Monthly Archives: October 2017

Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino Book Review

Title: Before We Were Strangers23309634

Author: Renee Carlino

Genre: New Adult/Adult

Rating: 5/5 Stars




 

To the Green-eyed Lovebird:

We met fifteen years ago, almost to the day, when I moved my stuff into the NYU dorm room next to yours at Senior House.

You called us fast friends. I like to think it was more.

We lived on nothing but the excitement of finding ourselves through music (you were obsessed with Jeff Buckley), photography (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of you), hanging out in Washington Square Park, and all the weird things we did to make money. I learned more about myself that year than any other.

Yet, somehow, it all fell apart. We lost touch the summer after graduation when I went to South America to work for National Geographic. When I came back, you were gone. A part of me still wonders if I pushed you too hard after the wedding…

I didn’t see you again until a month ago. It was a Wednesday. You were rocking back on your heels, balancing on that thick yellow line that runs along the subway platform, waiting for the F train. I didn’t know it was you until it was too late, and then you were gone. Again. You said my name; I saw it on your lips. I tried to will the train to stop, just so I could say hello.

After seeing you, all of the youthful feelings and memories came flooding back to me, and now I’ve spent the better part of a month wondering what your life is like. I might be totally out of my mind, but would you like to get a drink with me and catch up on the last decade and a half?

M




 

Before We Were Strangers is a story of friendship, love, loss and finding your way. This novel is beautifully written and deserves nothing less than 5 stars. I was taken on an emotional roller coaster while reading the story of Matt and Grace, I devoured this book in one weekend. It was with me everywhere I went.

Matt and Gracie try their best to be just friends, but they can’t fight the chemistry. Have you ever felt like you’re just meant to be with someone, because Matt and Grace know they should be together forever, the only problem with these quick moving relationships is that they can come crashing down.

I felt this horrible feeling throughout the book that there would be no happy ending for Grace and Matt. Carlino did such an amazing job establishing that fear along with the setting and characters.

Carlino gives these subtle hints throughout the novel of what’s going to happen in the end and they’re easily forgotten or read right over, but once you get to the end, all those things come rushing back to you! This novel was brilliant.

You have to read this one…

 

 

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Everything, Everything Book Review/Movie Comparison

Title: Everything, EverythingEverything,_Everything

Author: Nicola Yoon

Genre: Young Adult

Rating: 5/5 Stars




 

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.




 

Book Review

This book was amazing. I’m not sure how to put how amazing it was, into words. I read it because I saw the movie trailer and I really wanted to watch it but thought the book was worth a try.

I loved Maddy because of how pure and kind she was. She can’t remember a time of ever leaving her house, she literally didn’t understand the concept of traffic. The things we take for granted, are things Maddy was just getting to experience at 18 for the first time. Olly brought out this new person in her and he was so caring and concerned for her.

I’m a huge lover of insta-love in books, so I was kind of worried how this one would play out because the characters don’t get too much interaction together. However, I was not disappointed at all. It was the perfect about of swoony, cute, first love and personal dilemmas with Maddy.

Olly was the perfect image of the boy next door that most girls dream of falling in love with. Enough bad boy vibe, but nothing over the top. Maddy and Olly made one another into better versions of themselves and I think that’s a romance worth looking up to.

I think this may have been my favorite book that I’ve read this year.

The movie, on the other hand, is another story….

Movie Adaptation

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I was so excited to watch the movie adaptation. When I heard this was going to be a movie, I immediately bought a copy to read before it came out. Me being me, I procrastinated all summer and then just waited for it to come out on DVD/BluRay. Sadly, the movie fell way short in my opinion, probably because the book was so fresh on my mind, so I was picking everything they did wrong with it.

I loved these scenes when they were in Hawaii, those were my favorite, but I missed the visit and conversation with Olly’s friend, that seemed like a big part to miss out on, along with the visit with her nurse before she left.

The way they handled the text conversations could have been better. If I hadn’t read the book I would have been really confused. My parents watched this with me and they didn’t understand how one second they were just texting and the next they’re in the diner or library together. However, I did love the astronaut in the background. My favorite part of the whole movie had to be when he was trying to drink his milkshake and he couldn’t because of his helmet. I could not stop laughing!

The casting of Olly and Maddy were fantastic, I felt like these two really pulled off these roles well. I wasn’t too thrilled with the casting for the mother though, correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t she supposed to be Korean and the father African-American?

They should have also stepped out Olly’s father’s drinking and abuse. They hint at it, but not enough.

Overall, I’d give this movie a 2/5 stars. Yeah, I said it, ouch. Was not a fan.

I Fell 2.5 Miles from the Sky (My Skydiving Experience)

I’m a firm believer of going out and enjoying life. I’m trying to make memories instead of collecting a ton of meaningless items since I can’t take any of that stuff with me. Honestly, I wish I lived in a tiny RV so I could see the world. I’d trade 90% of my possessions if that would be my life. Alas though, I work a 8-4 job, my husband is in law school and teaches, we have 3 cats and a dog and just purchased out house. There will be no nomadic life for us anytime soon. So, on the weekends, we try our best to get out, be active and go on crazy adventures.

On August 20th, we did one of the craziest things either of us have done. We went skydiving. Click here if you want to check out my video. It’s super awkward because I had no idea what to say during my ‘interview’ portions and on the plane I couldn’t really hear the photographer/videographer. Here’s my husband’s video as well… another angle of my jump.

Fun Fact: We went skydiving at the same place Roman Atwood went!

