Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Batman Forever.

Hello everyone!!
I just want to share with you what I have been up to lately...
First of all, what kid doesn't like Batman? I mean, seriously, he's Batman! For the past 2 and a half months, my sister and I have been in California with my brother and his family. We've been having a great time! Let me just say, Batman is life. Anyone who doesn't like Batman should probably stop reading this post. XD
My sister and I love Batman and the DC world. Marvel? Not so much. When I was a kid, Wonder Woman, Batman, and The Flash were my favorite. My sister always liked Batman, Robin, and Superman. And now we've been playing with my 5 year old niece and my 7 year old nephew. They're a lot of fun! When my sis and I first arrived in California back in February, we were watching Batman: the Animated Series (you remember that show, right?) 

My niece was playing with her 6 inch tall DC Super Hero Girl dolls and started watching the animated series with us. She requested, no, demanded that we see Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and the Joker. I'm pretty sure we've now seen every episode in existence featuring any one of those three villains. Harley Quinn and the Joker are her favorite characters now, thanks to my sis and I. My nephew said he didn't like to watch cartoons, but he soon started to watch it with us and asked if we could watch some with Bane. I love these kids so much, they definitely know what's good!

Since we don't have a Joker doll or action figure, we've had to get creative, pretending that my nephew's Marvel character, Hawkeye, is the Joker. Since he's about 12 inches tall, he goes nicely with my niece's 12 inch tall Harley Quinn doll. Sadly, there are no guys for the 6 inch dolls. While it's easy to pretend that Poison Ivy is dating Two-Face, Batgirl is dating Robin (aka Nightwing, aka Dick Grayson), Supergirl is dating Superman (duh), the set was missing the best character: Harley Quinn. When the other girls asked each other where Harley was, the reply was, "She's on a date with Joker." So my sis and I did the only logical thing to do: we bought the Harley Quinn doll for our niece (and a Luke Skywalker's Lightsaber for our nephew). Now she's here hanging out with the squad, but "Puddin" is away on holiday or something. XD
It's only a matter of time until A. she gets a Joker action figure or 
B. she starts playing with something else.
I vote for option A. I mean, come on, every hero needs a bad guy as strangely awesome as the Joker - even if she does pretend that they're all good guys.

Other than playing with toys from the DC universe and watching the Batman cartoons and the Dark Knight, I have been to a rodeo, to a little mountain town, and to the bookstore countless times. I have eaten at amazing Mexican food restaurants, I've had In-N-Out burger, and Mountain Mikes pizza (California seriously has the best food ever!!). Oh, and I got to see Beauty and the Beast in theaters!! It was sooooo good! Part of what made it so good was the amazing cast. Part of what made it so good were the songs. In my opinion, Beauty and the Beast is the best live-action film Disney has released recently because, unlike the other films (Maleficent, Cinderella, and The Jungle Book), this one actually had the songs which made the animated movie so good in the first place!

Ooh, I quickly want to say that I am super excited about Gotham starting up again on FOX!! Jerome (aka the Joker) is awesome! I love how they have developed him so far. Killing him was terrible, but bringing him back was the best thing they could have done at this point! I can't wait to see more of him in the future, but I hope they don't develop him too quickly now that he's back. Who else is starting to freak out, wondering WHEN they're going to renew the show for season 4? Also, let me know in the comments what you think is the best portrayal of the Joker, live action or otherwise (Spider Monkey, your opinion doesn't count). Thanks for reading!

Yours truly,
Me

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Changeling and the Cupboard.

(BOOK REVIEW)

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Where I received this book and what my interest in it is:
So one day I was on Facebook just absent-mindedly scrolling through my timeline when I saw a post that someone had shared of The Changeling and the Cupboard. A changeling is, by definition, a child believed to have been secretly substituted by fairies for the parents' real child in infancy (New Oxford American Dictionary). In other words, fairies would take a human child, typically a baby, and put a fairy child in it's place that was enchanted with magic so the parents would never suspect the swap took place. With this knowledge, it was the title of the book that gripped me immediately, as the cover was not appealing in the slightest (after all, I am a lover of fantasy and fairies XD). I found it on Amazon and having not even finished reading the synopsis, I knew I wanted to read this book. I reached out to the author, Gus Kenny, who agreed to me writing a review on my blog. Within a week I had the paperback book in my possession. Thank you so much Gus Kenny for sending me the book and for taking my mind for a spin into the magical world you created!

