The Sun Is Also a Star is the latest rom-com trying to cash in on the recent genre renaissance. But ultimately, the movie fails to captivate.
Natasha Kingsley’s (Yara Shahidi), last day in New York, turns into an experiment in love when she meets wannabe poet, Daniel Bae (Charles Melton). Daniel guarantees he can make the reluctant Natasha fall in love with him in under a day, and their testing of this hypothesis is the foundation of The Sun Is Also a Star.
Critics did not like this movie and audiences didn’t even watch it (as demonstrated by its abysmal box office return), but The Sun Is Also a Star deserves a little more credit.
Yes, there is too much schmaltz, and the script made me feel queasy with sweetness in some places, and the leading actors look like they stepped out of a commercial for the perfect skin moisturizer, yet I was touched by the underlying maturity forming the backbone of this teenage love story.
It’s been a year since the Catalog Killer terrorized the sleepy seaside town of Camera Cove, killing four people before disappearing without a trace.
Like everyone else in town, eighteen-year-old Mac Bell is trying to put that horrible summer behind him—easier said than done since Mac’s best friend Connor was the murderer’s final victim. But when he finds a cryptic message from Connor, he’s drawn back into the search for the killer—who might not have been a random drifter after all. Now nobody—friends, neighbors, or even the sexy stranger with his own connection to the case—is beyond suspicion. Sensing that someone is following his every move, Mac struggles to come to terms with his true feelings towards Connor while scrambling to uncover the truth.
So this book hooked me immediately given its premise is about a serial killer terrorizing a small town known as Candle Cove. I’m always a sucker for a good serial killer story. I also love the fact the main character is gay.
However, my main issue with Keep This to Yourself was in the characterization. I found myself struggling to connect with any of the characters because none of them felt very three-dimensional. For the most part they were written in a shallow way (and that’s not to say the book is shallow only that these characters didn’t have as much depth as I would have liked).
But I did still enjoy this book overall. I liked following Mac’s journey to finding out the truth about what happened to his best friend, Connor, who he may or may not have been secretly in love with. I liked seeing him to get find a new relationship with someone who had also lost someone to the “Catalog Killer”.
Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an absorbing, quick read, but it wasn’t one of my favorites. As far as Young Adult fiction goes though, this is one of the better ones I’ve read in a while so if that’s your thing then I say you should give it a shot.
Catching a killer is dangerous—especially if he lives next door
Hen and her husband Lloyd have settled into a quiet life in a new house outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Hen (short for Henrietta) is an illustrator and works out of a studio nearby, and has found the right meds to control her bipolar disorder. Finally, she’s found some stability and peace.
But when they meet the neighbors next door, that calm begins to erode as she spots a familiar object displayed on the husband’s office shelf. The sports trophy looks exactly like one that went missing from the home of a young man who was killed two years ago. Hen knows because she’s long had a fascination with this unsolved murder—an obsession she doesn’t talk about anymore, but can’t fully shake either.
Could her neighbor, Matthew, be a killer? Or is this the beginning of another psychotic episode like the one she suffered back in college, when she became so consumed with proving a fellow student guilty that she ended up hurting a classmate?
The more Hen observes Matthew, the more she suspects he’s planning something truly terrifying. Yet no one will believe her. Then one night, when she comes face to face with Matthew in a dark parking lot, she realizes that he knows she’s been watching him, that she’s really on to him. And that this is the beginning of a horrifying nightmare she may not live to escape.
Henrietta Mazur is an artist most commonly known for drawing disturbing paintings and etchings. She now works as a successful children’s book illustrator. Recently, she and her husband, Lloyd, relocated to a new neighborhood for a fresh start. Who knew that Hen’s dark tendencies would lead her straight into the mouth of a serial killer?
Do you know that saying about “never really knowing your neighbors”? It doesn’t quite apply here in Swanson’s methodical novel Before She Knew Him. The thing is, Hen’s entire problem is that she does know her neighbor is. She figures it out before anyone else can.
What do you do when you learn the man living no more than yards away from you is a murderer? That is the basis of this novel, and boy did I enjoy going on the journey for the answer to that question.
I have never read Swanson’s work before, but he has a new fan in me now. I sometimes shy away from reading novels written by men in this genre, particularly when they have female protagonists, but I was pleasantly surprised by Hen’s character. She doesn’t fit into the typical hard-drinking, edgy, women we’ve come to expect from psychological thrillers. She felt fully-realized and developed, as did all the other characters.
Yes, I did figure out the direction this book was going pretty early on, but I attribute that as a credit to the author. I will always choose to unfold a story where the twists and turns genuinely make sense over one where the sole purpose is to shock me. I don’t mind when I figure it out before the end if it is well-executed and this story is.
