Category Archives: Reviews

Reviews on books, movies, and more.

Belgian Boys Waffle

This month’s Singlesswag crate box came with my first snack, the Belgium Boys Waffle. Working for Waffle House has given me a love of waffles that I never had before. You can imagine my face when I saw the snack in the box. First, I want to talk about the adorable packaging.

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Picture via lovewithfood.com

Pink is my favorite color. One of the reasons is because it naturally makes you happier when you see it, and this design really catches the eye. The picture of the waffle on the front looks really tasty, so you already have your mouth-watering for what’s inside.

Next, the waffle itself wasn’t what I was expecting. I thought it’d be more of a cracker, but instead, it was soft like a regular waffle. It also had a light sprinkle of very fine sugar that gave it a sweeter taste. The waffle was more filling than a lot of the protein bars that I’ve had, so I think it’d make a great snack to get you through until your next meal.

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Picture via www.youtube.com

You can get a box of 20 from boxed.com. Just click here. They come in regular and chocolate. I think they taste incredible, and I’m super happy to have discovered them.

Cover image via www.feedyeti.com

Black Panther

I went to see the Black Panther movie yesterday, and honestly, I loved it. Before seeing it, I was skeptical because I didn’t know much about the panther. Seeing him appear in Civil War confused me because of how random it seemed. However, I think Marvel did very well in showing who he is, where he comes from, and the role it all plays within the Avengers. As well as introducing new characters and following a great storyline with a climax and resolution.

Wakanda is beautiful and so is the technology. The simulations that Panther’s sister and the agent do to control the car and the plane from other parts of the world were unreal. The weapons and even the trains were mind-blowing. (Spoiler alert) Not to mention, I’m curious to see how Black Panther’s decision to share Wakanda’s technology with the rest of the world will impact the Marvel universe. I’m also very curious to see what the Winter Soldier is doing with Panther’s sister in that little village.

If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend doing so. It was very different from the rest of the movies which I found refreshing. It’s always exciting to see a Marvel movie, but it was more exciting to have something different.

Picture via www.abagond.wordpress.com

IT

The remake of IT by Stephen King came out recently and being the fan that I am, I had to go see it. Part of me was a little skeptical because of it being a remake, but I was absolutely blown away. Bill Skarsgard’s performance of IT was too good for its own good. The beginning scene with Georgie blew away the originals’ by a long shot. I actually had to cover my eyes.

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Picture Via IGN.com

It’s been awhile since I’ve seen the original, but I think the remake showed more of IT in a gruesome and cruel way. Before I saw the movie I compared both Tim Curry’s IT and Bill Skarsgard’s IT. First, I thought the new one looked stupid. I didn’t think he looked scary, nor did I think he looked inviting. The whole point of IT was to look inviting to children. Curry’s portrayal looked way more inviting to me. Then I saw the beginning scene and knew I’d be having nightmares for the next week.

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Picture via www.express.co.uk

I don’t know if it’s the smile, the big blue eyes, or the way he talked to Georgie that was creepy. Maybe it’s a mixture of both. All I know is that when I watch the movie again, I’ll have to skip over that part.

Even though IT as the clown was creepy, he wasn’t as bad as the fears he’d appear as. Beverly’s bloody scene in the bathroom was pretty crazy. I thought IT was going to pull her down the sink drain. Another really good scene was when Ben’s in the library and the headless guy chases him around. I don’t know about anyone else but if I saw a red balloon go by and it’s obvious no one else did, I’m not following it. I’m not after the trail of Easter eggs when it’s not Easter, and I’m not going into rooms I don’t belong in. That’s just me, though, and we can’t all be like that. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be a movie/book.

Despite that most people hate when movie remakes come out (mainly because of the cool graphics that’s added), this remake was really good. I can relate it to Carrie in the sense that all of them were great. The graphics added to IT were just incredible. It wasn’t too much or too little, either. They did a really good job at making it look the time period that the story takes place.

I really liked the chemistry between all the actors. I’m usually not into movies or TV shows that surround children. The storylines and other things that I look for in my entertainment don’t involve kids very much. However, these children outdid themselves in their parts and really made the movie. I especially liked Finn Wolfhard’s portrayal of Richie. I’ve become a huge fan of a child actor for the first time and will be watching everything he’s in for the rest of my life/his acting career.

