Important Topic But…: Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz

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It feels like there’s no ground beneath me, like everything I’ve ever done has been a lie. Like I’m breaking apart, shattering. Who am I? Where do I belong?

Jasmine de los Santos has always done what’s expected of her. Pretty and popular, she’s studied hard, made her Filipino immigrant parents proud and is ready to reap the rewards in the form of a full college scholarship.

And then everything shatters. A national scholar award invitation compels her parents to reveal the truth: their visas expired years ago. Her entire family is illegal. That means no scholarships, maybe no college at all and the very real threat of deportation.

For the first time, Jasmine rebels, trying all those teen things she never had time for in the past. Even as she’s trying to make sense of her new world, it’s turned upside down by Royce Blakely, the charming son of a high-ranking congressman. Jasmine no longer has any idea where—or if—she fits into the American Dream. All she knows is that she’s not giving up. Because when the rules you lived by no longer apply, the only thing to do is make up your own.

Source: GoodReads

I’ve outgrown Melissa de la Cruz’s books.  It’s a sad fact.  At some point I plan to reread the Blue Bloods books, but I feel like it is going to be a sea of disappointment and embarrassment that I ever liked her stuff.  Still, she writes really good premises and I find myself ridiculously attracted to her blurbs.  Like this one.

But still, it sat on my shelf for awhile.  However, after the God awful month of executive orders that the Trump administration has thrown on us I have been wanting to read more issue relevant books.

And I did remember liking Melissa’s Fresh Off the Boat, I at least remember thinking that book had more heart to it than some of her frothier rich people novels-not that some of those can be okay, they just get very stale after awhile.

The thing is, that Something In Between didn’t have that realness quality about it, even though it dealt with some topics that were very near and dear to Melissa’s own personal life.

I got to say, the romance was cringe worthy and completely unrealistic.  Jas and Royce fall ridiculously in love within a couple of pages of looks and text messages.  It make Skyjack (Jack/Schuyler from Blue Bloods ) look more realistic and in hindsight that pairing was illy paced, but to its credit it was a paranormal romance.  Here though, other than he’s handsome/she’s hot I didn’t get the attraction.  Maybe because both of these characters came off as bland.  Like Cinderella and Prince Charming Disney movie bland.

I often think it’s harder to write a contemporary than a paranormal or fantasy novel, because the characters are often the focus of the novel.  Unless it’s bitchy blonde vampire socialites, I always think Melissa’s characters suffer from vapidness and this book was no exception to that.  I honestly did not get how Jas won this big scholarship.  She doesn’t come off as particularly smart or driven, and while she did do some cheerleading she didn’t really have the sort of resume that most Ivy bound kids have.  Royce was even duller than Jas, I can’t even remember if he had a hobby outside of sending really embarrassing texts to his girlfriend and then getting his Paul Ryan Wannabe father go against his core conservative values.

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And that had me roll my eyes and just seethe with anger.  I am already not a huge fan of the Republican party-in fact, I’d say right now I have no tolerance for what they’re preaching at least before the tea party and the racist party of Trump, I could at least sort of get where they’re coming from in the Bush era  but that’s besides the  point.  Here, seeing Royce’s asshole of a congressman make an exception for one family had me rolling my eyes.

And yes, I did vaguely recall reading about private bills very briefly in the Immigration Law course I took 2L year, but I also remember hearing that they hardly ever happen and other than being briefly mentioned we didn’t discuss them hardly any.  Instead, we talked a lot about work visas and I find it difficult to believe that Jas’s working class family would even acquire a visa in the first place.

Unskilled workers have the burnt end of the deal immigration wise, and this book didn’t seem to even discuss that.  Yes, I understand that Ms. de la Cruz is not a lawyer and that it’s possible in her own case that her family could’ve gotten in on such visas-but it doesn’t happen that often.   Part of the reason why is in order to get a work visa the company has to show that there are no qualified American workers.  Sort of hard to do with an unskilled job.

And then there was that farce of a court hearing…I’m not even going to talk about it.

And while I think there was some work into looking up the immigration process I don’t think it encompassed a lot of the issues on a whole of what is going on.  About how broken the process is-and it’s even more fucked up now, for obvious reasons most involving a big fat Orange Boob.

Look, I can’t fault Ms. de la Cruz too much on the legalities.  Immigration law itself is a beast, and there’s a lot of reasons why attorneys don’t practice it.  And even very seasoned lawyers can’t figure out some of the nuances involving the process-and I’m quoting some lecturer on an online CLE I took a couple of weeks ago almost verbatim on that one.

I just don’t know, having this conservative congressman who is described as being an asshole towards immigrants for a big chunk of the book being Jas’s savior  rubs me the wrong way.  Why is it okay for her to have a private bill while the congressman roots for legislation to harm constant others in her position?  I just didn’t like this congressman and wanted to go to a town hall to tell him what a hypocrite he was and that even though Jas situation was awful and she deserved help all the other undocumented immigrants in his district deserved to be treated like real people and not criminals.  He doesn’t even have a come to Jesus moment in the book and realizes that his hardline stanch is that of an asshole.

But I digress..

If you can look past the hypocrisy and the cringe worthy romance, this one is readable.  That is one thing I will always give de la Cruz, her stuff is readable.  But God there’s so much cringe and hypocrisy that I did close it a couple of times throughout reading it just to rant.  The immigration stuff while researched (enough) isn’t fully researched in some aspects.

The parts that rang truest about the book were the brief insights we got into Filipino culture, but those for the most part were very brief.

Overall Rating: A C

 

 

 

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A Tale of DNF: The Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz

Twenty years ago, all the evil villains were banished from the kingdom of Auradon and made to live in virtual imprisonment on the Isle of the Lost. The island is surrounded by a magical force field that keeps the villains and their descendants safely locked up and away from the mainland. Life on the island is dark and dreary. It is a dirty, decrepit place that’s been left to rot and forgotten by the world.

But hidden in the mysterious Forbidden Fortress is a dragon’s eye: the key to true darkness and the villains’ only hope of escape. Only the cleverest, evilest, nastiest little villain can find it…who will it be?

Maleficent, Mistress of the Dark: As the self-proclaimed ruler of the isle, Maleficent has no tolerance for anything less than pure evil. She has little time for her subjects, who have still not mastered life without magic. Her only concern is getting off the Isle of the Lost.

Mal: At sixteen, Maleficent’s daughter is the most talented student at Dragon Hall, best known for her evil schemes. And when she hears about the dragon’s eye, Mal thinks this could be her chance to prove herself as the cruelest of them all.

Evie: Having been castle-schooled for years, Evil Queen’s daughter, Evie, doesn’t know the ins and outs of Dragon Hall. But she’s a quick study, especially after she falls for one too many of Mal’s little tricks.

Jay: As the son of Jafar, Jay is a boy of many talents: stealing and lying to name a few. Jay and Mal have been frenemies forever and he’s not about to miss out on the hunt for the dragon’s eye.

Carlos: Cruella de Vil’s son may not be bravest, but he’s certainly clever. Carlos’s inventions may be the missing piece in locating the dragon’s eye and ending the banishment for good.

Mal soon learns from her mother that the dragon’s eye is cursed and whoever retrieves it will be knocked into a deep sleep for a thousand years. But Mal has a plan to capture it. She’ll just need a little help from her “friends.” In their quest for the dragon’s eye, these kids begin to realize that just because you come from an evil family tree, being good ain’t so bad.

Source: GoodReads

Once upon a time, I DNF’d a book after fifty pages.  I had said book in my shelves for month dreading at the possible cringing that would happen when I would get the guts to read it and when I did.  Surprise, surprise, I cringed and cringed  and ended up throwing it in the storage box when I was done.  Rolling my eyes and saying…

But on the other hand, yay, more space in my bookshelf.

When I preordered this book way back at the end of 2014 I had no idea it was a tie in to a Disney Chanel movie or middle grade novel.  If I had known one of these two things I probably wouldn’t have even bothered.

