July/August/September/October Favourites!

Hello! I’m back with my favourite books of the four months mentioned above :p Honestly, I don’t even know who reads these, but I do them anyway. Because I feel good about myself for posting something <sheepish grin>

Some of my favourites I’ve already talked about in my Read-a-thon so I won’t talk about them again- The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas), The Muse (Jessie Burton), The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (Gabrielle Zevin), and Salt to the Sea (Ruta Sepetys).

Anyway, here is the proper list 🙂

  1. All the Light We Cannot See- Anthony Doerr (July)
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    Read my review here.
    I loved it. Absolutely loved it, and I was completely 100% invested in the story, the characters, everything.
    5/5 stars.

    “What do we call visible light? We call it color. But the electromagnetic spectrum runs to zero in one direction and infinity in the other, so really, children, mathematically, all of light is invisible.”


  2. Obsidio- Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff (August)
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    “It is entirely possible to be alone in a crowded room.  Your solitude only compounded by the faces around you.  The presence of others serving only to remind you of how lonely you truly are.”

    I did NOT want this series to end, I’m so attached to every single character, its mad. I never in a million years expected to read a science fiction book (series) like this one and love it. My friend suggested that I read it, knowing that I appreciate artsy things, and man, I cannot thank her enough for it :’)
    What I loved most, the most obvious thing, the layout of the pages. I have never seen a book that was designed like this, and I didn’t expect for it to work so well. A bunch of case files, transmissions, artificial intelligence reports, and surveillance camera visuals in the form of reports. I’m wondering why the hell I thought this wouldn’t work…. it was brilliant. The use of black and white and the balance of the two was genius. The pages where you have to turn the book round and round to read the spirals or constellation type lines were particularly my favourites.
    Coming to the actual story itself, the fact that it centers around space travel, artificial intelligence, and stations and conflicts between land and space is…it boggles my mind, I want a trip into the authors’ minds. Some of the things that happen over the course of this book was so unique and unheard of, I was in awe. As   I was after each of these books.
    Reflecting back in general, I didn’t think that characters from a book like this would be so memorable, because there are virtually no dialogues or descriptions, besides what is seen from cameras or overheard from transmissions. I loved all the main characters, and Ezra Mason has my heart. He is so funny, I had to pause to laugh. Everyone was so well rounded, and they had their flaws and their strengths and they were equally in play.
    *sigh* I’m sad the series ended, but I found the ending lovely.
    5/5 stars.


  3. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine- Gail Honeyman (September)
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    “These days, loneliness is the new cancer – a shameful, embarrassing thing, brought upon yourself in some obscure way. A fearful, incurable thing, so horrifying that you dare not mention it; other people don’t want to hear the word spoken aloud for fear that they might too be afflicted, or that it might tempt fate into visiting a similar horror upon them.”

    This book was something completely unexpected for me. The premise was of a woman who has poor social skills, and has a steady schedule set for herself. As you begin to read, you get more and more glimpses into her life. She is literal to the point, oblivious to everything around her and to what is being said. The things she said sometimes were hilarious, and at other times, so deeply sad. I think this book had the perfect balance of being funny, sad, and poignant. It reminded me of A Man called Ove.
    The phone calls with mummy genuinely scared me, like I’m scared right now just thinking of the scenes. It’s not like she’s a serial killer, but she gives me the vibes. I did not like her at all…
    Things I loved about the book (everything)- the author didn’t transfer Eleanor into a perfectly cured woman at the end, didn’t push the potential romance, didn’t make it picture perfect, far from that to be honest. She showed the character go through a whole ton of things, to show that she survived, and that’s what matters.
    “In the end, what matters is this: I survived.”
    Raymond was a great character, and so was the man they saved on the road. They were all so well written, I felt like I was watching them live in front of my eyes.
    One of the main reasons I appreciated the book so much was the fact that she was in love with the idea of being in love. She idolized a singer that she saw for the first time, and built a future with him. I liked that the angle of having this fantasy ran through the whole book, and made her realize a lot of things that she wouldn’t have otherwise. Highly highly recommend this book to everyone. I guarantee that you will laugh, cry, and relate to her 100%.
    Also, this book is so so so quotable.
    5/5 stars.


  4. Eliza and Her Monsters- Francesca Zappia (September)
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    “There is a small monster in my brain that controls my doubt.The doubt itself is a stupid thing, without sense or feeling, blind and straining at the end of a long chain. The monster though, is smart. It’s always watching, and when I am cmpletely sure of myself, it unchains the doubt and lets it run wild. even when I know it’s coming, I can’t stop it.”

    My god. Can I just, straight up say this is in my top 10 favourite books of the year. I don’t know why I picked it up, I saw someone on booktube post a haul video, and it said the main character had a graphic novel, and I had to read it. I thought the start was a little rocky, it took me a few pages to really get into it, but oh I did.
    I must say, Eliza is a character that I related to so much. The fact that she is scared of a lot of things, she can’t talk to strangers very easily, and that sometimes, she gets too involved in her work.
    What started out as an easygoing, light story became much darker than I anticipated towards the end. In the beginning, it was fandoms, fan fictions, new friendships, but it delved into anxiety, panic attacks, and even suicidal thoughts.
    What I loved though, was that the characters dealt with everything, and nothing was left undone. Eliza sees a therapist, and is actually getting better, and so is Wallace. Their reactions were so real and raw, I could see them playing out in front of me.
    I really appreciated the angle of Eliza turning to her favourite author as a kid to try to figure out what she would have done in her place. I also loved how the author showed the situations with the ups and downs of being a creator of something, and how fans react to your work. It was brilliantly done, and was woven so well with the rest of the book.
    Going back to the anxiety part, I didn’t find it overwhelming at any point, it was a part of the story, part of Eliza’s life, and didn’t seem forced at all. It was subtle and yet, very much present. When she starts to have second thoughts about finishing her book, I feel like I related to it a lot. I have a lot of doubts whether people will read what I write, and I feel like she felt the same with her book. I think it’s perfectly natural to feel that way, and I loved how the author made it like that. P.S. the gorgeous illustrations are a full bonus.
    5/5 stars.


  5. 1984- George Orwell (September)
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    “War is peace.
    Freedom is slavery.
    Ignorance is strength.”

    I started this probably about a year ago, and finally managed to finish it. I must say, I found the book very boring at times, but mainly because of the way it was written in long winding paragraphs, I think.
    The concept of the book was brilliant, and it managed to creep me out from start to finish…especially the last few chapters. My friend and I were reading it kind of at the same time, and every now and then we’d go ‘OHMYGOD THAT PART WHERE-‘, discussing every event.
    The idea that someone is always watching you, and getting into your brain to monitor what you’re thinking is terrifying. ‘Big Brother’, obviously has been the driving force behind several reality shows, but this original is the scariest. A person who thinks of the possibility of betraying the system gets caught by the law, and if you do get caught for actually saying it out loud, then nobody can save you.
    I liked how Winston gradually descended into the thought process of feeling that the system was wrong, and didn’t have that thought from the beginning? I don’t know why, but this felt more realistic to me, probably because he’s an employee, and can’t afford to think like that. I liked the relationship between him and Julia.
    Coming to the things that scared the crap out of me- what Big Brother says is the only truth, history is what they write; it can be changed, it can be fake, no one knows, but what they say is the truth. Every time the book mentioned burning old information and printing something new made me think of how someone once asked me, ‘How do we know that things really happened back then? How do we know that ‘history’ as we know it, is real?’ Honestly, this stuck with me, and as I read further in the book, it made me think even more.
    Big Brother wants everyone to be alone, not too alone; together, but not in unity; and most importantly, obedient and ready to eat up the knowledge of the day- what is printed now is real, nothing that happened before was real.
    Scary as hell.
    4/5 stars.


  6. Sadie- Courtney Summers (September)
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    “People don’t change. They just get better at hiding who they really are.”

    Again, top 10 books of the year.
    I’ve read two of Summers’ books and loved both of them, and its no surprise I loved this one too. This was in my most anticipated books of the year, and it exceeded all my expectations. Firstly, the book is written in a completely new format; it follows two accounts, one of Sadie, who is on the hunt for the man who murdered her little sister, Mattie ; and West McCray, who is creating a podcast based on Sadie’s story. When I heard about the format, I was excited, and also worried that it wouldn’t be personal enough, boy was I wrong.
    Sadie’s accounts go back and forth from the present to the past, and the way she talks and behaves made me love her from page one. She has a stutter, and is not bogged down by it. She goes on a road trip, of sorts, to find the man who killed her sister. As the book progresses, we see details of her childhood starting to surface, and gives the readers all the more reason to push her on to find the man. There is not much live interaction between Sadie and Mattie, its almost all in the form of a recall.
    We see her go from town to town, meeting new people, trying to fit in for a brief amount of time to get any information she can to find new leads, and get beaten up and hurt really badly to the point where you’d expect her to fall over and die. And she still never rests until she finally finds him. She is armed with a pen-knife, and is fearless as she traverses place after new place. What I loved was how raw this book was, the whole story is so real and it had so much depth to it, as all of Summers’ books have, in my opinion.
    Reading about Sadie; her life, her love for her sister, about her mom and her many boyfriends, and her grit to want to kill the man who she believes killed her sister; was heart breaking, to say the least. It wasn’t cliched, not one sentence was cliched.
    Reading about West McCray; his fears of uncovering the truths underlying missing girls and the fact that he can’t take another dead girl were portrayed so well.
    I absolutely loved how Summers used both a podcast and a first person narrative to tell Sadie’s story. The podcast perspective was just such a novel way to tell the story: different people, different leads, and different versions of what happened.
    I had a gaping hole in me after I finished this book, it was harrowing.
    5/5 stars.


  7. The Handmaid’s Tale- Margaret Atwood (October)
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    “If it’s a story I’m telling, then I have control over the ending…But if it’s a story, even in my head, I must be telling it to someone.You don’t tell a story only to yourself. There’s always someone else. Even when there is no one.”

    Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. Don’t let the bastards grind you down.
    Wow. I have read so many good books this year, with such different, unique stories, this being one of them.
    To me, this had elements of 1984 inspired events. Everyone is watched, no one can dare talk against what the system says, and yes a generally creepy vibe.
    This book was terrifying. Honestly. The fact that every single situation can still happen in the world, at some point, is terrifying. Having women live to breed and nothing else is so scary, and yet weirdly doesn’t seem very impossible. It’s scary because many people already have views similar to those of the Gileadean (hope I spelled it right) society.
    Women are considered fit for nothing but breeding, and if they are infertile, are called Unwomen. The transition from normalcy to this regime was described so well and it was very realistic. Going from having a normal day at an office desk with piles of papers and a paper cup of coffee, to being clad in red and going from house to house to breed; it was frightening and it was so realistic. The scenes with the ‘ceremony’ were….messed up. I found the dynamics between the Commander and Offred, as well as between the wife and Offred very interesting. The fact that illegal things and places were still accessible and people found a way to use those things, was a small victory for the gruesome world they lived in.
    The book dealt with themes such as patriarchy, gender roles and mainly, the perception of a women. Again, to think that every event in this book can actually happen in today’s world only makes it scarier.
    5/5 stars.

 

I had a great few months of reading, I must say! Here are some honorable mentions:

-History Is All You Left Me- Adam Silvera (I almost cried) – 4-4.5/5 stars.
-The Shell Collector- Anthony Doerr – 4/5 stars.
-Night Sky with Exit Wounds- Ocean Vuong – 4/5 stars.
-My Friend Dahmer- Derf Backman – 4/5 stars.
-Persepolis- Marjane Satrapi – 4/5 stars.
-Bastard- Hwang Young Chan (webtoon) – 4/5 stars.

Bye for now! 🙂

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DIY Braided Rug

Helloooo, I don’t think I’ve ever done a DIY post on the blog, so hi this is the first one!! I absolutely love making crafty things, anything and everything. For real. I make a lot of things, 99% of them go to my friends or family as gifts, and I’m left with scraps of paper and leftover pen ink or paint remnants. I therefore decided to finally make something for my house.

I’ve seen these ‘rugs’ around a lot on Pinterest, and thought I’d try it out. I found a video on Youtube, which is linked here.

I tried to take a few pictures to help explain the process, I’ll attempt to make things clear :p

Firstly, you’ll need three old (or new, hey its your life) t-shirts to chop up. Watch the video to understand the cutting process better, because I think I’ll be bad at explaining it. I forgot to take a picture of the first t-shirt, sorry :p

These are the things you’ll need- t-shirts, a pair of scissors, some thread and a needle.

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I didn’t use the black one, let’s just ignore it, shall we? And you only need one pair of scissors, I was testing sharpness….

These are the two t-shirts I remembered to take a picture of.

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What you do then, is start cutting at the bottom hemline, and when you get around to the same point on the back, move up a bit and start cutting above it, parallel to the previous line. [I apologize, that probably makes no sense] Basically, up until the sleeve area, you’ll get one looooooong strip. The rest of the shirt that’s leftover, just cut into more strips.

It does NOT have to be even or neat, don’t worry. Just cut away and have fun. The picture below is the strip rolled into a large ball. As you can see, I was in the middle of stitching the rest of the strips together.IMG_4456.JPG

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This is just a random picture of me attaching two strips :p

I made three cross stitches across two pieces. It’s stronger than a normal straight stitch, so I went with this. Sew all the strips together just like this. Overlap one over the other a little bit, and sew.

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These are the three very large and long balls of the shirt strips. Beware, it’s all fun until this part. Now comes the hard part. Its fun, but god, it took forever to finish. Now we get on to the braided part.

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I tied the top of the three long strips together [double knot for safety], and clipped that to my window grill. THEN. I kid you not, it took me about 4 or 5 hours to get this done. Braiding is easy, its the fact that we have such long strips all rolled into a ball that makes it hard. Basically, what I did for a long time was to sit on the floor and move the balls of cloth back and forth, like over and under, like a normal braid….idk what I’m saying.

And then, I made my grandfather come help me :p He held the ‘braid’ while I moved the cloth so he tightened it at the base. I recommend getting someone to help, it makes it ten times easier.

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This is the end product, which [we measured] was about 12 meters long. Just tie the ends together like the top.

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P.S. Really happy with this picture hehe. 

When you have your cobra of a rope ready to go, start rolling it in. Start with one end, and roll it around itself, like a coil..coaster..type..thing.. YOU GET THE IDEA, I HOPE. To keep the rope in place, you obviously have to attach it. Hot glue works, I tried it on a smaller coaster that I made with leftover scraps, but I personally think thread is safer and I wanted to stitch so I did.

Every now and then, quite frequently, stitch together two of the adjacent rope…bits…just one or two stitches are enough. Attach the entire length of rope like this.

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FINAL PRODUCTTTTTTTT. It took three days, and a lot of effort and time, but I’m so happy with it. Its more of a mat, less of a rug, but who cares? We’re currently using it on our dining table, so its cool 😀 It looks really pretty, and I’m quite proud of it!

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That’s alllllll. I hope this was a decent post, I will try to do more DIY posts for sure. Bye bye.

April/May/June favourite books!

Better late than never, yes? Yes. Let me begin, I have a lot to talk about!

  1. Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda- Becky Albertelli (April)
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    Read my review here.

    “It is definitely annoying that straight (and white, for that matter) is the default, and that the only people who have to think about their identity are the ones who don’t fit that mold. Straight people really should have to come out, and the more awkward it is, the better. Awkwardness should be a requirement.”

    Bottom line, I absolutely loved it. It made me very very very happy. It had just the right amount of drama, romance, emotions, friendship, it had everything. This book is the reason I’m getting back into YA. After reading Eleanor & Park last summer, I had to get over the trauma by not reading much YA. Now, I have regained faith in the genre, thank god.



  2. Night Film- Marisha Pessl (April)
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    “Sovereign. Deadly. Perfect.”

    I’m not calling this my favourite book or anything, but it was definitely good. It wasn’t as bad as some reviews, and it wasn’t as great as other reviews, it was in-between for me. I gave it between a 3.5 and 4 stars. What I enjoyed was the format of the book, with the case files, and evidence, and reports. What I didn’t appreciate, however, was how long the book got. It’s like how in movies, they add half an hour to the end by giving a character cancer. This book had so much unnecessary detail, in my opinion.
    [SPOILERS]
    When one of the suspicions was that voodoo and black magic had killed Ashley, I loved it. Maybe that’s just me. With all the creepy things that were already happening in the book, present time and backdrop included, the author could have kept the black magic part, but I was underwhelmed at the ending to be honest. Also my god, the idea that McGrath could have been stuck in a Cordova movie MESSED with my mind, in the best way possible. If that was the case, I would have hands down given the book a 5/5. I liked the book a lot, just not enough to recommend it to everyone.



  3. I Have Lost my Way- Gayle Forman (May)
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    “To be the holder of other people’s loss is to be the keeper of their love. To share your loss with people is another way of giving your love.”

    My review is here.
    But I’ll add some stuff here too. This book was raw, sad, happy, funny and heartbreaking/heartwarming all at once. The three stories of Freya, Harun and Nathaniel overlapped beautifully, and the backstories were genuinely so well thought out. What I loved about the book and its characters was the diversity. A Muslim boy, a girl with a half Ethiopian background, and a white boy with an almost childish father who’s life goal is to prove that things are infinite.
    Freya, being on the way to fame as an internet sensation, loses her voice and is unable to sing. The reasons are unknown throughout the book. The flashback has incidents about her parents, mostly her dad, her sister and her agent.
    Harun is gay and Muslim, and is struggling to come out to his family, and to tell them about a dark skinned boy that he’s in love with. His story had a lot of prayers, and references to living in America being a Muslim, and added depth to the book.
    Nathaniel’s story is perhaps the most mysterious, because as the book progressed, there was so much more to him than meets the eye (pardon the pun, he loses an eye). His father always said they were a ‘fellowship’, but Nathaniel realizes now, after his father died, that a fellowship needs more than just two people and that he is truly alone.
    The title is completely justified, because the three characters have lost their way, and in the course of one day, from strangers, they somehow maybe are able to find their way.



  4. The Woman in the Window (May)
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    “You can hear someone’s secrets and their fears and their wants, but remember that these exist alongside other people’s secrets and fears, people living in the same room.”

    Wowiee that was a page turner. My friend gifted this to me, after going through my good reads shelves ❤ I can’t thank her enough, because this was a thriller right up my alley. One thing that annoys me with thrillers these days (this included) is having the main character be an alcoholic woman. It just bothers me. BUT. This book was so good! Why I wasn’t that bothered by it, is because she wasn’t just an alcoholic, but she had agoraphobia, depression, and all this being self-diagnosed led her to become an alcoholic, which made her character so realistic. I expected one climax, but the two main ones, holy shit, I never would have thought of them. I also really enjoyed how big a role old black and white movies played, in her life and in the plot as well.


  5. Leah on the Offbeat- Becky Albertelli (May)
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    “I swear, people can’t wrap their minds around the concept of a fat girl who doesn’t diet. Is it that hard to believe I might actually like my body?”

    I want to quote every line of this book but I cannot.
    Can I just declare my love for Becky Albertelli? I thought the first book was amazing, same goes for this one. I’m sorry but the movie did ZERO justice to Leah’s character- first of all, hello, visual representation was nonexistent, and second, it was Katherine Langford. Sorry please NO.
    Anyway, this book was fluffy, serious, lighthearted, so SO funny, and just made me feel all fuzzy and warm. I don’t think anyone needs to like or dislike YA, just read this series, it is guaranteed to make you smile at least once in each page and burst out laughing throughout. And hello, new relationships, new friendships, SO CUTE I WANT TO SCREAM.