Richie is my favorite one out of the bunch. I feel like he’s the Ryuk of Death Note. The character that says what the viewer is thinking the entire time. Even though I’m not a fan of F-bombs, they placed Richie’s’ perfectly throughout the entire film. He was one of the last boys to be attacked by IT. I think that was because his fear was clowns. If all IT had to do was show up as himself that wouldn’t be as fun. I looked forward to seeing how IT would scare him and was very impressed by the results. Of course, I can’t tell what it was so you’ll just have to see.

Overall, IT was a fantastic movie and the makers did an incredible job. I now know why Stephen King is so proud of it. It’s really exciting to know that there will be a sequel which is a better idea. You can’t fit a 1,200-page book into two and a half hours.

Cover picture via youtube.com

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

One thing I always liked about City of Bones is how it emphasized knowledge and how it changes you. In the end of the movie, Clary tells Jace that everything’s change. She can’t see the world as the same anymore. When Jace replied, my heart stopped. It was the most amazing answer ever. He said, “The world hasn’t changed, you have.” That is so true.

A lot of the time we learn things about ourselves and others that change the way we see something. When you find out your significant other cheated on you, your heart breaks. You lose trust and sometimes can’t even look at them. In that moment they didn’t change. You did. When we see someone help an old lady cross a street, or someone buy a homeless man food, the same thing can be said. We view it as, “There are still good people in the world.” However, images of kidnappings, murders, thieves, and hate hit us.

We can go from feeling hopeful for the human race to feeling like we shouldn’t exist. Again, the world didn’t change, you did. Those things will always be there. Lies, cheating, murder, hate, love, joy, peace, and war are a part of this world. People change, but the world never does. Our whole world revolves around us and the way we view things. Racism, sexism, stereotyping, etc. It won’t ever go anywhere, but we do. We grow, learn, teach, accept, and won’t tolerate. It’s a part of who we are.

Clary is a fifteen (almost sixteen) year old girl that lives her life normally. She goes to school, comes home, hangs out with her best friend, and loves her mother. There isn’t anything really exciting about her life. Except for the nights that she’s able to visit a club called Pandemonium. Clary loves this place for the clothes, people, and atmosphere. Of course, her best friend, Simon, can’t stand it. He’s more of a nerdy, awkward guy that only tags along because it’s what Clary wants to do.

Then she witnesses a murder there. The worse part is that no one else sees it. Not because no one else is there, but because no one else saw the three teenagers lead a guy into a backroom. They’re completely invisible! But why can Clary see them? Because she’s hiding a secret. The only bad part about it is that she doesn’t even know what the secret is. Now realizing that the stories she was told as a kid about monsters and heroes were real, consumes her. And the dark shadowhunter that caused a bloody battle is leading straight to her. Who is she really and why can’t she remember?

I was in high school when I read this series for the first time. I couldn’t stop flipping pages. The most frustrating part was that I could only read so fast. I fell in love with each character for a different reason and felt real empathy for everything they went through. That had never happened to me before. This series has definitely earned its title as my favorite book series.

I also like the Christian background that it has involving angels and demons. In this world, they are physical beings that have to be fought in a war. In real life, they aren’t physical beings. We have to fight our demons spiritually. I liked how Cassandra brought that aspect of our lives into a physical form.

My favorite characters are Alec and Magnus. It’s not because they fall in love and I think it’s cute. I like them because of how witty they are. Magnus is supposed to be this crazy powerful warlock (which he is) and he is a giant teddy bear. He’s sweet and kind. Being willing to help a shadowhunter isn’t something most “Downworlders” (werewolves, vampires, warlocks) are capable of. Alec is a sweet guy as well. He is kind (except when he realizes there’s something between Clary and Jace) and considerate. At first, he’s made out to be a total douche. I’m not saying that he wasn’t one, but he had his reasons. I don’t take him as being someone that likes change.

Alec has a secret of his own. It’s life changing and scary. HIs world doesn’t accept this kind of secret. I feel like we all have secrets and life changing things about us that we’re afraid to let out into the world. Plus, once it’s out you can’t ever go back.

Would I recommend this book series? If it wasn’t obvious already, yes. I totally would.