Full disclosure made, I haven’t watched and don’t really have any intention of watching the Disney movie to this mess.  I figure it’s more synergy pandering which just will make my eyes roll to the point where I’ll get a migraine.

Please, no thanks.

Sometimes synergy can be okay when it’s done in a smart way.  Like the early seasons of Once Upon a Time, the way they weaved the fairytales in and out of their fairytales were cleaver at least until season 4 when there was blatant Frozen pandering.  But even that wasn’t as bad as this.

And at least Once isn’t outright sequel-ing DIsney cannon and getting details wrong like Melissa de la Cruz did.

Really, Melissa, would it have killed you to Disney Wiki Sleeping Beauty to learn that Aurora pricked her finger on her 16th not 18th birthday?

Then I forget this is the same woman that contradicted herself about five thousand times in her most popular series.

In addition to blatant product placement and poor continuity, I could not stand this book because it seemed to talk down to its audience.  Its a common problem with a lot of middle grade books out there, but some authors avoid this problem like Meg Cabot whose Princess Diaries series is actually charming.

de la Cruz doesn’t avoid the problem and I think part of the issue with this book for me is that the characters seem to be technically more YA age than middle grade.  So the talking down too really became grating.

In the end, I didn’t try to stomach this.  I just couldn’t deal with all the cringing.  I can feel okay with throwing this into my storage/giveaway box now.  I tried it.  Unfortunately, it was about as squirm inducing as I thought it was.  Leave the synergy, Disney to Once Upon a Time, even though that season finale was painful at least the show on a whole tries (or used to) be creative with their product placement.

Overall Rating: A DNF.  I don’t think it was a subjective DNF either.  The writing was really painful.  I am really going to have to review the Blue Bloods series at some point to see if I have grown as a reader because this book in general made me really question de la Cruz’s writing skills.

Not the Worst Book Ever: Triple Moon by Melissa de la Cruz

After they cause a terrible accident at their old high school, twin witches Mardi and Molly Overbrook are sent to live with their “aunt” Ingrid Beauchamp in North Hampton, on Long Island’s mist-shrouded East End. Because the twins cannot control their powers, their father begs Ingrid to tame them over the summer, before the White Council exiles the girls to Limbo.

Trouble continues to bubble and boil when the girls meet the younger Gardiner boys, who are just as handsome and sexy as their older kin. But all is not as it seems. As Ingrid helps the girls learn to control their magical impulses, Mardi and Molly have just this summer to figure out how to grow up, how to love, and how to be a family.

Source: GoodReads

Ah, Triple Moon it has been on my shelf dearest blog readers for months just sitting there staring at me to read it.  Obviously, I put it off for awhile—it was published in fall 2015 and I only now have gotten to read it.  But to be fair, I have been pretty busy and when I did have time to read I really didn’t want to take a chance with a Melissa de la Cruz book because I have been burned.

Burned so many times by this author.

To be fair though, I think a lot of my recent disgust for de la Cruz’s latest work might have been because my taste has evolved as a reader and the quality of YA books has—believe it or not—gotten better.  When the Blue Bloods series was first published way back in 2007, the YA selection wasn’t near as large as it is today.  And there was something so innovative about the mixture of mythology that Melissa used.  Of course, that series didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted it too—way too many continuity issues—and its subsequent spinoffs were a little less than ideal for the most part.

Triple Moon is  essentially a spinoff of a spinoff.  Its parent series is The Witches of East End which was used to base a slightly cringe worthy Lifetime show that I sporadically did reviews for during its two year run.  I actually like the TV series better than the books—even though TV Ingrid deserved to be hit by a bus, but if you want to hear me rant about that read those reviews—but I never finished it so that might tell you my distaste for the TV series AND book series.

So, why read Triple Moon the first book in the Summer of East End series, nostalgia maybe.  That and I was hoping that maybe I could relive my glory days with de la Cruz’s books.  Needless to say, I didn’t BUT, BUT Triple Moon was far from being the worst de la Cruz book I ever read.

Note, when your competition is Frozen that’s a pretty low bar, but there were some things that I liked about this book.

The beachy setting for one, is always fun to read about.  I think the East End is supposed to be a set in for the Hamptons, where only people who are in the 1% seem to live.  And yes, while it does get old reading about rich people, I think de la Cruz can really capture the setting whether it be Manhattan or the Hamptons.    Yes, the cynical part of my brain is rolling my eyes throughout the entire read as teenagers drive around in Ferraris and wear clothes that cost as much as small animal surgery, but if you like those sort of settings de la Cruz nails it.  And admittedly, it’s the sort of setting you want to read on a nice hot spring day.

Though, I think she could’ve tried a little bit on the fashion realism since most teens aren’t likely to wear a bikini top when they’re driving through the Lincoln Tunnel to get to the Hamptons in their Ferrari.  Especially if their plans don’t concern going to the beach or on a boat-which FYI Mardi planned to go to neither at the time.   If it was South Beach, I maybe could see it, or if they were going to the beach—again, maybe.  But for a traveling outfit: um, no.

It’s just like I don’t expect someone to wear a studded dog collar as part of their daily wardrobe like Mardi does.

Why am I mentioning these ridiculous outfits rather than focusing on principle issues of criticism that we’re going to eventually get to in this (probably) long, long, review?  Because they were so jarring they had to be mentioned.  At this point, I feel like Mel’s editor  should know to look for two things  to put the little red pen on 1) stupid fashion ensembles that only a drunk clown would love, and 2) Continuity issues.

And yes, there’s continuity issues here (again). If you need a recap of some past continuity fails where I use quote by quote comparisons check out my review of Gates of Paradise.

Sad that’s it’s not surprising at this point and that I reading this principally for leisure and to review because that’s what I do, could find them by only paying half attention to the book while looking at the cute pictures that my sister posted of my mom’s new Corgi puppy—Elsie Clementine—that we picked out for her for Mother’s Day.

But I noticed some major continuity issues right off the bat.  Like Freya’s appearance, for example, has evolved to match that of TV Freya’s.  AND there was more than one major plot hold that had me hitting my head throughout the book.

Whatever.

One though affected the climax of the book, and I really, really, had to wonder how the editor’s missed it.

The characters were a bit blah as well.  And were more or less.  Mardi is more or less a rich version of Schuyler (from Blue Bloods) who was mentioned in passing to be bisexual.  Other than her saying this and having a bit of a girl crush on Freya, her sexuality is never mentioned again in the book.  More or less it’s used as tokenism in the book.

Then there’s Molly.  Oh, poor, dear Molly who dresses like Mimi Force and practically de la Cruz’s character to bash and to belittle throughout the entire book.  The villain we’re kept told is a misogynist, but his misogyny is not what I saw so much through the book but where I saw real misogyny was the way this character was handled.

How Mardi and everyone else frowns on her, calls her stupid, and how she learns a big lesson at the end of the book about not being so trusting it made me want to roll my eyes out.  Does that mean the character wasn’t a selfish brat-no.  But I felt for the way they handled the character.  Truly terrible.

The love interests are equally bland in this book-do not expect a Kingsley Martin, and Oliver Hazard-Perry or even a Jack Force.  All of them are forgettable.  And if you think there might be resolution to the Freya love triangle plot in the original triangle….

Well, you’re getting punk-ed again.

I know I am complaining a lot, but again not the worst de la Cruz book ever.  If you  like light frothy beachy reads, and can forget some major plotting and character faux pas you might enjoy this.

Overall Rating: A C-

My Series Resignation: Vampires of Manhattan by Melissa de la Cruz

The Vampires of Manhattan is “hipster horror”–the memorable characters from her Blue Bloods series are older and cooler than before, trying to build “Millennial” lives in the bustle of Manhattan while battling forces of evil and, of course, each other.

Hero of this sexy, paranormal action tale is Oliver Hazard-Perry, former human conduit, and Manhattan’s only human-turned-vampire, now the head of the Blue Bloods Coven. When his all-too-human lover is found murdered on the eve of the coven’s annual Four Hundred Ball–a celebration meant to usher in a new era in vampire society, and to mark the re-unification of the Coven after decades of unrest and decay–Oliver is devastated.