Type of book:
YA Fantasy

Ideas expressed/message/ and/or plot:
Lucy Bison has lived with her uncle, Mortimer, for as long as she can remember. She doesn't know what ever happened to her parents and Uncle Mort never answers any questions concerning them. Uncle Mort is a stern man and has a list of strict rules for Lucy to follow, the most important being that she is never allowed in the park, which borders their back fence. On Lucy's ninth birthday, she meets Frankie Friday, a boy who came from the park.
Lucy soon finds herself surrounded by a world of fairies and magic - a world of folklore and fairy tales she thought was impossible to even exist. Her family, which consists of Uncle Mort, Aunt Eva, Aunt Lexi, and Grandmother, may not even be her real family and Lucy herself may not even be human. When Lucy Bison was an infant, she was taken to the All King, or Fey (fairy) King, and thus a changeling was left in her place.
However, she was rescued from the world of Fey and another changeling was created to take her place with the All King. But which Lucy is the real Lucy? And who put the cupboard in the park? Is it more than just a piece of old furniture? Her troubles are only just beginning when an ancient creature that was supposed to be long dead is after her, or the real version of her. Where did it come from, who sent it, and why?
Nearly everyone in Lucy's life is not who she thought they were. They are suddenly mysteries to her, keeping secrets of their own, and possibly hiding from her the information she wishes most to know.

My favorite characters:
I think my favorite is Frankie Friday. He's extremely kind-hearted, funny, and book-smart. He's very matter-of-fact and doesn't understand so many things beyond his basic explanation of them. I love his curse words, using exclamations like, "Sand of the witch!" Lucy Bison is also a favorite. She's very clever for a nine year old. The story is told in the first person and several times I forgot that she's so young. One thing that stood out to me is that she doesn't seem to be a very patient person. She lost her temper towards Frankie several times which made me mad, but at the same time I can understand her losing her patience with him because of his simple ways of thinking. I also choose Mortimer as a favorite. I love who he is beneath his rough exterior - I even like his rough exterior! He may be strict, but nearly everything he does is for the best. Unless you're one of his enemies. Then he's even more impressive. Lastly, I choose Aunt Lexi. She has a fire and energy inside of her that makes her seem like she'd be a fun person to be around. She can be serious when she needs to be, but mostly she seems like the person always having a good time and getting excited and distracted over the smallest things.

Favorite scenes/quotes/lines:
Early on, a man who goes by Mr. Lucian says, "You of all people should know that all tales have a pearl of truth to them." This is my favorite line because it describes one of the things I love most about fantasy. While it provides the escape from reality that I like, it is also about people and life and struggles that are similar to real world experiences in their own right.
Now I'm trying to not give away any major spoilers, but the chapter entitled Pizza and Prisoners is one of my favorites for various reasons (page 71 of the paperback edition)! The chapter entitled Dreadful Dreams is also a favorite, especially the few lines encircling the line, "Though I suppose that is not healthy. Falling in love with a dream." This entire section was beautifully written (page 215-216). In Secrets and Speculations there is a section about fear that I really liked (page 250), and then the second half of Sunday Morning Coming Down (page 271).

The Changeling
and the Cupboard
Other books to read by Gus Kenny:
The Changeling and the Cupboard is part of a series titled, The Complications of Being Lucy. Book 2 is titled The Changeling and the Borrowed Family. Book 3 is titled Traitor's Niece and is currently unpublished, but will be available to purchase this summer! To learn more, check out The Complications of Being Lucy Facebook page, and Gus Kenny's Twitter and website.

Additional Notes:
There are so many great characters in this book, I don't think there was a single person who wasn't interesting. Well, they were more than interesting. A lot of books have interesting characters. These characters are truly memorable!! First of all, they have names like Mortimer, Mother Morgan, Mr. Keyes or Mr. Lucian, Dargo Muldoon, and Frankie Friday. I mean, come on! How can anyone forget Frankie Friday?! Even his description in the story sounds like a Frankie Friday.
I am extremely happy I saw this book, because it was just as good as I was hoping it was going to be, if not better! Most of the characters are a little bit eccentric in their own way. The story was interesting and intense and had me hooked a few pages in. The writing style is fun and easy to read (though there were a few sentences that I had to read and re-read). All in all, I felt the book had everything that a great fantasy book should have! I can't stress enough how memorable the story and characters felt. I highly recommend the series to anyone who loves fantasy. I have read fantasy books about changelings before, but Gus Kenny added a twist to it that I had never heard of before, so it made it that much more interesting to me! Please make sure you check out The Changeling and the Cupboard along with the rest of the series!

Yours truly,
Me