive into the very original story of one of the most famous monsters out there. Seeing the big green creature left and right around Halloween in every form possible, whether its a show, a movie or in person, his background has always been summed up as the man brought back to life through an electrifying experiment. Now that I’ve read his story, I can definitely tell you that it wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be. Oh, no, no, no. This is one classic filled with correspondences and flowery writing like none other. Although it did enlighten me on how Victor Frankenstein’s creation came to life, it definitely didn’t impress me with its writing style, characterization and its abundance of details. Its themes and the moral of the story does stir up some nice little discussions for those who wish it, but if you were looking for a story that would raise the hair on the back of your neck, make you sweat in fear or have you cowering for a week at the mere thought of this legendary creature, this is not where you’ll find it.

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Books for Stranger Things fans

If you are a hardcore fan of Stranger Things like me, you would binge watch everything from Season 2 and then got stuck of having nothing to do after… But, luckily for us, there are books ! 😀 So here are some books that can delay your withdrawal symptom of  Stranger Things feels for a bit or for those of you who haven’t watched it yet, reading these books would be a nice way to prepare for it 😉

To start off, what is Stranger Things ?

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Netflix Tv Show. Setting : 1983. Event: A boy goes missing. A monster. Weird events happening. Dark things going on. Romance here and there. A waffle lover and X-Men mutant.

In order to choose which books will be included in this selection, here’s a list of themes that appeared on Stranger Things : 

  • Supernatural aspects ranging from monsters to creepy interdimensional stuff
  • Nostalgia (so anything from 60s to 90s) 
  • A horror/suspense event
  • A bunch of kids in bikes 

From that, I choose the books that have the same themes. So here we go!

Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon

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The funny thing is I stumbled on this book in a random book sale beside my neighbourhood library. It was the most beautiful story I’ve ever read and It’s a book you will remember. If you like that 60’s vibe and a touch of magical realism,  some suspense and horror elements, this is for you.

Zephyr, Alabama, is an idyllic hometown for eleven-year-old Cory Mackenson—a place where monsters swim the river deep and friends are forever.

 

 

Paper Girls Vol.1 By Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang

This graphic novel screams Stranger Thing but all girls version!! I picked this up after my friend Brianna, who worked at Indigo, recommended this graphic novel to me and I loved it. It has the right kind of humor, beautiful artwork and that 90’s vibe.

In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.

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The Age of Instagram Poems // the sun and her flowers, Love Her Wild, The Universe of Us review

If you’ve been on Tumblr or Instagram lately, you will notice the rise of a new art: the short and sweet poems. This is a reborn for poems, because once they were linked to complex words and over-exaggeration and now, well, they are simple, sweet, short and efficient.  Some understand the power of words and master it beautifully.

So, I’m here to share with you my top favourite poetry collections this Fall ! ❤ 

3RD PLACE

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 The Universe of Us by Lang Leav. I loved her Love and Misadventures and I feel like with this one, she was more connected to her storytelling roots. The poems are longer, there are more stories and I love how honest she is. She knows that after several books, it :universeofusodetowriters Continue reading

13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough // Brilliant Constructed Crime YA

MY RATING : ★★/5 

I don’t always appreciate thrillers nowadays BUT this one is one hell of exception.  

The overall plot is around Natasha who was dead for 13 minutes in a freezing river, she woke up from a coma and can’t recall what happened or how she ended up dead. Okay, past me was like : REALLLY? Another AMNESIA-JUSTIFYING-CRIME-THRILLER? I started reading and you know what? It was pretty good!The fun thing is, this girl SURVIVED she wasn’t some other protagonist who has amnesia and forget what she saw that night and has to force herself to remember to help the police with another murder (cough cough The Girl on The Train vibe). This story is about the girl. She’s the victim, she was the one who was dead and she was the one who had amnesia.

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The Shoe on the Roof by Will Ferguson

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“They found it, tucked out of sight, exactly where she said it would be: a single shoe, on the roof.”

— Will Ferguson, The Shoe on the Roof

    Giller prize-winning author of 419 returns with a different and unique story that tackles sanity and madness through the eyes of a man who breaks everything down with science. This work of fiction is the story of Thomas Rosanoff’s, one of the most arrogant and self-centered character I’ve endured in my life. His recent breakup pushes him to conduct an unorthodox research in search for answers that he believes will be a major breakthrough in the field of science. What exactly are we talking about? Thomas examines the idea of two objects not being able to hold the same space at the same time, but transposed on identities. To do so, he brings together three completely different men of different ages and with different backgrounds who all claim to be messiahs. By trying to conduct an experiment where they’d all come together and confront their delusions of grandeur, Thomas believes he’ll be able to find the cure to these false identities. The purpose behind this quest however has multiple angles, and one of them being able to get his girlfriend back, but this experiment does not end like he thought it would.

