You might have been chilling beneath a rock over the last week and missed the latest craze sweeping the nation (and world wide) but chances are you’re bang up to date on what the cool kids are up to.
It’s a pretty bonkers trend tbh, one that my old brain can’t really compute. That doesn’t mean, however that I’m not all in. I am all in.
A conversation at work this week:
Male colleague: Christa, are you going to download Pokémon Go when it’s available?
Me: Probably not. *Scoffs* I mean, I am 38 and I was never into Pokémon, so…
Less than 24 hours later:
Me: OMG!! I caught five on the way to work!!! Obsessed!
All it takes is a cute graphic and an optical illusion to make it appear to be standing in front of you and I’m sold, apparently.
Now my Facebook feed is split again and this time it’s nowt to do with the European Union. It’s mainly grumpy old people not quite on-board the concept of full-grown adults going out of their way to catch monsters all day. They’re of my generation so I get it , I do but man, what the hell’s wrong with a bit of childlike wonderment in these dire times?
It’s pure and simple this poke-concept: get moving and go catch ’em all.
And last night I experienced first hand the greatest perks to downloading this app. First up, we got my step son out of his room and outdoors for over an hour. He would have stayed out longer but as I mentioned, we are old and it was after 9pm (e.g. the witching hour).
Getting him to do something like this is huge. I mean he’s an eleven year old boy with a laptop so grabbing his attention away from Minecraft is an achievement in itself. To get him to willingly go on a walk, especially after dinner, is a miracle.
There were loads of people out and about, going about their business but the unusual thing is that they were talking to each other, and us, as they passed. There were students and kids and adults and a drunk dude and a man in a suit, all acknowledging one another for being a massive dork, just like them. It’s quite beautiful when you think about it.
When B. Bass ran screaming down the road after collecting three Pokéballs from a Poké Stop, everyone standing at the bus stop smiled, most of them knowingly. We might be outdoors immersed in a virtual world but I can’t really see anything wrong with that, not while we need all the positive we can get.
Just as long as we remember to stay alert at all times, am I right?
Are you a Poké-fan? What are your thoughts on this? ❤
I’ve wanted to see this movie for a few years and finally found a way to view it recently. It’s been getting some great reviews ever since its release and is kind of a big deal in horror circles. Which is great.
I’ll go into my rating and view on it nearer the end of this post, but I want to put a small disclaimer at the beginning, before I myself get started. First of all:
*This post is rife with spoilers, so tread carefully, my dears*
Secondly, I will review this is a similar format to all the other films we’ve included in Jillian & Christa’s Great BlogCollab;however, I strongly feel that this film should be enjoyed, particularly by horror fans who will adore it, so I’m not going to ruin absolutely every last piece of it with detail. Okay?
We open with a close up of a scalpel gliding through flesh. The same flesh is then stitched and as the camera pans out, it become apparent that this is the flesh of a chicken (or turkey). Our heroine, Mary is obviously a dedicated student as she studies into the night, in the comfort of her very best negligee.
The next day, Mary is admonished in class when her phone goes off. Her grumpy professor is quick to pull her up in front of her peers, though she answers his smug questioning like a pro. After class she apologises and he tells her he’s had enough of twats in his classroom and that she shouldn’t fuck it up since she’s one of his most promising students.
Later on, Mary is in the car park speaking to someone on the phone (a debt collector). Grumpy professor (actual name Dr. Grant), overhears as he’s getting into his car, but drives off without comment.
Mary returns home and wouldn’t you know it? She lives alone in a wonderful Bohemian loft (on her own with a bird). There’s the source of her money issues right there, I have to say. If she downgraded to a bedsit or got roommate for a few months, I think she’d be fine.
While searching online for a way to make some cash, Mary chats to her Nana on the phone, a Hungarian lady who is concerned about young people making love all over the shop. Mary assures Nana she’s watching the wrong TV shows and stumbles across a ‘Non-sex’ job that pays cash.
