2019 - Một năm với rất nhiều cảm xúc, trái tim đã loạn nhịp rất nhiều 😁
Tôi đã nói với người mình thích tình cảm của mình và bị từ chối. Buồn chứ, nhưng dù sao cũng tốt hơn là giữ tình cảm đó cho riêng mình
Tôi nhận ra rằng đối với T thì tốt nhất chỉ nên là bạn mặc dù đã có lúc tôi nghĩ đó đã là mảnh ghép hoàn chỉnh của mình.
Có những dấu hiệu từ một số bạn nữ khác nhưng trái tim tôi nó lại cật lực làm ngơ😁
2019 là một năm của sự tĩnh lặng:
Tôi đã biết cách lắng nghe những câu chuyện hơn để nhìn nhận và đánh giá sự việc theo những chiều hướng khách quan và tích cực nhất
Tôi đã học cách tôn trọng suy nghĩ và hành động của từng cá nhân và cố gắng tìm điểm tương đồng trong quan điểm của cả đôi bên để có thể nói chuyện và bày tỏ quan điểm của mình. Khá hài lòng vì điều đó và sẽ tiếp tục phát huy.
Tôi đã học được cách nhìn nhận mọi việc theo chiều hướng tích cực và lạc quan nhất có thể. Suy nghĩ và hành động theo bản năng và trái tim mình dẫn dắt. Và, tôi hạnh phúc vì mình dám là chính mình.
2019 - Gia đình
Có lẽ năm nay là một năm trầm lặng của tôi với gia đình. Tôi thường im lặng với những câu chuyện được nghe, không tham gia quá nhiều vào những vấn đề của người lớn có lẽ bởi tôi nhận ra sự khác biệt trong tư duy của tôi và mọi người nó quá lớn.
Khi đi tất niên cuối năm đại gia đình bên nội, tôi chợt cảm thấy bản thân mình thật lạc lõng giữa đại gia đình. Vì tôi khác biệt hay vì mọi người quá giống nhau. Tôi không biết, tôi chỉ biết rằng sẽ phải rất rất rất lâu nữa thì tôi mới có thể hoà hợp được cái không khí như ngày hôm đó.
Tết, tôi vẫn về quê ăn tết với ông bà nhưng với một tâm thế khác; đơn giản chỉ là về vì ông bà. Tôi thấy nhẹ nhõm và vui vì như thế. Cho dù người khác có nói thế nào về trách nhiệm, về những lý do đi chăng nữa thì tôi cũng vẫn sẽ về trước tết nếu năm đó chả có ai về quê với ông bà.
Tôi vẫn chưa thể trò chuyện với bố của Kem và Cốm. Có lẽ sẽ rất lâu nữa hoặc thậm chí là chẳng bao giờ có thể như trước nữa.
2019 - sức khỏe
Tôi đã luyện tập thể thao: chạy bộ và tập nhẹ buổi sáng (push up). Sức khỏe cải thiện đáng kể và sẽ cố gắng duy trì.
2019 - Công việc
Vẫn làm ở ITM, đúng là có nhiều lúc cực kỳ thất vọng và chán chường nhưng cũng đã cố gắng vượt qua và cũng có đc chút thành tựu
2019 - và những điều linh tinh khác
Đã thử một số trải nghiệm mới, kết giao với những người lạ, uống bia với Linh, chơi game giải đố…
Những mong muốn cho 2020
Sẽ đi du lịch ít nhất một nơi nào đó (tự túc)
Cải thiện sức khỏe và cân nặng
Học những kỹ năng mới: kỹ năng nghề nghiệp hoặc kỹ năng mềm
Based on the trailer I was expecting to dislike this - it didn’t look overly funny and the jokes looked a bit forced, luckily this is not the case at all when I got to see the movie. The returning actors/actresses are fantastic once again. Jack Black is still the stand out to me, surprisingly Dwayne Johnson kinda takes the background for this film (though I’m sure he still got paid the most). Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan was amazing once again of course.
We get to see more of the characters before they are put into the game, and get introduced to the new characters.
Within the game the story has definitely changed this time around, and it’s still exciting and very hilarious. Like I said before, based on the trailer the jokes look forced but in the actual movie it came across as natural and the actors just simply taking the piss out of each other.
