January 2017 • WRAP-UP

What I read ...

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo - This book was quite important to me as it is the first novel I read following a trans character. I think the majority of the book failed to adequately portray the issue it promised to handle. Most of it could be read as just an ordinary high-school finding-yourself romance with one character having a huge secret. I have read many coming out fanfictions which basically had an identical outline. But I really appreciated Amanda's flashbacks and her experiences in her old life. I didn't love Grant and her but I guess they were alright. My favourite character by far was Bee - SPOILER ALERT - (... until the author made her a total bitch and let's be honest that character development made no sense and was just unnecessary. Also, would it have been so bad to have a friendship between two females where the bisexual one doesn't fall in love with the other? I had appreciated their friendship so much and kind of felt betrayed by how that turned out.) Nevertheless, it was still a cute story and more importantly, will hopefully path the way for future (Own Voices?) trans novels. (2 / 5)

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo - Review on Goodreads. (3.5 / 5)

Weak Messages Create Bad Situations: A Manifesto by David Shirgley - This is the weirdest and funniest thing I have ever read. You're done with it in less than half an hour but I still come back to it all the time and each time I do I find myself laughing so hard again. I wish I could make the whole world read this. (4.5 / 5)

A Visit by Steven Millhauser and The Toughest Indian in the World by Sherman Alexie - My best discovery of the month is definitely the New Yorker's Fiction Podcast. I walk to university on most days and it takes me about forty to fifty minutes - which is precisely how one episode of the New Yorker's podcast tends to take. I loved, loved, loved A Visit so much! It was so unexpected and weird and deep and touching and you should read it, no really, do it right now. I was disappointed by The Toughest Indian in the World, for me it was simply a story about an Indian having sex with another Indian for precisely two reasons a) he was quite obviously gay and so much built up sexual frustration does get too much at a point I guess and b) he wanted to feel closer to his roots and escape the »Evil White World«. Honestly, it was pretty boring, especially compared to A Visit. (4 / 5 for A Visit and 0.5 /5 for  The Toughest Indian in the World)

What I watched ...

Dear John - Of course I was aware that one cannot expect brilliant masterpieces from a movie based on a Nicholas Sparks novel. But the ones I had watched before were still pretty decent - The Notebook and Safe Haven. This one was boring, the romance lacked chemistry and excitement, the female protagonist had a world view that had nothing in common with mine and also she had like no flaws and was portrayed as a saint. Honestly, save yourself the two hours. If you want a nice romance, go with The Notebook, Safe Haven or perhaps Letters to Juliet. (0.5 / 5)

The Pianist - Literally had to pause the movie every ten minutes. Such a heavy one, it really drags you down. I had watched it when I was around the age of eight but couldn't remember much and frankly, wasn't aware of the movie's real implications at that time. But still an excellent and important movie. Can't remember crying this much over a movie. (4 / 5)

Brokeback Mountain - Ages ago I had watched the first half of Brokeback Mountain and found it rather boring. But recently I decided to finally finish the movie and this one just has one of those bitter sweet endings that tear you apart slowly without you even realizing. I wouldn't say it's brilliant and there are better LGBT movies, though of course one should acknowledge that it significantly shaped the path for the movies to follow. (3.5 / 5)

SING - Watch this at the theatres and it was so much fun! The animation was flawless, the characters great and pure and though the storyline was very basic and predictable, I had a great time. (Also, there is this dramatic scene with Mike and I just live for that scene.) (3.5 / 5)

Silver Linings - Perhaps it's a bit embarrassing that I had not seen this until now? I had been wanting to read it ever since it had come out really, but somehow never had come around doing so. It was a hilarious movie with strong, quirky characters, the ones you usually don't see on the movie screen which I greatly appreciated. It definitely isn't a movie that'll blow your mind, if you ask me, but still worth the time. (3 / 5)

What I listened to ...

Seafret (I love them, they're perfect. Especially their songs Oceans, Breathe, Wildfire and Atlantis). Also I have this weird obsession with I Found Love by Amber Run.


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