Image via fandomnews.wordpress.com

Marked by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

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Taken from Goodreads.com

The first time I read this book (in high school) there were a lot of things that I’d missed because it was exciting to read. It brought a whole new kind of vampyre that I found incredible and I just wanted to read more and more. From mystical tattoos to special affinities, it was incredible and have me falling in and out of love with characters in every book.

Zoey Montgomery, a sixteen year old girl who lives in Tulsa, has hated her life ever since her mom married the “Step-loser.” She’s forced to live in a house where she is the “Bad kid” just because she doesn’t bow down to him and his God complex. He completely changed her mom into something she totally isn’t and expects Zoey to comply with everything he says, too. Then if that wasn’t bad enough, her boyfriend (heath) that she’s known her whole life is a football star that thinks drinking until the sun comes up and being dumb is cool and her best friend (Kayla) is a rude and sassy girl who secretly wants Heath but can’t make that obvious to her best friend. Then Zoey’s life completely changes when the mysterious hooded figure shows up and marks her.

Suddenly, she is now a vampyre fledgling expected to leave everything she knows behind and live in a vampyre school and create a new life for herself. No longer is she Zoey Montgomery, she’s Zoey Redbird. And as Zoey Redbird, she is to deal with boyfriend drama, make new friends, do homework, take town the most poplar and selfish girl in school all while trying to figure out why the vampyre goddess has marked her with full vampyre tattoos and pray that her body doesn’t reject the change. Not to mention learn who she can trust and who she can’t and find out why she is seeing the “Spirits” of the supposedly dead fledglings that rejected the change. Woe is Zoey!

Neferet’s Curse

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House of Night Wiki (Found on Google.com).

When Neferet had told Zoey a bit about her past human life I had wanted to know more. How did Neferet become the Vampyre woman she was in the series? I have to say that this novella was the best one out of the four. It’s only about a hundred pages but it had me hooked the entire time. I laughed, I got mad (mostly at her father), and I was super surprised. It’s definitely one of those situations where you know what’s going to happen but you don’t know when. It was fun to watch her go from a little girl to a survivor. She was willing to do anything to survive her situation, even if that meant manipulating her loved ones. It’s crazy what changes take place in people based off of our own life experiences.

[SPOILER ALERT]

The ending was the best for me. When Neferet’s father becomes jealous of her new boyfriend and assaults her, he acts as if she feels the same way for him! I can understand Neferet’s newfound anger and insanity that she gets. She comes to her boyfriend and his family for help and then gets marked right in front of him. He abandons Neferet, claiming that it is just too much for him to deal with. We can all relate in a human way to what she had felt at that time. Then, when power and strength presents itself to her, she goes after her father to kill him. What made my anger boil is that he looked at her like she was still his little girl and spoke to her like he worried about her. “I knew you’d come back to me.”

Neferet had two choices. She could, have left it all behind and continued her new life as all the other vampyres had done, or she could have taken another road and took her revenge. She chose her revenge and I think that is where her curse comes in. She became something truly unique and special, but she couldn’t let what happened go (not that any of us blame her). So when she killed her father, the darkness in the world attached to her and made a home with her; just like they had done to Kalona through his anger and jealousy. Hence, Neferet would be cursed with the darkness as long as she held onto what had happened.

It was truly an amazing book and just like Kalona’s Fall, it ended too soon.

Kalona’s Fall

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I remember feeling many things for Kalona during my obsession with the House of Night series, and those “things” were always half and half. Some of the time I loved him and other times I loathed. It’s always very difficult to hate a villain when they are like Kalona; when you know that they have bad intentions but it’s only because of the betrayal they have felt by someone they once loved. During the entire time that he was in the series I only wanted someone to come along and show him what being good is like, but the answer always came back as, “If even Nyx wasn’t enough how could anyone else be enough?” And with that, my next question always followed.

What happened to Kalona? Because I haven’t read them in forever, what I remember reading might be wrong. We know Nyx casted him from the Otherworld, but I’m pretty sure that he said it was because he got too close to her and loved her too much. The problem with a character like Kalona is that questions of who he is and where he came from always crossed my mind.