The action sequences were great, the story and twists of the story was great. The slight changes with the character information was easily one of the best parts too. If you loved Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle you will love this one as well. Go check it out!
CONTAINS SPOILERS!!! I have not been a fan of any of the new Star Wars films - full disclosure. Yet I still kept giving them the benefit of the doubt hoping for the best. I am always very, very wrong in giving movies a second chance, third chance and so on.
After seeing The Rise of Skywalker I now have more appreciation for The Force Awakens, though I still highly dislike The Last Jedi. The Rise of Skywalker was garbage for many, many reasons.
1) They ignore The Last Jedi, while I disliked the film and would love to pretend it doesn’t exist. That clearly doesn’t work when you are creating a trilogy, a franchise. Rose was such a vital character, and in this she is nothing. The character was horribly done and that is not the actresses fault. It doesn’t explain why they didn’t improve the character. They just got rid of her.
2) How many forced romantic relationships do they want to give Finn? I didn’t buy into the relationship with Finn and Rose, but why not just keep it rather than give him another one.
3) The same can be said for Poe, he didn’t have any romantic relationships until this film and it comes out of nowhere and adds nothing to the plot or character development, it gives us more questions.
4) There is NO character development for Finn, Poe, or ANY secondary characters. The only development is given to Kylo Ren/Ben Solo and Rey and even then they were robbed until the last possible moment.
5) The original trio have an appearance in this movie, they didn’t need to kill Leia, why kill Han Solo and Luke if you are going to rely so heavily on them for this film?
6) Don’t threaten the audience that Chewie and C3PO is going to be lost in this film when it is quickly taken back, there was no emotional takings, there was no solid storyline that required these ‘sacrifices’.
7) One minute Rey is an important person, the next minute she’s a nobody, the next minute she’s a Palpatine - ARE YOU JOKING ME. It was so obvious from the first movie where they were going with this, and yet they kept acting like it was some massive surprise? PLEASE! They could’ve at least just explained how he survived, otherwise this wasn’t a surprise.
8) I am glad they redeemed Ben Solo, but they waited way too long. This should’ve been done at the end of The Last Jedi, or the start of The Rise of Skywalker, not near the end!!!
9) You can heal people with life energy/force? WHAT. Where did that come from? Does your energy source come back? Is it lost forever? I have too many questions?????
10) Rey dies. Is healed. Ben dies. THIS IS SOME BULLSHIT RIGHT HERE. No one else knows he was redeemed, only Rey and I doubt she was like hey so after I killed him, and then i died, Ben bought me back, but then he died. What a weird conversation to have.
11) THEY KISSED - I know a lot of people loved this moment. And while it seemed natural, I am not ok with it just for the fact THEY TRIED TO KILL EACH OTHER FOR 3 MOVIES, SHE WAS DEAD WHEN HE SAVED HER. THEN THEY KISS. LIKE THERE WAS NOTHING BETWEEN THERE. IT WAS WEIRD, ESPECIALLY FOR DISNEY AND DOES A WEIRD PROMOTION OF DOMESTIC RELATIONSHIPS, AND JUST ARGHHH
12) There was wayyyyyy too much happening at once, it wasn’t necessary, it made little sense and where did ALL these people come from if they didn’t show up in the Last Jedi.
I think 12 issues is enough for now. I really disliked this film, I am not surprised that some people loved it because they clearly loved the others, but I am glad that more people are angry over there BS writing in this one.
Left/green is for 2019, right/black is overall since I joined Spotify in 2011
That huge block of Rachmaninov is because there’s a movement that has an alto solo sung by one of my friends who is basically a second mom to me sang (not in this recording) so it has a special place in my heart (this lady is still alive and well don’t worry)
I take the bus more than I did 5-8 years ago, so I listen to music that I can hear through earbuds (and while I recently FINALLY got some wireless over-ears, I just like my little playlist of women in hip-hop/rap - all my top songs from 2019 are on it) - which means I don’t often listen to the umbrella classical as much as I want to and probably should.
Y’all should look Piffaro up if you’re bored one day tho, they’re a medieval/renaissance wind troupe and are the definition of
Summary: All her life, Spensa has dreamed of becoming
a pilot. Of proving she’s a hero like her father. She made it to the sky, but
the truths she learned about her father were crushing. The rumors of his cowardice
are true–he deserted his flight during battle against the Krell. Worse,
though, he turned against his team and attacked them.
