Thursday, February 11, 2021

Movie Review: Space Sweepers

Movie: Space Sweepers

Genre: science fiction

Starring: Song Joong Ki, Kim Tae Ri, Richard Armitage, Seon Kyu Jin

Rating: Two thumbs up


When I learned that two of my worlds were colliding in this movie, I knew I needed to give it a try. Yes, a favorite British actor and a favorite Korean actor...together... in one movie! Also... space! I haven't seen a good fun space adventure for a long time it seems. 

Anyway, it lived up to fun space adventure-ness!

It's about a ragtag group of misfits who are space "sweepers"... with the job of cleaning up junk floating around in space. Also, Earth is dying and a dude has created a utopian-like society in space that is quite exclusive, which many people don't agree with. 

And then there's this girl who somehow gets lost and everyone thinks she is dangerous because of some special powers she has. Our little group of crazy people find her and they are so excited to claim the huge reward for doing so. But then they learn that the plan is to destroy her. So they have to rethink everything.

It's very fun with all these crazy people interacting with a kid.. .and to see that bond happen. And the whole theme of Earth dying and what's the best thing humanity can do about it. And what are solutions that will work. 


Our hero and the kid he rescues.

I enjoyed the acting, and the music and the crazy very unrealistic space fights! And all the characters of course. It was very fun to see my two actors interact with each other, though that scene was very brief in the end. 

The movie is mostly Korean, but there is also lots of English too, and many moments with French and Spanish and Russian ( I think) and even a language I didn't know... maybe something made up? I don't know, but yeah. Lots of languages used, so I loved that. 

Anyway, despite many familiar space movie tropes, it was quite a fun diversion for the night, this movie!

Here's a trailer:

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Book Review: The Flat Share by Beth O'Leary

Book: The Flat Share by Beth O'Leary

Genre: romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 


I've watched a kdrama with a similar premise so I was interested to see how this book would handle this funny situation! And it was just as delightful as expected. 

We have our girl who needs an apartment, and especially needs to get to away from her abusive ex-boyfriend. And we have our guy who needs to earn some extra cash. So since he works nights as a nurse, he figures why not have someone come and sleep at his place at nights and work in the day while he is there sleeping. Makes perfect sense, eh?

And so they come together, and for months all works as planned, and they communicate leaving cute post it notes around for each other. But never actually meet, until one day. 

It's very fun and full of lots of British-isms which I loved. We flipped between the POVs of both of these characters and it was fun to see the differences between and yet how they worked so well together. 

So yeah. Fun!!


Monday, February 8, 2021

Kdrama Review: True Beauty

 Drama: True Beauty

Genre: Romantic comedy

Starring: Chan Eunwoo, Moon Ga Young, Hwang In Yeop, Park Yoo Na

Rating:  ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤


I guess this one is based a very popular webtoon that I have not read, but that a ton of people have. It's about a girl who is "ugly" (basically she has bad facial skin) and is bullied by the students at her school. When her family moves and she is transferred to a new school, she gets a chance to change. She becomes an expert and make up and no goes to school looking fabulous. She instantly popular.

But there's a guy who hangs out at the local comic store and they have a run in there. So he knows her true face. When she realizes he is in her class, she is mortified and tries all she can do to make sure he doesn't figure out who she really is. But he has already figured it out! And does he care? NO! He likes her despite her face... whether it's made up and beautiful... or bare and "ugly."

And so they fall in love, but she is determined to make sure the other kids never find out her secret.

Ugly...????

Beautiful


Meanwhile, another beautiful dude (because the first dude is extremely beautiful too... and the smartest kid in the class besides!) appears. And he is the cool dude... the "bad" boy if you will... and something about our girl calls to him, and he also falls for her. Her beautiful face. What will happen when he finds out about her true face? Hmmm....

Well, and so... much happens. There is A LOT in this drama about bullying. It's upsetting to watch at times. But mostly this is a lighthearted one with so many laugh out loud moments. So many. And as usual played brilliantly by all the leads. And rips your heart out with the second male lead syndrome for sure. 


The relationship between these two is what made me tear up the most.

I'm very familiar with our lead dude... Cha Eunwoo... seeing him in other dramas and on the stage with his group Astro... but I'd never heard of our second lead dude and he blew me away as he did everyone else watching this drama! I may have seen him some very secondary roles, but I don't remember him at all. But he is awesome. And is now on my list to watch whatever else he does!


Hwang In Yeop... beautiful.


Anyway, a very heartwarming drama with great messages about how we treat each other and deal with hard things. Watch it!

