Thursday, July 21, 2016

TV Series I'm Caught Up On

Last week I made a post about TV Series I've Watched Through meaning series that have already ended. Now I thought to continue with the series I'm caught up on meaning series that are still airing new episodes. Some of these are my favorites, some I watch just for fun.

  • Once Upon a Time (it's sad to watch how the writers destroy something so amazing)
  • Suits (every episode should be Donna-episode)
  • 2 Broke Girls (it grows on you)
  • Arrow (Felicity rocks)
  • Black Sails (I was hoping for another Pirates of the Caribbean but at least it's about pirates)
  • Mustat lesket (Black Widows, the best Finnish drama right now)
  • The Bridge (how many people will be murdered in the next season?)
  • Deutschland 83 (sometimes even Germans get it right)
  • The Walking Dead (I used to get severe nightmares)
  • Fear the Walking Dead (I may like this even more than the original)
  • Follow the Money (why so dark all the time, Nordics?)
  • Game of Thrones (still not over about the fact that they passed the books)
  • Occupied (I love that the Nordic countries are making quality TV)
  • Mr Robot (raising an interesting issue but I'm not that enchanted)
  • Orange is the New Black (two days in June, and then I have wait another year)
  • Survivor (the greatest reality there is)
  • Amazing Race (me and my mom would blow those yankees out of the water)
  • Syke (Nurses, another great Finnish series)
  • The Big Bang Theory (can't believe it's been airing for ten years)
  • The Flash (Arrow's little lighter brother)
  • Man in the High Castle (holy cow the first season was awesome)
  • True Detective (I actually liked season 2)

When new seasons air I might do reviews of some of these like I did about season 4 of OITNB. I can't wait for the fall when all the series come back from the summer hiatus.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Summer Reading Recommendations!

I was randomly inspired by PeruseProject to make a list of summer reading recommendations, so here we go!

If you want some suspense and thrill with a hint of supernatural or fantasy, try the Green Mile by Stephen King or Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Both of these sucked me right in and didn't let me go until the very last pages.

If you want to read something with a focus more on people in a summery setting, you might enjoy Maggie Stiefvater's Sinner, the sequel to her Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy focusing on Cole and Isabel.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen also has a focus on struggles and relationships between people and the setting is a circus, a bit more exotic than your average let's-hang-on-the-beach summer novel.

The lightest recommendation on my list is the Pure Dead series by Debi Gliori, a middle grade fantasy series about a mafia family who live in a castle and own magical pets. All sorts of absurd and hilarious things happen though the family only tries to live a normal life.

Last but not least a classic summer read recommendation: detective stories. They are fast to read, keep you guessing and entertain you through and through. I personally have read Agatha Christie the most, you can't go wrong with those.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

TV Series I've Watched Through

I watch a lot of TV and I thought I'd share what series I have watched through and through, from the beginning to the end. I only list series that have ended permanently, I'll do another post listing the series I watch that are still continuing. Some of these I have watched many times and will watch again in the future. I use the TV Show Time app to keep up with my watch list and I can recommend that to anyone who watches as much TV as I do. Without further ado, here are the series I have gone through:

  • Tudors (Jonathan Rhys Davies is a great actor but as a whole the show didn't amaze me)
  • 11.22.63 (the ending was beautiful and bittersweet)
  • Cold Case (one of the first series I actively followed)
  • Breaking Bad (this is so guy show that I can't stand it)
  • Desperate Housewives (the humor was on point)
  • ER (my record for a rewatch round is 3 months)
  • Firefly (I'm mad about this)
  • Glee (some of the greatest covers I've heard)
  • Gossip Girl (it just got better and better every season)
  • H2O (because mermaids)
  • Helppo elämä (Easy Living, a quality Finnish drama)
  • How I Met Your Mother (the last season was completely unnecessary and the ending ruined it)
  • Hustle (their cons were very entertaining)
  • Los Serranos (oh those summers spent with Serranos)
  • Lost (to be honest I was lost at some point)
  • Once Upon A Time In Wonderland (Alice and Knave made great partners)
  • Prison Break (though they are now making more)
  • BBC Robin Hood (it could have been saved but the third season went the wrong direction)
  • Sex and the City (not my favorite but had to watch once through)
  • Ex List (the idea was kind of fun)
  • Good Wife (kept you on your toes)
  • the Mentalist (at least first four seasons were awesome and the rest weren't that bad either)
  • the O.C. (this will forever stay with me in my heart)
  • the Office (U.S.) (I hated Michael Scott and liked the last season 100% more when he left)
  • Under the Dome (the ending saved a lot)
  • Revenge (had they thought this through?)
  • Friends (they'll be there for me whenever I feel like it)
  • Revolution (we'll see if they ever continue it)

At some point I will make my top5 favorite series of all time! I also thought I'd make a post where I talk about a few series presenting them and saying what I liked or didn't like about them. I don't think making a whole review of these is a good idea since some of them have ended so long ago, but something will come up at some point!

