For What It's Worth

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Reading Update...

 


READ

The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren ~ Goodreads CLo is very hit or miss for me but this was a hit. Single mom Jess gets matched Dr. River Pena, the founder of a genetics based dating site. Their score is a rare 98% match that pretty much says they're soulmates. Unfortunately, River and Jess start out on the wrong foot.

This was really sweet. River starts out very cold and aloof but I was pleasantly surprised that he wasn't just a tech millionaire stereotype. he's just a shy workaholic. He's totally open to love and kind to Jess and her daughter. 

Jess carries a little baggage from her mom but all in all this was a low key and relatively angst free.

The ending was a smidge rushed and I had some ethical questions about the company paying Jess to participate but it's super cute so 👍👍

READING

Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto ~ Goodreads I'm listening to this one now and the narration (by Risa Mei) is so delightful that it's helping me gloss over some of the more annoying elements.

This is a mystery/rom-com with a large Indonesian-Chinese-American cast including Meddy and her meddling aunties. 

This isn't quite going where I thought it was. This is definitely a wacky, hilarity ensues romp but also more serious than I thought. (spoiler -> I thought she discovers a random body, not that she is covering up her own potential crime <- end spoiler) and although I understand Meddy's loyalty and acquiescence to her family, it's frustrating for me to read at times. 

Despite those few quibbles, this is a really cute read so far and I'm pretty confident that Meddy will stand up and find her own path in the end.

DNF

The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes by Xio Axelrod ~ Goodreads I believe this is going to be a DNF for me. I'm almost 40% in and have a few issues. 

First off, I thought this was a YA recommended by two of my most trusted friends. It's adult romance and neither have read it - so not sure where that all came from lol

I'm loving Toni (narrated by Tamika Simone) and her struggles to make it in the music industry, despite her lack of confidence and her trying not to repeat the mistakes of her fame hungry mother. She's a girl that you can really root for.

But I'm HATING the narration of her love interest (Alexander Cendese) His Seb voice sounds like a movie trailer voice - IN A WORLD - and his female voices are the worst. Especially for Candy, a band member he has a toxic relationship with. She comes off as a valley girl.

I don't like him as a character, as a romantic interest and his voice makes me cringe. The flashbacks to their supposed connection aren't clicking with me either.

I was trying to hang in there for Toni but if I ever come back to this one, it will be in print. 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

I'm Watching...

 

graphic that says watching in gold script, followed by 3 titles in black print font, Raised by Wolves, Sweet Tooth, Hacks

I've been watching tv so much more than reading lately and I wanted to do one initial update with everything but I haven't so it would be an out of control long post at this point lol

So I think I'll just go week by week and maybe tack on something I watched a while ago at the end until it's updated. or not - because I'm me and will probably stop watching everything as soon as I post this 😜

Anyway - here are my 3 most recent watches

3 movie style posters for Raised by Wolves, Sweet Tooth, Hacks

Raised by Wolves  HBOMax - Ridley Scott is a producer and directed the first few episodes of this futuristic dystopian series so that's what made us give it a try. Alien is Kevin's favorite movie. 

Two androids called Mother and Father are raising a human child that they believe will be the savior of the world. But religious differences, warring factions and outside influences put their plans at risk.

I'm not a huge sci-fi/fantasy or anything like that fan and, to be honest, I was a bit confused at first (don't worry it makes sense the more you watch) but this show is so trippy and addictive. In particular Mother. Let's just say she may be maternal but she's also hella powerful. Theyc all her The Necromancer and she carries around eyeballs. That's all I'll say lol 

*warning - graphic violence & one sex scene where there is nudity (from the side) and not very graphic

There's a lot to love with this action packed but thoughtful look at religion, gender roles, identity and humanity. 

Sweet Tooth - Netflix Sweet Tooth is a new Netflix series based on a comic book of the same name. It's a post apocalyptic world where there was a virus that killed many people and begins the birth of hybrid babies - half-human and half-animal. Gus is one of those hybrids. Half human and half deer and all adorable.