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The Book of Swords by Gardner Dozois (Editor)

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“From now on, if you wanted to tell those kinds of stories, you were going to have to have to do it in fantasy.”

— Gardner Dozois, The Book of Swords

    I’ve always thought that short stories were so much more harder for authors to nail. To be able to compress a whole narrative within 30 to 100 pages seemed like a task only a God could manage. Only a few authors are able to find an idea, foreshadow it and deliver a stunning ending that will make you realize just how clever those last couple of pages were. In fact, being able to deliver a clever narrative is what I also look for in all my stories, whether they are long or short. The Book of Swords is my first venture into the world of anthologies and I can tell you all that this was such a splendid experience. I won’t be reviewing each story one by one—which would be a bloody crazy idea with the number of authors featured and the number of things I might or might not be able to say about them—but this compilation of short stories was a fantastic break of the usual long and traditional literature that I’m used to embrace. I’m pretty glad to have read this one as it opened me to the idea of always having an anthology, or even short stories, ready on my bookshelves to pick up whenever I’m looking for something short and sweet to indulge.

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Best Snow White Retelling So Far // Girls Made Of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

MY RATING : ★★/5 

When I started reading this book, I expected a very average teenage fantasy story because I’ve been disappointed in so many YA books lately. Surprisingly, as soon as I think that I find myself diving in the book and never let it go for the next 3 hours and read it one shot. YES, that’s how good it was!

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I would love to say that it’s the usual plot but nope this one is actually unexpected. Without spoiling anything, you have Mina, the step-mother, a beautiful woman with an exquisite charm and Lynet, the princess who become quite fond of her stepmother. Since she was a little girl, Lynet wanted to be like Mina, a beauty and those fierce traits that she always looked up to. Unfortunately, as the story unfolds their relations would turn into anger and a battle of powers take place. Don’t read the official blurb, it gives away too much of the story.  Continue reading

Ex Machina (Volume 1) The First Hundred Days by Brian K. Vaughan

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“It may look like a comic, but it’s really a tragedy.”

— Brian K. Vaughan, Ex Machina (Volume 1) The First Hundred Days

    Set around the year 2000, Ex Machina (Volume 1) The First Hundred Days concocts a New York city politics-filled drama mixed in with a dose of realistic superhero vigilantism. Writer of countless renown series such as Saga, Y: The Last Man and Paper Girls, Brian K. Vaughan offers us the story of Mitchell Hundred as he randomly lives through a freak accident that presents him with never-before-seen superpowers. This volume collects issues #1-5 and gives us a glimpse into the origin story behind Mitchell Hundred and how he went from being a simple civil engineer to The Great Machine to the Mayor of New York City. Albeit a throwback to the early 2000s, this volume succeeds in capturing the atmosphere and social dilemmas that troubled NYC back in the day. The story also does a wonderful job in presenting readers with a protagonist who’s not exactly special in any way possible and who’s core personality remains genuine and unaltered, even when he’s gifted with powers.

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Strange Fire by Tommy Wallach

MY RATING : ★★/5 

Wow quel plaisir ! That’s what I screamed to myself on my couch when I finish this book. It’s probably one of my favourite dystopian novel of the year.

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The overall plot of the book is between two brothers Clive and Clover. One is eighteen, has to be an adult and bears new responsibilities as a man and the other is one of the smartest in the family, recruited by The Library as a young age and has a big interest in knowledge. But knowledge and science are not welcomed in this society. Their family have been on the road to spread the message of The Daughter, worshipping a religion who forbids the thirst for knowledge. But as they travel together, both brothers discover a few things that don’t make sense, series of events that may reveal to them as the dark truth behind their father’s doctrine. Continue reading

Blackwing by Ed McDonald

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“I don’t like things that don’t make sense. Not until I’ve put a knife in them.”