Mary goes to a strip club, where she meets Poor Man’s Mark Ruffalo, Billy who is a chauvinistic strip club owner (big wow), who makes her strip to prove she isn’t fat. (I got annoyed by the fat joke here because it’s unnecessary, but does illustrate what a pig Billy is supposed to be). He then gets Mary to massage him but whilst this happens, shit kicks off.
From Mary’s resume, Billy knows that she is a medical student so he asks her to go with him. He says he’ll give her $5K (CAN) if she does what he says. She’s a little bit dubious, which annoys him, but then she agrees to do anything he asks if he gives her the cash that night (oo-er). Thankfully, it’s not a degrading sex act. Mary is required to sew up a bleeding man who seems to have lost an eye and been sliced up a bit.
Back home, Mary is sickened by what she’s done and climbs into the shower (semi) dressed. Later she falls asleep on the couch with a baseball bat.
These are the actions of a woman not entirely comfortable with her actions the previous night. She sleeps, just about, but then her phone starts to ring.
Mary answers and is shocked when the caller asks for Doctor Mason. She hangs up. The caller rings again. They chat a little more, with the caller revealing her name but Mary hangs up again, assuring Beatrice that she has the wrong number and the wrong idea.
Mary is back in the kitchen suturing turkeys and gulping down wine when the doorbell goes. The disembodied voice on the intercom announces that it has a package for Mary and Mary lets this person up, which let’s face it is sloppy work.
Since the voice is identical to Beatrice’s from earlier on, it’s no surprise when she appears inside Mary’s airy loft (not a euphemism). The surprise, instead, is that Beatrice has a distinctive look and is seeking unorthodox assistance from Mary, for a friend (it’s always a friend). Mary is unconvinced until they talk figures and is persuaded to at least show up by the promise of $2K (CAN).
Mary arrives at Beatrice’s niece’s place of work, a veterinarian’s surgery (convenient) and still isn’t sure what she’s let herself in for. Bea (who is my favourite character and hands down the most adorable creature I’ve ever seen), suggests that Mary speak to her friend, Ruby to find out what she wants herself.
Mary meets Ruby, a real-life Barbie doll fashion designer who gives Mary a speech about dolls and the non-sexualisation of said dolls. It becomes apparent that Ruby would like her nips removed, please and her va-jay-jay sealed up (I can see obvious issues with this plan, but who am I to judge?). Mary takes about 25 seconds to decide that she’s cool with this arrangement and soon gets to work.
The surgery scenes are actually very well done (and I credit the female directors for this). They aren’t for the squeamish but they aren’t gratuitously gruesome. Mary, in fact, is quite tender with her first (second) patient and it’s quite touching. After the deed is done, Mary tells Bea what to do with Ruby, aftercare-wise, and then tells her not to give her details out to anybody else.
As Mary is leaving, Bea asks her what she wants to be called on Ruby’s website, as she will have to be mentioned in some way to the body modification community. Mary says she doesn’t mind. After the surgery, Mary is sick again but recovers much quicker.
Round about here I’m going to hold back a little and just tell you that Bea turns up again (Yey! I was worried she’d be a one scene wonder) and gives Mary a present from Ruby. Mary goes about her bizniz at the hospital (being a proper student, yo) and gets in with Dr. Walsh, an important looking surgeon at the hospital.
He invites her to an exclusive drinks party at an undisclosed address later that evening, stating that everyone is very impressed with her and that Dr. Grant (Grumpy professor) had recommended that she be invited. She arrives wearing the amazing dress gifted to her by Ruby.
Basically, all the red flags are flapping as Mary enters the party but she doesn’t notice because she’s a good, conscientious girl. Something bad does happen to her and it’s nasty (and hard to watch). Though it is a necessary scene in terms of setting the tone of the rest of the movie, so I understand why it had to be included.
Once home, Mary has visibly changed and she wastes no time. Revenge is on her mind and this is where Billy (and his lovely henchman, Lance) come back in. I should say here that I forgot to mention a conversation Mary has with Dr. Grant at the party, before her horrifying ordeal begins. The gist of it is this, he tells Mary that as long as they make no mistakes as surgeons, everything else they do is forgiven (RED FLAG, MARY! RED FLAG!). Mary doesn’t buy this (because she is inherently good) but takes it on board.
