Tuesday, October 27, 2015

You're Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day Review

Title:  You're Never Weird on the Internet
Author: Felicia Day
Pages: 262
Published: August 11th 2015 by Touchstone
Source: Library
Links: Felicia Day.com,   Geek and Sundry

From online entertainment mogul, actress, and “queen of the geeks” Felicia Day, a funny, quirky, and inspiring memoir about her unusual upbringing, her rise to Internet-stardom, and embracing her individuality to find success in Hollywood. The Internet isn’t all cat videos.  There’s also Felicia Day—violinist, filmmaker, Internet entrepreneur, compulsive gamer, hoagie specialist, and former lonely homeschooled girl who overcame her isolated childhood to become the ruler of a new world…or at least semi-influential in the world of Internet Geeks and Goodreads book clubs.

 After growing up in the south where she was "homeschooled for hippie reasons", Felicia moved to Hollywood to pursue her dream of becoming an actress and was immediately typecast as a crazy cat-lady secretary. But Felicia’s misadventures in Hollywood led her to produce her own web series, own her own production company, and become an Internet star. Felicia’s short-ish life and her rags-to-riches rise to Internet fame launched her career as one of the most influential creators in new media. Now, Felicia’s strange world is filled with thoughts on creativity, video games, and a dash of mild feminist activism—just like her memoir.

Hilarious and inspirational, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is proof that everyone should embrace what makes them different and be brave enough to share it with the world, because anything is possible now—even for a digital misfit.
I can't stand non-fiction, but every now and then I will give one a chance.   I love Felicia Day ever since I discovered who she is.  When I think back about how I discovered her I can't exactly remember.  I think it may have been when her music video Do you want to date my avatar came out.  For those of you who have no idea who she is.. basically she is a a geeky girl who is really just present on the internet. She has branched out and has had some cameos in shows (Supernatural, Eureka).  I have seen Felicia Day twice now.. once at the San Diego Comic Con and then again at the Denver Comic Con.  It was the San Diego con that really sold me on her.  It was when she and Wil Wheaton were launching Geek and Sundry (a geeky youtube channel).  I just knew she was cool like me.

Throughout the book Day talks about playing video games (especially World of Warcraft (WOW) which inspired her internet show The Guild), being homeschooled, going to college, acting, and all that jazz. After reading the book I just can't figure out how she made money before The Guild to pay rent! She would just be at home all day playing WoW.  She did a couple commercials she said, but how does that pay a year's expenses!  I like how in depth she is about her Guild years.  How the youtube videos kind of went viral and then she had so much pressure to make it bigger and better.

She had a small section about dealing with anxiety.  I had heard about this section and was quite curious about it.  She kind of talks about dealing with anxiety and depression but goes on to say that she finally went to the doctor and it was her thyroid.  Honestly I felt a little let down by this.  It was a perfect opportunity to talk about mental illness and the fact that taking meds and getting help is not embarrassing.  Alas.. it was her thyroid.  Meh.  She did recommend though going to therapy and that it can be a huge help.  So there is that.  She does talk about her insecurities about being an internet persona.  By being on the internet everything you do gets commented on and she gets a lot of negative comments.  I can't imagine reading that everyday.

One of the most interesting parts of the book for me was a section about #gamergate.  This was a big ordeal on the internet a while back.  It is a long history so if you are dying to know about it google it, but basically #GamerGate" is an online movement ostensibly concerned with ethics in game journalism and with protecting the "gamer" identity.  One of the main things that resonated from it for me was the hate against women who played video games. Day wrote a Tumblr post on it and then things got crazy for her.  People on the internet of course publishing her home address and phone number.  I just don't know why it's a big deal that girls play video games.  Who Cares!

Anyways... this was a great book.  I am so glad I read it.  I think I made it through this non-fiction book because Day is interested in a lot of things that I am interested in.  She included funny pictures throughout the book so it was also kind of funny to read though it wasn't meant to be a comedy. I would recommend this book to everyone!!

5 stars!

Holy Smokes UPDATE:  I got a little love on twitter for this review.  Including some likes for Felicia Day herself and Geek and Sundry.  I'm popular!  They are the last two on who favorited my Tweet.  I'm so stoked!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Goosebumps - Movie Review

Those that follow the blog may have noticed that there haven't been a lot of movie reviews on the blog this summer.  I did see the new Mission Impossible and The Martian but didn't review those.  I hadn't actually planned on seeing Goosebumps this weekend (eventually I would've) but a friend wanted to go so I went.   I am glad I did.  I didn't read Goosebumps when I was younger. They were actually written when I started high school so I missed the train.  I did read Fear Street a lot and loved those so I do enjoy a good RL Stine book. I still have my whole Fear Street collection of books!

