Month: October 2017

The Flash S4 Ep1 The Flash Reborn

The Flash S4 Ep1 The Flash Reborn

Description: Barry is brought out of the Speed Force to help fight an armored villain, but he isn’t the same person.

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MIA

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H.R. Okay, so we know he sacrificed himself last series, but I want to take a moment to acknowledge his loss. I think H.R was the best incarnation of the multiverse character. While I would be open to another search and recruitment, I’m not sure I’m ready for one.

By extension, I was very disappointed to not welcome the return of Anne Dudek’s Tracey. I’m aware of her role as the romantic interest of H.R, but she worked well with the whole group and I’m just a little sad that they didn’t explore this.

 

 

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Tom Felton’s Julian is now back in London, having returned post finale. Again, this is something I feel was a massive shame and I’m hoping it’s more to do with Felton’s schedule than anything else. I loved his friction with Cisco and the fact that Caitlin had moved on and found love again. He added so much to the dynamic of the show.

 

 

 

 

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The Flash himself remained missing for most of the episode; both physically and mentally. Up until the last few scenes there is nothing recognisable in the returning Barry Allen. It’s wonderful to see a change in the acting range of Grant Gustin, however it was nice to get Barry back before the credits rolled.

 

V.M.H (very much here)

Cisco and Caitlin were on form this episode. Cisco has always been a firm favourite of mine. They need to give him a relationship A.S.A.P (I volunteer as tribute, of course).
They had some brilliant banter as Cisco recalled her for duty and I duly noted the Hitchhiker’s reference.

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Designated Survivor S2 Ep3: Outbreak

Designated Survivor S2 Ep3: Outbreak

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Description:
The activities at the White House this day include Kendra’s first major assignment of mediation between affected stakeholders of what to do about a statue of a Confederate war general in Tennessee, he who is now deemed a racist – keeping the statue at its current prominent location which has an unexpected supporter – and the unveiling of a creature biologically named after Tom. Lyor finds the choice of creature offensive to his boss while Seth has to figure out a way to spin it positively to the public. These issues take a back seat when a public health crisis occurs, with a deadly avian flu outbreak in South Carroll Parish, Louisiana. First reports are that there is a forty percent fatality rate of those infected. Dr. Tammy Bruner with the CDC believes the outbreak will spread throughout the country in the matter of days if not contained despite the relatively isolated nature of South Carroll Parish. Dr. Bruner heads to the front line to deal with the outbreak. Although she reports back that there are no current pharmaceuticals to prevent the flu and that the development of a vaccine would take months, she believes there is an experimental drug developed for a different purpose by a pharmaceutical company owned by Carlton Mackie that may control the flu. Although Mackie is somewhat cooperative in his initial meeting with Tom, Tom learns that Mackie has different priorities, such as making money and ensuring the long term viability of his company, which, if he gets his way, would result in unnecessary immediate deaths in South Carroll Parish, a relatively poor and predominantly black community. The other goings-on in the White House this day could affect what happens between Tom and Mackie. Meanwhile, Chuck is trying to decrypt the file Lloyd sent to the cloud before the drone strike, while Hannah and Damian continue to follow up on the incident at the First Lady’s mother’s house. They know that Lloyd’s actions there were not by accident, he leaving a trail of bread crumbs to what he wants them to discover whatever it is.

 

I identified four main threads in this episode:

  1. Influenza outbreak
  2. Memorial statue of a political racist
  3. Hannah and the mother-in-law’s house/ Lloyd’s treasure hunt
  4. The turkey… sorry, frog

 

ONE
It was an interesting story thread, one that would later interweave with the second thread; one supporting the other. It was an interesting exploration of capitalism and I’m still not quite sure which side of the fence I sit on.

While I understand it was a time of crisis and that the pharmaceutical company should have an obligation to help. I can’t help but empathise with his detached outlook on the bigger picture. Yes, Tom’s declaration that he needs to consider the greater good is a solid argument, however I disagree that the town is the greater good when you consider the company’s thinking.

Using a drug not yet approved by the FDA would put the company at risk for the future, reverse engineering by other companies, certain bankruptcy and guaranteed blocks by the FDA would all lead to other antidotes and cures remaining undeveloped.

I felt uncomfortable with Tom’s tactic of publicising the company head a racist due to his inaction. Yes, it gets him what he wants, but I’m teaching my students about using a race card appropriately. Positive discrimination is not always a good thing; and I do believe that the company in questioned would have made the same decision regardless of the ethnicity of the town’s occupants.

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TWO
This was quite incredible and an example of not only positive discrimination, but white privilege as well. There is a mediation meeting being held about the movement of a monument of a Confederate war veteran. Many deem it a sign of long past racism within Tennessee and would prefer it to be moved from its prominent location.
However, Rev. Tramer Dale, played by the delightful Ron Canada objects to the monument’s move; to the disgust of many stakeholders in the room. Now, this is a topical discussion for me and I found it interesting reflection upon my opinion one the episode finished, because if someone had presented this to me without the Reverend’s input, I probably would have agreed to the move.

