That Month Of Stories: December Wrap Up

I read and watched an obscene number of books and movies and shows this month and, honestly, I’m baffled and really disgusted by my inability to stop reading because this post is going to be way too long and I tried, I swear I did, to stop reading but fiction got in the way.

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I’m not even kidding! I nerded myself out this month. Maybe because I fly through ebooks than physical books and also, I mostly read series and trilogies this month (I fly through them too) but I read 8 books, watched 5 movies and 2 shows.

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1. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

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I read The Raven Boys last month so, obviously, I had to finish the series. I am sold. I am officially a fan of this series. I reckon The Dream Thieves was my least enjoyed book in the series? I don’t know, I read all of them one after the other so it’s hard to distinguish but I think I probably enjoyed the others more.

2. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

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Now, this book, I absolutely adored. Honestly, like I said before, the events of all the four books have mushed together in my brain so it’s kind of hard to distinguish between them but I remember the general gist I got from all the books and that I loved Blue Lily, Lily Blue. 

3. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

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Maggie Stiefvater can really write finales. This whole series got me so obsessed with these characters. It’s hard to explain but the way Maggie Stiefvater writes characters is so beautiful and in-depth that you have to fall in love with them. Only thing was, there were a lot of plot holes? Quite a few of those plot holes were left unresolved but as MS is working on the #RonanTrilogy, maybe they’ll be explored further.

4. Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

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After the heady fantasy books, I needed a casual, adorable contemporary and BOY OH BOY WAS IT THIS BOOK. Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda is basically a ball of adorableness and cuteness which will make you want to punch someone bECAUSE IT’S SO CUTE ASDFGHJKL. Why did I not read this before? WHY? I loved so many things about this book. I can’t get over how bloody CUTE this book was. Simon is a smol bean and needs to be protected. He is such a refreshing character. I mean, he’s not the quiet nerd, he’s not the mysterious outcast, he’s not the bad boy, he’s literally the best friend who’s happy and funny and okay and has all these wonderful friends and I don’t even know why, but I love that about him. AND CAN WE PLEASE TALK ABOUT SIMON’S FAM? *Proceeds to self combust.*

5. Slammed by Colleen Hoover

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I wasn’t even planning on reading Slammed and then somehow I just did. Like it oh so often happens in my life. I had heard really great things about the book so I was really pumped about it but… I don’t know, it did not quite live up to my expectations. I mean, the book’s amazing for a debut novel… but the characters sometimes felt unrealistic and too dramatic. It was weird. But the book definitely had the emotionally packed moments that Colleen Hoover’s famous for. Also, the whole concept of slam poetry did kind of blow me away so the book does get points for that.

6. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

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I had initially planned to stop reading after Slammed. So, of course, I went ahead and read the entire Mara Dyer trilogy. Typical. Anyway, as the blurb of The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer is super cryptic and doesn’t reveal much at all, I was very confused as to what exactly I’m reading about. Is this a psychological thriller? Is Mara really going crazy? Or is there a horror element in the book? As the book got more and more creepy and Mara emerged as the unreliable narrator, I was almost convinced that we’re reading about her slowly losing her mind or something until The Big Reveal happened. Also, I love Noah Shaw. I won’t go into further details because I really want you to go into it without knowing much.

7. The Evolution Of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

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Things are definitely more chill in the second book… at least until a specific point. Then things pretty much go batshit crazy. Mara is more aware of everything that got revealed in the last book, she’s determined to protect her family and find out the truth and Noah’s with her at all times so it was a very enjoyable read. Man, I love Mara’s family, especially Daniel. Oh, also, I love how Mara is half Indian and how the narrative kept switching back and forth from the Indian backstory and her present. Fun fact: “Mara” in Hindi actually means “dead.” I don’t know if it was intentional or not but that’s really kept me going.

8. The Retribution Of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

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SPOILERS AHEAD:

This book creeped me the frick out. I don’t know what I was expecting from the finale, but this was not it. There was the adventurous first half of the book where Mara is travelling with Jamie and Stella and everything’s fine- except Noah isn’t there- and then the freaky stuff starts to happen: Mara cuts herself to get those capsules out (what was that about?) and then the batshit crazy subway scene. That was when the book was seriously creeping me out. Suddenly, there was this transition in Mara’s character from a slowly degrading, scared teenager to Adelina from The Young Elites. Even when Noah shows up and they have the epic confrontation scene- both of them just seem so transitioned. There was so much to process! And I’m not even talking about the whole Noah-being-a-hero-to-kill-Mara story. I feel like, even though it was an epic finale, this book could have been made into two books? Just so we could process everything at a better pace.