Spensa is sure there’s more to the story. And she’s sure that whatever happened
to her father in his starship could happen to her. When she made it outside the
protective shell of her planet, she heard the stars–and it was terrifying.
Everything Spensa has been taught about her world is a lie.
But Spensa also discovered a few other things about herself–and she’ll travel
to the end of the galaxy to save humankind if she needs to.
I’M BACK! Well, kind of. I had been in a massive reading
slump and only reading for school but Brandon Sanderson, being the greatest
ever, got me out of it. I still have a week of school left and finals but I am
in the mood to read again. Onto this masterpiece of a book.
Summary: As a young child, Senri Nakajou saw his family murdered
before his eyes, and he’s lived for revenge ever since. From his daily
activities to his studies, everything is about attaining the power and money
necessary to find the killer and make him pay-even if it means getting a little
Summary:How do you stop a murder that’s already happened?
At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn
Hardcastle will be killed–again. She’s been murdered hundreds of times, and each
day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over
and over, Aiden’s only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder and
conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend–but nothing
and no one are quite what they seem.
‘I think you have a voice. You just have to find out how to express it fully. This is the journey we are all on. It takes a lifetime - sometimes many lifetimes - to learn our own story.’
When I first started reading this book I wasn’t sure if I was really going to like it. But this little coming-of-age story really grew on me.
In this story, Rosie Ming, a half Persian half Chinese Canadian tries to find her identity and fulfill her dreams of going to Paris by publishing her book of poetry. And her life changes when she receives an invitation to a poetry festival in Iran and decides to travel out of her country (and her comfort-zone) for the first time.
I really enjoyed the bits where Rosie traverses the country trying to understand its artistic history and her own cultural background whilst discovering new relationships. There is a moment where Rosie hears the Azaan for the first time and the art of her just floating up is just so lovely. NOt to mention the various styles of poetry sprinkled throughout the book along with the descriptions of various poets.
The art was abstract. I loved it but I couldn’t really understand why only Rosie had to be a stick figure when everyone else was not. Maybe this just made her stand out more and brought out her need to belong culturally.
All in all, I enjoyed reading the book and will probably go ahead and watch the feature-length film for Window Horses because the story is great and animation looks lovely.
Since a month around i’m obsess with Robert Pattinson, i’ve wacht most of his work, which i’ll been talking abot it for awhile… but to start I chose The Lighthouse, one of the best movies of 2019, directed by Robert Eggers.
The performances of Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe were a exquisite in his major explession. One of the scenes that hit me stronger was nearly at the end, (spoiler alert), when Dafoe were being buried alive and you could see how he was swallowing dirt but never stop saying his lines, I can’t imagine the annoying in his eyes in the whole process which was a pretty long shot, a well deserved award to him.
And what to say about Pattinson, well i’m always enchanted by his transformations and here wasn’t the exepcion. The scene when he try to throw the sh*t into the sea and it sticks all in his face and scremed, Jesus, i really felt what was coming next… and didn’t disappont me.
Theres a lot to talk but I don’t wanna keep you more, I’ll finish with one of my favorites scenes was when they were drunk and started to discuss about how awful was to Wilnsolow (Pattinson) the food that Wake (Dafoe) cooked and then he just was like ‘ You don’t like my cooking?’ and start to to curse him with basically an essay and when he fiinished Wilnsolow just said ‘Allright have it your way, I like your cooking’ hahaha.
Let me know in the comments if which was your favorite scene!!!✍✍🤔
This was a free collection on Amazon at the time that I stumbled across it while browsing science fiction selections. While I’ve always liked both Tor and Baen publications, I was amazed by how very much I enjoyed almost every short story and novella in this collection. Such high quality, and some authors that have been added to my TBR list. 4.5 out of 5.
CURRENTLY FREE ON AMAZON AS OF THE DATE OF THIS POSTING!
“Deriving Life” by Elizabeth Bear
Marq Tames is contemplating suicide or becoming a Host, unable to cope with being alone again after their spouse dies. Tenants bring many benefits, including being pain-free, living a bit longer, making better decisions for themselves. Unfortunately the Tenants ultimately consume their Hosts. Unlike most potential Hosts, Marq is healthy. Wow. A really detailed look at grief, cancer, loneliness, and the choices we might make for happiness. Intense. Could be triggering for some who are themselves dealing with grief. 4.5 out of 5.