You see, being a white woman from Liverpool I have some understanding about the problems these people faced. Many streets in my home city are dedicated to those who took primary roles in the slave trade and prospered greatly as a result.

Being a contentious issue, there is often debate and discussion about the renaming of these roads.

I am ashamed of our history. I am ashamed at our heritage and I wanted them removed. I argued, at length, with my father about this exact thing. However, I now have to rescind. Mainly because Reverend is right; by doing so, you are white washing history. By keeping it there as a testament of the past, it ensures you don’t forget. Of course, I’m not going to tell my dad that.

American history is a little bit more convoluted, however and I can see why Tom is insisting on a compromise from Reverend Tramer and they discuss the virtue of absolutism; something I would be interesting in discussing with students in school.

My favourite moment comes from Reverend Tramer and Mike. When asked if he can lead a long time role model of his out of the White House, Tramer responds

“no, but you can walk with me.”

There is something affirming about being seen as an equal to people you regard highly. Such a touching moment which has its parralell conversation towards the end when Tom declares to Mike:

“It’s 2017, we should be talking about everything and anything but this.”

The strange thing, it’s true. In the last few months as a teacher and as a UK citizen I’ve been overwhelmed with the number of racist incidents that are happening on a daily basis. I don’t see colour, I don’t understand why people are treated in such abhorrent ways. I only hope the job I do is making a difference and is ensuring a better future for people.

THREE
Hannah is back to following the bread crumbs and it just feels a little lacklustre. The British lapdog is irritatingly inconsistent with his accent; appearing to speak in his native tongue more often than not. I didn’t catch why, but I’m very glad he’s bidding Hannah farewell by the end of the episode.

While I love Hannah, she’s needs something a little bit grittier to get her hands on in the next few episodes or it will lose me. This was my reason for getting into this show, and they’re neglecting it.

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FOUR
The frog! Yes, it was funny. I was ammused by newcomer Lyor’s response to the amphibian and his brash behaviour to the animal expert. Even funnier was that everyone agreed with him that the frog was not the best animal to be dedicated to the president.

Yet, I predicted where Tom would fall with this. I knew from the outset that upon seeing the new West Wing occupant, that he would love it.

The shame? That this was a mediocre replay of West Wing’s C.J and the turkeys and it leads me to a bigger concern; Designated Survivor appear to be using the West Wing play book, and that’s not okay with me.

Supergirl S3 Ep1 Girl of Steel

Supergirl S3 Ep1 Girl of Steel

Description: Kara deals with the loss of Mon-El by focusing her energy on being Supergirl and concentrating on a mysterious new threat. Alex confesses a secret to Maggie. A citizen of National City has a mysterious connection to Kara. Lena makes a bold move.

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Supergirl has come so far since its first series and I’m no longer fearing its cancelation. However, I’m no longer enjoying my weekly viewing either. It’s missing some of what made series 1 work. I know part of that is Calista Flockheart, but it’s also something more as she makes a cameo this episode, and it doesn’t help much.

Series 3 opens on a rather sad note. Kara’s emotions are raw from the departure of Mon-El. She’s grumpy, apathetic and channelling her inner Buffy Summers from season two’s opener When She Was Bad. It’s actually quite realistic of a breakup and while it depressed the hell out of me, it was good to see even superheroes have issues they struggle to overcome.

Having Heroes alumni Adrian Pasdar play the villain of the week was a little too obvious. The once Petrelli brother is about one role away from being type cast. This storyline, as a result, did nothing for me.

Kara’s sister, Alex, has a wonderful heart to heart with both Supergirl and, later, J’onn J’onzz. While I miss Chyler on Grey’s, she is the perfect fit for this show. Her scenes are moving and heartfelt; so much so that I was reduced to tears by the end.

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I’m so very happy that they seem to have dropped the Guardian story arc from series two. I’m a little upset at how they’ve adapted and evolved Jimmy Olsen since the shows start and I feel the character is very much picked up and dropped as the narrative requires. I don’t want to lose Mehcad Brooks from the show, but they need to figure out what they’re doing with the character.

I am loving the friendship with Lena Luther, but I’m expecting a fallout from Kara’s failure to disclose her identity at some point. I was sensing a potential romance between her and Alex (knowing Floriana Lima’s Maggie is not long for our screens), however the addition of Odette Annable has made me reconsider this.

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Thor: Ragnarok (12a)

Thor: Ragnarok (12a)

Length: 2hr10
Released: 27.10.2017
Watch Date: 28.10.2017
Description: Imprisoned, the mighty Thor finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against the Hulk, his former ally. Thor must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization.
Trailer

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The Good
The tone and humour of Ragnarok is spot on. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re a fan of Flight of the Concord and chuckled at the Team Thor short; you are going to be right at home with this instalment by What We Do in the Shadows (2014) writer/ actor/ director Taika Waititi.

