Tuesday, May 30, 2017

browse: the world in bookshops review

I was kindly given Browse: The World in Bookshops by Netgalley. This has not changed my opinions.

If you know anything about me, know this: I am obsessed with books about books. I've read books about authors, about book challenges, about the 1000 books you must read in this life. I've read books about bookshops. And Browse is one of the best.
This is not a gazetteer, a guide to the bookshops of the world. Instead, it's an anthology of personal experiences of the book, the most resonant object of the last millennium, and of the special place where readers go to acquire their books - a pharmacy or pharmacopoeia, a miracle of eclecticism, a secret garden, an ideological powder keg, a stage for protest against the banality and glibness of the rest of the world, and also a place of safety and sanity, the only kind of grotto that is also a lighthouse (25).
One of the main things that I loved about this collection is that there is such a variety of bookshops and voices - bookshops in Nairobi, London, Egypt, and many other countries! Many of the essays were originally written in the writer's native language and then translated for this anthology, which is a touch that I appreciated. I do always wonder, though, what has been lost or changed in translation.
The best essay by far was the essay 'Leitner and I' by Sasa Stanistic. He describes books as drugs - different books give different types of hits, which he purchases from his book dealer. I'm definitely not doing this essay justice, because it isn't at all gimmick-y or distasteful. It rather works quite elegantly, and I can definitely say that I've never read an essay quite like it. After this delightfully different ode to bookstores and those who own them, the other essays were a bit...samey. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy them, because I did, but they felt like any writer's description of the bookstore they love.
Browse manages to capture the strange love that writers and readers have for bookstores and booksellers. Written with awe and wonder, it made me want to dash to my favourite bookstore (Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights, if you were wondering) and spend hours perusing the shelves in the hopes that my next life-changing book will jump out at me. I will almost certainly be purchasing this book in hardcopy at some point.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Movies You Might Not Realize Were Based on Books

When I was watching a film on Netflix the other day, it occurred to me just how many films there were, children's ones especially, that were based on books that people might not know about. I didn't for the examples I'm about to share, for instance, until the credits caught my eye. Often their text is so small and goes by so quick you don't notice them.

The Sheep-Pig by Dick King-Smith (or Babe, the Gallant Pig in the US) is the basis for the film Babe. The story of an orphaned piglet who aspires to become a sheep-pig, both book and film tell the story of Babe, won at a fair by a farmer and adopted by the farmer's dog Fly, as he becomes more than a potential Christmas dinner.

Disney has an eye for turning children's literature into beautiful films. This is the first entry on this list from the acclaimed studio. Though there are changes to the story and a more apt description may be "inspired by" rather than "based on", The Rescuers is a fun story of mice that started out as a Prisoners' Aide Society and expanded to helping children in need.

101 Dalmatians was one of my favorite Disney movies as a kid because I loved dogs and, having grown up and realized there was a book, I enjoyed returning to the story. There were a few things from the book I wish they had included in the movie: Perdita (the one in the film is actually Mrs. Pongo in the book; there are three adults in the book that make up the primary Dalmatian family); the reunion of Perdita with her litter; a bit more information about Cruella and her husband (which explained how she was able to get away with her nastiness and evil plans).

This is a story that makes me cry and laugh and all sorts every time I hear it because I can't imagine my own pets being able to do anything of the kind like what these dogs and cat do to get back home. There are a few changes regarding breed and gender between book and film, but I don't think they affect the overall work. The film, if anything, made good use of the voice cast they did get to inject levity into the story: Michael J. Fox and Sally Field are, respectively, Chance and Sassy, my two favorites (no disrespect meant, Shadow!).

Do you have any favorite book to film adaptations that are relatively unknown or underappreciated? Have you read any of the books above or seen the films? Let us know in the comment section below. :)

All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Minor/Side Character Bad Guys


Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes and created by Lainey from Gingerreadlainey.

In the books we read, nine times out of ten we're supposed to be rooting for the good guy. It's ingrained in our brains, right? Harry Potter's the good guy, he should win. Anne of Green Gables, we want her to succeed over the mean girls, etc. That sort of thing.