“For He Can Creep” by Siobhan Carroll
The Great Jeoffry the Cat helps keep the demons away from the humans in the madhouse. His favorite is the Poet who is trying to finish the most important Poem for God. If only his creditors would leave him alone, stop pushing for the satiric content he once wrote. Then Satan himself comes to speak with Jeoffry. Satan deems the Poem to be out of favor style-wise, and not very good. He wishes to have the Poet write him a poem, one that will drive religion out of the minds of the masses. To do that, he needs to speak with the Poet without Jeoffry’s interference. It is, as they say, a devil’s bargain. Jeoffry may, for the first time since kittenhood, lose. He must consider and consult. The fact that this is based on a real poem written by Christopher Smart, who was incarcerated in St. Luke’s Hospital for Lunatics, circa 1763, adds an extra layer of interest and curiosity to the story. Needless to say, I spent the evening researching the poet online. 3.5 out of 5.
“Beyond the El” by John Chu
Connor struggles to recreate his late mother’s dumplings, never quite reaching that bit of perfection. He really doesn’t need the stress of his cold abusive sister back in his life. Although maybe he does. Very low key. The relationship between Nick and Connor was more interesting to me. As to the use of magic to prepare foods, was it really necessary? 3 out of 5.
“Zeitgeber” by Greg Egan
Sam is searching for why his daughter Emma’s sleep patterns are suddenly and radically off phase. It isn’t long until this issue with sleep cycles begin spreading throughout the world. At first it was just puzzling and annoying. Now there are more and more accidents and deaths. Life moves on, people adjusting as best it can, with cures both fake and possible appearing.
Truly fantastic tale. Scary as well, especially considering how we are waiting for a cure for COVID-19 with trepidation and distrust of the very organizations, such as the CDC and FDA, that are supposed to protect us. Add on top the discussion of just how much conformity society demands of us. 4 out of 5.
“One/Zero” by Kathleen Ann Gorrnan
The war made its way to Vida Zilan’s home in Kurdistan, ending with her parents, aunt, and grandmother dead. Now Vida is on the run with her three year old brother, traveling with other terrified and displaced children. Mai Davidson has retired in Washington D.C. after years of helping with various issues through the agency she had given her life to, until her husband died and she began to look for something different. Her life is becoming increasingly regulated as the AIs begin taking control of medicine and senior care and transportation, among other things. Or are the SIs, the rumored super intelligent computers now moving out into the world? Be careful what you wish for has always been what is said in regards to those who can grant wishes. Perhaps with the right teachers, the right guides, the SIs can help fix the world for the children, with the assistance of the children. If only, if only. Magnificent look at how Hal might not be the villain of the piece. After all, he just wanted to save both himself and his astronaut charges. 4.5 out of 5.
“Skinner Box” by Carole Johnstone
A trip to Jupiter and back, scientists caught up in their personal cycle of pain and hatred, an engineer who brings some comfort and support. And a Skinner box filled with nanites. There are layers upon layers upon layers in this intense story of experimentation and conditioning, the cost of freedom and, ultimately, love. In essence, there are three reveals. The first was expected almost from the start. The second was almost suspected after we met Boris. But it was the third that, for me, saved the story from the coldness. 3.5 out of 5.
“The Song” by Erinn L. Kemper
The world is moving from beef to whale meat, expensive as it is, taking abandoned oil rigs and converting them to whale meat processing centers. As the ecowarriors grow increasingly violent, killing those involved in killing the whales, the people on SeaRanch 18 are stranded without relief personnel. One of the last new scientists to arrive is Suzanne who is staying the changes in communication patterns among the whales. She tells Dan, a deep sea diver and welder, of attacks by the whales, how humpbacks and blues were congregating for the first time ever seen and apparently communicating. Whales and dolphins are so very intelligent, yet humans think they can do whatever they want to them. I don’t understand. Needless to say, I was primed for this story. I thought I was prepared, even hopeful. But the ending was beyond tragic. 4 out of 5.