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There’s a few actor cameos for you to geek over; a little blink and you miss it, but the pay off when you spot them more than makes up for. However, I will say this, yes, it’s him, no he’s not credited, yes, I am certain its him. So don’t bother checking IMDB mid movie like the naughty man in front of me./
The music is stunning and so very different to anything we’ve really had before. There is some evolution of style from Guardians of the Galaxy in terms of the decade in which it draws its inspiration from, and Led Zeplin’s Immigrant Song is a prominent feature, but that is very much where the comparisons end. Soundtrack Geek argues, in his review, that the 80s synth is rarely used. However, I would like to perhaps suggest that it certainly is a defining and welcome feature of the film’s suite. It brings together the visual style to allow the audience to accept this change of direction in the MCU.

The Mad (not bad)
The middle section can only be described as MCU’s expression of an acid trip. From the psycadelic worldscape Thor arrives in, to the delightfully eccentric Grandmaster it is pure unadulterated mind fuckery.

Jeff Goldblum is pitch perfect as Grandmaster, leader of the planet which enslaves anyone and everyone to perform in gladiator battles for the society’s pleasure. Goldblum is always a pleasure to have on the screen, never more so than here, when it is very clear that he’s having so much fun.

Thor’s entrance into the presence of the Grandmaster is a welcome nod to the journey down the chocolate river in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971). The music fades in subtlety and develops to a wonderful crescendo.

(the bad)

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I can’t not have at least one criticism of the film. In it’s defence, it’s not so much about the film, but the promotion of the film. There appeared to be this big thing about the disclosure of the Grandmaster’s undefeated challenger within the film. I could see the pay off, however the multiple trailers had pulled that rug MONTHS ago. Yep, the film was trying to hide the Hulk when the audience already knew Mark Ruffalo had a major role. I’m gutted I didn’t get that nerdgasm of Hulk’s reveal and Thor’s retort “I know him, we’re friends.” (Oh, and if you’d like to know the story behind that line, head here  )

The Loki

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Be still my heart, Tom Hiddleston is back and much funny than ever. Dark World gave him that wonderful ‘Ta-Da’ moment and Ragnarok builds upon that to show more of a trickster than an angst-ridden man that would have felt out of place in this high-spirited adventure.
That said, Anthony Hopkins does a mighty turn as the God of Mischief too. Right before that Dark World cliffhanger is resolved and the story starts proper, we see Hopkins-as-Loki-as-Odin living a wonderful life, honouring his not-so-fallen self in the process. It’s joyful and I only wish we’d gotten a little more.
However, there is more to this placement than a witty pun on my usual review format. While Loki is undoubtedly my favourite part he is also my weakest part of this outing. How many times will MCU allow Loki to be used as a trope. He’s now way too predictable and no longer holds any authenticity as a character with depth. It’s quite sad really, because not only can he not be considered a villain, I am struggling to see beyond the self-parody to accept him as an anti-hero.

While I’m on the topic of villains, it would be hard to leave the review without mentioning our main antagonist of Ragnarok. Cate Blanchett arrives as Hela; our cookie cutter villain with a half-baked and, in this case, senseless motivation and strategy for dominance.

Designated Survivor s2 Ep2: Sting of the Tail

Designated Survivor s2 Ep2: Sting of the Tail
Description:
FBI Agent Hannah Wells finally closes in on Patrick Lloyd, but when the president decides to take action during the White House Correspondents Dinner, members of the Homeland Security Council threaten to derail their plans.

My biggest question around this show, and some others, is: in a time of catch up tv, why do we need a ‘previously on…’? It’s starting to irritate me, and I would rather have a ‘skip ‘previously’ button rather than an intro.

I made very few notes regarding this episode. The show is certainly going a different direction to the previous year and the conspiracy storylines are taking a back seat to the politics. It’s a shame as there are shows out there that have done it better and it feels like Designated Survivor is treading stagnant water.

I’m talking here about the comparisons that can be made between this and the mighty West Wing; a show that has aged well and is as relevant today as it was when it was initially airing.

I predict that Lloyd’s attack on the home of the First Lady’s mother was put in place to bring in a new character. I also feel that the children will not be seen much this season; choosing instead to reference them when possible. This also raises a concern for me; I am aware of audience hatred for the son and I can’t help wonder if that is one of the reasons for the decline in his appearances. I hope not, as it shouldn’t matter what an audience think. It’s the creator’s story; they should be the ones to tell it.

Nightmares by @jasonsegel and Kirsten Miller (@bankstirregular) Illustrated by Karl Kwashy

Nightmares by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller
Illustrated by Karl Kwashy

Buy it here
Goodreads
Otherworld Review

Description:
Charlie Laird has several problems:

  1. His dad married a woman he is sure moonlights as a witch.
  2. He had to move into her purple mansion, which is not a place you want to find yourself after dark.
  3. He can’t remember the last time sleeping wasn’t a nightmarish prospect. Like even a nap.

