Sunday, February 28, 2016

Supernatural Review: Season 7 Second Half

I reviewed the first half of this season about two months ago, and I watched the majority of the second half relatively soon after that. As far as the very end of the season is concerned though, I've been lagging. I haven't been watching it very frequently. Because of that, it will probably be difficult for me to remember some of the stuff in this review. I wouldn't expect much from this, but I feel like I have an obligation to write this by now.

After that introduction of sorts, it's probably not surprising that most of what I have to say is just that I feel bored. It's not that these episodes are bad. They're not. They're just not holding my attention the way earlier seasons have. I still want to watch the rest of the series, but I don't think I can do it immediately.

I was planning to talk specifically about the episodes, but instead, all I can find it in myself to talk about is this general feeling I've been having lately while watching. One that I don't know the cause of. It could be the show itself; it could be that I've just watched too much and need a break.

These episodes weren't bad. At least, I can't find anything to complain about with them. There's just something I can't put my finger on that has me less than eager to watch anymore of the show. When it comes to the leviathans, I don't feel as invested in whether or not Sam and Dean can stop them than I've felt about the main villains in past seasons. I just all around don't care as much anymore.

All of that being said, I'm going to take a break from watching Supernatural. I don't mean for it to be a long, drawn out break, although I don't know how long it will be. I just think I'll enjoy the next seasons more if I don't watch the show for a few months or so.

When I do start watching it again, I'll do reviews again, and hopefully I'll have stuff to say that isn't all of this. Because I really don't think the show is bad so much as it just feels like more of the same and I'm getting bored. We'll see how I feel about it later on.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Life Post: Almost Midterm Week

I'm starting to have to face the reality that midterms are next week. Luckily, that's not too scary because I don't have a lot of tests. I have one cumulative test and one test that's only on a couple of chapters. My midterm grades in my other classes are based on different projects.

Honestly, my biggest worry about midterms is that I have to take one of my tests at a testing center as another school (for my online class) that I've never been to before, and whether or not I'm capable of finding that room in an unfamiliar building has me more worried than the test itself. I already used Google maps to find my way to the campus, and that seems easy enough. Google maps doesn't include a blueprint of the building, but theoretically, it should be easy to find going off the room number.

Anyway, in other school-related stuff, we had a school visit for one of my classes, and it happened to be at a school that I've had a past practicum at. It was also where I was going to student teach at, but then some stuff happened. (I don't feel like it's my place to go into more detail since it's not about me, but it wasn't anything bad. I don't want my vagueness to make it sound like that's the case.) I'm not going to lie, the visit made me just a little bit sad all over again that I'm not student teaching there. The principal even apologized for it while I was there even though it's not his (or anyone's) fault. It really is a great school. I have yet to visit the school that I'm actually going to student teach at, so fingers crossed that I like it there too. I think I will based on what I've heard.

When I think about what I've been doing this weekend, I realize that I don't even know. I've slept more than usual, but beyond that, I feel like I've been keeping myself busy. It's just that I haven't done anything note-worthy to stick out in my memory.

Tomorrow I'm going to start packing to go home for spring break (which still doesn't feel like it should be happening with this weather), and I plan to study more than I have so far this weekend. I may not be that worried about my midterms, but I still need to study a reasonable amount in order to maintain that level of confidence.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Shadowhunters Review: 1x07 "Major Arcana"

For the last three episodes of Shadowhunters, I have done my reviews as videos on Youtube, which surprised even me. This week, though, I'm doing it as a blog post. Maybe this will keep me from rambling on quite as much about the episodes as I have in my video reviews. (Seriously, my review of the last episode was twenty minutes. I know that's a little ridiculous.)

Anyway, I large part of this episode was Jace, Clary, and later Alec and Isabelle trying to sneak around the police station in order to get the tarot cards that Clary believes contain the Mortal Cup. I liked the use of glamour to sneak around unseen by the mundanes. I don't think glamour was really utilized that way in the books to the extent it was in this episode.

