Tag Archives: literature

Vicious Vengeance: Examining Vindictive Exes In Pop Culture

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Vicious Vengeance: Examining Vindictive Exes In Pop Culture

The narrative of the crazy ex-girlfriend is so prevalent that the CW actually made a TV show about it. Other portrayals aren’t as nuanced as Rachel Bloom’s sitcom, which actually attempts to bring a feminist twist to a mostly misogynistic plot device. But a good “crazy ex” narrative can almost be as entertaining as romantic buzz kill movies. So let’s examine examples of crazy ex-girlfriends in popular culture and find what makes them tick. Be careful, hell’s got nothing on these women!

The Woman in “Bust Your Windows”

Jazmine Sullivan released a hit song “Bust Your Windows” in 2008; a cover by Glee a few years later increased its popularity. In the song, an unnamed woman dishes out vengeance when she sees her lover in bed with another woman. But she doesn’t punish him directly. As the title says, she busts the windows of his car. Oof, better find a shop that fixes car windows. As an added bonus, she carves her initials on it with a crowbar. Double oof. Maybe it’s time for an upgrade, unnamed philanderer?

But as lyrics and Sullivan’s crooning voice reveal, she knows that doing so is futile. She’s only committing vandalism to make the man suffer, and that his pain will only be a small echo of the pain he caused her. The lyrics go on to explain that the woman wants this to be a lesson to the man that he can’t treat women that way. As far as “crazy ex” activities go, not unreasonable but also inadvisable to do in the real world, only, whoops, Jazmine admitted in 2016 that she did bust an ex’s windows. *Happens to the best of us!*

Alex Forrest from “Fatal Attraction”

Glenn Close’s performance as Alex was nominated by the Academy Awards. Glenn Close deserves praise for the amount of research and preparation she did to perform that well, but the actress disagrees how the writers treated Alex. Close explains she portrayed Alex as clearly mentally disturbed, a woman who needed help to break free from her obsessive devotion to her married lover. She wanted to play a tragic character whose dark past is the cause of her disturbance.

But the studio and the test audiences both wanted Alex to meet a grisly end and to ensure it, they turned her into THE crazy ex, attacking her lover’s family with a knife and boiling their pet rabbit. Instead of the cheating man getting punished, the mentally ill woman he took advantage of bites it, instead. Before you ask, yes, “Fatal Attraction” was written by a man.

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Amy Elliot Dunne from “Gone Girl”

Gillian Flynn’s thriller novel “Gone Girl” and the film adaptation that stars Rosamund Pike in the titular role caused a lot of debate as to whether or not it’s a feminist narrative. In the story, Amy Dunne is a brilliant woman who is scorned by her underachieving but charming husband. To exact her revenge, Amy frames her husband for her murder. She also expounds on what she calls “Cool Girls.” According to Amy, and by extension Flynn, women change themselves to be the “cool girl” that pleases their man in every way.

Amy changed a lot about her and maintained her body to keep her husband interested. But he doesn’t live up to his end, neglecting her needs and cheating on her. But the way she enacts her vengeance is way too brutal. Not only does she lie about assault and fake a pregnancy, she also murders someone to further her plans.

What makes Amy a feminist character is that she is absolutely right about the “Cool Girl” dynamic. She’s also a strong, intellectual woman who knows her worth and fights for what she believes is hers. But she is a terrible, manipulative, murderous person. You can’t get a more complex portrayal of female vengeance than Amy Elliot Dunne.

Inspiring or a warning? The only person who can decide whether these women should be looked up to or locked up is yourself, but before you make your judgment, remember that there is a story behind everything. And hopefully, you’ll speak up the next time you hear someone use the phrase “crazy ex.” Who knows, you might be saving the windows of their car!

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Hide By Lisa Gardner Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Hide By Lisa Gardner Edition

Hi! I love visiting the local libraries in my area because you never know what kind of events are taking place or good stuff that they’re giving away. At the library in North Hill that I go to with one of my clients, there are always a few boxes of books that are free for the taking and we always enjoy looking through those. The last time that we were there, I had a massive haul of thriller, horror, and suspense books including Hide by Lisa Gardner.

I just finished this suspense filled whodoneit a few days ago and I LOVED it. Normally, I am very good at figuring out the outcome of a book or movie well before the grand reveal but, for once, this one kept me guessing the entire time. I hate to brag, but this honestly never happens.

Hide revolves around Tanya or Annabelle or whatever her name is because, sometimes, she doesn’t even know. Her life has been on the run nonstop since her youth and, just as she thought that things were finally settling down, an underground chamber containing the mummified remains of six little girls was found on the grounds of an abandoned mental hospital.

The story is told from the perspectives of Bobby Dodge, a new detective and Annabelle and it switches back and forth every few chapters. Both the detective and Annabelle are trying to solve the mystery of who committed such an atrocious crime and fast. Because, somehow, Annabelle is the missing key and she very well could be next.