What Charlie doesn’t know is that his problems are about to get a whole lot more real. Nightmares can ruin a good night’s sleep, but when they start slipping out of your dreams and into the waking world—that’s a line that should never be crossed. And when your worst nightmares start to come true . . . well, that’s something only Charlie can face. And he’s going to need all the help he can get, or it might just be lights-out for Charlie Laird. For good.
[This is the first book in a trilogy.]

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Characters
The protagonist, Charlie is all of us who have lost someone; the frustration and anger that bubbles out of him from the very start is relatable and identifiable. It pulls you in from the very start and takes you by the heart while you take Charlie by the hand.

His development as a character is epic; you are with him as he learns fights and grieves. There is so much emotion involved that it’s not hard to like Charlie, despite his anger.

There are plenty of other amazing, well rounded characters that Charlie meets and works with while on his journey, but I won’t spoil them here. All I will say is that not everything is as it seems when it comes to characters within the nightmare world.

Plot
It is a quest driven novel. Charlie is wrapped up in his own grief and anger and it puts his loved ones in danger. It leads Charlie on a journey to save someone he loves, saving himself along the way.

It’s a brilliant plot, very clean, very clever. It’s one that is worthy of being put alongside classics such as Wizard of Oz and Labyrinth and contemporary works like Percy Jackson.

Writing and Illustrations
The third person narrative is well written and includes amazing action sequences that draw you in and captivate you almost as is you’re watching it unfold on a cinema screen.

I also love that the focus remains on Charlie despite the use of third person. It actually helps me feel closer to him in some respects.

Being a Middle Grade book, there is the addition of some wonderful illustrations. They truly are beautiful and also in some wonderful conceit, gruesome. They give you the building blocks for building a world you will look forward to returning to. I know I cannot wait to start the next one.

Hope by Rhian Ivory

Hope by Rhian Ivory
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I deliberately didn’t read anything about this book before reading it, simply because I knew I was going to the launch at Waterstones Birmingham and that I wanted to go into it completely fresh.
The absolutely ace @ChelleyToy hosted the event, and from the outset I was completely captivated. Chelley had clearly read and LOVED #HopeBook and the questions she asked Rhian made me want to read it asap.
The book itself covers a huge range of topics and each one is described with care, attention and Rhian”s astounding ability to take anything and make it interesting and relatable.
Who would’ve thought a YA book could talk
about organ donation, a rarely heard of/discussed medical disorder (PMDD), tackling the fact you need to change your whole outlook on life, and couple it with a touch of romance – thankfully not the clichéd instalove of *perfect* characters.
At the beginning of the launch party Rhian’s editor, Janet, spoke about the book and introduced the singing choir from Birmingham’s hospital. Before this I had never heard of Singing Medicine, and yet as soon as I heard the ladies sing I was taken aback and amazed by the emotion they portrayed in their songs, and I could imagine how much that little bit of attention and uplifting spirit would benefit not only a patient but their family and other visitors. It made me wish I had experienced that whilst I was in hospital as my nan was poorly, as although it couldn’t change the diagnosis I would’ve loved it on a personal level.
I started reading #HopeBook on the bus to work, and I was so annoyed when I had to get off and go to work… as soon as I finished my shift I started reading again and I didn’t put the book down until I’d finished.
I felt like I’d experienced every single emotion possible:
Love for Hope and her finally coming to terms with what was happening to her and realising she was not alone (I have experienced something very similar with my endometriosis and could relate so well to her!)
Sadness at the patients that were in the hospital, and *sobbing* at the Singing Medicine choir who are SO TALENTED IT’S INSANE!
Anger at Hope’s mum for not confronting Hope and actually asking her what was wrong, and anger at Callie for being a typical teenager (this is anger yet knowing this is exactly how people act so it’s totally believable!)
Pretty much just swooning over Riley as I am a huuuuuuuge sucker for the Irish accent. I’m a westlife girl all the way 🙂 I really enjoyed the way the relationship developed and it made me very happy that they didn’t suddenly declare their love for eachother or fall in to bed.I cannot accurately describe how much I adored this book, I think I need to re-read it and write notes as I’m going!

READ IT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How Do You Like Me Now? By @holly_bourneYA #Hanreview

Release date: 14.7.2018

Preorder here

Goodreads

Description: ‘Turning thirty is like playing musical chairs. The music stops, and everyone just marries whoever they happen to be sitting on.’

Who the f*ck is Tori Bailey?

There’s no doubt that Tori is winning the game of life. A straight-talking, bestselling author, she’s inspired millions of women around the world with her self-help memoir. And she has the perfect relationship to boot.

But Tori Bailey has been living a lie.

Her long-term boyfriend won’t even talk about marriage, but everyone around her is getting engaged and having babies. And when her best friend Dee – her plus one, the only person who understands the madness – falls in love, suddenly Tori’s in terrifying danger of being left behind.

When the world tells you to be one thing and turning thirty brings with it a loud ticking clock, it takes courage to walk your own path.

It’s time for Tori to practice what she’s preached, but the question is: is she brave enough?

The debut adult novel by bestselling author Holly Bourne is a blisteringly funny, honest and moving exploration of love, friendship and navigating the emotional rollercoaster of your thirties.

