April Wrap Up – TV Shows

 

Mad Men [ season 2 ] – This show was so consistently good that I can’t think of a specific season that stands out above the rest. This season was no exception, it was beautiful from start to finish. One highlight this season for me was being able to watch Peggy come out of her shell all over again. Knowing what’s to come in her character arc makes it more enjoyable seeing her development from the beginning.
 
The West Wing [ season 2 ] – This is another show that felt consistently good throughout the entirety of the series, and this was another strong season with a powerful finale.
 
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK [ season 2 ] – This was such a fun season and the cast this year was full of a lot of memorable Queens. I did not see that ending coming though, and was quite disappointed with who was crowned the winner this season. Despite that, it was a great season overall and often made me laugh out loud. Such a good balm for the soul.

Nostalgic Book Haul (May)

 

Sweet Valley High #60 – That Fatal Night“Terri Adams loves football. In fact, she’s one of the Sweet Valley Gladiator’s biggest fans. She’s also the biggest fan of Ken Matthews, the team’s quarterback. Terri thinks Ken has everything going for him – he’s good-looking and popular, and he’s led the Gladiators to an undefeated season. Then one rainy night, Ken is in a terrible car accident that leaves him blind. His football career is over, and even worse, his friends are so uncomfortable about his blindness they avoid him. Ken would be miserable if it weren’t for Terri. She’s the one person who is always there when he needs her. But when Ken realizes he’s falling in love with her, he’s convinced that she could never return his feelings. Can Ken and Terri ever be more than friends?”
 
Sweet Valley High #61 – Boy Trouble“Patty Gilbert is elated when she finds out that her boyfriend, Jim Hollis is coming home from college for a weekend visit. But then she finds out that her older sister, Jana, is coming to visit the same weekend, and she tells Jim she’ll have to spend most of her time with her family. He blows up at her, and before Patty knows what’s happening, they have a huge fight and break up. Patty feels awful, but at least she knows she’ll be able to confide in her sister. As soon as Jana walks in the door, however, she announces that she’s getting married in two weeks! Jana’s so excited about the wedding plans that she has no time for Patty’s problems. Patty feels she’s lost her boyfriend because of Jana. When Patty accuses her sister of being selfish, they have a huge fight. Now it looks as if Patty has lost both her sister and her boyfriend!”
 
Sweet Valley High #62 – Who’s Who?“Jessica Wakefield has a fantastic idea! She’s bored with all the guys at Sweet Valley High, so a computer dating service seems like the perfect way to spice up her love life – especially when she invents two new sparkling personalities to help her out! Jessica becomes sophisticated Daniella Fromage and also Magenta Galaxy, a wild rocker with a passion for anything hot. The two guys she gets set up with seem to be exactly what she wanted. With the reluctant help of her twin sister, Elizabeth, Jessica must somehow manage to juggle them both. Who will finally meet her perfect match – Daniella, Magenta…or Jessica?”
 
Sweet Valley High #63 – The New Elizabeth“If one more person calls Elizabeth Wakefield responsible or predictable, she’ll scream! In an effort to prove that she can be as adventurous as Jessica, her daring identical twin, Elizabeth secretly decides to take up surfing. That will show her friends she knows how to take risks. But from the start, Elizabeth’s new hobby causes problems. She has a sneaking suspicion that her surfing instructor is falling in love with her. And even worse, she has to lie to her steady boyfriend, Todd, in order to keep her surfing a surprise. Todd’s becoming suspicious and angry — and Elizabeth is beginning to wonder if a daredevil reputation is worth the trouble after all.”

April Wrap Up – Movies


 

 

Booksmart – I was flicking through Netflix and saw this had landed, and I was so excited to finally watch it. This was such a joy. I was completely immersed in the film from start to finish, there were some laugh out loud moments, and some genuinely heart warming ones too. A definite recommend.
 
The Purge – I had put off watching this for years, because I thought the theme of home invasion would really disturb me… turns out, it didn’t. I actually really enjoyed this, and didn’t find it too scary at all. The concept, on the other hand, terrifies me. There is no way I could live comfortably in a world where the Purge took place once a year. No thank you.
 