Here's a trailer and a song:

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Book Review: The Elephant's Girl by Celesta Rimington

 

Book: The Elephant's Girl by Celesta Rimington

Genre: MG 

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 


Our girl was lost from her family during a tornado, saved by an elephant and adopted by the zoo. What a premise, yes? This happened when she was about 5 and now she is 12. She still hasn't found her family and the zoo train engineer has taken care of her all this time. She lives in the zoo with him and is friends with a boy that also lives in the zoo. She has lots of plans for this summer, but everything ends up going a little crazy and not according to plan.

That's because she finally gets to visit the elephants and it turns out that the elephant that saved her can actually sort of talk to her. And this elephant tells her to go check out a spot in the woods next to the zoo. And when she does, she unearths quite the secret! And maybe even a clue to her past!

This book gave me "we bought a zoo" vibes and that's one of my all time favorite movies so... cool! We also get lots of parallels to the book "Island of the Blue Dolphins" which our character has just had to read for school. And that is also cool. 

So yeah, I really enjoyed and became totally immersed in the mystery that our girl needed to solve. What a sweet, lovely story!



Wednesday, February 3, 2021

January 2021 Reading Recap

 Here are the books I read this month! Off to a... great?... okay?.... start!

From our trip to the Oregon coast last week.


Texas Cowboy, Be Mine by Trish Milburn: A fun and simple cowboy romance.

Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal: A Pride and Prejudice-like story with magic.

The Blue Jeans Rebellion by Joanna H. Krauss: What happens when a boy in a 1800's conservative community decides he wants something different.

American Royals by Katharine McGee: What if America had royalty?


Favorites: American Royals... except for the ending. Shades of Milk and Honey was mostly fun too. 

Plans for February:

  • read The Flatshare for book club
  • start reading the pile of MG books that have been sent to me for the MLA award
  • catch up on some books I started but have yet to finish
How did your 2021 get started? Are we all hanging in there?


Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Book Review: American Royals by Katharine McGee

Book: American Royals by Katharine McGee

Genre: YA romance and speculative-ish

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 

In enjoyed the reading of this book, but I must say I was quite disappointed by the ending.. or lack thereof. Sigh.

It follows the points of view of four girls who are living in the high society of the American royalty... yes... in this world George Washington decided he would like to be a king and not a president... and so we have kings and queens here, just like in England and other places. And this the story of his descendants who are now part of that.

The four girls are :

Beatrice: She is the oldest of three kids and is up next for the crown. Normally the crown goes to the oldest son, so she is the first time the new law is in effect, and she will become Queen when her father dies. And he would like her to find a husband before that happens, which might be sooner than we think. So there is a ball held with eligible guys for her to choose from... but that's all a bummer for her because she is actually in love with her bodyguard.

Samantha: She is Beatrice's younger sister... and twin to the prince... Jefferson. She is the "spare" princess and she resents that and acts out in all  manner of rebellious ways. Too bad she falls for... at first sight... the dude that Beatrice chooses from the above mentioned ball. Beatrice gets EVERYTHING! Sigh...

Nina: Her mom works for the palace, and so she has grown up being best friends with the royal kids...Samantha's best friend particularly. And over the years, she has realized she has fallen for Jefferson. The prince. But he's been paired with some other girl... and in fact he has been dating her... but just as the story opens.. .they break up leaving him available for Nina.

Daphne: She is the "some other girl" who is out to get Jefferson... even though they have just broken up, she will do anything to win him over. She is perfect for him! Even though she is most annoyingly attracted to his best friend Ethan. The struggle!

So basically we get four different romances going on, and bunch of complications. And I really got invested in all of them... except Daphne who is a really unlikable character, but that's expected. I just wanted her to go away! 

Anyway, yeah. Invested. But:

SPOILER

.

.

.

.

.

.

sadly there is no resolution in this book. No happy ever after at all for anyone. It made me a little crazy. And I'm not sure these get resolved in the second book either. But I guess I might have to find out. Anyway, I really expect at least someone's story to be okay after all that! 

Still, despite all that, I enjoyed this one! It was fun to see America in the same way England is, all crazy about their royalty. Fun premise for sure!

 



Sunday, January 31, 2021

Book Review: The Blue Jeans Rebellion by Joanna H. Kraus

 Book: The Blue Jeans Rebellion by Joanna H. Kraus

Genre: Early reader chapter book, historical fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 


Really cute story based on a true incident that happened in early Utah days. We meet a cute 11 year old boy who is sick of the pants he is made to wear every day. Homemade woolen pants. When he sees blue jeans for the first time, he wants a pair and he does something not quite okay to get money to buy some. 

Then all the boys want some, so when this kid gets in trouble, they all come together to figure out a way to make it possible that they can all get jeans!

Cute and fun with lessons learned without being too in your face. It was a fast little read, took me 20 minutes or so to get through it. 

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