First thoughts

I fucking love this book. It’s raw, unapologetically honest and brutally real when it comes to life as a 30 something woman in the age of social media.

While I knew I would love Holly’s book; her work is always incredible I was not expecting to finish it and feel so understood.

Characters

Tori will be a character that divides readers; and it makes me love her all the more. She hasn’t been created to tick boxes and please everyone.

She’s relatable and likeable; she’s the Bridget Jones for Gen X (I am 2 months away from 32; I refused to be labelled a millennial) I want to go for a drink with Tori, I want to go for many drinks with Tori.

She’s not perfect, she’s a bit of a fuck up and a little emotionally unsettled (read: sexually frustrated, angry and very fucking confused). However, I feel that is very much a side effect of her environment and I’m already pondering her life outside the novel’s ending.

Tom. I’m unsure as to what to make of him and I can’t trust my own judgement because I’m on the outside looking in, with only Tori’s thought process to guide me.

Honestly, I think he’s a prick and I’d be picking… Only that’s not true. Yes, I still think he’s a prick; I know I would limit my confrontations as Tori does.

I don’t want to tarnish all men with the same brush, but in my experience all my boyfriends have been akin to Tom. I almost felt that there was just enough left out of his character to allow for an element of projection.

Plot

You do see where the book will go; you sense the ending. And by sense, I mean you know, but you’ll slow down your reading hoping that will stop the pain. That’s no bad thing because, certainly for me, it’s not really about what outcome we get; it how Tori gets there. Holly has a wonderful ability to give us not what we want, but what we need.

It’s a wonderful episodic narrative that is tied together with a number of story arcs that help Tori question her relationship and personal fulfilment.

The most important part for me, is some of the difficult sections of the book. This, my friends, is not the Notebook. It’s also not an episode of Sex and the City. Tori’s descriptions of her relationship with Tom will hit a nerve, they challenge you to question what a healthy relationship with yourself and others looks like.

There’s one scene which brought back memories of my previous relationship (I lie, MANY scenes brought back that relationship. Fuck, at one point I felt like Holly had taken a nose dive into my pensieve); one in which I was reluctant to leave. It hit me like a wall of PTSD before realising; shit, it’s not just me.

Some would argue that a person would not stay in a relationship with so many unresolved issues as mentioned in the description. Well, as a women who has contemplated becoming a raccoon lady; If I’m going down that path, I will not become a walking clique (that and all my friends hate cats) I would have to disagree. The internal battle of Tori is a real as breathing.

Writing

Holly has always had a wonderful writing style; engaging, funny and relevant. However, this is something else.

My reading of the first few chapters was staggered only because I had to stop every page to fire off a quote to my best friend and co-blogger.

There’s an ease and comfort in reading How Do You Like Me Now? I loved both Sex and the City and Bridget Jones has I was approaching adulthood, but it was never talking to me and it felt like fiction; almost fantasy. Where as Holly has taken the world of taboo (let’s face it, female masterbation and women wanting sex are still things we could be chastised for bringing up depending on our social circle) and given women of Gen X a hero who is as fucked up as we are.

I Am Thunder by @Mkhanauthor #hanreview

I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan

Release date: 25.01.2028

Predorder here

Good reads

Description: Fifteen-year-old Muzna Saleem is passionate about writing and dreams of becoming a novelist. There’s just one problem – her super-controlling parents have already planned her life out for her:

Step 1) Get educated

Step 2) Qualify as a doctor

Step 3) Marry a cousin from Pakistan. Oh, and boyfriends are totally haram.

No one is more surprised than humble Muzna when high school hottie, Arif Malik, takes an interest in her. But Arif and his brother are angry at the West for demonizing Islam and hiding a terrible secret. As Arif begins to lead Muzna down a dark path, she faces a terrible choice: keep quiet and betray her beliefs, or speak up and betray her heart?

I Am Thunder is the debut novel from stunning YA voice, Muhammad Khan, which questions how far you’ll go to stand up for what you believe.

 

 

Characters

Muzna is our protagonist within I am Thunder. She is a wonderfully strong voice. She is relatable and inclusive, no matter the background of the reader.

It is powerful to know I’m one of the first people to connect with Muzna and that, come January, all the Muslim and Pakistani girls I teach who have been reading Moxie will be reading this.

I love that even during the events, events that some might argue a weakness in character, she remains strong. She’s the preverbal frog within the slowly boiling pan.

Arif is an interesting and complex character. His charming exterior does disarm you along with Muzna. I want to really like him, but he’s almost too good to be true.

I don’t think I could review without talking about Muzna’s parents. It’s hard to blame them for what happens to Muzna, especially as we only see them from her perspective. It’s clear they care for her, but Muzna is frustrated by their perspective of the world and it’s certainly a problem many teens will relate with.

Plot

The plot is empowering and akin to the struggles many people face when it comes to religion. There was even echoes to the journey Malcolm X went through to discover the true meaning of Islam.