With this novella, Kalona’s Fall answers all the questions that we H.O.N. lover’s craved the answers to. Who is Kalona? Where did he come from? How did Nyx really feel about him? What did he do to her? The only problem I have with it is that it ended too soon. I wanted to read about how the human villagers cursed him to spend eternity trapped in a cave with a woman he thought was real, but was only a trick to lure him away.

Other than my personal issues with it ending so soon, I absolutely loved it and would love for P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast to continue his story.

Picture taken from House of Night wiki (Found on Google.com).

Matrix: Oil Wonders

 

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I first discovered these products when I received samples of the shampoo and conditioner as part of an early birthday present from my best friend’s mom. Before using these samples I had never known that it was possible for a hair product to make you feel like you were in absolute Heaven. Their textures felt so light and were so soft that they glided through my hair. Before I was even out of the shower I could tell that there was a difference in how my hair felt and looked. My curls are less frizz and have more shape and bounce, and they are so shiny! Not to mention the smell is so clean and refreshing. As soon as I used it I had to have some in my life.

You can find Matrix Oil Wonders at www.matrix.com/oil-wonders, or you can also find it at JCPenny. I had it ordered from Amazon for one of my birthday presents.

The Dr. Teals System

Ever since I got hurt at work a few years ago I suffer from a lot of pain in my back, legs, and feet. There have been some days where I dread leaving the house because it’s so severe I have trouble moving. I’m only twenty-two and have to be careful because I can hurt myself while doing the simplest things. Earlier tonight I went to take off my jacket and pulled a muscle in my shoulder. While I was at a neurologist appointment I went to stretch and threw it out, and then did it again when I tried to adjust myself in the chair at my dentist appointment the next day. Because my pain has gotten a lot worse, I have found a massage therapist which has changed my life completely.

But what do I do when I’m not shelling out money to see my massage therapist? (I’m asked this question a lot by others who have pain, too). My answer is the Dr. Teal’s system. I was a little skeptical when I was first buying it. I knew the Epsom salts would make a difference, but I questioned the body wash and lotion. How would those work when they would spend so little time on my body? I have to tell you how amazed I was.

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When it comes to the shower gel, I liked to run the scrubby over my body a couple of times, paying extra attention to my problem areas which are my legs and back. As for my feet, I sit down on the floor of the shower and massage them with the soap. This makes an even bigger difference in how they feel afterward. Ever since I started my stretches, the shower gel is enough to make my back relax, and even my legs feel better for the most part. But because I have more pain in my feet after work I have to do more for them which makes my legs feel better the rest of the way.

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This is where the bag of Epsom salts come in. I have a foot bath that bubbles up that I use, but before I got it I just filled a big bowl with warm water. All I do is pour a bit of the salts in and voilĂ ! I am instantly relax and my feet come out feeling so much better and so much softer!

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The icing on the cake is the lotion. I briefly massage it into my feet, legs, and lower to mid-back. I feel so relaxed after all of this that I just want to lay in bed and do nothing. The fact that I chose the lavender-scented set probably has something to do with that though. It’s also available in Eucalyptus and mint, milk and honey, chamomile, and many more. They have different systems for whatever you are looking for (such as working out).

You can find these products at your local Walmart (like me!), CVS, Target, Walgreens, FredMeyer, Bed Bath & Beyond, Ulta Beauty, Rite-Aid, Publix, and Kroger. I’m sure you can also find it online.

The power of Epsom is incredible. It’s truly a gift from God.

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

In this book, Thursday Next, is a literary detective that investigates missing and stolen pieces of literature. When someone steals Martin Chuzzlewit, the original manuscript by Charles Dickens, Thursday finds herself stuck in a deadly investigation unlike any she has ever had before. Thursday Next encounters many things in this altered reality including seeing her future self and experiencing a portal that her uncle invented that allows someone to open a doorway into literature.

I ended up not reading the book to the end, which really upsets me because I wanted to like it so bad. It was good, but not enough that I wanted to read it until it was over. I really liked the altered reality and how it was different from what I heard the ’80s was like. (Spoiler Alert) I also liked how in this reality Jane didn’t see Mr. Rochester at the end of Jane Eyre, so she changed the ending while she was in the story.

I may try to read it again at a different time because the concept is awesome and I’d like to make it through the whole book.