What’s Up 2019: Week 5 Valentine’s Marathon Begins!

Week 5 is heavy on movies. Valentine’s Marathon was announced and right away, the movie section is full and packed yet again, perhaps to make up for the lack thereof of last week. At the same time, everything else is progressing forward as well, except for playing which still has some space to do more of.

READING

the girl from everywhere

  • The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Currently reading: One Flew Through the Dragon Heart (Favan & Flew #1)

Finished off The Girl From Everywhere right at the end of the week. Its pretty good. Its not a romance but more of an adventure and the fantasy element of time travel through sailing with maps drawn at whichever time and whichever world. Its an interesting concept and premise. The characters itself are also quite fun with mentorship, family and love all put into the equation here. The story takes a little bit to build up but in the final third of the movie, it takes quite a nice turn of events. With that said, i literally started very little of One Flew Through the Dragon Heart which is for an upcoming blog tour.

PLAYING

futuregrind

Currently playing: FutureGrind

I’ve taken a break from everything else and mostly took time to watch movies and TV series so gaming took a backseat as I still have a lot of editing in limbo after the work deadline ended. The only game I started was recent release of FutureGrind which is interesting to say the least. It has some comparisons to something like Trials but then it has its sci-fi factors as well. I’m only 10% in so I’m sure there is still lots to discover in the game.

WATCHING

Don't Go Breaking My Heart

  • All I See Is You (Review)
  • The Big Wedding (Review)
  • Candy Jar (Review)
  • Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (Review)
  • Endless Love (2014) (Review)
  • Hellboy
  • Hellboy 2: The Golden Army
  • Forever My Girl (Review)

Valentine’s Marathon is finally upon us for the first 14 days of February. Working on double feature means romance films are completely top priority. I started it later than I expected so the backlog is non-existent. However, in between that, I managed to get through Hellboy and Hellboy 2 for Movies and Tea as that is our next episode to review in the next recording. Out of these, Hellboy 2 is one of the better films however if it was for the romance film choices, I’d go with Don’t Go Breaking My Heart. Its fun and charming and full of some great roles played by very competent cast.

BINGING

fated to love you

  • Fated to Love You (Taiwan, 2008)

Currently watching: The Singer 2019, My Little One (Season 2)

After some fast and fun binging, I finished up Fated to Love You, otherwise called You’re My Destiny on Netflix. Remember this is the Taiwan version which is the first version released before a bunch of other ones were done. Its super charming to watch and reminded me of the traits of Taiwanese series which makes the second/supporting male lead the perfect man who never gets chosen by the female lead who also likes the flawed first male who has room to grow and develop. There is so much to love about Fated to Love You. I’m hoping to get this TV binge up during this Valentine’s marathon but I’ve been on a writer’s block writing up TV binges so hopefully I get out of it soon. I am still having incredible joy from The Singer 2019 and My Little One.

Overall, as with any marathon month, its a huge focus on movies.
I might make February focused on Romance films to finish up the alphabet because I won’t finish it in the 14 days for sure.
That’s it for this What’s Up!
What are you reading/watching/playing/binging?

Advertisements

What’s Up 2019: Week 1 A Good Start

Welcome to the What’s Up 2019 for the first week of the new year. I know that I said that I’d do some more videos for it and I’m not lying about it except I currently am fighting a cold so its not exactly pretty to film under these circumstances. I have been pondering turning this into a quick podcast format so that I don’t have to edit video so much as also having an audio version for it. More and more ideas..just not sure what would work best.

Bear with me as I get out of this unwell phase and hopefully next week, I’ll get things back on track!

READING

the penultimate peril

  • The Grim Grotto (A Series of Unfortunate Events #11)

Currently reading: The Penultimate Peril (A Series of Unfortunate Events #12)

I’m still working through the 4 book pack to wrap up A Series of Unfortunate Events currently. I’m getting one of the books done every week. To be honest, I’ve been kind of tired so I only read on the bus which also is when I sometimes take a nap (its not good to nap on the bus so I try to refrain). However, its still moving along quite nicely. I did want to read the book and watch the matching episode and as you will soon see, that didn’t go as planned.

PLAYING

Bound Game

  • Bound
  • What Never Was (official release on Jan 11/2019)

Currently playing: not decided yet…

Its been a pretty good gaming week. I finished up Bound this week which uses dancing with a platforming sort of narrative story. Its a beautiful game with some beautiful music and hints of a lot of my gaming faves however, there is something that I find seems to take away from the game. Aside from that, I tried out an upcoming free game called What Never Was that will be released on January 11th. Its an exploration puzzle game that takes less than an hour to finish. I’ll have the review this coming up very soon.