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Although this book was just about four hundred and fifty pages, it felt like a quick read and I definitely recommend it for fans of crime related psychological thrillers. My only qualm is that a cheap bottle of window cleaner from the Dollar Tree managed to open in my car and spill all over my book, which made it look pretty gross! Thankfully, I was still able to read it despite the water logged pages and now I am really interested in reading more of Lisa Gardner’s work!

What is your favorite genre to read? What are you reading right now (Other than my blog, of course!)? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Library Freebie Haul

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Library Freebie Haul

Helloooo! While apartment shopping, I have made a really strong effort to shop mainly at discount or thrift stores. Ballin on a budget is important to me and I am so happy to have saved so much money by shopping smart for my new place. Of course, I never say no to freebies, either, and was able to pick out a ton of books from the free to take section at one of the local libraries. Check it out:

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Reading is one of my favorite hobbies and, until I can figure out which entertainment streaming service I’ll be going with, I will be doing a lot of it at my apartment. So, a haul of new books to read was just what I needed! For the most part, all of the books I chose are thrillers and I am looking forward to sinking my teeth into all of them. And, how can you say no to a book by Betty White FO FREE? The answer is: you don’t!

At a book store, all of these would surely total out to around one hundred bucks and I was able to take them home for nothing. This was a great haul and I am so happy to have some new books to stock my shelves with at chez moi. 🙂

Do you frequent any of your local libraries? How do you save money while shopping? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Moving On Up: Five Below Haul Edition

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Moving On Up: Five Below Haul Edition

Hello everyone! With my big move getting closer and closer with every passing day, the major hauling continues. We all know that I love to shop more than I love myself sometimes. And, I really think that because of this passion, the initial stressors of moving have faded away and it’s becoming more fun than anything. However, I am really trying to stick to my ballin on a budget lifestyle by choosing bargain and secondhand stores and being mindful of the best deals when shopping at Target or TJs.

So, it’s no surprise that I ended up at Five Below during my shopping extravaganza. And, I’m glad that I did, because I got all of the goodies seen below for under forty dollars! Check it out:

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An apartment wouldn’t be an apartment without two huge wine glasses that hold an entire bottle of wine in it! Lol, those were definitely a must. And, I loved the gallon glass dispenser so that I can make a big pitcher of cold tea or sangria during the summer months. I also chose two mini water fountains, one for my office and another to put on my TV stand for the ultimate relaxation experience… maybe while sipping from my holds one bottle of wine glass? 😀

While shopping, I also picked up the beautiful book “I Love You, Mommy” for my sister to read to my sweet niece, Valerie. I read it in the store and seriously almost cried seven times. The words are so touching and the pictures are gorgeous and I just know that Kristen is going to get a good cry out of it. In fact, I read some of the passages to my mom and cried so I highly recommend this one to literally anyone. It’s awesome!

And, finally, I grabbed some cute new ribbon hair ties to wear to the skating rink as well as my little sloth pal. One of my clients helped me pick him out to match the one that she got, so he will have a very special place in my apartment. ❤

Overall, this haul was really successful. I got some fun miscellaneous items that will make a big impact in my space and thirty-nine bucks for all of it was definitely the right price!

Where is your favorite bargain store to shop at? What other stores should I go apartment shopping at? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Silent Patient Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Silent Patient Edition

Helloooo! I just recently finished a book called The Silent Patient and, although I figured out the major twist before the grand reveal, I really enjoyed it! A thriller through and through, this book explores the effects of childhood trauma in an adult and what it means to be psychologically “killed”. Part detective story, part diary, and one hundred percent awesome, The Silent Patient was definitely worth the read.

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Alex Michaelides’ psychiatric facility thriller revolves around Theo, a psychotherapist, and Alicia, a patient who hasn’t uttered one word since killing her husband via multiple gunshots to the face. Theo transfers to the failing facility that Alicia is at with the intention of “rescuing” her. To do this, Theo begins to visit her estranged family and former business partners to gather a better understanding of who the mute Alicia really is.

In doing so, Theo learns of a troubled childhood and past that closely resembles his own family trauma in his youth. Then, things get especially interesting when Alicia bestows her diary onto Theo and we find out that in the days leading up to the murder she committed, she was being followed. Which begs the question if she really committed the murder at all.

Filled with multiple twists, turns, and Red Herrings, The Silent Patient was a fast read, because it was impossible to stop! I finished the three hundred twenty-five page book in two days and only wish that it could have been longer. If you are like me, then you enjoy trying to figure out the major plot twist before it happens. I revel in solving the mystery before it is revealed and my advice to those who will read it is to go with your gut instinct as soon as you start because, chances are, you are right!