The movie is kind of meant for a younger crowd so be prepared for that if you to see it.  The movie is about the author of the real life book series Goosebumps, RL Stine, and how all the characters he has written about come alive whenever a book is opened.  There is an abominable snowman, ceramic gnomes, werewolves... all kinds of creatures.  The CGI of these are amazing.  A young boy and his mom move to a new town and become neighbors of a girl and her creepy father.  Who warns them to stay away from his house or bad things will happen. Of course the boy ends up getting into this trouble and all hell breaks lose.  One character in the movie nerdy Champ (Ryan Lee) is so hilarious.  Honestly.. usually Jack Black takes the cake for me but this time around Ryan Lee made me laugh soooo hard. 
We did see it in 3D... only because that was the next showing.  Usually we skip 3D these days because of the cost.  It was good in 3D though... monsters and such jump out of the screen at you.  I am not sure if this is too scary for kids or what?  I suppose if you haven't really introduced your kids to horror themes then you may not want to take your young one to this.  The movie did inspire me to buy my little cousin who is 7 some Goosebumps books for Christmas.  I think it's time she was introduced to RL Stine!


Friday, October 16, 2015

Comic Adventures Issue #30

I read a lot of comics and rarely review them here on the blog. That's because I really don't have a lot to say for an entire post.  So I thought I would review several comics on one post.  I will still review graphic novels on their own now and then, but this is where I will talk about super-hero type comics (DC/Marvel) or sequels to some that I have already reviewed.

This issue I talk about Wonder Woman vol 6, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe vol 4Aquaman and the Others vol 1, and 
The Flash Vol. 5.

I still love this comic soooo much.  I just love what they are doing with Wonder Woman.. the fact that she has her own story going with zero crossover. Of course there will be new writers for the next issues.. so that sucks. This issue sums up the whole story arc we've been following and I loved it.  Wonder Woman VS the First Born. There was a little damsel in distress with Zola (the mom of the baby that is in danger).  Sometimes that got annoying in each comic but of course that is what Wonder Woman was supposed to do through this series.. protect Zola.  The ending actually kind of surprised me.  I didn't see it coming.  My favorite character Hades totally gets messed up.. that part was a little confusing.  I don't know why that was included there is some guy eating him.  I'm not sure how this happens they don't show it.  The art is still really great there are two artists in this issue and they flow really well.  Otherwise this is a really really strong series.

5 out of 5

So I am still reading along with the He-Man comics. This one was only OK for me.  Previously we saw the banishment of Skeletor, the Sorceress come back and then gone again, and the loss of Castle Greyskull.  So in this comic the King has an idea to go and bring the Sorceress back from the dead. The art work in this one is not my favorite especially comparing it to the first volume.  Eventually the crew is able to go make it through to the Sorceress and there is a twist there.  I was disappointed that She-Ra wasn't in this one.  I am not sure how far DC will go with this series.  There doesn't appear to be a lot of reviews on goodreads for it and I suspect then that it doesn't have a high readership.  Such a bummer.  Honestly I am hoping for more from the next comic.  I miss Skeletor and his crew.

3 out of5

I waited a little while to write the review on this one so forgive me if I can't remember everything I read. I love Aquaman, so I was curious about this comic.  I had chosen to not read anymore new comic series but then this came into the library and so I read it.  I didn't even remember putting it on hold! I didn't feel like there was a great introduction to the new characters "The Others".  I liked those characters because I love to see new powers.  Two of the characters looked the same to me and I had to think about which one I was reading about.  I saw this comic is getting a low score on goodreads. I don't know how popular the characters in the Others will be.  There are already so many superheros that I don't know if any of them are stand out characters.  I don't think I will read issue 2 since this one is a little forgettable.  3 out of 5

I almost gave up on the Flash comic a while back, but kept going.  Especially since I love the show so much. In fact... I was never really interested in the Flash until the show. I am glad I kept reading.  The comic had a great team up between the Flash and Green Lantern.  I have always loved the chemistry between the two of them.  What I liked about this comic is we get some plot for the bigger overall story of the Flash.  Who killed his mother??   I do miss some of the art that was in some of the earlier comics by the previous illustrator. I thought that art was genious.  Where the comic itself seemed like it was moving.  I'll continue on in the series for sure.  4 out of 5