However, there are characters that I find just as interesting and those are the ones that are considered "bad guys". This could mean they're quite villainous (Bellatrix Lestrange) or they're just morally ambiguous and their situation is understandable (maaaybe Barty Crouch Jr.).

Teaming up with Top 5 Wednesday's topic this week, Favorite Minor Characters, I decided to theme the choice to look at "bad guys" because their motivations are, to me, often more complex than those assigned to the good guys.

Nebula, Guardians of the Galaxy films

In the first Guardians of the Galaxy film we're introduced to Nebula, a daughter of Thanos that is lent to Ronan for his quest. There's not as much insight into her motivation in this film aside from hating her sister and working for Thanos and Ronan, the two big bads in this film, but once Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 came out we learned more about why she hates Gamora (her sister who is a main character), her primary motives regarding Thanos, and her personality. She goes from evil in the first movie to morally ambiguous in the second film and she became much more sympathetic, I think, because her torture at the hands of Thanos was intense and prolonged. The consequences of such also bring up the question of how much of Nebula is really left, considering she's a cyborg now. I'm very curious to see where her character goes in the future; hopefully she'll get more screen time in future installments.

Barty Crouch Jr., Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Anyone's who has read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire knows that Barty Crouch Jr. turned out to be quite evil. He is responsible for sending him to the graveyard where Voldemort comes back and, once that doesn't kill Harry, tries to kill the boy himself. Those actions are pretty bad, but after all of his years in Azkaban, I can kind of see how that might have twisted him. I'm not 100% sure that he was really evil when he went in and instead suffered from his father's blind ambition and sense of justice. He was nineteen when he fell in with the wrong crowd, an underestimation of the Death Eaters, and got caught up with Bellatrix and her husband when they tortured the Longbottoms into insanity.

James Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes 

Moriarty has been portrayed many times across film and page, each iteration bringing something more to the character that makes him interesting. In Guy Ritchie's film, Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, he's more the brilliant professor type that goes up against a slightly unhinged Sherlock, whereas in BBC's Sherlock he's the unhinged one that is so deliciously, criminally insane. My favorite scene from that is when Moriarty steals the Crown Jewels, setting off their security system while simultaneously setting off burglar alarms at the Bank of London and Pentoville Prison.

This took genius, but also shows off his flair and odd playfulness, which is not something one expects in a villain. While in this version he might veer more toward's main character, I still think overall Moriarty isn't in the books or the media enough to be considered a main character, which is a shame.

Le Fou, Beauty and the Beast 2017

Le Fou is a character that starts out bad, but in the newest film version of the story has a bit of a turnaround arc. For those of you that haven't seen the 2017 Beauty and the Beast film, this is a SPOILER discussion of his character.

I prefer Le Fou in the 2017 film version because he's more fleshed out rather than a flat bad guy character. In the Disney film of the 90's, he was a buffoon and a complete puppet for Gaston to use as he pleased. There are developments in his character in the 2017 story, however, that give him not only motivation for why he's hanging around Gaston, but also start to give him perspective when Gaston begins show his true colors by blackmailing Maurice for Belle's hand. He's a bad guy, but he's a bad guy that gets a redemption arc. It's almost like Barty Crouch Jr. got to rectify his mistakes, but in this instance we can actually see that happening whereas Barty went to the Dark Side and got the Dementor's Kiss.

Nephrite/Neflite, Sailor Moon

I miss the original Sailor Moon anime because it has some truly amazing bad guys that are around for their individual storyarcs. In the first season, my favorite was Nephrite, a general of the Dark Moon Kingdom. He shows an interesting tactic in gathering energy for his leader, targeting specific people rather than large groups as his predecessor did. His theme for calling up monsters was also neat because it was centered around his obsession with astrology, so the monsters that were created from his power tended to be Zodiac or constellation themed. Nephrite also had an almost love story with Naru, one of Usagi/Sailor Moon's best friends. It was such a short lived and tragic story that I cry every time I watch it.