  6. The Toymakers- Robert Dinsdale (June)
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    THIS BOOK. I didn’t know I needed this book until I read it. I saw it at a bookstore but decided to splurge on a cool copy of ‘Brave New World’ instead of this. I don’t regret buying that, but I want a physical copy of this too ._.
    The premise is really simple, a pregnant young girl runs away, subject to judgement back home. She saves up enough money, so she takes the train to London. When she gets there, she finds a poster advertising ‘Papa Jack’s Toy Emporium’. She goes there, and finds solace in the humble toy shop. That’s the premiseWhat happens through the rest of the book was simply magical, in all the good ways.
    The writing style was fluid, almost poetic, in a way. It talked about war, trauma, toys, and the simple joy of storytelling. There were toys from our childhood, wooden ones, rocking horses, things like that; but there were also toys that, even in our dreams, seem too good to be true- paper forests, marching bands of soldiers. What I loved was that there was an added angle of the toys having a mind of their own, which was just unprecedented.
    The characters were all genuinely nice, no one was annoying, and their relationships were beautiful.
    If you still believe in magic, I’d suggest this book to you.



  7. Before the Devil Breaks You- Libba Bray (June)
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    “The King of Crows raked his fingers across the dark until it bled. He licked the blood from his fingers with a forked tongue. “People will believe anything, you know. You only need them to be frightened enough.”

    My review is here. I can not, will not stop talking about this book because I loved it that much. Still my favourite book of the year so far.The atmosphere, the language, the people and the things they believed in, racism, the horror of eugenics, everything from 1920’s New York is in this book. Flappers, speakeasies, they all add so much to the plot and made the book such a fast paced read. I read 5 pages and felt like I had read 20 because of the pace.



  8. Heartless- Marissa Meyer (June)
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    “To be all right implies an impossible phase. We hope for mostly right on the best of our days.”

    I already talked about Jest in my Mid Year Book Freakout tag, so I will try not to again. I really really enjoyed this book. It had been in my shelf for over a year and one day I just thought I’d give it a shot. It was so so so good. First off, an Alice in Wonderland setting, second, all the humor and absurdity of Lewis Carroll mixed in with the imagination of Meyer. They all made for a great book.
    Cath is a baker (WIN), Jest is possibly the prettiest joker to exist (WIN) and there were creepy little prophecy girls (WINWIN).
    Pumpkins, a jabberwock, baking, creepy little girls, the mad hatter, Cheshire, the pocket watch, endless mazes, the book has it all.



  9. Legendary (Caraval #2)- Stephanie GarberIMG_1973

    “Every good story needs a villain.But the best villains are the ones you secretly like.”

    I already talked about Dante in the freakout tag so 😛
    I really liked Caraval, and I really enjoyed this too. I was rooting for Dante and Tella the entire time, and I also really liked the new character of the snarky prince xD
    Why I like this series this much, is that one, I love carnival settings, two, Garber has a flair for making ordinary things seem magical. Making a carnival interactive and a real life game is, in itself, genius, and then adding hints, twists and turns, taking or giving a few hours of your life in exchange for something, were all brilliant.

 

Thats all for now!

Read-a-thon.

Hiii! I watch a lot of Youtube (a lot of booktube) and I chanced upon the Read-a-thon challenge last month. It was supposed to start on 30th/31st July and I conveniently forgot about it 😛 I started on August 2nd, and ended on August 9th.

The challenge is to basically read 7 books in 7 days. I couldn’t finish one of them over the weekend, so I had to do it in 8 days. I had a good time, I will explain my thoughts further after I talk about the books. My friend suggested that I do this from best to worst, so that’s what I’ll do.

  1. Salt to the Sea- Ruta Sepetys [A book with an element in the title or story]
    9780141347400

    “Guilt is a hunter.
    Fate is a hunter.
    Shame is a hunter.
    Fear is a hunter.”

    I cheated a bit. I was supposed to read a book with a hat on the cover, and I found Treasure Island, but it’s quite fat, and a classic, so I decided to not read that in a rush. I asked a friend to suggest a different challenge, and she gave me this one! I am so glad she did, and so glad I got to read this book during this challenge. Here’s her blog, its amazing
    I always check reviews on goodreads before I read a book, and I trust very few reviewers. I decided to pick it up, and I’m glad I didn’t go by my favourite reviewer’s thoughts for once.
    For me, war time books and historical fiction are on the top of my list of favourite genres. I read ‘Between Shades of Grey’ last year, I think, and I really liked that too. Many people say they felt ‘nothing’ after reading her books, but for me, I was drawn into the tragedies that she talks about from page one.
    What I loved most about this book was the fact that it talks about the worst maritime disaster, that most people have no idea about. The story is about four very different characters, and we read from all four perspectives.
    A 15 year old Polish girl, whose Aryan appearance keeps her safe in war time Prussia. She can’t speak German, and nobody outside her small group can know she’s Polish. She’s pregnant, and makes up a relationship with a boy to make herself feel okay about it, but it was really the Russians who did it.
    A young nurse who holds herself responsible for her cousin’s death by accidentally revealing their address in a written note.
    A restoration artist/thief who believes that a small, priceless object could be his way of revenge upon Hitler.
    A young sailor, who seems a little strange in the beginning, writing mental love letters to a woman, and it is unclear until the very end if she feels the same. In the end, we see how the trauma has affected him, and how he faces the world every single day by calling himself a hero.
    Every single character in this book was memorable to me; annoying, sweet, caring, any trait they had, I will remember them. Especially a small boy and an old shoemaker whom he calls ‘Opi’ (grandfather).
    The story follows the characters through Prussia as they, and tens of thousands of other people vie for a spot on the ships that leave the country, so they can go to their families. Oh, the things they see and do.
    The ship, Wilhelm Gustloff, was made to fit 1,500 passengers, but takes in over 10,000, with two doctors and one nurse to take care of the sick and wounded. In the end, the Russians attack the ship with torpedoes. In less than an hour, over 9,000 lives were lost, because there were only 12 life boats. Everyone thinks of the Titanic as the greatest disaster, but this is the worst disaster at sea. The few people balancing on rafts give details of thousands of bodies floating around them, thousands (over 5,000) of children. Sepetys gives a few facts at the back, and said that over 25,000 people perished in the Baltic Sea during that time.
    The book was truly gut wrenching to read. The writing was so simple, and yet was a punch to the face with subtlety. I loved it.
    5/5 stars.


  2. The Muse- Jessie Burton [A book with a pretty spine/cover]
    b2231bc3721a99a3d3ee876755f1be5b

    “…Is there ever such a thing as a whole story, or an artist’s triumph, a right way to look through the glass? It all depends on where the light falls.”

    Look.at.the.cover. It was supposed to just be pretty spine, but I also said pretty cover and cheated again 😀
    I did not expect to like this book as much as I did, really. Just going by the premise, I thought it’d be about a typist and her not so mundane life at the gallery. I was wrong. I found this book to have layers and layers of backstory, which did not seem boring or the least bit unnecessary. Honestly, I don’t think this is for everyone. I wish everyone would appreciate the writing style as much as I did, but apparently not .___.
    The book is about a woman, Odelle Bastien, who, after leaving her job at a shoe shop, decides to apply at the Skelton gallery in London. Her best friend, Cynthia, who she lived with, gets married and moves out. Odelle is bored at home, and will not admit that she is. She’s a poet, and strangely, wrote more often when Cynthia was home; after she left, she has no drive to write very much.
    She runs into a man at Cynthia’s wedding after party, and he manages to scour through London and find her at the gallery one day. He tells her that he has a painting that belonged to his mother, and wants to know if its of any worth.
    Without giving away much, the people at the gallery think its definitely of some worth. It is in fact, a rare piece by a painter from a few decades ago. Odelle thinks her mentor of sorts, Marjorie Quick, has something to hide.
    The book shifts between this time period, and the painter and his employers’ lives, years ago, in Spain, during the war. The details from back then seem a little unnecessary, but towards the end, every little thing counted.
    What I love most about the book was, firstly, Burton’s ability to write deeply flawed, complex relationships. Complex is the only word I can find, because they’re so realistic, and none of them seemed forcibly written. The book talked about art, the Spanish Civil War (which was cool, because I’ve never read from that time period), racism, classism, and also gender discrimination. The main plot twist involves how women at the time were not considered ‘able’ to be painters/artists, so they had to give up on their dreams.
    I really really enjoyed the book. I’m not going to lie, it had heavy topics, it was fat, and had small font and was over 400 pages, but I still managed to finish it in a day because it was really good.
    5/5 stars.


  3. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry- Gabrielle Zevin [no specific category]
    9780349141077

    “We are not quite novels. We are not quite short stories. In the end, we are collected works.”

    [Sorry for the tiny cover, but I wanted to use the one I have a copy of.]
    Anyway. This book was so funny, so moving, and just so good. It was definitely one of the funniest books I’ve read in a while :’)
    The book has no complex plot line, no weird unnecessary characters, nothing like that. It told a simple story of a middle aged man, who is grieving the death of his wife. He owns a book store, the only one on the island, and one day, he is left a package. It’s a little girl with a note addressed to him, from the mother, asking him to take care of her. He is grumpy and sarcastic, but this little baby changes him.
    The book talks about the simple, inherent love of books, finding love in the smallest things, and to find humor in every situation. The book has summaries of several short stories before each chapter, which I loved. The book also talks about the slow death of physical books and the advent of the digital readers.
    Every single character was sweet, funny and real at the same time. I loved all of them, and I don’t think I’ll forget for a long time. I flew through the book so quickly, savoring each word, it was so beautiful. It’s weird how I have so much to say about this book, but I just cannot.
    5/5 stars.


  4. The Hate U Give- Angie Thomas [A book to movie adaptation]
    9781406372151

    “A hairbrush is not a gun.”

