How (Not) to End a TV Show

Hello everyone! I’m so close to the end of my semester and I should be able to squeeze in a novel or two before the year is over. Like everyone else, I have been using television to help me escape the reality of COV!D this year. Last night, one of my favorite shows ever, Supernatural, ended and, wow, it was something. I rarely get to see a show come to an actual series finale since either a.) I don’t finish the shows or b.) the show gets cancelled. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the different series finales I’ve watched and where they’ve gone very right or horribly wrong. The following is a list that no one asked for about things that should (or shouldn’t) be done to properly end a show, especially one with a dedicated fan base.

Kill Your Darlings, but Nicely: Since I watch a lot of sci-fi/fantasy/action/etc., character deaths are to be expected. If you are going to kill off a character at the very end, however, make it as poetic and dignified as possible. No one wants to see a character who has been through the wringer die in a completely mundane way. It doesn’t have to be a sacrifice, but it should make the audience and the other characters feel okay with the loss.

Remember the Lore: This mostly applies to the fantasy genre as a whole but canon is also important to any show. If you have elaborate backstory, the least you can do is keep the main threads going and keep in mind all of the important plot points or foreshadowing that has been established. The whole point of a prophecy is it has to come true in some way so make it happen! Fans can theorize all they want but the writers are the ones who get to make these things come to life on the screen.

Cycles Matter: We love seeing a story come full circle and homages are really nice for all of the fans who have stuck around. Easter Eggs and references are great for this. Even inside jokes can help ease us to the end. It’s okay to poke a little fun at the show’s past and reminisce. Let the characters go back to the start in some way then have them learn from the past.

Make Every Minute Count: Whether the show if half an hour, an hour, or two hours, every second counts if it is the end. Do not pad out the show with a montage unless it is super relevant. I don’t want another montage that only exists to show the passage of time. It rarely works. I also especially don’t want a montage about the past. I was there! I saw it! Give me new stuff!

Legacy? What is a Legacy?: Leave the fans something behind to enjoy. The legacy of a show doesn’t necessarily have to come in the form of a spin off or an open ending. I don’t always need a hint at something more. Sometimes, a show just needs to be done. Epilogues are fine and all, but they are all trying to copy off of Harry Potter where someone has a kid who is named after a deceased character. It’s become a weirdly specific trope that I am starting to get tired of. Just let us have the memories and let me enjoy my rewatch without thinking I’m going to be disappointed again.

To Ship or Not to Ship?: Quit teasing a relationship. Either make them friends, put them in a relationship, or at least address it in an appropriate manner. I am all for emotional complexity in a show, but it does get tiring after a while. By the end, we should know whether two characters are going to end up together or not. Please just decide or not, writers. It’s exhausting and I don’t want to read any more fan fiction.

CAMEOS: Give me some indication that the past characters mattered. A cameo is great if the actor is available. If not, at least, acknowledge the fan favorites that weren’t main characters. I get so excited when I see a cameo and I would love even more. Please give me cameos!!!

And that is the end of my post that no one asked for. I hope you enjoyed it and I would love to hear your opinions in the comments. Thank you and stay safe!

Don’t Thank Me. It’s Cool: Reviewing The Tower of Nero (Book Five of The Trials of Apollo) by Rick Riordan

Hi everyone! I’m back with another review sooner than I thought, but I buckled down on this one in between my required novels. For those of you who don’t know, this novel is the last in the Percy Jackson universe so it is sad to let go of this part of my childhood. At least we’re getting the adaptation we truly deserve. Let’s finish up The Trials of Apollo.

It’s been the longest six months for Lester Papadopoulos, formerly known the god Apollo. After fighting emperors, defeating monsters, and freeing the Oracles, it is time for them to face Nero and save New York, then the world. To make matters even worse, Apollo’s nemesis Python is lurking in the shadows, waiting for him. It is time for Lester to defeat Python and regain his godhood or possibly die trying. Hopefully, it’s the latter.

This was a perfectly written ending for this particular series, as well as the Percy Jackson series in general. Again, I was still genuinely surprised by how good this series was as well as how mature it was. Rick Riordan has always done a good job adding some sort of lesson or moral to his story without it being too preach-y. As an adult, I appreciated what Riordan had to say through Apollo/Lester’s trials. This particular book was action packed and heartfelt. I still can’t recommend this series enough. Never grow up, my fellow Greek myth nerds.