Although she was really destined from the beginning to be nothing except a minor character, I feel a bit sad about the woman Luke worked with being killed. (I also feel terrible that I can't remember her name.) She seemed pretty cool, so it would have been nice if she had lived, not that I would have expected her to have any sort of big role in the show in the future.

Simon. Poor Simon. I'm pretty sure I repeated that to myself a million times while watching the episode. He's freaking out as he turns into a vampire, and his best friend won't even talk to him. I get that Clary is doing something important and that she doesn't realize that what Simon needs to talk to her about is so important. Still, he told her how important it was, and I would have appreciated her taking him seriously and giving him just five minutes to  tell her what's going on. Instead, she listens to Jace and leaves Simon to deal with all of it alone. If she'd bothered to talk to him, I highly doubt he even would have gone back to the Hotel Dumort and Camille, which means he wouldn't have been turned at the end of the episode.

Obviously, Simon has to become a vampire. I wouldn't be happy if they diverted from the books in that way. I just wish it hadn't involved Clary completely dismissing her best friend. While I think the TV show is doing a great job with a lot of the relationships, I'm not liking the way they're developing Simon and Clary's friendship, and that became especially apparent in this episode.

Unhappiness with Clary and Simon's friendship aside, Alberto Rosende is doing an excellent job as Simon, and I'm feeling happier every episode that he was cast. I'm also loving the fact that we're going to get vampire Simon next episode. The preview looked awesome.

While Simon and Clary's friendship isn't the greatest, Isabelle and Alec's relationship is pretty much perfection at this point in the show. I loved the scene where Isabelle tried to get Alec to talk to her, and when he wouldn't open up, she told him she would be there for him when he finally wanted to talk to her. That scene was perfectly done. Looking back on it, I don't think I appreciated Isabelle and Alec's relationship enough in the books, although it was always there. Something about the TV show is making it more apparent to me. Possibly because they can be focused on more whereas the books (especially the earlier ones) focus more on Clary, who can't observe the more intimate moments between Isabelle and Alec. But they pretty much have the ideal sibling relationship, and it's wonderful.

Speaking of Alec, i.e. my favorite character, I loved the brief Malec comments we got even if it wasn't much. It's developing perfectly. In fact, this Tumblr post I reblogged describes my feelings about Malec so far perfectly. I also loved the scene where Isabelle got him to flirt with the police officer, and Alec proceeded to act like a complete dork, yet still managed to get the badge for Izzy. Perfect.

I really do feel like the show is doing such an excellent job with Isabelle, Alec, Simon, and Magnus as individuals as well as a lot of their relationships with each other. I still don't know if I feel that way because I was already biased towards those characters (they're my favorites from the book) or if the show is really doing a better job with them than with Clary and Jace.

I'll probably never quite figure that out because I'll always just be biased towards my favorites.

Anyway, I think those were my biggest thoughts during the episodes. The sneak peek for next week with Alec and Magnus has me very excited, and as usual, I can't wait.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Life Post: Nearly Spring Break

It's been two weeks since my last life post, but I think this is going to be brief since I don't have much to say. I've just been busy with school and writing and things. Stuff has been happening, but it's nothing that feels noteworthy enough to mention.

I did post the first chapter of my newest Twilight fanfiction today, so that's exciting. While I normally wait until the entire thing is edited to do that, I didn't this time. I'm mostly through editing it but not completely. There's a good chance I'll finish with it this weekend, and then it will all just be waiting to be posted.

Midterms are next week, and then it's spring break. That's hard to believe when there's snow on the ground outside. It also just doesn't feel like we've reached that part of the semester yet. I've had a really light workload this semester compared to last, and I think that's part of the reason I feel that way. I haven't had enough work for it to feel like it's this far into the semester. But it is. I'm not going to complain. I'll enjoy having a break regardless.

I've posted a lot in other places over the past two weeks. On my writing blog, I wrote a short, completely dialogue thing that's based on a memory I have from high school. I also talked about how I don't know how to use character death.

I posted my review for the fifth episode of Shadowhunters the same day as my last life post, and then I posted a review of the next episode of Shadowhunters about a week later. I talked about why I think Rey is Luke's daughter in the new Star Wars trilogy. My video about Fantastic Beasts is really just me rambling. Finally, I reviewed episodes 296-300 of Naruto Shippuden.