But back to vigilante justice. Billy and Lance deliver a special care package to her loft in the form of one Grumpy professor. The message is clear: don’t rape people. Ever.
Mary is starting to show more of any interest in the body modification community, having stumbled across a website called abstrakt.me. This leads to some creativity thinking and thankfully she now has a guinea pig to practice on. Eek!
Mary gets good at the old body mod and starts to drum up a nice little business for herself. Lance seems to be on the payroll now too, which I love (he’s so cute!). Meanwhile, a detective appears and he’s investigating the disappearance of Dr. Grant. He’s been given a list of students Dr. Grant may have harmed (by Dr. Walsh) and he wants to talk to them. Mary plays it cool and the Detective seems well-meaning but leaves.
Billy is falling in love with Mary and keeps dreaming about her. Mary tells him about the Detective and Dr. Walsh’s involvement. He asks her if she wants him to take care of Walsh. She says no.
Beatrice takes Mary for coffee and they stop off at Ruby’s studio for some information that Bea wants her to have. While there, Mary sees a picture of Ruby with a man. Bea tells her it’s Ruby’s husband. Bea then reveals that abstrakt.me are interested in Mary’s work and want to meet with her. She agrees to meet them at Billy’s club.
The twins sent by abstrakt.me (or are they abstrakt.me?) make quite the entrance and head to Billy’s office. They lay out their plans to Mary and tell her that she has quite the following. They also tell her that she’s referred to underground as ‘Bloody Mary’. They advise her that she needs to think about all this herself and consider setting up her own website as people will be looking for her. She asks them if they’re free Friday for their body mod op.
Mary performs the procedures requested by the twins and then goes off to do something while they’re still unconscious. I won’t reveal but during this outing, Mary ends up committing her first murder. Shocked and appalled by what she’s done, she calls Billy (who’s busy beating someone up) who sends Lance (lovely Lance). Lance buys Mary dinner and they talk about how bad she feels.
Lance breaks it down, telling the story of a woman he knows who was horribly abused by an intruder and found four days later. He says he wishes he’d known Mary back then. He then tells her to never devalue what she does and just make sure the people she chooses deserve it. This speech cheers her up no end, so well done Lance, you cutie.
Mary moves because she’s got loads of cash now and starts to take pictures in her professional looking studio for her website. As she’s pottering around, having just completed a dick splitting op, the Detective appears again and tells her that Dr. Walsh is now missing. He then tells Mary that they found a video of the girls Dr. Grant has abused. She asks if she is on the tape. He says she wasn’t but that he still believes she was one of his victims.
Turns out Billy has involved himself even though she asked him not to and has the tape. He lurves Mary, you see. Sadly she walks in on him being sucked off by a stripper. Mary gets a little jealous so we know she likes him too. He tells her that he needs a change of scenery and is thinking of driving down to Cali. He asks her to go with him and she says she’ll think about it, as she might need a change too.
She heads home… and there’s an ending. You can figure that out for yourself.
Loved it. Loved it, loved it, loved it. I should probably admit that this week was my choice and that this movie has been on my Netflix list for some time. My reason for picking it was purely selfish.
I have a massive crush on Katherine Isabelle obviously, because the fact she’s the lead in this was what peaked my interest in the first place. The plot itself was a close second as I love the idea of self-expression and body positivity that flows throughout. Even if you do feel you have to seek it out through modification (which is A-OK with me). Katherine, you may remember, was also the star of Ginger Snaps, the first film Jill and I collaborated on.
Sure, it’s not a perfect film, there’s probably no such thing (maybe Kill Bill (2003)?), but that’s perfectly fine by me. It’s about enjoyment and this was superb. As I mentioned above, I like the themes involved, I’m also a sucker for vigilante justice.
I think the fact that this movie is presented by women, namely the Soska sisters, has something to do with the way it was handled. It’s graphic to a point but doesn’t ram its message down your throat. When the unthinkable happens to Mary, it’s done in a subtle way. It’s not done in the same way as, say, Last House on the Left (2009). And believe me, as a viewer, this makes a difference, if a scene like this absolutely has to feature for the sake of the story.