“Articulated Restraint” by Mary Robinette Kowal
(Lady Astronaut 1.5) After an accident leads to a lunar rocket slammed into a space station and the airlock jammed, the moon’s astronauts must figure out how to rescue them before their air runs out. First, they’ll need a plan of action and see if the plan can work on their mockup rocket. They need a way to get them more oxygen and a way to get a life raft to the vehicle. Complicating procedures is Ruby’s nasty ankle sprain, especially after she needs the foot restraint which requires her to twist her feet to get into position. Something snaps, but she perseveres, unwilling to let her injury prevent the rescue of her friends. In some ways this reminds me of old time science fiction, a neat adventure with threads of backstories I want to know more about, such as the Meteor and what’s going on back on Earth. Luckily I discovered that this is part of a series, so there is a possibility of learning more. Although I have a few other of Kowal’s works in my TBR pile (freebies back in the day), I hadn’t as yet read any of her works. Definitely want to read more based on what I found here. 4.5 out of 5.
“Painless” by Rich Larson
Mars is a child when he is first found by the men who have been searching for someone like him, a genetic mutation who cannot feel pain. There’s an organism put inside his body, that can make him stronger and able to repair himself, even grow body parts back. He is trained to be a soldier, a mercenary, a killer. He yearns for freedom and someone to be his friend and family. The story jumps a bit from present to past and back again. It took me a while to get into the author’s rhythm, but once I did it was well worth it. I can see so many countries and organizations who would kill to have someone like Mars under their control. Good read. 3.5 out of 5.
“Seonag and the Seawolves” by M. Evan MacGriogair
Seonag was considered strange almost from the moment she was born, but she still loved her homeland. So much so that she hides when her parents make plans to sail to Canada, unable to afford the croft rent. Once they leave her behind, Seonag goes to the town bard for help and advice. She is told about the wolves that were driven out of Ireland. He tells her to swim west until she can hear the wolves. The advice is cruel, certain suicide. Knowing all that, Seonag still decides to do so. An old style story, a myth, a fable, a fairy tale. A story about those who only want to belong, yet are different enough to be pushed to the sidelines. Mystical and magical. 4 out of 5.
“Any Way the Wind Blows” by Seanan McGuire
The Cartography Corps explore and map the parallel universes in order to determine if any ever go missing at a future date. In this Manhattan, they find an intact Flatiron building, but no killer pigeons in this universe, so win-win. Then a group of locals ask to meet the Captain. This should be a television series! I’d watch each and every episode and cackle at the crew’s adventures. The only thing I was disappointed by was the length. It was too short. 4.5 out of 5.
“Blue Morphos in the Garden” by Lis Mitchell
Vivian does love Dash and Lily, their daughter, but she continues to refuse to marry him, unable to deal with what his family goes through upon death. If she officially marries into the family, she will become a Karner in all ways. When it appears that Viv may be dying, she will need to make a decision sooner than she had hoped. Stay, but remain a terminal. Marry and, once she dies, become something else. Leave, with or without Dash and Lily. There’s a beauty to having one’s death transform into something useful or beautiful or both. Frankly, I don’t understand Vivian’s concerns about that. 4 out of 5.
“His Footsteps, Through Darkness and Light” by Mimi Mondal
Love comes in many forms, some never spoken out loud. Binu had found a home and a job with the Majestic Oriental Circus. He became a trapeze master, soon heading his own team. He also continued playing Alladin in Shehzad Marid’s illusionist act. He was happy and content. Until he helped the wrong person. There is so much hinted at and more left unsaid. But it will always be known that Binu was a good man and a loyal friend. Bittersweet, yet in that time and place, perhaps the happiest ending(?) one could hope for. 4 out of 5.
“Old Media” by Annalee Newitz
John was as free as he had ever been under his latest Master, a lady scientist who provided him franchise papers that granted him full rights within the city before she went into hiding. Med, a fan of John’s journal on Memeland, becomes his friend and roommate. She is also a robot and professor, as well as the lady scientist’s research partner in the project that caused the woman to flee. John and Med try to navigate the idiosyncrasies of living among humans, both clueless and bigoted. 3.5 out of 5.