The Purge: Anarchy – I carried on with the Purge series and jumped into the second film right after the first. The most terrifying part of this one for me was the concept of accidentally getting stuck outside during the purge. I was getting physical anxiety symptoms watching two characters dawdling as they headed home for purge night. I’d be home with hours to spare, that’s for sure.
 
Walk The Line – I love Joaquin Phoenix, so this had been on my ‘to-watch’ list for a long time. I’ve watched a few musical biopics and this wasn’t my favourite, but I still felt like it was a really strong performance from Joaquin.
 
The Purge: Election Year – Can you tell I was on a bit of a ‘Purge’ kick this month? This felt more like an action movie than a horror, and I really enjoyed the way they tied everything into the plot of the third (and final?) film.
 
Godzilla: King of the Monsters – I knew that we were intending to see the latest Godzilla movie in theatres this month, so figured I should watch the second film in anticipation of that. I love the Godzilla films, and this one had the added benefit of having Bradley Whitford as a cast member, which boosted my enjoyment levels by about 2000%.
 
Godzilla vs Kong – I had been wanting to see this movie since I first saw the trailer what feels like years ago, and it did not disappoint. It was a lot of fun, and absolute nonsense, and exactly what I was in the mood for. My only complaint is that going to see a movie in an actual theatre is so loud these days. I’m not sure if that’s a post-pandemic thing or I’m just getting old.
 
Alice in Wonderland – This was my go-to Disney movie as a child. So much so that I think I drove my family crazy with how much I watched it (at least every day, I think). It’s now one of those comfort movies that I can chuck on and lose myself in, even though it’s a kids movie. I was feeling quite sick and stressed when I watched this, and it was a bit of a balm for the soul.
 
That Thing You Do? – I saw this pop up on Disney+ and was in the mood for something light-hearted and fun, so this was perfect. It was written and directed (and starred) Tom Hanks, who I love, and ended up being a perfect feel good Friday night movie. I’ve had the title song in my head ever since watching, so be warned.
 
Thank You For Smoking – We have been watching a lot of Mad Men lately, and it reminded me of this film. This was still a good watch, and relevant even though it’s quite dated by now. The cast was epic and there were a few laugh out loud moments. Definitely worth a watch.

May TBR

 

Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier – “Marin had the perfect life. Married to her college sweetheart, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They’re admired in their community and are a loving family. Up until the day Sebastian is taken. A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. The only thing keeping her going is the unlikely chance that one day Sebastian reappears. She hires a P.I. to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding him, she discovers that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman. Kenzie Li is an artist and grad student-Instagram famous-and up to her eyeballs in debt. She knows Derek is married. She also knows he’s rich, and dating him comes with perks: help with bills, trips away, expensive gifts. He isn’t her first rich boyfriend, but she finds herself hoping he’ll be the last. She’s falling for him-and that was never part of the plan. Discovery of the affair sparks Marin back to life. She’s lost her son; she’s not about to lose her husband, too. Kenzie is an enemy with a face, which means this is a problem Marin can fix. But as she sets a plan in motion, another revelation surfaces. Derek’s lover might know what happened to their son. And so might Derek.”
 
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…”
 
An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen – “Looking to earn some easy cash, Jessica Farris agrees to be a test subject in a psychological study about ethics and morality. But as the study moves from the exam room to the real world, the line between what is real and what is one of Dr. Shields’s experiments blurs. Dr. Shields seems to know what Jess is thinking… and what she’s hiding. Jessica’s behavior will not only be monitored, but manipulated. Caught in a web of attraction, deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.”
 
People Like Us by Dana Mele – “Kay Donovan may have skeletons in her closet, but the past is past, and she’s reinvented herself entirely. Now she’s a star soccer player whose group of gorgeous friends run their private school with effortless popularity and acerbic wit. But when a girl’s body is found in the lake, Kay’s carefully constructed life begins to topple. The dead girl has left Kay a computer-coded scavenger hunt, which, as it unravels, begins to implicate suspect after suspect, until Kay herself is in the crosshairs of a murder investigation. But if Kay’s finally backed into a corner, she’ll do what it takes to survive. Because at Bates Academy, the truth is something you make… not something that happened.”

Dymocks Book Haul

 

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…”