    ****This. book. is. important.****
    I wanted to start this review with that line. I feel like this is one of those rare books that manages to be funny, heart warming, heart breaking, and majorly important all at once. This book was brilliant. I can’t say that enough. Inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, the book talks about a young girl, Starr, who witnesses the murder of her friend, Khalil. He was shot by a cop, when Khalil, in fact, was unarmed.
    Police brutality, in my opinion, is NOT talked about enough. It happens, and people talk about it for a while, and its over. Done and dusted. The reason I liked this book so much was that it openly talked about so many issues that the world is going through, and it did it loud and clear.
    Racism/Discrimination: Starr is one of the only black girls in her school, among all the white kids. She says at the very beginning, she has two different lives, one for her neighborhood, and one for her school. She has a white boyfriend, and people often gave them looks, as if wondering, ‘Why her?’ Her ‘friend’ is one of the most racist characters I have ever encountered. She asks an Asian friend of theirs if they ate a dog for some festival, and never feels any remorse for saying it. She also tells Starr to ‘get over’ the death of Khalil, and feels sympathy for the white cop’s family. Unapologetically racist.
    Police brutality: Starr and Khalil are in Khalil’s car, and he’s about to drop her home, when a cop car stops them on the road. The white cop asks Khalil for his license and identification papers, which he gives, after trying to get a reason for them being pulled over. He never gets an answer to that. Khalil comes to the passenger seat to ask Starr if she’s okay, and he reaches down to pick something up. The cop shoots him. For no reason whatsoever. He was unarmed, and the cop shot him.
    Later, we find out two things. One, Khalil was about to pick up a hairbrush, which the cop just assumed was a gun. Two, the cop kept his gun pointed at Starr until the ambulance came, as if she was a threat to him. This entire part made me so angry, and it needed to, that was the whole point.
    Relationships/Friendship/Family: Honestly, for me, this book had some of the most flawed characters I’ve ever read, and that made them that much more realistic. Every single one of them was complex, and yet simply just themselves. The relationship between a black girl who lives in a poor neighbourhood and a white boy; between neighbours in the neighbourhood coming together to pull out the worst man among them all to save the place; between family members, both parents and siblings, when Starr was in the middle of the shooting; they were all done so well.
    There is no guarantee that using your voice will change anything, but you can sure as hell try.
    I’m not sure about how I feel about the movie trailer, I just have to watch it to know, I guess.
    5/5 stars.


  5. Alice’s Adventures Underground (Illustrated)- Lewis Carroll [A book that has something related to what you want to do]
    IMG_2642
    Not much to say about this 😛 I picked this for the challenge because I would love to publish a book like this one day, with illustrations.
    It was cool, I gave it 4/5 stars.


  6. The Happy Prince and other tales- Oscar Wilde [A book cover that has green on it]
    9780143427339-us-300

    “love is not fashionable any more, the poets have killed it.”

    I was enjoying the book thoroughly, until ‘The Fisherman and his Soul’. Ohmygod. I’m sorry, I love Oscar Wilde, but jeez this was so long, I dnf-d (shelved it as ‘did not finish’ on one day, which is why it took me an extra day to finish my challenge. I could not read that story. I managed to get through the last 25 pages of the book on the next day and moved on to the final book.
    3/5 stars.


  7. Oroonoko- Aphra Behn [A book based on a coin flip]31Isx8M0pjL._SX343_BO1,204,203,200_

    “Possessed with a thousand thoughts of past joys.”

    <deep deep deep sigh> I wish the coin had flipped the other way. I was so excited to read this because I’ve never read anything by Aphra Behn, and everyone knows how important she is. I have never in my life been as bored as I was with this book, I kid you not. Its only 115 pages, and it took me longer to read this than to read a 300 page book, because I was so distracted.
    First of all, the book had quite a few racist things in it, which annoyed me. Then, there are no chapters, the paragraphs are divided but it makes no difference; to me, it was like reading 115 pages in one go with no gaps. If it was an interesting story I wouldn’t mind, but this was dry. The story is about an African prince who turns into a slave. In between, the author talks about things that they used to trade; not just a few things, the list went on for the entire page. One e n t i r e page about the items. And this happened two more times I think, so thats 3 out of 115 pages filled with a list of items being traded.
    The story did nothing for me, people died, I felt nothing, he became a slave, I felt nothing, whatever happened, I felt nothing. I had to play music while reading to get through, which I never do.
    I felt generous so I gave it a 2/5 stars.

 

Okay, thats it! Read-a-thon is officially over ^.^
My thoughts on the challenge- quality over quantity. A few years ago, when I found some PopSugar reading challenge, I was racing (with myself) to read 40 books a year in a rush. Now, after this challenge, I feel like I can read 60+, if I take my own time and don’t force myself to read it all at once. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy this challenge, I did. I had a lot of fun reading every single day, and I felt so productive at the end of it. I thought I would have no time for anything else, but surprisingly I did. I read really fast, which is why I could finish such big books in a day, I’m very proud of myself :’)
I also barely talked to anyone during these days so I think everyone’s happy I’m done :P*

Thats all for now 🙂 Next post, I PROMISE will be the best books I read in april, may, june and july. Byee.

Mid-year Book Freakout Tag!

Hiiii 😀 I have been putting off my blog posts for way too long…. I’m here now though :p* I watch a lot lot lot of Youtube, mostly booktube, and I feel like I get a lot of these blog posts done because there are so many challenges and tags out there. I get that people probably prefer videos because they’re fun to watch, than read a long post 😛 But, I am never getting in front of a camera so bear with this :))))) Also hey, for the first time ever, I will attempt to do a spoiler-free post. These are all going to be really small reviews, because my next post will be books I read in April/May/June (favourites).

ANYWAY. Here is the Mid-year Book Freakout Tag. First time I’m seeing this, so I’m doing a post on it. Enjoy ^_^

 

  1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2018: Before The Devil Breaks You – Libba Bray
    9780316356510

    This is quite a big book, over 550 pages, with quite small font. I read over 350 pages in one day, with next to zero human contact, cooped up in my room. It.was.so.good. The story follows all the characters from the previous two books, with quite a few new ones. I think Libba Bray is one of those authors that have the most character development I’ve seen. Even through a single book, each character has so many things to reveal, and so much to add to their personalities, it boggles my mind.
    It was brilliant. Best book of the series, and best book I read this year.
    P.S. ‘The man in the stovepipe hat’ might seem like a not-so-scary name for a ghost, but wait for him to show up. I don’t know how Bray comes up with such creepy characters, and it’s not even in your face. Okay I will stop.


  2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018: Lair of Dreams – Libba Bray
    lair-of-dreams-a-diviners-novel-original-imaf3qq7awmsfpfz
    I debated going with ‘Girl in the Tower’ by Katherine Arden, which is the sequel to ‘The Bear and the Nightingale’, but this one trumped that. I already wrote about both of these books in my Jan/Feb/March Favourite Books, which can be opened here.


  3. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year: Vengeful – V.E. Schwab
    81GPFyKR3AL
    I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS AND I CANNOT TALK ENOUGH ABOUT V.E.SCHWAB. Vicious was one of my favourite books I read (I think last year), it had every element I love in a book- mystery, rivals, weird things like near death experiences, barely any romance, and strong characters and plot. Need I say more?


  4. Biggest disappointment: The Sun and her Flowers – Rupi Kaur
    41izL0igvJL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_
    Honestly, I didn’t even expect to like this book, but I thought I’d give the poet a second chance. I cannot get into this headspace of reading poems like these. Some of them were genuinely good, and so were some of the illustrations. Pay attention to how I say ‘some’, because I didn’t like 90% of them. One was literally ‘i want to honeymoon myself’. I get it, self love, and empowerment and everything, but this is just not for me. I think I will still try to read more of her work to see if I might actually end up liking it.


  5. Biggest surprise: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertelli
    915Hg0EpqfL-2
    I’m going to be completely honest, I am never easily impressed with YA. They’re great fun to read, and are light, fluffy reads, but I’m never overly impressed with them. So, when I finally decided to read this book, I never expected to love it so much. I read the ebook in about two and a half hours flat. I couldn’t stop, I couldn’t tear my eyes from the screen. The characters, the setting, the story, it was all so cute and so…. sweet. I don’t know how to do justice by reviewing this book.
    The story was simple, but it delivered its intended punch with the meaning behind it. The author wrote so simply, and yet, as I said, made such an impact. It was so cuuuuute.
    The movie did NOT live up to my expectations though, let me just say.


  6. Favourite new author (Debut or new to you): Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
    81v5wp2zeQL
    Again, being completely honest, the book was a little slow for me at first, and I read about 200 pages and I forgot to pick it up for about a year, at least. Last week, I picked it up again, and kicked myself for not finishing it back then. This book genuinely made my heart shake, bend and break throughout the book. (Like this post if you get the song reference)
    I already love war time stories, and this one just added another dimension to the setting. Doerr did a simply brilliant job in bringing the time to life, by making characters that are different, and not used as protagonists that often. More in my next post.


  7. Newest fictional crush: Dante (Legendary – Stephanie Garber)
    IMG_1973
    (Please ignore the colour around the book, its my bedsheet because I couldn’t find this cover online)
    Dante.is.just.everything. I think I paid more attention to him than I did to some (most) of the other characters. He has this air of mystery surrounding him (always love that) and he is so snarky and sarcastic, it just rounds off his character even more. He’s dark and mysterious, but he’s also caring and sweet. His backstory, even though it is incomplete, gives us, as readers, a clear image of him. AND OHMYGOD THE ENDING. I EXPECTED IT A LITTLE BIT, BUT AT THE SAME TIME I DIDN’T.
    Anyway, in my head, based off of Garber’s description; he’s gorgeous. And has a ton of tattoos, so yeah, gorgeous.
    -end-


  8. Newest favourite character: Jest (Heartless – Marissa Meyer)
    03eb0eebd669f32eeef56ad0e7395ece
    My heart went with the ending of this book, it just went.
    Jest, as the name suggests, is the court jester at the Kingdom in Wonderland. I took one look at his description and just….
    1. He has great lines, and jokes.
    2. He has eyeliner rimmed eyes.
    3. He takes Cath on adventures and is one of the only people who supports her wanting to open a bakery. He is also very very very sweet.
    4. He fits the previous question of a fictional crush.
    His character was so well-rounded and he was so…. good. I will go on forever if I don’t stop now, but yes. New favourite character. I kind of wish it wasn’t a standalone, but it ended well so it’s okay.