I give this book a ten out of ten, no questions asked. It was one of the most unique thrillers that I’ve read in a good long while. The mental health aspect of it was fascinating and there was not one single character that I didn’t enjoy reading about. Give it a try, because you will not be disappointed. 😀

What is your favorite thriller? Do you like to try and solve the grand reveal while reading or watching a movie? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: Hidden Bodies Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Hidden Bodies Edition

Howdy! Last week, I completely devoured YOU by Caroline Kepnes. Starving for more, I had to grab the sequel to Joe Goldberg’s super stalker story and ended up reading Hidden Bodies in two days. As many will agree, the follow up was not as good as the gripping first one. But, it was written exactly the same as the first, hence, it was totally un-put-down-able. Let’s discuss:

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In Hidden Bodies, Joe Goldberg ditches gloomy New York for sunny LA. However, it wasn’t because he wanted to work on his tan. No, he just needed to seek revenge on the last girl that screwed him over. When Amy fled their relationship with a small fortune of rare books in tow, Joe used his uncanny ability to stalk his prey to find out that LA was her destination. So, he called it quits at Mooney’s, packed a duffel bag, and headed west.

Joe learned that Amy had hopes of becoming an actress but he also found that trying to locate his ex in LA was a lot harder than he initially thought. While on the prowl, he gets himself into more trouble and yet another relationship with an incredibly rich woman in the movie industry compliments of crashing an audition that Amy could have been at.

Once Joe begins his relationship with wealthy and older Love, the plot begins to get just the slightest bit far fetched. And by the slightest, I mean very. I enjoyed it, despite some of it reading like soft core porn. But, it just didn’t feel as creepy as its predecessor. Because of the too crazy to be true plot once finding Amy was completely abandoned, the overpowering sense of being watched and followed went out the window with it.

It was still a well written sequel and, because of that, it was a quick read although it was close to four hundred pages. But, I could have not read it and still been fine. However, I am not going to tell you to not read this book. At the end of the day, Joe Goldberg is hilarious. Yes, he’s an awful, sick, disgusting character and that’s putting it nicely. But, the Joeisms in Hidden Bodies were as rich as they were in YOU and you’ll be sure to get some good laughs in.

I am going to give Caroline Kepnes’s follow up a six out of ten. It was good, but not great. But, if you liked YOU, you’re not going to not like Hidden Bodies. Now, I am looking forward to the second season of the television show YOU to see if they incorporate any of this sequel into it!

What were your thoughts on YOU or Hidden Bodies? How did you feel about the TV show of YOU? I want to hear from all of YOU, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Hosting A Book Club

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Hosting A Book Club

Hosting a book club can be an exciting new venture. It provides you with an opportunity to discuss books that you have genuinely enjoyed reading with others. You can put across your own understanding and analysis of the book and also open your mind to new ideas by listening to others’ comprehension, thoughts, and feelings. It’s also a great way to meet people with similar interests to you. You can form bonds with a whole new friendship group! But hosting a book club is by no means a simple feat. It entails a whole lot more than simply sitting around a table with a copy of a book and talking. You will need to prepare and put a fair amount of thought into ensuring that your book club really stands out from the rest.

Setting Up:

Setting up is, perhaps, the most time consuming process of hosting a book club. You will need to draw up some sort of guest list, set a date and time, and set a place where everyone will meet. Generally speaking, it’s best to communicate with participants throughout this process. What best suits you may not best suit the majority. You may have to be a little flexible and lenient to get the ball rolling.

Nominating Books:

Choosing the book that you are all going to read can be relatively difficult. Attendees are likely to have different tastes and preferences, but emphasize the fact that a book club is a great opportunity for people to introduce themselves to new authors, genres, and forms of literature. Engaging with something unfamiliar could help people become exposed to something that they actually love but would have never tried themselves.

Creating a Comfortable Setting:

If you are meeting in a public space, try to make sure that it is comfortable and appropriate. If you are hosting at home, make sure that there are sufficient seats for all attendees and that the room doesn’t feel cramped with a bunch of bodies. Consider lighting – you don’t want it to be too bright or too dark.

Background Music:

You don’t want music blaring while you’re trying to hold a conversation about Edgar Allan Poe’s assonance. But, it is a good idea to have some sort of quiet background noise. Quiet music can make people feel a little more comfortable in any social setting. This tends to be why bars, restaurants, and cafes all have a quiet soundtrack playing at all times. You can find plenty of royalty free music to use at https://stockmusic.net/royalty-free-music/. Make up some sort of playlist that can be looped so you’re not having to play DJ throughout the event.

Provide Snacks and Refreshments:

You may want to consider providing snacks and refreshments or requesting that people bring their own. Rumbling stomachs and thirst can detract from people’s experience, so keep everyone full, quenched, and content. Make sure you’re aware of allergies or special diets ahead of time.

There is a lot more than one might think when it comes to running a book club! The above areas are just a few to consider. Hopefully, they will help to make your book club memorable and enjoyable for all involved.

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