When we crash, we intertwine: Reviewing Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

Hello everyone! It has been a hot minute since I’ve posted. I promise I won’t abandon this blog any time soon. I’ve just been all caught up with university, anxiety, social distancing, and all that other fun stuff (See? Sarcasm). I’ve still found enough time to go out a little and enjoy things. Of course, I wasn’t about to give up on Tomi Adeyemi’s series. Feel free to check out my review for the first novel, Children of Blood and Bone. Now it’s time to talk about the recently released sequel.

Zelie and Amari had finally succeeded in bringing back to Orisha, but they were not prepared for the other consequences it might bring. Now, Zelie must unite all of the maji in order to defeat Inan and put Amari on the throne. When the monarchy launches an attack on the maji, it is up to Zelie to protect her people and avoid the war or else everything she loves will be destroyed.

Even though this book took me a little while to get through, it is actually very fast paced and has tons of action. The magic system in the novel is incredibly well thought out, which helps add to the incredible world building that Adeyemi has done. When it comes to fantasy, though, a lot of authors tend to make their characters either too powerful or neglect any consequences that their characters may have to deal with. Adeyemi completely avoids that pitfall by making her characters understandably, albeit frustratingly, imperfect. I wouldn’t enjoy the book if I couldn’t sympathize with Zelie, Amari, and the rest. That is why I love this series. It harkens back to my love of shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender. Though this is a YA fantasy series, I think adult and teen readers alike can bond over this series with it’s incredible action, high stakes, and emotional beats that will keep you wanting more.

Blank, lovely eyes. Mad eyes. A mad girl: Reviewing Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

Hello everybody! I’m back with another novel that I am reading in class but this one will be a full review since it fits into my area of studies. I am currently doing a critical history of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre for my grad school portfolio. As much as I love the British Romantics, it is important to acknowledge where it is problematic. Trust me, it is rather problematic. That is why I am glad to hear and read new angles about these classics that everybody has loved in one dimension for so long. So let’s talk about Jean Rhys’ take on Bronte’s “madwoman in the attic.”

Before she was Bertha Mason, Antionette Cosway was a young girl struggling to survive in Jamaica. After the Emancipation Act, her mother is driven to madness and her father to drink. When she reaches adulthood, Antoinette is then sold into marriage to an Mr. Rochester. As more of the past comes to light, Antionette finds herself in a downward spiral that threatens her dreams of moving to England.

This novel, though short, is incredibly compelling in its feminist and anti-colonial narrative. I have always liked the “other side of the story” genre. I am not sure what else to call it but I am talking about novels that re-tell a story from the perspective of another character. Anyways, Rhys delivers a powerful look at a character who has been written off for so many years. The novel is has beautiful visuals that pair with a unique story that is not explored often. Post colonial novels have only come to light in recent years and Rhys offers one that anyone who has read Jane Eyre should read. Now, this isn’t meant to bash Charlotte Bronte. It is meant to give a more in depth-look at the feminist critiques that lie within Jane Eyre and other novels of the time. This is a short read, but there is so much to talk about. I would recommend this to any fan of Charlotte Bronte or those who are a fan of period pieces but are tired of the marriage and/or manner novels.

Let Your Chaos Explode: Reviewing Blood of Elves (Book 1 in The Witcher series) by Andrzej Sapkowski

Hi everybody! I’m back far sooner than I thought I would be as I am suddenly incredibly motivated to get through my TBR list. I’ve also just loved reading any sort of source material if I watch a show that its based on. When I was younger, my mom came up with a rule that if I wanted to see a movie that was based on a book then I had to read the book first. That was obviously no issue for me and has only made me a bigger nerd as the years have went on. The Witcher is simply my latest in the long line of fantasy novels I have devoured so let’s talk about Blood of Elves.

Geralt of Rivia is the Witcher, a famed assassin with magical abilities, who hunts down monsters. His current mission, though, is to protect Ciri, the lost princess of Cintra and the Child of Surprise. Ciri possesses a great power that can be used for good or for great evil. With a war between elves, humans, dwarves, and others on the horizon, Geralt must do everything in his power to prevent this war and save as many lives as he can – no matter what the cost.