  9. Book that made you cry: I Have Lost My Way – Gayle Forman
    i-have-lost-my-way-9781471173721_hr
    I wish I read the physical copy and not the ebook, because I just realized this cover (I bought it later) has a map on it :’)
    Anyway. This was also a surprise of sorts to me. I really liked ‘If I Stay’, while not a lot of people around me did, and I expected a standard YA story with this too. Like the illustration on the cover, I was tangled up in the story from page one. I read this in around three hours too, in one sitting.
    I got my YA dose, but also a good dose of emotion. It wasn’t in your face, like death and misery, but it was subtle, which made it even better. The three characters were so relatable, and so diverse, it was so nice to read from their perspectives. The story takes place over 24 hours, and we read from three perspectives; sounds like a lot to take in, but it was beautifully done.
    When I put it under ‘made me cry’, I mean I just felt all the….feels. The smallest things hit really hard. It was great.


  10. Book that made you happy: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertelli
    [and also ‘Leah on the Offbeat’, the sequel]


  11. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year: I bought a lot of books this year already…. but I’d pick these two off the top of my head.
    We Are Okay – Nina Lacour (the book was good, not that great, but good)
    I LOVE THE COVER THOUGH.
    91QENbI4ShLThe Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss (haven’t read it yet)
    The_Name_of_the_Wind_(UK)_cover


  12. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
    Lets just start off, I have a lot. I’m only mentioning a few though.
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo- Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Human Acts- Han Kang
  • Any book by Lang Leav
  • Sadie- Courtney Summers (ALSO MAJORLY ANTICIPATING THIS)
  • Salt to the Sea- Ruta Sepetys
  • Persepolis- Marjane Satrapi
  • The Traveling Cat Chronicles- Hiro Arikawa
  • Chekago- Natalya Lowndes
  • The Elements of Style- Strunk and White
  • The Name of the Wind- Patrick Rothfuss

Thats all for now! Hope you enjoy 🙂

13RW MAJOR RANT.

if i swore, this post would be full of colorful words.
<FULL ON SPOILERS AHEAD>

Hello everyone, and welcome to my review of 13 Reasons Why Season 2. If you really want to read this whole thing, then thank you and good luck getting through this.

Now, I saw the trailer show up on my youtube feed and I thought, well I have to watch this, and review it, for my very small circle of people who will actually read this. My cousin sent me a message almost two months ago saying the second season is out and that she can’t wait for me to review it, and she laughed a lot. Would you believe it motivated me to do this even more? :p

So, I started watching the first episode, and began to passionately rant (I think I should make it an occupation) right here in the draft section, and I made notes during every single episode. I was sure I wanted to write this rant but I doubted it after I watched some of the more sensitive scenes. I’m not saying I hated every single scene, because I didn’t. There were some scenes and parts of the story that I liked a lot, they were cute or thought provoking, so cool, okay. But I think those nice parts paled in comparison to what I hated. Which was 90% of the show. I don’t know WHY the hell you would even think of making a season 2 for a show already so bad and problematic, in my opinion. But hey I guess there’s a demand for a season 3 as well so :)))))))))))) I found this season 1% better than season 1 though, I’ll give it that. It was still complete shit, but better.

Okay let me begin. I’m going to go episode wise.

\\ EPISODE 1- Tyler’s testifying, and he goes on about how beautiful Hannah was, and how nice she was to him. He also tells the court about how she agreed for a photoshoot and then suddenly stopped talking to him later on. Bryce meanwhile, tells people that Jessica wanted it and he never really raped her, which is the story the little shit continues to tell until the very end of the show. Alex is back from the hospital, I’m glad he’s alive- he can’t remember much of what happened earlier, before his attempt at shooting himself.

OHMYGOD THE DEFENSE LAWYER WHO REPRESENTS THE SCHOOL IN THIS WHOLE CASE IS ONE OF THE MOST ANNOYING CHARACTERS TO DATE. She actually insinuated that Hannah and Tyler were bullied because they let people do it. So, according to her, they had something to do with them being bullied, like they were the reason for their own misery. What kind of message does this show want to put out? I wish I knew, because it’s still the first episode, and it’s this bad.

Jessica is back in school after six months, and what does she see? Posters announcing to the school that she lied about what happened to her, and people calling her a slut. I have a very vital question to ask, which I had throughout every school scene actually- can schools really be this shitty? How do the teachers not know, or know and not do anything? Either way, it’s really sad.

I had a huge issue with Skye as a character. Yes you find out later that she has Bipolar Disorder, but even up until then, I really never appreciated her, at all. The stuff that she says about Hannah all the time really got on my nerves, the show did not have to include certain dialogues (in the next episode). She also says something about suicide being for the weak in season 1, and I hated her ever since.

ALSO, THE SCHOOL ‘BANNED’ TALKING ABOUT HANNAH/ALEX/SUICIDE??????? Is that how awareness is created? Seriously? Isn’t it always ‘talk about things, talk to people’? Then why is it that banning things of actual importance seems like a good idea?!?

I think Clay gets the first polaroid in this episode, which on the back says Hannah wasn’t the only one, or something. He gets one more later, of Bryce bent over some unconscious girl, whose face you can’t see.

\\ EPISODE 2- Wow yes Hannah’s ghost following Clay around is exactly what this show needs. I don’t know how I feel about Mr. Porter, he seems okay and seems like he genuinely wants to help the students, after he couldn’t help Hannah; better late than never, I guess. And why and HOW is everyone so mean to Mr. Porter? Who the hell talks to their teachers like that? How do they get away with saying things like that?

I think one of the most awkward scenes on the entire show is the dinner with Skye. Right after which she tells Clay: ‘You’re in love with a f-ing dead girl’.

Can we just. Do you see why I have an issue with this girl?

\\ EPISODE 3 Skye is obviously going through some things, and she self harms, and Clay is willing to do anything he can to help her, but she doesn’t want help- just like when he told Hannah he’d stay and she ended up screaming at him to leave. I get that people need to figure things out about why they feel certain things, and for Skye, maybe she has to figure out the harming on her own and in her own time. I just feel bad for Clay because he’s always pushed away. So many times, he tried to help someone, they pushed him away, and later, blame him for it.

Skye really keeps blaming him for thinking about Hannah. How can she even expect him to just completely put an end to his thoughts about Hannah? Skye wants him to cut her out of his life? Ugh, I don’t get it.

I also thought the blossoming friendship between Cyrus and Tyler was cool, until further events happened, and then I realized it was quite toxic.

And I think Chloe is stupid for going out with Bryce. That’s all.

“We expect them to put a label on us, and we just do it ourselves.”

// Jessica Davis //

\\ EPISODE 4- MARCUS WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT ALL ABOUT? LYING IN COURT ABOUT HANNAH LIKING BRYCE? He actually covered for Bryce and according to him, cleared Bryce’s name in court. I honestly do not understand why all the boys are so loyal to Bryce. Team Captain, so what? They always cover for him, they always support him, even when he’s doing shit to girls, and they always do what he says. He’s got himself a nice bunch of servants.

\\ EPISODE 5- The scene with Tony and Justin was nice; I liked that they confided in each other because they were both up to some stuff, and they might as well tell each other than other people who wouldn’t understand. I like that they trust each other, and aren’t killing each other.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME, THE COACH KNOWS ABOUT THE PLAYERS TAKING DRUGS AND PROVIDES THEM WITH ‘SYNTHETIC PEE’ SO THE PEOPLE WHO COME FOR A CHECK WONT FIND OUT??!?!?!!? DOES THIS HAPPEN IN REAL LIFE SOMEONE PLEASE EDUCATE ME IF IT DOES.

Tyler is the outcast, I mean, he’s always been; and now that he has a group of friends (Cyrus and co.), he’s making Ryan feel like an outcast. Yes, Ryan did a bad thing by publishing Hannah’s poem, but I never thought it was that big a deal. Compared to some of the actual problems that she showcased on the tapes, I don’t think he even comes close to being a stupid reason. Nobody deserves to be treated like an outcast just for ‘dressing gay’ or being ‘classic homo’.

By this episode, I didn’t like Cyrus that much anymore, yeah he’s pretty, but he superglued the DVD player shut so the substitute teacher couldn’t play her movie; why are kids so mean to their teachers?

I had a couple of boys in my class (12th grade) who locked the door shut and didn’t let the teacher in for 15 minutes, none of us inside knew it had happened because they were so loud, and the windows were all shut and we couldn’t see anything. Our teacher came back the next day and cried in class because of all the shit that these guys pulled with her, that day and before. Treat your teachers nicely, kids. Or did they not teach you that?

\\ EPISODE 6- Zach and Hannah……okay….I really like Zach and all, but it’s really weird for them to go out. I don’t know. I  do think he’s one of the good people that Hannah had around her and chose to actually talk to. But is it even possible to keep one entire month of dating a secret? Stupid question, clearly, on this show, it is. I mean, what, nobody saw them together all the time, at the docks or cafes? They’re quick to jump to conclusions over everything, how did no one see this? I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, Hannah was happy and all, so whatever, I guess it was fine. I just find it completely unrealistic, that’s all. They were actually really cute, reading together and everything, and it wouldn’t have been weird, if he had told his friends. BUT then again, Zach probably didn’t want them to know, because they’re idiots, and they’d never let them be in peace. He knew the consequences of what would happen if he told Bryce and everyone, so he made the decision to keep it quiet.

What does Ms. Hannah take it as? ‘It doesn’t mean anything to him’. Ugh stop pls. At least for a second, she could have tried to think about his position. She knows who he’s friends with; can’t she wrap her head around the fact that she’ll get dragged even more if they find out?

Justin makes so much sense when he talks about how Hannah is called a slut because she had an interest in three guys, but when he’s been with a lot of girls, he’s hailed for that. Zach says the athletes all brag about what they did with girls, and Justin was possibly trying to show that, when you’re a guy, you’re credited for doing things like that, but when you’re a girl, and you go out with someone, you’re instantly labelled.

\\ EPISODE 7- Clay and Hannah spent a night together after doing drugs. How wonderful. Why is this season literally people being called to court to dig up dirt on Hannah? I mean, what will that do for anyone? She’s dead, I don’t know what good that will do to anyone, her family, her friends. I really don’t get it- it’s making her parents feel worse about everything. I feel like all the kids know more about each other than they really need to; the bullying and blackmailing has ever so slightly (sarcasm) increased; the bullied are becoming the bullies (Tyler really goes rogue this season).