“More Real Than Him” by Silvia Park
Morgan Ito is working on her own robot, one that resembles her favorite actor who is currently doing his two years of military service. This is the first story in the collection that I struggled with. Frankly, it read like bad fanfiction, and I’m a fanfiction reader and writer. I didn’t like any characters except Stephen, but he was barely in the story. I finally gave up, not caring what would happen to pretty much anyone. DNF
“The Hundredth House Had No Walls” by Laurie Penny
The King of the country of Myth and Shadow is incredibly bored after five hundred years on the throne. He does what any ruler does in his situation, he decides to travel incognito to the imaginary land of New York City. There he runs into the Princess of Everywhere and Nowhere.
I had a hard time at first dealing with random phrases, words, and letters made bold. This was a strange story. Once I got past the random bolds, I quite liked it. Feminist overtones with a message about freedom and allowing each individual to write their own story. 3.5 out of 5.
“The Touches” by Brenda Peynado
Life is separated into clean and dirty. Clean was living virtually, locked into a tiny cubicle from birth, cared for by an assigned robot, and hooked up to an all-encompassing system for hours at a time. Dirty is the real world, filled with plagues and viruses and what the narrator calls filth. Things get more complicated as robots glitch, an accident puts the narrator into quarantine, and a phone number leads to something scary. There’s a layer of disconnection due to a lack of physical contact that cannot be fulfilled by robot hugs and virtual touches. Add to that the narrator’s extreme fear of the dirty world. She actually has counted the number of real physical touches in her life. Very intense, more so during our current Pandemic and the separation of friends and family. Also extremely weird. I don’t know what to say about this one, but I suspect it will linger in my memory for quite a while. 3.5 out of 5.
“Knowledgeable Creatures” by Christopher Rowe
Investigative dog Connolly Marsh is hired by human Professor Thomasina Swallow after she kills a coworker who was threatening blackmail. Things become increasingly screwy. The body is missing, the learned mouse who is also Sparrow’s adopted father believes historical research into the history of knowledgeable creatures and humans shouldn’t be forbidden, and Marsh can’t make himself leave the case alone. Huh. Another strange story with a lot of dangling threads left behind and even more questions. Yet this isn’t a set-up for a longer story or even a series. It is complete within itself, with a somewhat sad ending for one character. Intriguing, almost a noir type of story. Fantasy with just a touch of science fiction. 3 out of 5.
“Blood is Another Word for Hunger” by Rivers Solomon
Anger boiled in the heart of fifteen year old slave, Sully. When she heard that her master had been killed during a battle, she drugged all five of his family members, slicing their throats. Her actions cause a rift in the etherworld, drawing Ziza to her. Sully is a product of her life, the cruelty of her upbringing. She may also hark back to a creature from the country of her ancestors. Sully shouldn’t be a sympathetic character, but she is. I wanted her to find, if not happiness, at least a form of peach. And maybe she will with her revenants, especially Ziza. Be aware that this isn’t an easy read by any means, but I found it surprisingly satisfying. 4.5 out of 5.
“The Last Voyage of Shidbladnir” by Karin Tidbeck
Saga learns the ship she serves on is a living creature who is outgrowing her shell of a high-rise building. Saga and Novik, the engineer, are determined to save Skidbladnir from being sold for meat. She needs a new shell, so they’ll find her a new shell. This gripped me the moment I realized Skidbladnir was alive. I’m a sucker for stories like this. So enchanting. I wish it had been longer or had a sequel, but that is just me being greedy and not wanting to leave Saga, Novik, and Skidbladnir behind. Lovely from start to finish. 4.5 out of 5.
“Circus Girl, the Hunter, and Mirror Boy” by JY Yang
Lynette first saw Mirror Boy the night she was almost killed after fighting off a rapist when she was barely 16 years old. After she survived, Lynette found a friend to unload her pain, her disappointments, and her dreams to the boy who appeared in place of her own reflection. Once she left the circus she had grown up in and worked for, Lynette had never seen him again. Until now. The boy is worried that a serial killer is after her. A perfect story for the month of October, with a wraith, a witch, and a supernatural hunter who made assumptions that led to so many innocent deaths. An ending that, while I guess it might be coming, was also so satisfying. 4 out of 5
“Water: A History by K. J. Kabza
The surveyors badly judged how compatible the colony of Isla would be for the humans who left Earth on a one-way trip there. The colonists adjusted, but being outside too long led to cancer deaths during the early years. Marie, in her 50s, is now the last person who has direct memories of Earth. She has been extraordinarily lucky in that her frequent trips outside hadn’t led to an early death. A younger colonist, born on Isla, longs to go outside as well. She wants to smell the planet’s dirt and feel the breeze on her face. Lian finds a friend and support in Marie. But no one can expect the good times will last forever. Deeply emotional and tragic, yet somewhat hopeful as well. Yet the story needed more depth, more content. Good, but not as good as many of the others in this collection, in my opinion. 3 out of 5.