Muzna is on a path to spiritual discovery. On the way, she questions the authority of people’s interpretations of the faith and how that makes one a true Muslim.

This is not a question unique to Islam, but it is a topical discourse that perhaps needs an answer.

It’s a brave look into terrorism and Islamaphobia with enough insight to make all people question what is going on in the world.

Writing

The writing is wonderfully colloquial. It also integrates Islam’s key phrases without isolating or patronising any potential audience.

The writing gives Muzna a real voice; she’s the path to understanding what young Muslim’s go through in our mixed up world.

 

This is a MUST read for anyone and everyone.

Star Trek Discovery: S1 Ep6 Lethe #hanreview

Star Trek Discovery: S1 Ep6 Lethe

Description: The USS Discovery crew is intrigued by new addition, Lt. Ash Tyler. Sarek seeks Burnham’s help, rekindling memories from her past. Admiral Cornwell questions Lorca’s tactics.

Logical

The developing relationship between Michael and Tilly is wonderful and has an opportunity to grow further in this episode. It’s clear Tilly respects Michael and wants to learn from the officer. She’s unlike any character I’ve come across in the franchise before; Tilly is geeky in a way that sets her apart from other crew. It’s refreshing.

Lorca’s PTSD is beginning to show. It’s quite amazing the contrast of the intimacy to the violence. I’m actually loving this instability within a Captain; and is something they’ve never shown before. Both Pickard and Sisko would have most likely shown this level of PTSD over time.

Even Vulcan’s have daddy issues. Such a brilliant storyline between Michael and Sarek. I love the dream sequences, the reveal and the aftermath. Wonderful writing and it marks the first time I’ve been happy about it’s placement in the timeline.

Erm, okay Kat; can you honestly tell me you didn’t see that coming?! That was a bit rubbish, but I’m more intrigued by Lorca’s response; is he in on it? I get a sneaky feeling he knew she’d be taken, or that he even suspected she would be killed.

Paul, Paul, Paul. I love the engineer. He uses words like ‘groovy’ and ‘noggin’ and totally rips the piss out of Michael. He’s wonderful and his sarcasm is the funniest thing on Star Trek, ever. I need a Paul in my life.

Illogical

‘Your History is well documented’ – Lorca to Michael. Well, it isn’t really is it?! If it were, we’d already know about Michael.

Sarek saved Michael’s life by sharing a horocrux, sorry, katra with Michael; meaning they are intrinsically bonded. Again, really?!

The cheesy Barry White-Like bedroom music?? There was sexual tension between Lorca and Kat anyway; did you really need to cheapen it. Equally, I don’t feel Kat’s anger is justified. Even if you suspected; you wouldn’t put him in charge of such a ship.

Been Here All Along by @iamsandyhall

Been Here All Along by @iamsandyhall

 

Buy me here https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/1509852808/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1508718458&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=been+here+all+along&dpPl=1&dpID=41QWT3PkUvL&ref=plSrch

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35660588?source=ebfg_sms

 

Description: Gideon always has a plan. His plans include running for class president, becoming head of the yearbook committee, and having his choice of colleges. They do NOT include falling head over heels for his best friend and next door neighbor, Kyle. It’s a distraction. It’s pointless, as Kyle is already dating the gorgeous and popular head cheerleader, Ruby. And Gideon doesn’t know what to do…

Kyle finally feels like he has a handle on life. He has a wonderful girlfriend, a best friend willing to debate the finer points of Lord of the Rings, and social acceptance as captain of the basketball team. Then, both Ruby and Gideon start acting really weird, just as his spot on the team is threatened, and Kyle can’t quite figure out what he did wrong…

Characters

There are four characters in which this story follows; Gideon and Kyle being the primary voices, while Ruby and Ezra allow us to see outside our main characters’ scope.

My favourite character is Gideon; sweet geek who works hard and likes things ordered. While something he overcomes with ease, his fear leading up to reveals and disclosures makes him beautifully vulnerable.

Kyle is brave, honest and rather against stereotype. The challenges he faces and how he approaches them is very true to life; certainly coming from the other side of the classroom.

Plot

Good chunk romance, a little bit of accidental revenge and a low key important message about undiagnosed health issues and the impact they have on the person.

It’s a complex storyline that is told with ease, joy and charm. One thread was predictable; but that says more about society and relationships than the plot of this book.

There’s a solid end that will allow your own imagination to spin stories of Gideon and Kyle’s lives for as long as they remain in your heart.

Writing

There is something elegant and charming about Sandy’s writing. When I’d read A Little Something Different, I proceeded to buy it for everyone and their aunt.

This is no exception. Not many people can pull off writing from multiple perspectives; certainly not four. However Sandy does it as if it is as easy as breathing, and reading it feels like a perfect autumnal evening with hot chocolate and a blanket.

A Grey’s Anatomy Tag

A Grey’s Anatomy Tag

After completing the Harry Potter tag, I was wondering if another would pop along. As nothing has, I figured I’d make my own.
I’m going to tag a few people who responded when I did a shout out for this post (and a few others) and it would be great to see it circulate. All I ask is that you credit me, @hscptcrash in your tags so I can see other people’s responses.

