Monday, July 28, 2014

Book Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Release date: July 8, 2014
Info about the author: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 308
Age group: Adult
Buy the book: Amazon - Book Depository

Description (from Goodreads):

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems besides the point now.

Maybe that was always besides the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?



MY THOUGHTS:

Attachments, Eleanor & Park and Fangirl all managed to make me a Rainbow Rowell fan, all gaining five stars review from me. So obviously, I was really excited for Landline, Rowell's second adult title. Some of the excitement paid off, while a part of me was left a bit disappointed. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy Landline. Not just as much as I expected.

Georgie is a TV comedy writer, working on a writing team for a popular sitcom while dreaming about her own network show with her best friend Seth. When her dreams about the show she has been working on since college start to come through, she has to skip a family holiday to Omaha to stay in Los Angeles to work with the show. This means that her husband Neal and her two daughters travel away for Christmas while she stays at home, eventually ending up staying at her mother's place. 

After Neal and the girls leave, Georgie tries her best to contact Neal, but fails continually. Their marriage has been in strains for a while and though she loves him and her children more than anything, she feels like she's a fourth wheel in a vehicle that runs perfectly with three wheels - she isn't necessarily needed, or at least that is how she feels. Finally, when she calls him via the landline at her mother's house she gets a connection but quickly realizes that she isn't talking to Neal of the present day - somehow she has found a connection back to 1998 and the days they weren't married yet, to a time they were in love but quite unsure about their future. 

At first, the time traveling phone freaks her out. But once she talks to the 1998 Neal more, she realizes that she misses him more than she ever realized. Not the Neal from the past, but the Neal of the present time, the Neal that isn't answering to her calls. The works starts to pile up and she isn't able to concentrate - she knows that she has to do something to get her family back, but at the same time she isn't ready to let go of her career and her dreams. 

Though I enjoyed the whole time traveling, magic phone aspect of the novel, I was slightly disappointed about the fact that Rowell doesn't really explain HOW the phone works the way it does. Georgie tries to figure out the mechanics of the phone, but only very briefly (I think almost too briefly - like if I had a phone like that, I would probably only ponder about how it works and nothing else).  Maybe I am just overly curious or something, but I really wanted to know more about this phone. 

Georgie is a bona fide Rowell character - funny, slightly troubled, ordinary, honest. I loved the fact that she is a comedy writer because some of my favorite people ever are TV comedy writers (Fey, Poehler and Kaling - I'm talking about you). I know this novel was not about her work as a comedy writer but as a wife, but I kind of wished there would have been more about her work and the world of television comedy writing. I also wanted to know more about Seth, Georgie's best friend. It is interesting because he's the guy who would be perfect for her, but she fell in love with someone else, someone who really isn't her match. I guess that's the whole "opposites attract" thing right there in action. 

I feel like Landline was very different from Attachments, Rowell's debut novel and her previous novel for adults. Whereas Attachments reads like a romantic comedy, Landline reads more like a romantic drama/modern woman's film - a film about a woman trying to figure out what to do with her life and her family while learning something new about herself. As mentioned before, Georgie is an interesting main character and definitely one I would like to see in film format as well. She is strong, loving and driven. Though she loves her family, she also loves her job and her career. For a different type of reader and one who has dedicated her life for family and children, Georgie might seem selfish for making her husband "suffer" in a life that he did not want, but I personally loved the fact that she wants to keep up with her work and realizes that thought she is a woman, she does not have to necessarily be the one who sacrifices everything. Pretty much, in conclusion, YAY FOR STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS!

Landline is entertaining, touching and well written. The story is well paced and constructed and the character development from the college aged Neal and Georgie to the present day was well established through flashbacks and the phone calls via the magical landline. The lack in explaining the workings of the phone left me a bit disappointed and thus made me give this one only four stars, but other than that, I really recommend Landline to everyone, especially the fans of Rowell's previous novels. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next. 

Ps. If you are familiar with Rowell's previous novels, be in the lookout for some familiar faces from this one!