Reading back on my list, I realize that I have a thing for tragic characters, no matter how much they'll end up hurting him. What is it about books that make us cry that make them so good?

Are there any bad guys that you favor? Any tragic characters that you like to read about or watch again and again, even though you know your heart is going to break? Let me know in the comment section down below. 

All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Review of the film Everything,Everything by Melisa Marzett

Everything, everything movie review
The movie is based on the same name novel written by Nicola Yoon. The main filming of the movie was happening in Vancouver (Canada) in September 2016. Originally, going on the air was planned on August, 2017 but eventually advanced the date to May.
A nurse, a mother and diseases are everything, everything for a young girl named Maddie. She is 18 years old and she has never been outside her hermetic home as long as she might die in case she does go outside. She is allergic to everything, which makes her a prisoner of her own home. She lives rather secluded way of life until…
Once upon a time, a boy living next-door Ollie notices her and decides on getting to know her. They begin texting and become closer. In a moment Maddie ventures upon a crazy step, she wants to spend at least one day with Ollie enjoying the world beyond her home to the full and she is ready to throw herself under a bus.
Imagine what it would be like if you could not be able to touch things around you. You will never be able to take a breath of fresh air, will not be able to feel the warmth of sun on your face or kiss a boy living next-door. It is a story of unusual love between a healthy boy and a sick girl who wants to experience everything everything Even though she might lose the most precious thing we have – life. is it worth to be alive if no love though?
About the author: Melisa Marzett is an author, writer and blogger who writes for http://smartessayrewriter.com. Essay Rewriter from smartessayrewriter.com currently and eager to write more and more, as much as she can because this is what she enjoys doing.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Why Wynonna Earp is a show I didn't know I needed

Prior to watching season one of Syfy's television show Wynonna Earp I had never heard of the graphic novel of the same name as the show. Now that I've watched it,I'm eager to read the graphic novel as soon as possible because the Earp sisters are two badass female heroines that don't exist enough in tv and film.
Two of the reasons I love the show (and how I know I'll love the graphic novel) is because the character Wynonna Earp has a tough exterior but she also has a softer side that few get to see and because of the character Waverly Earp,Wynonna's sister who changes a lot during the season. I also enjoyed the supernatural and historical aspects of the show. I can't think of a single thing that I didn't like about this show. The first season was perfect and I'm excited to see what will happen in season two after the season one finale.
I would recommend this show (as well as the graphic novel) to anyone who is a fan of the long running television show Supernatural because they both have similar themes and Wynonna Earp is kind of the female version of Dean Winchester which I also love because it's rare for a television show to have a female lead character who is so unafraid of her sexuality which just makes her even more badass.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl Review

My name is “J” and I’m awkward—and black. Someone once told me those were the two worst things anyone could be. That someone was right. Where do I start?

Being an introvert in a world that glorifies cool isn’t easy. But when Issa Rae, the creator of the Shorty Award–winning hit series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” is that introvert—whether she’s navigating love, work, friendships, or “rapping”—it sure is entertaining. Now, in this debut collection of essays written in her witty and self-deprecating voice, Rae covers everything from cybersexing in the early days of the Internet to deflecting unsolicited comments on weight gain, from navigating the perils of eating out alone and public displays of affection to learning to accept yourself—natural hair and all.

A reflection on her own unique experiences as a cyber pioneer yet universally appealing, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl is a book no one—awkward or cool, black, white, or other—will want to miss.

On a whim I picked up an ebook of The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl the other day - it was on sale on Kindle (it might still be, actually!) and I'd heard bits and pieces about it. (For example, it is often compared to Phoebe Robinson's You Can't Touch My Hair, a book that I have been meaning to read for quite some time now). I'd not actually watched the YouTube series but I wish that I had - I think reading it in Issa's voice would have made the book even more entertaining. (You can watch the first episode below! I've watched the first couple and they're really funny. I'm definitely going to watch more.)