How did you discover Grey’s Anatomy?
I got into Grey’s back in 2006. I’d seen adverts for the first series the year before, but I’d never got around to watching it.
When my mum died in February 2006, I found myself struggling to sleep so I went and purchased both this and House. I always wonder if my favourite would have been House, if I’d watched that first.
As it happens, I watched Grey’s first and I fell in love. I binged the hell out of that first series and was almost late for work because I tried to squeeze in a sixth episode the day after buying it.
Ever since, I’ve never been more than 3 episodes behind the US airing. I’ve even been known in the past to set a 3am alarm to watch it ‘live’. I also attempt yearly rewatch.
I have used episodes in lessons and I’m proud to say that at least 7 students started watching the show as a result. This also led to me receiving the best mug in existence from one of my favourite students.

Who is your twisted sister/person?
Gem! She literally is my person; always and forever.

Favourites

Series One; it must be the first series. This show gets it right straight off the bat. While the ensemble works together, the characters don’t always. Meredith is on a journey in this first outing, one that the show never really tops. She has her drama; mum, boyfriend and her internship at the same hospital her mother trained. She should have a breeze, right?
The romances are brilliant, they don’t all tease and quite a few lead to trouble in many different ways. The format of the show has changed very little since the early days and there’s a reason for that; it works. They establish early on the use of key music featured within the episodes and it is something I will always love.

Character Miranda Bailey is my all-time favourite character. She is the embodiment of female power within a male dominated workplace. She’s a mother to many, a flawed yet passionate leader and a role model for people on and off the screen.

Episode The alternative reality episode (S8 Ep13: If/Then). Where to start?! A shiny, happy Mer, an aggressive and scary Christina. Mer and Alex are engaged and Richard is her father. It’s weird and wonderful; right down to returning Charles’ ironic shout ‘just shoot me’.
While the episode has no impact upon the season, it was nice to see the actors have a little fun.

Guest Star Seth Green, who appears in a season 4 double episode (S4 Eps 9 & 10: Crash into Me Parts 1 and 2) as Nick Hanscom; a patient who had an exposed carotid artery after a tumor resection.
He flirts with Lexie, he has an amazing sense of humour and he’s got his awesome ginger hair that I’ve always loved. Okay, things don’t end well for him, but he keeps you smiling.

Death George O’Malley (S5 Ep24: Now or Never). Well, I dare you to not well up at Meredith’s realisation that John Doe, hero of the hour, is actually 007. It was already known that he was leaving the show, but it still came as a shock. I was expecting Izzie to be the one claimed by the Grey’s angel of death.

Wedding Arizona and Callie (S7 Ep20: White Wedding). Such a beautiful couple, until they weren’t. However, they truly had a wonderful wedding, despite the bumps along the way.

Series Finale The hospital shooting (S6 Ep 23 &24: Sanctuary & Death and All His Friends). I wasn’t a fan of this series; it really clunked along. However, that finale was like watching a horror movie. I was at the end of my PGCE and a little sleep deprived; that added to the drama during the first time of watching. However, in the rewatches, it’s interesting to see the build up to those two final episodes.

Storyline The prisoner on death row who is admitted to hospital, days before his execution (S5 Ep12 & 13: Sympathy for the Devil & Stairway to Heaven). I don’t know why I thought it went on for more episodes; perhaps because of it being the infamous falling out between Christian and Mer, which was resolved because of this case.
It’s such an ethical mine field; on the one hand, doctors have an obligation to save everyone’s life, no matter the background. On the other, his death at the hands of the doctors could save the life of an innocent young boy. However, would allowing the inmate to essentially sacrifice himself give him a redemption he doesn’t deserve. Hell, when morally pure Miranda Bailey goes in to beg Shepherd to leave the man to die; you know you’re in a moral grey area that you will be considering for days after you’ve watched it.

Mer Love interest The vet, Finn (S2 & 3). I know, I know… I was meant to choose Derek, love Derek. He was the love of her life, there’s no doubt about that. However, it’s a dangerous relationship; so full of anger and resentment. I always wonder if they would have ended up getting a divorce, you know? They weren’t stable, even at the best of times. Christina was right; he’s not the sun. He never was, and she’s succeeded further without him.
However, Finn?! He was charming and lovely; he brought Izzie lunch, and he accepted that Meredith was dark and twisty.

Couple Lexie and Sloan. They were perfect together; he truly loved her and it showed. They had their ups and downs and each made mistakes, but they were destined to be together.

Your own crush Owen Hunt. Yes, I love McSteamy, but my heart is with the gruff but sweet Owen. It breaks my heart that he keeps picking very emotionally detached, independent women. Especially those who don’t want children.

Actor bow out Christina Yang (S10 Ep24: Fear [of the unknown]). It was good to know at the beginning of the season that she was leaving; it allowed me to prepare for the departure. Yes, it still hurt, but I got to appreciate her while I had the chance.