Friday, July 25, 2014

The House of the Scorpion (Matteo Alacran #1) by Nancy Farmer

Release Date: 2002
Info about the author: Goodreads - Website
Publisher: Atheneum Books
Age group: YA
Pages: 380
Buy the book: Amazon - Book Depository

Description (from Goodreads):

At his coming-of-age party, Matteo Alacrán asks El Patrón's bodyguard, "How old am I? ... I know I don't have a birthday like humans, but I was born." 

"You were harvested," Tam Lin reminds him. "You were grown in that poor cow for nine months and then you were cut out of her." 

To most people around him, Matt is not a boy, but a beast. But for El Patrón, lord of a country called Opium--a strip of poppy field lying between the U.S. and what was once called Mexico--Matt is a guarantee of eternal life. El Patrón loves Matt as he loves himself, for Matt is himself. They share identical DNA. 

As Matt struggles to understand his existence, he is threatened by a sinister, grasping cast of characters, including El Patrón's power-hungry family. He is surrounded by a dangerous army of bodyguards and by the mindless slaves of Opium, brain-deadened 'eejits' who toil in the poppy fields. 

Escape from the Alacrán Estate is no guarantee of freedom because Matt is marked by his difference in ways he doesn't even suspect. Around every turn in this vivid, futuristic adventure is a new, heart-stopping surprise.





MY THOUGHTS:

Somewhere in the near future, there is a country called Opium located between the United States and the former Mexico, now called Atzlán. At Opium, as you can guess from the name, drugs are the main, and pretty much, only business. Matt is Alacrán, which means that he is connected to the powerful family that is on the lead of the drug market. But Matt is not like others. He is a clone, more specifically, a clone of El Patron, the leader of the drug market. El Patron is very old and respected, and even though Clone's are usually treated as animals, Matt gets some kind of special treatment, just because of his link to El Patron. 

For the first 6 years or so of his life, Matt was hidden from the estate and kept in a small house in the fields with Celia, the cook for the family. One day Matt does a silly mistake and goes outside with other children even though he is supposed to stay in and hidden - soon other's discover that Matt is the clone and start to despise him. People treat him like he is an animal or even something dirtier. But then there is Maria, a little girl who sees Matt as something different. With the help of Maria and Celia, Matt is able to begin a somewhat normal life at the estate. He forms a relationship with El Patron, but also with his bodyguard Tam Lin (who is supposedly Scottish - that is a very weird Scottish name). As Matt grows, he starts to figure more about the actions of El Patron and realizes that he was created for a very specific reason. He plans an escape in order to save his life. But the world outside Opium isn't quite as promising Matt expected it to be.

The House of the Scorpion was such an interesting read. The way the hierarchy in Opium was established was quite scary, to be honest. El Patron, who is over 140 years old, keeps everyone controlled - he has extremely wealth, but he also owns the people that surround him. And once you are owned by El Patron, there is no way out. The people who work in the farms for him are called Eejits - they are controlled by their supervisors. Their only function is to work and they can stop only when told so. They are like shells of the people they once were, like robots controlled by someone who is still "a full" person. The fact that his could very well happen in the future, with people collecting more and more for their personal fortunes and other people being desperate just belong and work, is a very scary fact. 

The book begins from Matt's childhood and is divided into different sections of his growth. I really liked this structure because it gives you a look at the different ways Matt is treated - because of the fact that he is a clone he is seen differently. Matt is an interesting character because he is strong and brave, but at points there are also glimpses of El Patron in him - basically Matt is supposed to be exactly like El Patron was when he was a child, but while you read the book you start to notice that it really is not only the genes, but also the environment in which you live that molds you into the person you are.

The character relationships of the novel are very well established and even the characters with smaller role with regards to the whole story are very well described and established. In the copy of the novel I read there was a list of the numerous characters in the beginning with a family tree - this kind of freaked me out in the beginning because I did not feel like reading a book with so many characters that I would all the time have to go to the beginning to see who is who. I was happy to notice that all the characters were well explained and I did not have to go back to the list at all. 