Now, not only is he trying to create a new world order for the immortal elite, he’s the prime suspect and is stalked by the newly installed head of the vampire secret police. Because according to the new rules, vampires who take human life can now be executed. Burned.

How can an immortal sentenced to die fight back? He has to find the killer–and the answers lie deep in vampire lore.

Source: GoodReads

Dear Blue Bloods Series,

I’m sorry I can’t do this anymore.

I read all seven full length books, the half books, even those two rather hellish spinoffs that I’m forced to read in order to understand you.  But I have to stop here with your hipster horror attempt at New Adult.

Though, it’s not adult.  Everyone is in their later twenties or early thirties and acts like they’re about forty.

So no.

Not New Adult since there are no random hookups with the BMOC.

I sort of wish there was though.

Maybe it would’ve made this book more tolerable instead of  hearing just how old thirty is.

Really, most late twenty somethings don’t act that old.

I guess I actually have to talk  about the actual book that did me in.  This one is broken up into three main viewpoints.  Though, we do sort of  have a couple of interludes in a couple of other people’s heads.

I think the best way for me to fully explain to you why I’m breaking up with you is to talk about each of the parts.

A. Ara:

Why is she even in here?

Seriously?

Change her coloring and she’s basically Deming Chen Part II.  In a lot of ways, this really did remind me of a rehash of Misguided Angel, especially Ara’s part.

Though, Deming wasn’t disgusting enough to like smelling like body odor.

Besides, she liked the way she smelled, like sweat and hard work, after spending the last seventy-two hours sitting on her suspect. (1)

Is that suppose to make her endearing?

It doesn’t.

More or less her POV was used to do all the detective work.  Personally, I wish they would’ve stuck us mainly with Kingsley who actually kicks butt.  Ara was just…well, disgusting.

And I really have to wonder how someone who was nicknamed Minty back in grade school can like smelling like sweat and perspiration.

The romance or romances that Ara has our even more ridiculous. Both seem forced.  One for the pure sake of a lame plot point, and the other one because de la Cruz just can’t couple anyone.

I’m sorry book, people who don’t wear deodorant shouldn’t be viewed as attractive.

Sorry.

B. Oliver and Finn:

Snooze fest.

Honestly, I wonder what happened to Ollie.  In the first series, he was probably the most decent character out of the lot of them.  Now though, he’s an asshole just like the rest of them.

It’s sort of ridiculous how he’s not the same character.  I literally groaned when he started inner monologuing it about how he was no longer the nerdy kid and he was now ripped.  Yeah, there was an actual quote that said that don’t believe me.

He’d been a skinny human teenager, but he was almost thirty years old now, and to put it bluntly, he was ripped. (13)

So, needless to say Ollie’s head has grown about three times the size it normally was.

I was almost gleeful when his bimbo girlfriend ruined his life.

God, I hated Finn.

She really is a sad excuse of a Schuyler replacement who just impulsively decides to do something stupid with little to no buildup.  And I can’t help but saying she sort of deserved her fate.

C. Mimi and Kingsley: 

Mingsley is the only reason I really was giving this book a chance.  To be honest, until I heard that Mingsley was going to be in the story I wasn’t going to even bother.  I mean, the whole hipster horror thing in the summary is a bit (a lot ) of a turnoff.

But what did de la Cruz do to my beautiful couple.

She ruined them.

And that ruined us, book series.  It really did.

The characters regressed.  And Mimi was just stupid and sort of sad to read about.

A receptionist.

Seriously, Mimi Freaking Force a reciptionist. No.  Just no.  She should’ve been at least a brassy news anchor if not the star of her reality show or something that had her face in the tabloids every other week.

But no, she’s just doing a job that pays probably $12.00 an hour and is still living in a high dollar neighborhood. And complains about being old even though she’s barely thirty and has those Blue Blood genes.

And Kingsley. Well, I felt bad for him for about 2/3 of the book until he basically cheated on Mimi with an underage girl.

Ew!

But he was lonely…

No.  Fucking excuse.

But he looked seventeen…

Still no fucking excuse.

But he and Mimi had great makeup sex.

That apparently is a fucking excuse in Mimi’s world.

Infidelity is a huge issue in any relationship.  And even though Kingsley doesn’t completely go through with it.  If I was Mimi, I’d not have him in my pants the same night.

This is a character who is suppose to be in control.  Having her just be like oh the sex is good and you’re like forgiven is just sort of sad.

No thank you.

D. The Last (Gimmicky) Chapter:

Well, surprise.  Surprise.  It’s Sky and Jack.  Obviously, there to get you to read the next book.  With just a hint about what’s going on with them to make you want to read it.

Funny, I never saw the two of them as vineyard owners.  Nothing in the previous books indicated to me that this would be the route they’d go.  Of course, that’s what Allegra did.  And I guess Sky is suppose to be a duplicate of Allegra.  But like every other character in this book, the career choice makes no freaking sense.  And I’m sorry, I think tacking the kids thing on and having them leave is just stupid.

You know, if you want them to have kids have them wait.  People can still reproduce in their late twenties/early thirties.

Oh, I forgot, thirty=ancient for de la Cruz.  Not flirty like it was for Jennifer Garner.

Regardless, I really don’t know if I’ll continue.  I think this really is it book.  I mean, I’ve read fan fics that have done better justice to these characters.

So excuse me but I’m out of here.  Going to find myself  a new book romance.

MJ

Tuning In: The Old Man and the Key (episode 2.3)

Better known as the episode you can be halfway tapped out on allergy meds  and still get the gist of the episode.

God, this was a boring episode.  Don’t believe me? Read this recap.  Predictable melodrama is best how I sum up this one.

Let’s begin shall we…

So, we open up with a slew of flashbacks before we flash to a flashback in Asgard.  The Asgard costume look like their rejects of the costume the mage girl wears in The Ring and the Crown book trailer (also by Melissa de la Cruz).  Basically these scenes are only used to show suspicion on Freddie-known as Fredrick on this show.

I could’ve told them he’s no good.  I suffered through the books after all.

Anyway, Jo asks Wendy about her son.  She uses this opportunity to argue with her.  It’s really a waste of screen time and is ridiculously predictable.

Meanwhile, Freya comes in while Ingrid is packing up her cardigans (she still has the grubby white one that she wore on the last episode).  Freya decides to talk about how she’s flying to the Caribbean to find Killian- I still don’t know how the Coast Guard didn’t notice a random boat floating aimlessly from New England all the way down to the Caribbean, but what do I know?

While they are talking about Freya’s love life they noticed that Jo sealed up a door.  Jo makes a lame excuse why it’s sealed.  The two dimwits decide to give her a pass because Freya’s love life takes precedence.

Dash apparently got drunk and had a one night stand.  That’s interesting.  What’s not interesting is he’s having conversations with Not Dead Killian.  Lifetime, if you really wanted to make this interesting you could’ve not showed the audience that Killian was alive in the first episode of the season.

Wendy goes to the morgue to perform  a Pushing Daisies on Ingrid’s old boss.  It doesn’t go that well.  Obviously, because she isn’t a trained professional like Ned.  And she bought no pie.

Man, do I miss that show. That was actually quality entertainment (unlike this show).

At this point I should mention we’re ten minutes in.  Bored?  So am I.  I recommend using this time to do something productive, like sorting paperclips.

Oh, look it’s Halliwell Manor but with a new paint job.  So, now everyone won’t be saying it’s Halliwell Manor even though that’s exactly what it is.  Jo is upset about Freddie and they have a rather awkward talk.  My, my, my, Freddie is adjusting to modern America much more than Thor (see his syntax and like for muscle shirts).  I will admit even though the character bores me to death, he is pretty to look at.  Then again, almost every male character on Lifetime is pretty to look at.

And another useless flashback to Asgard where I gawk at Victor (not Victor Halliwell’s) lame facial hair.  Yet, another thing the Thor movies have on this one.  Because unlike Victor both Tom Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth can rock their Asgard hair.