— Ed McDonald, Blackwing

    It would be a mistake to overlook this book. Ed McDonald’s debut novel, the first book in The Raven’s Mark series, is a phenomenal piece of literature. It glows with fiery passion and an inhuman mastery of creativity. There wasn’t a single moment to take a breath as it held a tenacious grip on my attention to the point of chocking me with fast-paced action. Blackwing is a beautiful and sinister fantasy story. Its ability to create a wonderful and unique world is astonishing and bleeds with a desire to seduce you into the mind of Ed McDonald. Reading this felt like the work of a genuine mastermind who’s penmanship has went through hell and high water. Forget about soft clouds and pretty rainbows. Blackwing will show you misery and demise melded around hope, reason and humanity. This novel deserves so much praise and absolutely needs everyone’s attention. So what are you waiting for?

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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

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“Everything is true. Everything anybody has ever thought.”

— Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

    What is life? Such a mundane question, right? Philip K. Dick doesn’t think so. He sure as hell didn’t think so when he wrote Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. Although Blade Runner (1982) draws inspiration on this classic masterpiece, it definitely doesn’t tell the same story. This novel’s essence emanates from a desire to dive deep into the concept of life. To do so, there’s nothing more perfect than androids and electric animals to serve as a means to establish how simple existence is. In this novel, set in 2021, World War Terminus has sent mankind off-planet and introduced everyone to extinction. The remaining people now lay great importance to any remaining living creature, but each now go for great value. Those who can’t afford them are looked down upon, and to avoid such scrutiny, invest in electric simulacrum. The story however doesn’t solely focus on these creatures, but also on androids. These machines were so similar to humans, it is near impossible to tell the difference, hence forcing the government to ban them. Bounty hunter Rick Deckard however has the mission to find rogue androids and to “retire” them. In this journey, he’ll be enlightened in unimaginable ways that his life isn’t as easy as just buying himself his next big horse.

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Blade Runner 2049 – Movie Review

MY RATING : ★★/5

After reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? By Philip K.Dick , I immediately wanted to watch the famous movie by Ridley Scott, Blade Runner. I’m sorry to say but that first movie of Blade Runner was pretty disappointing for me. I fell asleep man.

While I feel like the first movie didn’t deliver, Denis Villeneuve (Montreal REPRESENT 😀 ) makes an impressive move with the sequel, Blade Runner 2049. This movie at least, was very loyal to all the values and ideas that the Phillip K.Dick wanted us to understand.  It’s all about finding our own place in the world, to belong to someone or some cause.

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A clear narrative construction, this movie depends a lot on the plot and DAMN it was a good one! Director Denis Villeneuve has passed along a clear message to all the early reviewers to not spoil anything for the audience to discover for themselves, I’m going to respect that and say that tis movie is worth diving into it. All the characters, their interaction and how they are connected to each other is a masterpiece.

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On top of that, this movie has one of the most beautiful scenery and imagery I’ve ever seen. Playing with textures, lights, objects, creating an elegant design. This was always the tour de force of Denis Villeneuve but he really went above his limits and gives us a delightful eye-candy experience. There was a scene in the end that I  find very genuine,  it’s how he uses lighting to distinguish the emotions in the conversations. Switching from lights to shadowing each feature one by one.

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Everything from the music to the holograms, a beautiful dedication to Ridley Scott’s world while managing to have a strong script, a premise that questions the most controversial topic of all the AI and cyborg technology. The movie finally makes us feel something. Makes me feel attached to the characters. All that experience was possible thanks to the amazing background music, the cinematography and the marvellous acting of Ryan Gosling. Yes the movie was mostly about him. Nevertheless, all the side characters were pretty on point too.   Continue reading

Most Anticipated Releases in October

Hi everybody ! Trang’s back with another listopia posts 😀 I’ve spent a few hours reading about all the books coming out this month (so I can ask my family what books I want for my birthday *muahhha*) and I wanted to share with you my most anticipated releases ! So if you are looking to read some new books coming out this month, this post might help you 😉

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The Book of Dust by Phillip Pullman : The author of Golden Compass returns for a trilogy prequel to Northern Lights series.  “La Belle Sauvage, is set 10 years before the events of His Dark Materials, and the rest of the story takes place 20 years after that: in fact, 10 years after Lyra comes home to Jordan College after her adventure in the Arctic at the end of The Amber Spyglass.” – Penguin Random House

Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng: Thanks to my fellow bloggers for making me discovering this new book with an extremely original book cover (SEE PICTURE BELOW). Reviews are calling it a gothic fantasy tale.  This is one of the time where the cover completely thew me off and making me want to read the book ! Continue reading