Hopefully next time I don't have quite as many links to throw at you (because I posted more frequently here not because I posted less everywhere else).

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Jumbled Thoughts on Star Wars: Episode VIII

I filmed a video recently about the Fantastic Beasts movie, and in that, I talked about how I don't like having expectations about movies when I go into them because I worry that it will lead to disappointment. However, I also filmed a video recently about who I thought Rey's parent(s) would be in the new Star Wars trilogy. I think it's obvious from that video that I have things that I think "should" happen in the next two movies.

I can't help but try to figure out the answers to questions that I have after watching the first movie, but at the same time, I still don't want to try to really figure out what's going to happen only to be disappointed when things don't go the way I'd hoped. Because of that, I don't really know what I expect to happen other than my theory about Rey's dad and maybe one or two other things. Mostly, I think about ideas or theories other people raise or that immediately come to my mind while watching Force Awakens, but I don't speculate much beyond that.

I suppose this post is a lot like my Fantastic Beasts video in that I don't have much to say about the next Star Wars movie, but I'm writing this post anyway just because I want to talk about it. Unlike Fantastic Beasts though, I'm far more just excited about the next Star Wars movie than I am nervous. Since we've already seen Force Awakens and loved it, I feel pretty safe being optimistic about Episode VIII. It's not as unknown. Despite a different writer and director and that sort of thing, I feel confident that Lucasfilm and Disney know what they're doing with the trilogy. Sure, there's still the possibility that they could screw up, but I don't think it's as likely as Fantastic Beasts failing.

If I keep going on, this post will be as rambling as my Fantastic Beasts video, so I'll wrap it up here. I do want to talk more about Episode VIII (and IX) in the future, so I'd expect more posts in the future that have more of a point to them. I do have several other things that I know I want to talk about. Right now, I just happen to be in a mood right now that led to this instead of a post on any of those things. (And by that I mean I took a two hour long practice test earlier that friend

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Book Review: Monarch (War of the Princes 3) by A.R. Ivanovich

Published: January 5th, 2016 (first published May 25th, 2014)
Publisher: Alloy Entertainment
Read from February 6th to 15th, 2016
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Rune Thayer’s rebellion in Cape Hill has placed all of Breakwater in danger. Now, Katelyn Kestrel and her best friend Kyle must do something that no one in the Western Kingdom has ever attempted: travel North into enemy territory and request aid from none other than Prince Varion himself.
Before they are able to depart, Katelyn is unwillingly brought face-to-face with Prince Raserion. Separated from her friends and enveloped in a dark world of his making, the indomitable Prince of Shadows offers her a deal that she dare not refuse. The accord is struck and Katelyn continues her mission, holding close the secret meeting, and wondering whether she has become a traitor to her own cause. Stalked by unrelenting shadows across enemy lines, she must decide: Trust Prince Varion in hopes to save Breakwater- or trust Prince Raserion to win Rune’s freedom.


Just like when I reviewed the second book in this series, I want to try to avoid all spoilers even for the first book in this review. Or at least not spoil anything too huge. Because of that, this will most likely be brief. There's so much I could go on and on about in this book, but almost all of it is a spoiler for this book anyway. So much happened, and it was amazing and wonderful and emotional. I still haven't recovered.

I loved this book. With each book in this series, I become increasingly obsessed. This series has continually made me rethink what I thought I knew about where the story was going. These days most of what I read isn't shocking. That isn't to say it's bad. I read a lot of books that I genuinely enjoy even though I figure out pretty early on what's likely to happen. Seeing the specifics play out can still be fun.

With this series though, I never think I have it figured out for long. This book in particular had so many shocking moments that I didn't see coming, and I'm left looking back on it all to see what hints I possibly missed. It's exciting and has me on the edge of my seat the entire time I'm reading.

