Mel in Movieland | Three new TV shows I am currently watching.

Mel in Movieland

I admit that I am a TV show addict. I have an entire spread dedicated to all the TV shows I am currently watching, so I can track all the episodes I have watched – and still need to watch. It has come to the point that I need to set a specific amount of TV shows I allow myself to watch or it will be too much. According to my spread sheet I am in the middle of watching 30 series and that is pretty much the number I want to stick with. Some of them are already finished (either cancelled or done) and some of them are ongoing (so I have no choice but to wait)

Today I want to spotlight some of the shows I recently added to my spread.

SENSE 8.
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This TV show is really interesting and it is has one of the most unique concepts and cast I have come across so far. This story is about eight different characters who are suddenly connected to each other. Every one of them is in a different life situation and that makes them all fascinating. They are able to jump into someone else's life when the situation demands it, and this has saved some of their lives already, because someone is hunting them down. It sometimes makes them look crazy in real life, because they are talking into thin air.   
   
Capheus Onyango, a matatu rider from Nairobi. 
Sun Bak, daughter of a businessman and a rising star in the underground kickboxing, from Seoel. 
Nomi Marks, a transgender blogger and hacker from San Francisco. 
Kala Dandekar, an university graduate working as pharmacist from Bombay. 
Riley Blue, a dj from Iceland who lives in London. 
Wolfgang Bogdanow, a locksmith and criminal from Berlin. 
Lito Rodriguez, a homosexual actor from Mexico-City. 
Will Groski, a police officer from Chicago.


BLACK MIRROR.
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This is such a confusing show, because I'm still not sure if I enjoy it, but at the same time I can't stop watching. Every episode is one story, so you can watch them in any order you want. Every setting is science-fiction based and focuses on an aspect of what could happen if the world completely embraces technology. It shows the fine line we could cross between humans and robots. It makes me question and think; it makes me freak out and horrified.

Think about the concept of having a chip installed in your head where you can store all your memories, so you can play them over and over again or even show them on a TV screen. Think about having a copy of your personality ruling your house-hold or being part of an experiment to make the most extreme frightening computer game that can read your biggest fears and use these against you. It's pretty messed up, but I recommend you check it out.

OUTLANDER.
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Trigger warning: this show contains violence (like lashes) and rape, in a detailed way. I can handle many things, but or some reason I can never watch lashing scenes. There is something incredibly brutal about it.. and the rape episode made me feel quite horrible too, because it is so graphic. I knew it was coming (I have read the first three books a long time ago), but I wasn't prepared for it.

This show is about Claire from 1945 who is on a second honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands. When she touches a magical stone, she is transported back into 1743 where she meets Jamie Fraser. He is part of the McKenzie clan of Castle Leoch and he is a wanted man, searched for by Jonathan Randall. He happens to be one of the ancestors of her husband. I really enjoy the way the actors portray the characters (and who doesn't fall for Jamie's accent?) and the storyline. It is time to pick up the books again.

Have you seen any of these TV shows? What did you think?

Audio Book Adventures | Ready Player One.

Also: I'm not sponsored by Storytel. They don't even know who I am. Note that this is a Dutch website, another version of Audible. It is basically Netflix for audiobooks, because you pay 9,99 euro per month and can listen to as many audiobooks as you want.

9969571Listen Ready Player one by Ernest Cline on Storytel.

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the  OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.


5/5 for voice. Wil Wheaton did one hell of a job in portraying the voice of Wade. He had me completely hooked to the story. He had all kinds of intonations for different emotions and I was swept away by the story of Wade. He turned him into a likable character.

3/5 for story. I loved the plot. The world is a terrible place and people use the OASIS to escape their daily lives. Wade is a Gunther; one of the many people who are trying to find a hidden egg in this virtual world. It was created by Holiday, who left his entire fortune up for grabs after his death. Five years have passed and no one has found the first clue yet, until Wade stumbles upon it. This is the beginning of a life/death race to find the Egg.

The pace is slow and tedious. There are a lot of descriptions and detail, which could be a bit too much for my taste. It made the story a little hard to follow at times. I wish some parts were more interesting, instead of descriptions of things like the surroundings.

I loved Wade. I really liked Artemis, 'H' and Soto + Deito. It is a diverse cast with good dynamics.
I was appalled by the fact that some people were willing to kill in order to win the game, but also not surprised, because it is definitely something that would happen in real life too.

Like I said, there are parts that the author wrote with MANY descriptions.  I'm not sure if I would enjoy this as a written book, because it was definitely thanks to Wheaton's brilliant storytelling that I kept listening.

Review | C.J Redwine – The Wish Granter.