Issa writes fantastic stuff about growing up in the 90s, being a fat woman, and what early internet chatlines were like. Unlike a lot of memoirists, she doesn't go through her life chronologically, but rather skips backwards and forwards throughout her life. Although it wasn't as structured as I may have liked, it seemed to work with Issa's mildly chaotic and extremely awkward personality. One of the most interesting parts of the book is when she talks about how she doesn't want to be forced to talk about race, because being black isn't what defines her.

Saying that, however, some of the best chapters are to do with race. She talks a lot about her complicated relationship with her hair (at one point deciding to shave it all off in an effort to begin the relationship once again) and how she does not fit in with stereotypically 'black' culture. One of the best chapters is the Awkward Black Girl Guide to Connecting with Other Blacks, in which she talks about the different ways that awkward black people talk to other types of black people - including the 10% black, the hustling black, and the militant black. Now, I am not a POC myself, so I really can't comment on it, but it really did remind me of some of the sections of Dear White People - that is, it was screamingly funny.

I really would recommend The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl for those who are looking for a palate-cleanser of a book. Light and funny, this memoir still manages to discuss serious topics whilst describing some of Issa Rae's most awkward moments.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Parenting Books That Don't Make You Feel Like Crap

I'm the mother of a six year old boy and I remember when I was pregnant that, being the bookworms that my husband and I are, we went looking for books that could help us figure out what was going on, what we could expect, etc.

I don't know if you've noticed, but a lot of parenting books tend to make the reader feel like crap. I don't know if this is intentional or what, but they tend to make you feel guilty for eating the wrong thing, not exercising enough, exercising too much, and no two books are the same, so how can you be sure that you are getting the right advice? We started panicking and shunned most of the traditional titles that people were recommending to us, like What to Expect When You're Expecting.

Shortly after Tristan (that's my bubby!) was born we went on vacation and went to a book fair where we picked up one of the books I'll talk about today. This title made me realize that there were a whole lot of books out there that weren't as antagonistic as the ones I'd read while I was pregnant. While we don't plan to ever have another biological child, these are the books I wish I'd read back then and that I would recommend to anyone who might be having a kid in the future. Actually, these books are probably good for anyone starting a family, whether you're pregnant, adopting, or what-have-you. These are about raising good kids, dealing with the ups and down of parenthood, and in a fun way that doesn't make the parents feel like crap.

So, here we go!

Author Jeff Vogel did not go into parenthood with any delusions. He knew that he would love his daughter, and that was terrifying. What if he screwed up? And he knew that life with a baby would be different, that it would be filled with an endless stream of filthy diapers, unexplained wailing, and sleepless nights. Not to mention no sex. The parenting books painted a picture of smart, communicative babies and mindless, limitless joy, but he knew they were lying to him. So he wrote his own book. The Poo Bomb: True Tales of Parental Terror recounts, in a no-punches-pulled style, the first year of life of Cordelia, Jeff's freshly hatched, gooey human girl. The first year of parenthood isn't about joy or fulfillment. It is about menial labor, wiping up human waste, and marking time until the kid is old enough to run and play and thank you for its life. Jeff chronicles the journey through the morass of year one week by week. Rich with irreverent honesty and humor, The Poo Bomb is the reality show of parenting books: It reflects what most parents have sometimes guiltily felt about their not-so-delightful bundles of joy.
This is the book I mentioned finding at a book fair shortly after the birth of my son. Since he was a premature baby, we were dealing with a lot of ups and down (still are, in fact). That entailed a lot of worry about what his development would be like, what was normal for him as opposed to another child the same age, etc. This book helped up feel at least a little bit better about raising Tristan. It helped us to laugh and to realize that there was at least one other person out there that wasn't a perfect parent and that someone was willing to admit it. Not only admit it, but publish his account of it so other parents could realize they weren't alone.