Alex really did have the saddest birthday party ever. I mean, everyone’s miserable, they fight, he throws a fit and screams about how he would have been better off dead. He is in the middle of an arcade, screaming his head off at his parents, who are only trying to make him better. I like Alex, but he really annoyed me this season, with being so loud and showing so much attitude.

Clay uploads the tapes online, and titles it ‘Justice4Hannah’. Well that’s just great, now you want to be dragged and let everyone else be dragged.

\\ EPISODE 8- I’m sorry to contradict anyone’s views, but Clay honestly annoyed me to no end this time. More so than last season. Why would he upload the tapes, even when ghost Hannah is telling him not to? But hey finally at least Bryce is a little scared. It’s cool that the tapes are up, just to see the look on Bryce’s face. I loved the sequence of scenes where he walks into school to find ‘Rapist’ sprayed across his locker, and says it’s nothing to worry about. Then he hears his voice in the loudspeakers saying ‘All girls want to be raped’. It’s about time he worries at least a little bit. He has a legal team, and people like Senators telling everyone what a fine citizen he is, and I was 100% sure, from scene one, that he’d get away with everything, and he’s not going to pay for what he did to anybody. Bloody hell, money really has some value in this world.

\\ EPISODE 9- I was glad Bryce’s mom, at least, has the least bit of sense to suspect him of being capable of doing wrong things, unlike his dad, who thinks Bryce is an angel son. You wish, mister.

I liked how Mr. Porter actually said Bryce’s name in court as Hannah’s rapist, and strongly believed that Bryce was a bad kid. I think he’s a pretty okay man, who else would have said that he could have done more, but he didn’t? Later on, he even says that the school system needs to change.

BRYCE. The idiot conveniently lies to Chloe and says that Hannah and him ‘hooked up’ (never happened), and that she got obsessed with him (fat chance). And Chloe believes him :))))

The ending of this episode was….gutsy to say the least. Clay, Cyrus and Tyler vandalize the  field, and they narrowly escape being seen by a group of people going into some shack behind the field, which turns out to be the clubhouse place where basically, a lot of crap happened. Clay leaves then, and Cyrus and Tyler outline gasoline onto the grass and light it up. It says ‘Rapists’.

\\ EPISODE 10- I quite like Justin and Clay living together. There’s a plot twist when a former classmate of Hannah’s from her previous school testifies in court that Hannah had been a bully to her. I don’t know how I feel about that, I’ll be honest. This only gives the defendant lawyer woman she extra fire to be even more annoying than she already is, which I didn’t think was possible.

We also find out that it was Chloe in the polaroid (with Bryce bent over an unconscious girl). Zach helps them find the box full of polaroids in the clubhouse, which they take as evidence.

\\ EPISODE 11- Bryce stop lying stop lying stop lying. I was starting to believe that Chloe was becoming sensible when she agreed to testify against Bryce in court. I guess not. She takes one look at Bryce’s face and begins to change her whole testimony, saying she remembers everything that happened that day. I asked once, I’ll ask it again, why does everyone protect this damn guy? I’m sorry, but the next part is in caps because I typed it in rage.

GUN LAWS MAN GUN LAWS ARE ASDFGHJK WHAT THE HELL THE SERIES KEEPS SHOWING TYLER AND CYRUS AND NOW CLAY SHOOTING AT CANS AND BIRDS (and enjoying it) IN THE MIDDLE OF SOME FORESTY AREA, WHAT IS THAT WHY WOULD YOU RANDOMLY HAVE GUNS LYING AROUND

Oh my god. Hannah is so annoying, following Clay around, spouting her damn tape about Bryce. I am sorry, but she genuinely makes me want to scream in frustration.
I don’t get why Tyler posted those pictures of him and Cyrus on facebook….what are millenials (says one herself)

Okay, people apparently have enough money, and the place has enough guns to post one to Alex. And holy shit, Bryce turned everything Hannah said into his words, and the other way round, in court. The flashback shows that he didn’t say a single thing that was true. And oh my god, the scene where he tells his mom about the night of the party. Yet another reason why I hate his guts.

Seriously, the scene at the end of the episode where Hannah is still following Clay around  with Bryce’s tape bugged me to no end. I know, it’s in his conscious or whatever the hell, but the show got a 100 times more annoying with her following him and talking about some philosophical shit, or asking him questions and UGH. So Clay goes to Bryce’s house, and calls Justin and tells him to come there. Clay stands with a gun, first to Bryce’s head, and then his own. Why? BECAUSE HANNAH IS STILL SPOUTING HER DAMN TAPE AND CLAY WANTS TO ESCAPE IT. I felt so bad for him then, because he wanted to get away from his thoughts, or consciousness or whatever he was imagining Hannah to be, and he almost shot himself for that. Thank god Justin was there to save him.

\\ EPISODE 12- My thoughts for every single episode? Shut up Hannah.

“Those guns? I have more. We can really make shit happen.”

// Tyler Down //

Most appropriate dialogue ever <applauds>

It is so clear from every single scene that something is wrong with Tyler. He is not okay, and yet, no-one seems to notice.

WOW THE COACH KNEW ABOUT THE CLUBHOUSE JUST EXCELLENT.

Mr. Porter leaves a list of ‘most critical’ students; to help them, and he says they should be looked out for basically, or there will be a next Hannah situation; when he gets to know that his employment has been terminated. He gives them to the Principal, and Tyler is the first one, but the Principal throws the files on the table and leaves. And this is why the system needs to change.

Chloe still believes Bryce, even after finding out what he did to her. Tyler is always harassed, beaten up, teased, and he has no friends, that’s probably why he turned out like this, antisocial and slightly psychopathic. And nobody bothered to help him so he couldn’t have voiced his concerns. He could have told his parents, but on this show, nobody ever does, so why change the pattern and make at least one character sensible?

\\ EPISODE 13- Bryce gets three months probation for rape, wonderful, that’s why the world is going to shit. Justin, being an ‘accessory to felony’ gets 6 months time in juvenile detention, because he has no legal guardian. I really appreciated the fact that he is being adopted by Clay’s parents.

Another thing I found kind of ridiculous, I will explain in the reasons below, but anyway, Hannah’s service happens, Clay talks, and Hannah finally makes a dramatic exit into the light.

Monty.stop.being.an.idiot. (I use idiot, because I don’t swear, so fill in with words of your choice) I don’t know why he thinks protecting Bryce will get him anywhere. Jeez please realize that Bryce is now blaming him and taking off. Monty seems to be just as messed up as Bryce. Hannah’s mom finds a paper with ‘Reasons why not (to?)’. Hannah had made a list of 11 reasons why not to commit suicide.

“No matter how many reasons there are ‘why’, there are always more ‘why not’.

// Olivia Baker //

(reasons to not make this show ever again, yes)

The scene with Monty sexually assaulting Tyler with a mop made me want to puke, and cry, all at once. It was so graphic, and I saw absolutely no reason for a scene like that. I know millions of people defend this scene saying it needed to be there, to show reality, but really, that could have been done in a much better way. Yes, male sexual assault is a very real thing, but I just didn’t like the way it was shown. I think to get the point across, this show is doing a whole lot of unnecessary things.

I feel for Tyler, I really do. Guy’s been through so much, with no support, and no friends. I don’t blame him for hating the world. He needs help, proper help.

I really like Justin, but even after being on the road to recovery, he goes back and does the injection full of heroin (I don’t know the terms sorry). I wish he hadn’t done that.

There is a scene where Nina has the box of polaroids, and she’s burning them. I also had an issue with her character. Yeah okay, she tried to ‘help’ Jessica by talking to her about what happened to them, but I still think she was quite selfish in her own ways. She never fully confided in Jess, and she barely gave her details of her life, when Jess did. And the polaroid scene really showed how selfish she is, by burning the picture of her at the clubhouse. Maybe she wants to burn away evidence that it happened to her, I’m not saying it’s bad to want that, but…

The end scene. When the country has so many school shootings going on, and its a serious issue, they bring that in to the show….? I mean, is that really a good idea? I don’t think someone who has been through, or knows someone who has been through a harrowing incident like that would like to be reminded of it, and certainly not with the suspect escaping. The fact that the only ending the show could think of was that just goes to show how bad it is. And excuse me, where are the teachers? No chaperones? Just a bunch of students and a boy with guns, escaping with the help of other students. Hmm. How realistic.

And Liberty High School wins the case against the Bakers.

You know what the best way to end this show is? END IT FOR GOOD.

