Love Objects by Emily Maguire – “Nic is a forty-five-year-old trivia buff, amateur nail artist and fairy godmother to the neighbourhood’s stray cats. She’s also the owner of a decade’s worth of daily newspapers, enough clothes and shoes to fill Big W three times over and a pen collection which, if laid end-to-end, would probably circle her house twice. The person she’s closest to in the world is her beloved niece Lena, who she meets for lunch every Sunday. One day Nic fails to show up. When Lena travels to her aunt’s house to see if Nic’s all right, she gets the shock of her life, and sets in train a series of events that will prove cataclysmic for them both.”
The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel – “Vincent is the beautiful bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star glass-and-cedar palace on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island. New York financier Jonathan Alkaitis owns the hotel. When he passes Vincent his card with a tip, it’s the beginning of their life together. That same day, a hooded figure scrawls a note on the windowed wall of the hotel: ‘Why don’t you swallow broken glass.’ Leon Prevant, a shipping executive for a company called Neptune-Avramidis, sees the note from the hotel bar and is shaken to his core. Thirteen years later, just after a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York, Vincent mysteriously disappears from the deck of a Neptune-Avramidis ship.”
The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner – “Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences, plus six years, at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility. Outside is the world from which she has been permanently severed: the San Francisco of her youth, changed almost beyond recognition. The Mars Room strip club where she once gave lap dances for a living. And her seven-year-old son, Jackson, now in the care of Romy’s estranged mother. Inside is a new reality to adapt to: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive. The relentlessly deadpan absurdities of institutional living, which Kushner details with humour and precision. Daily acts of violence by guards and prisoners alike. Allegiances formed over liquor brewed in socks, and stories shared through sewage pipes. Romy sees the future stretch out ahead of her in a long, unwavering line – until news from outside brings a ferocious urgency to her existence, challenging her to escape her own destiny and culminating in a climax of almost unbearable intensity.”
The Girls Are All So Nice Here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn – “When Ambrosia first arrives at prestigious college Wesleyan, she’s desperate to fit in. But Amb struggles to navigate the rules of this strange, elite world, filled with privileged ‘nice’ young women – until she meets the charismatic but troubled Sully, with whom she forms an obsessive friendship. Intoxicated by Sully’s charm and determined to impress her, Amb finds herself drawn deep into her new best friend’s dangerous manipulations. But if she wants to play Sully at her own game, Amb has no idea just how devastating the consequences will be…”
Sweet Valley High Super Edition #1 – Perfect Summer – “It’s summer in Sweet Valley, and the Wakefield twins and their friends are taking a bike trip up the beautiful California coast. What could be more exciting than four weeks of glorious sunshine, sandy beaches, and endless fun at every stop? But the dream of a perfect vacation soon fades. Elizabeth Wakefield is about to break up with her boyfriend, Todd, over another girl. Her twin, Jessica, chases after sexy Robbie October, who ignores her. Bruce Patman is mean to his cousin Roger, Lila Fowler holds a grudge against Ms. Dalton, and Ms. Dalton is barely speaking to Mr. Collins. Can this feuding group unite when an unexpected disaster threatens their lives?”
Sweet Valley High #23 – Say Goodbye – “Elizabeth Wakefield’s heart is breaking; Todd Wilkins, her longtime boyfriend, is leaving Sweet Valley and moving to Vermont. Todd and she have only one week left. After that the only boy Elizabeth has ever loved will be gone – forever. Jessica, Elizabeth’s scheming twin, is ecstatic; she never liked Todd anyway. The moment Todd leaves, Jessica begins to hunt for a new boyfriend for Elizabeth. But when Jessica’s plot backfires, it threatens to destroy Elizabeth and Todd’s enduring love!”
Sweet Valley University #20 – Here Comes The Bride – “Billie Winkler doesn’t know what’s gotten into Steven Wakefield. She thought he was ready to tie the knot, but now he’s busy quoting divorce statistics. Steven’s acting like a nervous wreck – not at all like the man she wants to marry. Steven Wakefield is not a happy groom. His fiancée, Billie, is downright moody, the Wakefield house has turned to chaos, the caterers have left town with the deposit, and the wedding rings are missing. Is it time to call the whole thing off? Jessica Wakefield is furious at her ex-husband, Mike McAllery. Just when she thinks he’s out of her life for good, Steven asks Mike to be best man at his wedding. But Jessica refuses to walk down the aisle with Mike again! What’s a poor bridesmaid to do?”
Sweet Valley University – Thriller Edition #5 – Running For Her Life – “Elizabeth Wakefield’s journalism paper my cost her her life. She wrote up her theory that a young movie star’s suicide was actually a murder, and two days later her dorm room is trashed. Somebody doesn’t like Elizabeth’s theory. Somebody may even be willing to kill her for it. Jessica Wakefield is minding her own business in the campus coffeehouse when a bullet just misses her head. Suddenly she and her twin sister are running for their lives. Tom Watts, Elizabeth’s boyfriend, is frantic. His girlfriend has narrowly escaped campus with her life. Can he help her catch a murderer before the murderer catches her?”