Oh, Dash.  Another faux Killian conversation.  And really wearing your scrubs in the middle of nowhere.  Conspicuous much?

Victor is on his way home apparently thrilled about Freddie.  Obviously, his trip to South America resulted in a lobotomy.  Wendy, the only one with common sense, put a some sort of  tracking spell on Freddie.

Girl, obviously has been watching some Veronica Mars.

Well, someone has to in this useless house.  And yep…they find out that Freddie is troubled.

Meanwhile, Freya goes to Killians’ room and finds out that her one true love doesn’t really give a shit about her since she got married.

Cue the slut slamming.

Because we all know it’s coming.  Eva, Killian’s wife, will undoubtedly be the big bad this year and Freya will be the saint.  I’m sure Lifetime will have her do something severally evil like try to kill Freya and Killian will have to save the day by the end of the season after not believing Freya’s warnings about his “evil” wife for months.  And that will leave us to angst about trust next season (if it’s renewed), but for now let’s enjoy the fact that Freya is going to have to mope.

Ice cream, anyone?

Long story short, Freya makes some b.s. about why she flew down to the Caribbean to see Killian.  He oddly buys it which confirms he lacks brain cells.  Freya also drops the bomb that Killian’s crazy mommy is dead.

More Asgard Freddie’s a rat and we dress like lame extras of Thor flashbacks.

Yawn.

Man, these scenes really drag.

Dash is playing with magic and wait….wait he has a Michael Westen moment.  Is he turning into a bad ass?  For reals.

Okay, now I’m starting to like this character.  A lot, lot, more.

Freya has a heart to heart with Eva.  It comes off very lame and stilted.  Really, I’m just wondering why they’re going this route.  It is so cliched.

And really, really, why can’t we have Freya focus on something other than her love life.  Like, I don’t know….sorting paperclips.

Ingrid (still wearing the nasty white cardigan) calls up Dash to see her.  Too bad newly bad ass Dash is still polite, otherwise he’d tell her off like anyone with common sense who’s not a cast member of this show.  She tells him that they have magic.  He’s more interested in being a bad ass and tells her he has to take care of business.

More bad ass moments continue, though unfortunately Ingrid interrupts and almost gets herself killed in the process.  Dash again has to take care of business and thanks to the waste of space, Ingrid, he has to clean up her mess.

Seriously, I get she’s a main character, but she is sooooooooo annoying.  And really, why haven’t they reevaluated her wardrobe?

She cleans it up with a spell that will obviously backfire at the end of the season. The thing that is most disturbing about this scene is that I think they are testing the chemistry between Dash and Ingrid.  This will severally limit Dash’s bad-assery and tarnish his character.  My suggestion is he gets with the only decent character on this show (Wendy).

Meanwhile, Freddie gets an intervention.  Since it’s only the third episode of the season I don’t expect much and really nothing happens here. Other than Jo being a dumb ass for believing that moron.

And more Asgard scenes where the curse is obviously enacted.  I could really care less.

Victor-no not that Victor- has come home and something bad has happened to him just as we flash to commercial.

Yeah, I don’t care either.  More ice cream?

Freya’s back in American and Killian comes to talk to her.  It’s well…awkward.

She then goes to Ingrid and cries.  Now, won’t that be awkward if Lifetime is going to throw Dingrid down our throats. Then again, since Freya only talks about her love life it won’t be that awkward.

And Ingrid, seriously, get a new cardigan.

Dash finally realizes that Killian is alive by hearing him go all Edward Cullen at the piano.  The whole reaction is rather a let down. I’m sure they’ll forget the fact that Dash was being blackmailed for Killian’s death by next episode.

The episode closes with Jo calling Victor who’s not picking up and who’s being held up in some weirdo room of pain.  And I’m done (well, for the week).

Best Moment: Dash being a bad ass.  Who knew Dr. Shirtless had it in him, he might (just might) become likable.

Worst Moment: The potential of Dingrid (just ew!).

Cringe Worthy Moment: Asgard.  In comparison to Thor (yeah, hilarious).

Shirtless Moments: I think Killian had a few shirtless moments with Eva.  Honestly, I was so bored in this episode I can’t even remember.  And I like abs, so me not remembering them is, well, sad.

Episode Grade: A forgettable C-.  The C part is only because there’s minimum Ingrid in this particular episode.

Tuning In: The Time Which I Binge Watch and Hate Myself

So, this somehow got renewed.  I didn’t know until I checked my DVR and saw too episodes.  So let’s get down to the recaps shall we (we won’t defeat the Huns)…

 

If you Forgot What Happened Last Season:

  • Ingrid made an ass of herself in ill colored cardigans
  • Freya threated about her love life and nothing else.
  • Dash walked around without a shirt for ten episodes.
  • Killian made an appearance as additional eye candy
  • Dash and Killian’s momma went bananas.
  • No one in The Halliwells’   Bechaumps’ stupid town watched the Thor movies.
  • Wendy was awesome.
  • And Ingrid opened up a portal in another horrible cardigans.

 

A Moveable Beast:

The episode opens with a lot of dark cinematography with Latin being thrown in every now and then to give it a spooky effect.  It’s too dark to actually see anything and not get a migraine so these scenes I really just sort of use to multi-task.  The only thing I have halfway sort of gathered is that Ingrid is now sleep walking in evening wear that’s suppose to be a nightgown.  They then flash to the woods, which she’s apparently walking around before showing the credits.  I’m hopeful for now that there will be dialogue.

It appears Jo is being poisoned and her estranged husband is treating her, though with the way it’s played out its like a recreation of some god awful scene from an EL James’s sad excuse of a novel.

As usual, Freya is obsessed with her love life and nothing else.  Wendy is the only character that makes sense.  Given the fact she is a Lifetime addition and not part of the original series, it really is quite surprising.

Dash is trying to get his Harry Potter on, but it’s not working.  Perhaps, he should go to Diagon Alley instead of talking to a Killian  hallucination.  Sadly, he is wearing a shirt.  As he does pretty much throughout the rest of this episode.  Guess, he got that Jacob Black cause removed from his contract.

Pity.

Freya again bemoans about her love life.  I really don’t care as I neither care about Jo’s condition since the promos show her alive and well.  More time to multi task.

There’s a stranger lurking in the woods…I have a bad feeling about who it’s going to be.  And Lifetime better not stick to the source material on this one is all I have to say.

And now cut to the hospital with scenes of Dash trying to be McDreamy.  The scrubs are good.  Though not as good as him going shirtless.  Swim some of that frustration off, Dash.

Freya meanwhile has some vision about Killain.  It’s always oh woe is me with her and I really don’t care about her love life at this point.

Ingrid’s at the library talking to her token best friend.  She apparently applied to a job that she’s under-qualified for and lied on about having a doctorate degree.  She acts like she’s more qualified than most people because she really loves the subject matter.  Having actually suffered through a doctoral program I’m giving Ingrid the stink eye on this.  And for wearing ANOTHER cardigan.

Joanna and her estranged husband have bonding time.  It’s just sort of awkward.  Though they have more chemistry than Ingrid did with every single one of her boyfriends.  But her estranged husband is no Harrison Ford or Brad Pitt.

More moaning about Freya’s love life.  Apparently, she now has Phoebe Halliwell powers.  Really, show, really?  When will you not rip off Charmed.

Seems they’re trying to give Wendy a love interest.  I approve. She’s the only decent character on this show. The love interest seems to be a rift on the guy that Melissa de la Cruz paired up Ingrid with in the books.  He has better chemistry with Wendy-just saying.  Then again, TV Ingrid has tainted any love I had for that character.  Well, it didn’t help with the whole annoying virgin subplot in the book.

Back to Dash trying to figure out what’s wrong with him…boring.

Annoying family bonding moment where Ingrid does magic to lighten up the mood and laughs.  She’s become even more annoying this season.  How is that possible?

Jo is getting sicker.  This of course leads to Lifetime melodrama which let’s daddy dearest (the estranged husband) make a quick exit.