There is a so-called romance in the book as well, but I really liked the fact that the novel did not focus on this. It was more on the sidelines - an important element, but not the most important element. Matt did not do what he does JUST to get to Maria. That is one of his motivators, but not the only one. Maria is an interesting character - at points I liked her and at points I found her extremely irritating. But the case is somewhat same with Matt - sometimes he acted in a way that made me very angry, but that was usually under the influence of El Patron. Thus, this became a very well established characterization - the influence of El Patron on Matt develops throughout the novel and is an interesting relationship to follow.

I thoroughly enjoyed The House of the Scorpion. It was action packed, but it also included some very interesting, scary images from a future that could be very possible. It kept me interested from page one and I cannot wait to read the second book The Lord of Opium

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Release Date: April 12, 2012
Info about the author: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: Orion
Age group: YA
Pages: 336
Buy the book: Amazon - Book Depository

Description (from Goodreads):

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor
... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor.

Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.





MY THOUGHTS:


After all the hype about Eleanor and Park on several booktube channels I follow, my expectations were sky high - I was expecting a realistic romance, likable characters, real-life problems etc. Thankfully all of my expectations were filled.

The setting is 1986. High school. Eleanor and Park meet in a school bus. Eleanor is the new girl - awkward clothes, bright red hair, fat. Park is the half-Korean guy who just wants to blend into the crowd. At first Park does not now how to react to Eleanor. Other kids in the bus start to make fun of her, but for some reason Park cannot get past the fact that he should have said something to her. Once he realizes that she is reading the comics Park reads, he starts to bring her comics. First they do not speak, but once they start, it seems that they cannot stop.

I LOVED both Eleanor and Park. I really felt for Eleanor - her stepfather is probably the biggest asshole known to man. The house she lives in does not have a bathroom door and she has to share her room with all of her siblings. And since there is no money, she has to make due with the torn down clothes etc. her mother has given her. So no wonder other people think she wears weird clothes. She also describes herself as fat (other people call her "Big Red") which I found refreshing because usually the young adult female protagonists are described as "small, thin, petite" etc. This was just a nice change because I feel like I was able to identify with Eleanor in the sense that I am not "small, thin or petite" either. Park is charming, funny and totally the type of guy I would have liked in high school. He sometimes feels like he is in the shadow of his younger brother. He is not very confident and at the beginning he is humanly selfish - he is not sure what it will do to him if people start to see him around Eleanor who everyone has started teasing. But as he sees more and more of her, he realizes that what other people think does not really matter if he is not happy himself. And Eleanor makes him happy.

Many young adult novels rely on instalove, on some higher force that "forces" the couple together. Eleanor and Park relies on chemistry, on getting to know someone before falling in love. I really loved how realistic the story was - Eleanor's problems and Park's family life make it seem like something that could definitely happen. I especially found Park's mother hilarious. 

I know the ending of the story is not for everyone - I personally too felt like I wanted more - but a couple of days later, I was happy it ended the way it did. I am not going to say more about that in order not to ruin the story, but I just want to say that you really should read this one. It has deserved all the hype it has gained among the readers. Rainbow Rowell definitely is the new queen of contemporary! 



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (#14): The Memory Key by Liana Liu


"Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted here, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating."

For more information, click here


The Memory Key by Liana Liu (expected publication March 3rd, 2015 by HarperTeen)


In a five-minutes-into-the-future world, a bereaved daughter must choose between losing memories of her mother to the haze of time and the reality-distorting, visceral pain of complete, perfect recall.



Lora Mint is determined not to forget.



Though her mother’s been dead for five years, Lora struggles to remember every detail about her—most importantly, the specific events that occurred the night she sped off in her car, never to return.



But in a world ravaged by Vergets disease, a viral form of Alzheimer’s, that isn’t easy. Usually Lora is aided by her memory key, a standard-issue chip embedded in her brain that preserves memories just the way a human brain would. Then a minor accident damages Lora’s key, and her memories go haywire. Suddenly Lora remembers a moment from the night of her mother’s disappearance that indicates her death was no accident. Can she trust these formerly forgotten memories? Or is her ability to remember every painful part of her past driving her slowly mad—burying the truth forever?