You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle – I was in desperate need of a palette cleanser after my reading slump in February, and this was an excellent way to kick start the month. This was a love-to hate-to love romance, which is apparently something I’m really into? News to me. But it was a lot of fun, an easy read and I managed to smash it out over the course of a weekend which kicked my reading vibes back into gear.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – This was such a beautiful book. I know a book was special for me when I finish reading it and I can still remember the character names (lol, honestly the bare minimum), and I can still picture events in the book playing out in my mind. This book is still so vivid in my mind, it was elegant and magical and I know it will linger with me for a long time.
The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez – This romance contained all of my least favourite tropes, tropes I never even realised I hated until reading this book. It was an easy read, the romance was fine, but a few of the “twists” left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. A decent enough romance, but not for me.
Sweet Valley University #35 – Undercover Angels – “Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield have each been investigating the same murder at the Verona Springs Country Club. They’ve kept their undercover schemes a secret from each other… and their true identities a secret from the club. When their paths cross, will their looks be a dead giveaway? Scott Sinclair is madly in love with Elizabeth. He’ll do anything to take her far, far away from her lovesick ex-boyfriend, Tom Watts. But will Scott try to take her too far? Lila Fowler and Bruce Patman have all the fun money can buy, including an exclusive membership at Verona Springs. But when the Wakefield twins hit the scene, will Lila and Bruce wind up exiled from the land of the young, rich, and fabulous?”
Sweet Valley University #38 – Good-Bye, Elizabeth – “Elizabeth Wakefield is about to say hello to an exciting new school. But first she has to say good-bye to everything–and everyone–she loves. Good-bye to Nina Harper, her best friend. Good-bye to Todd Wilkins, the ex-boyfriend who’s stood by her through thick and thin. Good-bye to Tom Watts, the guy who broke her heart into a million pieces. But how can she say good-bye to her twin sister, Jessica?”
Sweet Valley University #39 – Elizabeth ♥ New York – “When Elizabeth Wakefield wins a summer fellowship to produce her own play in New York City, no one is more surprised than she is. It’s an offer Elizabeth can’t refuse, even though she and Tom Watts vowed to spend the summer together. So Tom gives up his prestigious summer internship to be with her! Will Elizabeth have to give up something in return and make a sacrifice she’s not yet ready for? Jessica Wakefield is embarking on a wild, adventurous, and totally butt-kicking journey this summer to a training camp in Florida for her specialized security agents! Hand-to-hand combat, stunt driving, hot guys in uniform… this place has it all. Will she submerge herself in total excitement? Or will Jessica end up over her head in trouble?”
The Fast and the Furious – I’ve been wanting to re-watch this franchise for a while, and when a friend and I were trying to decide what to watch one night we settled on this. This is one of my all time favourite no-brainer action movies, and I realised on re-watching this how much of an appreciation for Paul Walker I’ve developed over the years. What a babe.
2 Fast 2 Furious – I jumped straight into the second film after watching the first, and I think this might be my favourite in the series because Roman is my favourite character. There were lots of laugh out loud moments alongside the classic mindless action that I expect from a film in this franchise.
Captain America: The First Avenger – This is technically the first Marvel movie if you watch in chronological order, so we kicked off our chronological re-watch with this. I didn’t remember much about this film, so it was a lot of fun for me to experience it all over again. Chris Evans as Captain America is hot and all, but… Bucky Barnes though, amirite?
Captain Marvel – Another Marvel re-watch, and another fun viewing experience. It was interesting to watch this having recently finished the WandaVision television series, because there are some storylines that align between the two, and it all sort of fell into place for me after watching this again.
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift – This is my least favourite film in the franchise, so I was not as excited to watch it, but happy to get it out of the way. This is probably the cheesiest film in the series, and not in a cute way. They really did Han dirty in this movie too. Not happy about that.
Fast & Furious – This is where the films start to shift from somewhat silly to legitimately ridiculous, but I still kinda love it. This was action packed and stupid and I enjoyed it immensely.
Fast Five – Another stupid but fun movie and I liked this one in particular because it brought a lot of the older characters from the early films back together (Roman!! My favourite).
Fast & Furious 6 – The ridiculousness continues with yet another fun and silly film. This one bumped it to the next level, with a literal tank fight on a major highway. Oh, and someone sort of came back from the dead. Completely unrealistic, but a bloody good time.
Furious 7 – This movie could be the result of giving a script writing bot it’s big break and asking it to write a blockbuster hit. But as always, this was a blast and we enjoyed watching it at home one rainy Saturday afternoon this month.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer – My sister made me watch this when I was a kid, and it is still one of the stupidest and cheesiest movies I’ve ever seen. But there were some laugh-out-loud moments, and the quotable lines are still epic all these years later.