Tag Archives: literature

Apartment Must Haves: Entertainment Edition

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Apartment Must Haves: Entertainment Edition

Hi! Being in my own apartment is, for the most part, a lot of fun. But, there’s a lot more that goes in to running a mini household than people might think. From your necessities to keeping a sanitary environment like trash bags, detergent, and cleaning projects to things to keep you occupied like a gaming system, books, or movies – we are going to discuss it all in this Apartment Must Haves series.

Today, we are going to chat about one of the big ones, for me at least, when it comes to an apartment and that is entertainment. Whether that be when you’re with your friends or just hanging out alone, it’s important to have things on hand that you enjoy to fight the boredom blues. I, myself, have a few shelves dedicated to preventing idle hands during my free time. Check it out:

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And, let’s not forget the new air hockey table! 😀

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Having my own little setup of easily accessible books and movies is an absolute must for me because I am an avid fan of both. Cracking open a good book or putting a movie on during a rainy afternoon is one of my favorite things to do. It’s relaxing and there’s nothing like being transported to another world for a few hours.

I also have a GameCube and am hoping to get a Wii or a Switch so that there are more options for my friends and I to do when they come over – other than getting wine drunk, of course. 😉 And, I would really like to invest in some classic board and table top games, as well, so I can start hosting game nights once a month or so. Good, clean fun is important and being a hostess with the mostess when company is over will make your place the ultimate hangout when you want it to be!

This is why I had to snag my air hockey table when I found it at the Goodwill. Seriously, what’s more fun than that?! There is nothing wrong with having drinks with friends at your place, but I don’t want that to be just what my apartment is about. And, having good entertainment, whether that be hosting a movie night or a game night is a great way to add some variety into your apartment hangs.

What are your favorite board games? What type of games or gaming systems are worth investing in? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Tattoo You: Death From Sandman Edition

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Tattoo You: Death From Sandman Edition

Helloooo! I am a huge graphic novel fan and my all time favorite is the Sandman series by Neil Gaiman. I have read and reread the fantastic saga countless times and it still manages to surprise and intrigue me every time. I have several tattoos from the Sandman series featuring my favorite characters like Dream, Delirium, and Destiny, but the one I love most of all is probably of Death. Check out this beaut:

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Death is probably the most beloved Sandman character to anyone you will ask. She’s this darling little goth girl who is the human personification of, you guessed it, death. But, instead of having a grim outlook on life, she loves it and is always up for an adventure. Death is a protector and meets every single person in their final moments to ease the transition from the living to the dead.

Although I enjoy each character from Sandman in their own right, I have always been drawn to death. I adore her spunky, sassy attitude and her sleek sense of style. She’s bubbly and cheerful and I think that that teaches people to find the joy in the not so great situations because it’s always there if you know where to look.

Who else is a fan of the Sandman series? What is your favorite comic book series? 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: Those People Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Those People Edition

Hello, hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing the whodoneit thriller called Those People, written by Louise Candlish. I have been going through books left and right during my free time, and out of the past handful that I’ve finished, Those People has definitely been my favorite. It leaves you questioning how far you would go to stand up to a bully or, in this case, a neighbor from hell. Without revealing spoilers, let’s discuss:

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Lowland Way is the suburban dream street. Beautiful homes, posh neighbors, and a quiet peacefulness that makes it the ideal neighborhood for the families living there. That is, until Darren and Jodie move in, wreaking havoc on the once “family friendly” street. Loud music, parties, swearing, foul attitudes, a used car business ran from the front yard, and noisy as can be home renovations make the new neighbors on the block less than popular. Especially considering that their business and construction make them a massive eyesore on the picture perfect community.

What’s worse is, the more that Jodie and Darren’s neighbors like Tess, Sissy, Naomi, Em, Ant, and Ralph plea for the noise levels to be kept down, the more intense everything seems to get on their property. And, Darren and Jodie often scoff at any of the uptight neighbors coming to their yard with requests. As if all of this wasn’t bad enough, someone died on Darren and Jodie’s property as the result of an accident on their construction scaffolding.

Once this misfortune happens, the neighbors begin banding together to put an end to Darren and Jodie’s reign of terror. Even if that means committing a murder themselves. However, the scaffolding accident wasn’t so clear cut and while the neighbors are plotting murder, they are being investigated for one as the screws on the structure were tampered with. So, who committed the deed that made the “wrong” person die and can the neighbors work up the nerve to attempt murder again to get it right? Read Those People to find out!

This book was such a quick read for me because it was simply riveting. I loved how the chapters were presented from a different neighbor’s point of view each time and it kept me turning the page because I wanted to see how situations were seen in the other character’s eyes. There were two whodoneit scenarios in the book and I enjoyed piecing together the information from each neighbor to try and figure out what their role was in the crimes committed.

Those People was a nice break from the unstable female narrator books that I have been drawn to lately and it was well worth the read. I don’t think any of you will be able to put it down! I am going to rate it with a 7.5 out of ten and highly recommend it.