It takes a starship to raise a child. Or a time machine. Or a tribe of elves. Fortunately, Geek Parenting offers all that and more, with thoughtful mini-essays that reveal profound child-rearing advice (and mistakes) from the most beloved tales of geek culture. Nerds and norms alike can take counsel from some of the most iconic parent–child pairings found in pop culture: Aunt May and Peter Parker, Benjamin and Jake Sisko, Elrond and Arwen, even Cersei and Joffrey. Whether you’re raising an Amazon princess, a Jedi Padawan, a brooding vampire, or a standard-issue human child, Geek Parenting helps you navigate the ion storms, alternate realities, and endless fetch quests that come with being a parent.
Includes parenting experts from across time and space, such as:

Luke and Vader
Korra and Tenzin
Wednesday and Morticia Addams
Frodo and Bilbo
Rose and Jackie Tyler
Carl and Michonne
Thor, Loki, and Odin
Starbuck, Apollo and Adama
Stewie and Lois
Sarah Manning and Mrs. S.
T'Challa and T'Chaka
Spock, Sarek, and Amanda
Claudia and Lestat
San and Moro
Perseus and Zeus
Dorothy and Auntie Em
Bruce Wayne and Alfred
Buffy and Giles
Meg Murry and Aunt Beast
Orpheus and Morpheus
Paul Atreides and Lady Jessica
Kal-El and Jor-El
Chakotay and Kolopak
Scott and Dr. Evil
Diana and Hippolyta
Alexander and Worf
My #otspsecretsister from Twitter, Andrea, sent this to me within the last couple of months and I wish I'd had it when I was pregnant or when Tristan was younger. If you know me, you'll know that I don't really talk well about things unless they're about things I know comfortably. Ask me a personal question, I probably can't answer it. Phrase it in a way that it's involving pop culture, now that's a whole other story and makes it a totally different situation.

Parenting is a difficult situation because the story is always different, but when you can find some kind of common ground, say a fandom you share with someone or a parental example to learn from therein, you might just have something. Geek Parenting has a wide range of such examples from comic books to television shows to movies, basically something to appeal to every kind of fandom. It's an easy collection to get through too, because instead of long chapters with dry writing it is made up of short essays that you can read during a nap, while a load of laundry is in the dryer, or some other such situation.


The Unmumsy Mum writes candidly about motherhood like it really is: the messy, maddening, hilarious reality, how there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach and how it is sometimes absolutely fine to not know what you are doing. The lessons she's learnt while grappling with two small boys – from birth to teething, 3am night feeds to toddler tantrums, soft play to toilet training – will have you roaring with laughter and taking great comfort in the fact that it's definitely not just you...
My husband just found this blog/book the other day and I am in love with this woman's sense of humor. Her British wit and her experience with her two kids gives me some sense of calm in my life, now that Tristan is a young child, no longer a baby or a toddler. I haven't read her book yet, but from my look over of her blog I figure that Sarah Turner suffers no fools, particularly those that think you can't feed your kid fish fingers. She knows what it's like to want sources of parenting advice, but not want to be made to feel like an idiot. Her blog isn't updated nearly so much now as she's had a couple of books out, but her first one is about parenting while the second book, The Unmumsy Mum Diary, is about parenting, blogging, and having her books out in the world.

These are some of the best experiences I've had with parenting books, but as I've said in this post, no experience is 100% the same. Can you share any books or blogs that have helped you or made you feel a little less like you were messing up? Share the titles/links in the comment section below.

All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Is the Contemporary YA Genre Dead?

There's been some talk on Twitter this week about whether or not the sub-genre within young adult, contemporary, is dead. I don't know where this particular topic started, or who started it, but I thought I would talk about it because I thought it was such an absurd thing to say, from both a personal perspective and from one looking at the current market,

From the market perspective, the first stop is the New York Times Bestseller Lists. Just looking at this alone will show you that something is not quite right with the statement "contemporary ya is dead".

These screenshots were taken from the May 14th list and as you can see, six out of the top ten titles are contemporary ya. One of them, Just Fly Away, is new this week, but the others have all been on for at least three weeks and some have been on the list for several months. If these books were not being continually purchased, shared, loved, READ, by readers across the globe, there's no way they would have been able to maintain their position on this list.