Authors who are adept at foreshadowing know how to render a palpable twist that will still engage you even if you do manage to solve it ahead of time.
I snagged this book a couple of months back when it became available from BoTM, and I’m delighted I did. I only regret taking so long to read it!
An adaptation of Shaftesbury's award-winning, groundbreaking queer vampire web series of the same name, Carmilla mixes the camp of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the snark of Veronica Mars, and the mysterious atmosphere of Welcome to Nightvale. Newly escaped from the stifling boredom of a small town, college freshman Laura is ready to make the most of her first year at Silas University. But when her roommate, Betty, vanishes and a sarcastic, nocturnal philosophy student named Carmilla moves into Betty's side of the room, Laura decides to play detective. Turns out Betty isn't the first girl to go missing? She's just the first girl not to come back.
All over campus, girls have been vanishing, and they are completely changed when (or if) they return. Even more disturbing are the strange dreams they recount: smothering darkness, and a strange pale figure haunting their rooms. Dreams that Laura is starting to have herself. As Laura closes in on the answers, tensions rise with Carmilla. Is this just a roommate relationship that isn't working out, or does Carmilla know more than she's letting on about the disappearances? What will Laura do if it turns out her roommate isn't just selfish and insensitive, but completely inhuman? And what will she do with the feelings she's starting to have for Carmilla?
I have heard quite a bit about Carmilla over the years. I’ve yet to get around to watching the web series, and I don’t know much about the history behind Carmilla, I was primarily interested in this book because of the romantic relationship between two women. I thought if I got into the book, I could check out the web series after (I tend to read before I watch).
But unfortunately, I didn’t make it far into this book before deciding it wasn’t for me. The writing style is far too condensed, and the author tends to tell rather than show. I didn’t feel a distinctive voice for any character, and therefore it failed to grip me.
A big-hearted romantic comedy in which the First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends...
First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.
The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.
As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?
In our current harrowing political climate, a book like Red, White & Royal Blue is an exhilarating breath of fresh air. The romance between Alex and Henry is founded in a strong foundation of snark, charm, and sheer chemistry. Casey McQuiston is a real talent.
Initially, I didn’t think I would enjoy this book as I’m not always a fan of romantic stories but it’s impossible to not find yourself immersed in the world. The characters are richly defined and the romance is sexy yet full of adoration. It is incredibly well-developed and I loved being privy to watching this story unfold.
Laura Lochner has never been lucky in love. She falls too hard and too fast, always choosing the wrong men. Devastated by the end of her last relationship, she fled her Wall Street job and New York City apartment for her sister’s home in the Connecticut suburb where they both grew up. Though still haunted by the tragedy that’s defined her entire life, Laura is determined to take one more chance on love with a man she’s met on an Internet dating site.
Rosie Ferro has spent most of her life worrying about her troubled sister. Fearless but fragile, Laura has always walked an emotional tightrope, and Rosie has always been there to catch her. Laura’s return, under mysterious circumstances, has cast a shadow over Rosie’s peaceful life with her husband and young son – a shadow that grows darker as Laura leaves the house for her blind date.
When Laura does not return home the following morning, Rosie fears the worst. She’s not responding to calls or texts, and she’s left no information about the man she planned to meet. As Rosie begins a desperate search to find her sister, she is not just worried about what this man might have done to Laura. She’s worried about what Laura may have done to him
I was thoroughly captivated by The Night Before. It is the first thriller I’ve read in a while where I wasn’t able to predict where the story was going. I had several predictions in my head of where the story would go, but the ending surprised me. Walker is adept at building tension and suspense into her storytelling. You can tell she is a natural at it. I haven’t read her other novels before this one but I definitely will now! I appreciated the varying point-of-views in this book.
Alternating between Laura’s perspective and Rosie’s perspective allowed for the tension to build and build until the explosive ending although I did find the climax got a bit confusing with the constant back-and-forth. Streamlining the action into a single perspective would have made it more powerful.
Overall, The Night Before is a psychological thriller at its very best. There are so many clues and red herrings, not to mention an extremely complicated, layered and nuanced female protagonist. Laura is a meaty character; one of those you want to dig into and figure out how her mind works. The prose surrounding her inner monologues were pure poetry.
I felt like this was an easy read, but not oversimplified. It was an easy read because it was so captivating and I devoured the entire thing in one sitting. Each chapter ending forces you to turn the next page to keep the momentum moving forward.
The Season 2 finale of The Resident has aired and now we’re left to wonder where the characters will go from here after that shocking ending.
The Season 2 finale of The Residenthas aired and now we’re left to wonder where the characters will go from here after that shocking ending.