Like I said in my review for the prequel novel, this is definitely the perfect series to fill the Game of Thrones – shaped hole in your life. I thoroughly enjoyed the action in this book as well as the elaborate world building. Albeit, there were a couple scenes that involved politics which were pretty slow but, with this being the first official novel in the series, I am going to give in the benefit of the doubt since its important to establish these things. It all ties together nicely and creates a build up for the action, which is very well written. Even though the characters give off the impression that they are “perfect,” they are flawed in the best ways. Sapkowski managed to avoid the Mary Sue tropes that tend to pop up frequently in modern fantasy. It gives off a high fantasy air without any pretentious tropes. I am still thoroughly enjoying this series and have re-watched the Netflix series multiple times.

The folklore Book Tag

Hi everybody! It has been a while since I have done one of these but I saw this on @toastiebooks and couldn’t resist. I am a bit of a closeted Swiftie but her latest album fell right under my taste in music. Shout out to Taylor Swift for always knowing how to put together a great *aesthetic.* Feel free to participate in this tag as well and don’t forget to tag others!

the 1: a book you grew out of

I definitely don’t think I can appreciate The City of Bones series by Cassandra Clare like I used to. Also, I’ll throw in the Twilight series and the Vampire Diaries. I am definitely over any teen paranormal romance.

cardigan: a book you keep coming back to

My first choice for a re-read is American Gods by Neil Gaiman because it just surprises me every time. Following that, I also love can read The Secret History by Donna Tartt and Dracula by Bram Stoker over and over again.

the last great american dynasty: a book where everything goes wrong (in the best way)

Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a great example of hilarious confusion and some poignant thoughts about love and romance. Any Shakespearian comedy embodies this. As for novels, I would pick Pride and Prejudice because Darcy cannot communicate properly to save his life but ends up with Elizabeth because she understands how awkward he is.

exile: ending you didn’t like (ship that sank)

I initially went into The Circle by Dave Eggers with some hope but the ending was super anti-climatic and lame. It’s a very boomer view of “wow! technology is evil!.” Also the main character could have escaped with a pretty nice guy but drove him away.

my tears ricochet: broke your heart

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller gets me every time. It goes right up there with The Book Thief, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and The Kite Runner for me.

mirrorball: a book that speaks to your soul

Honestly, I felt very connected with Jane Eyre as Jane is so confident in her own quiet way. I’ve never been a bold person so it is nice to see someone who is quiet and self-assured. I am using this book for one of my big projects for my final grad school portfolio. I am glad I chose this one.

seven: character that you want to take home and protect

I’m picking Aziraphale from Good Ones because the guy just wants to enjoy his books and spend time with his demon boyfriend. He may be kind of dumb but he must be protected at all costs.

august: summer love

I really don’t read a lot of romance but I would have to say This is How You Lose the Time War was actually really romantic in its own weird way. It’s a great enemies to lovers romance (that’s also LGBTQ+).

this is me trying: mental illness rep

I definitely clicked with how John Green depicts anxiety in Turtles All the Way Down. The main character, Aza, always gets stuck in these “thought spirals” where she keeps going through the what ifs and worst case scenarios. I know not everyone is a huge John Green fan but I really connected with this book in that aspect.

illicit affairs: forbidden romance

The Song of Achilles is going to have to go up here again but I will add on Celia and Marco from The Night Circus. They are supposed to be competitors but end up falling for each other.

invisible string: soulmates

Zachary Ezra Rawlins and Dorian from The Starless Sea have a fantastic “destined to be” relationship in a fantastical setting. For something even more fairy tail-esque, Tristan and Yvainne from Neil Gaiman’s Stardust fit the criteria.

mad woman: vengeful woman

Gone Girl may be a controversial book but Amy Dunne is certainly a woman on a mission who will stop at nothing to get her way. I also can’t not acknowledge basically every woman from The Song of Fire and Ice series, but especially Arya Stark.

epiphany: a loss you’re not over

I still have not forgiven JK for killing off Dobby or Hedwig. My biggest/most recent fictional loss that got me was (spoiler) Kara Resnik from The Themis Files series. That one was unexpected and hurt like a mother. I would still recommend that series, though.

betty: love triangle, f/f romance

I’m choosing f/f romance and This is How You Lose the Time War also gets this one. To summarize, it’s about two warriors, Red and Blue, who come from opposing futuristic societies. Both are sent to change the timeline so their society comes out triumphant but the two end of developing a playful (albeit violent) friendship that turns into romance. I would highly recommend it as its very poetic as well as immersive.

peace: found family

The Percy Jackson series is still a great example of the found family trope, including reliable parental figures. The Unwritten Library by AJ Hackwith is more recent but includes a bizarre but lovable group of misfits that include a feisty librarian, an ex-muse, a novice demon, and an angel who is trying to figure out where he belongs. I’d highly recommend that book.

hoax: a character that fooled you

When I was reading The Shades of Magic trilogy, I really thought Holland was just an *sshole but I actually ended up getting really attached to him. I guess that’s kind of the reverse of this question but Holland had an incredibly tragic past and some valid reasons for his actions. I’d recommend this trilogy too.

the lakes: a book written in verse

I really haven’t read a lot of books written in verse, but the one I am familiar with is Girl, Woman, Other. I’d highly recommend it is as it is intersectional as well as feminist. The style is very unique but easy to follow and incredibly profound.