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Raven Cycle | Series Review

I finished the last book of the Raven Cycle, Maggie Stiefvater's paranormal-fantasy series just yesterday and wanted to of course share my thoughts. The series has gotten a lot of praise and people love it but I have some mixed feelings. Spoilers start here, so if you have not read the series and don't want to be spoiled, stop reading now!

I have heard that people have found the first book a little hard to get into but I didn't feel that way. I admit a lot of characters are introduced very early and information is given in bits and pieces. The concept of ley lines and Glendower might be difficult to grasp but that is exactly what interested me the most while reading and has to do with my mixed feelings. In the first book the hunt for Glendower has the biggest emphasis and I like the first book most because of that. As the series goes on I feel like Glendower becomes less and less important and the focus is on other things and when Glendower is finally found he is not even woken but just dead. I felt betrayed that in the end he has no significance.

As for characters my favorite in the first book was Adam but through the series he changes and I somewhat lost interest in him when he was no longer the ultimate underdog. Ronan's story is one of the most logical which is funny since he is the most illogical character. Adam and Ronan have nothing to do with Glendower which is why I think the hunt had less and less impact on the overall story. Their relationship was great up until they kissed. I would have needed to see them talk about what they are to each other but it was all left out.

From the start I had zero interest in Gansey and was not bothered to think that he would die. His relationship with Blue reminded me of Bella and Edward and made me resent them a little. Blue on her own is an OK character and I shipped her and Adam but that obviously was doomed. The trio Maura, Calla and Persephone are awesome though I feel like they are forgotten and pushed aside towards the end of the last book.

There are a lot of very insignificant characters that in the end have little to no say in what happens. The characters that have some impact are forgotten or not tied in satisfyingly like Neeve or Mr Grey or Gwenllian or Artemus. What happened to them?

The ending is why I mostly have mixed feelings. Not only that Glendower was dead and didn't matter at all but Gansey waking from death was a cop out. I didn't enjoy Divergent series that much but one of the upsides is Tris dying in the end, that felt like an adequate solution and brave move. Gansey's waking wasn't even explained properly. I would have wanted one more chapter before the epilogue, maybe from Mr Grey's point of view which describes how the demon perhaps shatters or ceases from being, what the effect for Cabeswater was, little something else. So many things were left unexplained and I'm not happy about that. Even still it's a fairly good series, four stars for the first three books, three stars for the last book.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Orange Is the New Black Season 4 review

I finished season 4 in two days as I is appropriate and it completely destroyed me, it was an emotional roller coaster as always. It's funny how the series gets you to root for all the characters, excluding some goddamn assholes like Piscatella. Even if the inmates are not friends with each other, they make you sympathize every single one of them.

When you think about it, not a lot happens in each episode but still at the end of the season we are at a totally different place than at the beginning of the season. A lot of characters got their first flashbacks but the new characters didn't become very significant, the focus was firmly on the old characters.

Now I'll get into more spoilery stuff, so if you have not watched the season yet, stop reading now! SPOILERS AHEAD!

The first part of the season was lighter and funnier with Piper's gangsta with an A act and Poussey being a huge Judy King fan. Red and the other lady dealing with Lolly and the body is sometimes hilarious to watch, though Lolly is essentially a sad character, like Crazy Eyes, who by the way had the most heart-wrenching flashback of the season. She never meant anything bad to happen and due to a misunderstanding and an accident she apparently ended up in prison.

When they showed Nicky for the first time I yelped out loud and punched my fist in the air. Red hugging Nicky warmed my heart deeply. I was glad Nicky got her mess sorted out though she shouldn't have gotten into that in the first place.

I enjoy the prison being one big community more than a battlefield of different gangs so that took a little of the enchantment away. They should be united against the guards and demand their rights, not quarrel with each other.

I don't know if I'm glad for Pennsatucky that she made up with Coates or if I hoped she would never forgive him. He apologizing was the very least I expected and the scene was excellent. After season 1 I couldn't stand Pennsatucky but season 3 got me on her side and now I wish nothing but happiness for her.