It’s inventive, empowering in places (in terms of taking control/fighting back) and it’s fun. It’s definitely one of the best modern horror films of recent times, in my eyes anyway. Katherine is a dream and I also have big love for some of the smaller characters; for Beatrice and for Lance, in particular.
I do feel very strongly about self-acceptance, but I think it’s down to the individual how they love themselves. If arriving at a place of self love means changing things, however big or small, then why not? I know my tattoos are a more socially accepted form of modification and I love them more than anything.
All in all, this was a great film and I hope the horror genre continues to give us more of the same calibre. I’m done with the Insidious films and of never seeing anything new or intriguing.
Incidentally, my sister-in-law is doing a masters in film and is currently working on her second film. She’s focusing (at the moment) on the horror/ghost story genre and, although I’ve always been interested in films of this nature, I’ve been reading more about women in film/horror and it’s exciting. See Screen Queens for a really good blog on the subject. And if you want to, please check out my lovely sis’ production blog too.
5 surgical knives out of 5
That might seem like a generous rating for an imperfect movie but I’m sticking by it. It was just interesting enough to keep me engrossed until the end (the Soskas have talked about an alternative conclusion, which they almost went with) and I liked the characters, though more padding would have made it even better. Basically, I loved it.
I thought I’d condense this trio of celluloid offerings into the same post and keep them short n’ sweet, just for the sheer hell of it. I’m not always up for a massive waffle about what I’ve seen but each of these are so different from the other that I thought the contrast between them would be fun. This is what I’ve been watching:
Well. I admit that I didn’t watch this on the big screen and I knew when I started talking about how I didn’t get why people were raving so much about it, that they would spit back that it was because of this. Poppycock! Sure, something is lost in the visuals when you watch at home but it was the hodge podge of ideas in Interstellar that surprised me, not the underwhelming space scenes (I’m being harsh, they were totally fine).
I didn’t hate this film by any means. I love Christopher Nolan and I like the concept of this film. I also very much appreciated the horrible dilemma McConaughey’s Cooper finds himself in when he’s called to choose between saving his family, or all mankind. It’s heart-wrenching in all the right places but it is also dull at times, over long and jerky. It feels like a big pot of ideas all thrown together, where previously Nolan has presented us with exquisitely crafted pieces, intricate and fine to the last detail.
I think it’s definitely worth a look, particularly for any Nolan fan, but it’s not perfect and is a little messy, honestly. I enjoyed the ending, which was surprising clear-cut (looking at you Inception/The Dark Knight Rises) and I loved the most Nolan-esque scene, which occurs about two-thirds into the film, you’ll know it when you see it. All in all, okay but not stellar. (GEDDIT?)
Sorry, what? A mockumentary from the makers of Flight of the Conchords, starring Jemaine (Marry Me Now) Clement, about vampires? Where do I sign?
Written by Clement and Taika Waititi (best name ever), who also penned one of the greatest films of all time, Eagle Vs. Shark (2007), this is just a joy from start to finish. Honestly, it’s joyful and funny. And clever, good clean fun funny which sometimes you just need. I think that’s the beauty of the Conchords, that it’s witty but delivers a nice, happy humour.
The gist of Shadows: three vampires, Viago, Deacon and Vladislav share a house with Petyr, the oldest of them all and are struggling with modern life. Hundreds of years old each, the friends must get to grips with very ordinary tasks such as the household chores, paying rent and getting into nightclubs.
Along the way they make new friends, revisit old loves and learn to play well with others. Eventually. It’s just the best. Please see it.
I love shitty shitty horror more than is healthy, I think. I’m happy to spend my time on a B-Movie with no budget and no real integrity, as long as it does just one thing: entertains me.
A friend posted the trailer for this on his FB wall this week and I thought, OMFG a film about a possessed clown suit, I am so in, when can I watch? ‘Presented by’ Eli Roth was sort of a draw, he’s been alright in the past, let me down a few times (Hostel (2005), I hate you) but I thought we could be gentlemen about this and see where it went.