Mini Double Review: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and Passing by Nella Larsen

Hello everybody! While I work on finishing up the first novel in The Witcher series, I thought I would do a review of some of the novels I have just finished for two of my classes this semester. I am only on week two but these novels (or novellas, rather) are worth me sharing my opinion on as there are some classics that others might be interested in. Now these novels aren’t really related to each other but they both just so happen to be short enough to include in a single post. Let me give you my brief in put on Conrad and Larsen.

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad: Conrad’s most famous and controversial novel explores the bloody colonization process in the Congo. This novel follows Charlie Marlow as he follows the charismatic and ruthless Kurtz through the jungles, while trying to understand what the British really want out of Africa. This novel is certainly shocking and graphic. It is definitely not a casual read by any means, but it is worth a read. The subject matter is important when getting into the field of colonial and post-colonial literature. I would recommend it if you want a complicated but brief novel. It is ideal for analyzing, if that is what your interest is. There is a lot to uncover when reading Heart of Darkness that no one can really answer and that is what makes it so intriguing.

Passing by Nella Larsen: Larsen’s sophomore novel follows the struggle of Irene Redfield, a black woman who is able to “pass” as white. When Irene reunites with a childhood friend, Clare Kendry, she must face the reality of her situation and come to terms with her insecurities that she had worked so hard to hide. This novella was particularly compelling in its subject matter. It also offers a look at a complicated subject with Larsen’s eloquent writing highlighting the social minefield that Irene must navigate. I enjoyed this one more as far as just reading it goes but the analyses is just as interesting too.

Between the two, I would say I actually enjoyed Passing more even though it still dealt with darker subject. Larsen has more tact whereas Conrad is very ambiguous and hard to truly understand. Both are equally important in their respective literary fields so it is worth discussing both.

It’s dangerous for people who shine: Reviewing Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Hi everybody! I am here, I am alive, and my mental health is more stable than it has been. I don’t know why I have been dragging my feet with book reviews since I have had so much extra time on my hands. There was a time in my life when I could read three to four books in one day, but that day has passed and technology is partially to blame. Admittedly, I have mostly just been watching Hamilton on repeat. I am a week out from returning (albeit remotely) to university. I am trying to get in as much fun reading as I can before that. Though I am not technically finished with the novel yet, I am close enough to the end where I feel I can give you all a solid opinion. Let’s talk about Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining.

Dan Torrance has spent his entire adult life trying to escape from the aftermath of the Overlook Hotel. After relying on drugs or alcohol to silence his “shine,” he decides to start clean by getting a job as a hospice worker, where he uses his abilities to comfort the dying and elderly patients, which earns him the nickname “Doctor Sleep.” Everything seems to be going alright for Dan until he encounters Abra Stone, a remarkable young girl with the same abilities as him. The unlikely duo must work together to stop a murderous and immortal cult called The True Know, who prey on kids who “shine.” Now, Dan Torrance must battle this group of murderers while also facing the ghosts of the Overlook.

Before I begin, I will encourage you to check out my review of The Shining. Spoiler: I did enjoy that book so I was a little skeptical, but hopeful, as I am with all sequels. I will start by saying this is a slow but carefully plotted novel. King has always had a knack for build up and this novel was no exception. The scariest parts of this novel are in the smaller details, along with the use of repetition. Like its predecessor, this sequel focuses on the idea of inevitability, which is what makes it so suspenseful. You always feel like you’re waiting for that jumpscare (metaphorically speaking), but the scariest part is that it never comes. When the horror happens, it hits fast and bloody. It doesn’t feel like the most necessary sequel, but it fits nicely next to the suspenseful nature of The Shining. If you’re a Stephen King fan, then definitely read this novel as it is reminiscent of The Shining while still holding its own as a great horror novel.