While it has yet to make it to the official website, Jenny Han, author of the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series, has shared the news that as of the May 21st list her series has made it to the New York Times Bestsellers Series List (edit: the list, released 5/12/17, shows the series at #5). This is one of the most heartwarming series in current memory in my opinion and well deserves this honor. Making the list shows just how many people share my opinion and how many have joined me in reading Lara Jean's final journey.

As for my personal preferences, if you asked me what my favorite and possibly preferred genre was, I would most likely say science fiction or fantasy, However, this year has really been a young adult extravaganza, beginning with Simon vs the Homo-Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli and finishing most recently with Other Breakable Things by Kelley York and Rowan Altwood.

Of the 52 books I've read so far this year, 26% of them have been contemporary young adult and boy do I have a lot more on my to-be-read list. This year alone has some fantastic contributions to the genre, real gems that the publishing industry surely wouldn't have invested in if they thought the genre was failing. Here are some of the contemporary ya books I'm looking forward to reading the most:

What is it about contemporary ya that makes it so interesting and gives it such a prominent place in publishing, despite what the naysayers have been saying? When there are books about wizards and dragons and all sorts of magical things out there in the world?

I think, in part, it is because it is easier to find oneself in these books. There are still large gaps in the market, which saddens me, but things seem to be getting better whether one is looking for books about sexual diversity, neuro-diversity, or socio-economic situations.

Then there is the appeal of finding modern situations in fiction and those stories making it to a broader audience. The people that need to find them being able to find them is vital. Plus, sometimes fictional situations are easier to understand at first before jumping into the stark reality of the world around us. That won't be the case for everyone and, of course, caution has to be exercised because one book cannot speak for everyone. A book about one character's transgender experience isn't the experience of all transgender people; one person's mental health experience won't be the same within the same diagnosis, not to mention across the variety of them.

I feel like there might be trends in other genres, such as years when vampire or dystopian novels are more popular than other SFF or paranormal book, but contemporary ya is about real life and real life never ends. Unlike trends, real life keeps going whether we like what is happening in it or not and the days that go by provide just one more day that another contemporary ya novel can be published, whether it's a story about a young African American girl struggling with what is the right thing (inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement), a modern day arranged marriage in Indian American culture, or someone trying to figure out their sexual identity. All of these stories and more have something to offer to someone and, as these are based on real life and as I mentioned before, I don't think contemporary ya is going anywhere.

As long as there are young adults, and people who enjoy reading & buying contemporary stories about them, there will be these books being published. Since I don't foresee the human race ending any time soon, despite the best efforts of some government officials, I think contemporary ya is safe.

All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Looking for new contributors

As my website http://www.bookishfangirl.com turns one year old,I'm looking to add new contributors to the site. Requirements are fairly simple. Posts must somehow relate to books,comics,manga,as well as books and comics that are being made into movies or tv shows. Anyone is welcome to be a contributor as long as you are able to post 1-2 times per week. I'm looking for unique voices who will bring new readers to Bookish Fangirl. In addition to looking for regular contributors I'm also looking for authors who would be willing to write a guest post for Bookish Fangirl. I'm happy to provide topic suggestions to anyone who needs them but I'm not picky about what people choose to write about. The only exemption is erotica. I made the choice not to feature that on this site. If you're interested in becoming a contributor you may email me at rockchick531@gmail.com or you can contact me via Twitter if you want (my handle is @tanyacontois).

Friday, May 5, 2017

Books That Would Make Good Escape Rooms

I've heard of escape rooms in the past, but only recently has the idea become something more personal. Recently a company opened an outlet near to my home with several choices for an escape room experience and it got me to thinking about what kind of books I'd read that would make interesting escape room experiences.

In case you don't know, an escape room is an adventure in which the players are given a set of clues and puzzles to solve in order to get to the next room and solve the overall puzzle to escape the story within a set amount of time. You might have seen one played out on The Big Bang Theory, when Leonard, Amy, Raj, and Emily visit a zombie themed room; or the television show Race to Escape made for the Science Channel, in which teams compete in escape rooms.