Now, let me tell you, I’ve zip-lined, jumped off a huge rock, jumped off a bridge, rode one of those slingshot rides at the amusement park and I’ve been on plenty of roller coasters. Skydiving has always been on my imaginary bucket list. The idea first came to my mind when I was in college, but I was too broke to afford it and didn’t have anyone who wanted to join me. Then three years ago, one of my coworkers said he went, ever since I’ve been wanting to jump but haven’t had time. Finally, we scheduled it this year since we didn’t have any big vacations planned.

I wasn’t nervous until I pulled into the parking lot of the small airport, even then, it still wasn’t major nerves. I was more nervous when I jump off the bridge at the lake. We got our suits on and our harnesses, met our tandem instructor and waited until it was our turn to fly.

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Once we loaded the plane and started taking off, I was a little more nervous. In the air, I honestly didn’t know what to say when the camera was turned on me. I was literally speechless. I’ve never been in a plane so small… with the door opened.

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It was cold once we reached our jump zone. I was the first person up (going tandem anyway) and I wasn’t as scared when I looked down at the ground. I didn’t even have time to be scared at that point because suddenly, we were falling.

I screamed.

Or so my husband said. He jumped after me and said everyone in the plane heard me shriek. I honestly don’t remember that part.

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I made sure to smile the entire time, since I was being recorded. That’s the only thing I remember being instructed to do. Everything was forgotten when I was falling through the air.

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Here’s the thing… I literally had no care in the world when I was skydiving. I wasn’t worried about the work week ahead, bills, the horrible people of the world or even the possibility of something going horribly wrong as we came closer to the ground. When the shoot was pulled and we were slowly floating down, the beauty of the view was amazing. Even if I wanted to stop smiling, I couldn’t. Seeing my husband across the way from me, landing on the ground, it was all so cool.

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My husbands instructor had a good point. When they landed and he asked Stu how it was, he told him it was insane. But the instructor said, ‘No, being on the ground is insane, being in the sky is peaceful.’ Or something poetic and inspiring like that. Sometimes it’s okay to step out of your comfort zone. There is a difference in being alive and living.

Live your best life. Make those memories.

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Also, reading Everything, Everything the same weekend I went skydiving kind of had me in a YOLO spirit if I’m being honest. Way to relate it back to books, Breanna! Go me!

Will I do it again? Yes. Though the pain from my ears popping was horrible! That was my only complaint.

 

Top 10 Horror Movies (that had me hiding under the covers)

I’ve ranked these on a scale of least scary (but still scary) to the one that literally still gives me nightmares. Happy Nightmares!

10. Krampus

I expected this one to be scarier than it was, it fell short on the terror due to the killer toys coming to life not being scary enough. They kind of had me giggling half the time. My parents, who are not into scary movies at all, actually watched this one. I am thankful to the directors for giving us horror movie lovers something creepy but seasonal to watch around Christmas.

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9. Trick R Treat

I was late in the game watching this one. Watched it for the first time last year and I was pleased. I remember growing up and seeing movie posters and thinking that this would be too scary to watch, but it wasn’t. I loved how we had different stories but they all connected with Sam in the end.

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8. You’re Next

I loved this one! I’ve seen it a handful of times and it always gets me. It’s a little on the gory side since the murders start off almost immediately. The only scene that really bothered me was the ‘clothes line’ scene. You’ll know what I’m talkin’ about when you see it…

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7. Get Out

This was probably the best horror movie I’ve watched since Cabin in the Woods, but it also fell short on the spooky vibes, thanks to the comedy. We need more comic relief in horror movies though! Loved the plot twist! This one is good for those of you who don’t like the blood and gore that comes with horror movies. It was kept to a minimum with this one.

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6. Cabin in the Woods

The guy in the GIF is what made this movie so awesome, aside from the weird plot twist. Now, you may think you’ve seen every ‘cabin in the woods’ movie out there, but this one is different. It has that feeling of your normal ‘campy’ horror but with a big twist. A company basically controls your moves if your life was a horror movie. Love the concept, great acting, but could have had a better ending.

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5. Texas Chainsaw 3D

I don’t like gore. I can’t even tell you if I’ve seen any other Texas Chainsaw movies (I’m that person that runs and screams from chainsaws in haunted houses). This one made the top five because of the twist at the end where the victim starts banning together with the villain.

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4. IT (2017)

Anyone else see the remake? I’m not sure if I liked it so much because I expected the worse due to the horrible original or if I actually really just enjoyed it. The child actors in this did an amazing job (especially Georgie and Richie, they were my favorite characters), Bill (IT) was fantastic making his version of Pennywise equally frightening and charming (before he bites your head off). I have a full review of the movie up on the blog. Perfect amount of humor in this one too. I can’t wait for the sequel!

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3. The Visit

This one… holy moly. M. Night Shyamalan is insane! At first I thought this was just a terrifying movie about grandparents losing their minds or being possessed while watching the grandkids. But then you find out what’s really happening. They’re really crazy, but they aren’t who they say they are!

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2. It Follows

I couldn’t sleep after watching this movie. Basically, a horror movie killer that can only be passed on via sexual contact. You can only get rid of it by having sex, if it kills you, it gets the person who gave it to you and so on. What. The. Hell?! There were many parts of this movie that I was covering my eyes in fear. You don’t know who it is that’s following you, it can be anyone. Imagine that! Creepy! Protection will now help in this case.

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  1. Sinister

The all time scariest movie I have ever seen. This one still freaks me out. I actually got the chance to meet the man who plays Mr. Boogie at Horror Hound Weekend in Indianapolis. Basically, Mr. Boogie possesses the youngest child in the family and the child kills everyone, recording the whole process on film. A man and his family move into a house where some of these murders have taken place and in the attic (of course the attic) he finds all the films. The sequel was okay, but not nearly as scary. If you want a reason to now sleep at night… here you go.

 

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