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1. A Silent Voice

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A Silent Voice is a Japanese animated film about a deaf and mute girl who is bullied by a classmate in middle school and how the classmate gets bullied himself later on and gets depressed as he grows up. This movie had a surprising depth to it that I was not expecting at all. There were so many aspects to it that dealt with a number of important issues like depression, bullying, suicide, second chances and forgiving yourself and others. Highly, highly recommended. I was a crying mess by the end.

2. Thor and Thor: The Dark World

In preparation for Thor: Ragnarok, I binge watched both the Thor movies a day before I was supposed to watch Ragnarok. And, obviously, I loved them. They were incredibly fun and interesting and I loved the characters, the plot and the dialogue.

3. Thor: Ragnarok

 

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Oh, there’s a whole story behind me watching this movie. I literally watched one of the last shows in the theater. Alone. Why, you ask? Because, EVERYONE cancelled on me at the last minute more than three times. Finally, I was so frustrated, I felt like Rachel in that episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S where no one wanted to go out to dinner with her so she dines alone. I literally adopted a metaphorical Screw This attitude and went to the theater alone for the 10:30 AM show. I arrived first and stood outside the auditorium, fidgeting with my phone, till one of the workers felt sorry and opened the doors for me ten minutes early. Now, the best part is, NO ONE WAS INSIDE THE THEATER THE WHOLE LENGTH OF THE MOVIE.

I literally watched the whole movie in the huge theater ALONE. Was I bitter? Yes. Did I regret it? No, because I got to sit on one of those ultra comfortable recliner sofa seats for half the price. Also, it was kind of scary and thrilling. Also, I wasn’t completely alone because I had my popcorn with me.

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No, really, I actually took a picture of the popcorn discreetly. It was… an experience.

ANYWAY. Back to the movie. Holy canola oil, I. LOVED. RAGNAROK. I loved everything about the film. I loved the humor, how the movie made fun of itself, I loved the character development of Loki (and Thor, since he did not have his hammer), I loved all the new characters, the action scenes and DID I MENTION HOW FUNNY THIS MOVIE WAS?

I’m going to watch it again as soon as I get my hands on it.

4. Wonder

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I was so excited about Wonder to come out in the theaters. I’m always excited (terrified) to watch a book adaptation because, well, you know. IT’S A BOOK ADAPTATION. I went to see the movie with my brother (who thought the movie was better than the book. He hasn’t even read the book. And he’s a hardcore reader. I don’t even know). I was so, so pleased with the movie. It stayed so true to the book that I felt like a proud mother. The scenes, the dialogue, the characters, even the way the book was divided into different POV sections was perfectly portrayed in the movie. I honestly feel like Wonder is such an interesting book- and a movie, now- and everyone, irrespective of age, should go read (watch) it.

Shows

1. Stranger Things (Season 2) 

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Not a popular opinion, but I think I really liked Season 2 more than the first one. Maybe because the world building is over and we jump right into the plot. We explore the story arcs of so many different characters this season like Dustin and Lucas and Steve. Poor Will, I swear to god, LEAVE HIM ALONE. And not literally because he finds trouble left and right.

Spoilers:

Okay, but can we take a moment and really appreciate Hopper taking care of El? Hopper is so much of a protective dad and Eleven, a rebellious teenager. It was adorable. You know what else was adorable? Steve freaking Harrington. This is called character development, people. Jeez, that guy is good with kids. I still grin when I think of him being the older brother influence on Dustin. Also, I really want Eleven to have more screen time with the kids next season. And with Mike. Because. Adorable.

2. Glee

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If you’re a High School Musical fan like me, there is no way you won’t like Glee. It’s literally a TV show version of HSM. I loved, loved, loved this season. I mean, it’s literally just a bunch of kids from all the different tags and categories of high school singing all the time but it amazed me how… I don’t know, diverse this show is. It covered so many important topics like teen pregnancy, racism, feminism, supporting lgbtq+ community, disabled people, relationship struggles of all parameters- whether between parents and children, husband and wife or just friends and much more- and all of this was expressed in a fun, casual Teen Drama format. It was funny, it was fun, it was emotional, it was musical. I mean, I can’t even. Really, really hoping that the rest of the seasons would be just as good.



 

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