Ugh. I haven’t even finished this steaming pile of *poo emoji* because, while there are plenty of killings and the gore factor is turned up to max, it’s just plain boring. B-O-R-I-N-G! B-Movies are meant to be atrocious but never boring and this is where I zone out, I’m afraid.
I don’t know if Peter Stormare ever helps the main dude get out of his suit. I don’t know if Clown (main dude) slaughters the rest of the bullies terrorising his son (kind of love this bit) and I certainly don’t know if he ever gets that damn rainbow fright wig off. In short, I no longer care. Plus, a dog gets killed and that usually messes up the whole movie for me. Avoid like the plague and maybe watch It (2009) again, instead.
So that, movie fans, is me. Vampire house shares and Mr Clement with a Dracula pompadour have been the highlight of this week, film wise.
Just under a year ago I claimed the blog title Two Girls One Book Club in a moment of absolute genius. I mean, you have to be a bit of a filth pot to get the thinly veiled reference but it’s classy as well, you know? Just like me.
The plan was to blog with another friend about books but it never came to fruition. Busy bees and all that.
Don’t weep for me just yet though, as there is a happy twist to this tale of how the #onewomanbookclub is well on her way to becoming one half of a perfect pair. It’s quite beautiful, actually, to have found a partner in literary crime. What? I’ve got dust in my eye.
A bit about my gorgeous reading buddy, S. Not long ago she sent me a lovely email asking for book recommendations. We’ve met only once in the flesh, through her boyfriend, who I’ve known for a good few years. In her message, S said she wanted to get into reading more and I bang on about books more than is strictly necessary because the printed word is my friend, so I guess I was a good bet. Not that I’m an expert obviously, I just know what I like.
I swiftly sent back a list of my favourites (and titles that I actually own), she shot back her own picks; which included some biographies, and a few that are right up my alleyway, genre-wise.
Luckily for us, our partners work together, which means we can send care parcels back and forth without much effort and this is always a great thing. But the best thing about #twogirlsonebookclub? Our emails. I love when I can talk frankly about my geeky obsessions and although this is something I can do in my own home, with my family and certain friends, it’s nice to find a girl after my own heart, not just when it comes to literature.
I don’t know where #twogirlsonebookclub will lead. I’m sure we’ll move on from emails to double dates (whether our boys like it or not), so we can talk books face to face. Maybe we’ll start an actual book club one day. Maybe we’ll take on new members.
Maybe the Two Girls One Book Club blog with become a thing, with actual posts on it. Maybe it won’t.
All I know for sure is that books are great and I’ve made a beautiful new friend because of them. We probably would have become real friends anyway, in some way or another, but books paved the way.
It’s mermaid time, bitches and I, for one, am thrilled! I love me a mermaid story in pretty much any capacity, but an evil one? I am so in.
It was my turn to choose the film for Jillian & Christa’s Great Blog Collab 2015, Part 3.
I did think this film was called Killer Mermaids (plural), suggesting multiple fishy babes, but I was mistaken. I avoided all reviews/trailers so as not to spoil the bound to be incredible premise and I’m glad, for this was a fishy treat to the very end (sort of).
Let us begin.
Killer Mermaid (2014)
AKA “Nymph” (Original title “Mamula”) – so good, they name it thrice
Where to Watch:
Two young American women go on a Mediterranean vacation and uncover the watery lair of a killer mermaid hidden beneath an abandoned military fortress. What was once a carefree adventure becomes a deadly fight for survival. (via IMDB)
We open with an underwater scene reminiscent of Jaws but without the John Williams soundtrack (there is music and it is trying to be Jaw-sy but failing dismally). The POV shot takes us on a tour of an abandoned shipwreck before veering straight for the surface.
Next we see a series of cheesy holiday snaps between a bald man and his cutesy blonde companion. It’s typical cheeky fair, having japes in a Mediterranean setting while taking lots of pictures. All set to a Euro trash disco track that mentions partying a lot.