Ingrid’s Interview: she’s unkept, late, and her future boss is unimpressed.  Unimpressed with her lying too.  Good for him. He tells her she’s a loser (stating the obvious) and leaves.

S0 what does Ingrid do?  She goes to the bar to bemoan in a neutral color cardigan (instead of the nasty green one she wore to the interview)  to bemoan about why she didn’t get a job she wasn’t qualified for.  Her token friend tells her to use a spell, Freya agrees.  Aren’t you NOT suppose to use magic for self gain? Whatever.  She ends up doing a ritual with her lame glass of white wine, gets the job and then falls on her ass (no joke about that).

And Dash gets more freaked out while getting his McDreamy on.

Meanwhile, Freya’s bemoaning about her love life gets interrupted by Ingrid’s stupidity and Wendy has to fix it (like everything else) and flirts more with the cute EMT.

Dash goes into the bar glares at Freya and gets a phone call telling him his brain is as messed up as Ingrid’s.  Boy do I feel for him.

Joanna talks about how she’s okay with dying and then Freddie…

Oh, Lifetime.

Really?

Really?

This is the character that ended up ruining the book series.  Did you really bring him on here?

At least he’s cute and he’s not as stupid (so far) as the book one.  But I was really hoping he’d never appear despite your foreshadowing last season.  Why didn’t you get the message.  Are their actually Freddie fans out there?

Dear lord.

At least Wendy has common sense.

While at the bar Freya makes an ass of herself in front of Dash by asking about the welfare of his brother.  That she was having an affair with.  You just don’t do that Freya.  Just don’t.

Poor Dash.  That and the I Know What You Did Last Summer threats have to kill him.  Oh, and finding out your a wizard with no Hogwarts letter.

Really, that blows.

As Freya bemoans about Killan the camera pans out to the Caribbean.  Yep, the boat apparently floated all the way down there with no one finding it.  He has himself a Freya replacement and they are getting it on.

You know, Freya will be having a pity party in a couple of episodes over that with a bunch of slut slamming included.

I’m not even going to go into the end other than that it was stupid and probably won’t make sense till the last episode.  Overall, this particular episode wasn’t horrible.  It wasn’t great either.  It was fairly typical of the show so I’m giving it a C.

Best Moment: Wendy’s moments with the EMT

Worst Moment: Freddie being a cast Member

Cringe Worthy Moment: Anytime Ingrid’s on My  Screen.

Shirtless Moments: Unfortunately, none.  But lots of scrubs moments.

 

The Son Also Rises:

We open up with a shot of Halliwell Manor when it’s not Hollywood Manor.  Jo is concerned because her thirty year-old daughter wasn’t home at the crack of dawn making an ass of herself.  Instead, she’s laying in the back yard making an ass of herself.  We know she was sleep walking in the previous episode.  So, it’s not a big deal.

More of Dash unsuccessfully trying to get into Hogwarts and a blackmail call.  Given the state of evidence, I’m betting he could chalk it up on bad video editing not murder.  But that’s just me.

Ingrid’s alive-unfortunately. She sounds like she’s high on something with the way she’s talking about her appetite and waking up in the backyard but since she’s Ingrid I really doubt she is on something.  Jo  and Wendy tell them they have a brother they take it pretty well.

Wendy like me is still less than impressed with Freddie.  Once again, the only character with common sense on this show.

Freddie and Freya start talking about astral projection and twin stuff.  All I have to say is Prue Halliwell and why would anyone want to willingly be related to Freddie.  Yes, I know I’m talking about book Freddie not TV Freddie.  But still, if he’s anything like book Freddie that’s someone’s DNA I would not want in common.They also talk about how Freya is a princess.  She acts shocked.  I just sort of nod my head.  I mean, only royalty gets away with talking about their pathetic love life so much.

There is something up with Freddie as we find out later on.  At this point, not exactly how to describe it other than I think Lifetime wants us to find it creepy and we fade to commercial (finally).

I use this opportunity to do important things like check the weather.

Wendy does some spying in her cat suit.  I really do like Cat Wendy which reminds me I really want a cat.  The EMT she was flirting with pets her another point for him guys who like animals always get a plus sign on the likability factor.  Wendy the cat spies on him and finds out he has a kid.  Obviously, a misunderstanding will occur.

Ingrid starts her new job and her new boss tells her he was forced to hire her and that she’s a loser (I like this guy).  I should also note, Ingrid is wearing the same cardigan as she wore when she fell on her ass drinking white wine in the last episode.

Dash’s paranoia at this point is getting predictable so I am hitting the FF button.  Thank God for the DVR.

Oh, wait I have to watch Jo and Wendy and their pie get ditched by Dash.  Yeah, I have to say I’m amused with him telling them to get lost.

A big Fourth of July Party-well, their timing is off-is going on.  Wendy claims to feel a chill in the air (this is only stated five hundred times the rest of the episode) just like her starring at the EMT while Jo talks to her drip of a son when Freya isn’t.

Trying to show that twin bond which really isn’t working since Freya more or less looks like she’s into her twin.

 

Between the champagne glasses they try to astral project for Killian and of course fail.

Ingrid’s boss says she’s a loser because she’s a librarian.  Now, I’m starting to hate him.  You can diss Ingrid as much as you want, God knows I do, but do not diss librarians.  They are bad ass.  Unless of course, they try to torment their patrons by putting really horrible YA books on their feature shelf like Ingrid does.

Freya is not doing her work because she’s trying to book a flight (Jesus, girl just use Priceline)  and is talking to her brother.  Outrageously enough, patrons are getting upset with her and a little rowdy.  Of course, her new screw partner   twin defends her honor as any good brother should.  However, because magic is involved Freya must use the power of love to soother his tormented magical soul.

Seriously, he would’ve been better off NOT being related to her.

Lifetime does not know how to write sibling relationships.

Ingrid gets yelled at for improperly handling a book.  And gets into an argument.  Her boss leaves and is Lifetime punished-he’s dead.  It’s actually a rather dramatic death at the Fourth of July picnic (apparently).

Back in the Caribbean, Killian performs some sort of ritual with his love buddy that reveals he has magic.  She says its because of their love. Oh, Lifetime, we know you are totally going to be slut slamming her.  It’s not even funny at this point.  And it sort of upsets me, because this girl could be an interesting diverse character, but their just going to make her a stupid impediment to the Freya/Killian love fest.

The show ends sort of on a low note.  The fireworks are rained out and Ingrid tells everyone she’s moving out.  Given the fact she’s randomly sleep walking this probably isn’t the best idea, but she actually thinks that’s the reason she’s sleep walking (living with her mother).  Honestly, I could care less about Ingrid’s living situation and just want to get this double viewing done by watching the painfully induced magic fireworks on top of the ceiling.

Overall Rating: D a very droll episode.

Best Moment: Ingrid being told she’s useless

Worst Moment: Actually, siding with Ingrid.

Cringe Worthy Moments: Freya and Freddie.

Shirtless Moments: None.  Again.  What’s wrong, show. Seriously.

 

 

 

 

 

Just Give Me the Crown: The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz

 

 

 

This book takes two of my childhood dreams and oddly blends them together

Childhood Dram Number One: Princesses.  Like a good chunk of little girls I wanted to be a princess when I grew up.  However, instead of any Disney fantasy kingdom I had my sights set on England.  Thank you, Kate Middleton for ruining that.

I so wanted this to happen, but without the horrible hair.

Childhood Dream Number Two: Soap Opera Writer.  Yes, I wanted to write soaps.  I think because you get paid to write ridiculous shit like having your dead boyfriend married to your long lost half sister and you only discover this at your family reunion.  Oh, and said reunion is at your long lost daddy’s palace (yeah, he’s a prince).

So, The Ring and the Crown sort of mixes these two childhood fantasies of mine and it sort of has mixed results. The good news is that it’s one of the better de la Cruz books I’ve read in awhile.  I mean, I had my dog review that disaster Frozen and you know when Patty reviews a book it’s kick a puppy worthy.  So, this was an improvement.  However, it still has a way  to go from her early Blue Bloods books.