Zzng

Meredith danger The patient attack (S12 Ep9: The Sound of Silence). Firstly, the episode was directed by John Q actor Denzel Washington. Secondly, a good portion of the episode reflects Meredith’s injuries and is played without any noise. Not since Buffy’s episode Hush, has the sound of silence been used so effectively.

Surgery Bailey having to operate on a man suffering from a tree-man disease and has tree like growths all over his body (S7 Ep3: Superfreak). The surgery itself is rather cool, however my favourite moment is level headed Bailey losing her composure over a resident spider.

Worst

Series Five! I started to think the show wouldn’t last much longer. It wasn’t quite recovering from the departure of Burke, or the scandal that surrounded the actor’s firing.
George was taking a back seat in the stories, the interns played doctor on each other, but not in a sexy way. In fact it led to Sadie almost dying.
Then there was the biggest concern of the series; Izzie and her tumour. Which for me, is by far the worst storyline they have ever had.

Character Izzie Stephens. While she would have been up there as a favourite at the start, her departure left a very bad taste on the show. I’ve lost count of the rewatches I’ve done since her leaving and she irritates me even more each time I do. There may even come a time when I don’t go from the beginning, simply because I can’t stand her.

Episode The mockumentary episode (S7 Ep6: These Arms of Mine). It was a very gimmicky series; later on we have the Musical. With both, its too much of a case of been there, done that. In both cases, others shows have done it better. With this one, ER had a rather successful episode almost a decade earlier.
They tried, it just fell a little short of expectations. There was no emotional ties to the episode and I certainly couldn’t help but feel cut off from the characters.

Guest Star Melissa George as Sadie Harris (S5 Ep8: These ties that Bind – S5 Ep15: Before and After). She just didn’t gel with the cast and slumped very quickly. I will give the show credit that they found a good storyline to get rid of her.

Death McDreamy (S11 Ep 24: You’re My Home) While I guess it’s fitting that it revolved around his brain, it just wasn’t a good enough goodbye for the character that everyone loved. It also didn’t hold the emotion that some other deaths did.

Wedding Christina and Owen (S7: Ep1: With You I Am Born Again); for me they should never have married in the first place so I wasn’t invested in this occasion. At least Christina got to keep her eyebrows this time around, and Meredith’s hair was amazing.

Series Finale Series 4: (Ep 17: Freedom). I just find the romantic gesture of the house so out of character and actually the opposite of romantic. The episode is flat and lacks any power that others do; largely to do with the writer’s strike of 2008.

Storyline Izzie seeing Deny’s ghost. Just, no! Hell no! And I am aware that it’s the beautiful Denny, but no! It was a ridiculous concept that brought out the worst parts of Izzie. Even the cancer diagnosis didn’t make it okay.

Couple Izzie and George. Seriously? Seriously? I mean, seriously? You have beautiful, positive and passionate Callie worshipping the ground you walk on, and you cheat on her with Izzie?! Then you attempt a relationship with her? No, no, no George!

Actor bow out Izzie Stevens (Catherine Heigle); what an awful way to leave a show. It brought you back into the limelight and helped you win awards, and this is how you repay them?

Meredith danger I’m going to say the shooting (S6 Ep 23 &24: Sanctuary & Death and All His Friends); when Christina has to operate on Derek, Meredith ends up at the business end of the gunman’s gun. She places herself there and it’s not the first time she’s gambled her life away.

Surgery The deer! (S4 Ep1: A Change is Going to Come) Poor Izzie, she has a complex about her interns and her Bailey riff hasn’t worked. So how does she recover their respect? She operates on a deer. It’s always things like this that make me wonder how a show can keep going.

Top 5 Quotes
1. Chin up. Put your shoulders back, walk proud, strut a little. Don’t lick your wounds: celebrate them. The scars you bear are the signs of a competitor. You’re in a lion fight, Stevens. Just because you didn’t win doesn’t mean you don’t know how to roar. – Richard (S4 Ep12: Where the Wild Things Are)
2. If you love someone, you tell them. Even if you’re scared that it’s not the right thing. Even if you’re scared that it’ll cause problems. Even if you’re scared that it will burn your life to the ground, you say it, and you say it loud and you go from there.-Mark Sloan (Season 9 Episode 2: Remember the Time)
3. O’Malley, stop looking at my vajayjay- Bailey (S2 Ep17: As We Know It)
4. You think that you’re so bad ass because you lived, but I’m the reason why you lived. And while you were dying you were crying out for the wife who left you. So that’s the opposite of bad ass for whatever it’s worth. – Lexie (S7: Ep1: With You I Am Born Again)
5. You Don’t destroy a person that you love. – Callie (S7 Ep2: Shock to the System)

Top 5 Songs


1. A Little Respect. A, Erasure cover by Carrie Mac
2. Breath (2am)- Anna Nalick
3. Portions for Foxes – Rilo Kiley
4. Youth – Daughter
5. Life is Short – Butterfly Boucher