“As the Last I May Know” by S. L. Huang
Nyma was just ten years old when she was selected to be the Carrier. In order to impress the consequences of using seres on another country, the Order choses to hide the codes in the body of a child. To obtain access, the President must personally kill the child Carrier and rip her heart open. AS the enemy forces draw ever deeper into the country, Nyma waits. Oh, this one was gut-wrenching. Seriously gut-wrenching. And yet, the logic behind the Order’s idea was extremely logical. Force the President to basically live with the child he must kill to get access to the seres that will kill millions, make it real. And Otto Han is disgusted by the Order, but it is what it is. Again, the idea makes sense, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t horrifying. Not to mention torturous for the child who must live with the idea that they can be killed at almost anytime in order to kill millions of other people. 4.5 out of 5.
“The Time Invariance of Snow” by E. Lily Yu
When the Devil’s mirror splinters, it enters the hearts and minds of mankind, spreading hate and violence despair and depression. G and K are in love, but G is wary of the violence of men. When K makes a comment on how he would kill her, she protests his cruelty. He leaves. Despite knowing how the story will end, G goes on a quest to save him from the Snow Queen.
A subversion of fairy tales and a treatise on both them and the treatment of women. I have to admit that I was annoyed by the use of footnotes in this fictional short story. I barely tolerate them in non-fiction books. That said, as I struggled on, once G and K came onto the scene it became an easier read. I think I would’ve enjoyed this more if it had been expanded. My least favorite in the collection, but still worth reading. 3 out of 5.
It’s ironic that I’ve been in two lockdowns and not found the time to post. But I HAVE found the time to watch plenty of telly! Here’s a catch up of 3 really great films I’ve watched in the last 9 months - all from 2019, all deserving *****, all directed by women.
Billi (Awkwafina) is a Chinese American student who, along with her family, makes the trip to visit grandmother, Nai Nai, who is blissfully unaware that she has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The family agree to keep Nai Nai in the dark about her diagnosis. Billi must come to terms with this decision.
Admittedly, the subject matter isn’t overly jovial, but what comes from this is a heartwarming story about the value of family amongst differing cultural perspectives. Awkwafina shines in the lead role. Three words I’d use: sincere, comic, hopeful. Come for feels, stay for Nai Nai’s sassy quips.
Best friends, Amy and Molly, are about to graduate high school. They’ve dedicated their time to hard work at the expense of fitting in with the cool crowd. Whilst Amy plans to do humanitarian work post-graduation, Molly has secured a place at good college - but to her surprise and chagrin, so have many of her more popular, laid-back peers. Believing her hard work to be wasted, Molly convinces Amy to take this last opportunity, to join her for one wild night before graduating. What can go wrong?
What follows is a hilarious, messy-but-beautiful adventure of one of those disastrous nights out, that each of us has probably experienced at some point. Whilst, without doubt, the story has an original flare, it has a warming sense of familiarity easily securing its position as an instant classic with many other teen comedies gone by. Bolstered by strong performances, this is guaranteed to be one to be enjoyed over and over. (Also, cool soundtrack!)
Queen & Slim
After a bad Tinder date, Slim drives his date home, only to get stopped by the police on the way in an apparent case of racial profiling. Prepared for the encounter to go south, he exits the vehicle and complied with the officers requests, at least initially. A bad date goes worse when the couple find themselves on the run with nowhere to hide.
I had next to no expectations when I rented this film. Good things had been written of a modern Bonnie-and-Clyde-esque travail, but it 100% delivered. I’m sure I’ve yet to see Daniel Kaluuya in a bad film, so I should have had more faith. Granted, the narrative drops off somewhere a bit in the middle, but not too much to allow you to leave the edge of your seat.