WATCHING

a quiet place

  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (rewatch)
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (rewatch)
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (rewatch)
  • A Quiet Place
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (rewatch)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (rewatch)

This weekend, we wrapped up rewatching the Harry Potter franchise. It is nice to see that it still holds up and we had a lot of fun watching it. I haven’t reviewed any of them on the blog before so I’ll be getting that up either as a huge post or maybe individually, we’ll see how I feel about it. However, A Quiet Place also ended up on the roster, pretty much a year after its theatrical release and it was one that I was really anticipating in 2018 but decided against going to see it in theatres because other moviegoers could easily ruin the experience. I regret not seeing it earlier but liked it a lot. I didn’t love it because there’s one element in the story that I thought felt a bit forced and I’ll talk about that in the upcoming review.

BINGING

a series of unfortunate events

  • The Inn (Season 2)
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events (Season 3)

Currently binging: Who’s the Murderer S4, Meteor Garden 2018, My Amazing Boyfriend, My Little One S2

The Inn finally wrapped up Season 2 on Friday. It was a sad thing to see leave. It had so many great messages wrapped in that one little show and was such a genuine sort of reality show that I got pretty connected with the celebrities involved. It seems Season 3 should be a go so I’m hoping that it’ll be coming back later this year or next year or something. January 1st also kicked off the final season of A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix which I was super excited to see but as you saw before didn’t manage to finish the books but still went ahead and finished the series. Its one of those shows that every season is better than the one before in my opinion. TV binge for both of these coming up soon.

As for some new shows that went on, one is a new reality show which is a girl version of My Little One that was aired last year. Other than that, I started watching My Amazing Boyfriend which as Janice Wu from An Oriental Odyssey. This is from 2016 so its more in line with a binge.

This wraps up the first week!
Some old and some new! Somethings got wrapped up as well!
What have you been reading/playing/watching/binging?

What’s Up #13: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas…

You can’t say its wrong when almost everything I’m doing last week is holiday-related or perhaps more specifically, Christmas. So it sure is looking a lot like Christmas and while this doesn’t cover my other blog, Avenue of Daydreams, my photography blog, that place is turning my phone into a Christmas gallery as well.

With that said, let’s see what happened last week!!

READING

Mooseletoe

  • Mooseletoe by Tiffinie Helmer (Review)

Currently reading: *deciding what to read next*

Reading has been going a little slow on my end and that has to do with the lack of holiday books in my Kindle at the moment. I do have two more books that I found. I might have overlooked something because I honestly thought that I had more. Mooseletoe was kind of a finishing point for myself as I will line up a lot of stuff other than the easy contemporary romance genre because it really is getting irritating most of the time to read and then you know, sometimes I feel bad because it makes the one or two great ones that I read this year get lost in this really lackluster genre that I am realizing that I am not a fan of even if it is some of the easiest books to go through. A hint towards a few new directions in the reading department for 2019 already. Its really shaping up to some fun things in the new year. For now, we will just continue the holiday book trek until the end of the year.

PLAYING

  • Hidden Folks DLC Beach

Currently playing: She Remembered Caterpillars

As I kept saying in the last section, I only have one pair of eyes and each of these things aren’t quite multitaskable, although I do find myself sometimes TV binging and reading at the same time when I’m feeling super ambitious, so who knows, right? However, playing games is a very different thing. Currently the channel is slightly lacking in videos but I am working on Hidden Folks which is one that gameplay doesn’t quite work but a review is in the works. Its a fun little game that I forgot to write a review for when I played the main game last holiday season and now I’m doing a batch review of the main game and the DLC. I am currently playing She Remembered Caterpillars which is a narrative puzzle game. Its an interesting experience but I think I have a ways to go but gameplay will go up for this one soon-ish. Just a few gaming things to get out of the way as well. A new game plan for Game Warp posting schedule is in the works for 2019 so bear with me as I figure that out. We have some fun podcasts for year-end coming up which is currently in editing.