The world itself is incredible too. That's particularly important considering there are really three separate yet connected worlds in this series. All of them are unique yet increasingly connected within the story, and I think it's done amazingly. It's been a long time since I've felt that the world building of a story was done as well as it is in this series. Everything about the world is well explained and believable. There have been a couple of times here or there where I wondered about something only to have it flawlessly snap into place in the story later.

I would highly recommend this series, and each book keeps getting better and better. I'm so happy I already have the fourth book ready to read.

I received this book for review through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Life Post: Long Week

I didn't realize it had been three days since my last life post until I sat down to do this. It's not that that was a long time ago. It's just that this whole week has felt strange. I realized yesterday that my throat was starting to bother me, and I'm pretty confident now that I'm getting sick. That's probably at least part of the reason. The return of snow isn't helping at all. It's been way too cold the past couple of days.

In better news though, I finished up a draft of one of the fanfictions I've been working on just this morning. It's now been sent out to two beta readers, so I should hopefully get it up soon. I think I'll be finished with another one soon as well, but I still need to find beta readers for it.

After this week, I'm hoping that absolutely nothing happens this weekend. I feel like I need time to just lay in bed and do nothing and hopefully not get really sick. We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Where I Post Writing Online

I know I have a contact page on this blog that includes a lot of these pages, but I'm writing this post to kind of conglomerate all of the places I post writing on the Internet. That includes writing in just about any form, which means I'm including Twitter, but I am going to not post forums or things like that.

Obviously, this blog is one of, if not the, biggest. I don't have to link that when we're already there. I do have another blog though, and it's actually my "writing" blog. This blog is about my life and books and other things I enjoy. That one is more for creative writing I do.

I had an older writing blog that I stopped using a long time ago. I won't link to that one. It wasn't quite like my current writing blog in that I tried posting longer creative writing projects and fanfiction. I decided to stop doing that after a while.

Then there's the social media. I'm only going to post Twitter in this category. I'm not including Tumblr because I hardly write anything on mine. That kind of sucks since I always want to get better about actually using Tumblr for writing in some way, but I always fail because I can't figure out what niche it should be for me. I accomplish all the writing I want in different places. Tumblr has always been something else for me.

I do have one Tumblr that is for writing, but it's for fanfiction in one specific fandom. Since I already post fanfiction on two other websites, I'm considering getting rid of that blog, so I won't link it here either.

Instead, if you want to read my fanfiction, I'll point you to the two places I can't see myself stopping posting on any time soon. The one I've been posting on the longest is I've been there for nine years, so you can see my oldest fanfiction there. The other site is AO3. I began posting there more recently, but it has all of my fanfiction for the past several years.

For now, those are the only sites I can think of that I write on regularly, but I'll update this post if I think of any more.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Life Post: At Midnight

I don't know why I decided to write this at midnight. I'm not going to be able to stay awake much longer. This semester I don't have Monday classes until the afternoon, and I'm so thankful for it. Technically, I didn't last semester either, but I had a practicum that had me getting up to be at the school before eight in the morning.

Last week was really busy, and I'm hoping this week will be calmer. We'll see. I'm going to cut this short because I really am tired.

Over on my writing blog, I posted a letter to Ron Weasley. On Youtube, I posted a review of episodes 291-295 of Naruto Shippuden.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Life Post: Getting to the End

My weekend has been me trying to get as much done as possible before the week starts. I was behind on a lot of stuff, and now I'm finally starting to get on track. For the first time in days I can see the end of my to do list.

I look forward to having a lazy Sunday once I get through it all. It'll be glorious.

Part of my Saturday has been filming and editing a lot of videos. A few days ago I posted my wrap-up and TBR for the month. Today, I posted a vlog I filmed on Thursday. I also filmed and edited two videos. One is a Shadowhunters review for the fourth episode. The other is a book review of The Witches. I also want to film a Naruto review today, but I don't plan to edit or post it today. That will probably happen tomorrow.


I don't understand the appeal of Facebook. I never have. When MySpace was a thing, I didn't like it either. I'm not sure why, but after creating accounts on both sites, I just never wanted to use them. I was always more interested in other things on the Internet, like blogs, Youtube, forums, and those sorts of things.