It’s night time. Baldie and Blondie are by the shore. Blondie takes off her top and asks Baldie if he’s just going to stand there staring. He closes his mouth and strips, but is distracted by a sound rather like (bad) singing. He walks to the edge of the water and is gone. Blondie is inconsolable and while she is screaming for help, a man (?) in Wellington boots comes up behind her and swings a hook/anchor type affair into the back of her head and drags her off. It doesn’t look good for Blondie.
Enter our heroines, Kelly and Lucy, two Americans out for a good time. Lucy is obviously the good time girl because she can rock a bikini like nobody’s business, while Kelly is a little more serious as she’s covered up and keeps talking about work. She’s a writer and her editor is bugging her about writing a piece on the town they are visiting.
This weekend, share with us a poem that you love (by someone who isn’t you, please). Via Writing 201: Poetry Potluck (21st February 2015)
This may not be the most surprising choice from me but this is without question my favourite poem.
It works on every level and is essentially perfect.
Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops. Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you? Don’t you take it awful hard ‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I’ve got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise Up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
Jillian reviews films on her blog that could be considered a little bit off the beaten track. It’s not like they are all obscure though, Sabrina Goes to Rome and Sabrina Down Under were quite popular TV movies back in the late nineties, though I had forgotten about both of them until Jillian reviewed them in her inimitable style.
It was when she reviewed Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same that I knew this was a girl after my own heart (before, actually but what? I’m playing it cool here). A bit of back and forth by email culminated in us arranging a virtual movie date and this is it. Welcome to our virtual movie date!
Since Jillian and I live on opposite sides of the world, we have been forced to watch the same film at different times, rather than share a tub of popcorn on the same couch. We’re aiming to post our reviews on the same day (today).
I think this is such a fun idea and it was all Jillian’s. I know we have to see how the first date goes but if it works and we both have a good time, I hope we’ll do this again. J, I’ve sort of based the structure of this post on yours as a tribute and… next movie choice is yours.
NB: Beware of spoilers. If you haven’t seen this film yet but intend to, you might want to look away now.
After shortlisting a few gems on Netflix (both the US/UK versions), we decided on this one. I’ve seen it before and am a big fan, while this will be the first time for Jillian (who had to source a copy as, surprisingly, US Netflix doesn’t have it). UPDATE: She has seen it before, I lied. My bad.
Where to Watch:
The Fitzgerald Sisters are obsessed with death and suicide, and in keeping with this theme, have made a pact to each other to get ‘out by sixteen or dead on the scene’ (which I think means killed themselves). Unfortunately, the sisters’ bond is tested when Ginger is bitten by a werewolf.
Ginger Snaps opens with a fairly innocuous establishing shot of a normal overcast day in suburbia. A mother is raking leaves in the yard while her young son plays in the sand pit. The kid appears to have blood on his face but as he has his back to his mother, she doesn’t notice straight away. Oh but we do, we dooooooo!
When I mentioned at the weekend that I would be having a look back at some vintage classics, starting with a couple of Judy Blume‘s best known works, my news feed came alive with nostalgic comments.
A lot of my friends remembered the books fondly and it made me feel even more excited about hunkering down with some familiar characters over a cup of tea.
I wanted to read Forever first but in the end decided to save it until after I’d revisited Margaret. I’m glad I did that, for reasons I will come back to in the Forever review (spoiler alert: it’s still quite saucy!).
But to this book. I love it still and the thing that stood out most for me is the fact that the writing is really good. I have to confess that I half expected to be taking the piss out of the books that I was so into as a kid/teenager but there wasn’t a trace of that as soon as I picked them both up.
AYTGIMM follows 11 year old Margaret Simon as she navigates her way through a new school, new friends, a secret club, periods, boobs and boys. Written from her point of view, we learn some of the secrets that she doesn’t care to share with her friends, such as her true feelings for Moose, the boy who cuts the grass, and how much she really wants to get her period.
Margaret’s core group comprises Nancy Wheeler, Gretchen Potter and Janie Loomis. Together they form the Four PTSs (Pre-teen Sensations) who meet every Monday to pore over their boy books, talk about periods and do their boob enhancing exercises.