WATCHING

The Princess Switch

  • Isabelle (2018)
  • The Holiday Calendar (2018) (Review)
  • The Princess Switch (2018) (Review)

I’m not quite in holiday movie watching mode but to be fair, Netflix is just starting to launch a lot more of the holiday stuff this past week so I have a few other films lined up. My fave of last week had to go to The Princess Switch which pretty much surprised me on how much fun I had watching it. Vanessa Hudgens has always been this hit or miss sort of actress, at least in the few things I’ve seen but she really did nice in this fun little doppelganger sort of film in veins of The Parent Trap (review) and It Takes Two, also two films that I enjoyed quite a bit. The holiday movies is definitely getting better and better so hopefully, it keeps going in this direction.

TV BINGING

nailed it holiday

  • Love O2O (rewatch)
  • Nailed It! Holiday! (Mini Series)

Currently binging: An Oriental Odyssey, The Inn, Who’s the Murderer, Happy Do Re Mi

I know TV binge has been fairly the same over and over again but I’m taking the time to really just focus on a little less of TV since I have a ton of unwritten TV series which I have to go back and watch to remember what to write. I am enjoying (kind of) the catching series as they go live although only 2 more episodes of An Oriental Odyssey and its going to be over. Whoever decided that the last two episodes was going to be on one weekend needs a serious chat. But then, I’m hoping to get the TV binge done for that in a timely fashion and then rewatch it in one shot (as much as 50 episodes can be in one shot, right?).  I keep forgetting to mention it but An Oriental Odyssey does have English subtitles so I probably should have linked it before. My bad.

In terms of new things, I was super excited for a new limited series of Nailed It! for the holidays which seems like a fun time. So the husband and I had some time to binge the 7 episodes in true binging fashion so the TV binge is going up very very soon. 🙂

Rebekah – Girl Detective #1: The Mysterious Garden by PJ Ryan

As I continue through my 2015 acquired unread Kindle books, I land on a little change in pace for a children’s short story which is the first book in this collection called Rebekah – Girl Detective. The first mystery is called The Mysterious Garden.

Rebekah – Girl Detective #1: The Mysterious Garden
By: PJ Ryan

rebekah girl detective

Rebekah Daniels is just your ordinary spunky 9 year old girl living in the small town of Curtis Bay…EXCEPT she is determined NOT to be ordinary at all!
Her small town is filled with mysteries and Rebekah is sure that she, along with her best friend Mouse, will be able to solve every last one of them.
In this fun adventure she sets out to solve the mystery that has taken over the local community garden. –Goodreads

The first story of Rebekah – Girl Detective is a fun little entry to the series. It gives a quick snippet of who Rebekah is and her little thoughts and aspirations along with her deduction skills. It is geared towards kids therefore there is more elementary and simple way of looking into cases. It becomes straight forward and in that way, brings on a few laughs here and there. It also introduces her friends and some people in her small town that, in my opinion, in future books will probably make an appearance. In many ways, reading Rebekah reminded me a little of watching Magic School Bus where it is this world of investigation to find answers to something happening that they don’t understand. In this case, the mystery of who is stealing flowers from the local community garden turns into a rather educational result and that works very well because it not only entertains but also educates which is what I feel children novels should do.

The Mysterious Garden is a quick read and portrays very well a little girl who is curious to solve mysteries. Its also great because it still available to pick up for free on Amazon so you can get an idea if this book works for your children before actually continuing on with the series.

A short review for today!
What children books do you or your kids like?

A Series of Unfortunate Events Collection: Books 4-6 by Lemony Snicket

I’ve been caught in between A Series of Unfortunate Events and Gilmore Girls, I know. Here we are with Books 4 to 6 done in the Lemony Snicket series. I’m going to take a little break from Lemony Snicket as the point of this was to catch up with where the series ended and I’ll have something special very soon for it. As for this one, we’re doing a short review of each book in this collection, just like the last post on books 1-3 (review here)

Without further ado, let’s check out these three books!

A Series of Unfortunate Events Collection: Books 4-6
by: Lemony Snicket

a series of unfortunate events collection

Summary of collection at Goodreads

Book 4: The Miserable Mill

After the unfortunate events in the The Wide Window, the children are sent to be under the care of the owner of Lucky Smells Lumbermill. Their new guardian, only referred to as Sir, sends them off to work, much against the will of his business partner who doesn’t really have much say, Charles. In Lucky Smells, Klaus is the most affected when his glasses are broken and sent to the optometrist, Dr. Orwell and comes back in a trance, only broken spontaneously. It doesn’t take them long to realize that he was hypnotized, while Violet and Sunny find a way to resolve this and happen to encounter Count Olaf in yet another disguise.