24 Books and Movies I love since I’m turning 24

Hi everybody! As of today, I’m officially 24! I know it’s not a milestone birthday or anything like that but every year is worth celebrating in my opinion. In life update new, I finally got my own dog. Her name is Quinn and she is a five year old shih tzu. I’m a proud dog mom as she has already made so much progress in just a few days. It has definitely improved this year vastly already. I decided to give you all a list of some of my favorite books and movies that I have discovered over my lifetime thus far. I may have reviewed some of these already so feel free to check them out.

24 Books I still love after all this time (series and standalones included):

  • The Harry Potter series (I won’t be giving the author credit because you know who she is and I don’t agree with her views but the books are still close to my heart).
  • The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (Circe is a great book too)
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • The Sherlock Holmes series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The Shining by Stephen King
  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R Tolkien
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • The Song of Fire and Ice series by George R.R. Martin
  • This is How You Lose the Time War by Max Gladstone and Amar El-Mohtar
  • The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • The Illiad by Homer
  • Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
  • The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
  • The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  • Redshirts by John Scalzi

24 Movies I love and that I think everyone should watch:

  • The Dark Knight (dir. Christoper Nolan)
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (dir. The Russo Brothers)
  • The Princess Bride (dir. Rob Reiner)
  • Jurassic Park (dir. Steven Spielberg)
  • Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn (dir. Cathy Yan)
  • The Phantom of the Opera (dir Joel Schumacher)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens (dir. JJ Abrams)
  • The Lord of the Rings series (dir. Peter Jackson)
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (dir. Alfonso Cuaron) (this one is just my favorite out of the series but I love them all)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (dir. Gareth Edwards)
  • Avengers: Infinity War (dir. The Russo Brothers)
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas (dir. Tim Burton)
  • Heathers (dir. Michael Lehmann)
  • Spirited Away (dir. Hayao Myazaki)
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse (dir. Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman)
  • Inception (dir. Christoper Nolan)
  • Shutter Island (dir. Martin Scorsese)
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (dir. Steven Spielberg)
  • Skyfall (dir. Sam Mendes)
  • A Knight’s Tale (dir. Brian Helgeland)
  • Doctor Strange (dir. Scott Derrickson)
  • Wonder Woman (dir. Patty Jenkins)
  • Venom (dir. Ruben Fleischer)
  • Interview with the Vampire (dir. Neil Jordan)

A kingdom, or this?: Reviewing Captive Prince (Book 1 in the Captive Prince trilogy) by C.S. Pascat

Hello everybody! I’m back and in an incredibly pessimistic mood, which is why I needed to escape into fiction again. I have read this book previously, but in the form of an e-book so I feel like I couldn’t properly absorb what was happening. I don’t know if anyone else feels that way about e-books, or if it just me. The Barnes and Nobles by me re-opened recently and this was my celebratory purchase. Time to talk about the Captive Prince.

Damen had everything as the legendary warrior prince, until his brother took the throne. He strips Damen of his identity and sends him off to Vere to be a pleasure slave, which has long been an enemy to his home country of Akeilos. While there, Damen learns that he will serve Prince Laurent, who is just as beautiful as he is deadly and cunning. Damen quickly learns of the danger that lies beneath the glamor of the Veretian court, meaning he has to hide his identity and make unlikely allies, or he faces a deadly end.

I realize that this book is rather controversial in its subject matter and not because of the Male/Male romance. For those of you who are not familiar with this novel, it does contain graphic sexual violence within the context of a society where slavery is commonplace. Maybe this does not shock me as much because I studied Rome and this reminded me quite a bit of Rome. Obviously, this isn’t to justify it and we have a main character, Damen, who is in the same mindset of the reader. This book is more about politics than anything, which I thought was the most interesting aspect. It actually has a very Game of Thrones feel to it where every character is trying to navigate through complicated politics in which they are trapped. Nothing can be done simply and that is what makes the novel so interesting. Again, I understand any reservations anyone else might have about the subject matter, but I personally enjoyed it. It was just steamy enough without being gratuitous and it leaves you wanting more. It felt like a reworking of some of the worst tropes that tend to pop up in erotic fiction. It certainly doesn’t feel like mom fiction or fan fiction. Pascat is very mature in the way she handles touchier subjects, while also bringing in some inclusivity in the LGBTQ+ genre of literature. Captive Prince is a unique take on a genre that has often been disregarded for so long.

Warning: The novel does contain moments of torture, graphic sexual violence (including assaults on underage characters), and mentions of blood and gore.