All my life it seems I have been semi-aware of the “I must, I must, I must increase my bust” mantra and it comes from this book. It may have been a thing way before it was set to paper but this is where I picked it up. Yes, I did do it myself (and look at me now!). It was very pleasing to get the warm and fuzzies whilst remembering it.
Despite her intimate circle, every night Margaret chats with the one person (or entity) who will listen to her no matter what. But when she starts to question religion on a deeper level and it brings up issues she doesn’t like, their relationship becomes strained. Will Margaret continue to turn to G-O-D or with they grow apart forever?
I thought that the religion thing was actually quite inspired. Margaret is brought up in a similar way to how my brother and I were; encouraged to choose her own faith when she feels ready. Margaret’s father is Jewish, while her mother is Christian so Margaret decides to give each a fair crack before she commits to one of religion, if at all.
I won’t go into it too much, but it’s quite refreshing to think that this topic was approached head on and then handled in such a sensitive way. I’m impressed with the diplomatic way it raises questions but doesn’t veer in any one direction.
Margaret also shares a close relationship with her grandmother, Sylvia. Keen to convert her granddaughter to Judaism, Sylvia nicknames her “Jewish Girl” which just adds pressure to Margaret as she tries to work out which way she should turn, biblically (or Torah-ly).
Blume also addresses the subject of slut shaming, although I am confident that this was not a phrase back when I was 11, even if it was definitely a thing.
Poor Laura Denker is labelled a bit of a goer (my words) because she is tall and well-developed for her age. She is the subject of much bitching (but mostly envy) within the secret club, who have heard rumours about her getting felt up behind the bike sheds (or the US equivalent, the bleachers?) by Nancy’s brother, Evan and the aforementioned, Moose.
But the main topic on all the girls’ minds is of course, puberty. The girls do focus a lot of attention on boys, mainly Phillip Leroy, the class fitty but that’s nothing compared to the massive amount of time they all spend fretting about growing up, finally getting their periods and proving that they are normal.
I remember so vividly how I used to feel before the Big P came along, how much I wanted to get it and kick start womanhood. It’s nice to be reminded of the girl I used to be, who still pops up her head every now and again, who sometimes has the same worries she used to about the way she looks.
Ah, the simpler days.
(Incidentally, on the day I finally got my period, I was running indoors and banged my head, cutting it open. That day I bled from both ends, proof you should be careful what you wish for. Although, as compensation, we did get fish and chips for supper).
All in all, I adored my trip down Memory Lane. Judy Blume did so well because she understood, and was able to convey what it’s like to be this age. In 2010, Margaret was placed on Time magazines Top 100 fiction books written in English since 1923 list: ″Blume turned millions of pre-teens into readers. She did it by asking the right questions—and avoiding pat, easy answers.″ (via Wikipedia).
Which sums it up better than anything. She just gets it.
The question to answer, I suppose, is does the book hold up? I think so. I mean, I’m 25 years older than the main protagonist so the things I worry about now are somewhat different to then. However, from a nostalgic point of view, I can remember those feelings of inadequacy and pressure like they were yesterday.
I like to be reminded of who I was and of being that age. I also wonder if there is that much difference between being (nearly) 12 years old back when I was 12, or indeed back when AYTGIMM was first published in 1970 (over 40 years ago), and being 12 now. I would imagine, at the centre of it they have the same worries with a lot more besides.
I think my generation are lucky they didn’t have to grow up in the digital age. Nobody had a phone of their own until the very early naughties (or I definitely didn’t) and MySpace was just about the most exciting thing happening on the web, which was still dial-up and patchy at best.
I can only imagine what this book would be like if it were rewritten in today’s setting. A hell of a lot more slut shaming, a bit of internet trolling and a lot of distracted tweeting, rather than two minutes in the closet, I’d bet.
This artist blows me away in general and I have seen a few of her piece pop up over the years, and always been impressed. But I have a very special place in my heart for the Painted Ladies. They are magnificent!