So, what is our little soap opera about.  Well, de la Cruz has set up an alternate history where Merlin and magic is real (only to add some limited drama) and this has made Edwardian England  into some sort of soap opera world where everyone is beautiful and dressed like a Disney princess. Complete with Disney princesses smiles.  Save for the actual princess who we’re told is plain, plain, plain (probably because of all the inbreeding).

There’s about seven points of view to the story, which is very typical for de la Cruz (though usually she limits it to about three or four people).  This might bother some people, but this particular part of the story didn’t bother me since I’m used to her writing.  Though I have to say the many points of view did make me not care about some of the characters, particular Aewellyn who more or less was just there to info dump when needed.

Oh, and to preform the occasional spell.

For the most part though, the characters were formed enough for their soap opera roles.  Honestly, I was able to quickly figure out who was the Mimi, the Schulyer, and the Bliss in this story.  Though de la Cruz did switch up some aspects about their lives to make them original enough.  The plot twist in the book was the same way.  I saw it before in Blue Bloods.  In fact, it sort of made me roll my eyes since I’m sure Ron Carlivati could’ve wrote something better and more original on General Hospital even though there are certain individuals who call him Re-Ron.

I did enjoy this one though,  despite the predictability.  This book is what Melissa excels in.  Light, frothy fun with some fantasy maybe thrown in on occasion. The world building is not that deep and for the most part I was okay with it, though occasionally I might want a bone thrown at me.

Like all that info dumping that Mage Girl was doing at the end.  Seriously, why did that have to be rushed.  Couldn’t those actual scenes be written out?

This is actually a problem I had with the Blue Bloods series as well, way too much happened behind the scenes.  It’s a cop out de la Cruz that just doesn’t work for me.

Really, the whole book in a lot ways seemed half way done.  If fleshed out a little more, I think this really would’ve been a better book.  I wanted to know more about this world, how it worked,  and more about the Merlin.  Same with the characters and their relationships.  We knew who the characters were the sickly princess, the poor little rich girl who is in love with X but there’s another guy and well he looks like a Ken doll too.

Maybe this book was inspired by playing Barbies.  I swear there were so many pretty people…

And yeah, I keep going back to that.  Because it got so damn annoying hearing how pretty everyone was.  Did Eleanor win the war by being beautiful?  It certainly seems that way.

Shakes head.

Though having wars decided based on looks might make an interesting dystopia…just saying.

Besides how everyone looked obnoxiously perfect, the other thing that made me cray-cray about this part was the names.  Dear lord, de la Cruz, I’d like to be able to pronounce half of the casts names.  It was bad enough when people were calling Schuyler Schooler for the first three books until you corrected them.  Do you really want to go through that again?  And I really don’t know how you expect me to find the name Gill sexy.  I mean, except if he’s on a long run CBS show and goes more or less by his last name.

It’s just not done.

However, bad names and pretty people, and plot holes aside.  I did enjoy this one.  It was fun for what it was worth.  I’m going to give this one a B-.  It had a lot going for it and hopefully it means de la Cruz is finally getting her groove back.  Which is expected because after Frozen, there was nowhere to go except up.

Tuning In: Not Freddie (Witches of East End)

This episode is actually called “Snake Eyes” which isn’t such a bad title, I just want to have a bit of a PSA here for Lifetime, do NOT bring the character Freddie on to the series unless you heavily revamp him.  Because he sucks as a character…that being said, let’s review this episode, which was fairly good save for many anvil hints about that boob of a character, better known as Freddie.

The first scene starts in the bar where Freya is serving breakfast-in a bar.  That doesn’t serve food  Just drinks round the clock.  She’s talking to Ingrid who is back to wearing horrible cardigans-this one an orange/pink  one.  Seriously, Lifetime the actress who plays Ingrid is very pretty but she’s a redhead.  Redheads for the most part do not wear pink.

Oh, God, there’s are lame villain whose name I still don’t remember making some spell which will of course affect the entire episode since the credits flash after her smirk.

Jo tells Wendy that she kept the serpent amulet thing.  Wendy being the only responsible one tells Jo that she’s stupid.  We find out that the serpent is a portal key.  To Asgard of all places.  Funny thing, none of these characters seem to know what Asgard is.  Obviously, they have never seen Thor and therefore are missing out on life.  Seriously, as a former DC purist, I was really missing something until I watched the first Thor on a dare.  Now, I love that movie and Marvel for that matter.  Though I’m still not a Hulk fan for the most part and Batman could probably kick most of their asses anytime becuase well…he’s Batman.

OOh, the library.  Where people check out books.  Well, not this library.  They just check you out and gossip.  If my librarian did that, I’d be pissed.  I mean, I talk to the librarians if I want a book not to talk about hot and not hot patrons.  Mike, Not Andy replacement, is obviously going to be Ingrid’s new squeeze and is doing book research on witches and Asgard.  Once again, someone show him that movie.

Freya is being bitchy to Killian, enough said.  Really, I find all her parts to be eye roll worthy.  You know I’ve read and watched plenty of love triangles, but this one really does remind me of something you’d see on a bad love triangle.  Even that stupid Robin/Patrick/Sabrina triangle that currently is going on General Hospital is better than this.  And we all know Patrick is going to pick Robin as soon as he realizes she’s alive.  Just like Freya will probably pick the bartender because he’s hot and there’s been so much build up between the two of them.  Not actual buildup though, but sexual tension buildup which means when they actually get together it’s going to be awkward.

Wendy visits Jo in her studio where she’s painting Georgia O’Keffe like paintings.  I have no words, except this is the appropriate network for them.  They talk about how the portal and how Wendy knows Joanna wants to bring back him (more about this later in a mini rant).  Jo is all mopey and has to go to the bathroom or whatever and somehow Wendy is stupid enough to get that amulet thing on her wrist.

Back to the library, Ingrid’s stupid friend talks about how Ingrid got her pregnant with that stupid spell.  This is really pretty much useless much like the next scene with Freya and Killian where Killian tells Freya he dumped his girlfriend.  During all this lameness, Freya gets delivered some what we find out to be deadly-ish flowers and the big bad decides to show up.

Welcome to Evil Wendy, the serpent seems to be controlling you.  Plan to roll and groan during this whole sequence.  Especially when they talk about Freddie who was one of the lamest (if not the lamest) character in the series.  Seriously, this is a character that’s stupid enough to sign a contract in blood without even reading the damn thing.  What’s next, Lifetime, are you going to bring in those stupid pixies?

Please say no, please say no, please say no……

Freya passes out and is taking back to the Big Bad’s lair where she’s given some tea. And since Freya is the show’s Disney princess, she drinks it.  Obviously, there are consequences.  And at this point I wonder why I even bother with this stupid show.

Ingrid’s at the library and bonds with New Not Andy they talk about his work and her work.  All I really know is that they really need to not focus on having Ingrid in a relationship at this point.  I think it would do wonders for her character, if they developed her as a single woman instead of trying to force all these guys down the viewers throat.  And maybe, she could get a makeover when she’s having some me time.  Seriously, the hair and cardigans are horrible this episode.  And it’s sort of sad because the actress  is pretty and some of the outfits she wears has redeemable features.

Man, Wendy is really giving it to Jo.  I wouldn’t mind so much if it wasn’t the constant mentioning of Freddie and now Jo’s husband.  I really was hoping those two characters were gone.  I liked Jo with hot lawyer guy.  They should’ve kept him.

Back to the library, Ingrid gets schooled on Asgard.  And I just have to once again laugh at her ineptness of not ever seeing Thor.  Or even flipping on the TV and seeing the trailer of the film which undoubtedly mentions Asgard.  Man, if Lifetime actually does decide to go to Asgard, I have a feeling it’s going to be hilariously bad.

While Jo is trying to battle Evil Wendy, the Big Bad sucks out Freya’s soul…er magic.  Dash dashes (ha, ha, bad pun) right before she gets to the soul sucking dementor stage and saves her life and they make up.  Only catch is Freya can’t use her magic now.