Lora’s longing for her lost mother and journey to patch up her broken memories is filled with authentic and poignant emotion. Her race to uncover the truth is a twisty ride. In the end, Liana Liu’s story will spark topical conversations about memory and privacy in a world that is reliant on increasingly invasive forms of technology.


"REALITY-DISTORTING, VISCERAL PAIN OF COMPLETE, PERFECT RECALL"


"VERGETS DISEASE, A VIRAL FORM OF ALZHEIMER'S"


"MEMORY KEY"


"HER DEATH WAS NO ACCIDENT"


"AUTHENTIC AND POIGNANT EMOTION"


"WILL SPARK TOPICAL CONVERSATIONS ABOUT MEMORY AND PRIVACY IN A WORLD THAT IS RELIANT ON INCREASINGLY INVASIVE FORMS OF TECHNOLOGY"


Top Ten Tuesday (#18)

For more information, click here

This week's topic is Top Ten (Male) Characters I Would Want With Me On A Deserted Island


Some of these guys I would like to take for a romantic island getaway only whereas I guess some of them would actually be kind of helpful if I accidentally got stranded at a deserted island.


1. Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Peeta. I love you. So much. We could stay in a little cabin and you could bake me bread.


2. Levi from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

He's just so funny and kind and handsome. And he has to be strong too because of all that farm work. And I guess he could so those ten thousand smiles at that island - that ought to be good entertainment for a couple of days.


3. Carson from All Lined Up by Cora Carmack

Though I am not big on football otherwise, I do like some fictional football players, Carson being one of them. He's super fit so he could do the heavy lifting at the island. (I searched for this photo using the words "hot football player"... I was so happy when I actually recognized him even when I don't follow football AT ALL.)


4. Matt from Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

He could play me some guitar and sing and just me cute and handsome and hot. (I am starting to sense a team - I searched for this picture using words "hot guitar player". I have no idea who this guy is.)


5. Jace Wayland/Morgenstern from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

His shadowhunter skills would probably be handy at the island. And if there ends up being something dangerous there, he probably could protect me. (I did not agree with the casting for Jace AT ALL but oh well... And the film sucked anyway.)


6. Josh from Full Measures by Rebecca Yarros

He's kind, caring and funny. And we could talk about ice-hockey. And he has that perfect hockey body. (For this one I had so many pictures I wanted to use, but decided to go with that perfect smiling Sidney Crosby - an actual angel.)


7. Ridge from Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

He could also play me some music. And maybe we could make some songs together.
(This picture is the result of "hot guitar player" search pt.2... Does anyone know who this perfect man is btw?)


8. Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

I have always had a soft spot for Draco. His magic could get very helpful at the island, especially if we end up there by accident and need food and other supplies. He probably would have to use his magic also for getting us some sunscreen because we probably would both have a strong possibility to get sun burned. :D


9. Rusty from In Honor by Jessi Kirby

Spending time with Rusty would almost be like spending time with Tim Riggins, one of the most perfect fictional men ever, and seriously, who wouldn't want to spend time with Tim Riggins? 



10. Roger from Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Roger could make awesome playlists for us to listen in the sun while enjoying some drinks and good food. 
(The reason I chose Zac Efron is because he's hot - simple as that.)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Book Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

Release Date: May 21, 2011
Info about the author: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: Feral Dream
Age Group: YA
Pages: 283
Buy the book: Amazon - Book Depository


Description (from Goodreads):

It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels' stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.



MY THOUGHTS:


Oh wow... from where shall I start?
I really wanted to like this book. I really expected to do so due to its very high rating on Goodreads. But all the way from the beginning the issues just started to pile up and eventually I just started to see negative things everywhere while reading the book.

Before starting to rant about all the things I did not like, I want to just say that I totally get why so many people have liked this book. The story is different from other YA books I have read and I guess for some Raffe is the total hunk - mysterious and handsome and so on. But I just did not feel the plot, Raffe or to be honest, anything about this book. 