It's unknown whether the hybrids are caused by the virus or if the hybrids brought the virus and Gus (& all hybrids) are in danger. Luckily Gus has a gruff protector in Big Man and Sweet Tooth follows their adventures as well as telling the story of others in this world (like Dr.'s, scientists, and other survivors) until their stories begin to intersect.

It's very well done! The supporting characters are engaging and the villain is very creepy so you are constantly on edge.

Bad things happen but it mostly takes place off screen instead of graphic violence. But you know and some of it (like the idea of testing on children) can be tough to watch. 

Sweet Tooth is a thoughtful show bringing up a lot of moral questions, it's action packed (once it gets going) and has a surprising amount of humor and sweetness at it's core. It shows a dystopian world of impossible choices and possibilities yet feels fresh.

*fingers crossed* for a season 2!

Hacks - HBOMax Jean Smart stars as Deborah, a legendary, but on her way to outdated, irrelevant comedian. She reminded me a lot of Joan Rivers. A pioneer back in the day but now falling out of favor with her out of touch and offensive jokes. 

Ava is a twenty-something TV comedy writer who *gets canceled* after a bad tweet and needs to take a job writing for Deborah to save her career and pay the bills. 

They clash then they start to bond. I have to be honest and say that I hated Ava at first. She's just the epitome of the entitled millennial stereotype. But once these two hit their groove they are a pleasure to watch. Their chemistry is fantastic and you start to see these little subtle shifts in their personality and tiny cracks in the veneer.

Bonus rec!

My Octopus Teacher - Netflix "A filmmaker forges an unusual friendship with an octopus living in a South African kelp forest, learning as the animal shares the mysteries of her world."

This was a really sweet documentary about a man, Craig Foster, who goes diving almost everyday to the same spot for a year and forges a friendship with a female octopus. It has some very cool video of octopus behavior and she seems to truly enjoy and seek out Foster. 

Watch when you just want a chill, calming viewing experience. If you want to know what happens to the octopus - which I ALWAYS need to know before watching anything with animals - here's a spoiler -> Yes, she dies at the end but she lives a full happy life and dies naturally after she lays her eggs, as all octopus do so it wasn't super sad. But I skipped that part anyway lol <-


Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Tell Me Something Tuesday: May I help you?

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post where bloggers discuss a wide range of topics from books and blogging to life in general.

Join in by answering this weeks question in the comments or on your own blog.

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Question: What type of reviews do you find helpful in choosing (or avoiding) your next read?

Answer: I love reading all kinds of reviews. It doesn't really matter if the review is for a book in a genre I do or don't read. What I look for is the bloggers *voice*. If I enjoy their style then I read their reviews.

Now, when it comes to a review to help me choose a book to read - well, that's different. 

The most helpful review (for me) is on the shorter side. After all - I might be reading the book myself so I don't want too much detail but I will probably circle back to it when I'm done to compare thoughts.

Pros and cons. I love to hear what worked and what didn't. Even if it's minor.  I don't consider it "being negative". Those are the little details that help me choose if a book is for me whether it worked for that reviewer or not.

Ratings mean nothing to me. Let me elaborate...I have my reliable reviewers whose taste I know and are similar to mine so a 5 star read from say - Jen or Amber will definitely up the chances that I will read the book based on just their rating or rec. 

Overall though, ratings are just a jumping off point. I still need the pros and cons to know if it works for me. A 5 star romance review that says I cried so hard, or the ending was bittersweet, or I couldn't choose between all the boys she liked are all deal breakers for me. However, a 1 star review that says they needed more drama, this was too light, the guy was too boring - then I will check into the book. 

Not every book is for every reader and I appreciate having that added bit of info to help me decide. Books are expensive so I'd like to in informed before a purchase.

On Goodreads, I tend to stick with the 3 star reviews because I don't often know the reviewer ad they seem to have more concrete information explaining what worked and what didn't. 

What do you find helpful (or unhelpful) when reading reviews?