Now, which of these look the most entertaining to you? You'll have to let us know in the comment section below.

Quite a lot of Stephen King novels would probably make good escape rooms, but I think that Under the Dome would be an especially good one. You're not just escaping the room, you're escaping the Dome, a creepy, invisible wall that descended on the town one day and kills anything that touches it. Maybe the clues could have two ways to play them, whether you decide to play with your friends or against them. After all, there is a limited amount of resources within the Dome. Who is going to make it out alive?

This is the first book in a series about a group of kids who've escaped from a lab where they were experimented on. Ranging in ages from Angel, the youngest at 5 or 6, to Max, a teenager and leader of the flock, they all have the bodies of humans with one exception: wings. 

While they may have escaped from the people that turned them into science experiments, they are always being hunted, both by the scientists and by further creations of these horrible people. 

The people participating in the escape room could take on the roles of members of the flock and have a story setup where they have to escape with as few causalities in the flock as possible. There time limit could be especially short for certain puzzles to mimic the short time the kids have to fly away from whomever is chasing them, or longer for the time when they're running but not actively fleeing. With the puzzles on the one hand, there could also be monsters modeled after the Erasers, one of the most deadly of the enemies the kids face in the first book.

While a lot of this book took place in the middle of nowhere and had the Golden Trio traipsing about looking for the horcruxes, I think that an escape room would be able to condense all of that and use the action parts to make a really cool experience. You and your friends would have to solve puzzles based on events of the book (escaping from Privet Drive, running from Death Eaters at the wedding, fighting Nagini in Godric's Hollow, etc.) and have one supreme puzzle to solve at the end based on the Battle of Hogwarts, though maybe that would be best left to it's own experience? If you played the Battle of Hogwarts as any student other than the main characters, I bet there are a lot of monsters you'd have to avoid, plans you'd have to execute to protect the school, that kind of thing.

While any of Dan Brown's Robert Langdon novels would make excellent escape room plots, Angels & Demons has been my personal favorite so far and would be one of the best. With Italy as the backdrop, there are puzzles galore in the book to use, but there's also the whole history of Italy and Italian art to pull from, not to mention the science background of Langdon's companion, Vittoria Vetra, a scientist from CERN.

Personally, I'd like to take a crack at the Harry Potter themed escape room, but that might be a tad obvious as a lifelong Potter fan. *lol* It really is time to get to a real one and experience it for myself. Maybe someday I can create one myself and share it with all of you. Until then, I ask you again: which would you like best to go through? Are there stories you think that would make awesome escape room experiences?

All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday: Blood and Water by Briana Morgan


“Jay needed so many things. He needed Maia to be well. He needed a cure for both of them. He needed the
world to somehow start making sense again. Above everything, he needed someone to tell him why these terrible things were happening to him.”

Seventeen-year-old Jay Harris lives in a world struck down by a deadly virus. His parents are dead, along with half the planet. When Jay’s sister Maia falls ill, he must find a cure before he loses her, too. But unbeknownst to Maia, Jay is also sick… and he’s running out of time to save them both.

When Jay’s friends tell him there might be a cure for him in France, he must decide whether to pursue it. The journey will be difficult and dangerous, especially in his weakened state, but with little time left—for himself and for Maia—it soon becomes clear there’s no other choice.

Jay leaves the relative comfort of London to search for help, knowing he may never find it. Along the way, he experiences the effects of disaster on the bonds of friendship and fluctuating notions of family. These teens, decimated by a dangerous plague, face stark choices in their search for help, not knowing if their efforts will end in loss and pain.

Will Jay and Maia find a cure before the virus takes them?

Briana Morgan is a YA and NA writer, editor, and blogger who loves dark, suspenseful reads, angst-ridden relationships, and complicated characters. Her interest in Jay Gatsby scares her friends and family. You can find her in way too many places online, eating too much popcorn, reading in the corner, or crying about long-dead literary heroes.