I think the main issue for me about this novel was the lack of back story. The action just begins and Ee does not really take time to build the world or explain what has happened and why the characters are in the situation they are in. I get that angels have come down to earth and brought havoc with them, but WHY? I know the book is from Penryn's point of view and the information the reader gets is what she knows, but leaving so many of fundamental questions unanswered feels like taking the easy road when it comes to writing and world building. I know the following books in the series probably engage in world building as well, but I personally would have needed more information NOW in order to become interested about the series as a whole.

Other major issue I had was the fact that I did not really feel anything towards the characters. At points Penryn is extremely brave and resourceful, but when it comes to the most important questions (why the angel's are there etc.) she does not really question them that much, at least not out loud, because she does not want to give a certain type of picture of herself to Raffe. Also I get that she wants to do everything to save her sister, but since there really isn't any established back story, I did not root for the whole mission because I did not know much about Paige. Yes, she is in a wheelchair, but other than that, I was not really able to feel sympathy for her. I feel like Penryn's mother could have been such an interesting character, but for some reason I feel like she was just there to make Penryn seem like a stronger character - if the mother would be healthy she would probably take responsibility. Also, I have to write this down even though I am no expert on matters like this: it seems like the mother is a total nutcase, pretty much abusing her children etc. So how come she has been staying home til the apocalypse? You would think that a person like that would be institutionalized. Once again a little more world building/establishing the setting would have helped - is this kind of behavior common? Is the society not interested in it? And it is mentioned that the father left, and I guess the reason for that is the fact that the mother was so crazy, but the fact that he left and the children stayed with the mother does not really say much about the father either. But since neither, the condition of the mother and the leaving of the father, were properly discussed, I did not feel sympathy for the girls because of these things. It almost feels like the mother was written the way she was just to add some shock value to the story. I do not flinch upon gory details and events, and I really "liked" for example the part with the little girls and the cannibalism and such, but I feel like those did not do much for the story either and were there just to add more shocks etc.

Also, when it comes to Paige, I felt like she was the most unrealistic character of the whole bunch. She is described as a complete saint - vegetarian and the friend and cheerleader of all the crippled children. And she is only seven years old. I get that she was hurt and that her childhood probably was not the easiest one, but I feel like Ee somehow uses that as an excuse to make her look like a little mother Teresa. I have been seven years old myself and I have witnessed a lot of family members being seven years old. And let me tell you, they were all selfish sometimes and they all complained sometimes. 

I think the writing style as well as the building of the story can be linked to the lack of character establishment. Angelfall is full of action (it almost feels like the whole books is a one big climax) and this takes away from the building of the characters and their personalities. Because Penryn and Raffe are constantly on the move and escaping from something or someone, they do not really get to know each other properly and because of that I did not sense any chemistry between them. Raffe is supposed to be this hot, sarcastic angel, but when he jokes it feels like Penryn does not really respond. I guess someone might see the exchanges between them funny, but I just mostly found them awkward. I think the main issue with writing for me was the lack of dialogue - the book is quite descriptive, and mostly just Penryn's thoughts similar to something like "maybe it is a squirrel... or a deer... or a snake" - the emphasis is put on details that do not really matter that much. The ending of the book just gets so ridiculously action-packed that is hard to follow what is happening and to whom. 


I think I will next rant some more about the angels. I get that they are powerful and such, but when talking about their weapons, only swords are mentioned. When Penryn talks about the outlook of San Francisco after the apocalypse, she compared it to way the city looks in the pictures taken after the 1906 earthquake. 




As you can see from the picture, pretty destroyed outlook. I wish Ee would have taken time to tell the reader how the city became to look similar to the one in this picture. Fires and such are mentioned, but those probably were not started by swords. The lack of explanation about the motives of the angels just keeps bothering me. 

As I have mentioned before, I know a lot of people have completely loved this novel and I do not want to hurt the feelings of any of those people. I just wanted to be completely honest and tell my opinion about this one. I know I might have been too observant when it comes to certain things (I had notes also about the TV watching habits of the angels as well as the coloring of them etc.) and there are things I did not even mention in this review that I did not really like. 


As you can probably guess, I won't be picking up the second part of the series. 



Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Post (#15)


For more information, click here

Weekly recap:

Coming up:
Review for Angelfall by Susan Ee
Top Ten Tuesday - characters I would like to have with me on a deserted island
Waiting on Wednesday
Review for Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Review for The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

What I read this week:
Legend by Marie Lu

What I watched this week:

As I probably mentioned a while ago in one of my Sunday Post updates, I decided to cancel my Netflix subscription for the summer. My brother, who had been using my Netflix account for like a year had decided to get his own subscription of which I heard about on Thursday... So I pretty much forced and begged him to give the sign in details for me because I had been missing Netflix LIKE CRAZY. Well, I got the info and spent Friday night watching documentaries. These are the ones I watched:

Miss Representation (2011) - this documentary explores the representation of women in media, discussing the possible harmful consequences of the representation especially for young girls. I've been interested in gender representation on film since high school and I really found this one super interesting! Definitely worth a watch!

The Woman Who Wasn't There (2012) - Messed up, just messed up. The documentary focuses on a woman called Tania Head, an infamous 9/11 "survivor". Obviously this woman is sick - it is very difficult for me to understand WHY someone would want to pose as a victim of something so horrific and wrong. I did find this story intriguing, but it made me very angry.

An Unlikely Weapon - The Eddie Adams Story (2008) - The name Eddie Adams might not ring a bell to you, but I bet if you have studied history, you've seen this photo (BEWARE - this photo might upset you. It is probably one of the most significant war photos ever taken and definitely one of the most significant, if not the most significant photo, from the Vietnam War). This documentary focused on the life of Adams and his photos and how some of the photos he took kept haunting him for the rest of this life. Very interesting story about a photo journalist who not only took photos but at the same time created history! 

20 Feet from Stardom (2013) - Academy Award Winner for Best Documentary on 2014. Didn't blow my mind or anything, but despite that I found it to be interesting and quite emotional.

Crazy Love (2008) - Oh wow, what can I say about this? Love indeed is sometimes CRAZY and something I cannot understand. A story about a couple, Linda Riss and Burt Pagach, who met in the 1950s and who became to gain media buzz after a horrific event that happened to the woman. I don't want to write too much about this because I feel like it is better to go to it without knowing nothing about the couple and the events surrounding them, but let's just say that love can sometimes be VERY messed up. 


In addition to these documentaries, I've been watching A LOT of Parenthood. Last Sunday while writing my Sunday Post I had watched eight episodes of season 1. I am now up to episode 8 of season 3. 

Around the Internet:




In other news:

The hot weather has continued to praise us here at Finland and I am starting to feel like this is what it must feel in hell - it is hot, sticky and just plain uncomfortable. Our house is so HOT it is impossible to sleep here. I actually moved to sleep on a mattress in this room that used to be a garage, just because it is a little bit cooler there than in the rest of the house. Next week is supposed to be even warmer - I am so not looking forward to that.

As you can probably see, I did not mark Stacking the Shelves and Sunday post for next weekend. That is because I am going to a music festival in my city on Friday and Saturday, which means I won't have the time to do those posts the upcoming week. I am very excited about this festival because I'll be seeing a lot of bands and a lot of friends! Can't wait. Below is a music video of one of the artists performing called Cheek is is probably the most famous Finnish singers at the moment. It probably won't make sense most of you since it is in Finnish, but people always tell me they find it fun to watch music videos on language they don't understand, so if that floats your boat, here you go! The song is called Timantit on Ikuisia which can be translated to Diamonds are Forever


This week on Instagram:

Blue skies and summer heat

I had a little freak out moment when I found Welch's grape soda from one of the stores here in Finland because they don't usually sell it here (and if they do, it's super expensive). I would literally sell my soul for some American candy (those Nerds Ropes - seriously, I WOULD SELL MY SOUL!) Two cuties from Parenthood on the laptop screen behind. 

My mother works in a library and one of their customers had brought in this box of bookmarks she had made so the customers could take them home. I of course went a bit crazy and took several to home with me. I'll probably give some of these to my friends though. 

The city square

I made some ice coffee using my new blender and oh my, this was so good!