Title: The Wish Granter.
Author: C.J Redwine.
Pages: 432.
Publication: February 14th 2017 by Balzer + Bray – I got an eARC from the publisher through Edelweiss. Thanks!
The world has turned upside down for Thad and Ari Glavan, the bastard twins of SĂșndraille’s king. Their mother was murdered. The royal family died mysteriously. And now Thad sits on the throne of a kingdom whose streets are suddenly overrun with violence he can’t stop.
Growing up ignored by the nobility, Ari never wanted to be a proper princess. And when Thad suddenly starts training Ari to take his place, she realizes that her brother’s ascension to the throne wasn’t fate. It was the work of a Wish Granter named Alistair Teague who tricked Thad into wishing away both the safety of his people and his soul in exchange for the crown. So Ari recruits the help of Thad’s enigmatic new weapons master, Sebastian Vaughn, to teach her how to fight Teague. With secret ties to Teague’s criminal empire, Sebastian might just hold the key to discovering Alistair’s weaknesses, saving Ari’s brother—and herself. But Teague is ruthless and more than ready to destroy anyone who dares stand in his way—and now he has his sights set on the princess. And if Ari can’t outwit him, she’ll lose Sebastian, her brother…and her soul.
RATING:

I fell in love with The Shadow Queen – and hereby I declare it as one of my favorite retellings of Snow White – so I was extremely excited about The Wish Granter. This book is part of the series, but they have separate stories.

Alister Teague is cursed and he uses all his wit to break free. If you come across him and you make a deal with him, it means you are screwed. Alister is a foul player and that is how he manages to use Thad's desperation against him. He forces the boy into becoming King and in return, Alister will keep Thad's sister Ari save from their murderous family. Ari isn't happy with this change of life and together with Sebastian, she tries to come up with a plan to get rid of Alister.

Ari is feisty and intelligent. She knows something is up with Thad and the mysterious Teague and she's not going to wait to see what is going to happen. Instead, she is doing her own research and this leads her in the arms of Sebastian, the new blacksmith with a story of his own. Piece by piece Ari finds out what has transpired between Thad and Teague and what this will mean in the future. Her plan to release Thad is dangerous and shows her loyalty for her family. I adored the fierce love between her and her brother. It was nice to finally have another book with a healthy brother-sister relationship. It was my favorite aspect of the story.

Thad and Sebastian are both solid character. Neither of them are really memorable on their own, but I liked their role in the plot. The blossoming romance between Sebastian and Ari was adorable. It's not one of those I SHIP THIS HARDCORE ship, but I liked their chemistry and how supportive they were.

The plot is fast-paced and the writing-style is so smooth and easy to read. This is the type of book you could read in one sitting. I still liked The Shadow Queen more, but I can't wait to see what more stories Redwine is going to write in this world.


"Sometimes having courage means the hardest tasks fall onto your shoulders."

Monthly Recap July + August '17 | Engagement and Vacation time!

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A lot of things have happened these past two months (all really exciting), so I was too busy to write separate recaps. Here is an overview of all the things I have done that made me happy:

July:
The most important and best thing that happened: my boyfriend went down on his knee! July 25th is the day we (finally) got engaged. He asked me in a romantic way and he designed a beautiful ring for me. I couldn't be happier!

I took some steps towards becoming more active: I had a yoga lesson in a park, when we had a beautiful sunny day, and I had a test day at a sport center (that I will join when they are done with their restorations)

I had some friend – and family time. I ate spareribs with my grandmother and grandfather, I had lunch at the Yogurt Barn with my mother and sister, lunch at Bagels & Beans with my sister and a trip to the hair dresser, I went to a birthday party from a friend and I saw Despicable Me 3 at the cinema with friends.

Engagement ringDuomo FlorenceSienaVenicePisaSwimming pool

August:
I went to Italy last year (and three times before it too), so for many people it was no surprise that we went there again this year. We are definitely Italy-lovers at this point. Last year we booked a tour that brought us to many different places, but we both decided we needed more freedom.

This time we flew to Florence, where we had an apartment with swimming pool on 5 km from the center. We spend 4 of our days in Florence and we made trips with the train to Siena, Pisa + Lucca and Pistoia. We had two full days of just lying at the pool with a book. After 11 days we moved to Venice, where we had 3 more days before we flew back home.

I can say that this vacation was PERFECT. We really enjoyed having a pool, where we could dive in after our full day of walking. We had the BEST ice cream in the world every day and pizza's like they are meant to be. We also had the best weather you can imagine.

I can finally cross off three places on my bucketlist (Florence, Pisa and Venice) and I definitely need to return to Venice at some point. It is such a magical place and I loved to wander around all the alleys and to see all the beautiful buildings. We also hired a gondola and although it was really expensive, it was so worth it! Siena was a surprise and I ended up falling in love with all the all the Medieval influences.
   
If you are interested in more vacation photo's, I share some more on my Instagram: Mel_1704.

I had a delicious lunch together with my sister and then we went to buy some plants. I had a fantastic wedding party from Daisy, who looked beautiful in her dress - and two book club meetings.