It wasn't until Twitter became a thing that I actually became interested in social media. (I think Youtube is typically considered social media, but I'm not sure how much it actually is.) I have no idea why Twitter managed to draw me in when Facebook and MySpace didn't. But now I've been on there for more than seven years, and I'm still using it all the time.

Lately I've been tweeting less because I'm trying to get more stuff done and not get distracted. The past year or so I've started going through periods where I tweet and don't tweet. But in some ways I feel like Twitter is one of my great loves on the Internet.

Of course, there's all the talk recently about and increased character limit and a new Twitter feed. I'm not sure if those changes would still feel like Twitter. It kind of scares me a bit to be honest. It's ridiculous how worried I am about not enjoying Twitter anymore. Sure, even now I have times where I don't want to be on it, but I never seriously think about leaving. It's hard to imagine that one day the site itself might go downhill or I'll just lose interest.

I have no idea what this blog is. Think of it as just random journaling on thoughts. I've been thinking about Twitter a lot recently with the rumors/news. I guess I'll just have to wait and see how I feel about Twitter in ten years.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A More Detailed Explanation About My Feelings Over Uglies

I read the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld years ago. In fact, those books are part of the group of books that I lump together as teenager me's favorites. But I don't talk about Uglies all that much anymore. There are a lot of reasons for that. One of them is that it's just been so long since I read it, but another is definitely that I am still not over the ending. In fact, when I do mention Uglies, it seems to come up in tag posts or videos that I do more than anything else, and it's almost always me complaining about how I'm unhappy with the ending. That's the only thing about the book that I ever highlight. It's my poster child for unsatisfying endings.

You might think then that this would be a post where I said something else about the series then, but you would be wrong. I do have plenty of other things I could talk about. One big one would be about how everyone else who reads these books seems to come away with entirely different opinions about the characters than I have, which has always confused me. But maybe I'll go there another day.

For now I actually want to talk more about how I feel about the ending of the Uglies series. I decided it was needed after yet another tag where I included a vague answer about my feelings. I realized that I've never talked about it in much detail because I try to keep the answer short and avoid spoiling the entire series. I don't know how much I've actually disclosed about what I dislike about the ending.

I'm not going to turn this into an analysis for why I'm right using evidence from the text or anything like that. I don't even think this is something anyone can be right or wrong about anyway in my opinion. It's just how I feel about the characters and what happens to them.

Because of that, this is going to be brief. I've spent way too long setting up this post compared to what I actually want to say, but here we go. Fair warning, spoilers for the first three Uglies books follows:

I hate David as a character. I hated him from the first book. When I think back on it, it might have been the first time I had such a strong, negative reaction to a fictional character. Mostly, I hated him because of what he did to Shay, who was my second favorite character of the series (something that seems to be an unpopular opinion). Don't get me wrong, I blame Tally for it too, and I'm not always that fond of her either. (Again, thinking back, I realize that Uglies was the first time I hated a main character yet realized I could genuinely enjoy the book.)

Funnily enough, I also didn't like Zane at first. That was because I was suspicious of him, but then it turned out that my suspicion was unfounded. After that, I realized that he was excellent, and he became my favorite character in the series.

It's not going to surprise anyone that I wanted my favorite character to wind up with Tally over the character I hate. (It would have actually been great if he'd survived the series, if nothing else. That also would have been nice.) There's more to my anger over the ending though. What made it relatively okay for me is that Tally and David aren't actually together in the end. They're just heading in that direction.

My feelings towards Tally and David aren't only about Zane though. I don't feel like David ever truly feels sorry about what he did to Shay whereas I did feel that from Tally (I know people would disagree with that.), and maybe I should see that as a small thing in the grand scheme of things. I just can't. It feels like it becomes even worse with the ending.

None of this is to say I feel real anger about the ending (I did at one point), and it's not to say I would criticize Scott Westerfeld as a writer for ending it the way he did. It's not personally what I wanted, but I don't think it was badly done. I do want to make that clear. It's not a bad ending in that sense. It's just not my preferred ending or what I wanted.