Since it is unlikely I would ever be able to afford one of the original figurines, I have been looking at the photographic prints instead. Still a little bit of a hefty price tag, but maybe one for a birthday wish list.
Yet another US TV show that has sucked me in and won’t spit me out until I’ve devoured all five seasons.
PLL is actually pretty good. It’s no Gossip Girl, of course, but nothing is. It’s very twisty and turny; and feels like a continual teen horror movie.
The gist: When pretty (and bitchy) Alison DiLaurentis goes missing, her clique are left to wonder what the eff went on and who would want to harm her. While the girls had been drifting apart before the disappearance, they’re thrown back together by a common enemy, the sinister A; who is threatening to tell all their secrets, and worse.
Honestly, it’s been quite gripping. Thanks as always, Netflix.
NB: I should say here that I’m trying hard to cut down on my television watching during the week. Left to my own devices, I will just sit dribbling in front of the box for four hours straight every night without gaining anything from it. I know it’s no good for me, so I’ve been coming home and reading, blogging and pottering instead. It feels good.
This is such a material thing to include, but never mind. It’s a total game changer! You know I love ASOS anyway and lust after a lot of items on the site (too much), but upgrading to the Premier account has just been amazing.
Basically: Unlimited next day delivery, courier pick up if you don’t like something; the ASOS magazine to your door and preview emails about upcoming sales, all for just £9.95 a year. £9.95! I know I’m no longer shopping, but when I am… this will change everything.
So happy that this show is back again. I love it, even though I dislike at least 75% of the main characters. The writing is fantastic, the characters are flawed and frustrating; and I’m very interested to see where it goes.
I like Lena Dunham and will always be into what she brings to the table, even if she doesn’t always present it a way I agree with. I read Not That Kind of Girl and enjoyed it. I might come back to that in a separate post soon.
Ah, other bloggers. Such a massive part of why I’m enjoying blogging so much right now.
Again, my current favourites will fill their own future post in the next few weeks but this week I have had some great interaction, when I really needed it, and I am starting to feel very excited about my blogging future.
I have some fun things coming up, including a collaboration with a fellow film lover that really peaks my creative interest!
So that’s what I’m about this month! What are you digging?
Yesterday, while spending an obscene amount of time shopping for stationery with my friend L, she asked me to help her find some good reads. She’d be the first to admit she’s not a book-worm so I promised her I would write a list of my favourite all time books and get it to her so she can start building a collection.
(I’m not saying my opinion is the be all, it’s a guide rather than a compulsory reading assignment). What can I say? My friend trusts me.
I thought I would turn that list into a blog post soon. In the meantime, here’s a look at my most pressing To Read list. I’ve been a little off the boil literature wise since December but am getting back in the game now.
Can’t wait to get my mitts on the following:
In no particular order:
Geek Love by Katherine Dunn A birthday gift from my Sister-in-law, this has been on my Amazon wish list for a long time. Maddie said she read the back and knew it was for me, even before she realised it was on there. I cannot wait to dig in.
Bone Jack by Sara Crowe I absolutely loved Crowe’s Campari for Breakfast (reviewed here) and couldn’t put it down. So I have nothing but high hopes for this. The former book was reminiscent of early Sue Townsend and that can only ever be a really good thing. I think Sara Crowe is one to watch.
Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield Another second visit, this one has been on my radar ever since I read The Thirteenth Tale. Setterfield can really spin a yarn spiked with all sorts of surprises. Perfect for cold Winter’s nights and tea. Lots of tea.
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
I have a love/hate relationship with Flynn. I mean Gone Girl was hard to put down until it pissed me off so much I had to get as far away from it as possible. Dark Places was good though and I’ve heard word on the street that this is a corker too. Some people believe that GG is the worst of Gillian’s trilogy so that bodes well.
Yes Please by Amy Poehler Hello, it’s Amy’s first book full of personal stories. What could be better?
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters Ms Waters is in my top three Favourite Authors and I think this might be why I haven’t yet thrown
myself head first into this story. She’s never let me down before and I have no reason to believe she will start now, but I’m still going to take my time.