Jo eventually gets the upper hand on Wendy and she becomes de-brainwashed just as teh girls come home.  Ingrid tells her mother about Asgard, Jo freaks out but really doesn’t tell her anything.  Seriously, when will she ever learn.  And of course, all attention turns to Freya when she comes home and says her magic is gone.

At this point I’m just annoyed.  There were lots of nice things about this episode.  But I just feel like the pacing on this show is messed up.  Things are dragging.  I could care less about the twenty minute circle-go-round conversations involving Freddie.  And once again, I’m going to reiterate that I hope Lifetime does not go there.  Up until this point, most of the changes they have made have actually been on the smart side.  I enjoyed the insertion of Wendy, the killing of Not Andy, and the deaging of Jo.  But Freddie, really?  Well, I got over Bram being named Dash (well, sort of).  Both are stupid names.  Just like I’m pretty sure Freddie will be dumb in this incarnation, if he should appear, too.

Overall Rating: C+

Patty Beagle Presents: Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz

Hi, my name is Patricia “Patty” Cakes Beagle.  I’m the cutest puppy in the universe.  My favorite color is orange and I like to eat table scraps all day long when not rolling in something stinky/biting my owner’s feet.  I am also a voracious reader-yes, I’m literate.   You see, I wear reading glasses and my owner let’s me listen to audio books.

She’s also letting me review this book called Frozen because she said it wouldn’t be right if she reviewed it because it would be like kicking a puppy and I can review it without repercussions  ’cause I am  a puppy.

Okay, so I suppose I should start out this review with a brief summary about the book because that’s more difficult than it seems because even I couldn’t figure out what hte book was about without reading the back jacket.  Basically there’s this girl who’s hiding out because she’s different and she meets this hot guy and they eat bacon fruit together while going on Peter Pan’s Flight at the Magic Kingdom.  
 
 
OOOH, bacon fruit.  You know how we dogs get around bacon.
 
I love bacon.  The idea of bacon being in fruit intrigues me.  But it better not be grapes since I have to go to that evil man with the bushy eyebrows if that’s the case.  He pumped my stomach the other year when I ate a whole bag of chocolate.
 
I still have bad memories about that.  I mean, Valentine’s Day you’re supposed to share your candy, MJ.  And you should tell your friends to give you stuff that’s not going to make me have to see bushy eyebrows man.
 
Some owners suck.
 
Okay, back to the book.  Despite the fact it has this amazing bacon fruit, the rest is really a downer and I can’t make much sense of it.  So there are these two characters, Wes and Nat, who think they’re like hot stuff.  They say it all the time.  But they’re not.  I’m hot stuff, I’m cute.  I know what cute is.  They aren’t. I don’t go around telling people how sexy I am, instead I exhibit my cuteness in daily activities like barking.
 
I don’t even know why they’re in love.  Seriously, my parents relationship made more sense then there’s and I was bred for show.  That should tell you everything you need to know about Wet’s chemistry.  And Nat can sort of turn into an animal (I think) that’s sort of bad-animals aren’t supposed to be touched that way by humans.  But I guess since that wolf guy on Twilight got with Bella (sort of) it’s okay.
 
No, I don’t think so still a little disturbing especially since the creature’s voice is in her head and she’s like crazy Bliss Llewllyn but it’s a dragon not Lucifer that’s in her head (still creepy). 
 
Oh God, Bliss Llewllyn.  The beginning of Melissa de la Cruz’s destruction (my owner told me to put that in here).  I’m supposed to tell you about how Wolf Pact was the beginning of the obvious fall from grace from de la Cruz.  Though really the Blue Bloods series started declining after the fourth book and her last few books-non Blue Bloods related have sort of sucked too which is whyFrozen was MJ’s last shot in continuing her favorite buy me automatically relationship with Melissa de la Cruz.
 
Yeah, needless to say MJ is distraught right now.  Hence why I’m reviewing, bitches.
 
Ha!  Ha!  That’s actually funny because I’m a bitch.
 
It’s dog humor. I don’t expect you lame humans to get it.
 
Let me continue with the book.  Oh, the world building.  I couldn’t tell you what the heck was going on.  Things were just sort of thrown at you.  I think it was supposed to be like if Tank Girl and Peter Pan had a baby and it mutated with YA dystopia, but with better hair.
 
That’s really the only way I can describe it.  
 
The book is just really a weird piece of shit.  The grammar was awful and MJ thinks it was done on purposes.  It starts off with a weird prologue where the writer looks like they know nothing about comma rules.  Having read enough fan fiction, MJ was able to put on her filter pretty quick and read.  But it still was jarring.  She’d rather not blame the newbie author in this (de la Cruz’s husband who ghostwrote/created the Blue Bloods series because that’s not fair), but these mistakes were something that one with an MFA should be able to pick up on quite easily.  There were also some paragraphs where multiple lines of dialogue by multiple characters were listed.  Once again, bad choice of style, or were the Penguin staff eating too many Twinkies when editing this one.
 
I mean, a dog sees these errors.
 
A dog.
 
A purebred Beagle, but still a dog.
 
For all you “fans” of tropes get ready to be delighted there’s big info dumps, big insta love, and big slut slamming, all thrown into one full fun book.  
 
MJ used to praise de la Cruz for her world builidng, now it’s on the same level as PC and Kristin Cast.
 
The insta love was ridiculous.  It was one thing with Jack and Schuyler because there was build up and an explanation for the attraction but here.  Stupid……and the romance……god it reminded MJ of a bad Bollywood movie but with worse actors so you don’t even get the fun there.  And Wet as I said before no chemistry.  They’re pretty people, but once again I’m cuter.
 
Then there’s the slut slamming.  MJ told me she got to read this little gem in the book and I had to quote it because it made her blood pressure go up about ten points when she read it.
 

“It’s a miracle you passed the STD monitors-not with those girls from Ho Ho City!” de la Cruz and Johnston (Frozen, 80).

Not to mention they’ve never watched Carmen Sandiego to know the basic principles of geography-the Arctic Ocean isn’t off of the coast of California.  This really pisses off MJ because she was a dedicated viewer who always wanted to be on that show but didn’t get on it because it got canceled and all she got for her efforts was first runner up at her school’s geography bee.  Sucky prize for knowing where Maine and Washington are on the map.

 
Was anything good about this book, besides it being a good chew toy?

That wasn’t the only thing you had to suspend reality.  Several things about the Earth just didn’t make sense to someone like my owner who has an interest in the environment and has actually worked on environmental issues.  Plus, a lot of the things like the use of petroleum conflicted with what was said ten pages earlier.

At a certain point MJ just didn’t care anymore and started throwing me treats.

I liked that.

A lot.

Well, it’s not as horrid as Winds of Salem in some regards and the idea wasn’t bad.  The cover was gorgeous even though I had seen girl lying down with something covering parts of her head several times already in book published by de la Cruz.  My owner is really fed up though and is giving this book two stars on her own rating system, a half star on Booklikes, and one star on GoodReads.  I liked it though because of the treats.

But it sucks for you, peeps. 

Thanks you,

Patricia C. Beagle

P.S. You all agree that I’m like the cutest ever, right?

 

Tune In: Witches of East End (1.4 “A Few Good Tailsmen”)

It’s Sunday and I have nothing better to do than watch Witches of East End.

Okay, I have a lot to do actually, but I record this show on the DVR mainly because General Hospital isn’t airing that particular day and I need something soap opera-ish to make fun of and it’s like the perfect show to review for this blog because I read the equally crappy series.

Okay, to be fair the TV series might be a little better.

Little being the operative word.

I really had such high hopes for this series when it began.  It looked like it could be my Charmed replacement, but nope I think I prefer my Charmed DVDs to this one.  Though, I’ll probably keep watching it mainly because (well, this blog and there’s nothing better going on).  That being said, let’s see what’s going on this drama fest this week.