13 Reasons why NOT to watch-

  1. It was pretty much 13 episodes of dragging Hannah down even further. Everyone somehow had more of the story to tell, and it all just made everything worse.
  2. Everyone is always angry, and I absolutely hated how much attitude all the kids threw to their parents and teachers. Media, having the influence it does on people, is sure to send across the message that screaming and swearing at your parents and teachers is cool, and okay to do. It. is. not. They had zero respect for people, and I have zero respect for the show.
  3. Hannah is following Clay around. Need I say more?
  4. Bryce and his friends are all bloody liars and also, set a great example to viewers. (please sense the sarcasm) ‘How to save your backside by doing illegal and immoral things 101’- by the writers.
  5. Chloe’s idiocy. She hears all these things, knows that she was raped, and still chooses to be with Bryce. ‘I believe you’, she says. Congratulations, you are officially stupid.
  6. The show gave off so many wrong messages, in my opinion. One of them being, do unto others what is done unto you. Yes, I paraphrased to fit the context better. I really don’t think taking revenge on someone for something(bullying, in this case) because it was done to you, is right. It is completely wrong, and what this show did was to constantly throw that in the plot line. Tyler was bullied, now he bullies Ryan. Clay was bullied (of sorts?) and he bullies Tyler (subtly, but still). I just think it’s really stupid.
  7. No-one does anything about the bullying. No-one does anything about kids that seem to be going through something. Tyler was clearly going through so much, and yet, nobody bothers to check on him?! Even when his camera is broken, nobody cares, and nobody does anything to either help him, or even try to find out who broke it. I honestly know next to nothing about the education system in that country, but if this is how such an influential show portrays it, I’m pretty sure a lot of people will believe it.
  8. The coach of the athletic team knowing about all the crap that the players get up to, and helping them get away with everything. He knew about the drugs, he knew about the clubhouse, he knew what they did in there. Any normal, sane person who actually wants to make kids’ lives better would report it, or at least help them himself. But no, he helps them avert all these situations, why? because they’re family. He should be the one terminated from his employment.
  9. I think, completely my opinion, that they tackled the ‘real world issues’ really crappily. That’s what I think. The depressed are never really shown to be depressed, male rape happens, but you don’t need to go to that level, suicide should not be romanticized, and ‘tackling real world issues’ doesn’t mean showing sensitive things that are happening, so ‘people can relate to it’. I think it’s a load of bullshit, I’m sorry.
  10. Completely unnecessary graphic scenes. First, Hannah’s suicide. Now, Tyler’s sexual assault. The show did NOT have to make a scene that graphic just to prove the damn point, that there are bad kids in school, they don’t accept him, he has no friends, and he is bullied. To me, it’s not reality, but I saw a lot of comments saying the show is working towards ‘shock value’, and I can’t say I disagree.
  11. In which world would people who have gone through something terrible, watch this show, and at any point, go- ‘Hey, he/she’s going through what I did, I feel so much better, now that I relate to this character.’ If you’re going to show things that happen in reality, and want to bring about awareness, please at least do it correctly. I heard someone from the show (staff or cast I don’t know) say something about being able to, through the show, make people relate. That’s why I wrote this point.
  12. What I found slightly ridiculous (as I mentioned above), was that in the last episode, all of a sudden, the Bakers were being all religious, going to a church? Yes, they say they’re not religious and everything, but I just found it very abrupt and strange for them to go to a Pastor (was he?) and talk about God accepting Hannah and everything. And suddenly, Clay begins to talk about the immortal soul, and hell. I found it very weird. There was absolutely no mention of anything remotely religious in the entire two seasons.
  13. Just, going back to season 1, the entire concept of blaming your death on other people. It did not sit well with me. I like how at least Clay addresses it, telling Hannah that the tapes were the problem, and that she started everything.
  14. BONUS- Hannah’s character was one thing in season 1, and almost the opposite in season 2. She was called shy, but now after knowing about her willingly going to Tyler’s photoshoot, she really wasn’t. And neither was she that withdrawn, she talked to Zach, Justin, Clay, Jessica, Alex, Tyler, Ryan, Courtney, and told them so much, how is she withdrawn? I just didn’t like how her character was portrayed. It was very contradictory for me. Bottomline, my problem with her started with the tapes, but didn’t end there.

I am sorry if you sat through 4000+ words of this rant. Also, thank you :’) I just got really really really really frustrated with this show, and I needed to do this. I don’t know if anyone will agree, and I skipped quite a few points and characters, but that’ll make it twice as long, so this is all I kept :p

Thank you, and please do leave a comment if you felt the same way about the show, and if you have anything to add. Bye.

ACS2: The Assassination of Gianni Versace

“You know disgrace isn’t that bad. Once you settle into it.”

SO. I was watching TV one day and as I was flipping the channels, I saw an ad for a new show, ‘American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace’. I was sold just on the fact that it said Versace, I love fashion; and crime, (if you know me, you know I love crime) and then I saw Darren Criss. That’s all. I had to watch it. I did a bit of research and found out that he was playing the killer, and I had no clue that Versace was assassinated. So I began watching it, and the premiere episode itself, I was hooked; I knew I’d be dedicated and watch religiously. My mom watched it with me too, because she also likes crime (at times, when I’m not forcing her to watch something like Hannibal while eating dinner).

Anyway, I missed the second episode itself <rolls eyes> So much for being ‘dedicated’. I went to my best friend’s house the day after the 5th episode aired, and I made her watch. She was hooked too, so we watched the first two episodes together. I realized then, that TV was censoring out some important scenes that added to the plot line, so I switched to watching online. But yes, bottom line, watch it online, make sure you have subs, or earphones on with the highest volume. None of the characters speak very loudly.
I dont even know why this paragraph is here, I apologize.

NOW, COMING TO THE ACTUAL SHOW.
It was brilliant, I thought. Like, really. It is based on the book ‘Vulgar Favors’, which I really want to read now after watching the show.
The gist of the show, in my words:
The first shot is set on July 15, 1997. Gianni Versace is currently in his Miami house (mansion) and he goes out to buy some newspapers. The mansion faces the beach by the way, and the show was shot in the actual Versace home. As he goes back home, he is shot by a man (Darren Criss) and collapses at the gate of his house. A man (Antonio, his partner, played by Ricky Martin) comes out from the house and screams for help to the bystanders.
Criss, who plays Andrew Cunanan (the killer, and part of, apparently, one of FBI’s biggest failed manhunts), is an unreliable narrator, to say the least, making up stories to tell each person that he meets throughout the episodes. The plot, as such, goes backwards, and shows all the other murders that Cunanan has committed, along with character backstories.

Thats the gist, and I have a lot to say about the show, so get some food or a beverage (no alcohol, kids) and sit if you want to actually read through this whole post :p

Okay, first off, the casting. I cannot cannot cannot get over the casting on this show. I will insert pictures to prove that the casting was impeccable and almost scarily, uncannily similar to the real people. I will talk about the casting as well as the characters themselves here.

Young Andrew- Darren Criss as the older Andrew- the real Andrew Cunanan

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Edgar Ramirez as Versace- the real Gianni Versace (is this not freaky)

penelope-cruz-donatella-versace

The real Donatella Versace- Penelope Cruz as Donatella

image

The real Antonio D’Amico- Ricky Martin as Antonio

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I HAD TO INCLUDE THIS PICTURE BECAUSE LOOK.AT.THE.SIMILARITY.ITS.UNCANNY.

//// Andrew Cunanan is the main lead of the show, not Versace, as the title might suggest. But the reason for the show being named after Versace makes sense, because that’s the incident that finally brought Cunanan into proper notice, and what pushed him over the edge, maybe. Darren Criss, I cannot explain in words how good his acting was. His charm, his little dimples, his attire, the way he spoke, everything seemed to match 100% with the details given about the real Cunanan, as given by his family and friends.

His character, from the very first episode, is shown to be charming, intelligent (IQ of 147) and subtly at first, but then clearly- a prolific liar. He lies his way through things, he seems to have suffered from antisocial personality disorder, which according to what I read, causes the lack of empathy, which is exactly what Cunanan has. More on this later. He lies about his personality (he says in the first episode, ‘I tell people what they need to hear,’ insinuating that he told gay people he was gay, and straight people he was straight. He was, in fact, gay, and also an escort). He tells his friends, Lizzie and another guy (unnamed) in the first episode, how Versace invited him to his Opera show. This scene, set back in 1990, is explained further, as we see that in reality, Cunanan had faked an Italian background, just to talk to Versace. But he really did go to the Opera, and that night was what made Cunanan do what he did, which is explained in the last episode.

It’s also cool how they added some small details, to add to his character- he ends up eating in times of distress, or after a killing, or before a killing. He always tells people the same lies- this really stood out to me, because its hard for someone to keep up the same lies all the time. It was always that his father owned pineapple plantations in the Philippines, and that he was writing a book, and that he had a lot of money from all his clients. He also always tells people he is better with older men, and not people his age, which shows as the show progresses, how many older men he has as clients.

Cunanan essentially started his killings way before Versace, killing 4 other people. I get the feeling that the smallest of things were what triggered him to kill.

  • Jeff (Jeffrey) Trail, the first victim, was his close friend, and an ex- US Navy Officer. They got into a small fight, and Cunanan killed him with a hammer, in front of their mutual friend, and Cunanan’s ex-love interest, David Madson, who is the next victim.
  • David tells Cunanan that they cannot live a happy life together, not after what he did to Jeff, and Cunanan tells him ‘We could have been happy’, before shooting him. Cunanan really did love David though, which is clear till the very last episode.
  • Lee Miglin, the third victim, had probably the most horrific end. He was a 70+ year old famous architect, one of Cunanan’s clients, who tells him that their relationship cannot be real, and indirectly says that finance is the key point in their ‘relationship’, if thats even what it can be called. Cunanan, as revenge, or for whatever reason, gags Miglin’s face with duct tape, throws bags of cement on him and uses a hacksaw to kill him. He kills and leaves the body in the garage, after placing several gay pornographic magazines around him, to prove to the world that Miglin was not who he said he was. Possibly, I think, because Miglin says their relationship cannot be ‘real’ (because he was married to a very successful businesswoman), and Cunanan knows that the world doesn’t know the real Lee Miglin.
  • The fourth victim, William Reese, was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. Cunanan kills him and takes his car to go to Miami. Cunanan is polite, even in the case of a killing. He asks Reese- ‘Is there a downstairs? Can I lock you in there?’ He may have hesitated for a moment, but makes his decision to shoot him once Reese tells him that he has a family that he would like to see again. Its possible that Cunanan made up his mind, because of his strange and strained childhood.
  • Gianni Versace, the final and the most famous victim. He, on the night of the Opera, tells Cunanan that they cannot be together, and that rejection finally pushed him to the edge.

What is so different, in a very strange way, is that you cant help but empathize for Andrew Cunanan. Yes, he was a serial killer, but some scenes honestly just b r o k e my heart. In one episode, where him and David are on the run, he sits in a cafe, listening to the live singer there, while David is in the bathroom. The woman sings about who will be home when you call, will you have someone to go home to; and Cunanan sits, in the middle of the cafe, and just silently cries.
Another scene that made me want to punch something (out of sadness and anger both) is in the last episode, where, Cunanan, currently hiding from the police (after Versace’s murder), calls his estranged father from a payphone, and tells him that he is in trouble and that he needs help. He sobs while talking to his father, and the father promises him he’ll be there in 24 hours, and also tells him, ‘Men don’t cry, remember?’ By the time Cunanan goes to his hideout (a houseboat) after packing his bags, his father is giving an interview on tv, insisting that Cunanan isn’t gay, and can’t be. I wanted him dead.
There are some scenes from his childhood, where the father (Modesto), treats Cunanan, the youngest of four siblings, like a Prince, and on the side, calls him out for ‘not being a man’. Modesto keeps calling him weak because Andrew cries. He blames him for being weak minded like his mother and calls him sissy, slaps him and says ‘be a man’ and repeatedly telling him, ‘you don’t have it in you’.

Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 12.34.56 AM

(sorry about the blurred face, I panicked)

Some iconic scenes of Andrew Cunanan- (THE FIRST 2 ARE LINKS PLEASE OPEN THEM)
1. Pump up the jam Till 45 seconds. This scene is right after the murder of Jeff Trail, and you can see how he has no empathy. This is my all time favourite scene from the entire show, I think Criss is genius.
2. Gloria Till 45 seconds.
3. All the scenes where he dances in parties and/or other places too

Lastly, there are two more iconic scenes I’d like to talk about. Last episode, he watched as the news channels talked about him being the only suspect in these murders on TV, and a bottle of champagne pops open while he’s watching. He laughs in shock, and ends up laughing his head off, clutching his stomach. I found that scene genius.
And he eats dog food out of desperation in the last episode, because he is holed up in that house boat for days. It was so sad, but so real.

The last few minutes of the show have live coverage of the hunt for Cunanan, broadcasting live how the police is going into the house and everything, and the last thought that Cunanan has before he shoots himself is- ‘I’m so happy right now’, which is what he says to Versace the night of the Opera.

Now, lastly for my lecture on Cunanan, I think Darren Criss was genius, and I think he fit the role perfectly, and I’m not saying it just because I love Darren Criss (I love him, if you can’t tell already), but genuinely, he moulded and fit the character to a glove. I read a lot about the real Cunanan, and I think the show did complete justice to him. Ryan Murphy, thank you for this show.

NOW. THINGS OTHER THAN CUNANAN THAT I LOVED:

// The show dealt with real problems such as homophobia; as seen in the case of Antonio, Versace’s partner, who doesn’t get any understanding from the people, or even Donatella, about his love for Gianni; they lived together for 15 years but there is still no consideration for their relationship. The most harrowing scene is when the priest at Versace’s funeral service let’s everyone kiss his hands except Antonio. This leads Antonio to attempt committing suicide by overdosing on pills.

There is a scene in the last episode where Ronnie (one of Cunanan’s friends and fellow druggie), gives the police some statements. All his lines have a sinister undertone, and gave me goosebumps, showing the real situations back then in the 90’s.

“You were disgusted by him, long before he became disgusting. You’re so used to us lurking in the shadows, and, you know, most of us, we oblige. People like me, we just, we drift away. We get sick, nobody cares.”

Here, he is talking about how the police, and society in general, never cared for the homosexuals, and how they never gave them a second thought. He speaks for the entire LGBTQ+ community back then, I feel, when he says this, talking about how nobody cares about their condition.
There is a scene in the beginning of the show where the FBI has flyers printed with Cunanan’s details, but doesn’t actually distribute them, because they think its unimportant. They also don’t listen to the local police officer, a woman, who insists that they check all the gay clubs around Miami, seeing as Cunanan was a gay prostitute, which the FBI dismisses. Turns out, that is where he goes most frequently, and the police could have caught him earlier, but didn’t.
Versace and Antonio being partners is also treated as a huge deal, along with the fact that they had escorts frequently visit the house.

Ronnie also tells the police: “Andrew is not hiding, he’s trying to be seen.” This is one of truest things said on the show, among several others. Cunanan is desperate for attention, and doesn’t want to be hidden in the shadows, he wants the world to see him. Everything he does, he does in plain sight; he uses his real name and identity, never tries to hide it, almost as if he wants to be caught, and the world would know who he was. He always tries to be the center of attention, whether it was in school, college, or later in life. He uses his real name everywhere he goes, and in a pawn shop, he gave his ID, but the woman never paid attention, because the police never put out the notice for until after a week of the murder spree. There is also a scene at a party at a gay club, where amidst the loud music, a guy asks him what he does, and Cunanan replies, “I’m Andy. I’m a serial killer.” He also calls himself a stockbroker, and several other things. He reveals his entire name as well. The guy laughs it off, not knowing anything about manhunt, because it was still not out in the media.

He always wanted to be (and was voted in high school) ‘A name to be remembered by’.

// I loved how the show took its story backwards. The first episode began with the last killing, and each episode showed flashbacks with Cunanan’s older victims and their backstories, adding so much clarity to the plot. It was different, and something I’d never seen in any show before. It really left an impact, and made sure you didn’t miss the next episode, because you’ll have to watch it to know what happened earlier. I also loved how the last two episodes were when we found out about Cunanan’s childhood, showing us why and how he became what he was.

// The scenes with Modesto, Cunanan’s father, were so frustratingly good. I hated the character with all my heart, which was obviously the intention. There is a shot with Modesto telling Andrew about how his mom was sick, and he was the one who took care of him when he was growing up. At this point, Modesto gets Andrew a car. Andrew closes the car window and the moms reflection shows up, perhaps symbolic of how he cut her out from his life, piece by piece, memory by memory. I’ve inserted the screenshot of the scene here:

Screen Shot 2018-05-24 at 12.04.20 AM

// Another character I loved was Mrs. Miglin. Her acting was so real. When Lee dies, she refuses to look at the body, or to hear anything that the police had to say. Whether she knows about him being gay is unknown to the viewers. Her reactions to the public wondering if she was even sad about her husbands death were brilliant. She always has a made-up face, looking calm and normal, and a few days after the death, she removes the makeup. If people see her makeup coming off when she cries, she wonders about their reactions, which is why she kept a cool, composed face until now. I found this entire sequence brilliant, showing how the media and the public generally portray and see celebrities, and never leave them alone in peace.

// Cunanan’s best friend, Lizzie, gives a statement on television, in the last episode, when he is in hiding. To me, these are the words that pushed him to surrender and kill himself. I think the fact that the words came from the only person who loved him in the entire world really made him realize how much trouble he was in, and that he saw no choice but to kill himself. This is what she says: “I know that the most important thing to you in the world is what others think of you.” This is so true, considering the fact that he always wanted the attention, and constantly wanted people to know things about him, and the fact that he needed to get feedback and know what people thought of his actions and his background.

He feeds lies to Versace as well, about him writing a book, and that he was going to publish it soon. Versace believes him, and tells him about how he needs to finish writing the book, and that he was sure it’d do well. Cunanan asks Versace if he could be his protege and help him out, but Versace declines politely, telling him he didn’t need any assistants right now. This also adds to Cunanan’s rage against Versace.

// You can see how Andrew got the compulsive lying. Modesto, in the last episode, while being interviewed about Andrew, lies on tv saying they discussed movie rights to his life story and that they’re talking to several studios about releasing it soon. He was also the one who taught Andrew to always be polite, and to be good mannered. It is shown in the last two episodes where Modesto gives him books about manners, and even sends him to a prep school.

Now, coming to small descriptions about the other characters. Small, I promise. Promiseeeeeeee.

  • Gianni and Donatella Versace- Both these characters were well rounded, and wonderful actors. Edgar Ramirez and Penelope Cruz did a brilliant job in portraying the Versace siblings. The fights, the affection, the remorse, the love, everything was so real.
  • Antonio D’Amico- Ricky Martin!!!! I also watched the show because I saw his name in the cast :p* His character was such a sad one. He was never accepted by society, as Gianni’s partner. Donatella hated him and said that he never gave Gianni anything, no family, no kids, nothing, and if he had, she would have had some respect for him. It was also speculated that he gave Versace HIV, which wasn’t true in the end. Antonio was really nice, because he really loved Gianni, and he proposes to him too, saying they should get married, and forget the world around them.
  • David Madson- Ohmygod, my poor heart. David was genuinely the sweetest guy, and it felt like he ignored the voices in his head saying bad things about Andrew, because he really liked him. It was almost as though he had Stockholm Syndrome when practically kidnapped by Cunanan. He had a chance to escape from the bathroom (in the cafe), but he chooses to come back, showing that maybe he still had a soft spot for Andrew. His childhood and youth was sad too, and the strained, but very happy relationship with his father plays in the back of his head when he is shot.
  • Jeff Trail- His character was also so so sad. He was gay and in the Navy, which was something that was unacceptable at the time. The Chief in the Navy gives out handbooks to all the officers about informing higher authorities if they knew that someone was gay. One night, Jeff is seen comforting another man; the next morning, the books are handed out as a warning. The man, after being beaten up, tells the Chief all the people that he knows are gay, and he mentions a man with a tattoo, meaning Jeff (no one knows). He tries to cut his tattoo off but stops because of the very apparent blood, and later tries to hang himself, but stops.
  • Lee Miglin- An old man, who is very well known for his architectural abilities, has some secrets. When his wife is out of town on business, he calls his escort, Cunanan. Explained above^^

Extra admiration for the young Andrew Cunanan, he was genius. He took on the smallest of details that Darren Criss had in his character; things like a small smile, a smug look, and the polite charm of someone who you would never have thought to be a psychopath.

‘What if you had a dream your whole life that you were someone special but no one believed it?’

// Andrew Cunanan //

Here are some very cool articles and videos that I found about the whole incident.
1. Facing death
2. Five lives cut short
3. Video (Who was Gianni Versace’s killer?)

Here are some screenshots I took from the show, that I liked.

These are both from the last episode, the one on the left is after he hears on the media that he is the only suspect, and the one on the right is of him eating dog food.

Screen Shot 2018-05-24 at 12.02.21 AM

Sorry for the bad quality, but this is one of my favourite shots in the entire show.

// The entire show was shot beautifully, and the locations were shown in all their grandeur, especially the Versace mansion. The characters all looked the part, and certainly played the part. I found that adding subtle hints of symbolism in the episodes really made a difference.

Thats all :p* I hope everyone who reads this enjoys. I don’t even know if anyone will read this but I really wanted to talk about the show because it impacted me so much, and the characters really shone. Simply brilliant show. I would highly recommend it to everyone. There are a few scenes that are a little hard to watch, but you’ll get used to it.
Bye now 😀

P.S. Darren Criss said this in a first look video I found, I think it encapsulates the entire show:

“Truth is, you know, fear and prejudice, unfortunately, is always in fashion.”