The Miserable Mill is one that took me a little longer to get invested in. It starts off with suspense as we watch the children get sent to work, even Sunny who can put use to her sharp teeth, of course. A little stretch of the imagination is how this series is intended. Skipping over that detail, we learn a little about hypnosis. Count Olaf’s disguise is ridiculous as he turns himself into a secretary. As always, the children attempt to save the day. Maybe a few limbs short and not a whole lot of innocent lives were taken in this one, which is a change of pace. There are whimsical characters here and the plot is rather intricate, somehow it lacks a certain pace to it. However, it still works well enough.

Book 5: The Austere Academy

After Sir takes them out of his care, the Baudelaire Orphans are sent off to boarding school, Prufrock Prep, run by a bad violin performing obsessed Vice Principal Nero. Before they even meet the useless VP Nero, they encounter the school bully, Carmelita Spats who calls them “Cakesniffers” (whatever that means). Prufrock Prep is a boarding school and they are discarded in the orphan house, run down and infested with dripping fungus and crawling crabs. The classes they are put in are with two teachers: one who loves to share her stories and one that loves to measure everything. Sunny doesn’t get to be in a class but rather sent to be an administrative assistant who has to make her own staples and staple paperwork all day. What helps is that they meet the Quagmire triplets who are only two right now and also had their family perish in a fire who help them invent and investigate.

Surprisingly, The Austere Academy is a pretty fun read. It is probably the one with a huge stretch of imagination but its also these very smart Baudelaire orphans are making use of Count Olaf’s stupidity and personality and hiding their suspicions until they feel like its the right moment. On top of that, now we also have the Quagmire triplets, Isadora and Duncan. Count Olaf’s disguise is a good one. The adults are still quite colorful with their various obsessions. There are some clever bits here and having some other characters similar to the Baudelaire orphans to team up with them is a welcome change.

Book 6: The Ersatz Elevator

After Count Olaf’s plans are foiled and he kidnaps the two Quagmire triplets, The Baudelaire orphans are sent out to Esme and Jerome Squalor at 667 Dark Avenue, a big condo complex. Esme is the 6th biggest financial advisor (or something around there) and they are actually back to only a few blocks away from their Baudelaire mansion that was burnt down. The Squalors live in a world that is obsessed with “ins” and “outs” from pinstripe suits to ocean decorations and especially the stopped use of the elevator. Everything falls into place as Count Olaf appears in another disguise with a big plan. The orphans need to figure out what is up with Count Olaf while also figuring out the mystery letters that the Quagmires told them before they were taken away and also, where are they if Count Olaf is scheming again.

Perhaps I’m a fan of far-fetched imaginative pieces, The Ersatz Elevator really kicks it up a little, putting all three children to use their abilities and finding a courage in them that we’ve seen but never to this extent. Its a little unbelievable story but full of incredibly fun characters and has lots of twists and surprises. Its suspense and a page turner. We’re pretty much halfway through the series at this point and a great time to kick up the fact that the orphans are in fact growing up and facing their new miserable reality with as much courage and intelligence as possible.

Overall…

This collection steps up the game a little. The Baudelaire orphans are getting smarter. Sunny is starting to say words that make sense although her teeth are still a thing of splendor in terms of what she can achieve. The stories are full of creativity and the scenarios they are thrown into while far-fetched are imaginative. It continues on with clever uses of words and throws us tons of vocabulary and description. I think the thing to remember here is that these books are meant for children and while we may what is going to happen and we can sit here thinking when they’ll be smarter the next time and that nothing really makes sense especially with the stupid adults, especially Mr. Poe, they are colorful in their own way and adds to the story itself, helping the children shine a little brighter.

Fighting Grief (Knockout #1) by Kellie Perkins

The first book of the year usually is what I had to put down during the holidays and didn’t get a chance to wrap up until the last few days. I have some lovely books sent to me lately which I need to read next but before those this one needs to be wrapped up and I had the perfect opportunity to finish it when I was waiting for a software to download and install. Fighting Grief is a first book in a trilogy and while it costs $1.XX on Amazon right now, I did get it when it was a free book back in 2014 or something.

Let’s check it out!