After an extended Season 2, The Resident has finally reached its final hour for the season. Luckily for fans of the show, you can rest easy knowing the medical drama will return sometime this fall on FOX. In “Unbefriended” Kyle finally decided to be a father and show up for Jessie, Nic and Conrad’s relationship got back on track, and Bell made a critical decision concerning Chastain’s future.
As with any good finale, the stakes are high and not every answer is filled in by the end of the hour. Moving forward, The Resident has raised plenty of questions for us to ponder over the summer hiatus.
Proven Innocent airs its season one finale this Friday on FOX. But will the show get renewed by the network? Here’s 5 reasons why it should.
It’s that time of year where the networks have to begin deciding what shows they’re going to renew and what pilots they’re going to pick up to series for the new season. FOX is a network known for harsh cancellations, often times with no warning. Plenty of their series have been axed on a cliffhanger. I’m hoping their under-the-radar legal drama, Proven Innocent, can avoid demise.
Proven Innocent stars Rachelle Lefevre as Madeline Scott, a woman who was wrongly accused of murdering her best friend, Rosemary Lynch. Madeline and her brother Levi Scott (played by Riley Smith) were sentenced to prison for ten years by the morally corrupt attorney, Gore Bellows (Kelsey Grammar).
Maddie never stopped fighting for her freedom and eventually got in touch with a lawyer named Ezekiel “EZ” Boudreau (Russell Hornsby). EZ aided in getting both Madeline and Levi out of prison.MORE FROM FOX
Given what she went through, it’s not surprising that Madeline helped found a wrongful conviction firm where she and her team work to set wrongfully imprisoned people free. Most of the cases she takes on have tied to Gore Bellows, who is feeling particularly vindictive since he still firmly believes Maddie guilty of killing Rosemary, even after all these years.
In the most recent episode, we saw the aftermath of Bellows re-arresting Maddie for Rosemary’s murder on account of new evidence. It was one of the best episodes of the season and this Friday will be the season finale.
Hopefully, the finale won’t end on a cliffhanger. If it does, let’s hope FOX gives this gripping new series a second season.
Be warned, if you aren’t caught up on the latest episode or haven’t watched the season at all, there are major spoilers ahead.
Now that Netflix’s Ted Bundy thriller, Extremely Wicked, has finally been released. I’ve compiled a list of the film’s five best scenes.
After a long wait, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile has finally made its Netflix premiere. It’s a hot trending topic on Twitter this weekend as Zac Efron and Lily Collins reap the praise from their phenomenal performances. Let’s take a look at 5 of the best scenes from the film.
Elizabeth Murray has been condemned to burn at the stake. As she awaits her fate, a strange, handsome man visits her cell. He offers her a deal: her soul in return for immortality, but what he offers is not a normal life. To survive Elizabeth must become Death itself.
Elizabeth must ease the passing of all those who die, appearing at the point of death and using her compassion to guide them over the threshold. She accepts and, for 500 years, whirls from one death to the next, never stopping to think of the life she never lived. Until one day, everything changes. She – Death – falls in love.
Desperate to escape the terms of her deal, she summons the man who saved her. He agrees to release her on one condition: that she gives him five lives. These five lives she must take herself, each one more difficult and painful than the last.
This is a novel unlike any I’ve read before. It is the story, simply, of Death.
Set back in the age of witch burnings, a woman has a chance to be saved from suffering the same horrific death as her mother if she chooses to give up her soul to the Devil. The Devil is portrayed as a sauve debonair sort. His offer is the best she’s going to get. But it does come with a price. Should she agree to relinquish her soul, the Devil will own her for all of eternity. In that time she was serve as Death, as in, a reaper of souls.
The premise is an intriguing one and Booth’s prose is exquisite. But I made it to the 30% mark before I decided not to read the book any longer.
My reason for quitting is because I struggled to get engage with the plot because there really wasn’t much conflict.
Mild spoilers ahead.
Lizzy tires of being Death and asks the Devil for a way out. To do so, she has to get the souls of a specific group of people of the Devil’s choosing. Then we are taken on her journey as she takes each person. The problem is, she’s Death. They can’t exactly fight her. They can only outrun her for so long so you know she will inevitably get the person she’s after.
There are interesting ideas of love and death and how the two marry but I found myself getting bored and bogged down in the amount of detail. As I said, Booth is a beautiful writer but also extremely wordy. I was not gripped by the plot despite being interested in the overall premise.
Even though I didn’t finish this book though, I think some people will definitely enjoy it and I can’t bring myself to give it a low rating because I don’t think it’s a bad book, by any means. On the contrary, I think it is a lush gothic romance that some people will undeniably fall in love, it just wasn’t what I was expecting ultimately not for me.