Recap of Last Week: If you don’t want to read last week’s recap by yours truly, all you need to know is Jo learned that she shouldn’t have no magic cliche because it never works (Jesus, you would’ve thought Disney would’ve taught you that already).

 

Anyway, this weeks episode starts up with a flashback is Salem (or what I think is Salem).  As far as accuracy goes here they don’t stay in Salem long enough for me to bitch.  That’s a plus.  Jo beats up creepy old guy in the flashback and we flash to the women acting all Halliwell in the kitchen.  Unfortunately, there is no Leo and Cole in the kitchen to salivate over.

Lifetime though will remedy that situation soon with Dash.  I actually sort of feel bad for the actor, I think he was forced to sign a Jacob Black contract-you know, not have your shirt on for x amount of scenes.  He is pretty to look at though, that’s a plus.  Though I think his talents would’ve been better suited for General Hospital (which by the way is a far superior show because it knows how to work its campiness).

After some stupid antics that are facilitated by Wendy, Joanna’s lawyer takes a deposition for a character witness (who I know nothing or care nothing about).

And now we’re getting some Dash chest.  Most of the scene is focused on his chest, but we get a few diatribes about how his brother hurt him by cheating with his last girlfriend/fiancee.  And they talk about Freya’s relationship with her future mother in-law.  And how mother in-laws always love their daughter in-laws (try telling that to my grandma).

We then go to the library-better known as the place all the Lifetime cliche coworkers work.  We see that Barb who believes Ingrid knocked her up via a spell (it’s amazing that these librarians did not pay attention in health class).  She wants boring Ingrid (who wears two cardigans in this installment) to be godmother.  Even though Ingrid would probably be the worst godmother ever, but whatever.

 Freya talks to her mother in-law who looks like Heather Webber’s slightly younger and thinner sister.  Like the rest of the cast in this show, she has horrible taste in clothing and wears some weird ensemble that I think is supposed to show how rich she is.  Instead, I’m thinking total disaster that the costume designer ordered off of QVC when he or she was drunk.  Anyway, she wants Freya to get both her sons to come and eat with her which is just sort of stupid since they’re probably act like they are on Jerry Springer or whoever.

 

Joanna gets yelled at by the victim’s wife.  I’m amazed she’s on bail without an anklet or being housebound.  Wendy doesn’t like the fact that the victim’s wife is saying shit about Jo and she puts a spell on her that makes the victim’s wife end up in the hospital.  Joanna and her hot lawyer go to the murder scene and instead of-I don’t know, hiring an independent CSI to do an investigation so that they could nail the prosecution on cross, she decides to have psychic visions like Phoebe freaking Halliwell.  Except unlike Phoebe her eyes get all freaky when she gets a vision.

Hmmm, Phoebe visions and  hot lawyer guy that’s obviously in to her.

So, not going to say it (you know what I’m thinking).

 Ooooh God, Ingrid and painful romance here we come.  Not Andy comes visiting at that bar where everyone goes because Lifetime had a budget to only make x sets.  Genius that Freya is, she claims Not Andy and Ingrid are instantly in love.  Obviously, she’s read one too many YA books.  Ingrid in typical YA fashion freaks out.  I’m freaking out about how she always wears cardigans.  Can she go one episode without wearing a cardigan or not being annoying?

 Why do I ask such difficult questions?

 Freya fails with Killian.  He smirks at her and acts all sexily (yeah, I had to put that word in here thank you My Immortal).

 Dash is a doctor, I didn’t know that.  He actually looks really good in scrubs, then again I sort of have a thing for doctors.  But wow, I didn’t think he looked that good in clothes.  Now, I really don’t understand why he’s naked all the time.  Anyway, he’s talking to the woman that Wendy traumatized and pulls out some sort of parasite from her mouth.  Ominous music plays as they focus on the parasite and…..cut to the stock image of Halliwell Manor.

 Wendy is looking up insects online and happens on a picture of a guy that looks like Robert Irvine’s slightly less attractive younger brother (it’s really Freddie Prinze JR who looks nothing like Freddie Prinze JR).  Freya barges in and is like how do I get the Gardiner brothers to eat dinner.  Wendy gives her the spell and tells her to get the hell out.

 Meanwhile Phoebe and Cole Jo and Hot Lawyer go visit the character witness who is in danger according to her vision while Wendy visits Robert Irvine’s brother.  He’s impressed with her state of undressed he let’s her in (i.e. he probably thought his friends bought him something for his birthday).  I’m wondering if Wendy has ever gotten arrested for the whole going around naked in public thing.

 Not Andy surprises boring Ingrid (who is wearing a white cardigan now) at the library with a romantic dinner.  It’s sort of sweet, though I hope he didn’t serve anything that smelt too strongly or that it wasn’t a particularly musky area of the library.  Though sweetness aside, those two have horrible chemistry.  And when she breaks up with him, I’m like yay she got a clue.  But noooo, she breaks up with him because she’s afraid she loves him and then that means that there’s a chance he’ll die.

 Oh, the drama.

 Back at Robert Irvine’s  brother’s house, Wendy is sharing at the butterflies and is trying to seduce the brother to get one.  Of course, she ends up getting the butterfly after some sappy dappy lines and comparing him to Indiana Jones.

 I had to use some mind bleach on that one since Indiana Jones was one of my first crushes and the character Freddie is playing is NO Indy.

 Still at the dinner party, nothing has happened.  And I’m like duh character witness is not really character witness, but Jo is not as smart as me and of course gets trapped.

Freya arrives at the Gardiner mansion and here’s piano music.  Oh, God not this cliche that  Cassandra Clare started with stupid Jace to make him look softer because he was an asshole.  Oh wait, it wasn’t Clare it was SMeyer who started this stupid trend.   Ugh.  We learned that Killian used to play piano until he hurt his hand and then decided to change his career.  Never mind that plenty of musicians hurt their hand and still are able to play once the injury has healed (case in point, my father broke his wrist and once it healed he was able to play his stupid saxophone again with his band).  Dinner ends up being sort of a bust since Killian doesn’t understand why Freya kisses Dash  even though she is engaged in him.

Meanwhile, a Lifetime Drama moment occurs when Barb collapses while talking to Ingrid about her insta love.  At the hospital Ingrid’s other drippy friend tells her she saved Barb’s life even though we all know it’s her damn thought she’s in this trouble and Ingrid continues to mope….

Back to the climax with Jo and the bald guy.  Of course she eventually gets the upper hand, but not until after a commercial break and some Dr. Evil torturing.  Eventually, she tries asking him some questions. He essentially laughs in her face and tells her to get lost because he knows she’s not going to kill him and she’s not Batman.  So, what is the point?

Anyway, guesses for the big bad?  My guess is on lawyer dude because a) he’s a lawyer, b) he’s taking the role of Cole it seems, and c) it seems to fit since I know nothing else about his backstory.  I actually sort of want him and Jo together though so with my luck he is the big bad shifter.

Freya gets comforted by Dash for her failed dinner.  Obviously, they end up going to bed together.  Alas, it appears that Dash has fulfilled his Jacob Black contract for the episode since we don’t get some chest.

At the hospital, Wendy sets all things right with the stupid butterfly.  Essentially I didn’t care much for this part just that there’s horrible CGI going on here.

 Anyway, we cut back to mopey Ingrid who’s crying about how she caused Barb to be in surgery with a possible miscarriage.  Not Andy comes over, Ingrid’s like Barb and the baby are basically dead so…yeah, she makes out with him and then he collapses because it’s true loves kiss.  See, YA authors insta love kills.  Lifetime tried to make this all dramatic in stuff by having the kiss in the rain and everything, but it just comes off like a Kay’s Jeweler’s commercial with a horrible ending.  And God Ingrid’s voice drives me nuts.  She’s sooooooooooooooooooooooo annoying.  I’m laughing throughout all this drama when I should be emotional and crying.

That just doesn’t work for me, especially when insta love is involved and we cut to the preview which is just as big as a nonsensical mess as this episode.

Overall Rating: This episode gets a C/C- it’s alright.  But God……..I’m starting to really get annoyed with parts of this show.