Fighting Grief (Knockout #1)
by: Kellie Perkins

Fighting Grief

Keeva O’Brien has lost all desire to work for a dream that was never really hers. Keeva’s brother, Luke, was the one who wanted her to go to college, the one who wanted her to be something more than he or their parents. Luke raised her, gave up everything to be there for Keeva after their parents died. But when Luke died, Keeva could no longer see the point.  When new bartender, Nash Pierce, begins working at the same restaurant where Keeva works, she has no interest in his charm. All she wants is to forget her grief, to forget that everything that had made her world make sense died in an instant when her brother was killed while fighting for an underground MMA club. Nash is willing to help her do that. – Goodreads

Am I glad that I didn’t read the synopsis on Goodreads before I started this book? If you were to shrink this book into 3 paragraphs, that is generally the version you’d use because its not a synopsis. It highlights almost everything you need to decipher the ending which was obvious from the moment Nash enters the picture, by the way. I’m getting ahead of myself now.

Fighting Grief isn’t a bad novel aside from its painfully obvious situation of who Nash is and what happens to Keeva. In fact, it does itself justice by focusing on the romance and the healing and expanding on getting to somewhat understand the characters a little, while even trickling in with some conversations with supporting characters. All those aspects of Fighting Grief is good. I’d even say that the writing is fun and quick to read while still remembering to never dive into the erotica area and just dabble on the surface of a romance and the connection that Keeva and Nash have for each other. I do think that the writing can be polished a little more but this is the first book I’ve read of Kellie Perkins so I’m sure there is room for much improvement and probably has in the later books.

However, Fighting Grief is a very generic story about tragic loss and the ending is painfully obvious as I mentioned before. In fact, the only reason I did keep reading it unfortunately was to prove myself right or let the book prove me wrong. Plus, I’m not one to start a book and not at least give it a chance to redeem itself. There is merit here and I can see the appeal for some people but for me, it felt a little too obvious. There are coincidences and then there are “coincidences” if you know what I mean. Plus, there are moments when I didn’t really like our main character Keeva. I get that she is grieving but she seems incredibly immature for someone who has been thrown into unfortunate situation since she was young.

Overall, I feel like I already have a general idea where the next two books in the trilogy might go if it is as predictable as this one. While I do wonder how it will all play out, it isn’t quite enough for me to pick up the second book. However, if you want a quick romance read, this might fit the bill.

Visual Novel: LAQUE: Premonitions by Jean Fukuda Miyasato

One more visual novel before jumping back to actual novels.

This next one is called LAQUE: Premonitions. Like I said in the first visual novel post, I’m starting to grow a fondness for them. For one, they aren’t long and two, they have art to look at. Its like a picture book for grown-ups. Plus, the last one was not exactly what I expected a visual novel to be. If you missed it, you can find it here. This one should be a bit more interactive. Let’s see, shall we?

LAQUE: Premonitions
by: Jean Fukuda Miyasato

LAQUE: premonitions

If you knew that the girl you know you will die for a FUTURE know would avoid? Laque is a boy with a special gift, he often has prophetic dreams, and one of them manages to see his future love gives her life to save his, now have to decide whether to approach it or avoid it so as not to sacrifice for him. – Google Play Store

Laque is structured much more like what I thought visual novels are. This one has actual choices to decide on the path. It floats between the premonition ( maybe dream) world that the main character Laque resides in. At the beginning, we learn that he has a gift of premonition. Ghosts or images will show up that clue him in on the future events. Then he meets a girl in one of these who don’t talk. There are some blood and deaths and whatnot and now he needs to hunt down who this girl is and who the killer is to try to stop it.

The story itself is pretty basic but the idea here is pretty. The experience still left something to desire. For one, there are some unnecessary random cheap jumpscares here and there. Sometimes they caught me off guard, most of the time it was a WTF moment because it didn’t seem to fit with the story. Note that horror and mystery/suspense are two different genres therefore jumpscares are not necessary. The second point and also the last was the story and dialogue was really like watching an anime or reading a manga or whatnot but the words looked like they were being typed slowly on. I don’t know if it was for anticipation or to make the unveiling of secret feel more effective but in random conversations, it felt much longer than it needed to be.

To be fair, Laque Premonitions is pretty good. The lesson he gives at the end is a good one, at least the ending I got. I have a suspicion that there may be multiple endings. While thete are plenty of saves on the progression, the impatient me just couldn’t handle another session of slow dialogue particularly when Laque’s inner monologue could be sped up to show all at once and not thr actual ones out loud to other characters. Still, a decent experience other than some minor technicalities.