This counts for 48 comics towards my 2015 Graphic Novels Challenge!!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel Review

Title: Station Eleven
Pages: 336
Published: September 9th 2014 by Knopf
Source: eaudiobook library
Link: goodreads, Email Mandel.com

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization's collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity. One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur's chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them. Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten's arm is a line from Star Trek: "Because survival is insufficient." But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave. Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.
This was the third audio book I listened to on my summer road trip.  I am so glad a friend of mine who is a big reader too recommended it to me.  She failed to tell me that the first little while was not good.  I almost didn't continue it when I was first listening to it in the car.  I thought maybe it was because I was tired and just sick of listening to books and needed some music. But my friend said the same thing happened to her when listening.  So maybe this book just starts out slow.  I am surprised I hadn't heard about this book before now. 

The book is basically about the planet after a super virus comes through and kills most of the population.  It is not a unique plot.  The first thing that comes to mind for me is Stephen King's The Stand which I love and blew me away.  But the writing does make this book engaging.  This book is good because we read about different characters and how their lives mix before and after the virus hits the population.  I think the book was kind of beautiful.  Even though the characters were faced with terrible times we still read about the good things.  I enjoyed how the book would flashback to before the virus during old Hollywood.  The ending of the book is left up in the air which didn't bother me, I think that those type of endings are perfect for books about the end of the world.

One part of the book I thought was neat is that the people were traveling to a Museum of Civilization that they had heard about.  Eventually while reading we get to the Museum and it made me wonder if all technology and everything disappeared and we reverted to the days of ruff living what would I want to remember the most from technology??  My phone?  A fan?  Personal hygiene would be something I would really miss.  Brushing my teeth and having a dentist!  I think I would miss a phone, and I'm not talking a cell phone.  I mean just a phone to be able to reach out and talk to my loved ones.  

One of the blogs I follow did a fantastic book club meeting about this book.  Seriously why isn't there a book club like Delicious Reads near me. Overall I think this was a neat book and it will make you think.  In a book club I can see this book having amazing discussions. I give this 4 stars for the slow start but then it becomes wonderful.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Landline by Rainbow Rowell Review

Title: Landline
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Pages:  310 pages
Published: July 8th 2014 by St. Martin's Press
Source: eaudiobook library
Links: goodreads, Rainbow Rowell website

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now. Maybe that was always beside the point. Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn't expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her. When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything. That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts... Is that what she’s supposed to do? Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?
I love that I got 3 audio books in on my long summer road trip. This is one of them... I have no idea why I chose this as one of the books I listened to! I think it's because people love Rowell so much and she gets so much buzz.  I have actually read two of her other books Eleanor and Park and Fangirl both were average for me.  It's just that I am not a contemporary reader.

This book is about a married couple, Georgie and Neal who have been married a long time and are just at that point in marriage where you have last the spark and are trying to get it back. Georgie has a great job and a big event coming up that might make her job even better.  She writes TV shows and a pilot has just been green-lit so over the Christmas holiday Georgie is supposed to work on it.  Her family (they have two kids) have tickets to go to Ohio for Christmas though with Neal's family.   So most of the book is about the two of them being apart and Georgie debating her marriage and what she has done right and what she has done wrong.

There is this past and present dialog going on through much of the book. I couldn't decide if I was reading a fantasy or not! We get the past narration from some magic phone calls.  Georgie is able to communicate with Neal in the past by using the landline in her mom's house.  Sometimes I would be annoyed because she never talked to Neal like the whole time her was in Ohio.  She would call and his mom would make excuses, her kids wouldn't let her talk to her husband... I mean, if it were my husband I would tell someone put him on the dang phone.  There were several times in the book were I was frustrated with moments like this.

I had issues with the whole job thing too.  I understand Christmas is important.  But if Georgie is the breadwinner of the family she needs to work to make a good life for them.  Sometimes... sacrifices have to be made for jobs.  I guess though if your marriage is on the brink going to your inlaws is pretty important. Rowell does write relationships really well.  Sometimes I really related with what Georgie was feeling when it came to her marriage.  I have been married as long as the characters in the book so most of their experiences I've dealt with.  

In the end I had a lot of issues with the Landline!  This time travel stuff.. I mean.. we never find out if Neal remembers these phone calls.  I know the phone line was set up for the plot.. so that we can see the characters interact.  I felt though like I never got to know the present day Neal only the 20 something Neal.  All in all this book is only average for me. 3 stars