I'm not sure how well I worded any of this. Once I started, I realized I had more details to share than I realized, and I don't know if I put it all together in the most coherent way possible. I also admit that I should re-read the books and see how I feel now. Maybe I'll do that after I get through all the other re-reads I want to do now that I've finished my Harry Potter re-read.

Life Post: Tests and Intimidation

Today and Thursday are when I have to wake up earliest, and for some reason, I'm feeling particularly tired today. I'm trying to stay upbeat though and not act tired. Today is also when I'm trying to register for one of the big licensing tests I have to take to become a teacher. Even though it's just registering, I feel pretty nervous about having the date set in stone. I know I have to do it, but I don't now anyone who passed these tests the first time they took them. Even experienced teachers talk about how hard they are for them to go back and take years after teaching. So it's intimidating to think about.

Fingers crossed it goes well though. I'm not quite sure yet how far in the future I'm scheduling my test for. We'll see by the end of the day.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Book Review: Paperglass (War of the Princes Book Two) by A.R. Ivanovich

ISBN: 9781939106575
Published: January 5th, 2015 (first published January 1st, 2013)
Publisher: Alloy Entertainment
Read from January 22nd to February 1st, 2016
Synopsis from Goodreads:
After narrowly escaping the war-torn outside world with her life, Katelyn Kestrel vows to never again venture beyond the mountains of Haven Valley. But just as Katelyn begins to prepare for life after high school—a normal life with no warring princes, no dangerous magical abilities, and no handsome, duty-bound soldiers—the outside world comes crashing into her reality once again.
A team of explorers from Haven has been captured by Prince Raserion, the leader of the Western Kingdom. Only Katelyn, with her remarkable ability to find anything she looks for, can hunt the team down and bring them home. And only Katelyn knows just how much trouble the explorers—and all of Haven—are in . . .
The princes have been searching for Haven and its people for seven hundred long years. Like it or not, Katelyn must go back to the outside world and rescue the captives, or witness the destruction of everything she’s ever loved.


I can't remember the last time I sat down to write a book review the same day I finished the book. I'm so eager to talk about this one though. That being said, I won't say most of what I want to talk about most because I want to keep this spoiler free as much as possible. It's always challenging to talk about later books in any series because I don't know if I should write as if the reader (of the review) has read the first book or not. I tend to go with the more cautious approach of not spoiling the first book, despite some spoilers already being in the synopsis, so this review may be briefer. It doesn't mean I enjoyed the book any less.

In fact, I'm more or less in love with this book. It's one of the sequels that made me fall in love with the series even more. I would consider it one of the best fiction books I've read recently, and it feels like the first time in a long time that I've enjoyed a fantasy series this much, which I'm very happy about because I've been craving a good fantasy series for a while now.

This is one of those series that has managed to surprise me quite a bit so far. I have this idea of what I want to happen, but I don't have a clear idea of how the story will get there. It's one of those stories where I can't tell where things are going, and I also feel like it's been a while since I've found something like that. I enjoy only being able to guess and not feeling like I have any great guesses at that.

That's all I'll say in my attempt to not include any spoilers, but I think I'm going to have to get my spoiler-filled thoughts out somehow in the future. I'm also happy to say that I already have the next book because I want to start reading it as soon as possible. I'm excited to see what happens next.

I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Life Post: Getting Ahead

I feel like I've really gotten on top of things over the end of last week and the weekend. I'm ahead on school work, which feels awesome, and I'm currently editing two different fanfics getting them ready to be posted. Three if we include the drabble I'm working on sporadically for a certain event in a couple of weeks.

So I've been working on all of that basically. I think the bulk of my weekend was either working on school work not due for a while or reading this really awesome book. I'm almost done with that book. I only have the epilogue, and I haven't read it because I don't want it to be over. I'm saying that despite having the next two books in the series already on my Kindle. I can't wait to talk about it in a review.

Over on Youtube, I posted my Reign review for "Bruises That Lie." Yes, it was a whole week late again, but this time I got lucky because Reign is currently on a hiatus. So at least this time there wasn't another episode already out when I got my review up.