Has anyone else read Those People? What were your thoughts on it? 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: Necessary People Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Necessary People Edition

Greetings! There are times in my life when I am without a book or graphic novel to read, but those are certainly rare. I have been enjoying quite a few suspenseful thrillers as of late revolving around seemingly “good” girls with dark secrets and motives. The most recent one I finished was called Necessary People by Anna Pitoniak. Although this book wasn’t my favorite by any means, I read it in a matter of days and found myself itching to get back to it when it wasn’t in my hands. So, without any spoilers to those who plan on giving this book a try, let’s discuss:

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Necessary People spins a tale around a toxic friendship between Violet and Stella. And, when I say that these girls are polar opposites, I mean that in absolutely every sense. Violet suffered from a traumatic upbringing, is a Plain Jane, and prefers to be behind the scenes instead of in the spotlight. All the while, Stella is filthy rich, flashy, and performs best for an audience.

The girls met in college and quickly became inseparable, although a lot of their friendship revolved around Violet getting Stella out of sticky drunken situations, thus making Violet feel like she was important and needed. Because of Violet’s abusive parents, she ended up with Stella’s family for the holidays and was rewarded to the ultimate prize upon graduation: To be able to live with Stella in a lavish apartment in New York City for rent that was dirt cheap, compliments of Stella’s parents.

Post graduation, Stella traveled the world and Violet buckled down as an intern at a news company called KCN. Violet pulled herself up by her bootstraps and quickly began to climb the ladder of success at the network, ultimately landing the gig of an associate producer. And, upon Stella’s return home she was left to her own devices because her BFF turned into a workaholic.

Then, things changed rather abruptly when Violet informed Stella that her head boss was at the party they were attending for the wedding anniversary of Stella’s parents. And, just like that, Stella was on and began as an intern at the news network the following week. She began to move up in her own right – by being in front of the camera and reporting the news that Violet worked hard to investigate.

Despite Violet’s lack of desire to be an anchorwoman, seeing her somewhat lazy other half get the glory for her labor began to take its toll. And, once again, Violet was left in Stella’s shadow. What happens when jealousy begins to eat away between two “best friends”? Read the book and find out!

Although I wasn’t a huge fan of either of the main characters in this book, it proved for a good, fast paced read. I wouldn’t want to be friends with Stella or Violet but I loved their dynamic between each other that was filled with back handed compliments and snide remarks.

It was interesting, because they were both “mean girls” in their own way but Stella was just more forthright about it. So, seeing things from the perspective of Violet, the girl who shied away from all eyes being on her was a nice spin on things. She definitely had the brains of the operation between her and Stella and used her wits to her advantage throughout the book to try and ensure that she would land on top. Ambitious or just a bitch? Lol, you decide!

Like I said, this book wasn’t my favorite but I do think that it was worth a read and I’ll rate it with a 6.5 out of ten stars.

Has anyone else read Necessary People? What were your thoughts on it? 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: In A Dark, Dark Wood Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: In A Dark, Dark Wood Edition

Hiii everyone! Today, we are going to be discussing Ruth Ware’s debut novel entitled In A Dark, Dark Wood. Miss Reese Witherspoon actually just bought the rights to this book to be made into a movie so be on the lookout for a Gone Girl-esque, twist and turny murder mystery flick on the horizon. And, *without spoilers* let’s discuss:

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In A Dark, Dark Wood tells the back and forth tale of an adorably British term “hen do” AKA bachelorette party gone horribly wrong. Our story is told from the point of view of Leonora, Lee, Nora, or Leo depending on who she’s talking to and saying she’s not the most reliable narrator is an understatement. Especially considering that she found herself waking up in a hospital after a murder that she can’t quite remember the details to.

The hen do gathering is for Leonora’s high school best friend, Clare, but – the trick is that she hasn’t spoken to her in ten years. So why did she receive an email from Clare’s extremely passionate bridesmaid, Flo, in the first place? Reluctant at best to go, Leonora and another high school friend, Nina, make a pact to go together but leave if they see fit.

Surrounded by strangers at the bachelorette bash in a house made of all glass in the middle of the forest, Leonora finds herself trapped for a long weekend. Tensions build, secrets are spilled, and someone gets shot with a gun that was supposed to be filled with blanks. And, the question now is, whodoneit?

This is actually my second time reading In A Dark, Dark Wood because my mom thought it might be something that I would like. By the time I was about twenty pages in, I had realized that I read it before so that kind of shows you how memorable the book was to me, despite it’s grand reveal at the end.

Was this book entertaining? Quite. Was it just like Every. Other. Gone. Girl. Style. Book.? Abso-freaking-lutely. I won’t say I hated it, because that’s not true. I wouldn’t have reread it if I didn’t. However, it wasn’t the best thing that I’ve ever read and none of the characters were particularly likeable, which made it hard to get really into it.

Overall, I’d give this book a 5.5 out of ten. It was readable and a nice page turner to spend an afternoon with. But, I think you will find the superficial characters over the top and the narrator to be a bit of a bore. Read it, maybe. Or, better yet, just wait for the movie to come out, instead.

Has anyone else read In A Dark, Dark Wood? What were your thoughts on it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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!

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