Lolly's backstory was at the same time great and sad. It didn't clarify whether she was right or a bit looney already but both options got her where she ended up. The flashback actor was phenomenal portraiting Lolly before prison (no, that wasn't the same actor!) but still keeping the character true. Lolly's time machine and relationship with Healy gave me all the feels, and though she belongs to psych she deserves better.

Red is still my favorite character. She is the funniest but at the same time the most badass of all. She will not bend but she is a fierce mother of her prison family and takes care of her own, even if they do dumb things. Vee never had a chance at beating her.

Now finally, let's talk about the last two episodes. I did not see that coming, not at all. Poussey's romance with Soso was so fresh and it was cut so suddenly. Poussey was the small sun shining everywhere she went, I couldn't believe she was dying when she did. If it were caused by anyone else I would have been so angry, but because it was Bailey I just felt deep, deep sorrow. Bailey didn't mean anything like that to happen and I feel so bad for him, too. His life is almost as ruined as Poussey's, I don't know how he can go on, he's still just a kid.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Monthly Recommendations | Empowering Female Leads

This months topic for Monthly Recommendations is empowering female leads and immediately I think of like five or six characters like Hermione or Annabeth but as always I'm not going to recommend the most obvious books.

First book I want to recommend is actually a historic series called Wars of the Roses by Conn Iggulden. The series tells the story of the English royal houses Lancaster and York that were fighting for the crown for decades. One of the main characters is Queen Margaret of Anjou, a French nobel girl who is married to king Henry VI in the first book of the series. Henry VI is sickly and weak so Margaret must be strong for both of them and the royal house and she is very good at managing the kingdom while her husband is not able to.

Another series with strong female leads is the Wolves of Mercy Falls, also know as the Shivers trilogy, by Maggie Stiefvater. She is probably more known for the Raven cycle these days but I love this series and how its female leads Grace and Isabel are so different but still fight for the same things.

I don't know if the main character in the next book is strictly speaking empowering but I find her strong in her own way, though she is more Donald Duck-y, of out of the frying pan, into the fire type of character. I'm talking about Stephanie Plum of the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, an amateur bounty hunter. I laugh out laud when reading her adventures trying to earn her living but even if times get tough she never quits.

Finally I think at this point almost everyone has heard of Game of Thrones but only a few people have actually read A Song of Ice and Fire series by G.R.R. Martin which is a shame. The series is well-written and the world is enchanting with all the detail. Martin has made many good female characters and is indeed praised for it. I feel like everyone can find a character they identify with since there are so many. My favorites are Arya, Sansa and Catelyn, but other people might like Cersei or Daenerys better. Anyway all of these characters are strong and get even stronger the further they go.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

June Wrap Up

I read some awesome books during June, one book less than in May because I began my summer job so I have less time to read now. Still four books total which is pretty good, considering I was abroad and used two days to watch the new season of Orange is the New Black.

The first book I read was Cinder by Marissa Meyer, the first book in the Lunar Chronicles. I had heard a lot about this series but nowhere had I gotten the right picture. Basically this is a fairytale retelling but there is no princess action at all. Instead, Cinder is a cyborg and the best mechanic in a future Asian Commonwelth society. One day prince Kaito shows up to her booth and asks her to fix his droid which contains essential information about Lunars, people living on the Moon. This premise is one of the best I have read for a while and I enjoyed the book right from the start till the end, though I guessed some things right I did not see other things coming. Characters were really real and I liked them all, can't wait to continue to the next book.

Then I read the Silkworm by Robert Galbraith, also know as Auntie Row, the second book in the Cormoran Strike series. Here Robin and Cormoran get a new case and we get to know them more. The book kept you guessing the murderer till the last pages and during the investigation we get to know more about Robin and Cormoran. I like their dynamic but I hope Rowling doesn't make them a pair, they work so much better as just colleagues.

After that I got my hands on to the Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas, a prequel to the Throne of Glass series. This is another series I've heard so much about and wanted to read as soon as possible, though I must say at least based on this book the Lunar Chronicles are ahead. Still, this book managed to crush me and ended with a huge cliffhanger. After I finish the Lunar Chronicles I'll start with this series.

Last book I read is The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater, the second book in the Raven Cycle. This kind of felt little sidetracked from the greater story that began in Raven Boys, though cliffhanger game was strong in this also. The characters went ways I didn't necessarily like so much and definitely didn't hope for. Getting to know Ronan better was interesting but it wasn't enough. Despite that Stiefvater's writing keeps being awesome and beautiful and poetic and I enjoyed the book nevertheless.